Ranking Member's Press

04.04.12

Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi Release HELP Drafts for Stakeholder Discussion

Today, Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Enzi release a bipartisan Drug Approval and Patient Access Draft: Click here to view the pdf. This discussion draft reflects bipartisan efforts to develop consensus policy proposals to accompany the FDA human medical product user fee legislation. Our goal is to solicit feedback on the policy merits, potential unintended consequences, and potential opportunities to improve the legislative language. We anticipate releasing additional drafts in other polic… Continue Reading


04.02.12

Harkin Calls for NLRB Member Facing Ethics Violations to Release Documents

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Member Terence Flynn, asking him to release information and documents relating to findings by the NLRB Inspector General that Flynn committed ethics misconduct. "With all of the external political attacks that the NLRB has faced during this Congress, I am troubled to hear reports of internal ethical misconduct by a Board Memb… Continue Reading


03.29.12

Harkin: It’s Time to Restore the American Dream for Middle Class Families

WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Rebuild America Act, a far-reaching bill that will create jobs, restore fairness to the tax code, and rebuild America's middle class through investments in areas like education and workforce training, our nation's infrastructure, manufacturing jobs, and retirement security. After a year of hearings and events in Washington and Iowa, Harkin, the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, developed the bill t… Continue Reading


03.22.12

Harkin Opening Statement at HELP Committee Hearing, “Stay-at-work and Return-to-work Strategies: Lessons from the Private Sector”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "Our topic today is 'Stay-at-work and Return-to-work Strategies: Lessons from the Private Sector.' This is the latest in a series of hearings we have convened since last March to explore issues that impact the employment of people with disabilities in America. Of course, our goal is to boost the labor force participation for people with disabilities. To achieve this goal, we must create pathways for people with disabilities to join the labor force, and we must hel… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Harkin Describes Real World Benefits of Affordable Care Act Days Before Second Anniversary of Law

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate to commemorate the second anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, the health reform law that he helped to craft. Harkin cited the real world impact of the law for individuals like Emily Schlichting, a University of Nebraska student who suffers from a rare auto-immune condition, and Ross Daniels and Amy Ward of West Des Moines, who w… Continue Reading


03.08.12

Bipartisan Bill to Better Prepare U.S. for Pandemics and Bioterror Attacks Approved by Senate

WASHINGTON-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) lauded last night's Senate approval of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act Reauthorization (PAHPA). As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Harkin has led this bipartisan effort to ensure that our nation is prepared to respond to a wide range of medical and public health emergencies, whether naturally occurring or the result of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack. "The bipartisan legislation … Continue Reading


03.07.12

Harkin, Blumenthal, Durbin Introduce Bill Protecting Union Rights

WASHINGTON - Today, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Re-empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (RESPECT) Act. This legislation would modify present law to ensure workers are not stripped of their union protection. "I have always believed that every working American should have the same right that every CEO in this country has - the right to negotiate and sign a contract that ensures fair treatme… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Harkin: New Civil Rights Data on America’s Students Solidifies My Concerns

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) cited new data released today by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as further evidence that civil rights are still a struggle in many of America's schools. The results of the Civil Rights Data Collection just released for the 2009-2010 school year reveal disparities in access to courses needed for college and career readiness, as well as access to experienced teachers. Furthermore, the data show that minorities and children with disabilities are dispropor… Continue Reading


03.05.12

Harkin Names New HELP Committee Chief Education Counsel

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced that he has named Mildred Otero as the Majority's new Chief Education Counsel. "With her extensive experience advancing education initiatives that benefit children from cradle to career, Mildred is a valuable addition to our team," said Harkin. "Ensuring that our students are prepared to compete in the 21st Century global economy is one of my highest priorities.… Continue Reading


02.28.12

Harkin Expresses Disappointment About House Markup of Partisan Education Bills

WASHINGTON - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today expressed disappointment that the Republicans on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce pushed through two partisan bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act despite concerns raised by all Committee Democrats. Today's markup stands in sharp contrast to last fall's HELP Committee bipartisan vote to approve comprehensive legislation after consideration and … Continue Reading


02.09.12

Harkin Statement on President’s Announcement of NCLB Waivers

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement responding to President Obama's announcement that ten states have been granted waivers from some requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. Last fall, the HELP Committee approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that will set high expectations for all children to graduate from high schoo… Continue Reading


02.01.12

Harkin, Enzi Welcome FDA Medical Device User Fee Agreement

WASHINGTON - Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement welcoming today's announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reached agreement with the medical device manufacturing industry on the user fees that help speed the FDA's review of devices, bringing them to patients more quickly: "This user fee agreement will ensure that life-saving… Continue Reading


02.01.12

Harkin: Time to rebuild the middle class, America’s backbone

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, delivered an address at the Center for American Progress outlining his vision for how to rebuild America's middle class. In the coming months, Harkin plans to introduce sweeping legislation that will rebuild America's middle class through investments in areas like education and workforce training, our nation's infrastructure, manufacturing jobs, and retirement security. "We need… Continue Reading


01.26.12

Harkin Statement on President Obama’s Appointments to the NLRB and CFPB

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate in support of President Obama's recent appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Below are his full remarks, as prepared for delivery: "Mr. President, I rise today to respond to some of the shrill rhetoric and outright misinformation regarding President Obama's recent recess appointments to t… Continue Reading


01.13.12

Harkin, Enzi Welcome Fee Agreements to Speed FDA Review of Medicines

WASHINGTON - Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement welcoming today's announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reached agreement with the prescription drug, generic drug, and biosimilar industries on the user fees that help speed the FDA's review of medicines in order to make them available to Americans. "These user fee agreemen… Continue Reading


12.22.11

Harkin Calls For Investigation into South Carolina Governor’s Use of Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON - Following revelations that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley may have dictated the findings of a nonpartisan health care panel funded by taxpayer dollars, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today called for a federal investigation into whether Governor Haley exploited taxpayer dollars for political purposes. In a letter sent today to Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson, Harkin requested… Continue Reading


12.21.11

Harkin Applauds Deal to Make More New York City Cabs Wheelchair Accessible

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, applauded an agreement announced last night between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to create 2,000 more wheelchair-accessible cabs. Harkin, a longtime champion of disability rights, sent a letter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this year urging him to select a wheelchair accessible taxi in the city's "Taxi of Tomorrow" competi… Continue Reading


12.21.11

Harkin Praises NLRB’s Efforts to Modernize Election Rules

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released the following statement welcoming the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) decision to finalize modernized election rules, which will clear the way for workers to vote on unionization by streamlining regulatory processes: "Today's actions by the NLRB are an important step toward ensuring that every American worker has the same right that powerful CEOs take for granted-t… Continue Reading


12.16.11

Harkin Introduces Bill to Protect Students from Seclusion and Restraint

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act, a bill to protect students from ineffective and dangerous seclusion and restraint practices in schools. "Every child should be educated in a supportive, caring, stimulating environment in which they are treated as an individual and provided with the tools they need to succeed," Harkin said. "They should never be subjected to abusive o… Continue Reading


12.08.11

Harkin Welcomes Obama Administration’s Efforts to Expand Job Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement after Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis proposed a new rule requiring federal contractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities. Harkin, chief sponsor in the Senate of the ADA, has held several HELP Committee hearings on increasing employment for Americans with disabilities, after setting the goal earlier… Continue Reading

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