Ranking Member's Press

05.19.11

Harkin Reveals Deceptive Marketing Employed by For-Profit Colleges to Profit Off Veterans and Servicemembers

WASHINGTON-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the Senate floor today to reveal strategies that for-profit education companies use to enroll veterans and active-duty service members in order to profit off their Post 9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits. An investigation of the for-profit education industry by Chairman Harkin has revealed that on average, 55 percent of students who attend many of these schools drop out within a… Continue Reading


05.17.11

Statement of Chairman Tom Harkin at the HELP Committee Hearing: “A Nation Prepared: Strengthening Medical and Public Health Preparedness and Response”

*As Prepared for Delivery* "I am pleased to convene this hearing today on a very important issue-defending our Nation against public health threats. "Such threats are diverse in origin and include exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. Sometimes these threats occur naturally-the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza, for example-or they can be the result of malicious intent-such as the intentional release of anthrax in 2001. A recent and very challenging example is t… Continue Reading


05.12.11

Fairness for Employees? Harkin Questions Huge Pay Gap between Employees and Executives

WASHINGTON - At a hearing this morning to examine the shrinking American middle class, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) challenged a Boeing Company executive to justify why his own compensation increased by 34% in one year while the average Boeing employee's compensation has increased by only 3% in the last twenty years. To illustrate this trend of growing income inequality in America, Harkin questioned Boeing General Counsel Michael Luttig if it… Continue Reading


05.12.11

Statement of Chairman Tom Harkin at Committee Hearing to Examine Shrinking of America's Middle Class

*As Prepared for Delivery* "As I have traveled through Iowa and across the country, I have heard from more and more hardworking middle class families who feel that the American Dream is slipping away. I recently received a letter from one of my constituents, who wrote: My own disposable income has disappeared, and I am not alone. Where I once joined friends occasionally for a lunch 'out,' that no longer happens. I don't buy new clothes. I don't travel. My friends and neighbors, formerl… Continue Reading


05.11.11

Harkin Floor Statement on Attacks on National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON-Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the Senate floor to address recent attacks on the National Labor Relations Board regarding its handling of a complaint against Boeing. Below are his full remarks as prepared for delivery: "Mr. President, recently, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against the Boeing Company alleging that the company violated the National Labor Relations Act. This r… Continue Reading


05.10.11

HELP Committee to Examine Why the Middle Class is Shrinking

WASHINGTON - Thursday at 9:15 A.M., Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, will convene the first in a series of events to examine why the middle class is increasingly slipping out of reach for Americans. As corporate profits reach record levels, and the gulf between workers' wages and their bosses' salaries is larger than ever before, the Committee will discuss the policy decisions that have played a role in the erosion of the middle … Continue Reading


04.12.11

Harkin: Americans with Disabilities Leaving Labor Force at Alarming Rate

WASHINGTON - This morning, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) gave the keynote address at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Disability Employment Summit. A longtime champion for people with disabilities, Harkin sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act, and as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, he recently held a hearing to identify barriers to employment for people with intellectual disabilities and strategies that have successfully improved employment… Continue Reading


04.01.11

Harkin, DeLauro Respond to Proposed Menu Labeling Rules

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) released the following statements responding to the proposed rules for calorie labeling on menus in chain restaurants and vending machines announced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today. Harkin and DeLauro sponsored the Menu Education and Labeling (MEAL) Act, legislation to enable Americans to make informed choices about their fo… Continue Reading


03.30.11

Harkin Calls on Drug Manufacturer to Lower Price of Makena

WASHINGTON - Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) called on KV Pharmaceuticals to lower the price of Makena, a drug recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent premature birth for women who have had at least one prior preterm birth. He also applauded Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the FDA for their decision to exercise enforcement discretion to allow pharmacists to compound affordabl… Continue Reading


03.22.11

Harkin: “The choice is to go forward, or be dragged backward”

WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement marking tomorrow's one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the new health reform law. As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin played a central role in shaping and passing the bill, and stood beside the President as he signed it into law on March 23, 2010. "It's been just one year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and already, milli… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Statement of Chairman Tom Harkin

*As Prepared for Delivery* "This is the Committee's fourth hearing focusing on the federal investment in for-profit higher education companies, and whether our $26 billion annual investment in this sector is a good value for students and taxpayers. "We have previously taken a look at specific aspects of this sector, including recruiting practices, placement, accreditation issues, student outcomes, and, most recently, the for-profit industry's targeting of veterans and GI educational benefits… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Harkin Fights Efforts to Dismantle Health Care Law

Harkin Fights Efforts to Dismantle Health Care Law WASHINGTON - Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, submitted testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee's hearing, titled "Setting Fiscal Priorities in Health Care Funding." As the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act nears, Harkin emphasized both the budgetary and consumer benefits that the law provides, making the case for protecting and implementing the new… Continue Reading


03.02.11

Harkin Convenes Hearing on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Harkin Convenes Hearing on Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities WASHINGTON - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today convened the first in a series of hearings to examine how to improve employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Testimony and archived videos will be posted at: http://help.senate.gov/hearings/ Harkin's opening statement as prepared for delivery is below: "The Senate C… Continue Reading


02.09.11

Harkin Praises HHS for Commitment to Prevention and Wellness

Harkin Praises HHS for Commitment to Prevention and Wellness WASHINGTON- Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) welcomed today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of a $750 million investment in disease prevention and wellness, funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund established by the Affordable Care Act. He is Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which helped to shape the Affordable Care Act, and the Appropriations Subc… Continue Reading


02.08.11

Harkin Calls on For-Profit Colleges to End Deceptive Recruiting Practices

WASHINGTON - Late yesterday, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to discuss his ongoing investigation into the for-profit education sector and the cynical and misleading tactics used to enroll students in for-profit schools. Citing documents produced to the HELP Committee, Harkin detailed the systemic focus on exploiting emotional vulnerabilities to convince students to enroll, to prey on their "pain" and sign them up a… Continue Reading


02.04.11

Harkin Promotes Wheelchair Accessible Taxis for New York City

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), a longtime champion of disability rights, this week urged New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to select a wheelchair accessible taxi in the city's "Taxi of Tomorrow" competition with the goal of making taxis and the city itself friendlier to people with disabilities. New York City is currently in the process of selecting a new design for their fleet of 13,000 taxis. "I have also learned that the City is putting great emphasis on making its futu… Continue Reading


02.03.11

Statement of Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)

"I want to welcome everyone to the latest in our series of hearings focusing on retirement security. This is our first hearing looking specifically at how to make retirement plans work better. "There is no question that it is getting harder and harder for the average person to retire. Families are facing unprecedented challenges, and saving for retirement is just not an option for many. Wages have been stagnant for years, and people are working longer and harder than ever before. Yet they s… Continue Reading


02.02.11

Floor Statement by Chairman Harkin on the Consequences of Repealing Health Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) today made the following comments on the Senate floor about the importance of health reform and the consequences of repealing the law. The Senate is expected to vote on a Republican amendment that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, the health reform bill that was signed into law last year. Repeal would deprive millions of Americans of important protections against insurance companies, raise health costs, cut funding to rural hospitals in Iowa, and, ac… Continue Reading


02.01.11

Thursday: HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Retirement Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) today announced the Committee will meet on Thursday at 2:00 P.M. for the next hearing in a series on the growing retirement security crisis. The hearing will focus on what can be done to help Americans save more for retirement and make better decisions about their retirement savings. All hearings and markups are webcast live at: http://help.senate.govTestimony and archived videos will be… Continue Reading


01.31.11

Harkin Statement on Florida Court Ruling

WASHINGTON - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement on today's ruling by Florida U.S. District Court judge Roger Vinson on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act: "Since the Affordable Care Act passed, opponents of reform have filed more than 20 different legal challenges in an attempt to derail important new protections and health care benefits for Americans. Judges across the country have already dis… Continue Reading

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