Press Releases: 2011

December 8, 2011
Once again, House Republicans are wasting the Congress’s time on a bill that has nothing to do with creating jobs or dealing with the pressing issues that confront us before the end of the year. The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act is based on the same failed claim that deregulation will lead to job growth. Economists from both sides of the aisle strongly disagree and have said the link between regulations and unemployment is negligible, and they further add that many of our regulations help businesses compete on a level playing field. This farm dust bill is merely a smoke screen for Republican inaction on legislation that is actually important and would have significant bearing on millions of Americans. Even worse, the bill’s definition of ‘nuisance dust’ is overly broad and makes it easier for mining, smelting, excavation, and industrial operations to pollute in rural communities.
December 8, 2011
This Congress should not leave for the holidays without extending the payroll tax holiday, extending unemployment insurance benefits, and fixing the Medicare physician payment rate. I am disappointed that Republicans insist on playing political games with these critical policies. I have said repeatedly that Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to move these policies forward as long as unrelated, controversial policies are not attached, and President Obama said yesterday that he would reject a package that includes the Keystone pipeline. With so little time left before the end of the year, I hope Republicans reconsider their position and work with us to address these issues.
December 7, 2011
For 35 years, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has served as a powerful voice for Latinos, helping to shine a light on their many contributions to this great country. The CHC has long served as a powerful advocate on behalf of the issues that matter most to Latinos, from immigration reform to civil rights issues to growing our economy. I congratulate Chairman Gonzalez and the entire CHC on reaching this milestone and wish them many more years of continued success.
December 7, 2011
I continue to be disappointed that House Republicans are wasting Congress's time on ideologically driven bills to erode federal protections for consumers and communities instead of working on a plan to create jobs. The REINS Act would undermine our ability to protect children from harmful toys, prevent asthma and lung ailments resulting from pollution, and ensure that our small businesses can compete fairly in the marketplace. At the same time, it would force Congress to play a larger role in the regulatory process, leading to even more gridlock in Washington. Economists have told us again and again that regulations have a negligible impact on unemployment, and in many cases they help create the conditions for private sector growth. Right now, we cannot afford the uncertainty Republicans are creating for businesses by attempting to bog down the regulatory process. We need to consider real job-creating legislation, like House Democrats' Make It In America plan and the President's American Jobs Act. I hope Republicans will stop focusing on placating their most extreme supporters and instead work with Democrats on policies that benefit all Americans.
December 7, 2011
Democrats remain committed to working with Republicans on an omnibus package. But as we have made clear, the final package must adhere to the budget agreement reached in August, and it must not include controversial policy riders. As we work to complete appropriations bills for the remainder of the fiscal year, we also cannot forget that we must continue working on a big, bold, and balanced deficit reduction deal. We must step up and meet our fiscal challenges, and to do so we will need all options on the table. I hope Republicans will work with us to get this done well before painful and arbitrary spending cuts take effect in 2013.
December 7, 2011
Seventy years ago this morning, our nation awoke to news that stirred hearts and steeled nerves to face the challenge of a generation. For the millions of Americans from every walk of life who answered the call to serve, the attack on our fleet at Pearl Harbor marked the beginning of a great struggle. On this anniversary we recall their heroism, their resolve, their perseverance toward achieving what President Roosevelt foretold would be their ‘inevitable triumph.’ We remember those who lie at final rest near the beaches they stormed and beneath the oceans they traversed in the service of our freedom. We honor the veterans in our communities who still bear the scars of that war and its stories of courage. Let us draw strength from their sacrifices that we may live up to their example in our generation by confronting America’s challenges through unity, determination, and an abiding faith that our greatest triumphs still lie ahead.
December 5, 2011
Democrats have repeatedly indicated that we are willing to work with our Republican counterparts to extend the payroll tax holiday. If it is allowed to expire at the end of this year, Americans will have less money in their pockets, threatening our economic recovery at a critical time. We should not leave for the holidays until Congress has extended the payroll tax holiday, unemployment insurance benefits, and fixed the Medicare physician payment rate. Republicans should not play political games with these critical policies, and I hope that they will work with us to take action on these items quickly.
December 2, 2011
I continue to urge the Republican leadership to work with us to avoid expirations of unemployment insurance benefits, the payroll tax holiday, and the Medicare physician payment rate. Unless we act, millions of Americans who are looking for work will lose the ability to support themselves and their families when unemployment insurance benefits begin expiring at the end of the year.
December 2, 2011
Our economy added 140,000 private sector jobs in November, the twenty-first consecutive month of growth, and we saw our unemployment rate fall from 9% to 8.6%. These are further positive signs for our recovery, but as long as Republicans continue to avoid passing a real jobs plan we will be unable to achieve the kind of significant job creation we need.
December 1, 2011
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax holiday, as well as GOP efforts to suppress voting rights, on The Bill Press Show today.
December 1, 2011
Bill Livingood’s life has been spent in service to our nation and to protecting the democratic institutions that make it great. As a member of the U.S. Secret Service for over three decades, Bill put his life on the line to safeguard the president and his family. Since 1995, he has stood watch over the People’s House and all of its members, staff, and visitors. The strong voice with which Bill has welcomed U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries into the House chamber has become iconic, and he continues to command attention and respect from all who have known him. He is a good friend, and I have enjoyed serving with him throughout his tenure. I join in thanking Bill for his long years of service to the American people and to the House of Representatives, and I wish him all the best in his retirement.
December 1, 2011
I commend Ranking Member Rahall and other Transportation Committee Democrats for unveiling a bill today that will promote job creation and help more families Make It In America by requiring that infrastructure projects use American-made products. In order to create jobs and remain competitive in the global economy, we need to revitalize our roads, runways and bridges. At a time when too many Americans remain out of work, there is no reason why the materials to build these projects should not come from right here at home, in a manner consistent with our international obligations.
December 1, 2011
On World AIDS Day, we remember those who we have lost and recommit ourselves to the unfinished work of treating and saving the lives of the millions living with the disease. It is also a day to draw strength from the great strides we have made as a nation and in concert with our international partners in the fight against global HIV-AIDS. During these times of challenge and uncertainty, we must not lose sight of our ongoing commitment to expand access to treatment and prevention and to fund research for a cure. The money we spend each year on programs like PEPFAR, ADAP, and the Global Fund has saved countless lives and reaffirmed America as a beacon for hope in Africa and around the world.
December 1, 2011
While the Republican sponsors of the two bills before us contend they will create jobs, their claim is spurious. Economists have told us again and again that easing regulations has a negligible effect on job creation. The only thing these bills will do is make it harder for federal agencies to protect Americans through safety standards and environmental protections. One of the bills adds 35 pages to what is currently a 45 page law, and is likely to add 21 to 39 months to the rulemaking process. Agencies will be tied in knots and leave businesses without the certainty they need.
December 1, 2011
I oppose the Senate Republicans’ payroll tax proposal because it will further strip federal employees of wages and benefits. Federal employees have already stepped up to the plate and are helping to put our nation on a sounder fiscal footing, accepting a 2-year pay freeze which reduces the benefits they would have received by $60 billion over ten years. It is not appropriate to once again call on federal employees to contribute while not asking everyone else to contribute their fair share. It is also ironic that at a time when we need to grow jobs, Republicans are proposing to reduce them, taking our economy in the wrong direction.
December 1, 2011
Before we adjourn for the year, there are a number of important items we must address. The most pressing is the expiration of unemployment benefits at the end of December. Should Congress fail to act, millions of Americans who rely on emergency unemployment compensation will begin to see their payments disappear in starting in January. 2.1 million will have lost their benefits by the middle of February and over 6 million by the end of 2012.
November 30, 2011
I rise in strong opposition to this misnamed bill, which would promote neither democracy nor fairness in the workplace. The right of workers to organize and bargain collectively for better and fairer conditions has been protected by our laws since the era of the New Deal.
November 30, 2011
All of us who serve in this House know that we could not do the work we do without the help of our extraordinarily able and motivated staffs. They work long hours with pay below their counterparts in the executive branch and in the private sector. Many are young, in their twenties and thirties, with an energy and passion for public service that gives all of us great hope for the future.
November 28, 2011
“America, and the principles for which it stands, have been well-served by Congressman Barney Frank during his over three decades of service in the Congress. He has brought an exceptional intellect, political courage, common sense, a wonderful wit, and a love of country and of the People’s House to his service. He will be greatly missed...
November 26, 2011
"It has been a honor to serve with my good friend Charlie Gonzalez for over a decade and I am saddened by his retirement. The U.S. Congress and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will be losing a dedicated public servant who has been a leader on voting rights issues...
November 21, 2011
I am extremely disappointed at the Joint Select Committee’s announcement that they have failed to reach an agreement. There is no alternative, in my view, except to keep working toward the objective of a big, balanced deal. It is my intention to continue working toward that goal, and I urge both the members of the Committee – who have worked hard on this issue – and all members of the House and Senate to join that effort.
November 17, 2011
After nearly eleven months in control of the House, Speaker Boehner and his fellow Republicans have proposed a surface transportation bill that purports to create jobs. Unfortunately, they have not been clear about the investments they propose or how to pay for them. Democrats have had a jobs plan on the table for over a year – the Make It In America plan contains a number of investments in our roads, rails, airports, and seaports that will create jobs right away and boost our economic competitiveness over the long term. President Obama’s American Jobs Act also contains specific infrastructure proposals to create jobs—yet Senate Republicans blocked consideration of that measure.
November 17, 2011
In 1995 I spoke on the floor in support of a balanced budget amendment. That was sixteen years ago. There's a lot of water over the bridge since that time. I said then, and I quote: 'I do so because I believe that this country confronts a critical threat caused by the continuation of large annual deficits.
November 17, 2011
Today, the House passed a conference report that adheres to the Budget Control Act and still contains a number of good investments. It demonstrates that responsible Republicans and Democrats can work together to pass legislation to fund the government in line with past agreements and meet our shared responsibility to the American people.
November 16, 2011
I am pleased that Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate were able to work together to pass this provision of President Obama’s American Jobs Act that will encourage businesses to hire veterans and help veterans find work. Those who fought so hard for our nation overseas shouldn’t have to do so here at home just to find a job. The American Jobs Act, along with House Democrats’ Make It In America plan, contain bipartisan ideas that will get more Americans back to work right away and increase our economic competitiveness in the long run. I urge Republicans in both chambers to follow the passage of this legislation by working with us on passing the remainder of the American Jobs Act and the Make It In America plan. Congress must act now to help the millions of Americans who are unemployed. They cannot wait, and neither can we.