Press Releases: 2011

November 16, 2011
With the myriad of problems facing our nation, I find it inconceivable that the Republican leadership has chosen to prioritize this bill. I strongly urge its defeat for two important reasons.
November 14, 2011
Thank you, Rep. Conyers, for holding this important hearing. With the federal election just under a year away, the Committee is right to look into possible voter suppression taking place. The right to vote is fundamental to our entire system of government and the ability of every American to have his or her voice heard in Washington, in their statehouses, and in their local communities. That right is under threat today. Nationwide, state legislatures have been erecting barriers that deter or inhibit eligible voters from casting ballots. They are making it harder to vote by mandating certain forms of photo identification, which many current voters do not have and are time-consuming and expensive to obtain.
November 14, 2011
I welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to consider legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act and have every confidence that the Court will uphold the constitutionality of this law. The Affordable Care Act continues to provide benefits to millions of Americans; from children with pre-existing conditions to seniors who are now saving money on prescription drug costs. I am confident Americans of all ages will continue to benefit from the health care law, as it will be upheld.
November 11, 2011
For more than two centuries, Americans from every background and every community have donned our nation’s uniform and marched off to defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and our way of life. Too many never returned. Today, on Veterans Day, we honor those who did and recommit ourselves to standing up for them and the benefits they have earned through their service. We must never forget our duty to our veterans, especially to those now returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They deserve quality, affordable health care to help heal their wounds – both physical and psychological – as well as opportunities for higher education and assistance transitioning to civilian jobs. Congress coming together to act in meeting our responsibility to them has never been more important than it is today, with a disturbingly high level of unemployment among young veterans. In this spirit, the 110th Congress passed the 21st Century G.I. Bill and worked to improve the VA health system, and it is this same spirit that I hope will lead the current Congress to put veterans’ needs ahead of politics once again and take action to help them find work.
November 10, 2011
Today’s Senate vote shows that, when Republicans work together with Democrats, we can make real progress on job creation. This legislation, which passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 95-0, is particularly important because it will increase opportunities for our returning veterans to find work and make it easier for businesses to tap into their experience and skills. I call on Republican leaders in the House to join with Democrats in this same spirit of unity and allow us to send this legislation to the President for his signature. When we mark Veterans Day tomorrow, let us offer our wounded warriors and returning heroes more than gratitude – let us show them Congress is ready to take action to help them transition into civilian jobs.
November 9, 2011
Hal made a real difference in people’s lives, both by keeping them informed about their world and by standing up for our first responders and their families. I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing.
November 7, 2011
I join with the President in calling on Congressional Republicans to set politics aside and work together with Democrats on helping our veterans find work. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit and Wounded Warriors Tax Credit will provide financial assistance for businesses to hire veterans and remove a hurdle for those finding it difficult to transition to civilian jobs. The President’s American Jobs Act and House Democrats’ Make It In America proposal will help create jobs right away for veterans and all who seek work – but only if Republicans will work with us to do so. The American people – and the brave men and women who have served our nation in uniform – cannot wait any longer for Congress to act. When the Senate brings this bill to the Floor later this week, I hope Republicans will support it.
November 4, 2011
I am honored to receive this award and proud to share the honor with my good friend Senator Blunt. The mission of the Faith and Politics Institute is to remind members of both parties of the role we share in common as public servants and our duty to be instruments of good. I commend the Institute for its leadership and thank founders John Lewis and Amo Houghton, for whom this award is named, for the example of civility, collaboration, and shared experience they have set for myself and my colleagues.
November 4, 2011
While I am encouraged that the number of private sector jobs grew by 104,000 over the past month, representing the twentieth straight month of increase and bringing our unemployment rate down to 9.0%, there is still much left for us to do. Too many Americans remain out of work, and Congress ought not waste any more time and consider legislation that will help businesses create jobs right away.
November 3, 2011
I am disappointed that Republicans continue their refusal to work with Democrats on jobs legislation. This is the third time in the past few weeks that Senate Republicans have voted to block even the consideration of a jobs bill. At the same time, House Republican leaders have not brought any of the Democrats' Make It In America proposals onto the floor or put forth a comprehensive jobs plan of their own. The American people deserve a Congress that works, that is focused on creating jobs, and it is increasingly clear the Republicans will not deliver.
November 3, 2011
A year from now, millions of Americans will head to the polls to exercise their most fundamental right – the right to vote. Unfortunately, in states across the country, partisan measures have been adopted that would make it more difficult for nearly five million voters, particularly the poor, young people, the elderly, and minorities, to register and vote,” said Whip Hoyer. “Voter suppression has no place in our country. That’s why Democrats are sending a letter to Secretaries of State urging them to oppose these partisan efforts to hinder access to the ballot and urging them to work in a bipartisan way to ensure all Americans can exercise their constitutional right to be heard.
November 3, 2011
We are just about a year away from a pivotal election. Just as important as the choice we will make is ensuring that all who are eligible can participate in making that choice. The right to vote is fundamental to our entire system of government and the ability of every American to have his or her voice heard in Washington and in their statehouses and city halls.
November 3, 2011
Yesterday we had a press conference… twenty Republicans and Democrats, equal number. Mike Simpson, myself and others made it very clear that over 100 members of the House of Representatives signed the letter saying to the Super Committee, look, everything needs to be on the table – mandatory expenditures and revenues – and we need to reach a $4 trillion give or take deal to put this country on a sound fiscal path. So we sent a letter to the Committee yesterday urging them to come to an agreement on that kind of package. Erskine Bowles and Senator Simpson testified, Alice Rivlin and Pete Domenici testified on Tuesday to the same objective. I am hopeful given the weight of responsibility that we placed on their shoulders and given the critical nature of achieving the objective of a big deal and doing it within a near term that they will come to agreement. It's obviously been tough. Obviously both sides have sort of hardened positions. But it is absolutely essential in the opinion of a lot of people around this country and a large number of members of the House and Senate that we come to agreement.
November 2, 2011
We are standing together today, Democrats and Republicans united in our deep concern over the size of our deficits, their contribution to our staggering debt, and their negative effect on our economy. We are here to send a message of urgency and support to the members of the Joint Select Committee.
November 2, 2011
 Mr. Speaker, we are a year away from an election – one that will shape the course of our nation for several years ahead. The choice we make will be pivotal, and in order to make certain that it reflects the direction our people want to take, we ought to do everything we can to ensure that all who have the right to cast a ballot can do so. Equal access to the ballot is the most fundamental right we all have as Americans. It is what preserves our democracy and instills confidence in our system of government. Some of our greatest national struggles have been over suffrage – from votes for African Americans and women to votes for the young people who risk their lives for us in uniform.
November 1, 2011
The American people expect us to work together to create jobs, grow the economy, and reduce the deficit – not take the government to the brink of a shutdown by including partisan, ideological policy riders in appropriations bills,” said Whip Hoyer. “That’s why Democrats are sending a letter to Republicans asking them to live up to their pledge to not use must-pass legislation to advance a partisan agenda. We note that not all policy riders are objectionable, and ask that controversial policy riders be removed from these bills. I hope Republicans will work with us on this issue, and focus on getting Americans back to work.
October 31, 2011
We need to have more bipartisanship. We need to be working together. There needs to be a greater response to the President of the United States’ initiative to pass an American Jobs Act, which would create a million, over a million jobs. At least it would up our economy, would invest in our infrastructure. Keep policemen, firemen, teachers on the job in our communities. Unfortunately, the Republicans have turned a deaf ear to those initiatives to the detriment, in my opinion, of our economy and of our people.
October 27, 2011
Today’s third quarter GDP report shows why you should never underestimate the resilience of the American economy and the American worker. After posting quarterly growth rates of .4% and 1.3% earlier this year, our economy grew at a 2.5% rate, nearly a full percentage point higher than most predicted earlier this month. While this is welcome news for our economic recovery in general, it does little to reassure the 14 million Americans still out of work and looking for jobs or the families across the country struggling to get by in these tough times. We need a comprehensive strategy to boost our economy and create jobs for the middle class. I urge Republicans to work with Democrats and allow Congress to vote on real jobs legislation, like the President’s American Jobs Act and House Democrats’ Make It In America plan, that will create jobs and invest in the growth of American businesses and in the competitiveness of our workforce. We cannot wait any longer.
October 27, 2011
This year’s Floor schedule has prevented the House from getting anything done to create jobs and help Americans who are out of work, and next year’s schedule is more of the same. While Members appreciate having more time in their districts, the House has struggled to get even its most basic work done. We’ve conducted legislative business a mere 111 days this year - nearly equal to the 104 days spent either in recess or in pro forma business. And the schedule has been out of sync with the Senate, making it nearly impossible to coordinate. As a result, this Congress has seen only a small number of bills signed into law. I hope that next year, in spite of the lack of days in session, Republicans will put partisanship aside and work with us to address the challenges facing our nation and get Americans back to work.
October 26, 2011
I’m sad to learn that the House of Representatives will be losing a dedicated public servant at the end of this Congress. John Olver has been a tireless fighter for the people of Western Massachusetts since he was first elected to the House in 1991. Having served with him on the Appropriations Committee, I know he has always put the interests of his constituents first and has consistently fought for the most disadvantaged among us. I join in wishing him and his wife, Rose, well in whatever lies ahead.
October 21, 2011
Today's announcement by the President to withdraw remaining U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year is consistent with his past statements and abides by the timeline established in the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement written by the Bush Administration and Prime Minister Maliki's government. Our troops have carried out their mission with dedication and have made great sacrifices in order to help advance a stable Iraq. Today, as we begin the transition to a new relationship with Iraq, we honor the more than 4,000 servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq, and we redouble our commitment to those who have returned home. I hope as we move forward that the Iraqi government will succeed in confronting the challenges of remaining democratic, representative, and free; succeed in providing for the security of the Iraqi people; and succeed as a model democracy in a region undergoing many critical transitions.
October 21, 2011
Last night's vote demonstrated once again that Republicans in Congress are more concerned with positioning for the next election than doing what's necessary to help get Americans back to work. The bill blocked by Senate Republicans would have kept thousands of teachers in the classroom and thousands of first responders at the ready in communities across the country. Over and over, Republicans seem intent on torpedoing any proposal by the President and Democrats, even if it contains bipartisan ideas and would benefit those who are desperately seeking jobs. It is long past time for them to work together with Democrats to pass job-creating legislation like the one they blocked last night. I strongly urge Republican Leader McConnell to reconsider and allow the Senate to move forward with this and other measures to create jobs now.
October 20, 2011
“I have had the privilege of serving with Dennis Cardoza in Congress for eight years, and I have come to know him both as an effective advocate for the people of California’s 18th district and as a friend. From his studies at the University of Maryland and work running a small business to his time serving in California’s legislature, Dennis brought great experience to Congress that helped him quickly become a leader in the House on issues important to farmers and ranchers as well as on the home mortgage crisis that has hit California families hard...
October 20, 2011
The death of Moammar Gadhafi marks a new beginning for the Libyan people and an end to a dictator responsible for the loss of many American lives. I hope today’s developments signal a return to peace in Libya, and I join in encouraging the Transitional National Council to continue working with the international community to build free institutions and provide for the safety and well-being of its people...
October 19, 2011
“Congratulations to Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) – this year's MVP – for gaining the most Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers as part of House Democrats' annual online competition...