Press Releases: 2011

October 18, 2011
For over five years, the family of Gilad Shalit and the people of Israel have waited anxiously for word that he is coming home. Today, after what has surely been a horrific and terrifying ordeal for Gilad and his loved ones, the wait is finally over.
October 17, 2011
Elouise Cobell saw injustice and would not be silent. Her fifteen-year fight to ensure that funds held by the government on behalf of American Indians would be used to their benefit and not squandered led to a victory that helped right a historic wrong. The relationship between American Indians and the federal government has long had to endure a legacy of suspicion, and Elouise was instrumental in working toward a future based instead on trust and a commitment to justice. I join in celebrating her life and expressing my sadness at her passing. My thoughts are with her family and the people of her beloved Blackfeet Nation.
October 16, 2011
 The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial stands in tribute to Dr. King’s enduring message of hope, non-violence, and the tireless pursuit of justice. Through his perseverance and moral leadership, Dr. King helped make our nation, which had been painfully divided into separate and unequal parts, whole.
October 13, 2011
Big, bold and balanced, I hope that's what the Committee is focused on, what we call the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction or, affectionately, the Super Committee. It is a Super Committee in the sense that it has been given extraordinary powers to come up with a proposal that will then be considered, and 51 members of the Senate can pass it. If a majority of the Senate agrees, it will pass. A majority of the House agrees, it will pass and go to the President.
October 11, 2011
The Senate’s passage today of the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act is a strong statement that we will hold other countries accountable for engaging in currency manipulation. I urge Speaker Boehner and Republican Leader Cantor to allow a vote on this bill in the House, where it received strong, bipartisan support last Congress and, I believe, will pass with wide support this year. Our businesses have what it takes to succeed on a level playing field, and this bill will help them do so. Democrats’ Make It In America plan for job creation, of which this legislation is a part, will get more Americans back to work by helping our businesses innovate and export new products. Sending this bill to the President would be a victory for American businesses and American workers.
October 11, 2011
The American people are demanding action on jobs now. The President has sent a bill to Congress that economists say would help boost our economy and create as many as 1.9 million jobs. House Democrats have proposed our own plan, Make It In America, which overlaps with the President’s bill and makes similar investments in innovation, education, and infrastructure to create jobs and increase competitiveness. These plans draw on the best ideas from both parties. While Democrats have two good plans, Republicans have yet to introduce one of their own. Today’s vote in the Senate further demonstrates that Republicans are pursuing an agenda that is inconsistent with the best interests of our country. Instead of working with Democrats to create jobs, they refuse to even consider a jobs plan. Instead of allowing the bill to come to the floor so they could debate and amend the parts of it with which they disagree, Republicans have once again simply said ‘no.’ It is long past time that Republicans get serious about unemployment and adopt the type of jobs plan the American people have been asking for.
October 6, 2011
Today’s report is a further reminder that Congress needs to act now on jobs. While the number of private sector jobs rose by 137,000 in September, and we have had 19 straight months of growth in the private sector, this is not nearly enough for the millions of American still without work and worried about making ends meet for their families. We still have much work left to do.
October 6, 2011
Today I was pleased that the Senate voted in a bipartisan manner to move forward and consider legislation that will hold countries accountable for manipulating their currency. I strongly believe that American workers and businesses can win when they compete on a fair and level playing field, and that is what this bill would help achieve. As part of House Democrats’ Make It In America jobs plan, this legislation would have a significant impact on lowering our trade deficit and getting more Americans back to work in our manufacturing sector. This bill received bipartisan support in the House last year, and I urge House Republicans to bring this bill to the Floor immediately.
October 6, 2011
Today the President called on Republicans to pass the American Jobs Act, and I join him in that call. After nine months in the majority, House Republicans have yet to introduce a comprehensive jobs plan. Americans cannot wait any longer. The American Jobs Act is based on bipartisan ideas, and economists have said that it will put people back to work and grow our economy. Many of the elements in the bill overlap with House Democrats’ Make It In America plan to help businesses innovate, expand and create jobs here. House Republicans should stop wasting time on partisan bills that don’t create jobs and instead bring the American Jobs Act to the House Floor for a vote.
October 5, 2011
In my many trips to Alabama to mark the anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights, I came to know Reverend Shuttlesworth as a man of faith, fortitude, and moral leadership. His efforts were instrumental in making sure that the promise of America extended to all of its people. Reverend Shuttlesworth saw injustice in the world around him and would not stand it. He faced great risk to his life but would not fear it. He made a pledge to shun prejudice and would not break it. Today, Reverend Shuttlesworth lives on in our history and will surely never leave it. My thoughts are with his family, his congregation at the Greater New Light Baptist Church, and the people of his beloved city of Birmingham, Alabama, as we mourn his passing.
October 5, 2011
First of all, let us lament the fact that we are not considering on the floor today a jobs bill. Now, I understand that my friend from Kentucky believes this affects jobs. He may well be right. It does affect jobs in the short term. In fact, as the gentleman knows, one of the regulations that's the subject of legislation this week has been stayed until next year. And the EPA is working very closely with the cement industry and particular individuals in the cement industry to try to work towards an implementation which they can in fact comply with.
October 5, 2011
Make It In America does mean success but Make It In America also means make it in America – manufacture it in America, grow it in America, sell it here and around the world. So that we can build our manufacturing sector, grow jobs in the manufacturing sector, and make sure our inventors, innovators, and developers don't migrate, as some fear, overseas where products are being taken to scale. So we believe that focusing it making it America so that the label will read ‘Made in America’ is very important as we grow our economy, sustain that growth over time and provide the kind of good paying jobs with good benefits that Americans need and want.
October 4, 2011
Last week, Members of Congress were back in our districts listening to constituents and exchanging ideas about how to fix our economy. They heard the same message again and again. Right now, this country is in real trouble, and our greatest challenge is creating jobs. Not just any jobs but good jobs, high-paying jobs that will help more of our people 'make it' in America. To do so, we will have to invest in education, innovation, and creating the conditions for businesses to launch and expand. The best way to do it is to reinvigorate the sector of our economy that 'makes things,' because strong manufacturing can yield benefits across our economy. That is what Make It In America is all about.
October 4, 2011
By standing united, Democrats helped ensure that the continuing resolution brought to the Floor and passed today does not cut jobs or put disaster relief funds at risk like the partisan bill first offered by Republicans did. Now that we have taken action to keep the government running through November 18th, we must focus on the top priorities of the American people: creating jobs and bringing down the deficit in a balanced way. I sincerely hope that in the coming weeks we will work together to meet the challenges facing our nation.
October 4, 2011
Since Jerry Costello came to Congress in 1988, he has been a tireless advocate for the people of Southwestern Illinois. In his service on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee he has been a leader on aviation issues and has been a strong advocate for revitalizing roads, rails, and bridges in our communities, a proven method for creating jobs and bringing new economic opportunities. Having served with him for over twenty years, I have come to know him not only as a skilled legislator but also as a friend. When Jerry’s term comes to an end next year he will surely be missed, and I wish him all the best as he embarks on the next phase of his career.
October 3, 2011
In 2006, Abby Martinez started ARM, a woman and minority-owned small business, in Los Ojos, New Mexico to provide furniture, IT hardware, office supplies and staff augmentation services to global corporations and government-funded entities.
September 29, 2011
William “Bill” Valenzuela founded the family-owned W.G. Valenzuela Drywall Company in 1979 in Tucson, Arizona, which has been recognized as one of top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the United States. His company offers a wide range of services, including metal framing, drywall and painting; and today, he employs more than 250 employees.
September 28, 2011
Max Navarro and Dr. Lynda Y. de la Vina founded Operational Technologies Corporation in 1986 in San Antonio, Texas, which has been recognized as one of the fastest growing small business companies in the United States.
September 28, 2011
Our students represent a generation of abundant promise. We can help them reach their full potential by making critical investments today, and this includes providing greater resources to teachers, engaging more parents, and turning around failing schools.
September 28, 2011
 Tonight, in households and synagogues across our nation, families will come together to celebrate the arrival of a new year. Since its earliest days, the United States has been blessed by the Jewish community’s numerous contributions across the arts and sciences, government, our Armed Forces, and movements to achieve equal rights for all. During this season of reflection, I join in honoring these contributions and standing strongly in support of our ally Israel, praying for the peace and security of its people in the coming year.
September 27, 2011
Juan Molano founded Redline Architecture in 2003 and specializes in commercial, professional, and industrial buildings in Laredo and surrounding areas in South Texas. His firm works with government agencies, such as GSA, to utilize LEED and Energy Star to create more environmental and health driven designs.
September 26, 2011
Nancy Lilly is President and founder of JEM Engineering, a small business which designs and manufactures antennas for the communications industry. Nancy and her husband, launched JEM Engineering in 2001, and together they manage engineering, product development and R&D activities at JEM.
September 23, 2011
Today’s announcement by the President to provide states with flexibility in return for education reform is a positive step, and I look forward to learning more details about the Administration’s plan. Maryland and other states awarded funding through the Race to the Top grant program have been undertaking serious efforts aimed at raising graduation rates, ensuring high-quality teachers in every classroom, and closing the achievement gap in key subjects such as reading and math. I am disappointed that Congress has not yet been able to come together on a bipartisan basis to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is a central component of Democrats’ Make it in America jobs plan. I hope doing so will be the next step as we continue seeking ways to prepare more of our students to succeed.
September 22, 2011
For decades public health has been the basis for how we enact emissions standards. The bill before us today, the TRAIN Act, represents a view of environmental protection that is simply off the rails.
September 21, 2011
This vote sent a clear message to Republicans: the American people want a bipartisan approach to running our government. We should immediately pass disaster relief that meets the needs of our people and protect - not cut - programs proven to create jobs while we reduce the deficit. If Republican leaders bring a bill to the floor that honors the bipartisan agreement from August, they will find it has bipartisan support for passage.