Press Releases: 2011

July 23, 2011
 My thoughts are with all those injured and killed in yesterday's tragic attacks in Norway. In this time of need, America stands by its valued ally and friend, a nation that exemplifies our shared democratic values and ideals. I strongly condemn these heinous attacks and hope that all those wounded, and all those who have lost loved ones, find comfort.
July 22, 2011
 I am extremely disappointed that once again Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have chosen to walk away from talks to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction plan. It is my understanding that Speaker Boehner made an offer for a long-term comprehensive solution, which he's stated he is for, and that the President supports. Unfortunately, included in Speaker Boehner’s offer was an unrelated demand that a portion of the Affordable Care Act be repealed - which would neither help America pay its bills or reduce the deficit.
July 22, 2011
Tomorrow marks the 200th day of Republican control of the House of Representatives and they have still not produced a comprehensive jobs plan. With millions of Americans out of work, Republicans have failed to put forth an agenda to create jobs, despite their campaign promises. We cannot afford to wait any longer.
July 22, 2011
Today, the Department of Defense certified the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ a discriminatory policy that weakened our military; the policy’s repeal will officially go into effect in 60 days. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is coming to an end because the views of our troops, the judgment of our military leaders, and the experience of our allies has made one thing clear: open service by gay and lesbian troops does not harm military readiness or effectiveness. With this policy at an end, gay and lesbian troops can serve our country openly, and all Americans will benefit from their patriotism, service, and willingness to sacrifice. I was proud to take a leading role in the legislative struggle to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ because it was both the right and smart thing to do. May all of America’s men and women in uniform, gay and straight, continue to serve with the courage and honor characteristic of our Armed Forces.
July 21, 2011
As Republicans continue to dig their heels in, putting our economic security at risk in order to protect tax cuts for the wealthy, time is running out to ensure that we pay America’s bills and avoid the catastrophic consequences that default would have on our economy.
July 21, 2011
One year ago today, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This legislation was a much-needed response to the financial crisis that cost millions of Americans their jobs—a crisis whose effects we are still feeling. It is evident that the Bush Administration’s failure to conduct proper oversight of our financial industry did severe damage to the jobs, savings, and futures of families across our country. In response, Dodd-Frank took important steps to put the financial referees back on the field.
July 19, 2011
 The American public is rightfully very distressed with the Congress of the United States. They’re distressed that a time of great challenge and great risk, we fiddle while the debt threatens to burn us, to place our country in the position of being judged un-creditworthy. That is not worthy of this Congress, or any one of us who serves in this Congress. We have 14 days, according to the Secretary of the Treasury, until such time as America will be unable to pay its obligations. That is not a situation that will be looked at positively by the financial sector, or by any one of our constituents whose ability to save, to have a 401-k that is stable, to purchase an automobile or a refrigerator, or to send their kid to college will be put at risk because of increased interest rates. Not one of us will be held harmless if this Congress fails to do its duty.
July 18, 2011
I welcome President Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As Attorney General of Ohio and the head of the Bureau’s enforcement arm, Richard Cordray has built a strong record of standing up for the middle class. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to bring fairness to the financial services on which millions of Americans rely, and to prevent a recurrence of a financial crisis caused by Wall Street recklessness and lax regulation.
July 15, 2011
I am saddened at the news that Congressman Kildee is going to retire, but I certainly understand his decision. Dale Kildee is a man of great integrity and faith. He has a deep concern for the people he represents, for those who are less fortunate, and for the principles and priorities that have made our country strong. He is a legislator who is both conscientious and faithful to his conscience. His work on education issues will have a positive and lasting effect in expanding opportunities for our nation’s children. America, the state of Michigan, and the people of the 5th district have been greatly advantaged by his service. I wish him the very best in the future, and he will be sorely missed in the 113th Congress.
July 15, 2011
I opposed the Republicans’ Energy and Water Appropriations bill, as it undermines our nation’s ability to keep our lakes, rivers and streams clean. The bill restricts the Corps of Engineers' ability to work with the EPA to protect our waterways under the Clean Water Act. This bill also makes shortsighted cuts to our energy efficiency and renewable energy programs – programs that will pay for themselves in the long run by supporting the development of groundbreaking clean energy technologies that will save consumers money on their energy bills and create the jobs that will help more families Make It In America.
July 15, 2011
I want to make it very clear. We are not for asking people who are trying to make it in America, we are not for asking those who are struggling in America, we are not asking for those who rely on Social Security, we are not asking for those who rely on their Medicare benefits to pay the burden of the spending that we have been involved in over the last decade, which took us from $5.6 trillion of debt to over $10 trillion of debt. We are not asking for those struggling Americans which the gentleman raises as the specter of those we think ought to pay their fair share. Oh, no. We are asking for those who have done extraordinarily well over the last decade, who have made millions per year over the last decade, some billions of dollars over the last decade, oil companies who are now making the biggest profits they ever made and others to pay a little more so that we can stabilize the finances of America. So, don't represent that it's Democrats who are asking those struggling small business people. We are not doing that. Or those struggling working people in America who, by the way, have been stuck in the mud under the economic policies that were pursued consistent with the 2001 and 2003 economic programs, which has seen a growing disparate between working people and the wealthiest people in America.
July 14, 2011
 Tonight's meeting at the White House was productive. The President made clear his preference remains reaching a big compromise that reduces the deficit in a balanced way and ensures we pay our bills, and I agree. I believe we should take action quickly to send a clear signal to businesses and world markets that we are going to both pay our bills and address our deficit crisis in a meaningful way, while protecting seniors and the middle class.
July 13, 2011
 Today’s White House meeting was constructive and progress was made. The announcement from Moody’s earlier today makes the case that these debt negotiations need to produce a meaningful outcome that will bring down the deficit in a balanced way and ensure we pay our bills, rather than producing just a simple political solution. That is the President’s clear priority in these meetings and I share that view.
July 13, 2011
I strongly oppose Republicans’ proposed balanced budget amendment, and I will be whipping against it. By enshrining Republican policy priorities in the Constitution—and by making it historically difficult to raise revenue or raise the debt ceiling in order to pay our bills—the Republican amendment would impose severe hardship on millions of Americans. More than even the radical, Medicare-ending budget passed earlier this year, it would require drastic and harmful cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, programs that form the heart of America’s social compact. Unlike previous balanced budget amendments, this amendment would mean great pain for ordinary Americans, even as it shielded the most privileged from any comparable sacrifice. It is not a solution to our nation’s pressing fiscal challenges.
July 13, 2011
My thoughts are with all those killed and injured in today’s heinous attacks in Mumbai, India. India is a crucial ally and friend of the United States, and I have confidence that its people will show resilience and courage in the face of terrorism, which only attempts to sow fear. Attacks like today’s can, tragically, end lives; but they cannot destroy India’s commitment to the principles that have made it a thriving democracy. I look forward to the day when the perpetrators of these attacks are brought to justice, and I know that America stands by India in this time of need.
July 11, 2011
Today, President Obama issued an executive order directing our nation's independent regulatory agencies to examine their regulations, eliminating those that are found to have outlived their usefulness or to unnecessarily stand in the way of job creation. Many federal regulations protect consumer safety, economic fairness, our environment, and more, and it is important to keep those useful regulations in place. At the same time, though, it is appropriate to consistently scrutinize regulations and end those that are harmful, duplicative or out-of-date. Such a review is an important part of Democrats' Make It In America agenda—a legislative program to strengthen America's economic competitiveness and job creation—and I am glad that President Obama has furthered those goals with today's executive order.
July 11, 2011
As the talks at the White House continue, I remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement on a long-term, balanced approach to reduce our deficit and ensure that America pays its bills. However, that will require my Republican colleagues to remain at the negotiating table and work with us on a deal to address this crisis in a serious way. Democrats have said that everything needs to be on the table and have put everything on the table. Republicans must be prepared to make concessions of their own and not put the entire burden on seniors, the middle class and the most vulnerable among us.
July 10, 2011
 Tonight, the President made clear that we will continue ongoing discussions as we work to reach agreement on a long-term, balanced approach to reduce our deficit. While Democrats are continuing to fight for a deficit reduction compromise that will strengthen the economy and reduce deficits for decades, I’m disappointed my Republican colleagues have indicated they’re not in favor of a compromise deal that would address the fiscal crisis in a serious way. I’m hopeful they will stay engaged so that we can in fact enact an agreement that ensures America pays its bills and reduces the deficit in a balanced way without putting all of the burden on seniors and the middle class.
July 8, 2011
Tomorrow marks the first day of official independence for the new nation of South Sudan, whose people voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan earlier this year. The long-running conflict between northern and southern Sudan was Africa’s bloodiest civil war, and the independence of South Sudan holds out hope for a new beginning—a more secure future for the people of the south. The Obama Administration, along with many of our allies in the international community, worked hard to make the referendum possible, and I thank them for their efforts.
July 8, 2011
This morning, we learned that our economy added 57,000 private-sector jobs in the month of June, and a net total of 18,000 jobs. We are clearly a long way from replacing all of the jobs lost as a result of the financial crisis in 2008, and we will need many more months of much stronger progress to create jobs for the millions of Americans out of work. Our unacceptably high unemployment rate of 9.2% demonstrates that our problem is still urgent.
July 7, 2011
Last year, Congress voted to repeal the counterproductive and unjust policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ But despite overwhelming evidence that repeal will strengthen our military, despite strong support for repeal among our troops and the American people, despite support for repeal from military leaders like the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and despite a federal court order that the government stop enforcing DADT immediately, Republicans are still pushing to keep this shameful policy in place.
July 1, 2011
Today, the interest rate on subsidized student loans will be cut to 3.4% – the last of four steps under the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Enacted under a Democratic-led Congress, this law has cut the interest rate on subsidized student loans in half – from 6.8% to 3.4% over four years. This law was a key part of Democrats’ agenda to make college more affordable and accessible for millions of American students and their families. Due to these cuts, the average student borrower who started college in 2008 will have saved $2,570 over the life of their loan.
July 1, 2011
Forty years ago today, the most sacred of American rights—the right to vote--- was extended to millions of young Americans. With this amendment, millions of young people were given the opportunity to participate in our great democracy and to have their voices heard.
June 30, 2011
Forty five years ago today, President Johnson launched the Medicare program, providing safety and security to generations of America’s seniors. This bedrock program has provided coverage and retirement security to millions of seniors, including an estimated 39 million seniors in the program today.
June 29, 2011
Today the President clearly stated Democrats’ position: we must ensure that America pays its bills, and agree to a balanced approach to reduce the deficit that includes spending and revenues. We disagree with Republicans who want to protect tax breaks for the wealthy, the oil companies, and special interests, while fighting to end Medicare and reduce the deficit on the backs of seniors and the middle class.