Press Releases: 2011

May 13, 2011
Today’s Trustees Reports show that the Social Security and Medicare programs have the resources to meet their obligations well into the next decade, but have taken a hit due to economic conditions. The programs will be solvent into the next decade, due in part to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, which strengthened Medicare by taking significant steps to constrain cost growth through innovative delivery system and payment reforms that will increase efficiency, improve quality, and generate long-term savings for both beneficiaries and the government. According to the Trustees, Medicare’s financial outlook was substantially improved by this critical law.
May 12, 2011
Rising gasoline prices put a painful economic burden on American families and Congress must deploy every energy solution in its power, including, but not limited to, safe and responsible drilling for oil. Unfortunately, this week House Republicans passed two bills focused on drilling that will not have any significant impact on gas prices in the short term.
May 11, 2011
This week, House Republicans are working to dismantle protections against speculation in the oil markets, which may drive gas prices up for American families. Democrats believe that aggressive oversight of oil speculation is an important part of an energy policy that can bring down gas prices for consumers and ensure that businesses have the fuels they need at a reasonable cost. But Republicans are once again failing to meet the challenge of high gas prices.
May 11, 2011
After more than four months in the majority, Republicans have made their priorities clear – and it is not the middle class. They have not produced a jobs agenda to get more Americans back to work, they’ve proposed ending Medicare as we know it, they are fighting to protect taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and now they are moving forward on a bill that could take away extended unemployment benefits for over four million Americans. This would harm families as well as our economic recovery.
May 10, 2011
I commend President Obama for speaking out on this important issue and I echo his call for comprehensive immigration reform that will address the millions of undocumented immigrants working and living in America today. In a competitive world, America’s openness to immigration is one of its key strengths. I am very pleased President Obama said he was going to keep fighting for the DREAM Act, long-overdue legislation which Democrats passed in the House last year and I continue to support.
May 9, 2011
Today, Israel and its friends around the world mark the 63rd Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel's Independence Day. On this day, we celebrate the historic accomplishment of the establishment of a state dedicated to principles of political and religious freedom in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. We honor the generations of public-spirited men and women who have, against great odds, made the State of Israel such a success. And, as Americans, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the security of our democratic ally--a commitment that began when President Truman announced America's recognition of the Jewish state just minutes after its independence was declared. May Israel celebrate many more Independence Days in the years to come.
May 6, 2011
Today’s report on March employment levels brought encouraging news for our economy. Our economy added a net total of 244,000 jobs, while our private sector grew by 268,000 jobs. That number marks the 16th straight month of private-sector job growth under President Obama—as well as the strongest month for private-sector jobs since February 2006, before the Bush recession. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate increased by .2 percentage points to 9.0%; and while that increase represents more Americans entering the job market as the economy recovers, the fact remains that millions are still out of work, at a time when high gas prices are putting a strain on every American family.
May 5, 2011
This May, America marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: a month to honor the history and contributions of some 16 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. May was chosen as the month for this observance because it is the anniversary of two important events in the history of this community: the arrival in the of the first Japanese immigrants to America, on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad—constructed in large part by Chinese immigrants—on May 10, 1869.
May 5, 2011
All Americans are concerned about high gas prices and the growing cost they are imposing on our families. We should also be concerned that those high prices might stall our economic recovery.
May 4, 2011
After four months in the House majority, Republicans have yet to put forward a jobs agenda. But one partisan priority has taken an inordinate amount of their time: voting on legislation to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they know that repeal will not become law. House Republicans already took a largely symbolic vote to repeal the ACA—now they are taking another series of votes to defund more of its provisions.
May 4, 2011
...they needed to create jobs. Very frankly we've been here for four months without jobs legislation being offered on the Floor of the House of Representatives. What we're rolling out today as we talk about creating job is a focus on job creators...
May 2, 2011
Today, Treasury Secretary Geithner informed Congress that, unless we act to ensure that America pays the bills that it has incurred, our country will approach its debt ceiling by May 16. Extraordinary efforts by the Treasury Department may allow for a reprieve through about August 2. In any case, the responsibility of Congress is the same. Reaching the debt ceiling is still imminent—and the consequences of failing to act, and defaulting on our debts, would still be catastrophic for the American and world economies. We must take what Speaker Boehner has called the ‘adult’ course of action and pay our bills.
May 2, 2011
"Nearly ten years after the horrific attacks of September 11, the United States has killed the mastermind behind that attack that took thousands of lives. That terrible day has been seared into our memory, and I hope Osama bin Laden's death brings some measure of comfort to the families of those killed on 9/11 - and to everyone across America who wanted to see him brought to justice...
April 28, 2011
President Obama has nominated four experienced, capable individuals to serve on his national security team and I strongly support his choices. Secretary Bob Gates has led the Department of Defense with distinction, and we will miss his leadership, courage and professionalism. I am confident that Leon Panetta will do an excellent job as his successor. I have known and worked with Leon for over 30 years in a number of capacities. During his service in Congress, as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, as the White House Chief of Staff, and as CIA Director, Leon has served our nation proudly, and I know that he will work tirelessly to strengthen our national security and support our troops.
April 28, 2011
While this marks the seventh straight quarter of economic growth, it is clear that more must be done to spur the economy and create jobs. To both keep the economy growing and speed up that growth, we cannot do anything that subjects the economy to unnecessary uncertainty. Yet Republicans continue to hold the economy hostage to their partisan and divisive agenda by threatening to default on our nations’ debts – despite the fact that much of the debt that’s been run up was as a result of their policies. I hope today’s news will prompt Republicans to stop putting our economy at risk. I also hope it will remind Republicans that we need to take action on job creation. It’s disappointing that after four months in the majority Republicans have failed to bring a single jobs bill to the Floor, despite their promises that it was their top priority.  
April 28, 2011
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the devastating storms and tornadoes that have struck the southern United States. I offer my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the more than 200 people who have lost their lives. We are all struck by the images of devastation brought by these storms. President Obama moved quickly to declare a state of emergency in Alabama, which enables federal support for disaster relief efforts so that the affected communities can begin to recover and rebuild. I encourage all the members of these communities to take safety precautions against further severe weather. Though this is a time of grief for so many, I know that Americans have proud tradition of coming together to rebuild in the wake of disaster, and I know that this time will be no different.
April 21, 2011
Tomorrow, we mark Earth Day, a day to remember our responsibility to be good stewards of our environment for future generations. The environmental movement symbolized by Earth Day has led to cleaner water, cleaner air, and a healthier landscape for millions of Americans. And just as Earth Day has inspired us to confront pollution of our air and water, I hope it will also remind us of our responsibility to confront carbon pollution and global warming.
April 20, 2011
One year ago today, the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon Oil rig tragically took the lives of 11 people and touched off what would become the largest oil spill in our nation’s history. One year later, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and with all of those whose livelihoods have been affected in the Gulf Coast. We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that a tragedy of this magnitude never happens again and to holding those responsible fully accountable for their actions.
April 18, 2011
I am pleased to hear that the U.S. and Panamanian governments have resolved outstanding issues around the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, and are ready to take the next steps to advance this agreement. Panama remains a close and important ally in Latin America, and this Agreement will further strengthen our relationship. It will also open doors for American exports, which will help create more American jobs.
April 15, 2011
Budgets are about values and priorities – and the Republican budget makes the wrong choices, financing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans on the backs of seniors and the disabled.
April 14, 2011
"In recent days, we have seen starkly contrasting budget plans. The plans put forward by President Obama and House Democrats are balanced approaches to getting our country out of debt while protecting investments in job creation and the future of our economy. But the Republican plan has a higher priority than balancing the budget or investing in our future or looking out for working families—its highest priority is cutting taxes even further for the wealthiest Americans...
April 14, 2011
...Current law already forbids federal dollars from funding abortion. But in pursuit of a divisive social agenda, Republicans also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which would cut off the crucial services it provides to millions of women, including cancer screenings and blood work...
April 14, 2011
...I will vote for this resolution. I don’t agree with everything that is in it. The priorities in this resolution are not my priorities. But we have reached agreement...
April 14, 2011
On the whole, my belief is that this measure should pass. We must keep the government open, and it is time to move on and address other pressing issues like job creation and the budget for next year...
April 14, 2011
“Today, Republicans mark 100 days in the House majority. During that time, they have pursued divisive social issues, passed bills that have no chance of becoming law, introduced a budget that would end Medicare as we know it and threatened Americans with a government shutdown. But there is one thing that Republicans have failed to do: they have failed to even consider a single bill to create jobs...