Press Releases: 2012

June 1, 2012
I think [the Republican summer agenda] is spin but I don’t think it’s substantive. I don't think it really addresses the issues that are critical to the economy.
June 1, 2012
This morning’s jobs report shows that Congressional Republicans’ do-nothing, confrontation over compromise approach to jobs isn’t working.  While we continued to see the private sector add jobs for the twenty-seventh straight month, our unemployment rate has slipped back up to 8.2 percent from the three-year record low of 8.1 percent last month.  While the President and Democrats in Congress have been promoting a jobs-first agenda to provide certainty to American businesses and workers, Republicans continue to avoid addressing serious job creation in favor of ideological bills. 
May 31, 2012
I am glad that the House removed a provision from the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill that would have prohibited federal agencies from operating under project labor agreements with contractors. Project labor agreements protect the safety of workers, ensure the highest quality of work, and provide time-saving and money-saving efficiency. They are also an important tool in ensuring that contractors comply with equal employment rules and environmental standards. 
May 31, 2012
I am extremely disappointed that Republicans are asking federal employees to take a freeze in pay for a third year in a row.  Federal employees have already accepted two consecutive pay freezes with the knowledge that the savings would be applied toward meeting our nation’s fiscal challenges.  At the same time Republicans were asking federal employees to contribute, they refused to ask the same of millionaires and billionaires. 
May 30, 2012
I was honored to join the President today as he signed into law a bipartisan reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.  Democrats unanimously supported this bill in the House, and it is an important part of House Democrats’ Make It In America plan for job creation and long-term economic competitiveness. 
May 18, 2012
Each year, Congress has a duty to review and authorize defense programs that keep Americans safe and our troops supplied for their missions.  This has traditionally been an area where Democrats and Republicans have come together, and I have consistently supported this important bill.  I continue that support today, though I am disappointed that this year’s authorization bill includes several troubling Republican provisions.
May 17, 2012
John Lewis was our lead sponsor on this particular piece of legislation, joined by an awful lot of people on our side of the aisle representing majority groups and representing minority groups. What John Lewis was saying was: look, in America we ought to facilitate, encourage, and make easier voting. Not doing what is happening in so many states, Al, trying to make voting more difficult to do. We want to modernize registration, we want to have a responsibility of the state and local subdivision to make sure voters are on the registration rolls and make sure they are included. We want to make sure that people with disabilities have access to the polls.
May 17, 2012
I thank my friend from Massachusetts for yielding, the acting Ranking Member of the Rules Committee right now, who is a distinguished member of this body. I rise in deep disappointment at the treatment he was accorded last night. Unworthy of this body, unworthy of the Rules Committee and unworthy of the character and integrity of the Gentleman from Massachusetts. I'm pleased there has been an apology for that. But I did not want it to go unmentioned. This body is better than that, although at times it is not. And we all lament the fact when it is not.
May 15, 2012
I am pleased that the Senate passed the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that the House approved last week.  This bipartisan legislation will enable the Export-Import Bank to continue helping American businesses remain competitive in overseas markets, which will, in turn, provide manufacturers with greater certainty that they can invest in growth and create well paying jobs here in our country. 
May 10, 2012
“I opposed this appropriations bill for several reasons, chief among them that it is not consistent with the bipartisan agreement reached in August on spending levels.  Breaking that agreement is just one more sign that this House Republican conference is simply unwilling to compromise or work with Democrats to find solutions to our challenges.
May 10, 2012
"One of the first votes I cast as a member of the Maryland State Senate in 1967 was to repeal the anti-miscegenation statute that remained Maryland law.  It was a legacy of a discriminatory history of prejudice and segregation. It was my feeling then and now that individuals have a right to choose their partners, and society must accord them that freedom.
May 9, 2012
I am disappointed Republicans once again chose confrontation over compromise by voting for a candidate who promised to bring more partisanship—not less—to Washington. In fact, Sen. Lugar’s opponent was quoted as saying: ‘bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.’...
May 9, 2012
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank my friend for yielding. I have known Mr. Berman for almost half a century. He has been an extraordinary leader, as a young person, as Chairman of this committee, as Ranking Member on this committee. And I want to thank him for his leadership on this issue. He has been instrumental. I want to thank my dear friend in whose district I used to live so many years ago, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, thank her for her leadership and her commitment. She's been a stalwart.
May 9, 2012
Perhaps the only silver lining to the Great Recession is that it triggered a new focus on manufacturing in the United States. After 25 years of being sold a shiny vision of a service-dominated post-industrial economy, the U.S. is rediscovering how important it is to actually make things in order to spur innovation, raise wages, drive exports and lower the trade deficit.
May 8, 2012
Over two decades ago the first President Bush signed into law the bipartisan and historic Americans with Disabilities Act. I was proud to sponsor that legislation and have worked over the last 20 years to make sure that it was effective and strengthened.
May 8, 2012
I was disappointed that Senate Republicans today voted to block a bill that would keep student loan interest rates low for another year. If Congress fails to act by July 1, the interest rates on student loans for 7.4 million Americans will double. We cannot allow this to happen. I strongly urge Republicans to get serious about keeping student loan interest rates low, and I hope they will work with Democrats to address this issue before the July 1 deadline arrives that includes a pay-for acceptable to both sides.
May 8, 2012
Today, the President called on Congress to take concrete steps that will help American businesses create jobs that won’t be shipped overseas.  It is very unfortunate that Republicans in control of the House have chosen to shirk their responsibilities by refusing to consider a comprehensive plan for growing jobs.  Moreover, after a year in the majority, they continue to block Democrats’ Make It In America jobs plan.
May 7, 2012
When I was a student at Suitland High School, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, I had a teacher who left a lasting impression on me.  Ms. Jane Dumire was a young, energetic, and inspiring teacher of journalism and English.  As such, she served as the advisor to the school paper, and as a junior I was the editor of its sports page.  She was also advisor to the yearbook, for which I was the editor in my senior year.
May 4, 2012
Throughout this weekend, Americans from all backgrounds come together to celebrate the 150th Cinco de Mayo.  On May 5, 1862, outnumbered Mexicans heroically defeated invading French forces and preserved their independence at the Battle of Puebla.  On Cinco de Mayo, we join together to remember that victory and celebrate the close relationship between Mexico and the United States.  We also honor the contributions Mexican Americans have made to our national life in every area, including business, medicine, culture, education, workers’ rights, government, and military service.  I am proud to mark this 150th Cinco de Mayo, and I join in celebrating the Mexican American community and all it has done to make the United States a stronger, more vibrant, and more prosperous country.
May 4, 2012
"With our economy continuing to add jobs in April, the twenty-sixth consecutive month of private sector job growth, our economic recovery keeps moving forward. I am encouraged that the unemployment rate has fallen further and is now at 8.1%, down significantly from its peak during the worst of the recession...
May 4, 2012
The agreement reached today to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank ends the uncertainty so many of our businesses have faced as the deadline for Congress to act approaches.  I am glad that Democrats and Republicans were able to come together to provide the Export-Import Bank with the tools it needs to assist American exporters and help them compete in the global marketplace. 
May 1, 2012
"Our men and women in uniform continue to carry out their mission in Afghanistan with distinction and courage.  Because of their service and sacrifice, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are seriously weakened and on the run, and the Afghan people have been able to take significant steps toward assuming control over their own security...
May 1, 2012
Throughout the month of May, we celebrate the long history of the Jewish community in this country and the many contributions its members have made to building America, defending its freedom, and enriching our national life.  For over 350 years, since the first Jewish immigrants found refuge on our shores, the American Jewish community has played an important and significant role, drawing on the ancient Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – “repairing the world” – helping to make our union a more perfect one in each generation.  We are particularly grateful for the many Jewish Americans serving in uniform in Afghanistan and around the world, and we also salute the daily work of Jewish organizations in communities from coast to coast that bring food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and comfort to the sick. 
May 1, 2012
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of a diverse community.  These include a storied history of military service and countless achievements in science, education, business, sports, and the arts.  The Asian Pacific American community brings something unique and important to the American story, and I join in celebrating its contributions throughout the month of May as we mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  May we continue to be enriched as a nation thanks to our Asian and Pacific Islander American communities for generations to come.