Press Releases

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...
April 14, 2011
We had a good meeting in the White House yesterday. I think a good, frank discussion. I think the President’s speech laid out essentially what the Commission that he appointed, which was headed by former Chief of Staff Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, which said yes, we need to bring spending down. I think that’s generally agreed upon. We’ve got to rein in deficit and debt, it’s dangerous to our economy, our people and our competitiveness internationally. What the President indicated yesterday was yes, we’ve got it bring it down. We’re going to cut spending by about two-thirds of that $4 trillion he wants to cut over the next 12 years and rely on revenues, that is paying for what we buy, for the other third, which is essentially the formula that the Commission set forward. David Stockman in referring to the alternative Ryan budget made it very clear that he thought that was not a reasonable alternative. And that in fact, we had to rely to a much greater degree than the Republicans, who say absolutely no, on revenues.
April 14, 2011
Thank you for inviting me to testify today on the important work of the Election Assistance Commission—and why we must make sure that work continues.
April 13, 2011
Tomorrow, Republicans will mark their 100th day in the House majority, and it is now clear that they will have failed to consider even a single piece of legislation to create jobs. Today, underscoring that inaction, instead of trying to help put Americans back to work, they voted to repeal an important program to help Americans stay healthy, and help our country save money.
April 13, 2011
Budgets are a reflection of values and priorities, and the Democratic budget introduced today shows that we are focused on strengthening the economy and bringing down the deficit. This budget lays out an alternate vision of how we can reduce the deficit while protecting investments in job creation and the future of our economy. It reduces the deficit in a balanced way, unlike the Republican budget which makes working families and seniors bear the burden while cutting taxes for the wealthy and special interests. I want to commend Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen for his work on putting together this budget.
April 13, 2011
Well, I thought the President's speech was an excellent speech and what he essentially outlined was the vision that he sees going forward. First of all, he recognized that the deficit is a critical problem we must confront but we must confront it according to the President, and I agree with him, within the framework of the values that we hold dear in this country. And that is, as your previous discussion indicated, making sure that we take care of one another. He did contrast his vision with that of the Republican budget offered by Mr. Ryan, the Budget Chairman in the House, a vision which gets to the same objective of cutting $4 trillion in spending and getting toward balanced budgets but also indicated it should not be in the context of doing away with Medicare as we know it, substantially putting those on Medicaid at great risk by eliminating its guarantees, by cutting such programs as Head Start and other early education and investment in the education of our children so we will be competitive internationally; and at the same time, giving $1 trillion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest in Americaa.
April 13, 2011
Today, President Obama outlined a fiscally-responsible plan that would reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years. It subjects our entire budget, including defense spending, to the scrutiny we need to find savings. And it calls for a fairer, simpler tax code that would mean lower rates for businesses and families.
April 13, 2011
I am deeply saddened by the death of Sidney Harman, an outstanding civic leader and husband of my good friend, Congresswoman Jane Harman. Sidney was a dynamic businessman and philanthropist who left lasting legacies in fields as diverse as education, the arts, and journalism. He lived a long and remarkable life, and I know that his achievements will long outlive him. At this sad time, my thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Congresswoman Harman, his children, and all those who mourn his passing.
April 13, 2011
On the CR, I'm still looking at it and our members are still looking at it, but clearly we want to keep the government running. Clearly we needed to reach compromise, and I think the President and Mr. Reid tried to reach the best compromise that was possible.
April 12, 2011
On Equal Pay Day we recognize the extra amount of time a woman must work – from January 1, 2010 to April 12, 2011 – for her wages to equal what a man could earn during 2010 alone. Today, women earn just 75% of what men earn, and the wage gap is even greater for minority women and older women. With women making a growing share of family income, this inequity is felt by families throughout the country. It is past time for this injustice to come to an end.
April 10, 2011
 I'm pleased President Obama will be giving a speech this week to lay out a path of action to seriously address our nation's deficit. I strongly believe that reducing the deficit is critical to ensuring the long-term strength of our economy. Entitlement reform must be part of that effort, to ensure that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are protected for seniors and working families, as well as strong for generations to come. This can only be done in a bipartisan way, and I hope Republicans work with us and put all options on the table. I support President Obama's focus on this issue, and stand ready to work with him.
April 8, 2011
Tonight President Obama, Senator Reid, and Speaker Boehner announced that a deal has been reached to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. I am pleased that Republicans backed away from their hardline position of shutting the government down over divisive social issues. I will carefully review the details to ensure it contains spending cuts that do not greatly harm our ability to create jobs and invest in our economy. I believe that we must reduce the deficit, but it can be done in a way that protects investments in our future. I want to thank the President and Congressional leaders for their efforts to reach an agreement.
April 8, 2011
I hope the Speaker can come forward and say, we're ready to move forward and keep the government open and we can move on. The fact of the matter is it's been self-evident for some period of time now that this issue was not over dollars. We made substantial cuts in spending. We know we need to make cuts. We need to effect efficiencies and bring this deficit under control. The fact is this has not been about dollars. It's about social policy. It's been about, in particular, as you pointed out, women's health issues.
April 8, 2011
We have a history, a pattern of the Republicans taking control and shutting down the government as they did in 1995. It hasn't happened since then, even when we had disagreements when George Bush and the Democratic Congress. It’s not an alternative we ought to be taking. I think we're very close. [Democrats] have come 70% of the way in terms of dollars. That’s a long way to go in terms of trying to reach compromise. Now as the President and Harry Reid pointed out, there are social issues which the Republicans are holding hostage the government.
April 7, 2011
 We tried to have a unanimous consent for resolution that would in fact have kept the government open without question. The President would have signed it and the Senate would have passed it. It was what we usually do. That is a bridge to allow you to cross over and not fall into the river until you get an agreement. Unfortunately, it was not passed. And what we did pass is a resolution that the President said he would veto. Not on numbers, not on cutting spending, not on keeping troops in place, but social policy being adopted unrelated to numbers, which the President clearly indicated he was not for. I frankly think what we’re doing is playing chicken. We're driving down the road. We agreed to 70% of the cuts proposed. 70% of the cuts they proposed. And the other side says--the founder of the [Tea Party Patriots] said today that if John Boehner brought in $99 billion, he said that wouldn't be enough.