Press Releases

December 22, 2010
Today, I was proud to join President Obama as he signed into law a bill to allow the Department of Defense to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' For far too long, this discriminatory policy has harmed our military's effectiveness by depriving it of the service of brave Americans willing to fight for their country. That's why our military's leaders, our troops, and a large majority of the American people all wanted 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to be repealed.
December 18, 2010
"Today marks the end of the discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, with the Defense Department now empowered to implement its repeal. I have long called for the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and I am proud to have fought to end it, from writing the compromise language that passed the House in May, to serving as the original co-sponsor of Rep. Patrick Murphy's stand alone legislation that passed the House this past week...
December 16, 2010
Today the House passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. This important legislation reaffirms our commitment to those who have served our country in the Armed Forces since September 11, 2001. It continues our strong investment in the education and careers of our servicemen and -women and America’s veterans, and it makes key improvements to the landmark Post-9/11 GI Bill that Democrats passed in the previous Congress.
December 15, 2010
Today the House voted once again to empower the Defense Department to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ – a policy of officially-sanctioned discrimination,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “It forces brave men and women to lie about who they are, and it compromises the military’s core value of integrity every day. The majority of our troops want it repealed. And the leaders of our Armed Forces – Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – want it repealed, as well. The Senate must join the House and vote for a responsible end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ so we can send it to the President’s desk for his signature.
December 15, 2010
The U.S. Capitol features statues from every State in our Union—statues that honor some of the most memorable and influential people in America’s history. The people of the District of Columbia are part of our Union, as well: they pay federal taxes, vote in presidential elections, and share citizenship with us. But when it comes to seeing the District’s most notable citizens honored here in the Capitol, in their own city, the people of Washington, DC have again been left out. That needs to change.
December 14, 2010
Today Rep. Patrick Murphy and I will be introducing a new bill to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This discriminatory and harmful policy has weakened America’s security by depriving us of the work of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian troops who have served their country honorably. And it has severely compromised our Armed Forces’ core value of integrity.
December 13, 2010
I am deeply saddened by the death of Richard Holbrooke. He was a giant in the field of diplomacy, and his work will have a lasting impact across the world. From brokering the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, to serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, his knowledge and experience was immense and his insight into global affairs was indispensable. My thoughts and prayers are with his family
December 13, 2010
Today’s court ruling—like the previous federal district rulings affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act—represents an individual step in the judicial process. I have every confidence that when the legal process has been concluded, the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act will be upheld
December 9, 2010
I am extremely disappointed that the Senate failed to move the Defense Authorization measure containing a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ forward. 
December 9, 2010
I am pleased that today the House passed a year-long extension of the current Medicare physician payment rates and will now send the bill to the President’s desk for his signature. While this legislation will provide seniors with the security of continued access to the physician of their choice and our physicians with at least one full year of SGR relief, this remains a long-term problem that requires a permanent solution. It is my hope that we will revisit this problem in the coming months and that Republicans will join our efforts to secure a long-term solution.
December 8, 2010
Today, the House again passed legislation to give the Food and Drug Administration new authorities to protect our food supply and ensure that all Americans can have confidence that the food they provide their families is free of contamination. Action today, while critically important, is also long overdue. The House overwhelmingly supported similar legislation in July 2009, and since then, we have continued to hear about food safety scares and their dramatic impact on our way of life. Unsafe food does not only put the health and lives of Americans at risk; it undermines confidence and poses a real threat to Americans’ faith in our food supply. This lack of trust is harmful to both consumers’ peace of mind and our economic future.
December 8, 2010
Today Republican Leaders released the 2011 House voting schedule. Our nation will still be facing a number of critical challenges that we must confront together next year. We will work to address the top concerns of the American people during the next Congress, including creating jobs, growing the economy, and balancing the budget in the long-term. We hope Republicans will work with us on those issues.
December 3, 2010
I am encouraged by the fact that a bipartisan majority – nearly two-thirds – of the president’s bipartisan fiscal commission supported the report put forward. Though the commission has ended its work, our national conversation about returning America to fiscal balance has been energized by the commission’s efforts and I expect that conversation to proceed. A bipartisan consensus is forming around a balanced approach to deficit reduction that makes hard choices on both the revenue and spending sides—an approach that includes putting our entitlements on more stable footing; responsible spending cuts that take all parts of our budget into account, both non-defense discretionary and defense; and fair tax simplification that also raises revenue.
December 3, 2010
Today we learned that America’s economy added 39,000 jobs last month. Just as importantly, our private sector expanded again, adding jobs for the 11th straight month. Nevertheless, with millions still out of work and an unemployment rate still near 10%, these numbers are discouraging and show that we have a long way to go before our economy has returned to health. Congress has much more work to do to foster job growth, a responsibility that is clearly shared by both parties. For Americans in every district we represent, the stakes are too high to fail to cooperate on consensus, job-creating solutions, such as the Make It In America agenda, a plan to rebuild manufacturing jobs.  
December 2, 2010
I am very pleased the House has passed this bill, which is needed to prevent a tax increase on middle class families. If we fail to resolve this issue, starting on New Year’s Day families across America will see their taxes go up. That won’t just mean less money in Americans’ paychecks—it will reduce spending, which will harm job-creation and our entire economic recovery. This bill prevents a tax increase on our middle class and will help create jobs.
December 2, 2010
I am pleased to announce that Rep. Jim Matheson will join the Democratic Whip team in the next Congress. He will join the current Whip team that is staying in place. Rep. John Lewis will serve as our Senior Chief Deputy Whip, and our Chief Deputy Whips will continue to serve our caucus: Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Joe Crowley, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Ed Pastor, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Rep. Maxine Waters.
December 1, 2010
The report released today by the President’s bipartisan commission is a positive contribution as we work to address the deep deficits and debt confronting our nation. While job creation and growing the economy remain our top priorities in the near-term, we must balance that with a long-term plan to reduce the deficit. The threat posed by the deficit to our economy and hard-working families is real, and the solutions will not be easy. But Members of Congress and the American public must have the courage to take the tough actions necessary to move the budget toward balance. While I may not endorse every single specific proposal in today’s report, putting these options on the table is an essential step before we can have an honest discussion about how to return to a fiscally sustainable path.
December 1, 2010
I am disappointed Republicans chose to play politics with a bill that enjoys strong bipartisan support and would increase access to school meal programs, improve the standards of food provided, and help reduce childhood obesity. The real purpose of this motion to recommit was to delay this bill from being signed into law.
December 1, 2010
Today, the House passed the Help HAITI Act, an important piece of humanitarian legislation that continues America’s constructive response to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti early this year. Following the earthquake, more than 1,000 Haitian orphans were brought to the United States by adoptive American families; the bill we passed today ensures that those children, just like all other children adopted from abroad, will have permanent resident status. For the adoptive parents who generously took Haitian orphans into their homes, the guarantee of permanent resident status means that their children will enjoy a full range of legal protections and will no longer be stuck in legal limbo.
November 30, 2010
“Tomorrow, the House will take up the Help HAITI Act. This important legislation will help Haitian orphans become permanent residents of the United States in the wake of the tragic earthquake earlier this year..
November 30, 2010
I congratulate Gov. Martin O’Malley on being selected to serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. He is an excellent choice, and I am confident that in this new role, he will exhibit the strong leadership that has made him extremely effective here in Maryland.
November 30, 2010
Today, 17 years after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was signed into law, the Department of Defense has released a comprehensive report reviewing the issues associated with implementing repeal and making recommendations for a smooth transition to open service. After receiving the views of more than 115,000 service members, consulting with tens of thousands of military spouses, listening to troops at 51 bases and installations around the world, and consulting with many other stakeholders, the report’s conclusion is unambiguous: "The risk of repeal to overall military effectiveness is low."
November 29, 2010
I am pleased that today the House passed a one-month extension of the current Medicare physician payment rates and will now send the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.
November 29, 2010
Millions of Americans are out of work, and many are tightening their belts; Federal employees must be no different. While I appreciate that the President reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years, it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between Federal civilian and military personnel--with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way. It would have also added an element of fairness: there has been parity between civilian and military pay raises for 22 of the past 28 years in which raises were authorized, and hundreds of thousands of Federal civilian employees work alongside military employees in the Department of Defense and other agencies. In fact, the first American casualty in Afghanistan was a CIA agent--a federal civilian employee.
November 22, 2010
Today’s action represents a significant step forward in our work to ensure that Americans’ receive better value for their health insurance dollar.  Insurance companies must spend a minimum of 80 cents of each premium dollar on quality care or issue a rebate to their consumers, increasing the value of health insurance and making the insurance marketplace more transparent and consumer-friendly.