Press Releases: 2011

June 28, 2011
Rep. Lynn Woolsey will be retiring from Congress after 10 terms, and I want to congratulate her on a career to be proud of. Lynn has faithfully and tirelessly represented the people of California’s 6th District, and she has been one of the House’s leading voices for progressive causes. She has worked hard to support renewable energy, protect Northern California’s environment, and to further legislation to help Americans balance work and family. Drawing on her experiences as a single working mother, Lynn also made important contributions as a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Lynn will leave a strong record of accomplishment behind her, and I wish her all the best.
June 23, 2011
We must keep moving forward with talks so that we can quickly take action to reach a balanced deal that reduces our deficit, includes spending cuts and revenues, and ensures that we pay America’s bills.
June 23, 2011
American manufacturing helped make this the most prosperous country on earth—and it helped build a strong middle class. As we continue to focus on job creation and economic growth, I believe a key part of that effort must be rebuilding our manufacturing strength. That’s why House Democrats have created the Make It In America agenda: it’s about creating the conditions for American businesses to innovate here, create jobs here, make products here, and sell them to the world—and about making sure we have a workforce qualified for well-paying jobs. I believe strongly that when we make more products in America, more families will be able to Make It In America, as well.
June 22, 2011
For almost a decade, American troops have served bravely in Afghanistan. Their efforts have helped lead to the death of Osama bin Laden and the destruction, to a great degree, of al-Qaeda’s capability to plan and launch attacks against Americans from Afghanistan. These were our original objectives in Afghanistan, and they have been largely achieved. Our struggle against terrorists who would do Americans harm is certainly not over. But now is a time to consider how the threats against Americans have changed, and how we can most effectively defeat the terrorists behind those threats.
June 22, 2011
Today, the Joint Economic Committee held an important hearing, titled 'Manufacturing in the USA: Why We Need a National Manufacturing Strategy.' I strongly agree about the importance of manufacturing to the American economy, and I thank the JEC for calling attention to this issue. Manufacturing is crucial to our economic competitiveness, our leadership in innovation, and the future of our middle class. That's why it is essential that America develop a manufacturing strategy, just as competitors like China and Germany have. I am a strong supporter of the Make It In America agenda, which includes the National Manufacturing Strategy Act--a bill introduced by Congressman Dan Lipinski that directs the president to develop a national manufacturing strategy. I hope that both Republicans and Democrats can come together to implement this agenda and create manufacturing jobs.
June 22, 2011
Today’s long-term budget outlook shows the urgent need to get our nation’s deficit under control. Without action, our debt will grow to be larger than the economy within the next decade: publicly held debt is projected to increase from 69% of GDP today to 101% in 2021, and twice as large by 2037. CBO described the path of debt as ‘unsustainable,’ and the longer we wait to act, the worse the problem becomes. That’s why I hope the Biden group will produce a balanced approach to start reducing the deficit now, while putting in place a process to get our budget back on track over the long-term.
June 21, 2011
I am pleased that Leon Panetta was confirmed by the Senate today as our next Secretary of Defense. Over the years, I’ve worked closely with Secretary Panetta as he has filled a wide range of important positions: chairman of the House Budget Committee, Office of Management and Budget director, White House chief of staff, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. At every step, Secretary Panetta has impressed me, and all who have known him, with his integrity, his insight, and his spirit of public service. I know that he will bring those assets to the Pentagon, along with his wide experience on budget issues—which is especially important at a time when all of our nation’s spending, including defense spending, must come under close scrutiny for savings. I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Panetta.
June 21, 2011
I strongly oppose this legislation, as abolishing the EAC would be an invitation to repeat the mistakes that blemished our democracy in 2000,” said Hoyer. “The work of the EAC matters to voters, who deserve assurance that their votes will count on Election Day. There is too much at stake to abolish the EAC. I can think of few more essential tasks than ensuring that the people’s representatives are elected fairly.”
June 17, 2011
Nearly three years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger arrived at the city of Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to deliver news that the nation’s slaves were free. The announcement set off celebrations in the streets as freed slaves rejoiced. At last, the furthest reaches of the slaveholding states were feeling the effects of the abolition of slavery; and today, we celebrate that day of liberation as Juneteenth. Each year, we have the opportunity to reflect on the centuries-long struggle to achieve freedom, honor the legacy of civil rights activists who have pursued justice for all Americans, and celebrate the achievements and contributions of African-Americans throughout history. Let us pay tribute to the work and sacrifice of these Americans and recommit ourselves to ensuring freedom, equality, and opportunity for all.  
June 16, 2011
I have said that Congressman Weiner needed to do what was best for his constituents, and I believe today he did just that. He and his family will be in my thoughts in the days ahead.  
June 14, 2011
Yesterday, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduced H.R. 2152, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act, with 30 original cosponsors. It passed the House last year with broad bipartisan support. This legislation honors the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and supports people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver Act would reauthorize the Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act, authorize the Department of Education to make grants to the Best Buddies organization to support the expansion and development of mentoring programs for people with intellectual disabilities, and support the establishment of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institutes for Sport and Social Impact. All of these programs improve and advance opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to fully participate and engage in sports and recreation, social activities, and other community opportunities.
June 8, 2011
Today, President Obama visited Northern Virginia Community College to discuss the importance of manufacturing to our economy’s future, and the role community colleges play in creating a well-prepared workforce, ready to take on well-paying jobs. I strongly agree with the president on the importance of manufacturing, which supports millions of middle-class families, drives innovation and productivity across our economy, and is crucial to America’s international competitiveness. That’s why I’m such a strong supporter of the Make It In America agenda, which focuses on rebuilding our manufacturing strength.
June 7, 2011
I want to thank Congressman Boren for his years of service to his constituents in Oklahoma. He has worked tirelessly for their interests as an independent voice in the House of Representatives. I look forward to continuing to work with him for the remainder of this Congress, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
June 3, 2011
I oppose both resolutions that were voted on in the House today. Despite the assertion in Speaker Boehner’s resolution, I believe the President has indeed articulated a rationale for action in Libya: to prevent the Gadhafi regime’s brutal attacks on Libyan civilians. Gadhafi vowed to go ‘door to door’ to kill those who opposed him, a threat that we could not stand by and allow to be carried out. That’s why I supported this mission. I said at the outset that our allies needed to take a leading role, and I was pleased when NATO did just that. I am concerned that sudden withdrawal would strengthen Gadhafi’s hand, undermine our NATO allies, and negatively impact other democratic transitions underway in the region.
June 3, 2011
Today we received news that our economy added 54,000 jobs last month. It is disappointing that fewer jobs were created than in recent months, but it is an important sign of progress that private-sector employment has grown for 15 straight months under President Obama. With the unemployment rate increasing to 9.1% it is clear that too many Americans are still struggling to find work, and they deserve Washington’s attention and help.
June 2, 2011
I think the Biden talks are serious talks…. [T]he reports I get are that there are real efforts at making progress and addressing the fiscal crisis that confronts our nation and confronting the debt and deficit that we need to bring down, but also to constructively move forward on trying to reach bipartisan agreement which is the only way we're going to be able to affect change.
June 1, 2011
This month, LBGT Pride month, we honor the strides toward equality made by America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. In the decades since the advent of the LGBT movement, that progress toward equality has been remarkable, and it has seen several important milestones under President Obama. Most notably, last year America overturned the policy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ which both weakened our Armed Forces and wrongly enshrined discrimination in our military. I was proud to work for the end of that harmful policy—and now, I am committed to opposing partisan efforts to needlessly delay the implementation of repeal. While the struggle for LGBT equality remains incomplete, I hope Americans will take time this month to reflect on the dramatic progress toward that end we have seen in our lifetimes.
May 27, 2011
“This Memorial Day we remember generations of Americans who have fought for our nation, both those who gave their lives for our country, and those who wore the uniform. Their service made this nation what it is today – a beacon of liberty and freedom to the world. I hope all Americans take a moment this weekend to honor their memory and their sacrifice...
May 26, 2011
Today, the House passed the FY12 Defense Authorization bill, which gives our Armed Forces the resources they need to keep our country safe, and also supports our military families. I voted for this legislation. Nevertheless, I am deeply concerned about several provision attached to this bill by Republicans, none of which will make our nation safer.
May 26, 2011
I am pleased that wartime criminal Ratko Mladic has been arrested and will be brought to justice for committing heinous atrocities during the Bosnian war, including the genocide of 8,000 innocents at Srebrenica, and the shelling of Sarajevo that resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 civilians.
May 25, 2011
Last night, voters in Western New York sent a clear message that the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it is the wrong choice. But today, Senate Republicans chose to ignore that message and instead voted for the Republican budget that does not balance and puts insurance company bureaucrats in charge of seniors’ health care – a move that will more than double seniors’ health care costs.
May 24, 2011
In January, the people of Southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly to form a new nation. That critical vote offered the people of Southern Sudan an opportunity for a better future, and a chance to put to rest the legacy of Africa’s bloodiest civil war. Unfortunately, Khartoum’s current actions are putting that possibility at risk. Their disproportionate and violent offensive in the disputed Abyei region threatens a wider breakdown of peace and a return to armed conflict between North and South, which is deeply concerning to those of us who have long advocated for peace and security across the whole of Sudan. The Obama administration has rightly condemned this offensive, and I join it in urging the Khartoum government to abide by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and resolve the future of the Abyei region through negotiation only. Khartoum must understand that normalization with the U.S. hinges on its ending violence, human rights abuses, and targeting of civilians.
May 23, 2011
My thoughts and condolences are with all those who suffered the effects of Sunday’s devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and with all those who lost loved ones. Sunday’s tornado was historically destructive, and I know that its effects will sadly linger in the Joplin community for a long time to come—in damaged property, in painful injuries, and, worst of all, in lives that cannot be replaced. But natural disasters like this one have so often shown those qualities that are best in our communities: the toughness, selflessness, and commitment to our neighbors that help us rebuild. Those qualities are already on display in Joplin, and I know that the community will soon recover and rebuild.
May 19, 2011
 Today President Obama spoke about deeply held American values, such as self-determination and respect for all, as he declared that it is the policy of the United States to stand on the side of those seeking democracy and progress, and that human rights must be respected.
May 16, 2011
Now that the U.S. has reached the debt limit today, it is past time for Republicans to get serious and work with Democrats to ensure our nation pays its bills while laying out a path to reduce the deficit. The longer we wait to take responsible action, the more damaging it is to our economy. I agree with Speaker Boehner’s statement yesterday that an agreement doesn’t ‘have to wait until the eleventh hour.’ Businesses – and the global economy – need certainty that the U.S. will continue to pay its bills. By choosing to hold the economy hostage by risking a default on our nation’s debt, Republicans are endangering our economic recovery. I hope now that we’ve reached the debt limit, and the Treasury has been forced to employ extraordinary measures, Republicans stop putting the economy at risk and work with us to meet our obligations and set forward a serious, balanced approached to deficit reduction.