Press Releases

January 22, 2012
Throughout my years in Congress, there have been few Members I have come to admire as much as Gabby Giffords.  When she was first elected, Gabby got right to work for the people of Arizona’s Eighth District, standing up for veterans, advocating for a fairer wage for workers, and pushing for comprehensive immigration reform while securing our borders.  She earned the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her determination and strong convictions, and her willingness to work together to get things done.  Gabby always put her constituents first and made it her priority to listen to their concerns and carry them back with her to Washington.
January 20, 2012
In a decision that affirmed the right of every American woman to privacy and choice, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade thirty-nine years ago this Sunday.  I join in marking this anniversary, and I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose while strengthening education programs and access to contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies.  I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with women’s health and privacy advocates in continuing to defend the constitutional right Roe v. Wade confirmed.
January 20, 2012
I am always excited to be back at Pax River with some of the finest men and women in the Department of Defense.  Today I am especially glad to be here with you to introduce a man I have known for over thirty years.    We’re proud to have him at Pax River today to demonstrate all of the great work being done here and the critical importance of this installation to our military readiness and operations.
January 19, 2012
When Maurice Hinchey came to Congress is 1993, he brought with him the experiences of a Navy sailor, factory worker, and respected state lawmaker.  These experiences helped him become a leader in Congress when it came to supporting our veterans, protecting the environment, and ensuring that government by the people always works for the people.  I have been honored to serve with him for the past nineteen years, and his voice – a moral voice for conservation, economic justice, and equality of opportunity – will be greatly missed in Congress.   I extend to him and his family my best wishes on his retirement.
January 17, 2012
Democratic Whip Hoyer stated, “I am pleased that Congress is actively taking steps to update how it connects with the American people online, improve transparency and better interact with our constituents to keep them informed. There is still work to be done, but Democrats and Republicans alike understand the duty we share to make the legislative process as open and accessible as possible. This report continues the hard work of Members from both sides of the aisle in shaping how we can better connect the American people to their government in order to better serve them.”
January 16, 2012
Today we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his life of service. In October, we witnessed the dedication of a new memorial on the National Mall in Washington honoring Dr. King and his work. His statue now looks out across the Tidal Basin in the direction of the memorial to the author who wrote the words into which Dr. King breathed new life: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' 
January 11, 2012
“Austin has been a key asset in my leadership office since first joining our team as an intern in 2004,” said Hoyer. “Since then, he has served in a variety of roles and excelled in each one. As Floor Assistant and later Deputy Floor Director, Austin has helped manage the day-to-day operations of the Floor and has demonstrated a depth and breadth of knowledge of parliamentary procedure and the legislative process. Members have come to rely on Austin’s good judgment and leadership on the Floor and he is well known and well liked by all Members. Similarly, Shuwanza has served on my staff since joining as a staff assistant four years ago and has continually demonstrated her competence and capabilities across a range of responsibilities. As Floor Assistant, she excelled with a tremendous work ethic, focus and insightful knowledge of the House floor. I am confident that Austin and Shuwanza will continue to ensure an organized, responsive, and robust Democratic Whip Floor operation as the new session of Congress commences. Both Austin and Shuwanza will be a tremendous resource to the Democratic Caucus and I look forward to working with them in their new roles.”
January 10, 2012
Since joining the Administration as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Cecilia Muñoz has been an effective bridge-builder, helping strengthen ties between the White House, elected officials and community leaders across the country. She has demonstrated a commitment to strengthening our country through job creation, access to affordable health care and quality education, and comprehensive immigration reform. Her work on the National Council of La Raza before coming to the White House helped bring important voices into the national conversation on these and other issues. I congratulate her on her selection today as Director of the President’s Domestic Policy Council, where I am confident she will continue to serve as an untiring advocate for middle class families and all those striving to achieve the American Dream. I look forward to working with her as she moves into this new role.
January 9, 2012
I congratulate Jack Lew on his selection as the new White House Chief of Staff. He brings to the role a wealth of experience in government, law, and community service. His work as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Deputy Secretary of State have helped the President achieve a number of important domestic and foreign policy successes. As the Congress and White House work together this year on reaching a comprehensive solution to our deficit problem, appointing as Chief of Staff someone as knowledgeable and involved in budget issues as Jack Lew reflects the President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. I look forward to working with him as we move forward.
January 6, 2012
This morning’s announcement that our economy added 200,000 jobs in December, bringing our unemployment rate down to 8.5%, is a sign of progress and provides further evidence that our economy is recovering. However, while we have now experienced twenty-two straight months of private sector job growth, too many Americans remain out of work.
January 5, 2012
This Administration has pursued a strong national security policy that has achieved significant victories in eliminating Al-Qaeda leaders and decimating the group’s operational capabilities. It [has] engaged in successful cooperation and coordination with our NATO allies in Libya without losing a single American life and brought our troops back from Iraq with dignity. Today’s announcement follows a strategic review of defense policy and aims to strengthen our Armed Forces’ ability to address the challenges of a changing global security environment. In line with this new strategy, the defense budget will adapt to ensure that our military has all the resources it needs to support the changing mission, while at the same time contributing to comprehensive deficit reduction. Our deficits themselves represent a national security threat that must be addressed, further reason why it is important to achieve a big and balanced solution this year. This new strategy recognizes that our military continues to be the greatest in the world and a source of pride for all Americans.
January 5, 2012
One year ago today, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and promised to focus on job creation. But one year later, we’ve witnessed the least productive session of Congress in recent years. Republicans still do not have a comprehensive jobs plan and have not taken meaningful action to reduce the deficit in a big, balanced way. Instead of debating and voting on jobs bills like House Democrats’ Make It In America plan, the House Republican leadership walked away from the American people and focused on an ideological and partisan agenda that had nothing to do with getting Americans back to work. They brought us to the brink of shutdown and default. They held hostage a tax cut for middle class families and unemployment insurance benefits for Americans who lost jobs through no fault of their own. And they have, through their actions, increased the uncertainty faced by working families trying to plan for the future and by businesses waiting to expand and hire.  
January 4, 2012
I am pleased President Obama appointed the highly qualified Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mr. Cordray brings to the position a strong record and a commitment to protecting American consumers, homeowners, investors and small businesses. For months, Senate Republicans have distorted the confirmation process and made it clear that they will block Mr. Cordray or any other nominee—regardless of qualifications—to lead this new consumer protection bureau. The American people deserve better, and we can no longer wait to put a referee back on the field to protect American consumers from the excesses and abuses that led to the financial crisis.
December 23, 2011
Today's vote ensures that on January 1st, 160 million Americans will not see their taxes go up, over 2 million Americans will not lose unemployment insurance as they look for work, and 48 million Americans will not lose access to their doctor. Now we must immediately focus on extending these critical policies for a full year. I am hopeful that Republicans will work with us to do so quickly, and not take Americans to the brink once more.
December 22, 2011
Today Senator McConnell joined Senate Republicans and House Democrats in calling on House Republicans to prevent a tax increase on middle class families by passing the bipartisan Senate bill. If House Republicans refuse to act, on January 1 they will be responsible for 160 million Americans seeing a tax increase, 2.2 million Americans losing unemployment benefits, and 48 million Americans potentially losing access to their doctors. The American people deserve certainty that we will not allow any of those things to happen. That is why we must pass the bipartisan Senate compromise bill to prevent a tax increase from happening as we continue to work on a year-long extension. I therefore urge Speaker Boehner to either allow this to be passed by unanimous consent, or call the House back into session to pass the Senate bill.
December 22, 2011
It has now been two days since House Republicans said an emphatic no to the bipartisan compromise and walked away from America’s working people. While Democrats have spent that time trying to get a vote to avoid the tax hike, Republicans have been arguing about process and politics.
December 21, 2011
One year ago tomorrow, we reached a milestone that marked a new era of opportunity for gay and lesbian Americans wishing to serve our country openly in uniform.  When President Obama signed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010” into law, providing for its repeal, our country declared an end to the discriminatory policy that told Americans they could not serve their country simply because of who they are and who they love. 
December 21, 2011
Mr. Van Hollen and I just participated on the Floor of the House and sought to seek recognition so that we could ask unanimous consent to place on the Floor and pass legislation which would give certainty and assurance to seniors, to the unemployed, and to 160,000 million Americans who are at risk of losing their tax cut on January 1st. The ability to have that certainty, to have that confidence, not just at this holiday period but in January and in February while we take action to try to come to an agreement on the one year extension that we want.
December 20, 2011
It is December 20th, and the Republicans are using it as a day to dissemble, pretending to support a tax cut for working Americans, while making it uncertain and delayed. We – of course, as we all know – could pass the Senate bill by 2pm today, send it to the President, and provide certainty to working Americans, come January 1st, that their taxes will not go up.
December 20, 2011
What they did was – in consultation with John Boehner – came to an agreement. That agreement had 89 Senators out of 100 agree on a proposition that would continue the middle class tax cut, would give certainty and assurance that as of January 1st there wouldn't be a tax [increase], would give 48 million Americans assurance that they would still have access to their Medicare doctors, and would give 2.3 million Americans an assurance they wouldn't lose their unemployment insurance and therefore their ability to support themselves and their families.
December 19, 2011
This is not in fact a partisan issue. Thirty-nine Republicans, 83 percent of Republicans in the United States Senate voted for this and the American people are saying if 83 percent of the Republicans and almost 100 percent of Democrats are for something, why can’t you come to agreement in Washington, DC? That’s the question we ought to be asking Speaker Boehner – why can’t you take yes for an answer? Why can’t we give the American people the assurance that they need to have, particularly at this holiday time?
December 18, 2011
Vaclav Havel was a philosopher, an author, a dissident, a statesman. He was a student and teacher of non-violence. As a playwright, he knew that all the world was a stage, but he refused to believe we are merely players upon it. Mr. Havel taught that each and every one of us could be the authors of our future, and in doing so he helped launch the popular movement that brought down communism in Eastern Europe.
December 18, 2011
The extreme, Tea Party faction of the House Republican conference has once again walked away from a legislative compromise which addresses critical challenges confronting the American people. This action again emphasizes the extreme views and rigidity of the House Republicans even though 80% of the Republican members of the U.S. Senate supported this compromise.
December 17, 2011
I’m disappointed that Senate Republicans would not agree to a longer-term extension of critical policies and insisted on unrelated provisions that do not belong in this package. But the House must return and take action on this bill so that middle class families do not see a tax increase, people who lost their job through no fault of their own do not lose unemployment insurance benefits, and seniors do not lose access to their doctors. And when the next session of this Congress resumes in January, we must begin work immediately on longer extensions of these policies to provide certainty for families and seniors. I hope Republicans join us in that effort, rather than taking this to the brink once again and waiting until the deadline is upon us.  
December 16, 2011
I thank the Gentle-lady for yielding. I want to join her in saying that there were some minuses in this bill. The minuses in this bill historically has been as it relates to the District of Columbia that the Congress has treated the District of Columbia as its own possession as opposed to an independent political jurisdiction and has been granted home rule. And the Congress ought to honor that home rule. And as we urge democracies around the world or dictatorships in the world to honor the views of their people , the Congress of the United States ought to honor the wishes of the people of the District of Columbia. And I always lament when we put in these individual provisions.