Press Releases

July 29, 2011
This evening, in a partisan vote, the House passed Speaker Boehner’s short-term plan on the debt limit. Speaker Boehner’s plan, which will return our nation to the edge of a default crisis in a matter of months, is a recipe for damaging, job-destroying economic uncertainty—which, in the wake of today’s disappointing report on economic growth, is clearly the last thing America needs. In addition, in order to win the support of the most extreme members of his own party, Speaker Boehner added a provision that would permanently write Republicans’ narrow ideological priorities into the Constitution itself. This bill is no solution to this Republican-created crisis. It is clear that it will not pass the Senate; nor would President Obama sign it.
July 29, 2011
Tomorrow marks the 46th anniversary of Medicare being signed into law by President Johnson. For almost 50 years, Democrats have fought to preserve this bedrock program. And we will continue the fight, despite Republican attempts to end it and raise costs for seniors. House Republicans have repeatedly voted for a budget plan that would more than double seniors’ health care costs, re-open the prescription drug donut hole and place seniors at the whim of the private insurance market.
July 29, 2011
Today we learned that our economy grew by 1.3% in the last quarter, which is clearly not strong enough, even after eight straight quarters of growth. As growth has slowed, it is disappointing that Republicans have yet to present a comprehensive jobs plan to get Americans back to work. Unlike Republicans, Democrats have a plan: the Make It In America plan to strengthen our manufacturing sector, create jobs, and help American families succeed. We hope Republicans will join us in passing legislation to revitalize American industry and the middle-class jobs it creates.
July 29, 2011
President Obama today announced an agreement with 13 automakers that will make an important difference to our economic future, our national security, and our environment: by Model Year 2025, cars and light trucks will meet a fuel efficiency standard of 54.5 miles per gallon. This breakthrough agreement—which builds on the successful efforts of the Democratic-led 111th Congress to improve fuel efficiency and revitalize the American auto industry—will save American families money and significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. In fact, the 2025 fuel standards are expected to save Americans an average of $8,000 per vehicle and cut our consumption of oil by 2.2 million barrels a day. I congratulate the Obama Administration and the automakers for this important step toward a more energy-efficient future, which will benefit our economy and increase America's energy independence.
July 29, 2011
We see a deeply divided party on the Republican side of the aisle who knew this crisis was coming. I advised in April as we sat around the be the Cabinet table with the President we ought to solve this problem by the first of June and not push this country to the brink of default. Unfortunately, every effort to do that has been rejected. Every effort, every meeting, every conference that's looked for compromise, the Republicans have walked out… What the Speaker now sees is that his own members have walked out on him.
July 26, 2011
 Today, I voted against Republican legislation that would cut short the permitting process for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. I support the pipeline, but this bill is a solution in search of a problem. The Obama Administration remains set to make a decision on the pipeline by the end of the year. Cutting short the timeline for a decision would restrict the administration’s opportunity to hear comments and input from the relevant federal agencies, the states, and the public on the range of issues raised by the pipeline: its environmental impact, potential safety problems posed by a pipeline moving this specific kind of crude oil, and, above all, the question of whether approving the pipeline is in the national interest. I urge the Obama Administration to conclude the permitting process in a timely manner, but this unnecessary bill would do little to encourage a responsible and well-informed decision.
July 26, 2011
Yesterday, Speaker Boehner laid out a debt limit proposal that puts our economy at risk and does not give businesses and the markets certainty they need. Republicans talk about the need to give our economy certainty so that we can create jobs, but rather than move forward with a long-term plan that ensures we pay our nation’s bills and reduces our deficit, Republicans are refusing to compromise and clinging to their ideological agenda.
July 26, 2011
Twenty-one years ago today, the first President Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. I was proud to help write this important law and work for its passage through Congress. The ADA made our nation a world leader in the inclusion of people with disabilities, and it came about because Republicans and Democrats, disability advocates and business leaders, all realized that we gain as a nation when we help all of our people live up to their potential.
July 25, 2011
 Tonight President Obama clearly laid out why Republicans must work with us to ensure our nation can pay its bills and take balanced action to reduce the deficit. Democrats agree that we cannot simply kick the can down the road, as Speaker Boehner's proposal irresponsibly does. We must act now to give our economy and the markets certainty. Republicans have walked away from every proposal and have held our economy hostage for too long. With August 2 around the corner, it is time to reach agreement on a long-term solution.
July 25, 2011
What we're seeing, Lawrence, in my opinion, is a very sorry and irresponsible spectacle of holding America’s credit worthiness, and very frankly the interest of every American, hostage to an increase in the debt limit, which simply says America’s going to pay its bills. What has been offered by Speaker Boehner is a formula that he has rejected, and Mr. cantor have both rejected, saying that if we did just incremental, every six months or every eight months, it would keep the economy roiled and it wouldn't grow. And I think they were absolutely right then, but for political reasons simply to put the President in a corner, they have said no to every deal, to every compromise, to every effort to move this forward to adopt responsible policies which will protect the credit of the United States.
July 25, 2011
Today, both Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner released proposals on America’s debt limit. Throughout negotiations over the debt limit, Democrats have been more than willing to make hard choices and compromise for the good of our nation, so that America can pay the bills it has incurred; by contrast, Republicans have repeatedly shown themselves willing to drive our nation into a job-destroying default unless they can succeed in enacting 100% of their ideological agenda.
July 25, 2011
The American public was concerned mainly about two things in this last election: jobs, trying to get opportunities for themselves and their children and young people to earn a living, and the deficit that confronts this country. Those were the two items that they were very focused on and concerned about, and I think almost everybody on this floor shares their concerns. I got no message from any voter that I ought to come to congress and undermine the air, water, and land that they survive on, recreate on, and rely on for the quality of their lives. Not one constituent, whether he or she voted for me or against me, said that we should undermine the protections of our land and water and air. Not one. However, that is what we're dealing with today: not jobs, not deficits, but undermining the integrity of our air, our water, and our land.
July 23, 2011
 My thoughts are with all those injured and killed in yesterday's tragic attacks in Norway. In this time of need, America stands by its valued ally and friend, a nation that exemplifies our shared democratic values and ideals. I strongly condemn these heinous attacks and hope that all those wounded, and all those who have lost loved ones, find comfort.
July 22, 2011
 I am extremely disappointed that once again Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have chosen to walk away from talks to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction plan. It is my understanding that Speaker Boehner made an offer for a long-term comprehensive solution, which he's stated he is for, and that the President supports. Unfortunately, included in Speaker Boehner’s offer was an unrelated demand that a portion of the Affordable Care Act be repealed - which would neither help America pay its bills or reduce the deficit.
July 22, 2011
Tomorrow marks the 200th day of Republican control of the House of Representatives and they have still not produced a comprehensive jobs plan. With millions of Americans out of work, Republicans have failed to put forth an agenda to create jobs, despite their campaign promises. We cannot afford to wait any longer.
July 22, 2011
Today, the Department of Defense certified the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ a discriminatory policy that weakened our military; the policy’s repeal will officially go into effect in 60 days. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is coming to an end because the views of our troops, the judgment of our military leaders, and the experience of our allies has made one thing clear: open service by gay and lesbian troops does not harm military readiness or effectiveness. With this policy at an end, gay and lesbian troops can serve our country openly, and all Americans will benefit from their patriotism, service, and willingness to sacrifice. I was proud to take a leading role in the legislative struggle to end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ because it was both the right and smart thing to do. May all of America’s men and women in uniform, gay and straight, continue to serve with the courage and honor characteristic of our Armed Forces.
July 21, 2011
As Republicans continue to dig their heels in, putting our economic security at risk in order to protect tax cuts for the wealthy, time is running out to ensure that we pay America’s bills and avoid the catastrophic consequences that default would have on our economy.
July 21, 2011
One year ago today, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This legislation was a much-needed response to the financial crisis that cost millions of Americans their jobs—a crisis whose effects we are still feeling. It is evident that the Bush Administration’s failure to conduct proper oversight of our financial industry did severe damage to the jobs, savings, and futures of families across our country. In response, Dodd-Frank took important steps to put the financial referees back on the field.
July 19, 2011
 The American public is rightfully very distressed with the Congress of the United States. They’re distressed that a time of great challenge and great risk, we fiddle while the debt threatens to burn us, to place our country in the position of being judged un-creditworthy. That is not worthy of this Congress, or any one of us who serves in this Congress. We have 14 days, according to the Secretary of the Treasury, until such time as America will be unable to pay its obligations. That is not a situation that will be looked at positively by the financial sector, or by any one of our constituents whose ability to save, to have a 401-k that is stable, to purchase an automobile or a refrigerator, or to send their kid to college will be put at risk because of increased interest rates. Not one of us will be held harmless if this Congress fails to do its duty.
July 18, 2011
I welcome President Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As Attorney General of Ohio and the head of the Bureau’s enforcement arm, Richard Cordray has built a strong record of standing up for the middle class. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to bring fairness to the financial services on which millions of Americans rely, and to prevent a recurrence of a financial crisis caused by Wall Street recklessness and lax regulation.
July 15, 2011
I am saddened at the news that Congressman Kildee is going to retire, but I certainly understand his decision. Dale Kildee is a man of great integrity and faith. He has a deep concern for the people he represents, for those who are less fortunate, and for the principles and priorities that have made our country strong. He is a legislator who is both conscientious and faithful to his conscience. His work on education issues will have a positive and lasting effect in expanding opportunities for our nation’s children. America, the state of Michigan, and the people of the 5th district have been greatly advantaged by his service. I wish him the very best in the future, and he will be sorely missed in the 113th Congress.
July 15, 2011
I opposed the Republicans’ Energy and Water Appropriations bill, as it undermines our nation’s ability to keep our lakes, rivers and streams clean. The bill restricts the Corps of Engineers' ability to work with the EPA to protect our waterways under the Clean Water Act. This bill also makes shortsighted cuts to our energy efficiency and renewable energy programs – programs that will pay for themselves in the long run by supporting the development of groundbreaking clean energy technologies that will save consumers money on their energy bills and create the jobs that will help more families Make It In America.
July 15, 2011
I want to make it very clear. We are not for asking people who are trying to make it in America, we are not for asking those who are struggling in America, we are not asking for those who rely on Social Security, we are not asking for those who rely on their Medicare benefits to pay the burden of the spending that we have been involved in over the last decade, which took us from $5.6 trillion of debt to over $10 trillion of debt. We are not asking for those struggling Americans which the gentleman raises as the specter of those we think ought to pay their fair share. Oh, no. We are asking for those who have done extraordinarily well over the last decade, who have made millions per year over the last decade, some billions of dollars over the last decade, oil companies who are now making the biggest profits they ever made and others to pay a little more so that we can stabilize the finances of America. So, don't represent that it's Democrats who are asking those struggling small business people. We are not doing that. Or those struggling working people in America who, by the way, have been stuck in the mud under the economic policies that were pursued consistent with the 2001 and 2003 economic programs, which has seen a growing disparate between working people and the wealthiest people in America.
July 14, 2011
 Tonight's meeting at the White House was productive. The President made clear his preference remains reaching a big compromise that reduces the deficit in a balanced way and ensures we pay our bills, and I agree. I believe we should take action quickly to send a clear signal to businesses and world markets that we are going to both pay our bills and address our deficit crisis in a meaningful way, while protecting seniors and the middle class.
July 13, 2011
 Today’s White House meeting was constructive and progress was made. The announcement from Moody’s earlier today makes the case that these debt negotiations need to produce a meaningful outcome that will bring down the deficit in a balanced way and ensure we pay our bills, rather than producing just a simple political solution. That is the President’s clear priority in these meetings and I share that view.