Press Releases

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.  
May 13, 2011
Today’s Trustees Reports show that the Social Security and Medicare programs have the resources to meet their obligations well into the next decade, but have taken a hit due to economic conditions. The programs will be solvent into the next decade, due in part to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, which strengthened Medicare by taking significant steps to constrain cost growth through innovative delivery system and payment reforms that will increase efficiency, improve quality, and generate long-term savings for both beneficiaries and the government. According to the Trustees, Medicare’s financial outlook was substantially improved by this critical law.
May 12, 2011
Rising gasoline prices put a painful economic burden on American families and Congress must deploy every energy solution in its power, including, but not limited to, safe and responsible drilling for oil. Unfortunately, this week House Republicans passed two bills focused on drilling that will not have any significant impact on gas prices in the short term.
May 11, 2011
This week, House Republicans are working to dismantle protections against speculation in the oil markets, which may drive gas prices up for American families. Democrats believe that aggressive oversight of oil speculation is an important part of an energy policy that can bring down gas prices for consumers and ensure that businesses have the fuels they need at a reasonable cost. But Republicans are once again failing to meet the challenge of high gas prices.
May 11, 2011
After more than four months in the majority, Republicans have made their priorities clear – and it is not the middle class. They have not produced a jobs agenda to get more Americans back to work, they’ve proposed ending Medicare as we know it, they are fighting to protect taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and now they are moving forward on a bill that could take away extended unemployment benefits for over four million Americans. This would harm families as well as our economic recovery.
May 10, 2011
I commend President Obama for speaking out on this important issue and I echo his call for comprehensive immigration reform that will address the millions of undocumented immigrants working and living in America today. In a competitive world, America’s openness to immigration is one of its key strengths. I am very pleased President Obama said he was going to keep fighting for the DREAM Act, long-overdue legislation which Democrats passed in the House last year and I continue to support.
May 9, 2011
Today, Israel and its friends around the world mark the 63rd Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel's Independence Day. On this day, we celebrate the historic accomplishment of the establishment of a state dedicated to principles of political and religious freedom in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. We honor the generations of public-spirited men and women who have, against great odds, made the State of Israel such a success. And, as Americans, we reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the security of our democratic ally--a commitment that began when President Truman announced America's recognition of the Jewish state just minutes after its independence was declared. May Israel celebrate many more Independence Days in the years to come.
May 6, 2011
Today’s report on March employment levels brought encouraging news for our economy. Our economy added a net total of 244,000 jobs, while our private sector grew by 268,000 jobs. That number marks the 16th straight month of private-sector job growth under President Obama—as well as the strongest month for private-sector jobs since February 2006, before the Bush recession. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate increased by .2 percentage points to 9.0%; and while that increase represents more Americans entering the job market as the economy recovers, the fact remains that millions are still out of work, at a time when high gas prices are putting a strain on every American family.
May 5, 2011
This May, America marks Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: a month to honor the history and contributions of some 16 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. May was chosen as the month for this observance because it is the anniversary of two important events in the history of this community: the arrival in the of the first Japanese immigrants to America, on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad—constructed in large part by Chinese immigrants—on May 10, 1869.
May 5, 2011
All Americans are concerned about high gas prices and the growing cost they are imposing on our families. We should also be concerned that those high prices might stall our economic recovery.
May 4, 2011
After four months in the House majority, Republicans have yet to put forward a jobs agenda. But one partisan priority has taken an inordinate amount of their time: voting on legislation to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they know that repeal will not become law. House Republicans already took a largely symbolic vote to repeal the ACA—now they are taking another series of votes to defund more of its provisions.
May 4, 2011
...they needed to create jobs. Very frankly we've been here for four months without jobs legislation being offered on the Floor of the House of Representatives. What we're rolling out today as we talk about creating job is a focus on job creators...
May 2, 2011
Today, Treasury Secretary Geithner informed Congress that, unless we act to ensure that America pays the bills that it has incurred, our country will approach its debt ceiling by May 16. Extraordinary efforts by the Treasury Department may allow for a reprieve through about August 2. In any case, the responsibility of Congress is the same. Reaching the debt ceiling is still imminent—and the consequences of failing to act, and defaulting on our debts, would still be catastrophic for the American and world economies. We must take what Speaker Boehner has called the ‘adult’ course of action and pay our bills.