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Senate Update

December 11, 2008:

The Senate will convene at 10:00 a.m. and proceed to a period of morning business for up to one hour, with Senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each.

Following morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 7005.


November 19, 2008

Harkin Chosen To Spearhead Prevention Elements Of Health Care Reform Bill

by Senator Tom Harkin

Senator Kennedy establishes three HELP Committee Working Groups to help craft health care bill

Senator Harkin was pleased to accept an invitation today from Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), to lead a working group tasked with crafting the prevention and public health components of the health care reform bill.

“I am very grateful to my dear friend, Senator Kennedy for this opportunity to contribute to real health care reform for our country,” said Harkin. “I have long believed that prevention and wellness are the keys to solving our health care crisis. We must recreate America as a "wellness society" focused on fitness, good nutrition, and disease prevention – ultimately keeping people out of the hospital in the first place. I look forward to tackling this problem with my colleagues on the HELP Committee and our Chairman Senator Kennedy.”

Images contains three smaller images one shows a couple running, the next a woman looking at vegetables and the third image is of a doctor standing with a child patientUnder Senator Kennedy’s direction, the working groups will concentrate on three areas essential to comprehensive reform: (1) prevention and public health, (2) improvements in the quality of care, and (3) insurance coverage.  Harkin will lead the working group on prevention and public health, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will lead the working group on improvements in quality, and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will lead the working group on insurance coverage. 

“Our committee is fortunate to have the services of major leaders who are committed to improving health care for the American people.  Senator Harkin, Senator Mikulski, and Senator Clinton have generously offered to step forward and assume an expanded role on critical aspects of health reform.  I commend them for their leadership, and I look forward very much to working with them, with all our colleagues on the committee and throughout Congress, and with the Obama Administration to achieve the goal at long last of quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” said Kennedy.

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November 10, 2008

Keeping Faith with Our Veterans

Veterans Day is a welcome occasion to pause and salute America’s 24 million veterans, and to thank them for their service to our nation.  But we must also honor our veterans in practical ways, and this means ensuring that they receive the benefits and recognition that they earned.

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October 27, 2008

Harkin Announces More Than $71 Million Coming To Iowa For Flood Relief

Senator Harkin today announced that that Iowa will receive an additional $71.69 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for disaster relief through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. These funds are part of the $300 million that HUD released to Iowa and other states affected by natural disasters and were included in the first emergency spending package that Harkin led the fight to secure.

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October 7, 2008

As Harkin Grants Celebrate 10th Anniversary, Senator Tours East High School In Des Moines

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today kicked off his tour of schools that are recipients of Harkin Grants at East High School in Des Moines. The Des Moines School Board was also presented with a copy of the Congressional Record that Harkin submitted honoring their accomplishments. Since 1998, Harkin has secured a total of $121 million for the state government in Iowa, which selects worthy school districts to receive these grants for a range of renovation and repair efforts – everything from updating fire-safety systems to building new schools or renovating existing facilities.

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September 25, 2008

Senator Harkin’s Statement Regarding ADA Amendments Act Becoming Law

Senator Tom Harkin released the following statement today after President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. The bill was recently passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate.  Harkin was the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate.

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September 23, 2008

Harkin, Grassley Announce Almost $23 Billion In Federal Aid For Iowa And Other States Hit By Disasters

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced tonight that nearly $23 billion in disaster aid will be included in a package of defense and homeland security appropriations and a continuing funding measure. Developed by Senate and House appropriators, action on the must-pass legislation is expected in both the House and Senate this week. The disaster package builds on the $2.65 billion in disaster aid that Congress passed immediately after flood waters hit Iowa in June.   

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September 17, 2008

Harkin Statement On House Passage Of The ADA Amendments Act

Senator Tom Harkin released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act unanimously by voice vote. Last week the Senate passed the Harkin led bill by unanimous consent.  The bill now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.

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September 11, 2008

Harkin, Hatch Measure Fulfilling Promise Of Americans With Disabilities Act Passes Senate Unanimously

Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) today announced that the Senate had approved by unanimous consent a bill that would clarify the law’s intent and ensure that all Americans with disabilities are protected from discrimination. The bill will need to be acted upon by the House of Representatives before being sent to the President’s desk.

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September 10, 2008

Senators Harkin And Clinton Assail Bush Administration For Failing To Crack Down On Pay Discrimination

Unveiling the findings of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today assailed the Bush Administration for its failure to crack down on pay inequity. The report, which Senators Harkin and Clinton requested along with Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), shows that the federal government has failed to adequately monitor enforcement of our nation’s pay discrimination laws. In light of the findings, the Senators reiterated their call for the Senate to pass legislation that would strengthen our pay discrimination laws and take steps to erase pay inequities, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Fair Pay Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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September 5, 2008

Harkin Requests Proof of Loss Waiver for Iowans With Flood Insurance

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) joined senators from other Midwestern states, including Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), today in asking the Federal Emergency Management  Agency (FEMA) to waive the filing deadline for claims for flood-insured buildings in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and Wisconsin that were damaged by the recent flooding. FEMA requires those with flood insurance to submit a Proof of Loss (POL) as part of their claim package within 60 days of the loss. Though a 60 day extension has already been granted, there is recent precedent for granting a waiver to ensure those affected do not have to go through additional steps to receive their claim.

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September 3, 2008

Harkin, Grassley Urge HUD to Release Disaster Funding for Iowa Housing Needs

Iowa Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley today urged the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to take the actions necessary to release funding that was allocated to Iowa on August 4 for disaster-related needs.  In a letter to HUD Secretary Steve Preston, the lawmakers expressed concern about the delay in releasing emergency Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) funding, which can be used for home buyouts, public infrastructure projects and flood mitigation.

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