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From The Blog

Celebrating AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary

September 12, 2014

Serving others and giving back to our communities are some of the most important things we can do as American citizens. One way to get involved in our communities is AmeriCorps, a service-minded program that provides vital supports that help strengthen communities across the country and in Iowa. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the program that works to preserve and protect our environment, help clean up communities in need of disaster recovery, and serve low-income areas across the country. Each year, more than 1,000 Iowa residents serve in AmeriCorps programs that help build strong communities across the state. Since 1994, Iowans have served more than 12 million hours and have qualified for student loan repayment and scholarships totaling more than $27,000,000.

VIDEO: At Committee Hearing, Harkin Says We Have a Humanitarian Crisis

July 11, 2014

At a Senate Appropriations hearing yesterday, Senator Harkin spoke out about the humanitarian need to provide care and basic protections for the children fleeing severe gang and drug violence in their home countries. Harkin, a lifelong defender of human rights, said that our country should be focused on the best interests of these children. He spoke out in support of a funding request to address the crisis and help with the humanitarian needs of the children in the short-term.

On World Day Against Child Labor, Harkin Urges Largest Tobacco Companies to Prohibit Child Labor in the Supply Chain

June 12, 2014

Today, on World Day Against Child Labor, Senator Tom Harkin led a group of 17 Senators in sending a letter to the ten largest tobacco companies urging them to prohibit child labor in their supply chain. The letter comes on the heels of a recent Human Rights Watch report that found that nearly three-quarters of the child tobacco workers in the four largest tobacco-producing states had experienced the sudden onset of serious symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and irritation to their eyes and mouths; while working on tobacco fields and in curing barns. Many of these symptoms are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning. He also delivered a speech on the Senate floor to bring attention to the millions of children across the globe who continue to be trapped in forced and abusive labor, often in extremely hazardous conditions. Harkin is a life-long defender of human rights. Click here to watch Harkin’s speech, and here to learn more about the letter.

WATCH: Harkin Announces Funding to Expand Early Head Start Programs

June 11, 2014

Under a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), early childhood providers in Iowa will be able to apply for approximately $3.3 million in new funding to expand Early Head Start and establish new Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. This funding was announced as part of a grant competition by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and possible as a result of Senator Harkin’s work in Congress.

29,163 Iowans signed up for health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act

May 1, 2014

Today, the Obama Administration announced that more than 29,163 Iowans are among the eight million Americans that have signed up for health insurance coverage through the federal and state Marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin played a pivotal role in the passage of the ACA. Since the enactment of the law, many Iowans have written to Senator Harkin with the stories of health coverage they were able to access through Iowa’s Marketplace. Here are two stories that demonstrate how the ACA is achieving its goal – helping millions of Americans access quality, affordable health care for themselves and their families: