Senator Stabenow Applauds Vice President Bidens Announcement of Initiative to Strengthen Mental Health Services
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, author of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, today applauded Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of an initiative to establish and expand services for people living with mental illness. The initiative, announced today at a meeting with families of those who died in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, will help expand mental health services available at Community Health Centers. As part of the announcement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $50 million to help construct, expand and improve mental health facilities in rural areas, providing greater access to care for those who need it. Senator Stabenow is Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which has jurisdiction over USDA.
‘Today’s announcement is a critical first step in expanding access to care and strengthening treatment for those who need it,’ said Stabenow. ‘I applaud the administration’s commitment to mental health services and to reduce the stigma around mental illness. Passing our bill to establish federally qualified community mental health centers and paying for mental health services the same way we pay for physical health services is the logical next step following today’s action.’
The Department of Health and Human Services and USDA will each contribute up to $50 million to expand access to mental health services and improve facilities at Community Health Centers and throughout rural America.
One-third of those with mood disorders do not receive treatment of any kind in a given year, and fewer than half of those with severe mental disorders receive any treatment. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. With at least 25% of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan experiencing some type of mental health condition, mental health providers are expected to soon be serving hundreds of thousands of additional veterans.
Sen. Stabenow’s Excellence in Mental Health Act was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators including Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) Chuck, Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The bill is supported by over 50 mental health organizations, veterans organizations and law enforcement organizations including: the National Association of Police Organizations, National Sherriffs Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Mental Health America, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Give An Hour, among many others.
For more information on the Excellence in Mental Health Act, click here.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today congratulated Mary Barra on being named General Motors’ CEO. Ms. Barra succeeds Dan Akerson, who announced that he is stepping down.
Ms. Barra, who will be the first woman to lead a major automobile company, currently serves as GM’s senior vice president for product development. Barra began working for GM in the 1980s and has served in many roles, including vice president of global manufacturing engineering and plant manager of Detroit Hamtramck Assembly.
‘Congratulations to Mary Barra on being named CEO of GM. Ms. Barra has extensive experience and understands the importance of automotive jobs in Michigan and America which will serve her very well in her new role,’ said Stabenow. ‘We also owe Dan Akerson our thanks today for his leadership in the ongoing revival of GM and Detroit. Since its restructuring, GM has invested billions in America and created jobs across Michigan and across the country. The company’s future continues to looks very bright.’
This statement follows the U.S. Department of Treasury’s announcement yesterday that it has sold its remaining shares of General Motors stock.
Following Close of Latest Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks, Senator Stabenow Urges Administration to Address Currency Manipulation
As the latest talks between the countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement closed today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow renewed her call for Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to address foreign currency manipulation in the talks. This most recent round of negotiations did not produce any agreement on currency manipulation, despite the fact that bipartisan majorities in both Houses of Congress support such an agreement.
In September, Sens. Stabenow and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Senate Manufacturing Caucus, led 60 of their Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter urging Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman to address foreign currency manipulation in the TPP and all future trade agreements. ‘It is disappointing that the latest round of international negotiations did not include any agreement on currency manipulation,’ said Stabenow. ‘Illegal foreign currency manipulation has already cost us between one and five million American jobs and we can’t let it destroy more. Sixty Senators agree that going forward, Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman must make addressing currency manipulation a critical component of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.’ A bipartisan group of 230 Representatives also sent a letter to U.S. trade negotiators urging similar action. In both the House and Senate versions of the letter, Members of Congress urged U.S. trade negotiators to stand up for U.S. businesses and workers by including enforceable measures against currency manipulation in trade agreements in order to ensure a level playing field on global trade and to help create jobs here at home.
The Senate letter sent to Sec. Lew and Ambassador Froman was circulated by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and signed by Senators Harkin, Chambliss, Whitehouse, Inhofe, Levin, Murphy, Brown, Klobuchar, Collins, Schumer, Casey, Donnelly, Franken, McCaskill, Sessions, Manchin, Merkley, Coon, Heinrich, Baldwin, Reed, Boxer, Blunt, Pryor, Menendez, Boozman, Rockefeller, Cardin, Coats, Vitter, Markley, Wyden, Burr, Hoeven, Leahy, Tester, Warren, Blumenthal, Udall (NM), Begich, Risch, Mikulski, King, Shaheen, Moran, Sanders, Gillibrand, Heitkamp, Nelson, Portman, Schatz, Roberts, Landrieu, Durbin, Coburn, Grassley, Hirono, and Hagan.
The full text of the Senate letter follows:
Dear Secretary Lew and Ambassador Froman:We agree with the Administration’s stated goal that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has ‘high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement.’ To achieve this, however, we think it is necessary to address one of the 21st century’s most serious trade problems: foreign currency manipulation.
Currency is the medium through which trade occurs and exchange rates determine its comparative value. It is as important to trade outcomes as is the quality of the goods or services traded. Currency manipulation can negate or greatly reduce the benefits of a free trade agreement and may have a devastating impact on American companies and workers.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that foreign currency manipulation has already cost between one and five million American jobs. A free trade agreement purporting to increase trade, but failing to address foreign currency manipulation, could lead to a permanent unfair trade relationship that further harms the United States economy.
As the United States negotiates TPP and all future free trade agreements, we ask that you include strong and enforceable foreign currency manipulation disciplines to ensure these agreements meet the ‘high standards’ our country, America’s companies, and America’s workers deserve.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has revealed to scientists slender dark markings — possibly due to salty water – that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the Martian equator.
Read more here: NASA Mars Spacecraft Reveals a More Dynamic Red Planet
The second meeting of the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps (MCCC) Partnership Steering Committee will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the USDA-NRCS State Office, 3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 250, in East Lansing. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m.
The agenda includes the current status of state funding and plans for state programs in fiscal year 2014, as well as an overview of other programs that have transitioned from a state-run to a non-profit program.
The MCCC Partnership Committee was created by Public Act 576 of 2012. The charge of the committee is to seek out an entity that is willing to establish and operate a Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps.
Anyone seeking more information or needing accommodations to attend this meeting should contact Diane Munson, Parks and Recreation Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, at 517-241-0341 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit the MCCC Partnership Committee website at www.michigan.gov/dnr, under Commissions, Boards and Committees. A copy of the agenda is available on the website.
Washington, DC – Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan youth advocacy organization, is announcing its Millennial Jobs Report for November 2013. The data is non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) and is specific to 18-29 year olds:
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 15.9 percent (NSA). The (U-3) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 10.0 percent (NSA).
The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.844 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is 24.4 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 17.9 percent (NSA).
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics is 16.9 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 10.9 percent (NSA).
The effective (U-6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old women is 13.8 percent (NSA); the (U-3) unemployment rate is 9.5 percent (NSA).
Evan Feinberg, President of Generation Opportunity, issued the following statement:
“The economy has been terrible for young people for five years now, and President Obama has responded by asking my generation to foot the bill for more government spending and pay more for healthcare coverage through Obamacare.
“Thankfully young people know a bad deal when we see one and are overwhelmingly choosing to Opt Out of Obamacare, opposing generational theft.
“This disastrous healthcare law has finally caught up with the President and his approval rating among young people is collapsing alongside Obamacare itself.”
On Wednesday Harvard’s Institute for Politics released a new poll of 18-29 year olds:
41% of 18-29 year olds approve of President Obama’s job performance, the lowest approval rating recorded during his entire presidency
The President’s approval rating has dropped 11 points among this group since the last poll in April 2013
Only 3 out of 10 young Americans (18-29) plan to enroll in the government exchanges.
57% of Millennials disapprove of Obamacare.
Only 18% say Obamacare will improve their care.
If a recall election were held today 52% of young Americans 18-24 would vote to recall President Obama.
Generation Opportunity is a national, non-partisan organization advocating for economic opportunity for young people through less government and more freedom.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s announcement that it has sold its remaining shares of General Motors stock.
‘We stood up for our American workers and fought to save the auto industry,’ said Stabenow. ‘Since the auto rescue in 2009, General Motors has invested nearly $9 billion in the U.S. and created thousands of jobs building award-winning vehicles. It is clear that keeping our auto industry alive was absolutely the right thing to do.’
The auto industry has been a driving force in the continuing economic comeback. Vehicle purchases by consumers accounted for roughly 30 percent of all economic growth in the first half of 2012. The automotive industry employs more than 8 million workers and since mid-2009 the auto industry has added 372,600 jobs. It is estimated that the auto industry accounts for 3-3.5% of GDP. More on the auto rescue can be found here.