August 2011 Newsletter

Washington Update

Recently, Sen. Levin called on this year's graduates to help continue Michigan's legacy of innovation; he praised the Senate Armed Services Committee's unanimous approval of a defense bill that will help defend the nation and help Michigan grow; he welcomed President Obama's decision to begin bringing troops home from Afghanistan as a positive step and said conditions justify an even faster draw-down; and he led the Senate debate on the unanimous confirmation of Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.
Class of 2011 Has Essential Role to Play
One of the most exciting and fulfilling parts of my job comes around every year at about this time, when I have the honor of speaking to graduating classes at Michigan schools. It was my privilege this year to speak at two commencements, at Kettering University in Flint and Lansing Community College. The message I conveyed to them is the same message I would give to all our new graduates -- that they are poised to help lead Michigan and the nation in our economic recovery.
Read Sen. Levin's column on the Class of 2011 »
Read his commencement address at Kettering University »
Read his commencement address at Lansing Community College »
Defense Bill Protects Nation, Taxpayers and Troops
The biggest job each year for the Senate Armed Services Committee, which I chair, is crafting the annual National Defense Authorization Act. The committee's recent passage of the bill for the coming fiscal year was a strong bipartisan statement of support for our troops, and it means good things for our nation's security, our taxpayers, and for Michigan.
The Defense Authorization Act is a huge piece of legislation, setting funding levels and establishing policies for all Defense Department and many other national security programs. It is the primary vehicle by which the committee carries out our chief responsibilities: to help ensure that our military is fully capable of defending our nation and its interests; to provide all the support our troops and their families need and deserve; and to be careful stewards of taxpayers' dollars.
It also provides funding and policy support for many programs that tap into Michigan's strengths in manufacturing and research and development, thereby making solid investments in our national security and the Michigan economy.
Read more about the Defense Authorization Act »
Read about Michigan-related provisions of the legislation »
More News from Senator Levin
He welcomed the announcement that troops would begin coming home from Afghanistan and said conditions in Afghanistan justify an even more rapid withdrawal.
He managed the Senate floor debate on the nomination of Leon Panetta as secretary of defense, saying Panetta "will bring a reassuring level of continuity and in-depth experience."
He chaired an Armed Services Committee hearing on new U.S. commanders in Afghanistan and South Korea and for U.S. Special Forces Command.
He introduced bipartisan legislation to boost protections for religious minorities in the Middle East.
He welcomed President Obama's new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
He and Sen. Stabenow welcomed a grant that will boost efforts to promote the renewable fuels industry in Michigan.
He and Sen. Stabenow announced funding for Great Lakes restoration projects.
He welcomed Macomb County student Ola Kaso to Washington, where she testified on important immigration legislation.

Recently, Sen. Levin called for an end to an "era of slashing programs that help middle-class Americans, with no shared sacrifice by the wealthiest among us;" wrote about the benefits of a new partnership to develop manufacturing technology; looked forward to an alliance between the Army and the Department of Energy to develop new ways to power ground vehicles; fought to protect Michigan auto jobs; introduced bills to end tax loopholes and cut the deficit; and marked the passing of Michigan's own former first lady, Betty Ford.

Debt Ceiling Agreement Must Clear Way for Shared Sacrifice

Newsletter Floor StatementWith a vote to approve this bill, which we must, it is my hope that we have reached the high tide of an ideological movement that has sought to hold tax cuts for the wealthy sacred, while imposing increasingly draconian cuts on American families, and threatened economic calamity if that movement did not get its way. The era of slashing programs that help middle-class Americans, with no shared sacrifice by the wealthiest among us, that era must end, and give way to an era in which fairness and balance guide our efforts. Passing this legislation today hopefully will drive us to make that transition.

Read Sen. Levin's statement on the debt ceiling agreement »

Read more about Sen. Levin's commitment to balanced deficit reduction »

Partnership Shows Commitment to Manufacturing


When we think of Michigan's economy, we think of many things: tourists drawn to our lakes and beaches and forests, our developing industries such as biotechnology and alternative fuels, and our thriving agriculture. But more than anything else, we still think of manufacturing. Michigan makes things, and we have for more than a century. Whether it's the world's best cars and trucks, or office furniture, or vehicles and equipment for our defense, Michigan has long boasted world-class manufacturers. Manufacturing will continue to be the beating heart of the Michigan economy long into the future. Indeed it is a growing sector. That's why a new initiative announced by President Obama is good news for our state. The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership will use a whole range of existing federal programs to bring together private industry, academic institutions, and federal agencies to pursue new technologies that will boost manufacturing and provide the jobs working families depend on.

Read Sen. Levin's column on the new manufacturing partnership »

More News from Senator Levin

This newsletter is part of Sen. Levin’s efforts to keep constituents informed about the issues important to them. To contact Sen. Levin, click here.

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