Chairman's Press


Tennessee Gets Federal Boost to Fight Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, July 14 - United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged the President to sign the bipartisan conference committee report to reform opioid programs sponsored by Senators Portman (R-Ohio), Ayotte (R-N.H.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Klobuchar (D-Minn.) which passed the United States Senate yesterday. Speaker Ryan signed the conference committee report in a ceremony this morning. "Each year, more than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse or overdose-this is an epidemic ta… Continue Reading


Alexander: Senate Democrats Block $1.1 Billion to Help Save Babies from Zika-Related Birth Defects

"It is inexplicable that Senate Democrats are blocking a bill that would provide millions of dollars to hospitals, public health departments, community health centers, and health care providers in Puerto Rico, simply because some of the money is directed to providers that the Puerto Rican government has deemed Medicaid-eligible in Puerto Rico." WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that Senate Democrats blocked $1.1 billion in emergency funds to help save… Continue Reading


Alexander: The 4 Areas of Proposed Accountability Regulation Most in Need of Overhaul

"I am focused on four areas of the regulation that seem to the most in need of overhaul: the timeline for new state accountability systems, the summative rating system, the requirement for evidence of state academic standards, and the return to high stakes federal tests." WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14 - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today identified four areas most in need of overhaul in the Department of Education's first proposed rule on the new law to fix No Child Left Behind - the timeline… Continue Reading


Senate GOP Labor Committee Leaders Introduce Resolutions to Block Administration Attack on Bipartisan Workplace Wellness Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14 - Top Republicans on the Senate's labor committee today introduced two resolutions to block the administration's attack on workplace wellness programs, which allow employees to save money on their health care premiums by making healthy lifestyle choices. "Wellness programs are the only part of Obamacare that everyone agreed on-everyone except the EEOC," Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: "Congress was clear in its support of wor… Continue Reading


Alexander: Bill Headed to President’s Desk “Will Give Substantial Boost to Those Fighting on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic”

"Each year, more than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse or overdose-this is an epidemic taking more Tennessee lives than car accidents or gunshots do." WASHINGTON, July 13 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged the President to sign bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Portman (R-Ohio), Ayotte (R-N.H.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to reform opioid programs. Alexander noted that "the Senate has also increased funding by 542 percent … Continue Reading


Thune Leads Senate REBOOT Members in Introducing Legislation to Improve Meaningful Use Program

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) today introduced the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Regulatory Relief Act, legislation that would provide regulatory flexibility and hardship relief to providers and hospitals operating under the meaningful use program. "Health information technology, especially the advancements in electronic health records, is an integral part of the… Continue Reading


Alexander: “Senate Should Finish Its Work on 21st Century Cures in September”

"Rarely do we have such an opportunity: it includes support for the President's Precision Medicine initiative and the Vice President's Cancer Moonshot. Speaker Ryan has said that 21st Century Cures is a major part of his health care agenda. Majority Leader McConnell says he wants to pass the bill this year." WASHINGTON, July 11 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the Senate should finish its work on 21st Century Cures in September. "Rarely do we have su… Continue Reading


Alexander: House Passage of Conference Report “Puts Us One Step Closer to Providing a Substantial Boost to Those Fighting on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic”

"This is a bipartisan bill to reform important programs that already passed 94 to 1 in the Senate earlier this year and has had the input and hard work of many members. In addition, over the last three years, we've increased funding for opioids already by 542 percent-that's over five times more than two and a half years ago." WASHINGTON, July 8 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged the United States Senate to support bipartisan legislation to provide a "substa… Continue Reading


Alexander Votes to Establish a National Standard for Informing Consumers about Bioengineered Food

WASHINGTON, July 7 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted for legislation to create a national standard for bioengineered food labeling. "I commend Senator Roberts and Senator Stabenow for reaching a compromise consensus which keeps American consumers informed, and provides much needed clarity to farmers, food manufacturers and producers on how to label bioengineered food. I voted for this legislation because it prevents a patchwork of 50 different state labeli… Continue Reading


Alexander: NIH Announcement Puts Vanderbilt “Front and Center in President’s Precision Medicine Initiative”

WASHINGTON, July 7 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today congratulated Vanderbilt University Medical Center for receiving a $71.6 million grant - the largest it has ever received - to support research for the President's Precision Medicine Initiative. "This puts Vanderbilt's medical facilities front and center in the national drive for the President's Precision Medicine Initiative both in terms of storing the data and conducting the research," said Senator Alexander… Continue Reading


Alexander Urges Nation’s 3.4 Million Teachers to Say: “Mr. Secretary, Keep Your Hands off My Classroom”

"I hope you'll tell [Secretary King]: 'No more national school board. No more 'Mother May I?' waivers. No more telling me how to rate my teachers or whether my school is succeeding or failing.'" WASHINGTON, July 7 - Today Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) was given the National Education Association's "Friend of Education" award at its annual conference in Washington. Alexander told the teachers "the No Child Left Behind era is over; the 'Mother, May I?' waiver era i… Continue Reading


House-Senate Opioid Conference Report Finalized

WASHINGTON, DC - After this morning's meeting of House and Senate opioid conferees, bicameral leaders announced that a conference report has been filed. The conference report will be considered by the House Rules Committee tonight, and is expected to be on the House floor on Friday. Legislative text is available here. To view a copy of the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of the Conference, click here. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate Judiciary … Continue Reading


Alexander Urges Senate, House, and White House to Support Opioid Conference Report, Provide “Substantial Boost to Those Fighting on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic”

"This is a bill to reform important programs. In addition, over the past three years, the Senate appropriators have recommended increased funding for addressing opioid abuse by a factor of seven times, and just today the House majority said it wants to increase funding by 14 times over that same period. We are willing to discuss additional funding, but this is not the place to do it." WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged the United St… Continue Reading


Johnson, Mooney and Alexander Praise Administration Plan to Remove Pain Management Measures from Medicare Payment Calculations

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) commended U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell Wednesday for proposing to remove pain management questions from hospital payment calculations said to contribute to the overprescribing of opioids. "Removing questions from payment calculations that could lead to inappropriate pressure on doctors is a bipartisan, commonsense solution to tackling the enormous challenge… Continue Reading


Alexander: Obama Administration Takes "East Tennessee Common Sense Advice," Will Remove Pain Management Questions from Medicare Payment Calculations

Calls news a big win for Tennessee, as hospital survey questions on pain management are said to contribute to overprescribing of opioids, a concern raised by State Representative Bill Dunn at Knoxville roundtable WASHINGTON, July 6 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today commended U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell for heeding "East Tennessee common-sense advice" to remove from Medicare payment calculations pain management questions … Continue Reading


Alexander: Opioid Abuse Kills More Tennesseans Than Car Accidents or Gunshots

"This is an important bipartisan bill that has had the input and hard work of many members. It was introduced by Senators Whitehouse Portman, Ayotte, and Klobuchar in February of last year and they have 39 additional cosponsors." WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6 - At the start of a House and Senate conference committee convened to reach agreement on legislation to address the opioid abuse crisis, committee member Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urged committee members to get a result "so we can give… Continue Reading


Alexander: Like Humpty Dumpty, Congress Chose Words in Education Law Carefully and They Mean What They Say

"I want to make sure than any regulation you propose about accountability is consistent with the words we chose and the intent of the bill the President signed." WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29 -Senate education chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told Secretary of Education John King that any regulation the department proposes about accountability must be consistent with the words Congress carefully negotiated in writing the law. "Humpty Dumpty said 'When I use a word it means just what I ch… Continue Reading


Alexander: New FDA Cancer Center Brings “Exactly the Kind of Coordination Necessary” to Get More Individualized Treatments and Cures to Patients

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Vice President Biden's announcement of a new Oncology Center of Excellence at the Food and Drug Administration brings "exactly the kind of coordination necessary" to get more individualized treatments and cures to patients. "This new center of excellence is exactly the kind of FDA coordination the Senate health committee voted for by a wide margin this spring - because this coordination is necessar… Continue Reading


Alexander: No Excuse for Democrats’ Partisan Blocking of Funds for Zika Virus and Veterans

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Senate Democrats are letting politics get in the way of providing needed funding to help protect the health of pregnant women and unborn children from the Zika virus and to support veterans programs after they blocked a House-Senate agreement on a fiscal year 2017 funding bill. "Zika is an urgent crisis for pregnant women and women who might soon become pregnant. There's no excuse for Congress to delay its response. This legis… Continue Reading


Alexander: “Persuader” Rule Halted by District Court “Welcome News for American Workplaces”

"A clear reading of the law would suggest that this rule, written like so many rules out of this administration-out of thin air and not grounded in the laws as they were written by Congress-is intended only to boost organized labor." WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the district court's preliminary injunction halting the administration's "persuader" rule is "welcome news for American workplaces." "In boxing, you call this the old… Continue Reading

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