Chairman's Press

05.16.16

Alexander: EEOC Workplace “Wellness” Rules Will Make it Harder for Employees to Choose Healthy Lifestyles and Save Money

"Wellness programs are the only part of Obamacare that everyone agreed on-everyone except the EEOC. The administration is in the strange position of disagreeing with itself." WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16 - The Senate health and labor committee chairman today said the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) final rules on workplace wellness programs released today "will make it harder for employees to choose healthy lifestyles and to save money." "Wellness programs are the only part of Oba… Continue Reading


05.13.16

Senators Praise Inclusion of Provision in NDAA to Block Executive Order to Blacklist Contractors

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and Sen. Lamar Alexandar (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) today praised the inclusion of a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) that severely limits the impact of Executive Orde… Continue Reading


05.13.16

Chairman Alexander Statement on Obama Administration Guidance

WASHINGTON, May 13 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the Department of Education's guidance letter to local school districts regarding transgender student's use of school bathrooms: "This is the kind of issue that parents, school boards, communities, students and teachers should be allowed to work out in a practical way with a maximum amount of respect for the individual rights of all students. Insofar as the federal govern… Continue Reading


05.12.16

Alexander: Interest Rate Cuts Will Save 400,000 Tennesseans $1.2 Billion on Student Loans

WASHINGTON, May 12 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that Tennesseans will save $1.2 billion over the next 10 years because legislation passed by Congress in 2013 tied loan rates to the market, and today's market rates are at a record low. Alexander, chairman of the Senate education committee and a former president of the University of Tennessee, said: "Nearly 400,000 Tennessee students are going to have $1.2 billion back in their pockets thanks to our bipartisan bill that est… Continue Reading


05.11.16

Student Loan Rates Drop for Next School Year Thanks to Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act

WASHINGTON, May 11 - The bipartisan group of U.S. senators who sponsored the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 today celebrated the news that student loan rates will drop from 4.29 percent to 3.76 percent, putting money back into the pockets of nearly 6.4 million undergraduate student borrowers. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) sponsored the 2013 legislation that tied student loan interest rates to market rates… Continue Reading


05.11.16

Alexander, Kline: Nonpartisan Government Analysis Confirms Education Department’s Proposed Regulation Is Against the Law

"(The Education Department's) interpretation appears to go beyond what would be required under a plain language reading of the statute." - Congressional Research Service WASHINGTON, May 11 - A new report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) finds the Department of Education's proposed "supplement not supplant" regulation goes beyond "a plain language reading of the statute" and is likely against the law. The CRS report was prepared in response to broad congressional interes… Continue Reading


05.05.16

Alexander: New Education Law Means Blount County is Back in Charge of Its Classrooms

"The Wall Street Journal called the new law the 'largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter century,' which means that control of Blount County schools is back in your hands - and my role is to be your most aggressive defender." MARYVILLE, Tenn., May 5, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told the Blount County Chamber that the new education law fixing No Child Left Behind repeals the federal Common Core mandate, reverses the trend toward a national school boa… Continue Reading


05.04.16

Alexander: Revised Obama Labor Rule Could Increase Tuition at One Tennessee College Nearly $850 per Student

"If the president wants to talk about keeping college costs down, how can he justify a rule that may cost the colleges' students in tuition hikes and cost employees in job cuts?" MARYVILLE, Tennessee, May 4 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander today said that the administration's reported plans to revise its proposed overtime rule "won't do much to protect students from tuition hikes"-as one Tennessee independent college estimated the revised rule could increase tuition by nearly $… Continue Reading


05.04.16

Alexander: Senate Bill to Spur Treatments, Cures for Patients Would Be “Most Important Legislation This Year”

KINGSPORT, Tenn., May 4, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told members of the Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City Chambers of Commerce today that he is working on legislation that would "affect virtually every American and be the most important bill Congress considers this year." "Last August, Nashville resident Douglas Oliver was legally blind and today, he can see. Also today, a Tennessee company is 3-D printing artificial hips, some patients with Cystic Fibrosis are being cured--a… Continue Reading


05.02.16

Alexander, Bennet Resolution Celebrates 17th Annual National Charter Schools Week

WASHINGTON, May 2 - Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), along with 26 cosponsors, today commemorated the 17th annual National Charter Schools Week, which lasts May 1 through May 7 and congratulates the students, parents, teachers, and leaders of our nation's 6,800 charter schools. Senate education committee Chairman Alexander said: "Today, nearly 3 million students attend a charter school - these are schools that give principals the freedom to lead, more teachers th… Continue Reading


04.28.16

Upton, Brooks, Alexander, and Burr to Obama Admin: Hands Off BioShield Special Reserve Fund

WASHINGTON, DC - Concerned with depleting U.S. capabilities to respond to bioterror threats, House and Senate leaders today pressed HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell on plans within the administration's emergency spending request on the Zika virus to raid the BioShield Special Reserve Fund for threats unrelated to our national security. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) spearheaded the effort along with committee member Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), Senate HELP Committee Chai… Continue Reading


04.28.16

Senate REBOOT Members Release Draft Legislation to Improve Meaningful Use Program for Health IT

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 wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt to request feedback on legislation they drafted that would address the ongoing issues with implementation of the meaningful use program for health information techno… Continue Reading


04.25.16

Alexander: New Education Law Restores Control of Tennessee Classrooms to Tennesseans

"The national coalition that worked to pass the law is now working to see that it is implemented as Congress wrote it-a state coalition is just as important." NASHVILLE, April 25 - Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told a room full of Tennessee education leaders, legislators, teachers and students that "Tennessee public school classrooms are back in your hands," thanks to the new education law that fixes No Child Left Behind and restores local control of public schools. Speaking at Belmo… Continue Reading


04.21.16

Senators Introduce Legislation to Aid Rural Hospitals

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced bipartisan, budget-neutral legislation to ensure hospitals are fairly reimbursed for their services by the federal government so they are able to remain open and functioning, especially in underserved and economically struggling regions. The Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act of 2016 (S.2832) would correct a flawed formula that results in disproportionate… Continue Reading


04.21.16

Alexander: Appropriations Committee Advances Bill Directing EEOC to Focus on “Massive” Backlog of 76,000 Unresolved Workplace Discrimination Cases

"Focusing on the backlog will force the agency to focus on its core mission of protecting American workers. Giving the public at least 30 days to comment on any new guidance will help ensure that the agency's guidances are not implemented without giving the public an opportunity to have a say." WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21 - The Senate Appropriations committee today advanced legislation including two priorities offered by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) - one directing the Equal Employment Opportu… Continue Reading


04.20.16

Alexander: Education Negotiators Deserve Thanks for Protecting Classrooms from National School Board

WASHINGTON, April 20 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement in support of the negotiated rulemaking committee members who refused to accept the Education Department's proposed "supplement not supplant" regulation, which goes against the law. "I'm grateful for the hard work of the negotiators who believe the Education Department should follow the law that Congress wrote. I'm sure they are frustrated not to reach a consensus, but they de… Continue Reading


04.19.16

President Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Support Social and Nutrition Services Like ‘Meals on Wheels’ for Nearly 12 Million Seniors

WASHINGTON, April 19 - President Obama today signed into law the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 - bipartisan legislation to support social and nutrition services, from home-delivered meals to senior centers - for nearly 12 million older Americans. Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: "This bipartisan legislation continues services for the nearly 150,000 Tennesseans who rely on programs like Meals on Wheels, or on programs that provide rides to their doctors' appointments or… Continue Reading


04.19.16

President Signs Senate Health Committee-Passed Legislation to Spur Treatments and Cures for Zika

Zika WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19 - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement today on the president's signature of Senate health committee-passed legislation to spur treatments and cures for the Zika virus: "This legislation will help researchers find a faster treatment or cure for the Zika virus that causes heartbreaking birth defects, and I thank Senators Franken, Isakson, Nelson, and Brown for working in a bipartisan way to meet this urgent need. I was glad to support t… Continue Reading


04.18.16

Isakson, Alexander, Enzi Join Forces to Stop Threat to Middle-Income Americans’ Retirement

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a resolution to stop the Obama administration from implementing a harmful new regulation that will have devastating effects on retirement planning by hardworking families and small businesses. On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a rewrite of its definition of a "fiduciary," allegedly to protect individuals from misleading investment advice, but, in practice, … Continue Reading


04.12.16

Senate Health Committee-Passed Legislation to Spur Treatments and Cures for Zika Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12 - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement today as Senate health committee-passed legislation to spur treatments and cures for the Zika virus heads to the president's desk for signature following today's passage in the House: "This legislation will help us take important strides in finding a faster treatment or cure for the Zika virus that appears to be the cause of heartbreaking birth defects, and I thank Senators Franken, Nelson, Isakson and … Continue Reading

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