Chairman's Press


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

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 18, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the recent $71.6 million, five-year grant to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) puts Vanderbilt "front and center" in the president's Precision Medicine Initiative to drive treatments and cures tailored to individual's genomic makeup and to expedite research for rare diseases. "Vanderbilt is going to be storing the data and making it useful-helping researchers… Continue Reading


Senate Labor Committee Republicans Call on Administration to Reject “Time-Wasting” Data Collection Proposal

WASHINGTON, August 16 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting the agency to disapprove the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC ) proposal to collect compensation and hours worked data from 61,000 private-sector employers. The senators wrote to express doubt that collecting this information will meet EEOC's stated goal of identifyi… Continue Reading


Alexander Condemns Senate Democrats For Blocking $1.1 Billion in Zika Aid

WASHINGTON, August 13 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement after the Secretary of Health and Human Services formally declared the Zika virus a public health emergency in Puerto Rico: "In July, Senate Republicans attempted to pass a bill that would have provided $1.1 billion to fight Zika by supporting research, vaccine development, mosquito control and social services in affected areas. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats decided to vote against … Continue Reading


Alexander: Obamacare Continues to Spiral Out of Control, Leaving Tennessee Families Facing Unprecedented Insurance Rate Hikes

"Today's unprecedented news that two of the state's biggest health insurers are asking for a second opportunity to increase their rates to stay in business in Tennessee - on top of double digit increases requested earlier this year- is only the most recent proof that Obamacare is spiraling out of control. How can anyone continue to defend this law while they watch it wreak havoc on family budgets - stealing money hardworking Tennesseans had set aside to buy a home or send their child to college … Continue Reading


Senate Education Committee Leaders Urge Secretary King to Provide More Time for States to Develop Their New Accountability Systems

"We believe the timeline we put forth … is what Congress intended when we wrote the new Every Student Succeeds Act. We have heard from teachers, principals, school leaders, district superintendents, chief state school officers, researchers, parents, and other stakeholders that the timeline we set forth in this letter will lead to more effective implementation of the new law." WASHINGTON, August 1 - Senate education committee leaders today requested changes to the Education Department's p… Continue Reading


Alexander: “Mother May I?” Era in K-12 Education Ends Today

WASHINGTON, August 1 - With the expiration today of No Child Left Behind waivers, Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) marked August 1, 2016 as "the end of the 'Mother May I?' era in K-12 education." "Today, the national school board era has come to an end. Today, the "Mother May I?" conditional waivers era in our nation's schools has come to an end. And, as of today, the Education Secretary is required by the law to keep his hands off of our nation's classrooms," said … Continue Reading


Alexander: FDA is Exactly Right to Keep Your Fitbit, Weight Watchers App Free of Government Red Tape

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 28 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is "exactly right to keep your Fitbit or Weight Watchers app free of unnecessary government oversight and red tape." "The recent surge of innovative fitness trackers and mobile health apps is good news for Americans who want to take an active role in monitoring and improving their own health," said Alexander. "I'm glad to see that the FDA recognizes this and h… Continue Reading


Alexander: New Law Gives Tennessee Boost on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, July 25 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said bipartisan opioids legislation signed into law by President Obama will provide a "substantial boost to states like Tennessee, which are on the front lines of our nation's 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. The way to fight this epidemic is not to wage a distant battl… Continue Reading


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

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