Chairman's Press


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


Alexander: Tennessean’s Miraculous Eyesight Recovery Underscores Need for Congress to Pass 21st Century Cures Now

"Why on earth would we not take this opportunity to get a result for millions of Americans who want to find a cure for cancer, get electronic health records systems out of the ditch, and spur cures and treatments, especially for rare pediatric diseases and antibiotic-resistant superbugs?" WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23 - Senate health chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the miraculous eyesight recovery of Tennessean Doug Oliver underscores the need for passage of 21st Century Cures to "unl… Continue Reading


Alexander: Congress Needs to Enact Reforms to Ensure Seniors Can Count on Medicare to Pay Their Hospital Bills

WASHINGTON, June 22 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that today's Medicare Trustees Report projecting that the program will become fiscally insolvent by 2028 - two years earlier than last year's projection - is proof that Congress needs to "act now to make sure seniors can count on Medicare to pay their hospital bills." "Today's report is yet another reminder that as millions of Americans are counting the days until they are eligible for Medicare, the program so… Continue Reading


Alexander to Administration: Follow Law that Allows Working Parents to Choose Child Care Best for Their Child

"The whole purpose of the law was to make these sort of Pell grants for early education. It would give working parents a choice of providers. And they might be public, they might be private, they could even be sponsored by religious institutions. And that's worked very well." WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15 - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told the administration to follow the bipartisan 2014 law that says that parents should be allowed to choose the child care best for their child. At a h… Continue Reading


Burr, Alexander: Government Watchdog Finds FDA Lacks Plan to Keep Pace with Science, Efficiently Review Life-Saving Medical Products

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15 - Senior members of the Senate health committee today released two separate reports from the government's independent watchdog finding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks a clear plan to help the agency keep pace with the science behind the drugs and medical devices it regulates and to ensure its three centers are working together to efficiently review life-saving medical products. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: "These reports… Continue Reading


Alexander Amendment Would Stop Obama Administration’s “Time-Wasting” Data Collection Rule it Plans to Impose on 61,000 Employers

"This amendment will block the EEOC from implementing its rule-hopefully inspiring the commission to refocus on more worthwhile tasks like its massive backlog of more than 76,000 unresolved workplace discrimination cases." WASHINGTON, June 15 - The chairman of the Senate labor committee today filed an amendment to block the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from implementing its proposal to increase by 20 times the employment data it currently collects from each of the 61,000 priva… Continue Reading


Alexander to Tennessee School Board Members: "New Education Law Puts Tennessee Back in Charge of Its Classrooms"

"We have reversed the trend toward a national school board and are moving decisions out of Washington into the hands of classrooms, teachers and parents." WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today welcomed members of the Tennessee School Boards Association to his Washington office. He told the members, "Tennessee public school classrooms are back in the hands of Tennesseans thanks to the new education law that repeals the federal Common Core mandate, reverses t… Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennessee Rates Skyrocket Due to Obamacare

WASHINGTON, June 11 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on reports that Tennessee insurance companies will have to raise health insurance premiums by as much as 62 percent next year, as a result of increased costs due to Obamacare: "Six years ago, at the White House Summit, on behalf of congressional republicans, I told the president we needed to go step-by-step to expand access to quality health insurance with the goal of reducing hea… Continue Reading


Flake, Alexander Introduce Resolution to Halt Big Labor-Backed Persuader Rule

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced S.J. Res. 35, a resolution that would permanently halt the implementation of a final Department of Labor (DOL) "persuader rule" which benefits Big Labor by arbitrarily placing costly and onerous mandates on small businesses that consult with attorneys or labor relations experts during union organizing drives. The overtly-biased rule would exempt labor unions from those mandates. DOL's persuader rul… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Inspector General Alert that FDA’s Slow Food Recall Process Puts Americans at Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 9 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on today's inspector general early alert that the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) lack of effective and efficient food recall procedures left Americans "at risk of illness or death." "It's the job of the FDA to ensure that when we go to the grocery store, the foods we buy won't make our families sick. Today's alert tells us that the FDA isn't doing enough to prioritize i… Continue Reading


Alexander Votes for Bill to Restore Year-Round Pell Grants, Calling it “the Most Important News for College Students from Congress So Far This Year”

WASHINGTON, June 9 - Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted for the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which restores year-round Pell grant availability, and provides additional support for advances in biomedical research. "If passed by the full senate, this will be the most important news for college students out of the Congress so far this year. I voted for this l… Continue Reading


Isakson, Alexander Call Obama’s Fiduciary Rule Decision Another Big Government Mistake

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., released the following statements in response to President Obama's veto today of their resolution that would have preserved access to retirement planning for middle income American families by preventing the Department of Labor from implementing its complex and burdensome "fiduciary rule." "President Obama's entire legacy has been about taking away decision-making from hardworking Americans," said Isakson, chairman … Continue Reading


Alexander: Restoring Year-Round Pell Will Be Biggest News in Higher Education So Far This Year

WASHINGTON, June 7 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that restoring year-round Pell grants in the appropriations process "would be the most important news in higher education so far this year." In the FAST Act introduced last year, Alexander and Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) proposed allowing students to use Pell grants year-round. Alexander said, at an Appropriations subcommittee markup this morning: "This bill is a good example of the Appropriations… Continue Reading

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