Chairman's Press


Alexander, Johnson Lead 44 Senators in Introducing Congressional Review Act to Stop Backward "Time Card" Overtime Rule

WASHINGTON, June 7 - The chairmen of the Senate labor committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee today introduced legislation under the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of the administration's "Time Card Rule," also known as the Overtime Rule, which will have workers punching the clock when they come and go from work and unable to negotiate a flexible work arrangement. It will also cost many colleges millions of dollars per year in additional op… Continue Reading


Senate Adopts Resolution Recognizing May as Mental Health Month

WASHINGTON - Late last night, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution formally recognizing the month of May as Mental Health Month. The resolution was originally introduced by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), along with U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). Earlier this year, the senators introduced the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 to address the country's mental hea… Continue Reading


Senate and House Education Committee Chairmen: ESSA Accountability Regulations Need Close Review

WASHINGTON, May 26 - Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) released the following statements after the Department of Education released its proposed regulation implementing "accountability" provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act. This proposed regulation is the first step of the regulatory process. The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposal. Senator Lam… Continue Reading


Senate Passes Isakson Resolution to Stop Obama Rule Restricting Access to Retirement Planning for American Families, Small Businesses

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate today passed a resolution by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., to stop the Obama administration from implementing a harmful new rule that will restrict access to retirement planning for hardworking families and small businesses. After the Department of Labor released its final rule - which rewrites its definition of the word "fiduciary" - on April 6, 2016, Isakson filed a resolution of disapproval on April 18, 2016, under the Congressional Review Act, along with U… Continue Reading


GOP Senators: Obama Administration Acting Like National School Board with Bathroom Edict

WASHINGTON, May 19 - A group of 25 Republican senators today told the Obama administration that it cannot tell the nation's 100,000 public schools how they must answer the question of which bathrooms, locker rooms and showers transgender students may use. "Every transgender person is someone's child and should be treated with respect. But that does not justify a federal executive agency acting as a national school board telling 100,000 public schools how to resolve this issue," the senators wr… Continue Reading


Alexander: Administration’s ‘Supplement Not Supplant’ Regulation “Raises Grave Questions About What to Expect From Future Regulations”

"This is the very first opportunity the administration has to write regulations on the Every Student Succeeds Act. In my view, they earned an 'F.'…. The effect of this would be to violate the law as implemented since 1970. So the administration may get an "A" for cleverness, but an "F" for following the law." WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18 - The chairman of the Senate education committee today said a regulation proposed by the Education Department on the new education law "raises grave questio… Continue Reading


Alexander: Administration’s Final Overtime Rule Could Increase Annual Tuition at Just One Tennessee Independent College Nearly $850 per Student

"If the president wants to go around talking about keeping college costs down, how can he justify a rule that could cost some students in Tennessee nearly $850 per year in increased tuition?" WASHINGTON, May 18 - The chairman of the Senate labor committee said that the final "Overtime Rule" released today "will hurt Tennessee families paying for college, increasing annual tuition at one Tennessee independent college by an estimated $850 per student," and announced he will soon introduce a Congr… Continue Reading


Senator Alexander Votes to Help Protect Americans from Zika Outbreak, Spur Vaccines and Tests

WASHINGTON, May 17 - The chairman of the Senate's health committee today voted for legislation to help protect Americans from the Zika outbreak with mosquito abatement, vaccine research and health services. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, "Today's vote will help protect mothers and children from the tragic effects of the Zika virus outbreak, by supporting response efforts, like mosquito abatement - as well as research for vaccines and diagnostic tests." He added: "The Zika outbreak hig… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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