Chairman's Press

10.21.15

Alexander Commends Health Secretary Burwell for Listening to Knoxville-Area Concerns about Epidemic of Painkiller Abuse

"This is a direct response to the concern that State Representative Bill Dunn, law enforcement officials, doctors and community leaders in Knoxville had about whether the patient satisfaction survey actually encouraged the overprescribing of painkilling opioids." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 20 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today commended U.S. health department Secretary Sylvia Burwell for listening to Knoxville-area concerns about painkillers, following news that the pres… Continue Reading


10.06.15

Alexander: Rushing Stage 3 Rule of Electronic Health Records Program a “Disservice to More than 500,000 Doctors, Thousands of Hospitals and Millions of Patients”

"The administration has a tin ear. We asked: 'Why spend a year modifying rushed up mistakes? Why not spend a year getting it right in the first place?' They listened but they did not hear." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6 - The chairman of the Senate health committee today said that in rushing its rule for the third stage of the electronic health records program, the administration "is doing a disservice to more than 500,000 doctors, thousands of hospitals, and millions of patie… Continue Reading


10.06.15

Alexander Calls on Democrats to Help Reverse Labor Decision that Will “Steal the American Dream” From Owners of 780,000 Franchise Businesses, Millions of Contractors

"It is the biggest attack on the opportunity for small businessmen and women in this country to make their way into the middle class that we've seen in a long, long time." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., October 6 - The chairman of the Senate labor committee today urged Senate Democrats to support legislation to roll back a recent National Labor Relations Board decision he said may "steal the American dream from owners of the nation's 780,000 franchise businesses and millions of contractor… Continue Reading


10.02.15

Alexander Statement on Secretary Arne Duncan

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 2 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the announcement that Education Secretary Arne Duncan will step down in December: "Arne Duncan was one of the president's best appointments. He has a big heart, cares about children, and I have enjoyed working with him. When we disagree, it is usually because he believes the path to effective teaching, higher standards, and real accountability is through Washington, DC,… Continue Reading


10.01.15

Alexander to Administration: 5 Reasons to Take More Time Before Making Final the Stage 3 Rule for the Electronic Health Records Program

"Making [this program] succeed is essential to the biomedical research and innovation legislation we hope to finish this year." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 1 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today gave administration officials five reasons to take more time before making final the stage 3 rule of the federal government's program to require doctors and hospitals to create electronic health records systems "The whole purpose of this program is to benefit… Continue Reading


09.30.15

Committee Passes Alexander, Murray Bill to Help Prevent Suicide, Increase Early Identification of Mental Illness

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 30 - The chairman and ranking member of the Senate health committee today urged Senate passage of their legislation to extend programs to help prevent suicide among youths, ensure the nation's health care system is better prepared to provide support to children and families in the wake of traumatic events, and equip teachers and others to recognize and understand mental illness. The Senate health committee today passed their bill, the Mental Health Awareness and Impr… Continue Reading


09.30.15

GAO Report: Government’s Electronic Health Records Program Actually Slowing Down Data Sharing Between Doctors and Hospitals

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 30 - A study done by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), known as the "Congressional Watchdog," revealed that the federal government's program to require doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health records systems is actually standing in the way of interoperability-that is, the critical exchange of data and communication between electronic health records systems. The GAO conducted the study at the request of Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (… Continue Reading


09.30.15

Alexander: Senate Advances Bill That Would Address Tennessee's Tenfold Increase in Infants Born Addicted to Drugs

"This bill will help ensure that federal programs are more effective in helping pregnant women struggling with opioid use disorders, so that they get the help they need and have healthy babies." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., September 30 - Citing a tenfold increase in Tennessee of infants born addicted to, or suffering health problems from, drugs like painkillers and heroin, the chairman of the Senate health committee today urged full Senate passage of legislation he says would "help p… Continue Reading


09.29.15

Senate Committee Chairmen Urge Administration to Immediately Adopt Stage Two Modifications for Electronic Health Records Program, Make Rules for Stage Three Final No Sooner Than 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two Senate committee chairmen urged the administration to immediately adopt stage two modifications for the federal government's program to require doctors and hospitals to create electronic health records systems and make the rules for stage three final no sooner than January 1, 2017. The call from U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) comes as a bipartisan group of 96 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the House of Representatives in a separate letter t… Continue Reading


09.29.15

Senators Challenge Department of Labor Regulatory Actions

WASHINGTON, DC - Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) today sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to challenge the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) recent use of an expedited regulatory guidance process rather than a more transparent and deliberative regulatory rule-making process that allows input from the American people. The letter comes less than a week after the Senators participated in… Continue Reading


09.23.15

Alexander: Labor Department Changing Workplace Safety Laws to “Destroy the American Dream for Owners of the Nation’s 780,000 Franchise Locations”

"Since when did OSHA get in the business of trying to figure out if a franchisee and franchisor are joint employers or not? Why does OSHA care about that? Why isn't OSHA interested in health and safety?" - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 23 - The chairman of the Senate labor committee today said the federal agency in charge of enforcing workplace safety may be trying to change workplace safety laws to "destroy the American Dream for owners of the nation's 780,000 franchise locations."… Continue Reading


09.23.15

Alexander: Where Does Department of Education Get Authority to Tell 100,000 Public Schools What to Do About Bullying?

"Bullying is a serious problem. But the United States Senate doesn't agree that the federal government ought to be telling the local school what its bullying policy ought to be. So how does the Department of Education get the right to make a guidance which will be under Title IX, when the head of Title IX thinks everybody she issues a guidance to has to do what she says?" - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 23 - The chairman of the Senate education committee today questioned the authorit… Continue Reading


09.22.15

Small Business Owners Support Legislation to Roll Back Labor Decision that Threatens to “Steal the American Dream from Owners of the Nation’s 780,000 Franchise Businesses and Millions of Contractors”

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 22 - Small business owners and business groups are urging Congress to pass legislation introduced earlier this month by senior Republican lawmakers to roll back the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) "joint employer" decision, which the chairmen of the House and Senate labor committees say "threatens to steal the American dream from owners of the nation's 780,000 franchise businesses and millions of contractors." The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, in… Continue Reading


09.18.15

Alexander, Isakson: Labor Department Must Do More to Keep Job Corps Students Safe

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and employment and workplace safety subcommittee chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) today called for the Department of Labor (DOL) to resolve safety failures in its Job Corps program, after two students were murdered in separate attacks at Job Corps centers this year. The Job Corps program is the nation's largest education and vocational program for at-risk youth. In a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas P… Continue Reading


09.16.15

Alexander Statement on James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 16 - Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act: "It is a top priority of the Senate health committee to reauthorize the legislation that provides health care and support to the September 11th first responders and survivors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has assured us that funds remain available through the first part of ne… Continue Reading


09.16.15

Alexander Calls for Delay of Making Final Rules for Stage Three of Electronic Health Records Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 16 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today called for a delay until January 1, 2017, of making final rules for stage three of the federal government's program to require doctors and hospitals to create electronic health records systems. He said that stage three requirements should then be phased in at a rate that reflects how successfully the program is being implemented. He also said that the modified rules proposed for stage two of the progra… Continue Reading


09.15.15

Alexander Statement on Nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to Head FDA

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 15 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to be the next commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: "Dr. Califf has impressive credentials. The committee will move promptly to consider his nomination. The FDA affects nearly every American and needs the certainty of a strong leader. I look forward to hearing from Dr. Califf specifically on how we can move medical di… Continue Reading


09.14.15

Alexander, Enzi: Immediate Action Needed to Prevent Massive Fraud in Railroad Disability Program

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 14 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and retirement security subcommittee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today called on the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to take immediate action to prevent fraud and abuse in its occupational disability program. In 2008, a New York Times investigative report identified widespread fraud in the occupational disability program in which almost every career Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) employee collected an occup… Continue Reading


09.09.15

Legislation Will Roll Back Labor Decision that “Threatens to Steal the American Dream from Owners of the Nation’s 780,000 Franchise Businesses and Millions of Contractors”

NLRB's new "joint employer" standard "would make big businesses bigger and the middle class smaller by discouraging companies from franchising and subcontracting work" Washington, D.C., September 9 - Senior Republican lawmakers today introduced legislation to roll back the National Labor Relations Board's "joint employer" decision, which the chairmen of the House and Senate labor committees say "threatens to steal the American dream from owners of the nation's 780,000 franchise businesses and… Continue Reading


09.04.15

Alexander: Tennessee to Get “Big Boost” in Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Affecting About 5 Percent of Tennesseans

* * * "Tennessee has been working hard to fight this fast-growing drug problem, but we are losing more than a thousand Tennesseans a year to drug overdose." -Lamar Alexander KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 4 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Tennessee will get a "big boost" in its fight against prescription drug abuse, an epidemic affecting about five percent of Tennesseans. The state ranks third in the nation for prescription drug abuse and 12th in the natio… Continue Reading

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