Chairman's Press

06.03.15

Alexander: Stop Telling Students They Can’t Afford College

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that it is easier to pay for college than many think, noting that with federal grants, community college can be free for many students, and with state aid and federal loans, 4-year colleges can be affordable. "The question before us is, can you afford to pay for college? I believe the answer for most Americans is, yes. For millions, two years of college is free…. For most students, four years at a public univer… Continue Reading


06.01.15

Alexander Statement on Health Insurance Rate Increase Requests for 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the announcement of the requests for double-digit rate hikes by four Tennessee health insurance companies, recently submitted to the Tennessee Commissioner of Insurance for approval and posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website earlier today: "The unfortunate reality is, principally because of Obamacare, tens of thousands of Tennesseans who buy ind… Continue Reading


05.29.15

Alexander to Jackson Education Leaders: Senate Education Bill Will Restore Responsibility for schools to Local Officials, Teachers and Parents

* * * "My top priority in Congress this year is to fix No Child Left Behind by restoring responsibility to states and local government, reversing the trend to a national school board and ending Washington's Common Core mandate." - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2015 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate education committee, today hosted a roundtable in Jackson, Tenn., with area education leaders, college presidents, and state officials to discuss his bi… Continue Reading


05.28.15

Alexander Tells National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Working Group that Senate Legislation Will Make Precision Medicine a Reality

*** "Precision medicine-tailoring treatments and cures to individuals-has the potential to affect and improve the life of every American." -Lamar Alexander NASHVILLE, May 28 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined a special session of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop as part of the president's Precision Medicine Initiative, and told participants, including NIH Director Francis Collins, he was working in the Senate to make precision medicine and o… Continue Reading


05.21.15

Alexander, Murray Announce Higher Education Act Reauthorization Working Groups

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced several bipartisan, full committee staff working groups to address four major issues related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: "The Higher Education Act we see today-a nearly 1,000 page law with an equal amount of pages devoted to higher education regulations-is simply the piling up of well-intentioned laws and regulations, done wit… Continue Reading


05.20.15

Alexander: If Colleges Share in the Risk of Student Loan Defaults, They Can Help Reduce Overborrowing—and the Cost of College

*** "If colleges and universities have this incentive, it may not only help students make wiser decisions about borrowing, it could help reduce the cost of college -- thereby reducing debt." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that giving colleges and universities "skin in the game" so they share with taxpayers and students in the risk of student loans could encourage colleges to help students reduce their overborrowing and complete col… Continue Reading


05.19.15

Alexander to EEOC: Agency with Critical Task Has Gotten Far Afield of Mission

"EEOC is spending too much time initiating lawsuits from investigations which were begun without any individual filing a complaint, and with a clear intention by the agency to achieve a maximum amount of publicity." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told the chair and general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that he is concerned the agency is pursuing investigations with no complaints while the backlog of complaints… Continue Reading


05.19.15

Alexander Praises Tennessee and Other State, Federal Health Officials for Quick Response to Deadly 2012 Meningitis Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate health committee, today praised the work of Tennessee and other federal, state, and local health department officials for their swift work that saved 124 lives and prevented thousands of additional infections, during the multistate fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012, according to a study published yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Dr. Marion Kainer's and Dr. April Pettit's … Continue Reading


05.18.15

32 Senators Urge FDA to Provide Clarity to Businesses Before Enforcing Menu Labeling Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) led a bipartisan group of 32 senators in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide clarity to businesses before requiring compliance with its final rule requiring chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments to provide nutrition information on all standard menu items. The FDA's final rule was made public on December 1, 2014, and is currently s… Continue Reading


05.14.15

Alexander to NLRB Chair: Board Seems to be Moving to Undermine State Right-to-Work Laws

*** "I've seen over the last 30 years how our right-to-work law has attracted the auto industry to our state, created competitive industry, good jobs, helped families. … I'm very concerned that this request for briefs on law that has been settled for years suggests to me that the board is thinking about undermining a state like Tennessee's ability to have a right-to-work law." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today q… Continue Reading


05.13.15

Bipartisan Student Loan Reforms Drop Student Loan Rates for Next School Year

WASHINGTON, May 13 - Nearly 8 million undergraduate students next year will see their student loan rates drop from 4.66 percent to 4.29 percent, saving borrowers millions of dollars in interest, according to senators who sponsored the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Joe Manchin (D-Va.) sponsored the legislation that tied student loans to market rates. It became law on August 9, 2013. Senator Ale… Continue Reading


05.13.15

36 Senate Republicans Urge Labor Department to Give Public More Time to Weigh in on Proposed Rule that Could Restrict Access to Retirement Advice

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate labor committee, led a group of 36 Senate Republicans today in a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez requesting an extension of the comment period from 75 days to 120 days on the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed rule to redefine and expand the term "fiduciary," which was posted on April 20. In the letter, the senators request sufficient time for "thorough consideration of all issues and interes… Continue Reading


05.12.15

Senators Introduce Port Transparency Bill in Wake of Prolonged West Coast Ports Strife

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), along with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) today introduced common sense sunshine reforms as a part of S. 1298 to help with early identification of port disruptions caused by labor strife or other factors before they inflict serious damage on businesses and the broader U.S. econom… Continue Reading


05.08.15

Alexander: Congress Showing Bipartisan Interest in “Weeding the Garden” of Bad Laws, Regulations

* * * "Nothing used to make me madder as governor than to look up towards Washington and see some member of Congress coming up with a big idea, holding a press conference, passing a law, taking credit for some great leap forward in sending the bill to me as governor. Then the next thing I know, that congressman would be home in Tennessee at the Lincoln Day Dinner or the Jackson Day Dinner giving a big speech about local control." -- Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8 - In a keynote speec… Continue Reading


05.07.15

Alexander, Lankford Begin Investigation into Federal Agencies’ Use of Regulatory Guidance

*** "We are concerned that federal agencies are increasingly using guidance that appears to create new requirements without the benefit of notice and comment but with the expectation that the public comply." - Senators' letter to agencies WASHINGTON, D.C., May 7 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) today began an investigation into federal agencies' use of guidance, looking into whether agencies are skirting notice and comment laws to create new requirements … Continue Reading


05.06.15

Alexander and Bennet Introduce Resolution Recognizing 16th Annual National Charter Schools Week

Washington, D.C., May 6 - Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) along with 21 cosponsors, this week introduced a resolution congratulating the students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the nation, expressing strong support for public charter schools and marking the 16th annual National Charter Schools Week, which lasts from May 3 to 9 this year. Alexander said: "Charter schools now serve nearly 3 million children throughout the country and… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Alexander: Federal Government Better at Collecting Data from Colleges and Universities than Explaining it to Students

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the government has done a better job of collecting information from colleges and universities than it has in sharing that information with students, and suggested that the federal government should enable its dissemination, rather than try to do it itself. "How do we encourage the dissemination of this information in useful ways? Our temptation often is, 'well here's a problem, we'll fix it.' And we don't fix that… Continue Reading


05.06.15

Senate, House Committee Leaders Urge Passage of Legislation to End NLRB’s Ambush Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6 - After Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a simple up or down vote to override President Obama's veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ambush election rule, Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.), Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and House Health, Employment, L… Continue Reading


05.05.15

Senate Democrats Block Vote on Overriding Veto of Resolution to Stop Ambush Elections Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2015 - Senate Democrats today refused to allow the United States Senate to vote on overriding the president's veto of a Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the National Labor Relations Board's ambush election rule. A Senate majority voted to stop the rule on March 4. A House majority voted to stop the rule on March 19. The president vetoed the resolution on March 31 and Senate Democrats have objected to a simple up or down vote to override this veto. … Continue Reading


05.05.15

Alexander: Failing Electronic Health Records Program May Stand in Way of Precision Medicine

"Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National institutes of Health, has told us that a properly functioning records system is essential both to help assemble the genomes of one million individuals and for doctors to be able to use a patient's genetic information when they write a prescription for individual patients." -Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the "failed promise" of the $28 billion electronic health records program may st… Continue Reading

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