Chairman's Press


Alexander: Appropriations Committee Passes Legislation that Supports the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and Our Nation’s Students

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today voted for the fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations legislation, which he said is an example of "the Senate at work," as the ninth appropriations bill ready for consideration by the full Senate. The legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 16 to 14. "Governing… Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray: Full Senate to Begin Debate on Bipartisan Bill to Fix No Child Left Behind on Tuesday, July 7

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's announcement that the Senate would take up their bipartisan agreement to fix No Child Left Behind on Tuesday, July 7, said they look forward to an open debate on the Every Child Achieves Act, which passed unanimously out of committee in April. "The consensus that Senator Murray and I, along with the entire Senate … Continue Reading


17 GOP Lawmakers Call on EEOC to Make Significant Changes to Proposed Rule on Workplace Wellness Programs

WASHINGTON, June 23 - Seventeen Republican lawmakers last week called on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to make significant changes to the agency's proposed rule on workplace wellness programs to ensure the agency does not create any further confusion for employers who want to offer these programs to lower their employees' health insurance costs. On Friday, the lawmakers submitted comments to the agency, writing that the proposed rule on workplace wellness programs "is incon… Continue Reading


Alexander: Accreditation Must Improve, Because Neither Congress nor Department of Education Are Up to the Task of Monitoring Quality

"The Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education, which was commissioned by a bipartisan group of senators on this committee, told us in a detailed report that federal rules and regulations on accreditors have turned the process into federal 'micro-management.'" - Lamar Alexander WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Congress had better find a way to improve the accreditation system that measures and ensures quality … Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray Announce Series of Bipartisan Hearings on Ways to Improve Health Information Technology

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced today's hearing would mark the start of a series of bipartisan hearings on possible solutions to achieve the promise of health IT. The senators announced that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) will chair, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will serve as ranking member, for the committee's next hearing in the series, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will chair a sub… Continue Reading


Alexander: Committee Working to Identify Immediate Solutions to Electronic Health Records Program that has Physicians “Terrified”

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10 - Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today chaired the first in a series of hearings intended to solve problems with the federal government's six-year-old, $30 billion program meant to encourage adoption of electronic health records at doctor's offices and hospitals. Alexander said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in December that already a quarter of a million physicians have not been able to comply with the program's se… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Department of Education’s Corinthian Colleges Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement on the Department of Education's announcement regarding its debt-relief plan for former Corinthian Colleges students: "Students have been hurt, but the department is establishing a precedent that puts taxpayers on the hook for what a college may have done. Later this year in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act the Senate will review and address the right way to… Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray Seek Answers Following Contamination that Led to Indefinite Shutdown of National Institutes of Health Facility

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are seeking answers from Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell today, following news that at least six patients at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center received injections in April from an NIH-manufactured batch of albumin that contained contaminated vials. News of the contamination was released yesterday by NIH, following a Food and Drug Admin… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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