Chairman's Press


Senators Release Discussion Draft of Bill to Speed FDA Review of Life-Saving Sunscreen Ingredients

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 22 - Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) today released for public comment a draft bill that would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed the review process for life-saving sunscreen ingredients and provide more certainty to makers of over-the-counter drugs. Currently there are eight applications for new sunscreen ingredients - products that are already available to consumers in other countries -… Continue Reading


Alexander: Gallup Poll Shows Americans Don’t Want a National School Board

Nashville, Aug. 20 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement on the Gallup poll released today, which shows the overwhelming majority of Americans believe states or local school boards-not the federal government-should have the greatest influence on what is taught in public schools: "The Obama administration has used the combination of No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and waivers from No Child Left Behind to, in effect, convert itself into a national school boa… Continue Reading


Alexander: IRS Mishandling of Medical Device Tax Hurts Tennessee Companies, Costs Jobs

Washington, D.C., August 19 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) made the following statement on the report today from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on the Internal Revenue Service's inadequate enforcement of the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers. "Tennessee companies have been burdened by the outrageous tax, increasing health care costs and costing jobs for Tennesseans. Today's report showing the IRS has no idea how to implement this job-killing… Continue Reading


Alexander, Kline Call for GAO Study on Education Department’s Waiver Requirements

Washington, D.C., Aug. 12 - Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) today requested a study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Department of Education's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver policies. In a letter to GAO, they wrote, "In 2011, the department began issuing waivers to states regarding s… Continue Reading


Alexander, Hatch Call on Burwell to Immediately Release Guidance on Biosimilar Drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 1 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today led colleagues in calling on the Obama administration to release guidance documents on biosimilar drug approvals. The senators were joined by three Republican members on the Senate health committee, Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Pat Roberts (R- Kan.). In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the senators write: "We write today with concerns about t… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on GAO Report Detailing Administration’s Obamacare Website Failures

Washington, D.C., July 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the report released by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office detailing failures in the administration's oversight of the Obamacare exchange website: "It would be difficult to find a greater litany of mistakes and general carelessness than is contained in this nonpartisan report on the Obamacare rollout. Americans deserve… Continue Reading


Alexander on NLRB General Counsel Ruling McDonald’s Shares Responsibility for Franchisees’ Employees

Washington, D.C., July 29- U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate labor committee, today released the following statement on reports that the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel determined that McDonald's holds joint employer responsibilities of workers at its franchisees' restaurants: "Imagine being an owner of a franchise business and being told that all the employees that you recruit, hire, train, pay, promote, and work alongside day after da… Continue Reading


Alexander: States are Leading in Higher Education Innovation, Washington Getting in the Way

*** "Many states are doing innovative work…. I am interested in how the federal government is getting in the way of state innovation." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., July 24 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, today said the Washington bureaucracy, regulations and mandates are getting in the way of innovation in higher education in the states, which run the public 2- or 4-year institutions that three quarters of Ameri… Continue Reading


Alexander on Federal Appeals Court Striking Down Obamacare Subsidies for Tennesseans, Americans in 36 States

Washington, D.C., July 22 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on a federal appeals court ruling that Americans in 36 states, including Tennessee, cannot receive Obamacare subsidies through the federal exchange: "This is yet more evidence that Obamacare is not working - and cannot work - for the American people. It was an historic mistake. It is time for Democrats and the president to realize thi… Continue Reading


Alexander Cosponsors Bill to Repeal Davis-Bacon Act, Save Taxpayers Billions Each Year

"Enough is enough: For 83 years, this handout to labor unions has meant that, rather than getting the job done for the lowest cost, taxpayers get charged extra on everything from building roads to painting buildings." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., July 17- U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate labor committee, today cosponsored a bill introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, a law mandating a wage subsidy on nearly all fed… Continue Reading


Alexander on Bill to Reverse Hobby Lobby Decision: “Senate Democrats Are Proposing to Carve a Giant Hole Out of America’s Religious Freedom”

"[The Supreme Court's decision] ought to have been a victory for everyone, if it is true in our country that when any American's religious freedom is upheld, all of us benefit." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., Jul 16 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that the Senate Democrats' bill to roll back the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would "carve a giant hole out of America's religious freedom." Alexander said, "Twenty-one years ago the Congress voted to pass the Religious … Continue Reading


GOP Senators to Secretary Perez: Wage Hike at Fast Food Restaurants on Military Bases May Lead to Restaurant Closings

WASHINGTON, July 15 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today led a group of six Republicans on the Senate labor committee in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez asking how the Department of Labor decided to mandate a wage hike at fast food restaurants at federal sites, including military bases. U.S. Military Exchange Service Command officials have warned that "the shift in policy will lead to a number of restaurant closings at our military installations," the senators write … Continue Reading


Alexander Tells Nation’s Governors: “We Need to Stop Washington’s National School Board”

"We need to stop Washington from making it harder for governors to improve their public schools, raise standards, and recruit and keep good teachers." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., July 11 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee and former Tennessee governor, today called on the nation's governors to support legislation that would "end the trend toward a national school board and stop Washington from making it harder for governor… Continue Reading


HELP Committee Senators to HHS: Mishandling of Dangerous Pathogens Calls for Review of Policies and Procedures

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are pressing for answers following three separate incidents in which select agents were reportedly improperly handled, stored, or transferred by federal laboratories at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell today, the lawmakers called for a careful rev… Continue Reading


GAO Undercover Investigation Raises Questions About Pension Advance Companies’ Business Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10-The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the results of an undercover investigation into pension advance companies requested by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member of the HELP Committee. GAO found questionable business practices at companies that, in exchange for a consumer's future pension payments, offer some financially distressed consum… Continue Reading


Overhaul of America’s Job Training Programs Headed to President’s Desk Following Strong Bipartisan Support from Congress

WASHINGTON, July 9 - Legislation to update the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, is headed to the president's desk following overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress. The Senate and House authors of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applauded the passage of the bill, which seeks to update and improve the nation's workforce development system. The legislation was approved today by a vote of 415 to 6 by the House of … Continue Reading


Alexander, Burr, Isakson to National Labor Relations Board: “Congress Never Intended for College Athletes to be Considered Employees”

WASHINGTON, July 3 - Republican members of the Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), today announced that they filed an amicus brief on behalf of Northwestern University for the case now pending before the National Labor Relations Board regarding the unionization of college athletes (Northwestern University v. College Athletes Players Association). "Congress never in… Continue Reading


Alexander on HHS Inspector General Report

NASHVILLE, July 1 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on two new reports by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services that found major systemic problems with verification of eligibility for the Obamacare subsidies: "This report tells us that the administration was more concerned with appearances than getting anything in Obamacare done right. They've allowed millions of… Continue Reading


Alexander: Hobby Lobby Ruling Makes Clear that “Government Cannot Force Americans to Defy Tenets of Their Faith Simply Because They Own a Business”

Washington, D.C., June 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling that the federal government cannot compel employers to provide coverage for abortifacent drugs that violate their religious beliefs: "The Supreme Court's decision today makes clear that the government cannot force Americans to defy the basic tenets of their faith simply because they own a business. I am gla… Continue Reading


Alexander on Supreme Court Ruling on Harris v. Quinn

Washington, D.C., June 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on today's decision by the Supreme Court on Harris v. Quinn, in which the court ruled it unconstitutional for home-based personal care providers who receive Medicaid payments for their work to be forced to pay union fees. "Today's decision is good news for our nation's families, who are now protected from a disturbing union scheme to turn private homes into unionized workplaces," said Alexander, … Continue Reading

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