Chairman's Press

06.04.13

Op-Ed by Sens. Alexander, Coburn, and Burr in the NY Times: "Stop Playing Politics With College Loans"

WASHINGTON - THIS summer, more than nine million undergraduates will take out an average of $6,700 each in federal loans to pay for college next year. They will borrow, on average, $24,803 to earn their degrees. While this continues to be one of the smartest investments they will ever make, Congress should take one step toward making it an even smarter one. We have introduced a proposal that would get rid of the confusing and arbitrary way interest rates are determined on federal student loans,… Continue Reading


05.31.13

Alexander Statement on 2013 Medicare Trustees Report

*** "It would be a colossal failure of leadership if the president does not take advantage of Republican and Democratic solutions to rescue seniors from the tragedy of a bankrupt Medicare program, such as the proposal Senator Corker and I have made." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 31 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement about this year's Medicare and Social Security T… Continue Reading


05.31.13

Alexander Statement on Student Loan Solution by July 1

Washington, D.C., May 31 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement regarding President Obama's call for Congress to prevent rates on subsidized Stafford Loans from doubling on July 1: "Senate Republicans support a permanent solution that will reduce interest rates for 100 percent of new student loans, not a short-term political fix that reduces rates for 40 percent of new loans. T… Continue Reading


05.30.13

Senate Republicans Call for Inspector General Review of Fundraising Activities at HHS

*** "We believe a systematic, independent investigation of the matter is necessary to confirm the facts in the case, as well as to detail to what extent any laws, regulations, or internal guidance were not adhered to." -Letter to HHS Inspector General Washington, D.C., May 30 -Senate Ranking Members Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) of the Senate Finance Committee, and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) of the Senate Homeland Securit… Continue Reading


05.28.13

Op-ed by Sen. Alexander in The Tennessean: "Bill Will Clarify Oversight of Compounders"

Last year's fungal meningitis outbreak was a nightmare for Tennesseans. Our state alone suffered 152 cases, including 15 deaths. The tragedy would have been much worse if not for the heroism of state officials with the Department of Health who discovered the problem and helped to identify the cause. Their work prevented more people from getting sick and saved countless lives. Last week, the Senate's health committee completed work on legislation I sponsored to try to make sure this never happe… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Op-ed by Sen. Alexander in The Wall Street Journal: "Lamar Alexander: Kathleen Sebelius, Meet Oliver North"

Major news outlets in recent days have reported that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is raising money from the private sector-including from health-care executives-for use by a private entity that is helping to implement ObamaCare. The entity, Enroll America, is run by a former White House aide. The Washington Post quoted an HHS spokesman last week saying, "We requested additional money [from Congress] . . . but we didn't receive any additional funding f… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Alexander Opposes Nominees to NLRB Who Remained on Board After Court Found Their Appointments Unconstitutional

Washington, D.C., May 22 - In a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee vote today on the five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member, opposed the nominations of Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, saying "they have continued to serve, even though the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has said their service is constitutionally invalid." Alexander said: "I oppose the nominations of S… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Senate Health Committee Passes Alexander and Colleagues’ Bill to Fix Responsibility for Safety of Sterile Compounded Drugs

Washington, D.C., May 22 - The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today passed legislation introduced by Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and his colleagues to fix responsibility for the safety of sterile compounded drugs and, Alexander said, "avoid another outbreak like the meningitis nightmare that killed 15 Tennesseans and made more than 150 people in our state sick." The next step is consideration by the full Senate. Alexander said: "This bill is an important ste… Continue Reading


05.22.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Release Report Outlining Urgent Need for Clear Regulatory Guidelines of Drug Compounders as Committee Approves Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, as the HELP Committee approved the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act-legislation that would improve the safety of compounded human drugs by making clear the compounding oversight responsibilities of state and federal authorities-Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Al Franken (D-MN) released a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee staff report outlining the urgent need for a clea… Continue Reading


05.21.13

Tennessee Senators, Representatives Ask for Details on Administration Medicare Policy that Violates Tennessee Law and Harms Tennessee Businesses

WASHINGTON, May 21 - Members of the Tennessee United States congressional delegation today called on the administration to provide details on its policy of awarding Medicare contracts to businesses not licensed in Tennessee, a violation of the administration's bid policy and a violation of Tennessee state law. The members write: "We recently received reports that Medicare awarded DME [Durable Medical Equipment] contracts in Tennessee to suppliers not licensed to serve Medicare beneficiaries in … Continue Reading


05.20.13

Harkin, Alexander Initiate Committee Investigation into Pension Lenders

WASHINGTON-Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, have sent a letter to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), requesting documentation and information that could help the Committee identify Americans who may have been targeted by lenders offering lump-sum payments, with potentially illegally high rates of interest repayment, in exchange for a stake in the borrower's pension… Continue Reading


05.17.13

Alexander Praises Tennessee Businesses’ Efforts to Improve Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

Washington, D.C., May 17 - At a hearing this week of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on addressing the challenges facing individuals with disabilities and removing barriers, Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) recognized efforts among Tennessee businesses to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Alexander said: "The best way to increase access for individuals with disabilities is to ensure that the private sector and government are… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Senate, House Republicans Call on GAO to Investigate Sec. Sebelius’s Solicitation of Funds for Private Non-Profit

Washington, D.C., May 16 - Senate Ranking Members Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) of the Senate Finance Committee, with House Chairmen Fred Upton (R-Mich.) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Dave Camp (R-Mich.) of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, today sent a letter to the Gove… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Alexander Opposes Nominations of “Unconstitutional Appointees” to NLRB

Washington, D.C., May 16 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today said he would oppose the nominations of Sharon Block and Richard Griffin to the National Labor Relations Board because "they continued to decide cases after the federal appellate court unanimously decided they were unconstitutionally appointed." Alexander said: "This is a part of a disturbing pattern of end-runs around Congress, whether it is… Continue Reading


05.16.13

Alexander Opposes Nominee for Labor Secretary

Washington, D.C., May 16 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today voted to oppose moving the nomination of Thomas Perez out of committee and to the Senate floor. Alexander said: "I will oppose voting Mr. Perez out of the HELP Committee for two reasons: Number one, my view of his record raises troubling questions about his actions while at the Department of Justice and his candor in discussing his actions wi… Continue Reading


05.15.13

Bennet, Burr, Harkin, Alexander Introduce Bill to Improve Safety of Nation’s Drug Supply

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen and improve our nation's drug distribution supply chain. The last comprehensive effort to establish safeguards for the drug distribution supply chain was 25 years ago with the passage of The Prescription Drug Marketing … Continue Reading


05.15.13

Harkin, Alexander, Roberts, Franken Introduce Legislation to Clarify Oversight Responsibilities for Pharmaceutical Compounding, Ensure Safety for Consumers

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15-Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), with Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) and other members of the HELP Committee, today introduced legislation- S. 959, the Pharmaceutical Compounding Quality and Accountability Act-that would improve the safety of compounded human and animal drugs by making clear the compounding oversight responsibilitie… Continue Reading


05.14.13

Senate Republicans Call for Hearing on NLRB Budget Request

Washington, D.C., May 14 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, along with 13 Republican senators today sent a letter to Chairman Tom Harkin requesting a committee hearing on the fiscal year 2014 budget request of the National Labor Relations Board, which asks for an increase in funding to accommodate increased hiring at a time the board's caseload "has dropped almost 9 percent." The Senators wrote: "These inc… Continue Reading


05.13.13

Alexander Asks Secretary Sebelius For Details on Fundraising and Coordinating with Private Entities to Implement Health Care Law

*** "If the Department of Health and Human Services closely coordinates with Enroll America and other entities, then the analogy with Iran Contra is strong…Congress had said no, and the administration did it anyway. And that's precisely, it seems to me, what's happening here." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 13 - From the floor of the United States Senate today (VIDEO HERE), U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pens… Continue Reading


05.11.13

Alexander: Sebelius’s Fundraising and Coordinating with Private Entities to Implement Health Care Law “May Be Illegal”

*** "If the secretary or others in her department are fundraising and coordinating the activities of Enroll America and soliciting donations to supplement appropriated funds, then those actions may be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act" - Lamar Alexander NASHVILLE, May 11-U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander said today that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's fundraising and coordinating with private entities to implement the new health care law "may be illeg… Continue Reading

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