Chairman's Press


Health Committee Republicans Request Details on FDA’s Promotion of the New Health Care Law

Washington, D.C., June 19 - All Republican members of the Senate health committee today sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg requesting details on the agency's promotion of the new health care law, saying, "The upcoming enrollment period and coverage availability under PPACA appear to be outside of your agency's mission to approve and regulate lifesaving medical products in a timely manner and keeping our food supply safe." Senator Lamar Alexand… Continue Reading


Alexander Delivers Weekly Republican Address

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today delivers the Weekly Republican Address, assuring Americans that Senate Republicans "will work hard with the President and the House" on the long-term student loans solution all agree on, while making clear that Republicans have "a major disagreement" with Democrats on K-12 education, saying, "To put it simply, Democrats want a national school board; Republicans favor local control." Alexander is the Ranking Republican on the Senate commi… Continue Reading


Alexander Cosponsors Bill to Protect Workers and Employers from NLRB Decision that Will “Destroy Jobs and Divide Workplaces”

Washington, D.C., June 14 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced he is cosponsoring a bill to reverse the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision establishing a sweeping new legal standard that allows unions to form micro bargaining units, or "micro-unions," for the purposes of collective bargaining with employers. "This bill will protect workers and employers from a decision that will destroy jobs, divide workplaces, and make it harder and more expensive for employers t… Continue Reading


Alexander: Under New Law, “Farmers Will Get Faster Access to Cheaper and Better Animal Medicines, and People Will Be Healthier”

Washington, D.C., June 14 -Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today praised the signing into law of legislation that he said would "reduce farmers' costs by reducing the average waiting time for the FDA to approve generic animal drugs by 450 days and eliminating a backlog of applications." Alexander, the Ranking Republican on the Senate health committee, said of the Animal Drug User Fee Act and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act Reauthorization Act of 2013: "Farmers in Tennessee and across the cou… Continue Reading


Alexander Votes Against “National School Board”

Washington, D.C., June 12 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted against sending to the Senate floor a bill introduced by Senate Democrats that he said would "establish a national school board." In a party-line vote, Democrats voted 12 to 10 to send the bill to the floor. Alexander offered as an alternative a proposal to fix No Child Left Behind, saying, "what we're trying to do is free the states to help children in 100,000 schools meet their needs in individual ways. The real di… Continue Reading


Alexander Votes to Defend States’ Rights on Common Core Education Standards

WASHINGTON, June 12 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) defended states' rights on common core education standards when he voted Tuesday against requiring states to obtain approval from the U.S. secretary of education on their education standards and tests. Referring to the Democratic education bill, the subject of the committee meeting, Alexander said, "If your proposal passed, and the state of Tennessee - which adopted the 'common core' standards before the secretary ever included it in … Continue Reading


Op-ed by Sen. Alexander in National Review Online: "Republicans Want to Free America from Federal Education Mandates"

Over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Education has become so congested with federal mandates that it has become, in effect, a national school board. If you remember the childhood game "Mother, May I?," then you'll have a pretty good sense of how the process works - states must come to Washington to get approval for their plans, determining the education of 50 million students in 100,000 public schools. This congestion of mandates is caused by three things: No Child Left Behind, Race t… Continue Reading


Alexander Offers Plan that Rejects “National School Board,” Restores “Freedom, Flexibility and Choice to States, Local School Districts, Teachers, and Parents”

Washington, D.C., June 11 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today offered a proposal to fix No Child Left Behind, saying, "what we're trying to do is free the states to help children in 100,000 schools meet their needs in individual ways…the real difference is whether we think the responsibility is here in Washington or at home-we believe it's at home." Alexander, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, offered the proposal as an alternative a… Continue Reading


Harkin, Alexander, Burr, Casey Tout New Public Health Law Giving Obama Administration Ability to Respond Quickly to Burgeoning Middle East Respiratory Disease

WASHINGTON, D.C.-U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with Committee members Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Casey (D-PA), today applauded the Obama administration for using its new tools under the recently-reauthorized bipartisan Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) to respond quickly to the burgeoning threat of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Using "… Continue Reading


Health Committee Leaders Urge Senate Vote on Compounding Legislation “to Prevent Further Tragedies”

*** "Last November, FDA Commissioner Hamburg testified, "We have a collective opportunity and responsibility to help prevent further tragedies. If we fail to act, this type of incident will happen again. It is a matter of when, not if, I'm afraid. If we fail to act now, it will only be a matter of time until we're all back in this room asking why more people have died and what could have been done to prevent it.'" - Sens. Harkin, Alexander Washington, D.C., June 9 - The Chairman and … Continue Reading


Health Committee Republicans Call on HHS to Investigate Report that California May Be Concealing Details of Health Exchange Contracts Awarded Using Federal Dollars

Washington, D.C., June 7 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) this week sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, calling for the agency to investigate the recent news report that California may be concealing details of contracts awarded using federal dollars to establish and run its Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange, as well as "whether any ot… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Student Loan Bill Votes

Washington, D.C., June 6 - In a floor speech today [VIDEO HERE] before the Senate vote on the Republican student loan bill which would set all student loan rates to a single market-based rate, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said "we don't have a real disagreement-the House of Representatives has passed a bill based on the same idea, the President of the United States, President Obama, has presented a budget to… Continue Reading


Republican Senators: End Federal Mandates Creating “National School Board”

Washington, D.C., June 6 - Republican senators today introduced a better schools plan that they said would move out of Washington and back to states decisions about whether schools and teachers are succeeding or failing. U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced the "Every Child Ready for College or Career Act"to fix the law known as "No Child Left Behi… Continue Reading


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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