Chairman's Press

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


05.10.13

Senate Passes Landrieu and Alexander Resolution Recognizing 14th Annual National Charter Schools Week

Washington, D.C., May 10 - U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, along with 10 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 14th annual National Charter Schools Week, which lasts from May 5 to May 11 this ye… Continue Reading


05.09.13

Alexander: New Drug Compounding Proposal Will Mean “When You Walk Into a Pharmacy or Facility, It Will Be Clear Who is in Charge”

*** "When we met to discuss this legislation in November, I made it clear that I have a single goal here, or at least a primary goal, and that's to make clear who's on the flagpole, who's accountable, to eliminate any confusion about responsibility." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 9 -At a hearing today (VIDEO HERE) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on proposed drug compounding legislation, Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told an … Continue Reading


05.09.13

Alexander: Senate-Passed Bill Will Lead to “Faster Approvals of Animal Medicines and Lower Costs for Farmers”

Washington, D.C., May 9 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today praised the Senate's passage of the reauthorization Animal Drug User Fee Act and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act. Alexander said: "These programs have reduced the average waiting time for the FDA to approve generic animal drugs by 450 days and eliminated a backlog of applications, meaning farmers get faster access to cheaper and better medici… Continue Reading


05.07.13

Responses of Thomas Perez, nominee for U.S. Secretary of Labor, to Questions for the Record Submitted by Republican Members of the HELP Committee

The following documents are parts I and II of Thomas Perez's responses to questions for the record submitted by Republican members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Part I was received by the committee April 24. Part II, which consists of the members' follow-up questions, was received by the committee on May 3. Please click here to see Part I. Please click here to see Part II.… Continue Reading


05.03.13

Alexander: Medical Device Tax Repeal “Critical to Creating Jobs” for Memphis and Tennessee

MEMPHIS, May 2 - At a press conference in front of Onyx Medical Corp., U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said he'd push for a repeal of the medical device tax and press the Food and Drug Administration to lessen regulatory burdens on the industry, calling it "critical to creating jobs for Memphis and Tennessee." "This burdensome tax on medical devices is already costing Tennesseans jobs and hurting a crucial Memphis industry by increasing costs, stifling investment and ultimately driving u… Continue Reading


05.02.13

Alexander and Landrieu Celebrate National Charter Schools Week

Washington, D.C., May 2 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), co-chairs of the Senate Public Charter Schools Caucus, today expressed strong support for public charter schools and marked the start of the 14th annual National Charter Schools Week, which lasts from May 5 to May 11 this year. Alexander said: "Charter schools give principals the freedom to lead, teachers the freedo… Continue Reading


04.26.13

Alexander Introduces Legislation to Prohibit NLRB from Issuing Decisions with “Quorum of One”

Washington, D.C., April 27 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, along with 11 Republican cosponsors, today introduced a bill to end the stream of decisions and regulations issued by what Alexander calls an invalid National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) "quorum of one," as the other individuals' presence at the board was ruled by a federal court to be unconstitutional. Alexander said: "The NLRB has just one mem… Continue Reading


04.26.13

Harkin, Alexander, Franken, Roberts Release Draft Bill to Make Clear Oversight Responsibilities for Pharmaceutical Compounding, Ensure Safety for Consumers

Washington, D.C., April 26 - Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), with Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and other members of the HELP Committee, today released draft legislation that would improve the safety of compounded human and animal drugs by making clear the compounding oversight responsibilities of state and federal authorities. The draft legislati… Continue Reading


04.25.13

HATCH, ALEXANDER DEMAND ANSWERS ON USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO FUND FOREIGN LABOR UNIONS

WASHINGTON - The top Republicans on the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committees want to know why American taxpayer dollars are being used to promote collective bargaining rights in foreign countries. Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and HELP Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today wrote two separate letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) Acting Secretary Set… Continue Reading


04.25.13

Alexander to HHS Secretary Sebelius: Obamacare’s 30-Hour Workweek is a “Disincentive for Full-time, 40-Hour Employment”

Washington, D.C., April 25 - At a hearing Wednesday of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the health care law's definition of a full-time workweek at 30 hours or more was "providing a disincentive for full-time employment." Alexander asked Secretary Sebelius, "Where did the definition that a full-time worker is someone … Continue Reading


04.22.13

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

Washington, DC -U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) as well as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), today unveiled a bipartisan plan to strengthen and improve our nation's drug distribution supply chain. The Senators released a discussion draft of a bill that would improve patient safety by replacing today's patchwork of state product tracing laws with a stro… Continue Reading


04.18.13

Alexander Questions Tom Perez, Nominee for U.S. Secretary of Labor, on Involvement in Dismissal of Whistleblower Case Worth $200 Million to Taxpayers

Washington, D.C., April 18 - At a hearing today of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the nomination of Tom Perez for U.S. Secretary of Labor, Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) questioned the nominee's role in dismissing a whistleblower case during his time at the Department of Justice, and called for Perez to produce additional information and witnesses "essential to the Senate doing its job of advice and consent." Alexander said: "It is the respo… Continue Reading


04.18.13

Senate Adopts Alexander Mental Health Amendment, 95-2

Washington, D.C., April 18 - An amendment offered by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the Chairman of the committee, to reauthorize and improve programs dealing with awareness, prevention, and early identification of mental health problems was accepted today with 95 votes. "This amendment will improve prevention, early intervention, and treatment of mental illness in our sch… Continue Reading


04.17.13

At Senate Hearing, Alexander Praises Nashville Native Derrica Donelson, a Lipscomb University Student Earning Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in 5-Year Program

Washington, D.C., April 17 - At a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), praised Nashville native and Lipscomb University student Derrica Donelson, who is earning a bachelor's and Master's degree in five years, saying Donelson's careful decision-making about her college education suggest she'll "be a great success." "I am pleased to introduce Derrica Donelson, a student at Lipscomb University in Nashv… Continue Reading


04.16.13

GOP Senators Release White Paper on Health IT, Cite Concerns

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) today released a white paper, "REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT," outlining concerns with current federal health information technology (health IT) policy, including increased health care costs, lack of momentum toward interoperability, potential waste and abuse, patient privacy, and long-term… Continue Reading


04.12.13

Alexander Calls on Senate to “Put an End to Decision-Making by Unconstitutionally Appointed Individuals” at NLRB

Washington, D.C., April 12 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement about the House of Representatives vote to bar the National Labor Relations Board from taking any actions that require a quorum until the Senate confirms additional members or the Supreme Court upholds the president's recess appointments: "The Senate should pass the House bill and put an end to decision-maki… Continue Reading


04.11.13

Alexander Asks Administration to Pay Close Attention to Tennessee Health Care Proposal

Washington, D.C., April 11 - At a hearing today of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the new health care law, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) encouraged the Obama administration to review and respond to Tennessee Governor Haslam's request for flexibility in using the federal dollars provided to expand health care coverage to 175,000 Tennesseans under the new health care law. In questions to administration official Gary Cohen, director for the Center for Consum… Continue Reading


04.10.13

Harkin, Alexander Urge Senate to Pass Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10 -Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today urged the Senate to pass the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act, a mental health package passed by the Committee this morning that reauthorizes and improves programs administered by both the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services related to awareness, prevention, and early identification of mental health con… Continue Reading


04.09.13

Senators Introduce the Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today introduced the "Comprehensive Student Loan Protection Act," a bill to provide a permanent solution to the problems created by temporary, arbitrary interest rates on federal student loans. The bill requires that, for each academic year, all newly-issued Stafford, Graduate PLUS, and Parent PLUS loans be set to the U.S. Treasury 10-year borrowing rate plus 3 percentage points. It dire… Continue Reading

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