Chairman's Press

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


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

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