Chairman's Press

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


04.09.13

Alexander Statement on President’s Nominations to National Labor Relations Board

Washington, D.C., April 9 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement on the president's announcement that he intends to nominate Harry I. Johnson, III and Philip A. Miscimarra, and renominate Mark Gaston Pearce, to the National Labor Relations Board: "As tradition requires, the president has properly nominated two Republicans to serve on the National Labor Relations Board. It … Continue Reading


04.08.13

Alexander, Burr, Johanns, Coburn, Cornyn Call on Obama Administration to Reexamine Plan to “Undermine Care” by Raising the Cost of In-home Companion Care

Washington, D.C., April 8 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) today urged the administration to reexamine its plan to raise the cost of in-home companion care and perform "a more accurate analysis" to determine the "the actual cost that the proposed rule would have on recipients and caregivers." In a letter to Boris Bershteyn, the acting administrator for the Office of Information and Regulatory… Continue Reading


03.28.13

Alexander, Corker Urge Quick Approval of Governor’s Request for Flexibility to Provide Health Care to 175,000 Tennesseans

March 28 - Tennessee Republican Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker today urged the Obama administration to quickly consider Tennessee Governor Bill 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 a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Alexander and Corker said: "We write to ask that you give timely and speedy consideration to a reques… Continue Reading


03.28.13

Alexander: New Nonpartisan Study is Evidence That Individual Insurance Premiums Will Rise Under Obamacare

Washington, D.C., March 27 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement on a report by the Society of Actuaries that finds insurance claims in the individual market will rise an average 32 percent for Americans and 46.4 percent for Tennesseans, under the new health care law: "This nonpartisan report offers more evidence that what I told the president in 2010 is true: individual… Continue Reading


03.22.13

Alexander Proposes Repealing Tax on Medical Devices, Tennessee’s Top Export Industry

WASHINGTON, March 21 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today sponsored a budget amendment in the U.S. Senate that would repeal what he called a "wasteful federal taxpayer subsidy for unreliable, expensive wind energy" to help pay for the repeal of the federal government's excise tax on medical devices. "This amendment is about ending two damaging tax policies that are costing Americans billions of dollars, and costing Tennesseans good jobs," Alexander said. "It gets rid of a 20-year-old,… Continue Reading


03.22.13

Alexander Amendment Would “Help States and School Districts Pay Teachers More for Teaching Well”

Washington, D.C., March 22 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today introduced an amendment to expand the Teacher Incentive Fund program, which encourages states and school districts to evaluate and reward teachers and principals based on their performance. Alexander said: "The holy grail of education is figuring out a fair system for paying teachers more for teaching well. It's something that states, worki… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Alexander: “Not a Single Cent” Should Go to Enforce Invalid NLRB Decisions

Washington, D.C., March 21 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today offered an amendment to defund the enforcement of any decisions or regulations made by an invalid National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) "quorum" that includes individuals whose presence at the board was ruled by a federal court to be unconstitutional. Alexander said: "The NLRB has just one member today-just one Senate-confirmed, constitutio… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Alexander-Corker Amendment Would End Federal Government’s Practice of Stalling State Requests for Medicaid Flexibility

Washington, D.C., March 21 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today offered a budget amendment to end the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services practice of ignoring and stalling state Medicaid waiver applications, in some instances for years, which has slowed innovations in care for Medicaid patients and impeded states' ability to manage their annual budget process. Ale… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Alexander, McConnell, Landrieu Charter-School Amendment Would Replicate Best Charter Schools

WASHINGTON, March 21 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) today introduced a budget amendment in the U.S. Senate that would support the expansion and replication of charter schools that have a proven record of success. Alexander said: "There are many successful charter schools that are changing students' lives, and it's that success that we need to replicate to reach many more children. These schools give te… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Alexander, Hatch Amendment Would End Obamacare Mandates That Cause “Rate Shock”

Washington, D.C., March 21 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today introduced an amendment to protect consumers, employers, and states from "rate shock" under the new health care law, by allowing states and employers waivers from the law's mandates if those mandates cause individual, small group or employer premiums to rise. Alexander said: "When the health care law is implemented in January, both individuals and businesses will see their insurance pre… Continue Reading


03.21.13

Alexander-Paul School Choice Amendment Allows Federal Dollars to Follow Low-Income Children to Schools They Attend

Washington, D.C., March 21 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) today introduced a school choice amendment that would allow $14.5 billion in existing federal Title I education dollars to follow 11 million low-income children to any accredited school, public or private. The senators said, "Under current law too often these education dollars don't reach the low-income children they're supposed to help. The simplest way to fix this is to allow the $1,300 per child in exi… Continue Reading

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