Chairman's Press


Alexander: Still Time for Congress to Avoid Student Loan Interest Rate Hike

MARYVILLE, Tenn., July 1-The senior Republican on the U.S. Senate education committee said that if Congress acts next week, there is still time to avoid today's automatic increase in interest rates from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on 40 percent of all new government loans for college students. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that today's rate hike "is completely unnecessary and constitutes congressional malpractice by some Democratic senators who are stubbornly holding out for a short-term politic… Continue Reading


Senate Republicans Call on HHS Secretary Sebelius to Produce Documents, Answer Questions Related to Fundraising

Washington, D.C., June 27 - A group of 28 Republican senators today sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for documents and answers previously requested by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senate Finance Committee Republicans. Alexander and Senate Finance members sent separate letters in May to Secretary Sebelius requesting information on reports that she was fundraising for Enroll America, a private non-profit group working on implementation and pr… Continue Reading


Bipartisan Group of Senators Forge Student Loan Compromise

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Angus King (I-ME), and Tom Carper (D-DE) officially introduced today the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, a compromise bipartisan solution that would avert student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st and provide a permanent solution that would lower and fix interest rates for 100 percent of newly issued student loans. The Student Loan Certainty Act requires that, … Continue Reading


Senators Manchin, Burr, Coburn, Alexander, King Introduce Bipartisan Permanent Student Loan Solution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME) plan to introduce tomorrow a bipartisan compromise, the "Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act," to avert student loan rates from doubling on July 1st and provide a permanent solution that would lower and fix interest rates for 100 percent of newly issued student-loans. Manchin said: "This bipartisan agreement not only makes sure student rates will not doubl… Continue Reading


Alexander: Minimum Wage Hearing Is “On the Wrong Subject: I’d Like to See a Hearing on Creating More Jobs”

Washington, D.C., June 25 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the committee overseeing labor policy, today said the committee's hearing on minimum wage was "on the wrong subject-on fewer jobs-and I'd like to see it on creating more jobs." Alexander said: "My problem with this hearing is that it's a hearing on how to pay fewer people more money instead of how to get more new jobs, which is what we need in this country, with such a high rate of unemployment. I would … Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Hear Case of NLRB Appointments

Washington, D.C., June 24 -U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the committee overseeing labor policy, today released the following statement on the announcement that the Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of the president's January 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board: "It is good news for American workers and employers that the Supreme Court will rule on whether the Senate or the president decides when the Senate is in session. In… Continue Reading


Op-ed by Sen. Alexander and Rep. Roe in USA Today: “Lamar Alexander: Obama appointments unconstitutional”

On January 4, 2012, President Obama made three so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was not in recess. These appointments were unprecedented-no other president has made recess appointments while the Senate was in session. A year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously held that the president's appointments violated the Constitution. The Senate decides when it is in session - not the president. Were it oth… Continue Reading


Probe by Tennessee Senators, Representatives Finds 30 of 98 Medicare Suppliers in Tennessee Not Licensed by State

WASHINGTON- Members of the Tennessee United States congressional delegation today announced that their inquiry into whether the administration awarded Medicare contracts to businesses not licensed in Tennessee has resulted in the finding that 30 of 98 suppliers were not licensed and will have their contracts voided. On May 21, Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), along with Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood), Phil Roe (R-Johnson City), John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Knoxville)… Continue Reading


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

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