Ranking Member's Press


Bipartisan Group of Senate Health Committee Members Introduce Bill to Spur Development of New Non-Addictive Painkiller

WASHINGTON, February 8 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and committee members Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), today introduced legislation to advance urgently needed research to address the opioid crisis. The Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act would provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with more flexible authority to conduct innovative research to increase scientific understanding and lead to w… Continue Reading


Alexander: Senate Democrats Finally Allow Confirmation of Important and Well-Qualified Nominee Overseeing Public Health, Nearly 9 Months After He Was Nominate

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2018-Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Dr. Brett Giroir to serve as Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services: "It is bewildering that Americans were forced to wait nearly nine months for confirmation of this critical and qualified nominee as Senate Democrats filibuster nearly every one of the president's nominees-a… Continue Reading


Alexander: Tennessee on Front Lines as Opioid Crisis Has Caused a “Sharp Increase” in Babies Born in Withdrawal

"Before we turn to today's focus, I wanted to say that later today, I, along with Ranking Member Murray, and Senators Young and Hassan, will introduce legislation to help address the opioid crisis. This committee plans to hold a markup on this bill, as well as other opioids legislation, as soon as the end of March." WASHINGTON, February 8, 2018-Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander today said, that "Tennessee is on the front lines as the opioid crisis has caused what the Tennessee De… Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray Statement on Senate Health Committee's FDA Agenda for the Spring

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2018-U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the committee's Food and Drug Administration agenda for the spring: "We plan to put out a staff discussion draft on cosmetics reform by February 23; plan to mark up a reauthorization of the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Agreements in our committee on February 28; and markup … Continue Reading


Alexander on Making College More Affordable: Simplify Loans, Cut Red Tape, Encourage Innovation and Accountability

"The Appropriations Committee will consider whether Congress should appropriate more taxpayer dollars for student aid, but in the meantime, Congress can also help students afford college by better spending the $28 billion in grants and $92 billion in loans we spend annually. This would mean simplifying student aid, redirecting existing dollars for more Pell grants, helping students complete their degrees more rapidly, and making colleges more accountable for students repaying loans." WASHINGTON… Continue Reading


Alexander Seeks Input on Higher Education Accountability Measures to Ensure Students Receive Degrees Worth Their Time and Money 

WASHINGTON, February 1 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate education committee, today released a staff white paper and asked for feedback on federal accountability concepts and proposals to ensure that students at our 6,000 colleges and universities are receiving degrees worth their time and money. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is working on a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The law dates to 1965 and has been reauthorized ei… Continue Reading


Alexander: Trump Administration’s Proposal Could Finally Make Affordable Health Insurance Available to 11 Million Small Business Men and Women, Such as Tennessee Farmers, Songwriters

WASHINGTON, January 30, 2018-Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that Labor Secretary Acosta's proposed rule on Association Health Plans "could lower the cost of health insurance premiums and finally make affordable health insurance available to the 11 million American small business men and women and their employees or those who work for themselves-like farmers, or songwriters-who today are priced out of our health insurance system." Chairman Alexand… Continue Reading


Alexander: Colleges Should Be More Accountable For Students Not Repaying Loans

"There are two groups of borrowers repaying student loans: nearly half-46 percent - who are repaying on their student loans and a little more than half - 54 percent - who are in default or are not making payments on time… The taxpayer should be concerned not just about borrowers in default, but also about the ones who are not making payments on time." Washington, D.C., January 30, 2018 - At the Senate education committee's fourth hearing this Congress on reauthorizing the Higher Educatio… Continue Reading


Alexander: Frank Brogan Is an “Impressive” Nominee Who Will Oversee Education Law That Restores More Freedom to States

"[The Every Student Succeeds Act] is an especially important law to the members of this committee. We held 27 hearings, spent countless hours working out our differences and reaching a consensus: Continue the law's important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement. This change should produce fewer tests and more appropriate ways to measure … Continue Reading


Alexander: Congress Should Create Environment That Allows Colleges to be as Versatile as Today’s Students

"Our reauthorization and today's hearing is focused on students. Today we will look at how we can help colleges provide an education that works for every student - whether it is an 18-year-old college freshman, a mom returning to school to finish her bachelors while also working full-time, or a 25 year old low-income student who is the first in his family to attend college." WASHINGTON, January 25, 2018-Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Congress should cre… Continue Reading


Alexander Commemorates National School Choice Week 2018

*Click the above photo or follow this link for video of Senate education committee Chairman Alexander discussing school choice* WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 23 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement commemorating National School Choice Week of 2018: "This is school choice week, and for me and others who favor school choice, that means giving low-income families more of the same choices of schools that wealthier families already have for… Continue Reading


Alexander: In Tennessee, Where 3 Children and a Pregnant Mother Have Died from Flu, Flu Season Highlights Need for Preparedness

"The law helps protect us from the full range of public health threats - from natural disasters to bioterror attacks to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Tennessee has seen already heartbreaking stories this winter as the flu has spread across the state and this country." WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2018-Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said, "In Tennessee, where three children and a pregnant mother have already died from the flu, the flu season highlights the… Continue Reading


Alexander: Federal Student Aid System Needs to be Simplified, More Effective

"Today's hearing is to see if we can reach a result on making a more effective system of grants, loans and repayments plans. This is a complicated system for students, which leads to confusion about the aid and repayment options they are eligible for and ultimately makes it harder for them to get that aid." WASHINGTON, January 18, 2017 - Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that the federal student aid system needs to be simplified and made more effective: "… Continue Reading


Alexander: Washington, D.C. Can Help, But Solution to Opioid Crisis is Strong Community

"Here are two things I am hoping to learn… First, when 100 million Americans live with pain, 25 million of them with chronic or severe pain, why is it not a good idea to continue to find the so-called Holy Grail of medicine, a non-addictive pain medicine? And, second, if stronger communities are the ultimate solution to this crisis… what can a central government in Washington do that actually helps?" WASHINGTON, January 9, 2017-Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-T… Continue Reading


Alexander: President Trump is Right to Be Focused on the Needs of Rural Tennessee, Tennessee Farmers

NASHVILLE, January 8, 2018 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined President Trump at the American Farm Bureau Federation convention in Nashville. "The president is absolutely right to be focused on the needs of rural Tennessee and Tennessee farmers. For too long, our farmers have been overregulated and the needs of our rural communities have been ignored," Alexander said. "I am working with the president and with my colleagues in Congress on two issues of urgency to rural Tennes… Continue Reading


Alexander: Proposed Health Insurance Rule Could Lower Costs for up to 11 Million Self-Employed or Small Business Employees

MARYVILLE, January 4, 2018 - Senate health and labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said "the Department of Labor's proposed health insurance rule could make insurance available to 11 million self-employed or small business employees-like farmers, or songwriters, or small businessmen and women-who today are priced out of our health insurance system." Chairman Alexander made his comments after the Department of Labor released its proposed rule to allow more self-employed Amer… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Senator Hatch Announcement

NASHVILLE, January 2, 2018 - United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the announcement by United States Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that he will not seek re-election in 2018: "Orrin Hatch's gift to the Senate and to the country has been his ability to maintain his principled conservatism while working across the aisle to create dozens of laws in health care, education and tax policy and making life better for tens of millions of Americans. That … Continue Reading


Chairman Alexander on 2017: 13 HELP Bills Signed into Law, 32 Trump Nominees Sent to Floor

"I am looking forward to continuing our work next year to help improve the lives of Americans by reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, ensuring states and local communities have the tools they need to combat the opioid crisis, and updating legislation to help our country respond to public health emergencies." WASHINGTON, D.C., December 29, 2017 -Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today remarked on the committee's productive year,… Continue Reading


Alexander, Hatch to Introduce Songwriters Legislation Early Next Year

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2017 - U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today said the Senate will introduce legislation early next year that would help songwriters receive fair market compensation for their creative works and also improve an outdated music licensing process for digital music companies. U.S. Representatives Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY) introduced legislation today in the House of Representatives that takes the first step toward this g… Continue Reading


Alexander, Corker Urge Extension of Critical Medicare Payments for Rural Hospitals in Tennessee

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2017 - United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) requesting the committee extend Medicare payments that are critical to small, rural hospitals in Tennessee. "We are writing to request that you consider including an extension of the low-volume adjustment (LVA) for hospitals with offsets at the same rate the program was funded before its expiration on September 3… Continue Reading

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