Ranking Member's Press


Alexander: Apprenticeship Programs Can Help Close Skills Gap That is Leaving Millions of Jobs Unfilled

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 15 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after President Trump signed an executive order that will expand and increase funding for Department of Labor apprenticeship programs: "In today's rapidly changing workplace, the challenge for Americans is acquiring the skills they need to adapt and to find, keep, or create a job-and apprenticeship programs are an important way for students to get that valuable real-wor… Continue Reading


GOP Senators Introduce Bill to Reverse NLRB Ambush Elections Rule that Forces Employees to Vote Before They Know What's Going On

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14 - Senate labor committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today led 15 Republican senators in introducing legislation that will protect the rights of workers and employers by rolling back the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) controversial ambush election rule. "The ambush elections rule forces union elections in as little as 11 days-before an employer and many employees even have a chance to figure out what is going on," said Alexander. "The rule also threaten… Continue Reading


Alexander: Americans Want to Know Who Pays for Prescription Drugs and Where That Money Goes

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13 - United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today chaired a bipartisan Senate health committee hearing to examine the path a FDA-approved prescription drug takes from the manufacturer to patient, and how this path affects what the patient pays, saying "Americans want to know who pays for prescription drugs and where that money goes." "More than 4 billion prescriptions are written for drugs each year for Americans who then receive those drugs at 60,000 drug stores… Continue Reading


On Eve of Rule Implementation, Isakson Continues Fight for Affordable Retirement Planning for Hardworking Americans Reintroduces legislation to stop big-government ‘fiduciary rule’

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today reintroduced legislation to fight implementation of a misguided, big-government Obama-era rule that is scheduled to take effect tomorrow, June 9, that would harm retirement planning access for hardworking Americans. Known as the "fiduciary rule" and found in the fine print of hundreds of pages of U.S. Department of Labor regulations, the Obama administration's labor department sought to redefine the word "fiduciary." Fallout from this misgu… Continue Reading


Alexander Praises House Energy and Commerce Committee Unanimous Passage of “Vital” FDA User Fee Agreements

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2017 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) released the following statement after the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed - by a vote of 54-0 - bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) user fee agreements: "If you have a family member with cancer, or Alzheimer's, or diabetes, you want the FDA to move as quickly as it can to get safe drugs and devices through the regulatory process into patients' medicine cabinet… Continue Reading


Alexander: Secretary Acosta Begins Rollback of Obama-era Assault on Franchise Model, Restores Focus to Worker Protections

WASHINGTON, June 7 - The Senate labor committee chairman today praised the decision by Labor Secretary Acosta to withdraw Obama administration guidance that had instructed investigators with the Wage and Hour Administration - which is focused on worker protections - to instead ask questions to determine whether a franchisee and franchisor are joint employers. "Secretary Acosta was absolutely right to withdraw this guidance and restore wage and hour investigators' focus on worker protections. … Continue Reading


Alexander: Francis Collins Continuing to Head NIH is “Good News for the Country”

WASHINGTON, June 6 - The chairman of the Senate health committee today released the following statement about the announcement that President Trump will retain Francis Collins as the director of the National Institutes of Health: "This is good news for the country and one of President Trump's best appointments. There's nobody better qualified than Francis Collins to help accelerate the medical miracles that have the potential to help virtually every American family." ###… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on President's Selection of Peter Oppenheim to Serve at Department of Education

WASHINGTON, June 6 - Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on President Trump's selection of Peter Oppenheim to serve as Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education: "Peter Oppenheim is the kind of hardworking and thoughtful person who knows how to get a result. He navigated some of the most difficult turns in the bill fixing No Child Left Behind, and helped us reach 85 votes in the Senate. While I will be sorr… Continue Reading


Alexander: Lifting of FDA Hiring Freeze Meets a Top Bipartisan Senate Priority

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2017 - The chairman of the Senate health committee today said lifting the hiring freeze at the Food and Drug Administration meets a top bipartisan Senate priority in the 21st Century Cures law. "We asked the Food and Drug Administration last year to tell us the single most important thing we could do to help move safe drugs and devices more quickly into patients' medicine cabinets and doctors' offices. And they said it was to allow them to hire talented people and pay … Continue Reading


Isakson Reintroduces Legislation to Restore Traditional Workplace Election Rules

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today reintroduced legislation that would reverse a federal labor board's Obama-era decision that allows unions to handpick small numbers of employees within a company in hopes of organizing them into small bargaining units, or "micro-unions," that fragment the workplace and make it nearly impossible for employers to manage. Isakson's Representation Fairness Restoration Act, S.1217, would reinstate a nearly 80-year-old standard for determining wh… Continue Reading


Alexander: Senate Health Committee Advances “Critical” Bipartisan FDA User Fee Agreements

WASHINGTON, May 11 - The Senate's health committee today overwhelmingly approved-by a vote of 21 to 2-the bipartisan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization Act of 2017-legislation sponsored by Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that includes four different user fee agreements that must be reauthorized by Sept. 30. The legislation is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. "Today our committee took an important step in the timely reau… Continue Reading


FDA User Fee Markup Delayed Temporarily, Will be Rescheduled Promptly

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10 - The Senate health committee markup of the Food and Drug Administration user fee reauthorization scheduled for 10 a.m. today has been delayed temporarily. The HELP Committee has been working in a bipartisan way for 15 months on the FDA user fee agreements, and Chairman Alexander, after conferring with Ranking Member Murray, has postponed this morning's markup because all Democrats are attending a meeting of the Democrat Caucus. Senators Alexander and Murray have agre… Continue Reading


Alexander: FDA Commissioner Gottlieb “Will Help American Families Benefit from Promise of 21st Century Cures”

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 9 - Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that Dr. Scott Gottlieb, confirmed by the Senate today by a vote of 57-42 to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "will help American families benefit from the promise of 21st Century Cures." "The FDA has always been important-but there has never been a more important time for the agency," Alexander said. "Under Dr. Gottlieb's leadership, the FDA can capitalize on the significant funding Congress h… Continue Reading


Alexander: Senate Now Poised to Confirm Dr. Scott Gottlieb to Lead the FDA

WASHINGTON, May 8 -Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the Senate is now poised to confirm Dr. Scott Gottlieb to serve as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the Senate today voted to end debate on his nomination. "With the remarkable discoveries our nation's researchers are working on, there has never been a more important time to have the right person leading the Food and Drug Administration," said Alexander. "Dr. Gottlieb understands the i… Continue Reading


Alexander Tells Cancer Researchers in Memphis: Congress Just Delivered $2 Billion Increase for Medical Research for 2nd Consecutive Year

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 5, 2017 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today told cancer researchers in Memphis that Congress just delivered a $2 billion increase for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the second consecutive year. "This bill provides a major boost for programs like the 'Cancer Moonshot' to speed cancer research and the Precision Medicine Initiative to develop treatments and cures tailored to a patient's genome," Senate health committee Chairman Alexander… Continue Reading


Alexander: Unless Congress Acts on Health Care Law, 29,000 Memphis Area Residents May Be Unable to Buy Insurance in 2018

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 5, 2017 - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said that unless Congress acts on the health care law, 29,000 Memphis area residents may be unable to buy insurance with their Affordable Care Act subsidy in 2018. "Memphis area residents currently have one choice of insurer on the Affordable Care Act exchange for 2018 - and if the remaining insurer leaves the exchange, these individuals will be left with an Affordable Care Act subsidy that's as useful to them as a bus tic… Continue Reading


Chairman Alexander Statement on Goals for Senate Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 4, 2017 - Senate health committee chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on House passage of the American Health Care Act: "I congratulate the House on passage of its bill. The Senate will now finish work on our bill, but will take the time to get it right. My own goals for a Senate bill include: 1) rescuing the thousands of Tennesseans and millions of Americans who will be trapped in collapsing Affordable Care Act exchanges with few or … Continue Reading


Alexander: Congress Delivers $2 Billion Increase in Funding for Medical Research for 2nd Consecutive Year; Restores Year-Round Pell Grants

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017 - Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill-which today passed the Senate-delivers increased funding for breathtaking advances in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $2 billion for the second consecutive fiscal year. The bill also restores year-round Pell Grants. "This bill provides a major boost for programs like the Cancer Moonshot to speed cancer research, the Prec… Continue Reading


Alexander, Murray to Conduct Rigorous Oversight on Student Aid Tool Outage with Department of Education, Internal Revenue Service

(Washington, D.C.) -Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, respectively sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos yesterday requesting regular briefings from the Department of Education on the outage of the Internal Revenue Service's Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Senators Alexander and Murray also requested the Department put forth an action plan that addresses security co… Continue Reading


Bennet, Alexander Applaud Restoration of Year-Round Pell Grants

Washington, D.C. -U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded the restoration of year-round eligibility for the Pell Grant program in the bipartisan budget deal to fund the government through September 30, 2017. "For years, Senator Alexander and I have worked together to restore funding for year-round Pell Grants," Bennet said. "This common-sense policy will allow college students to continue their coursework during summer months, giving them flexibility to c… Continue Reading

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