Ranking Member's Press


Alexander: Democratic “Gag Rule” on Important Amendments Has Moved from Senate Floor to Committees

*** "Offering amendments on behalf of the people who elected us is a job I'm proud to do. If senators aren't willing to do what they're elected to do, no one is making them be here." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 12 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today called on his Senate colleagues to schedule a markup that was reportedly postponed to avoid forcing senators to vote on amendments to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bi… Continue Reading


Alexander Votes NO on “Wasting a Week on a Political Stunt While Veterans are Standing in Line at Clinics Waiting for Us to Act”

*** "College graduates don't need a $1-a-day subsidy to pay off their $27,000 loan, which is the average for a four-year degree. They need a job." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 11 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, today voted against moving to the Senate Democrats' "political stunt" on student loans, saying the Senate shouldn't "waste time on it when veterans are standing in line waiting for us to take up a bipartisan p… Continue Reading


Alexander: Senate Democrats’ Political Stunt Would Raise Taxes, Increase Debt to Offer $1-a-Day Subsidy on Some Old Student Loans

*** "College graduates don't need a $1-a-day taxpayer subsidy to help pay off a $27,000 loan, which is the average federal loan for four-year degrees. They need a good job." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 9 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee and former U.S. Secretary of Education, said today that Senate Democrats' proposal "raises individual income taxes by $72 billion and could add up to $420 billion in new federal deb… Continue Reading


Alexander: Republicans Want to Work With President on “Real Student Debt Problems”

"Last year, the President and Congress worked together to cut nearly in half interest rates on all new student loans for undergraduates. Hopefully he will work that way again instead of joining Senate Democrats' political stunt to give some former students a $1-a-day subsidy to help pay off loans while raising income taxes by $72 billion and increasing the federal debt by up to $420 billion." -Lamar Alexander Nashville, June 8 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican o… Continue Reading


Praise for Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Improve America’s Workforce Development System

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Since a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators announced a deal to improve the nation's workforce development system through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a broad array of labor, business, and workforce development leaders, as well as governors and mayors from around the country, has expressed support for the proposal. Read a summary of the bill here. Excerpts from letters of support sent to the bipartisan, bicameral group are immediately below, and … Continue Reading


Alexander to Burwell: Republicans Are Ready to Repair Damage Obamacare Has Done

*** "Republicans would like to repair the damage that Obamacare has done. We would like to prevent future damage, and as responsibly and rapidly as we can, we want to move in a different direction to put in place proposals that provide more freedom, more choices, and lower costs. We trust Americans to make those decisions for ourselves. We believe that is the American way." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., June 4 - In a speech on the Senate floor this afternoon, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander … Continue Reading


Alexander, Senate Committee Direct FDA to Meet With Doctors, Patients, Pharmacists on Compounding Law

*** "The purpose of the compounding law is to end confusion and improve communication so we can help prevent another tragic meningitis outbreak. If FDA isn't sitting down with doctors, patients and pharmacists and communicating how it is implementing the law, then I will stay on FDA until it does." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 23 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that, at his request, the Senate Appropriations Committee is directing the Food and Drug Administra… Continue Reading


House, Senate Leaders Press Obama Administration On Backlog of Medicaid Applications Due to HealthCare.gov Challenges

WASHINGTON, DC - Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions yesterday sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, regarding the backlog of Medicaid applications in the states. Due to the technology failures of HealthCare.gov, many states have been forced to complete Medicaid applications by hand, creating a significant backlog. In … Continue Reading


Fincher, Black, Alexander Introduce Legislation to Protect Small Business Employees from Higher Premiums, Job Losses Related to Obamacare

WASHINGTON, May 22 -Representatives Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced legislation to protect small businesses from Obamacare's job-killing mandate to provide employees government-approved health insurance or pay a fine. Fincher said: "Across the 8th District, I've heard from working class men and women who are struggling to make ends meet as their health care premiums have sky-rocketed under Obamacare. This study will pro… Continue Reading


GOP Senators Welcome Administration’s Major Reversal on Electronic Health Records Deadlines

WASHINGTON, May 22 - Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) welcomed the administration's reversal this week on electronic health records deadlines, after officials earlier this year refused to grant providers additional time to comply with regulations as groups nationwide requested. In a proposed rule released Tuesday night, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it would give hospitals and … Continue Reading


Bipartisan, Bicameral Group Announces Deal to Improve American Workforce Development System

(Washington, D.C.) - Today, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers announced that they have reached a deal to improve the nation's workforce development system through new legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The bill, which will now be considered by both the House and Senate, modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, and fosters the modern workforce that evolving American business… Continue Reading


Alexander and Hatch Highlight GAO Report Showing Majority of International Grants at the Department of Labor are Missing Documentation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Member on the HELP Committee, and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, today highlighted a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled, International Labor Grants: Labor Should Improve Management of Key Award Documentation, which found that the Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) has failed to maintain proper documentation for awarded grants. The report, which … Continue Reading


Are ObamaCare Processing Center Employees Being Paid To Do Nothing?

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15 - U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Lamar Alexander, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), sent a letter to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week pressing for information on "an alarming report that hundreds of employees of Serco, a company awarded up to $1.25 billion in federal taxpayer dollars to process paper applica… Continue Reading


Alexander: “No National School Board for 3- and 4-Year Olds”

*** "Under my proposal, in Tennessee, we'd have about $440 million a year. If we were given this kind of flexibility, we could increase the vouchers for child care from 39,000 to 139,000; or the state-funded voluntary preschool program, from 18,000 4-year olds to 109,000; or we could expand Head Start, from 17,000 children to 56,000; we could create Centers of Excellence-otherwise leave to Tennessee to figure out what works best for Tennesseans." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 15 - U… Continue Reading


Alexander Urges Senate Action on Charter Schools Bill to “Help States Give Teachers More Freedom and Children More Choices of Schools”

Nashville, Tenn., May 9 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate education committee, today praised the House of Representatives' passage, by a vote of 360 to 45, of legislation to encourage the replication and expansion of charter schools, and urged Senate action on a similar bill he cosponsored this week. "The House action on charter schools helps states give teachers more freedom and children more choices of schools," Alexander said. "Eighteen senators fr… Continue Reading


Alexander to Burwell: Here’s What Republicans Would Do About Health Care if We Were in Charge

*** "Republicans want to repair the damage Obamacare has done and prevent future damage. As responsibly and rapidly as we can, we want to move in a different direction to put in place proposals that provide more freedom, more choices and lower costs. We trust Americans to make these decisions for ourselves. That is the American Way." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 8 - At a hearing today on the president's nominee for U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Senator Lamar Alex… Continue Reading



WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Mark Kirk R-Ill.; Mary L. Landrieu, D-La. and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. introduced the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act -- which makes smart updates to the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) that provides startup, replication and expansion funding for high-quality public charter schools. This bill aims to improve educational opportunities for all students by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools,… Continue Reading


Alexander: Secretary Sebelius’s Absence Is “More Than Playing Hooky”

*** "We have Article I of the Constitution for a reason. We represent the people for a reason. We are here, ready to do our jobs, and I am extremely disappointed that the secretary of health and human services, who helped write this budget over the last six months, is not here to do her job." -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., May 7 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today (Video HERE) that the absence of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing to answer q… Continue Reading


Alexander: “Congress Says: No National School Board”

*** "Please explain to me how using your waiver authority to place conditions on states about common standards, about performance targets, about teacher evaluation systems that are not otherwise required by federal law and in the case of standards, in my opinion, is prohibited by the law-how does that not amount to, in effect, a national school board?" -Lamar Alexander Washington, D.C., April 30 - At a Senate hearing today, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) pressed Education Secretary Arn… Continue Reading


Alexander Statement on Senate Minimum Wage Vote

Washington, D.C., April 30 - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the committee that oversees labor policy, today released the following statement on his vote against moving to the Democrats' minimum wage proposal: "Surely Senate Democrats could come up with a better jobs program than one that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says would destroy 500,000 jobs," Alexander said. The Congressional Budget Office estimated the Democrats' proposal would reduc… Continue Reading

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