November 2012 Newsletter

Senator Lamar Alexander
2012-11-09 11:30:09
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November 8, 2012

Over the past month, I visited 21 counties across Tennessee to hear what’s on your minds and to share my views on the biggest issues facing our nation. First, we need to address our country’s massive debt and avoid the “fiscal cliff” by reducing spending and preventing one of the biggest tax hikes in history on January 1. Second, far too many decisions are being made in Washington that should be made by our local and state leaders. To solve our problems, we’ll have to work across party lines and get results.


Below are some of the things I’ve been working on in Washington and in Tennessee this past month:


Pressing for answers on meningitis outbreak

The meningitis outbreak has caused illness and death across the nation, but most critically in Tennessee. This is a tragic situation that never should have happened. I am pressing for answers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy, and the New England Compounding Center (NECC). Once the investigations are complete, we will do what needs to be done to try to make sure something like this never happens again.






Lee University choir will be singing at Presidential inauguration

On Thursday, Nov. 1, I announced in an auditorium full of nearly 2,000 Lee University students that a Lee University choir would be singing at the presidential inauguration on January 21, 2013. I issued the invitation on behalf of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, of which I am Vice Chair. The Lee musicians are extraordinary musicians and they will thrill the millions of people watching the inauguration of our president. Lee plans to send its Festival Choir, made up of 200 students selected from the school’s seven choirs.




Recognized by National Association of Manufacturers for pro-growth, pro-jobs record

The National Association of Manufacturers recently honored me with its “NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.” The award recognizes members of Congress who consistently voted with and supported the manufacturing community during the 112th Congress, according to the association. I appreciate this award, because the first question I ask when I look at any legislation is if it will make it easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs. That needs to be our No. 1 priority in Washington. Tennessee’s auto industry is strong because we made it possible for manufacturers to make in the United States what they sell in the United States. While the president’s policies are making that more difficult around the nation, many of us in Congress are working to reverse that trend.


Finding a path to building Chickamauga Lock

A bipartisan group of senators will join me to introduce legislation, called the American Waterworks Act, to modernize America’s ports, locks, and dams, including Chickamauga Lock. Completing Chickamauga Lock is crucial to good Tennessee jobs and will mean 100,000 fewer heavy trucks on I-75. It is, without a doubt, one of the best things we could do to improve road safety while at the same time increasing the amount of goods that come through Tennessee waterways.




Rocky Fork park to grow tourism in Northeast Tennessee

Last month, Governor Haslam and I visited Rocky Fork to announce that 2,000 acres of the Rocky Fork tract will become the state’s 55th state park. This new state park, which will serve as Tennessee’s “Gateway to the Appalachian Trail,” will attract anyone who enjoys the Great American Outdoors to come have a good time, and spend some money to build up the tax base. We have seen this happen in Maryville, Sevierville and Asheville, and there is no reason it can't happen in Unicoi County.


Click Johnson City Press.


Emperor’s Award is for all Tennesseans

I was honored last month with the government of Japan’s “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star,” a national decoration conferred by the Emperor of Japan. I accepted the award on behalf of the people of Tennessee, whose friendship with the Japanese has been a great source of enjoyment to us over the last 30 years and has helped raise our family incomes more than any other event in our state’s recent history.






This is home for me

I sat down with Knoxville's WBIR recently for an interview for its "Homegrown" series, which shares the stories of people born and raised in East Tennessee. I told reporter Beth Haynes that “I’m not a senator from Tennessee, I’m a senator of Tennessee.”


Click here"to see the video.


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