[SPAM] Latest From Lamar

Senator Lamar Alexander
2017-12-04 19:54:25
Latest from Lamar, Notes from the Senate Desk *Tax reform bill lets Tennesseans keep more of their hard-earned money* Last Friday, the Senate took a critical step toward reducing taxes. This is good for Tennesseans' family incomes in two ways: First, middle-income tax cuts leave more money in the pockets of Tennesseans; Second, taking the handcuffs off job creators will grow the economy, create jobs and raise wages. Now, the Senate and House can work together on our different bills to send the President legislation that can become law before the end of the year. *Last Tuesday, I met with President Trump, where we discussed a bipartisan proposal I worked out with Sen. Murray to help Tennesseans facing health insurance premium increases--especially the roughly 150,000 Tennesseans in the individual market who don't get a government subsidy and are really getting hammered. This legislation is supported by 11 other Republican senators, will prevent a 25 percent increase in premiums by 2020, and will give states like Tennessee more flexibility to further lower rates. President Trump said he supports the Alexander-Murray agreement becoming law by the end of the year. * *The federal government should be the best possible partner for states like Tennessee on the front lines of the opioid crisis that is ravaging our country* Last year, 1,631 Tennesseans died of a drug overdose--12 percent more than the year before--mostly due to an increase in overdoses of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, a pain medication that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and can kill with just a small dose. In the last ten years, Tennessee has seen a nearly 10-fold rise in the incidence of babies born with opioid withdrawal. The opioid crisis is tearing our communities apart, tearing families apart, and posing an enormous challenge to health care providers and law enforcement officials. Last year, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which appropriated $1 billion over two years for state grants to fight opioid abuse, and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which created new programs to address the crisis. This past spring, the administration began issuing grants funded by Cures for states to use to combat the opioid crisis, totaling $485 million to all 50 states. Tennessee is using some of its nearly $14 million to distribute naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose and implement strategies to help reduce the number of babies born who experience withdrawal from opioids. As chairman of the Senate health committee, I held a hearing last Thursday on the opioid crisis to hear from our witnesses whether these laws are helping states make progress in the fight against the opioid crisis, and, if not, why not. *As Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar Can Help Lower Premiums for the 350,000 Tennesseans in the Individual Health Insurance Market* Last Wednesday, I chaired a Senate health committee hearing for Alex Azar, President Trump's nominee to serve as Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services. I urged Mr. Azar, if confirmed, to work with Congress to lower Tennesseans' health insurance premiums and stabilize the individual market in Tennessee. Tennesseans have seen their premiums skyrocket 176 percent in four years and an additional 50 percent this year. This is especially a nightmare for the 150,000 Tennesseans who do not receive a government subsidy to help them pay for their health insurance. Mr. Azar will also be responsible for coordinating a department-wide effort to combat the opioid crisis as well as implementing the 21st Century Cures Act, which will help bring new drugs and treatments to Tennessee patients more quickly. *Last Tuesday, I introduced Jeff Smith at his confirmation hearing to serve as a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors. I was glad to recommend Mr. Smith - his expertise in nuclear energy, his background in management of a large facility, and his understanding of large construction projects will make him an excellent board member for the nation's largest public utility. * *New mercury treatment facility in Oak Ridge will mean safer, cleaner water * On November 20, I spoke at the groundbreaking of a new water treatment facility at Y-12, "Outfall 200," which will help reduce the amount of mercury getting into Tennessee waterways to safe levels and make it possible for cleanup work to begin at Y-12. In May 2013, I made a personal commitment to address one of the biggest problems we have from the Cold War era - mercury contamination - and help fund a solution. I am proud to see the start of this new treatment facility, and I am grateful to all of those who have worked together to get a result. Time to simplify the FAFSA form that 400,000 Tennessee families fill out every year* Last Tuesday, I chaired a hearing in the Senate education committee on simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid--or the FAFSA--that 400,000 Tennessee families fill out every year to apply for federal financial aid for college. I have heard over and over that this 108-question form is difficult to complete and its complexity discourages students from applying at all. Along with Senator Bennet of Colorado, I am completing work on a proposal to reduce the FAFSA from 108 questions to as few as 15 and no more than 25 questions, depending on how you answer questions about your family. We will do this principally by taking the tax information that Americans give to the federal government and incorporating that tax information into the FAFSA. I have also been asked over and over, "If I have already given my tax information to the federal government, why do I have to give it again for the FAFSA?" My answer is that you shouldn't have to. Once is enough. The Senate education committee's first order of business in the new year will be reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, starting with simplifying the FAFSA. *Visiting Washington, D.C., on a Tuesday? Sign up to attend Tennessee Tuesday, the weekly constituent breakfast I host with Senator Corker every week **that the Senate is in session. My office can also arrange tours of the U.S. Capitol and other attractions throughout our nation's capital.* Never give up. 108 in Lamar Alexander's Little Plaid Book * Contact Information: Website: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/ Office Location: Washington, DC Office 455 Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-4944 | Fax: (202) 228-3398 Privacy Policy: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/privacypolicy Unsubscribe: alexander.enews.senate.gov/mail/util.cfm
   

Tax reform bill lets Tennesseans keep more of their hard-earned money

Last Friday, the Senate took a critical step toward reducing taxes. This is good for Tennesseans’ family incomes in two ways: First, middle-income tax cuts leave more money in the pockets of Tennesseans; Second, taking the handcuffs off job creators will grow the economy, create jobs and raise wages. Now, the Senate and House can work together on our different bills to send the President legislation that can become law before the end of the year.

I talk more about what tax reform means for Tennesseans  

Last Tuesday, I met with President Trump, where we discussed a bipartisan proposal I worked out with Sen. Murray to help Tennesseans facing health insurance premium increases—especially the roughly 150,000 Tennesseans in the individual market who don’t get a government subsidy and are really getting hammered. This legislation is supported by 11 other Republican senators, will prevent a 25 percent increase in premiums by 2020, and will give states like Tennessee more flexibility to further lower rates. President Trump said he supports the Alexander-Murray agreement becoming law by the end of the year.  

You can read more about the agreement

The federal government should be the best possible partner for states like Tennessee on the front lines of the opioid crisis that is ravaging our country

Last year, 1,631 Tennesseans died of a drug overdose—12 percent more than the year before—mostly due to an increase in overdoses of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, a pain medication that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and can kill with just a small dose. In the last ten years, Tennessee has seen a nearly 10-fold rise in the incidence of babies born with opioid withdrawal. The opioid crisis is tearing our communities apart, tearing families apart, and posing an enormous challenge to health care providers and law enforcement officials.

Last year, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act, which appropriated $1 billion over two years for state grants to fight opioid abuse, and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which created new programs to address the crisis. This past spring, the administration began issuing grants funded by Cures for states to use to combat the opioid crisis, totaling $485 million to all 50 states. Tennessee is using some of its nearly $14 million to distribute naloxone, a drug that can reverse an overdose and implement strategies to help reduce the number of babies born who experience withdrawal from opioids.

As chairman of the Senate health committee, I on the opioid crisis to hear from our witnesses whether these laws are helping states make progress in the fight against the opioid crisis, and, if not, why not.

I talk more about what this means for Tennessee  

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Washington, DC Office
455 Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4944 | Fax: (202) 228-3398

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