February 27, 2015-
I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve been working on in Tennessee and Washington this past month:
Working to fix No Child Left Behind and getting Washington out of decisions about Common Core
I am working to fix No Child Left Behind. My goal is to stop Washington from interfering with Tennessee’s education standards, including decisions about Common Core, and to improve education for students, families, and communities across the country by returning decisions back to the states – where they belong. Decisions about standards should be left to the states, and Tennessee should have 100 percent of the opportunity to make its own decision about what to do about Common Core – keep it or get rid of it. This is my first priority as chairman of the Senate education committee, and to view the most recent hearings on this bill, click here and here.
I also had the opportunity to meet with members of school boards across Tennessee during their visit to Washington, D.C., during which we discussed No Child Left Behind and what our schools need as we fix this broken law.
Meeting with health officials to address how vaccines save lives
I recently held a Senate health committee hearing on the reemergence of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as the measles outbreak. From smallpox to polio, we have learned that vaccines save lives, yet a troubling number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. At the hearing, I spoke with doctors across the nation who agreed, sound science is this: vaccines save lives. To watch my exchange with Dr. Anne Schuchat, who discussed a fraudulent study connecting the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism, click here. To watch more discussion on this issue, click here and here.
Addressing Washington’s spending problem and setting the right priorities for our country
Earlier this month, President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. Unfortunately this budget fails to address the out-of-control entitlement spending that is driving the federal government’s $18 trillion debt. The president’s budget also fails to set priorities—such as the replacement of Chickamauga Lock. This project supports thousands of jobs and the economy in East Tennessee. At my first hearing as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development, I discussed the critical need for this project and other priorities that the president failed to address despite all his talk of supporting infrastructure. You can watch me discuss this issue at the hearing below, or read more here.
The president should also work with Republicans to reduce the growth of out-of-control entitlement spending and make the tough choices with a real plan to fix the federal government’s $18 trillion debt. I also cosponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment, which would require that the president submit and Congress pass a balanced budget each year.
Preventing a United States without nuclear power
As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development, I will work to help unleash the abundance of clean, cheap, reliable energy that nuclear power can provide to power our 21st-century economy. A United States without nuclear power is a very real possibility and a real threat to our economy and way of life. This year, I plan to hold hearings on nuclear waste, energy research, nuclear energy vs. renewable energy, and energy reliability that will address this issue and what we can do to prevent it. You can here.
Protecting employers’ free speech and employees’ privacy
In December, the National Labor Relations Board issued a new regulation that will shorten the length of time in which a union election is held to as few as 11 days. This forces a union election before employers have a chance to figure out what is going on and doesn’t give employees enough time to get both sides of the story about what unionization will mean for them and their workplace. It jeopardizes employees’ privacy by requiring employers to turn over employees’ private information, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and work hours, to union leaders. In order to prevent this harmful rule from going into effect in April, I introduced a resolution that would stop this rule or any similar rule by the NLRB in the future. I also held a hearing on this issue, which can be viewed here. To watch my introduction of the resolution, click here.
I also thought you might be interested in the following articles:
Follow Sen. Alexander in real time: