March Newsletter

Senator Lamar Alexander
2015-04-01 13:15:24
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March Newsletter

March 31, 2015-

I’d like to share with you some of what I’ve been working on in Tennessee and Washington this past month:

Voting for Senate budget to help bring federal debt under control

This month, I voted for the Senate budget resolution which was a long-overdue starting point to bring the nation’s $18 trillion federal debt under control. Republicans put forth a budget that balances in 10 years without raising taxes and takes some initial steps at slowing the growth of out-of-control mandatory entitlement spending. But we need to do more and pass a plan like the Fiscal Sustainability Act Sen. Corker and I introduced last Congress to slow the growth of entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years. I also introduced, cosponsored and voted for amendments to support Tennessee and national priorities, like repealing the federal estate tax.

Standing up for Tennesseans who may have been impacted by cyberattacks

On March 18, I urged insurance company Anthem, Inc. to notify people if their personal information may have been exposed in a cyber-attack discovered in January. Anthem’s company breach impacted an estimated 770,000 Tennesseans, so I sent a letter to Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish insisting the company inform individuals that were affected. 

I also continue in my work as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to fix No Child Left Behind. This month I had the privilege to meet with representatives of the National and Tennessee PTA [Parent Teacher Association] to discuss this effort.

Improving biomedical innovation within the FDA and NIH

This month, I led a Senate health committee hearing on how to get medical devices, drugs, and treatments from discovery to the medicine cabinet sooner. This work will affect every single American – from a very ill patient who has run out of treatment options and is counting on the most cutting-edge drug, to an active child with asthma who’s hoping to run faster and farther with the aid of a new drug. You can watch my opening statement

You can watch the hearing Working to end the stalemate over nuclear waste – and complete Yucca Mountain

If we want to ensure our country continues to have the clean, cheap reliable energy we need to power our economy, we must end the stalemate over what to do with our country’s nuclear waste. On March 24, I introduced bipartisan legislation to create both temporary and permanent storage sites for spent nuclear fuel – which is accumulating at sites around the country – by allowing state and local governments to compete for the sites and the jobs that come with them. In addition to any new repositories, Yucca Mountain can and should part of the solution because we have more than enough nuclear waste to fill up Yucca Mountain.  

Setting Tennessee and National priorities on energy appropriations

Governing is about setting priorities, and over the past two months I’ve held four budget hearings as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development. At one of these hearings on March 11, I pressed officials with the National Nuclear Security Administration how we can keep projects such as the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 in East Tennessee on time and on budget. You can watch the excerpts from the hearing

Introducing legislation to make sure Nashville songwriters receive fair compensation

I worked this month along with Senator Bob Corker, Representative Marsha Blackburn, and others to introduce legislation that would allow songwriters to receive compensation based on the fair market value of their songs. Italy has its art, Egypt has its pyramids and Nashville has its songwriters. Songwriters are the lifeblood of Music City, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs, so that when they write a hit heard around the world, they can see it in their billfolds. 

Tennessee Songwriters attended our weekly Tennessee Tuesday constituent breakfast and performed for staff and guests at the event. Read more Working to preserve 20,000 acres in Cherokee Forest

On March 17, I introduced the Tennessee Wilderness Act with Senator Bob Corker. This legislation would designate nearly 20,000 acres in six areas of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness areas. I grew up hiking in the mountains of East Tennessee, and I believe it is important to conserve what are some of the wildest, most pristine and beautiful areas in the state, so future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy them. You can read about my legislation I also thought you might be interested in the following articles:

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