Alexander expected to be top Republican

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Sen. Lamar Alexander

Sen. Lamar Alexander

When Senate Republicans meet later this month, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) is expected to be elected by his Senate colleagues to be the lead Republican, known as the “Ranking” member, on the committee governing health, education, labor, and pension issues, as well as chosen to continue his role as top Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee handling funding of energy and water issues.

“I welcome this opportunity because Tennessee has become a leader in health care and education innovation. My committee assignments will also give me an opportunity to continue fighting for policies that bring lots of cheap, clean energy to Tennessee, as well as working to rebuild our waterways, which grows our economy and allows the private sector to create good jobs.”

The Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee handles an unusually high volume of legislation, and in terms of jurisdiction over the nation’s economy, is among the largest Senate committees. The HELP committee oversees the health-care industry — an industry for which Tennessee has proven a hub of entrepreneurial activity — as well as education, which this Congress will be of particular importance as it must address the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind law. Alexander has long championed and defended right-to-work laws, both as governor of Tennessee and now as senator, and this committee oversees all labor legislation.

As the expected lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, Alexander is positioned to continue his work strengthening Oak Ridge National Lab and his efforts to rebuild Chickamauga Lock.

Alexander’s voice on energy issues will be expanded in the new Congress, as he has been appointed to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he will be have greater influence on legislation dealing with national energy policy, nuclear waste policy, national parks, and water resources.

He will also remain on the Senate Rules Committee, on which he served as lead Republican this past (112th) Congress, where he’ll continue working to preserve the Senate’s unique role in our nation as the “protector of minority rights.”

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