Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee's Lamar Alexander off and running in new U.S. Senate

Posted on January 25, 2015

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is among 22 Senate sponsors of the American Liberty Restoration Act, S. 203, a bill that repeals the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that requires people to have insurance.

"How can we continue to enforce the individual mandate when the law doesn't clearly ensure that millions of Americans are allowed to receive subsidies to help cover the cost?" Alexander said in a statement. "How can we enforce it when Obamacare outlaws plans that fit family budgets? Millions more Americans are in for sticker shock when they see how much they owe the IRS in April because of Obamacare. We need to focus on making health care plans affordable to Americans," said Alexander.

He was referring to a provision that people who received subsidies for health insurance must report the amounts on their income tax returns, and those who earned more than estimated will have to repay some or all of their subsidies.

At his first hearing as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Alexander called for passage of a bipartisan bill to fix No Child Left Behind by the end of February.

Saying reform is years overdue, Alexander added, "At the center of the debate about how to fix No Child Left Behind is what to do about the federal requirement that states annually administer 17 standardized tests with high-stakes consequences. Educators call this an accountability system. Are there too many tests? Are they the right tests? Are the stakes for failing them too high? What should Washington, D.C., have to do with all this?"

Alexander also was elected chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.