Alexander Highlights Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Accomplishments for 2015

Posted on December 22, 2015

With Republicans in charge, 4 Senate HELP Committee bills signed into law—including legislation fixing No Child Left Behind and “reversing the trend toward a National School Board”

WASHINGTON, December 22 – Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today highlighted the committee’s accomplishments during his first year as Chairman, calling it “one of the most productive committees in the entire Senate.”

Alexander continued: “It’s hard to get to the Senate, it’s even harder to stay here, and while you’re here, you might as well amount to something. Republicans promised Americans that if they gave us a Senate majority, that they would see results. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has kept that promise, producing some of the most significant legislation of any Senate committee this year. From reversing the trend toward a National School Board and fixing No Child Left Behind for 50 million children and 3.4 million teachers, to helping Americans lead healthier lives, we are committed to getting results for the American people.”

The full list of accomplishments is below:

Public Laws

Every Student Succeeds Act (S. 1177) – A bill to fix No Child Left Behind – ends the Common Core mandate, reverses the trend towards a National School Board and keeps in place important measures of academic progress of students, but restores to states, school districts, classroom teachers, and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement.

Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (S. 799) – Helps improve the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders among pregnant women and care for newborns exposed during pregnancy.

Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act (S. 481) – Streamlines Drug Enforcement Administration regulation of new drugs, so patients ‎can access safe and effective drugs that contain controlled substances more quickly.

Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 3594) – Extends the Perkins Loan Program two years for eligible undergraduate students and one year for graduate students who already received a Perkins Loan.

Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2820) – Reauthorizes the National Cord Blood Inventory Program and the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program. These programs help match patients in need of a transplant with unrelated bone marrow and cord blood donors.

WIOA Technical Amendments Act (S. 1124) – Provides bipartisan updates to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act passed last Congress.

Passed by the Senate

Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 1893) – Extends programs to help prevent suicide among youths, ensure the nation’s health care system is better prepared to provide support to children and families in the wake of traumatic events, and equip teachers and others to recognize and understand mental illness

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192) – Supports social and nutrition services—from home-delivered meals to senior centers—for nearly 12 million U.S. seniors.

Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage Family Caregivers Act of 2015 (S. 1719) – Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy.

Strengthening Education through Research Act (S. 227) – Supports education research activities at the Department of Education while increasing privacy protections and increasing independence for the National Assessment Governing Board overseeing the National Assessment of Educational Progress. 

Joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to representation case procedures (S. J. Res. 8) – Would stop the NLRB from implementing its “ambush election” rule, which shortens union elections to as little as 11 days, and prevents the NLRB from issuing “substantially similar” rulemaking in the future. The resolution was vetoed by the president (March 31, 2015). 

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