Alexander Gains Lead Role Over Smokies, National Parks

Will Serve as Ranking Republican on Interior Appropriations Subcommittee

Posted on March 5, 2009

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today became the senior Republican on the U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other national parks, the National Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and it’s a great privilege for me to be given oversight of it in this historic year,” Alexander said. “I grew up and live in the backyard of the Smokies and I’m no stranger to the problems facing our parks today. I look forward to working with park and local officials to ensure that everything is being done to keep our Great American Outdoors in the best condition possible, so that it can be enjoyed for years to come,” Alexander said. “I’m also excited that this position gives me responsibility over the EPA at a time when clean air is such an important issue to Tennessee and the rest of the country.” Republican committee assignments announced in January also place Alexander on committees that have jurisdiction over the Tennessee Valley Authority, education and health care as well as the federal budget. Senator Alexander was recently re-elected by his colleagues as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the third ranking member of his party in the Senate, and as chairman of the TVA Congressional Caucus. “These assignments give me the opportunity to continue to work on clean air, education, and health care at a time when these issues are of concern to every Tennessee family,” Alexander said. “It also gives me the opportunity to help put some common sense into our budget process and bring under control the unsustainable increases in automatic entitlement spending.” Alexander will serve on the following committees in the 111th Congress: Appropriations; Budget; Environment and Public Works; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); and Rules and Administration.