Press Releases

Alexander Praises Bipartisan Productivity of Senate HELP Committee

Press release from the Office of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; December 22, 2014:

One of the Most Productive Senate Committees, 25 Bipartisan Bills Signed Into Law

NASHVILLE, Dec. 22 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the ranking Republican member on the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions today highlighted the committee’s accomplishments for this Congress—including 25 bipartisan bills that have been signed into law:

“The Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee has produced some of the most significant legislation of any Senate committee this year. In a dysfunctional Congress, among senators with profound ideological differences, our work shows what can happen when you focus on getting results on issues important to the American people. This legislation includes bills that help pay for child care for 1.5 million children; make loans cheaper, simpler, and more certain for more than 9 million students; and make safer prescription drugs for virtually every American.”

The full list of bipartisan bills passed is below:

Drug Quality and Security Act (H.R. 3204), legislation that enacted a new model of oversight of sterile compounding pharmacies to make injections of compounded sterile drugs safer—following the deadly meningitis outbreak of 2012.

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (S. 1086), legislation to expand access to and improve the quality of child care for the more than 1.5 million children and families.

Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (H.R. 1911), legislation that established a permanent, market-based plan to makes students’ loans simpler, more certain—and, in most cases, cheaper.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (H.R. 803), legislation that updated and improved the nation’s workforce development system, by simplifying the maze of programs, supporting state and local-decision making, and improving federal program accountability.

PREEMIE Reauthorization Act (S. 252), legislation to reduce infant deaths and disabilities by expanding research, education, and intervention activities related to premature birth.

Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141), legislation to get safe sunscreen ingredients to Americans more quickly to help prevent skin cancer.

Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (H.R.307), legislation to strengthen America’s preparedness for and ability to respond to medical and public health emergencies.

School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094), legislation to encourage schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine injectors in a secure location that’s easily accessible to a trained school personnel.

CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013 (S. 1561), legislation to ensure that the National Institutes of Health can continue to care for retired government-owned chimpanzees that are no longer needed for research.

National Pediatric Research Network Act (S. 424), legislation to encourage collaboration among researchers and optimize pediatric research.

HIV Organ Policy Equity Act (S. 330), legislation to end the ban on research of organ transplantation from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients.

Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorization Act (S. 622), reauthorization of programs that reduce the average waiting time for the Food and Drug Administration to approve generic animal drugs by 450 days and eliminated a backlog of applications.

Poison Center Network Act (H.R. 3527), legislation that reauthorized the poison control centers national toll-free number, national media campaign, and grant program.

Streamlining Claims Processing for Federal Contractor Employees Act (H.R. 2747), legislation that transfers authority from the Government Accountability Office to the Department of Labor for processing claims for wages due to laborers and mechanics hired by contractors on public works projects.

Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act (S. 1557), legislation to reauthorize the successful children’s hospitals graduate medical education program that supports the training of pediatricians at children’s hospitals in Tennessee and across the country.

Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Act (S. 1302), legislation to make it easier for charities and cooperatives to continue to offer pensions to their employees.

Improving Trauma Care Act of 2014 (H.R. 3548), legislation to update the federal definition of trauma to include burns—more appropriately reflecting the relationship between burns and other traumatic injuries.

Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act (Autism CARES Act) of 2014 (H.R. 4631), legislation to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act—continuing research programs, education, early detection and intervention programs to aid the estimated one in 68 children affected by Autism.

Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2154), legislation to improve emergency medical services for more than 600,000 Tennessee children who receive emergency medical care every year.

Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2013 (H.R. 594), legislation to revise the muscular dystrophy research program—including expanding the range and forms of the disease included in the program.

Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2539), which reauthorizes certain programs relating to traumatic brain injury and to trauma research through FY2019.

A bill to amend the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (S.2511, passed as part of H.R. 83), legislation to determine when a company needs to make greater pension payments to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation due to a cessation of operations.

Adding Ebola to the FDA Priority Review Voucher Program Act (S. 2917), legislation to spur the development of Ebola vaccines and drugs.

Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act (H.R. 669), legislation to direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to continue data collection regarding stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death, and sudden unexplained death in childhood—including collaborating with states and experts—to improve the quality and consistency of data collected after one of these deaths.

Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013 (H.R. 1281), legislation to improve life-saving screenings for nearly 80,000 infants born in Tennessee every year—as well as ensure that parents and doctors have the information they need to keep the newborns in their care as safe as possible.

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