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Black: Healthcare.gov ‘as Flawed’ as Obamacare

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 28, 2015:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc7YwAVDXpg[/youtube]

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to highlight continued privacy concerns on Healthcare.gov. As Congressman Black noted in her remarks, the Obama Administration was recently found to have shared users’ personal data – including age, income, zip code, and smoking and pregnancy status – with numerous third party vendors.

Yesterday, Congressman Black and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA-07) led a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanding answers regarding the Administration’s data-sharing practices. Reps. Black and Meehan also reintroduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015, legislation requiring the government to notify affected users if their information is breached on the federal healthcare exchanges. Currently, there is no law requiring the federal government to issue these notifications, even though it is required in most state-based exchanges and in the private sector.

A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below, or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, more than a year after its launch, Healthcare.gov remains just as flawed as the underlying Obamacare law itself. Most recently, we learned the Obama Administration was sharing users’ personal data with numerous third party vendors.

When the Administration was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they quietly scaled this back but many unanswered questions remain. That is why I led a letter with Congressman Pat Meehan demanding answers regarding Healthcare.gov data security and privacy policies.

While we await their reply, we also reintroduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act—legislation simply requiring the government to notify consumers if their personal information is breached on the healthcare exchanges.

It defies all logic that this basic requirement isn’t already law – it’s time we change that. I yield back.

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Black Files Legislation to Require Feds Notify Consumers if Data Breached on Healthcare.gov

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 27, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA-07) led a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner demanding information on the Obama Administration’s practice of sharing consumers’ private information through Healthcare.gov. You can read a copy of the letter here. Reps. Black and Meehan also introduced the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015. This legislation would simply require the government to notify consumers if their personal information is breached on the Healthcare.gov exchanges. Currently there is no such requirement under federal law – despite similar standards being in place for the private sector and state-run exchanges.

The Associated Press reported last week that numerous third-party vendors were given access to consumers’ personal data – including age, income, zip code, and smoking and pregnancy status – through Healthcare.gov. Rep. Black immediately responded to the report, citing “inherent security flaws” in the Healthcare.gov website and calling for data-breach notification legislation to protect users’ personal information when accessing the federal healthcare exchanges. Last Friday, the Obama Administration announced that it would “scale back” data sharing on Healthcare.gov, however it is still unclear what information will continue to be transmitted and what is done with information that was already collected.

As Reps. Black and Meehan point out in their letter to HHS and CMS, the Obama Administration’s practice of disseminating users’ personal information directly contradicts Healthcare.gov’s own privacy policy which states, “No personally identifiable information is collected.” Reps. Black and Meehan released the following statements on their letter and newly introduced legislation:

“I have warned for over a year now of security and privacy concerns under Healthcare.gov. Sadly, from the website’s hacking last summer, to these latest revelations of data-sharing without users’ knowledge or consent, the Obama Administration continues to show that our concerns are well-founded and that Americans’ personal information on this site remains at risk,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Americans deserve the highest standards of privacy and confidentiality when enrolling in health insurance, and they certainly shouldn’t be left holding the bag for this Administration’s failure to maintain a secure website. That is why my letter to the Administration demands answers on Healthcare.gov’s privacy and security standards and seeks information on what data was collected by Healthcare.gov, how long it was stored, and in what way it was secured.”

Congressman Black added, “In light of the Obama Administration’s latest failing, I am proud to reintroduce the Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2015. This commonsense legislation will simply require the government to notify affected consumers if their personal information is compromised on Healthcare.gov. It defies all logic that this basic requirement is not already law. I was pleased to carry this legislation in the last Congress and will fight once again for its passage so that Americans can take action to protect themselves in the event of an Obamacare security breach.”

“It is unacceptable that security and privacy failures keep happening with Healthcare.gov,”said Congressman Patrick Meehan. “No American should have to fear their data will be exploited or compromised through HealthCare.gov. The data on the exchanges is among families’ most private, and it should not be shared without a user’s consent. The legislation we have introduced today will ensure that the feds live up to their obligation to disclose data breaches on the federal exchange and come clean with consumers.”

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Black Pushes for Tougher Human Trafficking Legislation

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 26, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to raise awareness of the crisis of human trafficking. As Congressman Black noted in her remarks, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world, with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims. This week, the House will vote on a series of bipartisan bills aimed at ending this crime, including the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act of 2015 and the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act of 2015. Congressman Black is an original cosponsor of both items of legislation. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, for many Americans, the issue of human trafficking is far removed from their daily lives; something that is relegated to foreign countries and history books. But the truth is, human sex trafficking is the third largest criminal enterprise in the world – with an estimated 300,000 young Americans at risk of becoming victims.

According to the Department of Justice, those most likely to fall prey to this heartbreaking crime are 12 to 14 year old girls. These young women are someone’s daughters, and we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight.

Last year, I visited End Slavery Tennessee – a nonprofit that works tirelessly to confront trafficking in my state. Their mission is taken from the book of Isaiah: “…to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners.”

This week, the House will take meaningful steps to fulfill that vision by taking up a series of bipartisan bills addressing the impact of trafficking. This includes the SAVE Act – legislation I am cosponsoring to go after online advertisers who profit off the sale of these innocent victims.

Mister Speaker, no single act of Congress will stop all acts of trafficking, or bring justice for every victim whose innocence has been stolen by this evil.  But we can’t let our inability to do everything stop us from doing something.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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Black: Obama Administration Decision to Limit Healthcare.gov Data Sharing ‘Welcome News’

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 23, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement on the news that the Obama Administration reversed its policy of sharing consumer data on Healthcare.gov. The Associated Press previously reported that “certain personal details — including age, income, and smoking habits — were being passed along, likely without consumers’ knowledge” to third-party sites. In a previous statement, Rep. Black said the revelations point to “inherent security flaws” in the Healthcare.gov website.

“While the Obama Administration’s decision to limit its data sharing practices on Healthcare.gov is certainly welcome news, it begs the question – why was this information shared in the first place? To what extent will the policy actually be ‘scaled back’ and what becomes of the information that was previously collected? Americans are already doubting the Obama Administration’s competence to handle their most personal information, particularly given the successful hacking of Healthcare.gov just last year. This data sharing policy, and the Administration’s sudden about-face in a classic Friday news dump only adds to the laundry list of questions my constituents have regarding the handling of the Obamacare exchanges,” said Congressman Diane Black.

Rep. Black added, “To add to the Obama Administration’s Healthcare.gov woes, this news coincides with the release of a government report finding that the Obama Administration did not bother to properly vet the contractors responsible for developing this website in the first place. With or without the Administration’s risky information-sharing practices in place, Healthcare.gov continues to be a stunning display of the Obama Administration’s haphazard approach to the rollout of this law.”

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Black, Blackburn Speak in Favor of ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 22, 2015:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35tPeCV4Mzg&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

 

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to urge support for H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The legislation, which Congressman Black also cosponsored, would codify the Hyde amendment requiring that “No funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law . . . shall be expended for any abortion.” The bill additionally prohibits premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act from being used to purchase health plans that cover abortion.

Today’s vote follows a September 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found that, under the President’s health care law, abortions are paid for with taxpayer funds on more than 1,000 exchange plans across the country. This is despite a 2009 pledge from President Obama that, “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

The No Taxpayer Funding Abortion for Abortion Act passed the House by a vote of 242 to 179. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor are below, or click here for a video.

Madam Speaker, today is a somber occasion. On this 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s tragic decision in Roe v. Wade, our hearts ache for the 56 million unborn lives lost to the shameful practice of abortion. But today, there is also hope because we have an opportunity to make a difference by passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

This commonsense, compassionate legislation will protect Americans’ conscience rights by ensuring their hard-earned tax dollars are not used to fund the destruction of innocent life.

As a mother, a grandmother, and a nurse for more than 40 years, this measure is especially meaningful to me. During my years in the health care industry, I saw the joy in young parents’ eyes when they met their newborn child for the first time. I held the hands of grieving spouses and children as they said their final goodbyes to a loved one. And, sadly, I witnessed a young woman lose her life due to the effects of a botched abortion.

These experiences informed my view that all life is a precious gift from God and I pray that, in time, this truth will be reflected in our nation’s laws. But until then, can’t we at least do this much?

I urge a yes vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and I thank the sponsor for his work on this deeply important legislation. I yield back my time.

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; January 22, 2015:

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXy2RUeYnG0[/youtube]

 

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement on House passage of H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

“On a day when people around the nation gather together in support of life, it is appropriate that the House has acted on an issue that 68 percent of Americans agree on – there should be no taxpayer dollars used to pay for abortions. We are pleased to take this important action on the day when we welcome so many of our constituents to Washington to join us in celebrating the March for Life. I am grateful for the leadership of Rep. Chris Smith who worked diligently to craft this legislation the right way.

“This bill is about protecting life and protecting taxpayer dollars. It also ensures that we have much needed transparency under the President’s health care law. It is imperative to do that because the President has promised on numerous occasions that there would be no taxpayer funds used for abortions. Yet we have learned from GAO that there are over 1,000 plans in the marketplace that allow taxpayer dollars to be used for abortions under Obamacare.

“Consumers should have the right to know whether the plan they are selecting on an exchange includes abortion coverage. While Obamacare included some notification provisions, many of our constituents are simply unable to find out whether a plan is paying for abortions. This legislation brings transparency to the plans and money flow so that hard-working taxpayers that don’t want their money used for abortion will have clarity and certainty on the issue.”

VIDEO: Blackburn Works in Support of Pro-Life Policies

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TN Congressional Delegation Statements on Vote to Defund Obama Executive Action on Immigration

Press release from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. 01; January 14, 2015:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement after voting to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill specifically prohibits any funding from being used to carry out President Obama’s November 20 executive actions on immigration reform:

“I was proud to support this important bill which funds DHS operations for the rest of the fiscal year and blocks funding to implement the president’s executive amnesty. I hope the Senate moves swiftly to get legislation to the president’s desk.

“I am completely opposed to the president’s irresponsible and unconstitutional approach to immigration reform. It is extremely troubling and infuriating that we have a president who believes he can change laws without congressional approval, and it’s even more infuriating that the president himself is on record over a period of six years stating that he doesn’t have the authority to do what he is doing, at one point declaring, “I’m not a king.” We can’t accomplish anything meaningful if the president continues to try to ignore our laws and implement policies that haven’t been authorized by Congress. It’s up to the president. He can walk back his irresponsible governing tactics and work with Congress, or he can expect strong pushback from both chambers until the end of his presidency.”

Background:

This bill funds the Department of Homeland Security through September 30, 2015.

The legislation:

  • Prohibits funding to implement the President’s executive memos on immigration reform from November 20, 2014;
  • Ensures no illegal immigrant receives any federal benefit;
  • Stops the Administration from considering new, renewal or previously denied Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications, which is the president’s previously-announced policy allowing unaccompanied minors to stay in the country.

Press release from U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn. 03; January 14, 2015:

WASHINGTON− This morning, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 240, theDepartment of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the vote.

“Today, the House put an end to President Obama’s unconstitutional actions by passing legislation to completely defund the President’s executive amnesty. The President has declared twenty-two times that he does not have the authority to bypass the legal immigration system and grant executive amnesty; yet, he did just that. When I entered Congress, I made an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and therefore, it is my duty to stop the President’s unlawful actions. This legislation further prioritizes our national security by strengthening border security, increasing government transparency, and enhancing immigration enforcement. We must protect our nation and end this executive overreach.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Re-Tenn. 04; January 14, 2015:

Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed HR 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which will fund DHS for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015, while blocking President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty:

“I was proud to join like-minded conservatives in the House in passing legislation to effectively stop President Obama’s dangerous and unlawful executive amnesty. For too long, the president has ignored the Constitution and violated our separation of powers. And he knows it. In fact, the president said on 22 separate occasions that the Constitution does not give him the authority to take unilateral action on immigration. Yet that is precisely what he did. Today, the House reasserts its power of the purse by cutting off funds for President Obama’s unconstitutional actions.”

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; January 14, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor to praise the House passage of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. The legislation fully funds the Department of Homeland Security through the remainder of the fiscal year while ensuring that no funding is made available for President Obama’s executive amnesty. The bill additionally includes provisions of Rep. Black’s Immigration Compliance Enforcement Act, legislation she previously passed through the House Judiciary Committee and reintroduced this year to defund the position of “public advocate” or any similar position at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Below is a transcript of her remarks, or for a video click here.

Mister Speaker, last year I promised my constituents that in the new year we would bring the fight on illegal immigration and act to restore the separation of powers that was upended by President Obama’s lawless overreach – and I meant it.

That is why I proudly voted for the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act and the attached amendments.

This bill is simple – it fully funds DHS while ensuring that no dollars are made available for the President’s executive amnesty.

I’m especially pleased that this measure contained key provisions of my bill- the Immigration Compliance Enforcement Act – which will defund the Obama Administration’s “public advocate” to lobby on behalf of illegal immigrants.

Mister Speaker, we still have three co-equal branches of government. When the President oversteps his bounds, we are compelled to respond.

I yield back my time.

Background on President’s Executive Amnesty:
On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a series of executive actions that would grant temporary legal status and work permits to some four million unlawful immigrants. TheDepartment of Homeland Security Appropriations Act as amended prevents any funds – whether they are appropriated funds or user fees collected by the agency – to be used to carry-out these executive actions. The legislation additionally freezes funding for the President’s Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which uses prosecutorial discretion to grant legal status to select undocumented immigrants.

Background on ICE Public Advocate:
On February 7, 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the appointment of a public advocate to handle complaints and questions about the administration’s immigration enforcement policies.  This position serves as a point of contact for illegal and criminal immigrants in deportation proceedings as well as illegal alien advocacy and community groups. On June 7, 2012 the House of Representatives passed an amendment authored by Rep. Black to withhold funding for this position. That language was subsequently inserted into the Consolidated and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 which was signed into law by President Obama in March 2013. (see Sec. 567 here)

Following the enactment of this measure, the Obama Administration rebranded the public advocate position as “Community Outreach,” allowing employees in this department to continue their activities as before. This prompted Rep. Black to introduce the Immigration Compliance Enforcement Act which would defund both positions at ICE or any other position “the functions of which are substantially the same.” This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee in the 113th Congress and was re-introduced as H.R. 276 this year. Provisions of this bill are included in Section 551 of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act which passed the House today. This section reads, “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to provide funding for the position of Public Advocate, or a successor position, within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Press release from U. S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; January 14, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today continued her fight to stop President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty with House passage of her amendment to freeze the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Blackburn’s amendment was approved 218-209 as part of H.R. 240, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act.

Blackburn’s amendment prohibits any Federal funding, fees, or resources from being used to consider or adjudicate any new, renewal, or previously denied application for any alien requesting consideration for deferred action.

“The American people have overwhelmingly rejected executive amnesty and spoke loud and clear last November when they sent Republicans to Congress to stop President Obama’s lawless actions, Blackburn said. “President Obama has circumvented Congress and unilaterally re-written immigration law from the oval office. I applaud the House for taking action today by approving my amendment to freeze the DACA program, which was unlawfully created by Executive Memo on June 15, 2012.

“Last year, I had the opportunity to visit an unaccompanied alien children (UAC) facility at Fort Sill and also traveled to the southern border where I was briefed by U.S. Border Patrol agents. These visits confirmed what we have known all along — DACA is the magnet drawing Central American children here. UAC’s believe they will receive amnesty, as those before them have.”

The Office of Refugee Resettlement released 53, 518 UACs to sponsors within the U.S. in FY2014.As result, there is a strong correlation between the President’s amnesty and the surge of UACs coming to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol have also advised that at least 40% of UACs are abused on their journey here.

“President Obama is turning every state into a border state and every town into a border town, said Blackburn. “Unfortunately, his lawless amnesty has taken Democrats from the party of ‘YES WE CAN’ to the party of BECAUSE WE CAN.”

VIDEO: Blackburn Leads Fight to Stop Obama’s Lawless Amnesty

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Alexander Announces First Round of Democrat, Independent Supporters

Press release from the Campaign for Lamar Alexander for U.S. Senate; August 10, 2014:

First round of Democrats and Independents includes former Congressman John Tanner, seven former or current mayors, former UT football Coach Johnny Majors, an Olympic Gold Medalist and numerous civic and political leaders from across the state

NASHVILLE – The Alexander for Senate campaign today announced the first round of “Tennesseans for Alexander,” a list of Democrats and Independents statewide who are supporting Lamar Alexander’s re-election to the U.S. Senate this fall.

“Every time I’ve run for office I’ve done my best to earn the support of Democrats and Independents as well as Republicans, because it is my job to represent all Tennesseans once I am elected,” Alexander said. “My goal is to get results, and that means working with people who know how to help solve problems for Tennessee and for our country.”

During his 2008 re-election campaign, Alexander announced two rounds of “Tennesseans for Alexander,” totaling more than 50 members. This year’s first round includes 30 members.

Former Congressman John Tanner, a Democrat who represented the 8th Congressional District from 1989 to 2011 and was in the Tennessee General Assembly from 1976 to 1988, joined the group this year. Tanner said he is supporting Alexander after years of working together on roads, the Northwest Tennessee Regional Port Authority and other issues.

“There are times in this business when friendships and loyalties should be more important than politics, and this is one of those times,” Tanner said. “Lamar Alexander has always been a friend and loyal to my old district, helping us do everything we needed to do to be successful and bring jobs to rural West Tennessee.”

This year’s list is geographically balanced across East, Middle and West Tennessee and also includes seven current or former mayors, an Olympic gold medalist, former University of Tennessee Coach Johnny Majors and numerous civic and political leaders. The list includes:

East Tennessee

  • Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan
  • Etta Clark, Eastman executive from Kingsport
  • Jim Hall of Chattanooga, aide to former Gov. Ned McWherter and chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board during the Clinton administration
  • Jack Fishman, Morristown-based business man, civic leader and newspaper publisher
  • Former University of Tennessee President Joe Johnson
  • Former Chattanooga Mayor Jon Kinsey
  • Johnny Majors, former University of Tennessee football coach
  • Former State Senator Carl Moore of Bristol
  • Former Knox County Mayor Tommy Schumpert

Middle Tennessee

  • Steve Bogard, Nashville songwriter
  • Dave Cooley, deputy and chief of staff to former Gov. Phil Bredesen
  • Aubrey Harwell, prominent Nashville attorney
  • State Senator Doug Henry, longest-serving member of the Tennessee General Assembly
  • Patsy Mathews, political activist and widow of former U.S. Senator Harlan Mathews
  • Linda Peak Schacht, Nashville university professor and former aide to President Jimmy Carter and former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd
  • James Pratt, former staffer to former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser
  • Former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell
  • Fate Thomas, Jr. of Nashville, who recently resurrected the Sure Shot Rabbit Hunter’s Supper, a gathering for Middle Tennessee politicians founded by his father, the late Sheriff Fate Thomas
  • Anna Windrow, Nashville business woman, former aide to former Lt. Gov. Frank Gorrell, former Senator Jim Sasser and former Gov. Phil Bredesen
  • Emily Wiseman, former executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging

West Tennessee

  • Laura Adams, executive director of Shelby Farms Park
  • Former State Supreme Court Judge George Brown, the first African American to serve on the court, appointed by then-Gov. Alexander
  • Brenda Duckett, Memphis business woman and community education activist
  • Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist
  • Bishop William Graves of Memphis, former senior bishop of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and former member of the Tennessee Valley Authority board
  • Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton
  • Cato Johnson, Memphis hospital executive
  • Former Shelby County Mayor Bill Morris
  • Rochelle Stevens, Memphis business woman and Olympic gold medalist
  • Former Congressman John Tanner

The Alexander campaign is chaired by Congressman Jimmy Duncan, with co-chairmen Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker Beth Harwell, as well as Congressmen Blackburn, Roe, Black, Fincher, and Fleischmann.

The campaign’s Honorary Co-Chairmen include former U.S. Senators Howard Baker (1925-2014), Bill Brock, Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, as well as former Governors Winfield Dunn and Don Sundquist.
Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Statewide Committee to Elect Lamar Alexander are all 13 living former state Republican Party chairs.

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Carr: Alexander at Odds with TN GOP Congressional Delegation on “Amnesty”

Press release from the Campaign for Joe Carr for U.S. Senate; August 4, 2014:

NASHVILLE, TN – In a shocking attack on the Tennessee Congressional Delegation, Senator Lamar Alexander accused opponents of Barack Obama’s amnesty that was written by Sen. Chuck Schumer, endorsed by Nancy Pelosi and backed by La Raza and the Chamber of Commerce (S. 744), of being “for amnesty.” The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported over the weekend that at a campaign stop in Cleveland, TN on Saturday, Alexander declared, “In 2013, I voted to end amnesty for 11 million Americans who are illegally here…I voted to double border security and I voted to create a legal immigration system. If you are opposed to that, then you’re for amnesty.”

“Reps. Blackburn, Black, Duncan, Roe, DesJarlais and Fleischmann have all called S. 744 ‘amnesty’ – is Lamar Alexander really accusing the Tennessee Congressional delegation of being ‘for amnesty’,” asked TN State Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Joe Carr. “You have to wonder what Reps. Blackburn, Black, Duncan, Roe, DesJarlais and Fleischmann would have to say if they were asked about Lamar Alexander’s belief that supporters of S. 744 ‘voted to end amnesty’ and the rest of us who opposed it are ‘for amnesty.'”

“The Senate amnesty bill is dead on arrival in the House of Representatives,” Rep. Blackburn declared at the time. “I do not believe in amnesty and if we are going to make any changes to our system we must start by securing our borders. Any other reform effort is meaningless if we don’t start with strengthening our border security.”

Rep. Black decisively said, “There is no place for amnesty in immigration reform, period…In Congress, I was proud to be a vocal opponent of S. 744, the flawed Senate immigration bill that would have granted almost immediate legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.”

“I’m not going to vote for a bill that looks to me like it’s very similar to the [1986 amnesty] bill,” Rep. Duncan said about the S. 744. “I don’t know that Ronald Reagan would do the same thing if he was facing a problem that had become four or five times worse than it was in 1986.”

“The United States has always had a generous legal immigration policy, but we simply cannot grant amnesty to those who choose to break the law,” Rep. DesJarlais said in a statement about S. 744. “The Senate immigration proposal is the ObamaCare of immigration: A broad, comprehensive bill fraught with unintended consequences and unexpected results. I will fight to make sure this bill never reaches the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Providing a pathway to citizenship before securing the border is putting the cart before the horse. Before overhauling our nation’s immigration system, we should first ensure we are enforcing the laws that are already on the books.”

Rep. Flesichmann added, “An estimated 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently reside in the United States. I do not support rewarding these illegal immigrants with amnesty. In 1986, when legislation was passed granting general amnesty, the illegal immigrant population quadrupled.”

“I am opposed to the Senate bill because it includes a pathway to citizenship without sufficient protections to ensure our laws won’t be broken in the future,” Rep. Roe said last year. “Congress must take a transparent, incremental approach to dealing with this important issue instead of rushing through a seriously flawed piece of legislation.”

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TN Federal Lawmakers Release Statements on Obama’s Proposed ACA Solution

Press release from the Office of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander; November 14, 2013:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today released the following statement on the president’s speech announcing a proposal to fix the Obamacare provision leading to millions of canceled health care plans:

“The 5 million Americans – including 82,000 Tennesseans – losing their health care plans know that, after too many broken promises from this administration, the details matter. The president should send his proposal to Congress to consider and give Americans the certainty of law over rhetoric.”

Press release from the Office of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker; November 14, 2013:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., released the following statement today in reaction to President Obama announcing administrative changes to his health care law.

“I’m glad President Obama is attempting to make good on a promise he made repeatedly to the American people, but it only offers temporary relief. Those who have received cancellation notices will likely receive them again a year from now,” said Corker. “So while this administrative action will provide some needed, temporary relief to a number of Americans, the fundamental problems with Obamacare go far beyond a broken website and cancellation notices. Because of the way the law is constructed, this fix may even cause other problematic consequences.”

In an interview on WKIM Newstalk 98.9’s “Talk Memphis” radio show prior to the president’s announcement, Corker discussed a number of problems Tennesseans are facing due to Obamacare.

“Tennesseans and Americans all across this country [are under] tremendous emotional distress as their policies have been canceled. They cannot get on the exchange to buy a new one, but even when they do, in many cases, they are realizing the cost of what they are having to purchase is far more than they ever anticipated,” said Corker.

  • Losing coverage: Millions of Americans who buy their own health insurance are being informed that their policies will no longer be offered because they do not meet Obamacare standards.
  • Enrollment obstacles: Yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced that only 106,185 people have signed up or selected health care plans through Obamacare as of November 2, 2013, with only 922 in the state of Tennessee.
  • Unappealing products: Less than 10% of people who were able to access the federal exchange have actually selected a plan, raising questions about whether or not the actual products offered are acceptable to those seeking a new plan.
  • Increased costs: According to a recent Manhattan Institute study, individuals in Tennessee will, on average, see the following premium increases in the exchanges:

Age 27    Women: 19% increase    Men: 69% increase
Age 40    Women: 6% increase    Men: 39% increase
Age 64    Women: 36% increase    Men: 28% increase

Press release from the office of U.S. Rep. Diane Black; November 14, 2013:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement in response to the President’s announcement regarding the millions of Americans losing their health care because of Obamacare:

“President Obama has zero credibility when it comes to protecting Americans’ existing health care plans. Even though the White House knew back in 2010 that Obamacare would result in millions of Americans having their insurance policies cancelled, the President spent years falsely promising the American people that this would not be the case. Sadly, the President’s sudden change of heart appears to be the result of sagging poll numbers and shifting political winds. The American public knows better than to trust this President to unilaterally fix the mess he has created, and today’s announcement should be taken with a strong grain of salt.”

11/14/13 VIDEO: Black Takes to House Floor to Address Constituent’s Dropped Coverage

Press release from the office of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn; November 14, 2013:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s announcement today regarding the cancellation notices millions of Americans are receiving as a result of Obamacare.

“We are a nation of laws that requires our elected leaders and citizens to abide by the rule of law. It is of concern to my constituents that we have an administration that repeatedly seeks to change or circumvent the law by executive order. After misleading the American people for four years, it is extremely difficult for anyone to take President Obama at his word. That is why I support Chairman Upton’s Keep Your Health Plan Act that will begin to provide peace of mind to some Americans who want to keep their health care plan. I have worked tirelessly to help craft common sense policies like the American Health Care Reform Act to ensure all Americans have access to affordable care. If the President is willing to work with Congress on real solutions to fix a health care law that even he now admits is plagued with failures, that is a discussion we’d be willing to have.”

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Zelenik: Black a Mudslinger

Press release from the Campaign for Lou Ann Zelenik for U.S. Congress; July 23, 2012: 

MT JULIET, TN – The Diane Black’s Campaign becomes more desperate after reports of falling poll numbers and lack of any grassroots support. Their candidate has become increasingly shrill in campaign appearances. It seems Diane Black’s campaign has come unhinged. The latest stop in Diane Black’s journey into the political gutter comes in the form of a slew of false and misleading attack ads smearing Sixth District Congressional Candidate Lou Ann Zelenik.

Zelenik Campaign Manager Jay Heine noted today “that Diane Black’s campaign is routinely wrong, dishonest or both about Lou Ann, her positions and her campaign. We are confident the voters of Tennessee will understand a desperate politician will say or do anything to hold on to power. If Diane Black can’t be honest about these basic facts, how can we trust any claim she makes?”

“Congresswoman Black has been misleading Republicans in agitated comments at campaign events about her record of voting to increasing the debt (S.365), funding Obamacare (HR 1, HJ Res. 48, HR 1473, S.365, HR 2608, HR 2055), slashing defense spending (S.365), increasing taxes on our mortgages (HR 3630 Dec 20th 2011) and funding Planned Parenthood (HR 1, S.365) – all votes on the record and all votes Diane Black is ashamed to own up to. Now, her campaign is spreading misinformation about Lou Ann Zelenik’s record and background.” Heine concludes “we’ve seen this before and it is wearing thin on voters.”

Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign will not jump into Diane Black’s mud puddle. Lou Ann will continue to offer the voters a positive alternative based on the issues and her conservative principles. We will conduct our campaign in a manner that honors the people Lou Ann wishes to serve.

Anyone interested in her campaign can stop by the headquarters at 1253 N. Mt. Juliet Rd, Mount Juliet TN, 37122 or call (615) 758-9040.