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Alexander, Corker, Blackburn File Legislation to Allow Songwriters to Receive Fair Market Compensation

Press release from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; March 4, 2015:

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 – U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), along with U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and others, today introduced legislation that would allow songwriters to receive compensation based on the fair market value of their songs.

The Songwriter Equity Act would amend federal law to allow songwriters to receive market-based compensation and would remove government price controls. Hatch is a songwriter himself and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee that would consider the legislation. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) is also a cosponsor in the Senate. Collins serves as the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. In addition to Blackburn and Collins, U.S. Reps.Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) are also cosponsors in the House.

Alexander said: “Italy has its art, Egypt has its pyramids, Napa Valley has its wines and Nashville has its songwriters. Songwriters are the lifeblood of Music City, and their paychecks ought to be based on the fair market value of their songs – so that when they write a hit heard around the world, you can see it in their billfolds. My hope is that in this new Congress, we will pass this legislation to help give our nation’s songwriters the fair pay they have earned.”

Corker said: “Music showcases the incredible talent and vision of Tennesseans – its songwriters, musicians, and small and large businesses – across the country and around the world. Unfortunately, it’s easy for some to forget the countless people who bring to life the music we enjoy each day. We turn the knob, hit the button, click the mouse, and our favorite songs are there. As technology advances, it’s important that we remember where the music begins and modernize the way songwriters are compensated for their work.”

Hatch said: “The music business is among the toughest and most competitive industries, and our songwriters and composers should not have to accept below-market rates for their work. Ensuring that they are able to receive the fair market value for their songs is the right thing to do.”

Blackburn said: “Behind every great song is a great songwriter who deserves to be fairly compensated for their creative works. I am happy to once again join my House and Senate colleagues in this bipartisan effort to ensure fairness for our songwriters.”

Collins said: “In my home state of Georgia alone, there are close to 50,000 songwriters who have dedicated their lives to a talent and a calling that, in my view, God gave them. It is critical to ensure that songwriters – the engines that drive the music industry – are compensated fairly for their work. Copyright laws were never intended to create barriers to creativity that forces songwriters to sell their intellectual property at below-market rates. Congress should write laws that not only promote creation and pay creators, but also remain relevant even in times of rapid technological change. The Songwriter Equity Act is a vital step toward a music licensing system built on free market principles and fair compensation to creators. ”

The legislation would allow songwriters to receive market-based compensation and remove government price controls in two ways:

  • First, it would direct the Copyright Royalty Board to set compensation according to the fair market value when songs are sold, such as through music downloads and CD purchases, replacing the current below-market standard.
  • Second, it would remove a provision of law that narrows the scope of evidence the federal rate court may examine when asked to set songwriter compensation for when their song is played, such as in a restaurant or at a concert.

Songwriter compensation is dictated by the federal government. The rate of compensation that is set by the Copyright Royalty Board has increased only 7 cents over 100 years, and is currently 9.1 cents per song. The so-called “federal rate court” determines compensation rates for public performances, occasionally requiring songwriters to engage in complex litigation to be paid reasonable fees for their work.

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Roe, Black, Blackburn Release Statements on DHS Funding Votes

Press release from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. 01; February 27, 2015:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement after voting in support of a House motion to go to conference with the Senate on the House and Senate passed funding bills for the Department of Homeland Security. Roe voted against a three-week continuing resolution.

“The House acted six weeks ago to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security. Instead of allowing a vote on the House-passed bill or passing a bill of their own in a timely fashion, Senate Democrats blocked the Senate from doing anything – running out the clock and causing more uncertainty for the American people.

“As I’ve said before, my position isn’t changing and I’m not backing down. I’ve heard East Tennesseans loud and clear. President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty must be stopped, and, because the president refuses to work with Congress to reverse these actions, this could be the only tool we have to make good on our promise to the American people to stop this out-of-control administration. I believe it’s time to for the Senate to come to the table so we can iron out our differences and have this debate.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; February 27, 2015:

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the below statement following the House’s failure to pass H.J. Res. 35, legislation to continue funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through March 19th. Earlier today, Congressman Black also voted for H.R. 240 which would allow the House to enter into a conference committee to reconcile differences between the DHS appropriations bills passed in the two chambers. This legislation passed by a vote of 228 – 191.

“I am sorely disappointed in the 52 Republicans who joined with Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats to defeat H.J. Res. 35,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Their ‘no’ vote was a gift to President Obama that, in turn, paves the way for Speaker Boehner to pass the flawed Senate funding bill with Democrat support. A short-term Continuing Resolution would have allowed us to avoid a Democrat-led DHS shutdown and fight the President’s overreaches on the firmest ground possible while continuing to pursue a favorable resolution through regular order in the form of a conference committee.  The failure of this bill is truly a missed opportunity to combat President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty. I promised to fight this power grab to the end. I wish my colleagues would have joined me in keeping the fight alive.”

Congressman Black added, “I continue to steadfastly oppose the Senate-passed ‘clean’ appropriations bill that allows President Obama’s executive action to go unchecked for the rest of the fiscal year. I have advised my colleagues that if the House holds a vote on this measure, I will vote no. The President said himself 22 times that he does not have the authority to unilaterally rewrite our immigration laws and now a federal judge agrees. We are a nation of laws and the President’s lawless immigration overreach must not stand.”

Background:

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; February 27, 2015:

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today rejected the Senate Homeland Security Bill that funds President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty. Blackburn voted against a three week “clean” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that may have allowed the President’s amnesty to take effect pending an injunction filed by a federal district court judge in Texas. She agreed to a seven day funding extension and joined her House colleagues in supporting a measure to request a Conference with the Senate to iron out a final solution that funds the DHS while also stopping the President’s lawless executive actions.

“The Senate must be pressured to act and use every tool at their disposal to stop executive amnesty.The American people are sick and tired of Congress kicking the can down the road when it comes to the security of our nation. The people spoke loud and clear last November when they put Republicans in charge of Congress to clean up the mess created by President Obama’s failed policies. The DHS bill approved by the House over a month ago provided the appropriate solution to start cleaning up the mess on our border created by this President’s lawless executive amnesty. However, Democrats continue to hold America and our Constitution hostage by playing procedural games and gimmicks in the Senate.

“Democrat arguments that Republicans are jeopardizing our national security are disingenuous. Democrats were silent while our southern border was being overrun last summer. Their support for the President’s amnesty has made America less secure and turned every state into a border state and every town into a border town. They continue to standby as President Obama unilaterally re-writes immigration law from the Oval Office, thereby nullifying the laws passed by previous Congresses.

“We must be mindful of our responsibility to ensure the Department of Homeland Security has resources necessary to keep our nation safe. The DHS bill passed by the House fulfilled that obligation and took appropriate action to block the illegal amnesty actions taken by this President that put our country’s security further at risk.

“The Senate should have enough respect for the House and the legislative process to take up the House bill, debate it and offer amendments. That’s the way our system of government is supposed to work. It’s time for the Senate to do its job.”

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Alexander, Roe Join Effort to Halt NLRB ‘Ambush Election’ Rule

Press release from U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; February 9, 2015:

Senate, House Leaders Introduce Resolution to Stop NLRB Ambush Election Rule; Author joint resolution of Congress to halt rule through the Congressional Review Act

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 –  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) today took the first step in stopping the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its “ambush election” rule, which was finalized in December to shorten the length of time in which a labor union certification election is held—currently a median 38 days—to as little as 11 days.

The Republican members authored a joint resolution of Congress that would halt implementation of the rule through the Congressional Review Act.

“This Administration’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board released their so-called ‘ambush’ rule back in December,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “It’s designed with one purpose in mind — to fatten the wallets of powerful political bosses by threatening the rights of middle-class workers to make informed decisions of their own. Republicans think an employee’s personal information is none of the business of powerful political bosses. But the Administration’s ‘ambush’ rule would allow these bosses to access things like personal email addresses and cell numbers — without permission from the employee.”

“The National Labor Relations Board is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of federal labor law,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner. “Yet under the president’s watch, it has pursued a culture of union favoritism that is detrimental to America’s workers and job creators. The recent ambush election rule will deny workers their right to make fully informed decisions in union elections. Congress will not stand idly by and let that happen.”

“This rule allows a union to force an election before an employee has a chance to figure out what is going on,” said Alexander, chairman of the Senate labor committee. “It also jeopardizes employees’ privacy by requiring employees to turn over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers, shift hours and locations to union organizers.”

“The National Labor Relations Board has lost its way. Instead of fairly enforcing the National Labor Relations Act, the board has made up a new rule out of thin air that only helps political organizations and special interests,” said Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “This ‘ambush election’ rule is an example. I’m pleased to join with my colleagues in this effort to make sure employees can have the information and time they need to make informed decisions.”

“The Obama labor board is moving forward with a radical plan that will stifle employer free speech, cripple worker free choice, and jeopardize the privacy of workers and their families,” said Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. “Congress must use every available tool to stop this flawed regulatory scheme. I am pleased to join my House and Senate colleagues in authoring this resolution, and hope Congress will send it to the president as soon as possible.”

“It is prudent that Congress protect employees from this activist NLRB,” said Roe, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. “For far too long, we’ve seen this out-of-control board violate the rights of American workers and employers by regulatory overreach, and I am proud to introduce this resolution with my colleagues.”

Under the Congressional Review Act, the House and Senate vote on a joint resolution of disapproval to stop, with the full force of law, a federal agency from implementing a rule or regulation or issuing a substantially similar regulation without congressional authorization. A resolution of disapproval only needs a simple majority to pass and cannot be filibustered or amended.

In December, the NLRB released its final rule to authorize “ambush elections,” in an attempt to speed up union elections, which could take place in as few as 11 days. The rule gives employers no time to communicate with their employees before a union election and undermines the ability of workers to make an informed decision. In addition, it will compromise worker privacy by forcing employers to provide employees’ personal email addresses, work schedules, personal cell phone numbers, and other personal information to union organizers without employees’ consent. The rule only gives employers seven days to find legal counsel and prepare for a pre-election hearing before an NLRB regional officer. During those seven days, employers will have to identify every legal concern or forfeit the ability to raise the concern at all.  The ambush election rule will go into effect April 14, 2015.

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Roe, Black, Blackburn Praise Obamacare Repeal Legislation

Press release from U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. 01; February 3, 2015:

Roe Statement on Obamacare Repeal Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House passed legislation to repeal Obamacare and to direct the committees of jurisdiction in Congress to develop a replacement bill that increases access to health insurance, lowers cost and improves quality. Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) was unable to be in Washington for the vote because of a family illness, but released the following statement on the legislation:

“As an outspoken opponent of Obamacare, I was proud to cosponsor this legislation, which repeals the president’s health care law and lays the groundwork for a patient-centered alternative. I am glad the House passed this bill, and I hope the Senate will take up this important legislation so we can keep our promise to protect the American people from this terribly flawed and unworkable law. I strongly support this measure and will continue to push for a full repeal of Obamacare and for alternative solutions that will lower costs and increase access to health care.”

“I want to repeal this bill and replace it with something a lot simpler that will actually work, which is why I introduced the American Health Care Reform Act. I’m still convinced we can right the wrongs of Obamacare, but it’s going to take a complete overhaul. I will continue to push conservative, market-based health care reform that will actually lower the cost of health care for American families while allowing them the freedom and flexibility to make their own health care decisions.”

In the last Congress, Rep. Roe introduced the Republican Study Committee’s alternative to Obamacare. The bill, H.R. 3121, the American Health Care Reform Act, had more than 130 cosponsors. More information about H.R. 3121 can be found here.

Press release from U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. 06; February 3, 2015:

Rep. Black on House Floor: Obamacare “Hurts the Very People It Pretends to Help”

[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KzspXtP28k[/youtube]

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a member of the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee and nurse for more than 40 years, spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 596. If enacted, this legislation would repeal the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, and direct appropriate House committees to devise a patient-centered replacement to this law. The bill, which Congressman Black cosponsored, is expected to receive a vote on final passage in the House later this afternoon. A transcript of Rep. Black’s remarks is below or click here for a video.

Mister Speaker, as a nurse for more than 40 years, I saw how decisions in Washington impacted real people.

I witnessed the effects of Congress’s actions on my patients’ faces and in their billing statements.

I understand better than most the need for health care reform but Obamacare was never the way to do it.

Just ask the 16,000 Tennesseans who lost their health insurance through CoverTN despite the President’s promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Or the 11 million small business employees that CMS says will see their premiums spike because of this law.

The results are in: Obamacare was a mistake that hurts the very people it pretends to help. That is why, today, I will vote to repeal this law once and for all.

I yield back.

Resources:

Press release from U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. 07; February 3, 20

Blackburn Votes to Repeal Obamacare, Says Law is Too Expensive To Afford
Works to restore healthcare choice & options for American people

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement in support of legislation to repeal Obamacare, H.R. 596, which passed the House today as part of the continued effort to protect consumers from President Obama’s disastrous healthcare law.

“House Republicans remain united in our opposition to the damage done by Obamacare. It is clear to us and clear to our constituents that this law is not affordable,” Blackburn said. “Obamacare is taking us back to the day of old major medical policies with high deductibles, high premiums, and limited choice of doctors and hospitals.

“Over 100 bills have already been introduced this Congress to undo the damage caused by President Obama’s failed healthcare law. One of those bills is my legislation, H.R. 543, the Health Care Choice Act that would empower consumers by giving them the ability to purchase affordable health insurance coverage with a range of options from any provider in any state in the country.

“One thing is clear — Obamacare is not working. It’s time to get it off the books and replace it with common sense solutions that will restore choice and options for the American people.”

Click Here for Video of Blackburn’s Remarks in Support of the Bill

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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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NewsTracker

Haslam Releases Storm Journal Video

Days before the Mississippi River is expected to crest in Memphis, Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is releasing a “video journal” of him on the ground tromping through the rubble left from last week’s storms.

“This is flooding of historic proportions. Everyone keeps talking about the flood of 1937 and being back to that level,” Haslam said during a stop in Dyersburg May 3. “We are prepared to respond as quickly as possible both in response and in relief after the flood waters recede.”

The YouTube video featured Haslam looking over destruction in Bradley, Hamilton, Greene counties with stops in Memphis and Dyersburg.

The five-minute production included highlights of remarks from federal lawmakers and officials including Sen. Bob Corker, Congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Phil Roe and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Local area lawmakers also offered remarks, including Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.

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Press Releases

TNDP: Republicans Still Pitching ‘Failed Economic Policies’

Press Release from the Tennessee Democratic Party, Sept. 23, 2010:

Republicans from Washington, D.C., including Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, are crisscrossing the state in an attempt to confuse Tennessee voters into believing the weak job market is a result of current economic policies.

“I’m confident Tennessee voters remember what got us into this mess in the first place,” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said. “It was the failed economic policies of a Republican White House that was more concerned about helping the bottom line of its Wall Street and Big Business buddies.

“This Congress and this White House have turned things around for us. We’ve emerged from a deep recession, but we still have a long way to go before this economy churns out the level of jobs it was before George Bush took office.

“Tennessee Republicans like Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, along with Reps. John Duncan, Phil Roe, Zach Wamp and Marsha Blackburn, seem to have a memory block about what happened. They want to blame Democrats when they know full well it was their Republican leadership that nearly sent our economy into a ditch.”

Forrester pointed out that the entire Republican congressional delegation from Tennessee voted against the Recovery Act last year, a package that has committed $6 billion in federal funding to help the state create or retain more than 10,000 jobs and provide much-needed infrastructure improvements. Included in that funding package is $500 million in Race to the Top funds helping Tennessee complete a comprehensive reform of its schools.

“It is shameful that each of them has the audacity to come back home and take credit for the very projects they voted against,” Forrester said of the state’s Republican congressional delegation.

“Whether it’s a new $11 million school construction project over in Hamblen County or a $483 million investment at the Spring Hill General Motors plant to create 500 jobs, Republicans want to take credit for it. If that isn’t the ultimate example of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.”

Forrester also called the Republicans so-called “Pledge to America” a gimmick that would send our economy into the same ditch from which we are now climbing out.

“They would rather continue to protect corporate loopholes and their Wall Street buddies than help ordinary hard-working Tennesseans find a job or send their children to a good college,” Forrester said. “Their pledge is nothing more than a gimmick. We cannot afford to go down that path again.”