Tennessee Poised for Power if GOP Takes Senate
I recently attended a luncheon where Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander spoke about why it’s important to re-elect not only him but to elect Republican Senators across the country. I think everyone who follows politics is very interested in whether or not Republicans will control the US Senate and what that can mean for the future of the country. Who governs matters and it particularly matters for the State of Tennessee this time. Here’s why.
Lamar Alexander is the ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Senate Committee. What that means is he is the senior Republican on the Committee. Presumably if the GOP takes the Senate in November, he will become chair of a very important committee. The Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, came through that committee. Even if legislation abolishing it or changing it dramatically passed, it would most likely be vetoed by the lame duck President Obama, but we have to try and only if Republicans control the Committee can we begin the process of making changes.
Senator Alexander talks about his first act as Chairman of that committee would be to move many federal regulations and acts on education back to the state level. He would simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for college students, now 180 plus questions, down to about 3 or 4. That just makes good sense.
In addition to being the ranking member on Health, Education, Labor, Senator Alexander is also the ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water. This is the Committee where the appropriations for Oak Ridge, the Appalachian Regional Commission and other important area priorities are approved.
Equally important to Tennessee is the position of our junior Senator Bob Corker on the Foreign Relations Committee. He is also the ranking member who presumably would become Chairman if the GOP takes the Senate. Corker has become very important and a real leader on foreign relations issues. In these times of turmoil on several fronts in the Middle East, the Ukraine and China, I know I would sleep better at night if I knew Bob Corker, a smart, common sense Tennessean, was leading that Committee instead of Democrat Robert Menendez. If you didn’t see Senator Corker’s questioning of Secretary of State John Kerry recently on the ISIS issue, you should. Go to the Foreign Relations Committee site and watch.
What can we do to make sure that happens and Tennessee assumes a real position of power in the US Senate? For one, make sure we reelect Lamar Alexander. Seniority matters and Lamar has it. If you want to send a contribution to Republican candidates in Arkansas, North Carolina or Kentucky, do so but do it quickly. It really matters who governs.