Entries in Lamar Alexander (4)


Sen. Thune: Sen. Alexander Is ‘A Tough Act to Follow’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator John Thune, R-S.D., wants to move up a notch in the Republican leadership. When Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will leave his job as Senate Republican Conference Chairman, Thune immediately announced plans to seek the No. 3 GOP Senate post. "Lamar will be a tough act to follow,” Thune said on ABC’s Top Line Wednesday, especially in an election year. “It’s also really important for us as Republicans here in Congress to get the things that we’re doing -- our agenda -- across with the American people, and that’s really what the job entails.”

Despite Alexander being a tough act to follow, Thune said there is room for improvement should he win the leadership race. "If successful, I only have one direction to help take us: up,” he said.

Which is also the direction most lawmakers want the economy and jobs numbers to go, too. Thune said most Republicans disagree with President Obama’s jobs plan, which is slated for a vote in the Senate sometime next month.

“I hope that we can find some agreement on some issues,” said Thune. The GOP, he continued, will want to deal with regulations, taxes, moving trade bills and getting government spending under control.

Thune said he could support spending on infrastructure. The payroll tax cut may also get some Republican support, though Thune himself is not a big fan. The tax cut, like the rest of the president’s jobs plan, he said, is too short-sighted.

“It may help a little bit in terms of GDP next year, but it’s not going to get us back on track to really get the economy humming again.”

Thune also wants to hear Obama lay out a plan to fix Social Security, a hot-button topic for 2012.

“I think most people acknowledge that Social Security, you know...they would tell you it’s not viable for future generations,” said Thune. People want to know how it will be fixed, and whether it will protect benefits for people who are retired today, Thune continued.

Back to Senate leadership, the Senate Minority Whip position will also be up for grabs in 2012, when Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., retires. Thune would not commit to throwing his hat in the ring for that race.

“I don’t think you rule anything out, you just never know what’s going to happen around here,” said Thune. “I think you have to be, you know, keep your options open and think about where you can serve your conference and your country the best.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Lamar Alexander Stepping Down from GOP Leadership Post

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he is leaving his leadership post among Republicans in the senate.

Alexander will step down in January as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference – the third ranking Republican in the Senate. He said he does plan to run for reelection to the Senate in 2014, but will not seek another leadership post.

A former presidential candidate and governor from Tennessee, Alexander has at times broken with the rest of the Republican leadership. He endorsed a proposal from the bipartisan “gang of six” for instance, which would have raised taxes as well as cut spending.

But Tuesday Alexander argued that while he is leaving his leadership post, he is not leaving his party, referring to himself as a very “Republican Republican.”

Alexander argued against those that say the Senate is now more fractious and divisive than it has been in the past. He said that those who say that have no sense of American political history.

Alexander’s exit from the Republican leadership opens up a few slots for new blood in the leadership.
Sen. John Thune, R-SD., announced, almost immediately, that he will run for Alexander’s post.

Thune currently has the 4th post as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

Shortly after, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., announced that he will run to replace Thune’s position as Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, should Thune move up as expected into the #3 spot.

It is also possible that a Tea Party Republican allied with South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint could seek a leadership position, potentially the fourth-ranking Republican Policy Committee chairmanship.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Sen. Alexander Wants More Private Sector Jobs

alexander dot senate dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander delivers this week's Republican address with a message about what he says would be an easier and less costly way to create jobs in the private sector for Americans.  One way to begin, he says, is by "helping companies make in the United States what they sell in the United States."  

However, Alexander continues, the Administration is not making it easy.  "Last month the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) moved to stop America's largest exporter, the Boeing Company, from building airplanes at a non-union plant in South Carolina, suggesting that a unionized American company can't expand its operation into one the 22 states with right-to-work laws, which protect a worker's right to join or not join a union," Alexander says in the address.

The former Tennessee governor goes on to describe the time in early 1979 when President Carter encouraged state governors to persuade Japanese manufacturers to make in the U.S. what they were selling in the U.S. to cut down their transport/exporting cost while increasing jobs in the U.S.  Alexander says he did just that, and eventually Nissan began building cars in Tennessee.

But because of the right-to-work laws in his state, when Nissan had to choose between Tennessee and Kentucky [which carried no such laws meaning workers would be forced to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union], Nissan chose Tennessee.  Today, he says the auto industry provides a third of the state's manufacturing jobs, and 85 percent of Nissan's vehicles sold in the United States will be made in the United States.

Alexander says that the NLRB and unions would make it too difficult for companies to create these kinds of jobs, sending them overseas.  

And Nissan is not the only company that has found success in the Southeast, Alexander says.  Honda, Toyota, BMW, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have all followed suit in addition to other suppliers who have chosen to locate plants in southeastern states with right-to-work laws.

In all, Alexander calls for the government to make it easier and cheaper for private sector companies to create jobs in the U.S.

"Giving workers the right to join or not join a union helps to create a competitive environment in which more manufacturers like Nissan and Boening can make here what they sell here," he says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Senate's Number Three Republican Announces Support for START

Photo Courtesy - Alexander [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Another GOP senator came out in favor of the START pact Tuesday -- and it’s no less than the chamber’s number three Republican.

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he will vote in favor of ratification.

“I will vote to ratify the treaty because it leaves our countries with enough nuclear warheads to blow any attacker to Kingdom Come,” Alexander said in a speech on the Senate floor.

“In short, I’m convinced that Americans are safer and more secure with the new START treaty than without it,” he noted.

Alexander said he and three other senators had written to President Obama earlier this week asking the president to include funding for nuclear modernization in his budget requests to Congress and Monday the president sent a reply letter agreeing to the request.

Alexander's vote is a big boost for Democrats -- the treaty now appears likely to pass later this week, barring a last-minute setback.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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