Lamar Alexander

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Lamar Alexander Defeats Tea Party Challenger

Also: Montana's Walsh steps down amid plagiarism scandal

(Newser) - Another boost for the GOP's Senate hopes: Lamar Alexander has defeated a Tea Party challenger in Tennessee and is now strongly favored to win re-election this fall, reports Politico . State Rep. Joe Carr had sought to portray Alexander as an out-of-touch Washington insider, but that approach has failed to... More »

Ex-Star on Capitol Hill Kills Self Amid Child Porn Case

Ryan Loskarn, former chief of staff for Lamar Alexander, is found dead

(Newser) - Hard to argue with Sen. Lamar Alexander's statement today: “For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end.” He was referring to the suicide of 35-year-old Ryan Loskarn, who had worked as the Tennessee senator's chief of staff until being charged... More »

GOP Senator's Top Staffer Hit in Child Porn Inquiry

Lamar Alexander puts Ryan Loskarn on administrative leave

(Newser) - Lamar Alexander put his chief of staff on leave today, after police raided his Washington, DC, home in search of child porn. The GOP senator from Tennessee issued a brief statement saying he was "just informed" that police were searching Ryan Loskarn's residence. "I am stunned, surprised,... More »

Boehner to Obama: 'I Got Overrun'

A behind-the-scenes look at how and why the shutdown happened

(Newser) - During a White House meeting on Oct. 2, a day into the shutdown, John Boehner slipped out for a smoke. Barack Obama followed him, demanding a private explanation for the shutdown. "John, what happened?" he asked. "I got overrun, that's what happened," Boehner replied. That anecdote... More »

GOP Battles Itself Over Taxes

Toomey and Hensarling under fire for tax plan

(Newser) - The proposal that super committee Republicans put forth to raise about $300 billion in new tax revenues may not have been enough to win over Democrats , but it’s been more than enough to stir up dissension in the GOP ranks, with anti-tax hardliners suddenly at odds with long-time compatriots... More »

Heat Is on Senate as Government Shutdown Looms

Congress working through scheduled vacation

(Newser) - After rejecting the House's bill to fund the government into November, the Senate will vote today on its own version, hoping to dodge a new threat of government shutdown, reports the Washington Post . After the weekend brought leaders no closer to agreement, and with disaster relief potentially running out... More »

Lamar Alexander to Drop Out of GOP Leadership

Says he'd rather foster consensus

(Newser) - Lamar Alexander will give up his post as Republican Conference chairman—the party’s third-ranking Senate position—in January, and with it his hope of being the Senate GOP whip in the next Congress, he announced today, in what Politico calls a "stunning decision." Alexander says he’s... More »

GOP Wants to Make Unbalanced Budget Illegal

Mandate has full support from Republican senators, none from Dems

(Newser) - The GOP is hoping to tack a 28th amendment on to the Constitution: one that would mandate a balanced budget. All 47 GOP senators are behind the proposal, which was announced yesterday, but "the whole thing is a long shot," an analyst tells Reuters . Earlier attempts have fallen... More »

Congress Delays Health Vote Amid Calls to 'Cool' Rhetoric

Time for 'great respect' on Hill: Sen. Alexander

(Newser) - The tragedy in Arizona won’t stop the health care debate, but it has pushed back a repeal vote and prompted calls to cool the rhetoric, Politico reports. The House majority leader postponed the week’s lawmaking agenda—including a vote on repeal set for Wednesday—following the attack. Meanwhile,... More »

GOP Gov: Media Giving Obama 'Longest Wet Kiss in Political History'

Plus, Lindsey Graham would like Obama to move on immigration, please

(Newser) - Health reform resulted in "the longest wet kiss in political history given to the Obama administration by the liberal media elite," Haley Barbour told This Week, "and every day that goes by, it gets sloppier." "I don't know what channels Haley watches, but that's a... More »

Obama, GOP Spar Cheerfully on Health Care

Obama urges cooperation, Republicans want bill thrown out

(Newser) - President Obama kicked off his bipartisan health care reform summit at the Blair House this morning by urging lawmakers to focus on the areas where they agree. “I think this concern is bipartisan,” he said, but during the fall debate on the bill, “politics, I think, ended... More »

Obama Invites GOP to Policy Sessions, Super Bowl

President moves to engage Republicans

(Newser) - In a move to show voters that President Obama works across partisan lines—and to draw attention to Republican policy proposals—the White House is testing the waters of GOP outreach. The president is not only inviting Republicans to bipartisan policy brainstorming sessions as promised in last week's State of... More »

Why Dems Scheduled Xmas Eve Health Care Vote

Momentum, urgency, fear of embarrassment, etc.

(Newser) - Lamar Alexander has called the Democrats' push to quickly pass health care reform "a political kamikaze mission toward a historic mistake," but Senate Dems have reasons other than self-immolation for scheduling a 7pm vote on Christmas Eve. Politico looks at five:
  • To maintain momentum: If the latest compromise
... More »

GOP to Steele: We Set Policy, Not You

(Newser) - Congressional GOP leaders met with RNC chairman Michael Steele late last month to assert their authority when it comes to policymaking, and while those involved said the get-together in House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office was routine, Politico's sources described it as heated. Of particular concern was Steele’s... More »

No. 3 Republican Throws Support to Sotomayor

Says they may disagree, but she's 'well-qualified'

(Newser) - Lamar Alexander today became the first Republican leader to support Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, Politico reports. Her “political and judicial philosophy may be different than mine, especially regarding Second Amendment rights,” the third-ranking GOP senator said, but “I will vote to confirm her because... More »

Senate Hits Brakes on Health Care

(Newser) - Would-be health care reformers had a bad day yesterday, hitting a series of obstacles that makes hitting President Obama’s August deadline increasingly unlikely, Politico reports. The Senate Finance Committee said it wouldn’t have a package before the July 4 recess, and the Congressional Budget Office slapped a $1.... More »

Republicans See Rising Debt as Obama's Soft Spot

(Newser) - Republicans think they’ve found one chink in President Obama’s armor: public fear over rising national debt. Some 51% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s efforts to control federal spending, according to a recent poll. In every other area, Obama enjoys positive ratings. “The president is still popular,... More »

GOP Blasts Pelosi as Dems Rip CIA Over Torture

(Newser) - Republicans are slamming Nancy Pelosi for saying she felt she had no recourse when informed of harsh interrogation tactics in 2003, Politico reports. “If she felt it was wrong, she should have acted,” John McCain said. Some critics suggest the House speaker could have written a letter or... More »

Kyl Set to Replace Lott as GOP No. 2

Ariz. senator has clear path to becoming minority whip as leadership shuffles

(Newser) - Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl is almost certain to become Republican minority whip, the Hill reports, filling an opening created by the retirement of Trent Lott. Kyl apparently won't be opposed, with other GOP senators instead contesting lower leadership roles. Tennessee's Lamar Alexander, who some thought would try for whip, will... More »

Tenn. Dems Seek Alexander Foe

Likely candidate drops out of 2008 race

(Newser) - Tennessee Democrats are seeking a new challenger for Lamar Alexander's Senate seat after prospective candidate Mike McWherter dropped out. The race is important because Tennessee is one of the few Southern states where the Democrats are still strong, reports Congressional Quarterly. Former Democratic chairman Bob Tuke and Nashville attorney Kevin... More »

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