|U.S. Senate, Tennessee|
|January 3, 2015|
|Years in position||11|
|Predecessor||Fred Thompson (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2008|
|First elected||November 5, 2002|
|Next primary||August 7, 2014|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Secretary, Department of Education|
|Governor of Tennessee|
|Bachelor's||Vanderbilt University, 1962|
|J.D.||New York University Law School, 1965|
|Birthday||July 3, 1940|
|Place of birth||Maryville, TN|
- 1 Career
- 2 Committee assignments
- 3 Issues
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 3.1.1 113th Congress
- 3.1.2 National security
- 3.1.3 Economy
- 3.1.4 Immigration
- 3.1.5 Social Issues
- 3.1.6 Call for Sebelius resignation
- 3.1.7 Previous congressional sessions
- 3.2 Senate Conservative Fund target
- 3.3 FAA cell phone restrictions
- 3.4 Chief of staff investigation
- 3.5 Presidential preference
- 3.1 Legislative actions
- 4 Elections
- 5 Campaign donors
- 6 Analysis
- 7 Recent news
- 8 Personal
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Alexander is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Alexander's academic, professional and political career:
- 1962: Received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University
- 1965: Received his J.D. from New York University Law School
- 1979-1987: Served as governor of Tennessee
- 1985-1986: Held a position as chairman of the National Governors Association
- 1991-1993: Served as U.S. secretary of education
- 2003-Present: U.S Senator from Tennessee
Alexander serves on the following Senate committees:
- United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
- Subcommittee on Department of Defense
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining
- Subcommittee on National Parks
- Subcommittee on Energy
- United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety Ex Officio
- Subcommittee on Children and Families Ex Officio
- United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Alexander served on the following Senate committees:
- Environment and Public Works
- Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
- Rules and Administration
The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session. The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Alexander's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.
John Brennan CIA nomination
Alexander voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.
On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.
The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."
On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill. It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop. However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states. Alexander joined with 19 other Republican senators in favor of the bill.
On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014. The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations. It included a 1% increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Alexander voted with the 17 Republican and the 55 Democratic members in favor of the bill.
No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Alexander voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.
- See also: United States budget debate, 2013
During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies. The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Alexander voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.
Alexander voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.
Violence Against Women (2013)
Alexander voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.
Call for Sebelius resignation
Previous congressional sessions
Alexander voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.
Senate Conservative Fund target
FAA cell phone restrictions
Alexander issued a statement on November 26, 2013, following the FAA's announcement they will allow the use of cell phones on some flights. Alexander urged the FAA to allow texting on flights, but not conversations. The statement read: "Imagine two million passengers, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts. The Transportation Security Administration would have to hire three times as many air marshals to deal with the fistfights."
“Stop and think about what we hear now in airport lobbies from those who wander around shouting personal details into a microphone: babbling about last night’s love life, bathroom plans, next week’s schedule, orders to an assistant, arguments with spouses. Imagine this noise while you travel, restrained by your seatbelt, unable to escape."
“The FCC commissioners will earn the gratitude of the two million Americans who fly each day by deciding: text messages, yes; conversations, no."
Chief of staff investigation
In December 2013, Alexander's Chief of Staff Jesse Ryan Loskarn was arrested under allegations of child pornography. Alexander immediately suspended Loskarn without pay and released the following statement: "I was just informed by the United States Senate legal counsel’s office that law enforcement agents are conducting a search of the personal residence of Ryan Loskarn, the chief of staff of my Washington, D.C., office regarding allegations involving child pornography. I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned. Based on this information, I immediately placed Mr. Loskarn on administrative leave without pay. The office is fully cooperating with the investigation."
On January 23, 2014, Loskarn was found deceased. The cause of death has been ruled a suicide. Prior to his death, an indictment had been delayed until February 10, 2014. Loskarn's family released a letter he had left behind that explained his actions. He said, "I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse. It's painful and humiliating to admit to myself, let alone the whole world, but I pictured myself as a child in the image or video. The more an image mirrored some element of my memories and took me back, the more I felt a connection." Loskarn said his letter "is the truth, not an excuse," for his behavior. He added, "The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear. I've hurt every single human being I've ever known and the details of my shame are preserved on the internet for all time. There is no escape."
Alexander is running for re-election in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Tennessee. Alexander is seeking the Republican nomination in the primary. The general election takes place on November 4, 2014.
The tea party called out Alexander in August 2013 for his bipartisanship and his willingness to compromise with other congressional members. Alexander responded to his critics in a op-ed published in a Tennessee newspaper. He explained, "I learned to count in Maryville City Schools. So I know that if you only have 45 votes and you need 60 senators to get something important done like balancing the budget and fixing the debt, then you have to work with other people — that is, IF you really care about solving the problem, IF you really want to get a result, instead of just making a speech."
In January 2014, Alexander ran his first campaign ad of 2014. The ad emphasizes his conservative values.
To view the full congressional electoral history for Lamar Alexander, click [show] to expand the section.
Comprehensive donor information for Alexander is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Alexander raised a total of $14,416,657 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.
|Lamar Alexander's Campaign Contribution History|
|2008||U.S. Senate (Tennessee)||$8,309,683|
|2002||U.S. Senate (Tennessee)||$6,106,974|
|Grand Total Raised||$14,416,657|
|Lamar Alexander (2014) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|October Quarterly||October 15, 2013||$3,122,433.58||$842,131.03||$(1,158,871.38)||$2,805,693.23|
|Year-End||January 31, 2014||$2,805,693||$774,639||$(402,356)||$3,177,975|
Alexander won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Alexander's campaign committee raised a total of $8,309,683 and spent $6,520,264.
|U.S. Senate, Tennessee General Election, 2008 - Lamar Alexander Campaign Contributions|
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$759,199|
|Total Spent by General Election Opponent||$758,944|
|Top contributors to Lamar Alexander's campaign committee|
|Baker, Donelson et al||$38,850|
|National HealthCare Corp||$38,500|
|Corrections Corp of America||$35,700|
|Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee|
|Securities & Investment||$307,949|
The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.
Alexander most often votes with:
Alexander least often votes with:
Ideology and leadership
Lifetime voting record
According to the website GovTrack, Alexander missed 85 of 3,253 roll call votes from January 2003 to April 2013. This amounts to 2.6%, which is worse than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.
Congressional staff salaries
The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Alexander paid his congressional staff a total of $2,662,905 in 2011. He ranks 11 on the list of the highest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks 61st overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Tennessee ranks 23rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.
Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Alexander's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-9,829,946 to $15,417,995. That averages to $2,794,024.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senate members in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Alexander ranked as the 50th most wealthy senator in 2012.
|Lamar Alexander Yearly Net Worth|
|Year||Avg. Net Worth||% Difference from previous year|
National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Alexander ranked 39th in the conservative rankings in 2012.
- See also: National Journal vote ratings
Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Alexander ranked 38th in the conservative rankings.
Voting with party
The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Lamar Alexander has voted with the Republican Party 86.4% of the time, which ranked 28th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Lamar + Alexander + Tennessee + Senate
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Alexander and his wife, Honey, have four children.
- United States Senate
- United States Senate elections in Tennessee, 2014
- United States congressional delegations from Tennessee
- Social media:
- Political profiles:
- Financial (federal level):
- Interest group ratings:
- Issue positions:
- Public statements:
- Voting record:
- Works by or about:
- Media appearances:
- Media coverage:
- Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Lamar Alexander," accessed November 4, 2011
- Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" accessed January 22, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress, accessed September 5, 2013
- Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity," December 9, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- CNN "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 )," accessed February 12, 2014
- NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
- Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
- U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
- Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
- Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
- Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Sen. Lamar Alexander: Sebelius should resign," accessed October 30, 2013
- U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
- The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
- Roll Call, "Senator Wants Chatty Future Air Travelers to Get Off His Lawn", accessed November 26, 2013
- Politico, "Lamar Alexander top aide investigated for child porn", accessed December 11, 2013
- Roll Call, "Loskarn Found in Basement After Suicide, Authorities Say (Updated) (Video)", accessed January 24, 2014
- CNN.com, "Senate aide who killed himself left final message", accessed January 29, 2014
- Nooga.com, "Alexander endorses Mitt Romney for president," February 27, 2012
- Lamar Alexander for U.S. Senate 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed July 31, 2013
- Washington Post, "Republican Lamar Alexander calls out the Tea Party", accessed August 21, 2013
- Roll Call, "Lamar Alexander Launches First TV Ad", accessed January 11, 2014
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
- Open Secrets "Donor history for Lamar Alexander" accessed April 25, 2013
- FEC "April Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
- '"FEC "July Quarterly," accessed August 1, 2013
- '"FEC "October Quarterly," accessed October 30, 2013
- Federal Election Commission "Lamar Alexander Year-End," accessed February 14, 2014
- Open Secrets "Lamar Alexander 2008 Election Cycle," accessed November 4, 2011
- OpenCongress, "Lamar Alexander," accessed August 8, 2013
- Gov Track "Lamar Alexander," accessed July 2, 2013
- GovTrack, "Alexander," accessed April 11, 2013
- LegiStorm, "Lamar Alexander," accessed August 6, 2012
- OpenSecrets.org, "Alexander, 2012," accessed January 14, 2014
- National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
- National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
- OpenCongress "Voting With Party"
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