May 2007

From Lamar Alexander’s website:

Over the next three weeks, the Senate will be debating and voting on immigration reform legislation. During that time, this space on my website will be dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest developments.

I voted against the immigration reform bill last year because it didn’t do enough to secure the border.

I’m examining this new bill carefully to make sure it secures the border before it does anything else. It’s inexcusable that there are 12 million illegal immigrants here today, with 1 million more coming each year. We have to fix this problem now. The status quo is unacceptable.

To earn my vote, the final version of this bill should include:

1. Securing the border before it does anything else.

2. Establishing a reliable worker identification system – so employers can know who’s legal and who isn’t and are held accountable if they hire illegal workers.

3. Reforming our system so it attracts the brightest minds from around the world to study here, work here and become Americans.

4. Making sure that immigrants learn English and American history and civics.


Friday, May 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker today applauded a one year moratorium of a proposed change to the rules governing Medicaid program funding to states that would have forced significant cuts in services to Tennesseans. The Supplemental Appropriations bill that passed the Senate 80-14 on Thursday night included this key provision that would prevent implementation of the proposed rule for one year.
“This keeps the doors of important Tennessee hospitals open,” said Alexander, who – as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – voted for the amendment that imposed the one-year moratorium during committee debate on the Supplemental Appropriations bill. “Blocking this proposed rule is great news for the health of thousands of Tennesseans. Although I would have preferred passing this provision as part of a different bill, I’m glad we were able to get it done.”

“I’ve had serious concerns about the impact the proposed rule would have on the accessibility and quality of health care Tennesseans receive,” Corker said. “I’m pleased that we have been successful in suspending any cuts for at least a year, and look forward to working with the administration on a more constructive way to move ahead.”

In March, the senators wrote a joint letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee expressing their concerns over the impact this particular proposal would have on 19 Tennessee hospitals, including 10 rural facilities, seven urban facilities and two safety net providers.

Under the proposed rule, only hospitals meeting a new definition of a “public” hospital would be eligible to use certified public expenditures (CPEs) that help states fund their Medicaid programs, which would have cut Medicaid funding to safety net providers in Tennessee. Based on analysis from the TennCare Bureau, which administers Tennessee’s Medicaid program, the proposed rule would cost Tennessee’s hospitals an estimated $1.3 billion over 5 years.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) made the following statement today after voting for the Iraq supplemental funding bill:
“After months of political posturing and non-binding resolutions on Iraq, I’m delighted to vote for a supplemental bill that will actually give General Petraeus and our troops on the ground the time, resources and support they need,” said Corker. “This supplemental also sends a clear message to the Iraqi government that we are serious about our expectation that they do those things necessary to take over their own destiny and maintain their own security.”

Here it is. This will (hopefully) end the debate. And I promise (not really) that these will be my last comments on the issue.

Are you ready?


There is no need for more legislation. Send the squatters back to the lands from whence they came. Stop spending money trying to come up with new and creative ways to convince the American people that Congress is actually trying to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and spend that money on actually getting rid of the ones who are already here. Stop giving them welfare. Stop educating their children. And, for heaven’s sake, stop giving them a free pass!

Here are Corker’s comments from his website:

Monday, May 14, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) made the following statement today in regards to the fiscal year 2008 earmarking process:
“I don’t believe there are very many Americans who have faith in the way the federal government spends their money, and abuses of the earmark system have no doubt contributed to an erosion of public confidence. I share this skepticism.

“The earmarking process is in transition, and I want to spend this first year helping shape earmark reforms and reviewing the entire appropriations process. For that reason, this first year our office is only requesting appropriations that meet the following guidelines: (1) Are in support of a clear federal mission; and (2) are explicitly authorized by federal legislation such as those Army Corps of Engineer projects that are authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA); or (3) have won multi-year competitive grant awards through an authorized federal program.”

So, at least he’s doing something about the ridiculous earmarking practice, but, unfortunately, it’s not nearly enough. While I praise Corker for at least taking some sort of stand against the gross overspending going on in Washington, I much prefer Rep. Ron Paul’s strategy, who “will not give in to pressure to vote for bills that spend taxpayers’ money or that he feels violate the Constitution” (Wikipedia). This policy has earned him the nickname “Dr. No” on the Hill. And I like that.

NASHVILLE – Gov. Phil Bredesen and Rep. Matthew Hill congratulate Johnson City for earning a $10,000 Main Street Innovation Grant to develop gateway signs for the downtown district.

“This grant allows communities to get creative and pursue a forward-thinking approach to community development,” said Bredesen. “I applaud the leaders of Johnson City for taking advantage of the Main Street Innovation Grant to improve its downtown commercial district.”

The Main Street Innovation Grant, which requires communities to match 20 percent, supports the development of new, innovative projects, programs, activities and technology that exhibit best practices in downtown revitalization. The Johnson City grant will fund fabrication, installation and labor for two gateway signs.

“This grant will help improve the community’s downtown commercial district,” Rep. Hill said. “I want to commend city leaders for recognizing the importance of this project and making the necessary plans to secure funding.”

He added, “This funding support will be a great benefit to the city and provide much needed improvements to preserve Johnson City’s historic downtown.”

“I am pleased to award these Main Street Communities with funding to improve their historic downtown districts,” said ECD Commissioner Matthew Kisber. “Making an investment in these communities helps our state maintain a positive business climate, creating an environment where companies can grow and succeed, and providing more Tennesseans with higher-paying, better-skilled jobs.”

The Main Street program is a statewide program that provides communities with technical assistance and guidance in developing long-term strategies that promote economic development, historic preservation and growth in traditional commercial districts across Tennessee. The program requires certified Tennessee Main Street communities to meet National Accreditation standards which include broad-based community support for the program, a comprehensive work plan, a sufficient operating budget and adequate staff and volunteer support.

The Main Street “Four-point Approach to Downtown Revitalization” is a comprehensive, incremental, self-help economic strategy that focuses on developing public-private partnerships to enhance community livability and job creation, while maintaining the historic character of their downtown district. Tennessee Main Street is a coordinating program of the National Main Street Center, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information on the Tennessee Main Street Program, visit ECD online.

NASHVILLE – State Representative Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) co-sponsored legislation that sets the minimum period of incarceration for rape of a child at 25 years as opposed to current law, which dictates a minimum of 15 years. Hill, who is known as a strong advocate for tougher laws against rapists and for victim’s rights legislation, said, “We must target those who prey on children and make absolutely sure that they are serving at least 25 years.”

The measure gained the House’s approval last night, as lawmakers voted unanimously to implement the law. Hill said he was proud to have been a part of the decision-making process, because it means so much to his district. “This truly is a victory for our children,” he stated.

“We need to take bold action to protect our children from the pain of rape or child sexual abuse,” Hill continued. “There should be no “good time” or breaks in sentencing for these offenders. This legislation is a big step in the right direction to place those who harm children behind bars and make sure they pay the full penalty of law for their horrendous actions.”

Next Page »