Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander's reelection campaign announced four upcoming fundraising events that he predicted would add more than $3 million to his $1 million war chest. Politico is reporting observers see the announcement as a way to scare off would-be conservative primary challengers.
Fellow Republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker will host the first fundraiser at his house in Chattanooga in April. The others will be in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis. The 72-year-old Alexander, who is seeking his third term, has been seeking out so-called "bundlers". Ten supporters have already agreed to raise $100,000. The campaign is trying to get 25 others to agree to bring in at least $50,000.
Alexander has been aggressive about shoring up support early. In December he named five Republicans in the House delegation, Governor Bill Haslam and Speaker Beth Harwell as co-chairmen.
Republican U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is proposing a "grand swap" in which the federal government would take over all responsibility for Medicaid and the states would gain all control over education.
The senator said in an address to a joint session of the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday that the proposal mirrors one he made to President Ronald Reagan three decades ago while Alexander was Tennessee governor. Alexander said Reagan embraced the idea, but it did not gain any traction in Congress.
Alexander told reporters after the speech that he see similar barriers to his proposal amid Democratic control of the Senate and the presidency, but said the change would remove the concerns and political challenges facing the states on expanding Medicaid or creating state insurance exchanges.
Tennessee’s senior U.S. Senator is speaking out against proposed changes to the filibuster. Republican Lamar Alexander says efforts to limit filibusters would cost the Senate its historic function as a brake on legislation that otherwise might be rushed through the chamber.
The 72-year-old Alexander tells The Tennessean says without the filibuster the Senate would become “just like the House”, where a simple majority vote would win each time. When a Senator engages in a filibuster, it takes 60 votes to bring it to an end, so that the legislation in question can be considered for a vote.
Some Democrats are talking openly about changing Senate rules in January that would allow a simple majority vote to change the filibuster policy, as opposed to the 67 votes that have been the standard.