WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, appeared today on CNN’s “State of the Union” to discuss President Obama's recess appointments and the Democrats' government takeover of student lending.
On President Obama's recess appointments:
* "What the president has done is throw fuel on the fire at a time when the debate about politics is a very angry debate to begin with. He said, 'even though 41 senators said no and some democrats said no, I'm going to put this guy in to the National Labor Relations Board who has indicated in his writings that he believes that by federal regulation, you can abolish the secret ballot and union regulations.'"
On the importance of checks and balances following President Obama's recess appointments:
* "This is going to cause the election of a lot more Scott Browns who are determined to come in and provide checks and balances in Washington and stop the overreaching of the government. We have a Senate to provide advice and consent. We have a constitutional responsibility to keep the president from ramming things through like they did the health care bill, like they did student loans over the weekend and like he is doing with this labor appointee."
On Democrats' government takeover of student lending:
* "Today, there are 19 million student loans: 15 million are private, four million of them are government. After July 1, students are going to go to the federal call center to get their student loan. The federal government is going to be borrowing money at 2.8 percent, loaning it to you at 6.8 percent, and overcharging you $1,700 on the average $25,000 loan over ten years. And then use the money to help pay for the health care bill and other government programs and running up the national debt another half trillion dollars to get the money to make the loans. It will throw 31,000 people out of jobs. We ought to hide the yellow pages from these Democrats. If they can find it in the yellow pages, they think the government ought to be doing it."
On civility in politics:
* "We shouldn't have over the top actions. It is just as wrong for Senator Reid to call President Bush a liar as it is for a Republican congressman to call President Obama a liar. It was wrong for MoveOn.org to run a full-page ad about General Petraeus. Rudyard Kipling's advice is pretty good: 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.' It would be good advice for those in political leadership who are supposed to be setting an example."