WVLT Exclusive: Senator Lamar Alexander discusses the economy, health care, gas prices and presidential candidates

By: Steve Crabtree
By: Steve Crabtree

Knoxville (WVLT) - He’s been called the “intellectual optimist.” Now, Tennessee’s senior U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s optimism stands to be challenged as he takes on the job of Senate GOP Caucus Chairman during what is expected to be a tumultuous Presidential election year. Senator Alexander sat down with WVLT Volunteer TV News Director Steve Crabtree to talk about his vision for Tennessee and the nation as well as his proposed answers for everything from escalating fuel prices to the housing crunch.

Alexander is co-sponsor of legislation to provide taxpayers willing to purchase a new or repossessed home with as much as $15,000 in tax credits. The tax credits would be granted to the buyer over three years. The proposal is a key ingredient of a formula endorsed by Tennessee’s senior senator to bail out the country’s sagging home sales and aid lenders as well as homeowners ailing under a high number of foreclosures.

Senator Alexander is advocating more aggressive fuel efficiency developments through research within East Tennessee’s Oak Ridge laboratories. Citing finite timetables mapped out by researchers, Alexander says more fuel efficient vehicles will lessen the demand for oil, hence drive down prices. At the same time, the Blount County native promises cleaner burning motors to help clean up the problematic issues with the air in and around Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Alexander also comments on issues ranging from the race for the White House and why presumptive Republican nominee Senator John McCain would be better for Tennessee to health care in Tennessee via his “Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies” legislation as well as a number of other issues. A broader scope of the exchange can be viewed by clicking on one of the links above.


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