US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced yesterday that he would not be seeking re-election in 2020, according to Stat News. He has led the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee — which oversees biomedical research and more — since 2015, Stat News adds.
"I have gotten up every day thinking that I could help make our state and country a little better," Alexander said in his retirement announcement, according to Vox, "and gone to bed most nights thinking that I have."
However, Politico notes that Alexander's approach to politics favors bipartisanship, which it says has gotten more difficult to achieve in recent years. It adds that Alexander, who is 78, would be running in 2020 in a state that has become more conservative.
Alexander's retirement will open up the top position in the HELP committee, and Stat News says this will likely prompt jockeying to obtain that spot. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) is next in line for the chair, it notes, though he already chairs the Senate Budget Committee and would have to give that position up to take the top HELP spot. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is behind Enzi in line, it adds.