Sen. Lamar Alexander at the Anderson County Reagan Day Dinner. (Photo: Staff)

Sen. Lamar Alexander will be the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for the 113th Congress, as his GOP colleagues voted Tuesday to name him as the committee's ranking member.

The committee, one of the largest in the Senate, oversees the health care industry, along with education. In a news release, the senator said he hoped to look to Tennessee for examples of how to best guide policies put before the committee. 

"Tennessee is helping lead the country in health care and education innovation, and this opportunity will give me a strong voice in reducing regulations that get in the way of private sector innovation and getting Washington out of decisions that should be made by states, communities and individuals," Alexander said.

Last year, Alexander's work on the committee included an investigation regarding a fungal meningitis outbreak, which killed more than a dozen Tennesseans and more than 30 people nationwide. Following hearings on the matter, Alexander said one of his first actions would be to draft and introduce legislation immediately addressing the issue.