Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the below statement after voting against H.R.5055, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017. The bill failed by a vote of 112 – 305.
“The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill scored several conservative victories, including a ban on implementation of the EPA’s harmful ‘Waters of the United States’ rule and the inclusion of my amendment to ban the use of any funds from this measure for sanctuary cities. Regrettably, however, the Republican House passed a liberal amendment to the bill late last night, while their constituents were sound asleep, that attacks religious liberty and could have effectively extended President Obama’s bathroom directive to federal contractors,” said Congressman Diane Black. “This amendment, offered by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) would have codified a 2014 executive order by President Obama creating a special legal status among federal contractors for LGBT individuals. Setting policy by executive fiat, rather than through the legislative process, on sensitive matters such as this is never appropriate. With this amendment, Congress rewarded the President’s end-run around our branch of government and encouraged the use of further overreaching executive orders in the last months of the Obama Presidency. I could not, in good conscience, vote for the appropriations bill with this damaging amendment included.”
NOTE: As Congressman Black’s statement notes, the House passed her amendment to H.R. 5055 yesterday evening. The amendment prohibits any funds provided in this act from being expended on sanctuary cities that ignore federal immigration law. The amendment was adopted by a voice vote. To watch Congressman Black’s floor speech in support of her amendment, click HERE.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) recently sent a letter to Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO William Johnson raising concerns regarding the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project. Rep. Black sent similar letters about the project to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) urging them to consider the community impact of the proposed wind farm. The letters follow Rep. Black’s April town hall meeting in Fairfield Glade where community members voiced strong opposition to the wind farm. Black released the following statement:
“At my April town hall meeting in Fairfield Glade, countless Cumberland County residents voiced strong reservations about the proposed wind farm and asked me to speak up on their behalf,” said Congressman Diane Black. “As a conservative, I am a strong believer in private property rights and in local control of zoning and permitting matters, but upon further research I learned this project already required approval from multiple federal agencies, including TVA, EPA, FAA, and USFWS. The more I learn about the Apex wind farm, the more deeply I am convinced that the project is not in the best interest of Tennesseans. For these reasons, I sent a letter to each federal agency with jurisdiction over the proposed wind farm to lay out my constituents’ concerns and ask the agencies to consider the long-term consequences of such a project on local tourism and the aesthetic beauty of our region. Working together, I am hopeful we can stop this unsightly and needless project from taking place in Cumberland County residents’ backyards.”
In her letter to TVA, Congressman Black explains:
I am writing in regards to the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project. This project would encompass 1,800 acres on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau which is home to the beautiful Cumberland Mountain State Park.
I have heard serious concerns from my constituents who reside in the area and stand to be affected by this wind farm. As such, I implore you to host hearings for residents of Cumberland County in order to address their concerns before granting Apex Clean Energy access to Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) high voltage lines.
Last year TVA stated the agency had no immediate need for new base load plants after Watts Bar Unit 2 becomes active. Does the agency and the community expect a positive return-on-investment that justifies the long-term development costs?
The Cumberland County community and Tennessee as a whole will bear some form of cost from this project. While these costs may not be economic, they will certainly be tangible. The Cumberland Mountains have an importance that reaches well beyond the borders of the county and its preservation should not be mortgaged on short-term interests. Given this, I must ask if this project is in the best interest of all Tennesseans.
I respectfully request that you carefully consider these ramifications and all of the effects – beyond dollars and cents – that this wind farm will have. This project will have far reaching consequences for the residents of Cumberland County and all Tennesseans who visit the Cumberland Mountains. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
For digital copies of each of Rep. Black’s letters, click below:
Washington, D.C. –Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement in response to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee’s federal complaint against Sumner County, Tennessee schools:
“Washington liberals’ campaign to compromise the safety and privacy of our students in the name of hyper-political correctness has now hit our backyard,” said Congressman Diane Black. “These days, a complaint by the ACLU is a sure sign you’ve done something right. From the organization’s work to silence expressions of faith in our schools to their attacks on laudable organizations like Boy Scouts of America, they’ve lost all credibility with Tennesseans and they know it. Nonetheless, if the ACLU wants to pick a fight with our Sumner County educators, then they’ll have to pick a fight with me as well. I sent my children to Sumner County public schools. I know our Director of Schools and the Chairman of the Board of Education. I have the utmost confidence in their ability to offer accommodations for transgender students while maintaining reasonable policies that protect the privacy and security of the student population as a whole and I stand with them in the face of this blatantly political complaint.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) met with Lebanon High School students Emma Naylor, Kevin Brown, and Olivia Fancher at the Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) “Team America Rocketry Challenge” competition in Washington D.C. The students are national finalists in the annual competition and will compete this weekend against students from 99 of the top rocketry teams in the nation for the championship title. Black released the following statement:
“I’m proud to see these 6th district students using their God-given talents for such a worthy endeavor and representing our state at this prestigious competition,” said Congressman Diane Black. “STEM careers are in increasingly high demand and I have no doubt that the skills these students have acquired will position them for success in whatever profession they choose to pursue. I wish them the best of luck in tomorrow’s championship competition. Regardless of the outcome, they are already winners in my book.”
To learn more about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, visit their website here.
Background (courtesy of AIA): The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the world’s largest student rocket contest. Approximately 5,000 students participate each year. The competition gives middle and high school students a chance to pursue further study and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and is a critical piece of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger workforce development pipeline. This year's rules require teams to build and launch a rocket carrying two raw eggs to 850 feet and return them to Earth uncracked within a flight duration of 44 to 46 seconds. A new requirement this year calls for the eggs to be placed perpendicularly to each other, posing an additional challenge to rocket body design.
The National Finals will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Students will come to Washington D.C. Friday, May 13 for the Rockets on the Hill Reception and Capitol Hill visit. The following day, students compete in the Final Fly-off at Great Meadow in The Plains, V.A., about 50 miles west of Washington, D.C. If necessary, a rain date is scheduled for Sunday, May 15.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the below statement today following the Obama Administration’s plans to issue a sweeping directive related to transgender students and public school restrooms:
“This attempt to bully our local schools into submission to the Obama Administration’s agenda is shameful and a gross abuse of the federal government’s power. It has nothing to do with compassion for minority student populations and everything to do with political opportunism for the next election. We all agree on the rights of students to be treated with dignity and respect, but that right must also exist alongside the rights of students to maintain their privacy and safety in their own schools. As a grandmother of young girls, I believe the Obama Administration is now directly responsible for endangering our students. It is worth noting that this directive does not carry the force of law and I would encourage Tennessee school officials to continue following their consciences,” said Congressman Diane Black. “States like Tennessee should be able to make these decisions for themselves without fear of reprisal from a heavy-handed federal government. That is why, later this year when our appropriations bills come to the House floor, I plan to introduce an amendment barring the Department of Education from withholding funds from states that pass commonsense legislation protecting our children from sharing a bathroom with students of the opposite sex.”
1531 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
As a nurse, small businesswoman and former educator, Congressman Diane Black brings a unique and dynamic perspective to her work in Congress. Diane’s faith in America’s promise was shaped from an early age. The middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.
First elected to Congress in 2010, Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, which includes 19 counties in middle Tennessee. Black is driven by her Christian faith and an unwavering commitment to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, enact market-based health care reform, and return America to its founding principles of limited government and a strong free enterprise system.
Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and has quickly established herself as a leader in the efforts to fundamentally reform the U.S. tax code for the first time in over 25 years. Black is fighting for a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code to help create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and higher wages for American workers. In the 113th Congress, Black was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group.
Through her over 40 years of experience working in the health care field, Black learned first-hand about the importance of high-quality care and the obstacles faced by patients, health care providers and employers. Black’s real world experiences as a nurse have uniquely positioned her as a credible and effective leader on health care policy in Congress. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice. In the 112th Congress, Black was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals a health care provision in Obamacare, which saved taxpayers $13 billion dollars.
Black is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and a co-author of the 2014 Path to Prosperity budget, which balances the federal budget within ten years, reduces federal spending by $4.6 trillion, saves Medicare for future generations and promotes private sector economic growth. Black is a firm believer that getting America’s fiscal house in order also requires serious reforms of the broken Congressional Budget process. That is why she introduced the Legally Binding Budget Act, H.R. 1868, and has been a leading advocate for initiatives such as the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which withholds pay from Congress if an annual budget is not passed by the legal deadline.
Building off her work in the Tennessee legislature as a pro-life leader, Black has continued to fight for the rights of the unborn. Her first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, H.R. 217, would block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Black is also the sponsor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, legislation that would protect the religious freedom of health care providers who refuse to perform abortions and offers full exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) employee healthcare mandate that requires coverage for abortion inducing drugs.
Black and her husband of over 30 years, Dr. David Black have three grown children and six grandchildren. They live in Gallatin and attend Community Church in Hendersonville.
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