Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Always Learning

2017/08/11

Guest blog post by Kyle, Congressman Blackburn's Communications Director



During this August recess, I had the opportunity to join other congressional staff for an overview of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s operations in the Chattanooga area. The TVA plays a large role in the lives of so many Seventh District residents, and it is important to Congressman Blackburn, so it was essential to see firsthand why we need to make certain TVA remains productive and able to meet the energy needs of the Tennessee Valley. I was constantly impressed with the devotion and dedication to the customers every TVA employee exhibited as we looked at the various aspects of the TVA.

Safe, Reliable and Economic Power

On our trip, it was immediately clear that the TVA and its employees have reliability and affordability at the forefront of all their decisions. They strive to make sure that their power supply is always available and they utilize a number of practices to keep costs as low as possible. They have put together a true “all-of-the-above” energy portfolio including nuclear, coal, hydro, wind, natural gas, and solar. This allows them to deliver an abundance pf power to service providers all across the over 80,000 square miles it services in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia.

A view of the four massive turbines at the Raccoon Mountain facility. Combined they can produce over 1,600 megawatts of power!


The TVA is self-funded, turning profits into cost savings for you, economic development initiatives, and even sending some money back to the federal government!

Economic Development

Not only is TVA committed to its users, it is also dedicated to improving the communities it serves. Everywhere we went – from Sequoia Nuclear Plant to the Raccoon Mountain hydroelectric facility – efforts were in place to work with the neighboring communities to spur business investments, provide educational and recreational resources, and create jobs for local residents.

The employees at the Sequoia Nuclear Plant were extremely proud of their work with the Partners in Education and Sequoia Spirit Fund – programs that raised funds for local school districts and provided mentorship and tutoring for school children. At Raccoon Mountain, I was impressed with the commitment to making sure the mountain served both the TVA and the community. Not only does this facility provide an immense amount of power and serve as a cost-saving storage facility, the mountain has been turned into a recreation and learning center. Enthusiasts can spend time hiking or mountain biking the trails built on the mountain, school groups and naturists can learn all they want at the learning center the TVA built, and everyone can take a moment to simply enjoy the stunning views of the gorge from the top of the mountain.

A view of the Tennessee River Gorge from the top of Raccoon Mountain.



It is a true partnership the TVA aims to build with the people it serves.

Responsible Stewardship

Another standout goal of the TVA is responsible stewardship of the land and resources it uses. The people of the TVA are well aware of the importance of the Tennessee River system and the public land it occupies across the valley.

A boat tour of the Tennessee River highlighted the wildlife and ecological considerations TVA makes in its operations



They know you depend on it as much, if not more, than they do, and they are working hard to not only protect, but enhance the area. From reforestation to habitat enhancement to ecotourism, the TVA aims to leave the smallest footprint possible.

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Going far beyond being a simple power company, the TVA has made itself a neighbor to its customers. It was fantastic to see the role it played in bring reliable and efficient power to so many households in Tennessee, but it was equally impressive to see how far beyond it really goes. The trip was enlightening and provided a good look into what the TVA does for the people it serves and the people we serve here in the Congressman’s office.


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Take a Taste of National Farmers Market Week

2017/08/08

It’s National Farmers Market Week—the 18th consecutive year the Department of Agriculture celebrates the critical role local farmers play in the nation’s food system. And I couldn’t be more delighted to put farmers in the 7th district center stage.

Long before eating organic became trendy, Tennessee farmers were tending large gardens and small fields of specialty crops, then selling them roadside to passing drivers. I’ve stopped at many of those country stands, picking up freshly-harvested okra, watermelons, green beans, zucchini, sweet corn and blueberries. I buy fruits and vegetables at these stands because they’re ripe, well-priced, and delicious. But I also know those dollars I hand over have a huge community impact.

Growers selling locally stimulate local economies. Not only do these farmers return more than three times as much of their sales to the local economy than do chain competitors, they create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned. That’s an incredible impact on local farmers’ and citizens’ livelihoods—especially when 25% of the vendors draw their sole source of income from the local market.

Markets preserve farmland and rural livelihood. The local media has been full of stories about the massive growth Tennessee is experiencing—100 people/day! But did you know the U.S. loses an acre of farmland a minute to development? When you shop at a farmers market, you support the livelihoods of mostly small and mid-sized family farms and ranches. And when you support them, you slow down the loss of Tennessee farmland.

Farm stands increase access to fresh food. Surprisingly, produce prices at farmers markets are lower, on average, than grocery store prices. And people eat more fruits and vegetables when they stop at these stands instead of a grocery store. Why? Because the food is fresher—often, just-picked. Rich soil still clings to the vegetable roots and never-refrigerated berries shine. That’s incredibly appetizing.

Markets support healthy communities. If you’ve been to a farmers market lately, you may have noticed they’re becoming gathering places for the community. Not only do you get to meet the farmers who personally grow your food, you’re able to share a favorite recipe with a neighbor. I’ve bumped into so many of you, shaken your hands, answered questions, heard your concerns…and I was just popping in for a ripe tomato! These kinds of interactions make us stronger and healthier.

In Tennessee, we love our farmers as much as we love good food. Sadly, there are 3.5 times as many U.S. farmers over the age of 65 as there are under 35. We need to support new, young farmers and ranchers as they start small, test new products at these farmers markets, and grow their family businesses. We need to encourage this rare bridge between urban and rural communities.

So, make your way to the markets in your county this weekend and celebrate our farmers during their nationally-recognized week. I may just see you there.


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Blackburn, Kennedy Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Legislation Heads to President’s Desk

2017/08/04

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), along with U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), on Thursday applauded final passage of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act as part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization Act, which passed the Senate on Thursday with a strong bipartisan vote of 94-1.

The legislation will make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter to Americans with mild to moderate hearing impairment. It also requires the FDA to write regulations ensuring that this new category of OTC hearing aids meets the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling and manufacturing protections as all medical devices, providing consumers the option of an FDA-regulated device at lower cost.

"I am very pleased to see the FDA reauthorization pass in the Senate, and even more pleased it contained the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid measure I sponsored in the House," Blackburn said. “This is a true win for the millions of Americans struggling with hearing loss and the costs associated with it. Making hearing aids more accessible and affordable is a commonsense measure, and I am glad to see such strong bipartisan support in both in both the House and Senate."

"Expensive, inaccessible hearing aids not only deny millions of Americans hearing loss relief, they leave our neighbors facing isolation, anxiety and even memory loss," said Kennedy. "By sparking innovation and competition in this industry, this bill will improve the lives of our constituents in their communities, businesses and homes. With bipartisan passage of this bill through Congress, we have moved closer to a country where mild to moderate hearing loss is no longer a debilitating diagnosis."

"This law will make a life changing difference for millions of Americans who experience hearing loss but can't access the hearing aid technology they need because of high costs and excessive regulations," said Warren. "By passing this legislation and making some hearing aids available over the counter, we will increase competition, spur innovation, and bring down prices. I'm grateful to my colleagues - Democrats and Republicans - for joining me in this effort."

"A lot of people are looking forward to the enactment of this provision," Grassley said. "Consumers are interested in new hearing aid products to improve their quality of life at an affordable price. The more products available, the more consumers will be able to find something they can afford that works for them."

"As more and more Granite Staters and Americans are squeezed by rising health care costs, this bipartisan bill is an important step forward in our efforts to bring real cost savings to older Americans who experience hearing loss, while encouraging innovation in the market," said Hassan. "I am pleased that the Senate took an important step forward to making affordable, over-the-counter hearing aids a reality, and I will continue working across the aisle to strengthen the health and financial well-being of all hard-working Americans."

"In addition to funding the FDA's important work, this legislation will help millions of Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss by improving access to hearing aids, driving down costs and increasing competition," said Isakson.

"Hearing aids allow Americans who experience hearing loss to communicate with friends, family, coworkers, and others as well as participate fully in society. I recently chaired an Aging Committee hearing on social isolation among seniors, which revealed that hearing loss, if left untreated, may contribute to loneliness, increasing the risk of serious mental and physical health outcomes." said Collins. "By making some types of hearing aids available over the counter, this commonsense legislation will help increase access to and lower the cost of these products for the consumers who need them."

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 received endorsements from leading organizations representing seniors, consumers and hearing health professionals, including the AARP, the Gerontological Society of America, the Hearing Loss Association of America, Consumers Union, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the American Federation of Teachers, the Consumer Technology Association, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, the Niskanen Institute, R St. Institute, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

Approximately 48 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss, including two-thirds of adults between the ages of 70 to 79. Yet only a small share of Americans with hearing loss - around 14 percent - use hearing aids, primarily due to their high cost. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans, and out-of-pocket costs for a single hearing aid average $2,400 - far out of reach for many consumers.

The legislation passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a unanimous, bipartisan vote, and passed the full House of Representatives without objection in July. The legislation was voted out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee on a bipartisan vote, and passed the Senate today 94-1.

The bill text is available here. A fact sheet about the bill is available here.

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Blackburn measure implemented to put digital health care in consumers’ hands

2017/07/27

WASHINGTON – Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a member of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health, on Thursday praised the FDA’s launch of its Pre-Cert for Software Pilot Program, which implements legislation she authored that became law as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The FDA program changes the regulatory process for certain medical devices, allowing firms making digital health products such as apps, to get their technology into the hands of patients and consumers so they can reap the benefits of the latest innovations and take an active role in their own health care.

“Americans today lean on apps for everything from scheduling to grocery shopping to entertainment,” Blackburn said. “Why shouldn’t they be able to use those technologies to monitor and maintain their health?”

Certain medical health apps are currently regulated as medical devices and subjected to traditional medical device regulations. But it doesn’t stop there. Each and every upgrade to those apps is required to go through the same regulatory process. All of this means that apps that could bring significant health benefits, lower costs, greater access, remain tied up in bureaucracy for far too long – often outliving their usefulness before ever coming to market.

“With the speed at which today’s technology changes and updates, the FDA’s traditional, heavy-handed regulatory framework simply isn’t feasible for things such as apps, which can provide a significant benefit to consumers and patients so long as they have access to them before its obsolete,” Blackburn continued. “This was the focus of my SOFTWARE Act. By employing a light-touch regulatory approach and establishing a thorough pre-certification program, developers will be able to efficiently deliver the latest technology to those who stand to benefit most from it.”

The Sensible Oversight for Technology Which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (SOFTWARE) Act, originally introduced by Blackburn in 2013, was included in the 21st Century Cures Act and signed into law in late 2016.

Blackburn highlighted the significance of this announcement for jobs and the extensive health technology and IT sectors in Tennessee. Her Nashville-area district is home to numerous health care innovators and companies, and has been dubbed the “Nation’s Health Care Industry Capital.” Her district also neighbors Memphis, where one in every four jobs are linked to the medical device industry.

The FDA’s pilot program aims to evaluate a new approach toward software products, including a precertification program for the assessment of companies that perform high-quality software design and testing. This voluntary pilot program is part of FDA’s ongoing efforts to develop pragmatic approaches to balance benefits and risks of digital health products. FDA intends to develop a precertification program that could replace the need for a premarket submission in some cases and allow for decreased submission content and/or faster review of marketing applications for software products in other cases. During the pilot program, FDA customers, including pilot participants, will have the opportunity to provide input on the development of the precertification program.

Blackburn represents Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For more information on the FDA’s pilot program, click here.

 

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Made in America

2017/07/20

It’s “Made in America Week,” and while Tennessee may be better known for fantastic barbecue, incredible music, or the world-famous Les Paul guitar made by Gibson in Nashville, there are a number of companies in our great state making “Made in America” products. I’d like to point your attention to a couple of manufacturers in Tennessee’s Seventh District that pride themselves on making quality, home grown American products – Diamond Gusset Jeans and the Mason Corporation.



Diamond Gusset’s taglines say everything you need to know about the company.

“Born and worn in the USA” cemented their vow 30 years ago to stay 100% American made—a tough decision with all the U.S. regulations and policies that have forced small businesses to choose between manufacturing offshore or merging with other companies to avoid closing.

“Grown and sewn in the USA since 1987” propelled Diamond Gusset through decades of invention in Hickman County, and Tennessee is richer for having such quality merchandise as part of our landscape.

Just 50 miles northeast, in Brentwood, Tennessee, is the Mason Corporation, maker of scooters, water slides, roller and ice skates, and custom shade structures. Since 1982, this family-owned, award-winning company has been a shining example and leading voice for the “Made in America” manufacturing community.

When they saw the market lacked ridable toys for special needs children, they adapted their flagship scooter to fill that need. When a massive recall of imported toys hit the industry in 2007, they formed a coalition of U.S. toy manufacturers to reaffirm their commitment to manufacture products made solely in the U.S.A. And when the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 required new standards, they complied and introduced eco-friendly and recycled plastic materials.

Even as their products bring joy and fun to children and communities around the world, Williamson County is fortunate to have a company so dedicated to making sure their products are worthy of the “Made in the USA” label.

We all know “Made in America” is a gold standard for quality and craftsmanship. President Trump wants to help Americans create, build and grow more products in our country, using American labor, American goods, and American grit. I stand beside him on that agenda.

I’m delighted to serve a district with such thoughtful and inspiring companies, and look forward to finding ways to support American businesses, protect American workers, and inspire more companies to make and source their products right here in the United States of America.


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A win for Fort Campbell, military families, national defense.

2017/07/14

  

With things like increasing funding to counter Russian aggression and activities, prohibiting the transfer of dangerous terrorists out of Guantanamo, and boosting our cyber defenses, this year’s defense authorization bill is a win for our military, their families, and the security of all Americans.

In my district, the men and women at Fort Campbell will be happy to hear that this bill provides for a full pay raise under the law and blocks the President’s ability to lower troop pay.

It also begins to restore the readiness issues our military has been facing like the extreme shortfall in manning and maintenance the Screaming Eagles of the 101st described to Fox news earlier this year.

This bill increases the size of the Army by 17,000 soldiers across the active, guard, and reserve spectrum, allowing units like the 101st to fill critical personnel voids.

Further, we authorize additional funding for the Army to fulfill its unfunded maintenance and training requests so aircraft don’t sit unused, abused, or broken.

This year’s NDAA is a big first step towards restoring our military’s readiness, making it more efficient, and taking care of those who serve and their families.

I am pleased to see this bill pass, but there is more to do. I will continue working in the House to make sure those who serve have the resources, training, and certainty they need to keep us safe.

For additional information and a more detailed, comprehensive summary, click here.

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Blackburn on Passage of 2018 Defense Authorization Bill

2017/07/14

WASHINGTON—Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., on Friday issued the following statement upon the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“We have a profound obligation to provide for the common defense. It is our job to ensure those who selflessly serve have the tools and resources they need to keep Americans safe. For those soldiers and their families at Fort Campbell, this bill is a big win, helping relieve shortfalls in personnel, funding, and resources that have strained operations and morale for some time. I am pleased to see this bill pass and hopeful the Senate will take quick action on it.”

RELATED: Blackburn’s column on NDAA impact for soldiers, families at Ft. Campbell

 

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the annual legislation that determines the agencies responsible for defense, establishes funding levels, and sets the policies under which money will be spent. A summary of the bill can be found here. The full bill text can be found here.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, H.R. 2810, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 339-81. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where Senators will either debate the House version of the defense authorization or offer their own version.

Blackburn represents Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District, which is home to many of the soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell, headquarters for the 101st Airborne Division (the “Screaming Eagles”).

 

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Blackburn, Kennedy Hearing Aid Bill Passes House

2017/07/13

WASHINGTON – Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., on Wednesday applauded the passage of their bipartisan Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation would make certain types of hearing aids available over-the-counter to Americans with mild to moderate hearing loss. In addition, the legislation would require the FDA to write regulations ensuring that this new category of OTC hearing aids meets the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling and manufacturing protections as medical devices, providing consumers the option of an FDA-regulated device at lower cost.

"This legislation is the first step to ensuring that millions of Americans can finally have access to affordable hearing aids," said Blackburn. “Just as someone can correct minor sight loss by purchasing reading glasses from their local pharmacy, so too should they be able to correct minor hearing loss with an affordable and accessible hearing aid. This is a bipartisan, commonsense solution the people want and need.”

"Expensive, inaccessible hearing aids not only deny millions of Americans hearing loss relief, they leave our neighbors facing isolation, anxiety and even memory loss,” said Kennedy. “By sparking innovation and competition in this industry, this bill will improve the lives of our constituents in their communities, businesses and homes. With today’s bipartisan passage in the House, we have moved closer to a country where mild to moderate hearing loss is no longer a debilitating diagnosis.”

The provisions of the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act implement major recommendations from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The legislation has received endorsements from AARP, the Gerontological Society of America, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Nearly 30 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss, including over half of adults between the ages of 70 to 79. Yet only a small share of Americans with hearing loss - around 14 percent - use hearing aids, primarily due to their high cost. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans, and out-of-pocket costs for a single hearing aid average $2,400 - far out of reach for many consumers.

The bill text is available here. A fact sheet about the bill is available here.

 

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Above the Noise

2017/06/30

This week’s inappropriate and pointless tweets from the President are a stark example of just what has gone wrong in our political discourse today. Robust yet civil debate over policy disagreements have taken a back seat to thin-skin and knee-jerk reactions to hyper-partisan comments and, unfortunately, unfounded character attacks.

On the day Rep. Steve Scalise and others were shot, seemingly for nothing other than being Republican, not only were we reminded of the consequences of a collapse in civil discourse, but many, including me, renewed our commitment to unity and called for a return to the respectful and civil disagreements that have shaped debate and the political landscape since the birth of our great nation. Our nation and the cause of freedom have been well served by robust and spirited debate.

In this era of 24/7 worldwide news, the President of the United States represents each and every one of us on the world stage. Globally, the President is America, and in this day and age, actions are seen by more and more people and scrutinized more and more intensely around the world. We are right to expect a higher level of civility, graciousness, and diplomacy from our President. We expect the individual who holds the office and the title to rise above the hubris and noise of the day.

While the President is human, and fallible like the rest of us, this current trend needs to stop. This week’s tweets were a step way too far, regardless of what personal exchanges or insults had been hurled. From health care to immigration to trade to infrastructure to terrorism, there are far too many pressing issues facing this country for petty squabbles to be on the President’s radar. I respectfully request, Mr. President, that you turn your focus to the issues we are working on in Congress – the positive solutions we are trying to get to your desk to make America great again. You are delivering on your promises, as are we. Let’s talk more about those and less about one another. The American people would be grateful.

No matter who you are – President of the United States, a cable news anchor, plumber, lawyer, welder, doctor – bombast and ratings should not rank higher than our shared desire to live freely in this country alongside our fellow Americans. We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to express our opinions, no matter how inflammatory or hyperbolic. As a legislator, I work daily to protect those freedoms. But we ought also to remember that we are all a part of a greater humanity, and that civility in our interactions – both personal and digital – is not only proper, but fundamental to a respectful and prosperous society.

 


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Fellow Americans, lend me your ear!

2017/06/20

I am the original co-sponsor of a bill in the House of Representatives called the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act. In short, for those suffering from minor hearing loss, the bill would make hearing aids more affordable and easier to get.

For some, this bill may seem irrelevant. But for the roughly 48 million Americans suffering from hearing loss, this bill could change lives. The facts are clear:



So, I decided it was a good idea to support a bill that allows more people to get the help they need. Recently, however, this commonsense bill has fallen under attack by an ugly foe: plain, unfounded partisan rhetoric. You may have seen the ads railing against it, and many of you have called to express your concerns with this ad.

The claims made in this ad are false and misleading.


Click here to read my op-ed explaining this bill and debunking these erroneous claims.


Click here to see the myths and facts about this bill.


The bottom line is, this is a fiscally conservative policy that increases choice and lowers costs through competition…for all who suffer.


Click here for a summary of the bill.


But don’t take my word for it, read what others have said about this commonsense bill:


       
         
    "Opening the market to OTC hearing aids would force the industry to cut prices and compete head-to-head against newer technologies. For a bill that is virtually an archetype for market-based health care reform, continued conservative opposition communicates a distressing case of partisanship over principle."     
     Samuel Hammond
Poverty and Welfare Analyst at the Niskanen Center
   
         
   

"AARP believes your bill will improve consumers’ access to affordable hearing technologies that can improve their daily living.”

   
   

Joyce Rogers
Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, AARP

   
         
     “This would seem to be a no-brainer. It would drive down prices for all hearing devices by increasing choice and competition.”    
     The Washington Times, 6/11/2017    
         
     “The approval of over-the-counter hearing aids will also cut through the red tape and confusing federal, state and local regulations that currently make purchasing a hearing aid intimidating even for those who can afford them. As hearing aids become more affordable and easier to purchase, HLAA believes that far more Americans will take advantage of them.”    
     Barbara Kelley
Executive Director, Hearing Loss Association of America
   
         
     “We feel this legislation will allow us to create innovative solutions to provide greater access and lower cost for millions of Americans.”    
     Mark Gorder
President & CEO, IntriCon
   
         
     “The best part of this over-the-counter scenario: Instead of spending an average of $1,500 to $2,000 per device (and nearly everyone needs two), you’ll find that the price has plummeted. You might pay $300 per ear, maybe even less.”    
     The New York Times, 6/12/2017    
         
     “This would help with the out-of-pocket costs many seniors face due to gaps in Medicare coverage for hearing, vision and dental care.”    
     The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations    
         
     “This may be the first and last time I’ve ever been on the side of Elizabeth Warren!”    
     Stephen Moore
noted conservative writer, economist, and hearing-loss-sufferer
   
         
     “[This bill] will expand access to quality hearing health products and services, reduce duplicative costs, and remove unnecessary, nonbeneficial barriers to care.”    
     Academy of Doctors of Audiology    
         
         


Some of the supporters of this bill include:


At the end of the day, this bill addresses a problem that does not discriminate and does not subscribe to one political party or another. At older ages, hearing loss becomes almost universal, affecting more than 60 percent of those in their 70s and nearly 80 percent of those over 80. While we may disagree politically, we shouldn’t let good policy perish because we can’t hear past hyper-partisan rhetoric.

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Contact Information

217 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2811
Fax 202-225-3004
blackburn.house.gov

Growing up, Marsha Blackburn learned that the promise of our nation depends on each generation of Americans working hard to leave the country a better place than they found it. As a small business woman, author, mother, grandmother, and Member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn has dedicated her service to the sacred obligation all citizens have to their communities: making Tennessee and America a better, more prosperous, and freer place.

Congressman Blackburn began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator. Blackburn’s Senate career was marked by her commitment to fiscal common sense and government accountability. She became known to her constituents for holding “budget school” in her district and across the state; identifying waste and offering solutions for a state in a budget crunch.

While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Blackburn led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. She earned the reputation as a champion of anti-tax and government reform issues, frequently appearing on local talk radio and even earning the attention of national publications like the Wall Street Journal and conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform.

Blackburn’s reputation for focusing on individual freedom and free enterprise boosted her from the Tennessee Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Blackburn was first elected to represent Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District in 2002, quickly becoming a leader in Congress and a leading voice advocating for a small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. She is regularly praised by good government groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and the American Conservative Union. She has been named a Taxpayer Hero by Americans for Tax Reform each year she has served in Congress. In 2007 Blackburn received the Conservative Leadership Award from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.

Congressman Blackburn is often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for common sense reform. In February 2010 she was selected to represent conservative views on health care reform at the President’s Blair House Summit. She has served on the majority and minority whip teams since her election in 2002, and holds a seat on the vital Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues. In 2006 the Independent Electrical Contractors recognized her as their Lawmaker of the Year.

Marsha has earned a special reputation as a bi-partisan leader and policy expert on telecommunications issues and intellectual property rights. She has strong ties with Tennessee’s recording industry and the songwriters and performers who make it great. In 2003 Blackburn founded and serves as Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus to give the nation’s creative community a voice on Capitol Hill. In 2007, she was awarded the Congressional Grammy by the Recording Academy; the White Hat award from the Nashville Songwriters Association and in 2008 received the Platinum Award from the RIAA.

In 2012, Health IT Now presented her with the HITN Innovation Award for her work in support of innovative solutions to our most pressing healthcare problems. Marsha has also been honored by the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony list for her pro-life, pro-family work. And recognized by the Association of Children’s Hospitals and the American College of Radiology for her leadership on healthcare issues. In April 2013 at the “Women Run The World” Half Marathon in New York City, More Magazine recognized Blackburn for her service in government by honoring her as one of 10 women who are making a difference in the world.

Blackburn was selected to serve as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 113th Congress where she will continue to serve on four critical Subcommittees: Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade (CMT); Oversight; Health; and Communications and Technology. She serves on the House Budget Committee and is a founding member of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. Blackburn is also a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board.

Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan Ketchel and Chad Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.

 


Serving With

Phil Roe

TENNESSEE's 1st DISTRICT

John Duncan

TENNESSEE's 2nd DISTRICT

Chuck Fleischmann

TENNESSEE's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott DesJarlais

TENNESSEE's 4th DISTRICT

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

David Kustoff

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

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