Today Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) received the “Hero of Main Street” award from the National Retail Federation for her support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Blackburn is part of a bi-partisan group honored for their support of a wide range of issues including international trade, infrastructure investment, tax reform and labor issues.
“Tennessee has seen firsthand how low taxation and light touch regulation results in positive economic growth. In Congress, I’ve led the fight to ensure policies enacted at the federal level bring similar growth to jobs and businesses across America. I’m proud to support legislation that protects the 624,616 jobs the retail industry provides in Tennessee,” Blackburn said.
“Congressman Blackburn has shown through her support that she cares about retailers big and small, and values the role these businesses play in communities across the country,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Congressman Blackburn is an advocate for her thriving Main Street and to the long-term growth the retail industry -- our nation’s largest job creators and the catalyst for continued growth and opportunity for our nation’s economy.”
The Hero of Main Street award was created by NRF in 2013 to recognize members of Congress for support of the retail industry’s public policy priorities. Eligibility is based on NRF’s Retail Opportunity Index, bill sponsorship and advocacy to advance the industry’s priorities. The “heroes” have supported policies and initiatives defined by NRF that recognize the contributions of the retail industry, and have worked to encourage a “vibrant, sustained and healthy” retail sector.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.
In addition to providing the needed funding to fight Zika, the House is taking action today to get rid of unnecessary and duplicative government regulations that stand in the way of killing disease-ridden mosquitoes. The President and Administration should work with us on protecting mothers and children from Zika. Below is an update on the House's progress from the office of Speaker Paul Ryan:
In the midst of a Zika threat, the federal government should not be making it harder for people to kill the mosquitoes that could carry it. That’s one thing we should all agree on—but that’s not how the Obama administration sees it.
Yesterday, the Obama administration came out in opposition to the House’s latest effort to fight Zika at its source. This flies in the face of a major recommendation from the Center for Disease Control for fighting Zika: “vector surveillance and control”—a huge part of which is spraying mosquitoes.
This is serious stuff—we’re not talking about annoyances at your summer barbecue. Mosquitoes are the carriers of life-threatening exotic diseases, among which are the Zika and West Nile viruses. Beyond the personal danger, the treatment of Americans with mosquito-borne illnesses also costs taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
But leave it to Obama's EPA to make a bad situation worse. Onerous new EPA regulations have completely hamstrung mosquito control activities. Despite the fact it’s already regulated, these duplicative permitting requirements have made it extremely expensive and nearly impossible for districts to control mosquito populations. Pile on litigation from extreme environmental groups, and simple paperwork violations for example that can cost $35,000 per day, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.
It’s simply too much for small businesses. Leonard Felix of Olath Spray Service Inc. in Colorado testified before the House Small Business Committee, saying he was forced to shut down his business because of the costs and fear of frivolous lawsuits. Dean McClain of AG Flyers in Wyoming shuttered his mosquito control services because of the EPA’s requirement.
We cannot be passive in our fight against Zika—and we take the the CDC's recommendation seriously. Following earlier action to provide needed funding, today the House will consider H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, which clarifies congressional intent for use of pesticides to prevent diseases and eliminates overlapping permitting regulations—tearing down these barriers to killing mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, it looks like the CDC’s recommendation is less persuasive to the White House than these litigious, deep-pocketed environmental groups. Yesterday, the Obama administration said it “strongly opposes” the House bill, calling it “unnecessary.”
The House has already passed multiple bills that provide resources to the federal government for Zika treatment and vaccine-development efforts. But, if we’re not getting at—and killing—these root carriers, then it’s going to be less effective at stopping Zika than throwing a Band-Aid on that bug bite in a swamp.What could be more necessary than killing potentially disease-ridden mosquitoes in the midst of a Zika threat? It seems like the administration is putting the pockets of environmental interest groups ahead of the public. We hope the administration reverses this disturbing position and supports H.R. 897. The health of the public is at stake. Read More
In April 2016, Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was joined by twenty-one of her colleagues in sending a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman Edith Ramirez asking her to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s nonprofit charitable status in light of pending scandals. In her letter, Blackburn explained that the Clinton Foundation might not have spent its money on charitable work and failed to disclose money it was getting from foreign governments. To read the full letter, click HERE.
Today, Congressman Blackburn received a mailed response from FTC chairwoman Ramirez dismissing the claims and stating in part, “When the Commission can establish that an entity claiming to be a charity is in fact operating to profit itself or its members, i.e., is a ‘sham charity,’ the Commission can bring an enforcement action against the entity for making deceptive representations to donors.”
In response, Blackburn states, “The lack of transparency by the Clinton Foundation raises issues of deception and false claims. In our letter, we lay out a number of reports that have put the Clinton Foundation on a ‘Watch List’, questioned its transparency and accountability, and found it to be an ‘atypical business model.’
“The FTC’s response is inconsistent with their mission and precedent. It appears they took the easy route of sending back a form letter rather than truly investigating an issue that is of compelling public interest. The allegations swirling around the Foundation are very serious and should be thoroughly vetted. This is an issue of fairness and accountability that needs to be addressed,” Blackburn said.
To read the FTC’s full response, click HERE.
Recent reports have suggested that Facebook is limiting when it displays stories from conservative outlets in its trending news panel. This issue should be of concern to everyone who values free speech. The American people are fatigued with liberal elites trying to either sequester or elevate information in order to push an ideology.
The Energy & Commerce Committee, where I serve as Vice Chair, will have Facebook come in to brief us on their approach to trending. We have their guidelines now and are reviewing that document. You can read them for yourself here: Facebook's Trending Review Guidelines
The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), a coalition of leaders of the nation’s premier health care companies and organizations, has honored U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn as a “Champion of Healthcare Innovation” at an award ceremony in Washington, DC.
The award presentation took place at the Council’s annual Healthcare Innovations Expo on Capitol Hill. The day-long event is dedicated to showcasing new developments in health care technologies, treatments and practices. This year’s event featured, among other displays, emerging cancer therapies, virtual reality technologies to assist veterans with post-combat stress challenges, and uses of health data sharing to combat opioid abuse and addiction.
“We’re on the verge of a remarkable era in American healthcare. Genomic and biologic research, improved data analytics, and advanced mobile technologies are enabling people to live longer, healthier lives,” said HLC President Mary R. Grealy. “To continue this exciting transformation, we need visionary leadership and sound policymaking. We honored Representative Blackburn for providing important advocacy and leadership for patients and consumers.”
Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today commented on a new report that chronicles misleading testimony given by CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt at an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on December 8, 2015.
The report states, “[i]n his opening remarks before the committee, Mr. Slavitt testified that ‘over $200 million of the original grant awards have already been returned to the federal government, and we’re in the process of collecting and returning more.’” According to documents subsequently provided to the Committee by CMS, the federal government has only reclaimed $21.5 million from the 17 state-based exchanges. Additionally, the $21.5 million did not represent money that had been “recouped,” but rather funds that were leftover because the grant had expired or the funds were no longer needed.
Since the hearing, CMS has refused to correct the record, and now insists that the $200 million was just an “estimate” of the dollars that were de-obligated from all 49 states and the District of Columbia, not the 17 state based exchanges. Even if that is the case, then it is an estimate that is off by over $100 million.
The report summary states, “[a]s a result, it appears that Mr. Slavitt’s testimony before the committee was based on estimates and conjecture, not facts. Mr. Slavitt’s original source for the ‘over $200 million’ figure he testified to has still not been provided to the committee.”
In response, Vice Chairman Blackburn said, “CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt either misspoke to the tune of $178.5 million in taxpayer dollars or he lied under oath in an effort to make the American people believe the President’s health care law is working. The truth is, the Affordable Care Act is in no way affordable and this Administration cannot continue to hide the facts. We will continue our work on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to hold this Administration accountable for the billions in taxpayer dollars it has wasted on failed Obamacare exchanges.”
At the December hearing, Vice Chairman Blackburn questioned CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt about how much grant money was spent and how much would be returned to the taxpayers. Click HERE to download the video. Transcript follows below.
U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016.
This legislation would make the use of computer hacking software (BOTS) to circumvent security measures employed by ticketing sites an “unfair and deceptive practice” under the Federal Trade Commission Act. It would also create a private right of action whereby parties harmed by bots can sue in federal court to recover damages.
“Scalpers have been taking advantage of computer hacking software (BOTS) to circumvent restrictions put in place by online ticketing agents for years. They purchase tickets in mass quantities and sell them at a drastically inflated rate, which unfairly prices most fans of live entertainment out of the market. The entertainers go to great lengths to build relationships with their fans and ensure that they will have access to shows, but scalpers are decimating this experience. The BOTS Act will allow FTC enforcement and a private right of action to be brought against proven online scalpers. It is time to end these anti-consumer tactics and level the online ticket playing field for fans of live entertainment,” said Blackburn.
“People work hard and save money to see a performance or a game, and they shouldn’t be prohibited from buying a ticket online because a computer program beats them to the punch. It’s not right. This legislation puts a stop to this unseemly practice at its root, prohibiting use or sale of bot software and empowering consumers to fight back against price manipulators in the ticket industry. I thank Representative Blackburn for her leadership on this issue, as well as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has already begun to crack down on this problem at the state level,” said Tonko.Organizations supporting this bipartisan legislation include The Recording Academy, Pandora-Ticketfly, Live Nation Entertainment, as well as the Tennessee Sports and Entertainment Industry Coalition. Read More
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today issued the following statement in support of Little Sisters of the Poor as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments from them in their challenge to President Obama’s so-called accommodation in regards to the Obamacare mandate that would violate religious freedom in America:
"Only President Obama would replace a mandate with another mandate. It begs the question: Is government-run health care more important than freedom? I stand by Little Sisters of the Poor and reject the President's so-called accommodation. Not only is it an assault on religious freedom, it forces devastating fines on nonprofits that care for the most vulnerable among us,” Blackburn said.
217 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
Retweeted by marshablackburn
Retweeted by marshablackburn
Failing Obamacare co-ops are costing taxpayers millions and counting. https://t.co/UnnUmc5j6K
Retweeted by marshablackburn
Retweeted by marshablackburn
Retweeted by marshablackburn
The House voted this week to eliminate excessive gov't regulations that stood in the way of combatting Zika: https://t.co/6ndstysCu6
Failing Obamacare co-ops are costing taxpayers millions and counting.
Honored to be named a “Hero of Main Street” by the National Retail Federation for my work on legislation that protects job creators and promotes
Scalpers use hacking software to buy mass quantities of tickets and then sell them to consumers at inflated prices. Here’s how my legislation
The House voted this week to eliminate excessive government regulations that stood in the way of combatting Zika. More here:
As we have investigated various actions of the IRS and their offenses have come to light, it is time to add accountability and restrictions on