Committee on the Budget

Diane Black

Chairman Black Discusses Patient-Centered Health Care and Responsible Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars


Washington, DC – Yesterday, Chairman Diane Black sat down with Mary Scott of WBIR Knoxville to discuss Obamacare repeal and replace, as well as the priorities for the House Budget Committee. Highlights from the interview are below. You can watch the full interview here

On Obamacare repeal and replace:

“We’re seeing an implosion. Just a self-implosion. And if nothing is done then we’re going to see more and more damage and hurt done to our constituents and constituents across the entire state. . . . [W]e see premiums that are rising, deductibles that are rising. More and more insurance companies are leaving the health arena...And so we want to put something in that’s more patient-centered, give them an opportunity to say ‘here’s what I want at a price I can afford.’”

On changes for those on the exchanges:

“I want to tell them that they do not need to worry, because we are going to make sure that they don’t fall off the cliff. I was here in the state of Tennessee in the Senate working with the then Governor Bredesen, the Democrat governor, to dissolve TennCare and to put something in place that did help to shore up, especially those that had preexisting decisions. But I want them to know that we’re not going to let them fall off the cliff, that they’re going to have a glide path to make sure that they have good, affordable care available to them.”

On goals for the House Budget Committee:

“Our goal is to do everything we can to work toward balance. We want to be able to show the American people that we are understanding that right now our debt and deficit spending is not going to help future generations, it doesn’t help us today. And so we’re looking at every single penny that’s in the federal budget and making sure that we’re saying that dollar is worth spending.” 

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Diane Black Interview with Opportunity Lives: A Better Way for Health Care and the Budget


Washington, DC  On Wednesday, Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black sat down with John Hart from Opportunity Lives to discuss repealing and replacing Obamacare and the committee’s priorities for the coming year.  

Below is a summary of their conversation. You can see the full video here.

On Obamacare repeal:

“For me, I can see a better way for people – obviously our conference can. We want to repeal something that’s not working [immediately] and make it a more patient-centered system for folks. And we don’t want people to fall off a cliff [like] what I saw in Tennessee…We want to be sure that what we do is patient-centered.”

On pre-existing conditions:

“We get demonized all the time, but the fact of the matter is the desire to take care of people with pre-existing conditions pre-dated the Affordable Care Act because the Republicans even backed that many years ago...We have to fix this and we have a fix. The other piece of that is no lifetime limits. If someone is unfortunate enough that they have a condition that’s going to cause them to need care for the rest of their life, they shouldn’t be limited and told that they can’t get coverage for that. And then those that are up to 26-years-old that are still on parents’ plans, they’ll still be able to keep that. Those are the three big provisions that folks are very interested in making sure that we keep.”

On the FY2018 Budget:

“Health care is certainly on our minds and it is what we need to do first out of the gate. We’ve promised the American people we would do that, we would repeal Obamacare and replace it with something patient-centered. So it is absolutely first on our agenda. But that doesn’t mean we can't walk and chew gum at the same time. So we are beginning the process on formatting our FY18 budget and beginning to have our committee members understand each one of the functions.” 

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Statement from Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black on Confirmation of Mick Mulvaney as OMB Director


Today, Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black released the following statement on the confirmation of Mick Mulvaney as OMB Director:

“Mick Mulvaney has been a tireless advocate for a sustainable budget that reduces the national debt. I enjoyed a close, working relationship with him while he was in the House of Representatives and look forward to that relationship continuing. I am confident he will be a great partner in the White House as we work towards a balanced budget.” 

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Diane Black Interview with Opportunity Lives: From Humble Roots to Making a Difference in Health Care Reform


Washington, DC  Yesterday, House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black sat down with John Hart from Opportunity Lives to discuss her personal story and how reforming health care inspired her to serve in Congress. 

Below is a summary of their conversation. You can see the full video here

On her personal story:      

“I’m blessed to have two great parents – depression era parents. My parents, neither one of them had more than a 9th grade education…we lived in public housing until I was about four and a half years old. And then my parents were able to, my father was able to amass enough money to be able to buy a modest home that my parents both live in ‘til today…I was blessed to have two good, hard working parents whose goal for us was just to graduate high school…I’m the first and only one of my family that’s graduated college. So, I started out with just a really good foundation of having two loving parents.” 

On how her parents met: 

“My parents met in a paper box factory. They were working there together and they met at that time. And then my father served in World War II and when he came back home from World War II they got married. And the rest is history.” 

On what inspired her to be a nurse: 

“It goes back a long way. My mother says that I asked for a doctor’s kit when I was four years old. So very early on there was just something in me that I’ve always been intrigued by the body and how it works so it’s always been a dream for me to be in medicine.” 

On how health care inspired her to serve in Congress: 

“Let’s wind the clock back a little bit to say how do you get from nursing into public policy. I think that really sets the scene for why I’m here today and what got me involved. Many years ago back in 1998, I was working as a nurse and I saw what the pilot project for the single-payer system which was in our state of Tennessee. It was brought by then Al Gore the Vice President. It was TennCare. And I saw what it was doing in our state and it was very disturbing to me. Because more than even the money piece, I could see that the quality of care was not there for my patients. And so I thought ‘well I could run and make a difference’ and that’s when I ran for the State House in Tennessee and won that seat. And ever since then, I’ve always had as a focus healthcare, it’s been a big focus for me – healthcare and children and families.”  Read More

10 Things to Know About Chairman Diane Black


1. As the first female chairman of the House Budget Committee, Diane is working to protect the American dream because she has lived it herself. She spent the first years of her life in public housing before her parents moved to the modest home they live in today. They are pictured here in 2015.

2. In high school, Diane (pictured here) was determined to become the first member of her family to earn a college degree. She credits her high school guidance counselor and mentor, Mr. Richard Whiting, with helping her through the process and giving her the encouragement needed to pursue her dreams. Watch Diane’s tribute to Mr. Whiting’s memory here.

3. Diane has been a nurse for more than 45 years and still keeps her license today. Here she is (second from left) at her official pinning ceremony in 1971.

4. Prior to coming to Congress, Diane served in the Tennessee General Assembly, where she led the opposition to a proposed state income tax, reformed health care laws, and passed balanced budgets.

5. Diane is the proud wife – as well as a mother, daughter, and sister – of military veterans. Her husband of 36 years, Dr. David Black (pictured) served as a Marine in Vietnam.

6. Diane is passionate about protecting life. A former Tennessee Right to Life “Legislator of the Year,” her first bill as a member of Congress would have defunded Planned Parenthood in a short-term spending bill. As the first female chairman of the House Budget Committee, Diane is continuing her work to end taxpayer funding for abortion through the reconciliation process.


7. Family comes first for Diane. She and Dave have three grown children: Steve, Jill, and Katie. Here they are pictured in their early years together.

8. An avid fisherman, Diane can often be found fishing on the shores of Old Hickory Lake in her home state of Tennessee. Here she is with a recent catch of crappie, a freshwater fish that flourishes in middle Tennessee.

9. Diane has been a member of the House Budget Committee since 2011 and has been at the forefront of the effort each year to offer a fiscally responsible budget proposal. Here she is at the unveiling of the “Path to Prosperity Budget” in 2013.

10. Diane and Dave are the proud “Mimi” and “Poppy” of six grandchildren – pictured here together in 2009. Diane keeps a family picture taped to the back of her voting card in Congress and often says that her grandchildren’s generation is why she works so diligently to address our nation's out-of-control debt and deficits.
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Statement from Diane Black on Designation as House Budget Committee Chairman


Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Diane Black released the following statement on her designation by the House Republican Steering Committee as Chairman of the House Budget Committee:

“I’m honored that my colleagues have put their trust in me to lead the House Budget Committee. As a small business owner, a nurse and most importantly, a wife, mother, and grandmother, I’m committed to putting conservative principles into action to bring real change that helps Tennesseans and the American people. We have an exciting opportunity to unleash the power of American small businesses, bring our fiscal house in order, and fix our broken health care system, and I look forward to leading the Budget Committee as we work to accomplish these goals.”

*This selection will become final upon a vote of ratification by the House Republican Conference on Thursday morning. 

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Statement from Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black on Confirmation of HHS Secretary Tom Price


Today, Interim House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black released the following statement on the confirmation of Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services:

“I applaud the Senate for voting to confirm Dr. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services. His experience as a physician and his commitment to patient-centered reform make him the best choice to lead the Department during this period. 

Dr. Price did an excellent job as chairman of the House Budget Committee, where I was honored to serve alongside him, and I look forward to working together to repeal and replace Obamacare with health care reform that will reduce costs and expand choice for consumers.”

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Obamacare Has Created Fewer Health Care Choices for Americans


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Millions of Americans are suffering from the consequences of Obamacare, including higher premiums and poor quality of care. But one of the most significant negative consequences is the stunning lack of health care choices for American consumers.

Competition drives down the price of health insurance and the system created by Obamacare stifles competition. In five states, there is only one insurance provider on the exchange available to consumers.

And according to the Heritage Foundation, consumers in a full 33 percent of U.S. counties have only one option on the Obamacare exchanges while consumers in 70 percent of U.S. counties have only two options:

The first step to patient-centered health care is increasing competition in the marketplace and giving families more choices in their health care decisions. This will help to reduce costs and increase the quality of care.

The legacy of Obamacare is massive premium rate increases, poor quality of care, and fewer choices for families. A vote to repeal this broken law will provide needed relief for the American people and lay the groundwork for patient-centered reforms.

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Economic Growth is Key to Reducing Deficits


Last month’s report from the Congressional Budget Office gave a forward-looking projection of the nation’s economic growth rate and fiscal outlook, and it painted a bleak picture. The chart below illustrates that after a few years of slightly declining deficits under current law, the next decade will see deficits rise significantly – hitting $1.4 trillion by 2027. 

One of the best ways to lower the deficit is growing the economy. According to CBO, for every 0.1 percentage point of higher real economic growth, deficit levels could be reduced by roughly $270 billion over the course of 10 years. Unfortunately, economic growth is set to average only 1.9 percent over the next decade – well below the historical average of 3 percent. This makes getting our fiscal house in order that much harder.

It’s clear that growing the economy is crucial to reducing deficits and putting the federal budget on a sustainable path. That’s why the House Budget Committee will advocate for policies such as tax and regulatory reform, expanded energy production, and greater innovation to help spur economic growth, boost job creation, and work towards a balanced budget.

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A Pro-Growth Budget is Needed to Help Americans Succeed


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the House Budget Committee held a hearing on the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook. What’s clear from the report is that economic growth is subpar and that’s hurting millions of Americans. During the hearing, Chairman Diane Black told the story of Chris from her district who is looking for work, and she stated why it’s so important to develop pro-growth policies in the budget that will help people succeed.

Chairman Black said: “To compound these problems, economic growth is set to average at a morbid 1.9 percent over the coming decade, well below the historic average of just over 3 percent. Slow economic growth hurts our country in multiple ways – it means fewer jobs and less opportunity for Americans, and it means smaller paychecks and less financial security for those Americans who do have a job. In fact, more than 5 million Americans are working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job. That means we’ve got welders, computer technicians, nurses, and people in all sorts of industries who want to contribute to our economy, but they’re being let down by the rules and regulations coming out of Washington.

“One of the key symptoms of this subpar economic recovery has been the decline in the labor force participation rate of those in their prime working age. And here’s a story from a gentleman named Chris back in my district in Tennessee. He said he was laid off last year, and in his letter to me he said, ‘I worked at this job for 7 years and I'm a hard worker and have never tried for any government assistance. I'm positive I'll have a job soon but I've been without a paycheck for months now. If I have to wait any more I will have no money for utilities or to support me, my wife, and 7 year old.’

“Now it’s pretty clear that Chris is exactly the type of worker that makes our economy the best in the world, and he’s a good husband and father who just wants to take care of his family. Chris wants to make our country stronger, and it’s our job to help give him that opportunity.”


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Contact Information

207 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-226-7270
Fax 202-226-7174


Diane Black


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