Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn


Blackburn Co-Sponsors the Allow States and Victims to Fight Sex Trafficking Act


WASHINGTON –Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Energy and Commerce Committee, co-sponsored H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017. In 2012, Blackburn sent a letter to leaders in the tech industry regarding online sex trafficking, and has since remained committed to fighting this horrific crime.

“Sex trafficking, the exploitation of human beings, has no place in our society. We must work each day to curtail this crime, provide justice for victims, and hold accountable those who facilitate it. This legislationhas kicked offthe conversation in the House on how wecan protectvulnerable populations from exploitation while at the same timesupportingthe Internet as a platform for free speech and innovation,” said Blackburn.“I look forward to working with all stakeholders to move forward on legislation.”

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



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Blackburn statement on US debt reaching $20 trillion


WASHINGTON—Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released the following statement following the Department of the Treasury’s Daily Treasury Statement showing the U.S. national debt jumped more than $317 billion to over $20 trillion after President Donald Trump signed legislation increasing the debt ceiling:

“We have a duty to the hardworking taxpayers to be responsible stewards of their tax dollars. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road by adding to the debt while disregarding the reckless spending that got us here in the first place. Future generations will be shouldered with this heavy burden for years to come unless we fundamentally change the way we think about debt and spending in Washington.

The people are tired of all talk and no action. Recently, a group of leading conservatives in the House sent a letter to Speaker Ryan outlining a number of reforms we would like to see enacted in order to bring real reforms and changes to finally address the underlying cause of our spending and debt crisis.”

Blackburn is a member of the Republican Study Committee’s Steering Committee, which authored the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan. She represents Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.



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Patriot Day Tributes


As we mark the 16th anniversary of the vilest terror attacks on American soil, we can’t help but remember where we were, what we were doing, and how we felt when we learned a plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

We were all watching the news, stunned, disbelieving what was happening at the twin towers, when Flight 77 whisked across the skyline of our Nation’s capital and crashed into the western façade of the Pentagon, causing death, destruction and a mass evacuation of government buildings, landmarks and public spaces. As we watched the events of that dark day unfold, we were awestruck, horrified, and left without words. For Tennesseans Bob Weaver and Mary Morgan Ketchel, however, it was all too real. As America was under attack, they were in the Capitol building amidst palpable fright, chaos, and confusion.

We must never forget that day, those loved ones we lost, their families, and those brave heroes who ran into the fire. In that spirit, I asked Mary Morgan and Bob to share their memories of 9/11 and how the events 16 years ago impact their lives today.

Each year in September, the National Automobile Dealers Association hosts a Washington Conference for the elected leadership of the various state and metro automobile and truck dealer associations across our great nation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001, began like so many other conferences. It was a beautiful fall morning. We had an 8:00 AM meeting with Senator Bill Frist at his 385 Russell Senate Office Building office. Afterwards, we made the trek over to the House side. We had just sat down with Congressman Van Hilleary in the Cannon House Office Building when an aide rushed in and announced Members of Congress were being evacuated. We were asked to leave, and when we walked outside we could see plumes of smoke from the vicinity of the Pentagon.

There was pure chaos. No cell service. Traffic jams unlike any I've ever witnessed. No one knew if more attacks were coming. And then in almost no time, there was nothing. No movement. The normal hustle and bustle two blocks from the White House had vanished. No sounds, except the occasional armed personnel carrier full of locked-and-loaded soldiers, and fighter jets scrambling and patrolling the skies. Flights were cancelled. Airports shut down. It was surreal.

There was a visual, harsh realization: Terrorism knows no borders. Suddenly, those late-night news stories from Europe and the Middle East took on a whole new meaning. It could happen here. It did happen here. American lives were targeted and taken. I remember the bravery and leadership of President George W. Bush and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. I felt a national resolve permeate our country. Partisan politics were cast aside. As Americans, we were one.

But over time, those memories faded. Emotions cooled. Issues spotlighted our differences. We, as a people, allowed ourselves to become divided.

So on days like September 11th, Patriot’s Day, we need to pause and reflect on what our nation has stood for, fought for and, sadly, died for. Then we need to thank God for his many blessings, love our neighbors as ourselves, and recommit ourselves to love and care for one another. 

-Bob Weaver
President,Tennessee Automotive Association


I had just returned from my honeymoon, married for all of three weeks, when the 9/11 attacks happened. My job was director of constituent services for Senator Bill Frist, and on that morning I was in the Capitol building hosting his weekly "Tennessee Tuesday" breakfast.

The call went out to evacuate members, staff and guests from the Capitol compound, and as the Senator was swiftly escorted from the room our guests turned to me for guidance. We quickly exited the building into a frantic crowd. There was screaming, and it was rumored the White House had been hit and was burning. The plane that struck the pentagon first skimmed very low over the Capitol lawn as it approached its target. It was a chilling experience.

Over the hours and days that followed, we watched as our nation came together facing the tragedy. Each day we awoke to news of loss and inspired reports of rescue. Stories of everyday heroes emerged. The country rallied behind our President, the city of New York and its leadership on the ground with police and firefighters.

In Washington, DC where I worked each day, life was different. It was a city changed, a country changed. And we continue to live in a new era. Our children, ages 8 and 9, only hear the stories. They have been taught to reverently recognize the date September, 11, 2001. We feel it is important to help them learn about the tragedy that day and the ensuing war on terror.

I have always felt immense patriotism, but from that day forward the meaning of service to country became more profound in my mind and heart. To thank a service man or woman in uniform became an honor to me. And it will forever be.

-Mary Morgan Ketchel


As America’s passion to serve has been reawakened by the hurricane destruction in the South, I am reminded of the thousands of volunteers who rose up in response to the 9/11 attacks. America has always shone through the darkness of evil. In its wake, Americans, time and again, have proven to be the most resilient, caring, and patriotic people.

Which is why I’m heartened that since 2009, Patriot Day has also been observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance. The day is meant to inspire Americans to unite and engage in charitable service in memory of the nearly 3,000 people who died, bonded in tragedy.

I am encouraged—and hope to encourage you—to do at least one good deed on the 16th anniversary of those horrific attacks to honor the victims and responders. It will do our hearts and country good.

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Hiring Our Heroes


Team Blackburn is pleased to welcome Army Staff Sergeant Paris Cervantes to our Clarksville office (Montgomery County) as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program.

Staff Sergeant Cervantes is on active duty at Fort Campbell, serving as an Explosive Ordinance Technician.

The fellowship is hosted by military installations and provides transitioning service members with management training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. John Clement, our Montgomery County field rep, is on the interview committee and had this to say:

“I saw the opportunity for an active-duty, combat soldier to work in a district office that primarily serves soldiers, veterans, and their spouses and families. Constituents in the Clarksville area automatically feel more comfortable when they realize everyone in the Clarksville office is military—whether active, veteran or spouse. We speak ‘military.” We’ve been where they’ve been. They relax and we accomplish so much more.”

We have a responsibility to our Tennessee soldiers. This worthwhile program helps expand corporate America's understanding of the veteran job market and prepare the participants for smooth transitions into meaningful civilian careers. We are so happy to have Paris on our team. She jumped right in and her military experience shows in everything our office encounters.
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Blackburn statement on DACA program


WASHINGTON—Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s decision to end the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“President Trump continues to prioritize our nation’s security and I applaud this latest decision to uphold the rule of law our country was founded upon. Unilateral executive actions, such as DACA, offer the false hope of amnesty that led to a surge of illegal immigration and stole jobs from American citizens by giving illegal aliens work permits. This is why the House twice passed measures I introduced to freeze the DACA program. President Obama’s ‘pen and phone’ approach used illegal aliens as pawns in a political game, circumvented congressional authority, and cemented his legacy of lawlessness. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months to fix our broken immigration system and establish laws that encourage immigrants and their families to come here legally.”

In 2014 and 2015 Blackburn authored legislation to freeze funding for President Obama’s DACA program. She represents Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.



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“If You Want It Done, Ask the 1-0-1”


The pride and comradery of the 101st Airborne Division was evident the moment we stepped into Cole Park Commons for the “Legacy of Heroism” Tribute. The Screaming Eagles have participated in over a dozen war campaigns and operations---WWII, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, to name a few—and the sound of hundreds of active and retired veteran soldiers belting out their division song was awe-inspiring.

Blackburn Field Rep. John Clement (center) receives a Military Challenge Coin from the oldest surviving 101st WWII veteran Edward Hallo (left), who was one of three who fired the first shot at The Battle of the Bulge. Pictured right is John Sosa, President of the 101st Airborne Association.


“We Have a Rendezvous with Destiny”

The 101st played critical roles on D-Day, in the Battle of the Bulge and Hamburger Hill, and their leadership in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East are unparalleled. All new privates, representing each era of the Screaming Eagles’ fight to advance the cause of freedom, provided historical reenactments in vintage battle dress, gear and weaponry. Their equipment has dramatically improved through the decades!

“Assault Right Down Through the Skies of Blue”

An incredible amount of training goes into Air Assault operations. First, every Screaming Eagle must complete a rigorous 10-day training program. During this training, they learn to rappel, rig sling loads to make maximum use of the helicopters, conduct landing zone/pickup zone operations, perform SPIES (Special Purpose Insertion Extraction) and FRIES (Fast Rope Insertion Extraction). The Screaming Eagles are renowned for their physical and mental toughness, innovation, competence, and commitment to their team.

Two Black Hawk helicopters carry M-109 Howitzers during a “sling load” demonstration—a skillful and dangerous operation used to transport equipment and supplies behind enemy lines in rugged terrain where poor or nonexistent roads and lack of landing zones require this type of movement. Fascinating!


A Black Hawk conducting SPIES operations extracts 6 artillerymen—a synchronized effort involving hooks, harnesses, and a high-strength braided nylon line. Extending their arms and legs prevents spinning as they rise into the air and fly behind the aircraft. Exhilarating!

“Keep Your Eyes on the Job to be Done”

The 101st Airborne Division’s mission is to conduct forcible-entry, sea, land and air operations in support of combatant commanders. The combat pilots are mainly Warrant Officers—a rank necessary to attend the Army Aviation School—and comprise less than 3% of the total Army. They are technical and tactical experts, dedicated to particular battlefield skills, such as flying Army aircraft.

Pilots and crew become experts in one of three helicopters, specializing in general support, air assaults, medical evacuations, and search-and-rescue (UH-60 Black Hawk), attack (AH-64 Apache Longbow), and heavy-lift transport (CH-47 Chinook). To be rotary-wing certified takes up to 18 months of rigorous training under all-weather conditions and flight modes (day, night and night-vision goggles).

Air assault pilots and crew are highly trained and disciplined, and the units are agile and adaptable. The Sabalauski Air Assault School does an incredible job of training the Screaming Eagles to win decisively in battle.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer 3, John Clement, Christine, BG Todd Royer, and senior caseworker Woody Parker get an inside look at the Apache Longbow helicopter.


“We’ll Fight ‘til the Battle’s Won”

Multiple units stand in formation on the landing zone during the Honor Eagle Ceremony. Elements of the 101st have deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Liberia and a host of other nations, helping contain the Ebola virus in six months (versus the predicted 18 months), working with Iraqi security forces to seize over 60% of lost territory in nine months, and defending our freedom in unstable global situations.

It was an honor to be part of the 101st celebration, standing beside active and retired warriors in this storied division, along with a host of civilian dignitaries to applaud their 75 years in service. It was readiness and resiliency in action.

In the words of Maj. Gen. Andrew P. Poppas, Division Commander: “Out there is a foe, a belligerent, an adversary who is going to test America’s resolve. It will be the Screaming Eagles who will answer the call.”


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Blackburn Statement on President Trump’s Address on Afghanistan


WASHINGTON—Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released the following statement following President Trump’s address on Monday regarding United States involvement in Afghanistan:

“President Trump’s remarks tonight outlined a strategy that has been sorely missing in our fight against terrorism around the world. Setting conditions-based rather than time-based goals, the President has changed the rules of engagement to ensure that American leadership will result in an honorable and enduring outcome. I applaud the President’s commitment to listening to his military commanders, eradicating terror and ensuring the safety of the American people while understanding American might alone will not achieve these goals. The President laid out a measured and balanced approach that employs the economic, diplomatic, and military resources needed to get the job done once and for all.”

Blackburn represents Tennessee’s Seventh Congressional District, home to Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault “Screaming Eagles.”



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Can you hear me now?


Many of you reading this may not have been able to hear reports of the good work Congress has been doing for you this year. That may be because the mainstream media refuses to report it. For many of you, however, it is because you are one of the roughly 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss and choose to forego corrective devises due to costs or some other reason. Well, I hope you hear this: The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act, which I authored along with Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, just became law.

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I have worked to help lower drug costs and bring new treatments and innovative medical devices to patients everywhere. When we thoughtfully leverage competition and innovation in health care, patients benefit. Those suffering from hearing loss should be no exception. Critical technological advances like those that would allow a user to tune hearing aids through their smartphone, for example, are being hamstrung by outdated laws. Our bill harnesses new technology that can create opportunities for consumers to purchase safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, redefines how people view and live with hearing loss, while reducing costs and improving access to these devices.

The House and Senate passed this measure recently as part of the FDA Reauthorization Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. And on Friday, the President signed this landmark bill into law. For so many, this measure will finally make hearing correction affordable and within reach – with the latest technology, competitive prices, and a short trip to your local pharmacy or shopping center.

This bill addresses a problem that does not discriminate. 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. Making hearing aids more accessible and affordable is a commonsense solution to a widespread problem. I am very pleased we had a bipartisan effort in Congress to make this solution a reality for you, and even more pleased to see it become law.

As countless families know, losing your hearing can be a slow and painful process, both physically and emotionally. This law will bring relief for the millions of Americans struggling with hearing loss and greatly reduce the steep costs associated with it.

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Always Learning


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.


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


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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Contact Information

217 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2811
Fax 202-225-3004

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


John Duncan


Chuck Fleischmann


Scott DesJarlais


Diane Black


David Kustoff


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