Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Blackburn introduces bill to protect online privacy

2017/05/19

WASHINGTON—Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Thursday introduced the Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (BROWSER) Act of 2017 to protect the online privacy of Americans. She was joined by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Bill Flores (R-Texas).

Several weeks ago, Blackburn led an effort to repeal the FCC’s privacy rulemaking. “The FCC’s privacy rulemaking had two distinct problems,” Blackburn said. “First, it created confusion by establishing two privacy regulators. The FCC unilaterally swiped jurisdiction from the FTC in a blatant power grab. Second, the FCC focused on only one part of the Internet eco-system and ignored edge provider services that collect as much, if not more data, than ISPs. The government should not pick winners and losers when it comes to the privacy of Americans. This bill creates a level and fair privacy playing field by bringing all entities that collect and sell the personal data of individuals under the same rules. We look forward to working with our Democratic colleagues on this important initiative.”

"As a Member of the House Homeland Security Committee's Cybersecurity Subcommittee, internet privacy and security must be a top priority. Step one in that process was to override any regulation that creates more confusion by giving jurisdiction to multiple agencies, only to have them regulate only one-half of the digital world. Step two in that process is to introduce comprehensive internet privacy legislation that will more fully protect online users in their use of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), search engines and social media,” said Fitzpatrick. “The BROWSER Act does just that. We must offer American citizens real internet privacy protection, not mere lip service which gives internet users false expectations about their level of online security. I encourage all House members who are serious about protecting our constituents' online privacy to join me in advancing this bill."

The legislation designates the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the nation’s sole online privacy enforcer and brings internet service providers (ISPs) and edge providers under a regime similar to that previously adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

To read the text of the bill, click here.

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

Rep. Fitzpatrick represents Pennsylvania’s Eighth Congressional District and serves on the House Foreign Affairs, Small Business, and Homeland Security Committees.

Rep. Flores represents Texas’ Seventeenth Congressional District and serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


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Blessed are the Peacemakers

2017/05/16

Law enforcement officers from coast to coast wake up each day, put on their uniform, and put themselves in harm’s way in order to ensure our friends, neighbors, and communities remain safe and peaceful. They volunteer for this service, because those they protect and serve are their friends and neighbors as well. Theirs is a service of duty and sacrifice.

May 14 – 20, 2017 marks National Police Week. National Police Week began in 1962 as a way to honor those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today and every day, we remember those whose didn’t come home and their families who are left with a void.
 

 
Since 2016, nine of these selfless heroes have fallen in the line of duty. This week we honor their memory. Blessed are the peacemakers

Dep. Sheriff Jimmy Tennyson
Maury County Sheriff's Department
Sergeant Sean Lewis Allred
Livingston Police Department
Officer Eric Wayne Mumaw
Metro Nashville Police Department
Deputy Sheriff Zachary Tyler Larnerd
Jackson County Sheriff's Office
Officer Kenneth Ray Moats
Maryville Police Department
Sergeant Verdell Smith, Sr
Memphis Police Department
Special Agent De'Greaun Reshun Frazier
TN Bureau of Investigation
K9 Vigor
Monroe County Sheriff's Office
Dep. Sheriff Martin Tase Sturgill, II
Humphreys County Sheriff's Office
   

 
National Police Week is also a time for us to show our appreciation for those who patrol our streets day in and day out, keeping our neighborhoods safe. In the House of Representatives this week we are passing a number of bills aimed at providing law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe. These include:

·   The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 (H.R. 510). This bill helps identify the guilty and free the innocent by allowing Rapid DNA analysis machines to be used at local police stations. Rapid DNA technology expedites DNA analysis for suspect identification purposes and allows local law enforcement to accurately identify a suspect within hours, as opposed to weeks when evidence is shipped off to a lab.

·   The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act (H.R. 1892). This legislation honors law enforcement by permitting the American flag to be flown at half-staff when a police officer, firefighter, or first responder is killed in the line of duty.

·   The Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act of 2017 (H.R. 1616). This bill authorizes a program that has been run by the U.S. Secret Service for a number of years that trains state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges regarding cyber and electronic crimes.

·   The American Law Enforcement Heroes Act of 2017 (H.R. 1428). This legislation prioritizes the hiring of veterans by awardees of grants under the COPS hiring program.

·   The Probation Officer Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1039). This bill protects public safety by giving probation officers the authority, while in the performance of their official duties, to arrest a person if there is probable cause to believe that the person has forcibly assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, or interfered with the probation officer, or a fellow probation officer, in the performance of his or her duties.

·   The Thin Blue Line Act (H.R. 115). This legislation adds the murder of a state or local police officer as an aggravating factor for a jury to consider in deciding whether to impose the death penalty in federal capital cases. The murder of a federal law enforcement officer is already an aggravating factor under current law. The legislation sends a simple message that the stalking and killing of law enforcement officers must not and will not be tolerated.

With a simple “thank you” we can recognize the sacrifices of these selfless servants. They do not take their work for granted, though we often may. They face the dangers of the world, they see the despair in society, and they deal with the vulnerabilities of our neighborhoods. They do so not for recognition or glory. They do so for us.

To all who have served, those serving today, and those who will serve:

 

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A Legacy of Learning

2017/05/05

A Legacy of Learning
by Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7)

The excitement I felt each time I put on my green and white uniform, attached my four-leaf clover patch, and grabbed an armful of project books has not escaped me to this day. Many of you reading this may be able to relate to this feeling. Maybe you too filled out your record book, logging the work you put in completing project after project as a proud member of 4-H.

My grandmother was a member of “The Tomato Club,” a club formed in 1902 which is considered the birth of 4-H in the United States. My mother was a National Leadership winner and worked out of the Cooperative Extension office in Sebring, Florida while my father was stationed there during World War II. With the legacy that preceded me, there was never a question of whether or not I would be a member of 4-H, but rather what I would do when I became a 4-H member.

At fairs and in 4-H competitions, alongside my home-grown tomatoes and beans or the apron or skirt I made by hand, were those project books, dutifully filled out detailing my work on each project. Through projects like these I learned valuable, lifelong lessons of accomplishment, self-reliance, and the value of hard work. I learned how to speak in public, how to give back to my community, and how to be a good neighbor and friend.

4-H also meant opportunity. My senior year in high school I entered my food preservation record in the state competition and won. From there, my work went on to compete at the national level where the winner would receive a 4-H scholarship. That scholarship provided my first payment towards my college education.

My involvement in 4-H and the lessons I took from it continue to play a large part in my life. It was 4-H, in fact, that led to my first trip to Washington, D.C.; and I can say the organization taught me lessons and gave me the opportunities that allowed me to return to Washington to represent you in Congress. Today, 4-H is the largest youth development organization in the nation, teaching the same valuable lessons and offering even more opportunities.

Today, over 6 million 4-H’ers in every corner of the country are taking advantage of the same opportunities I did. A dedicated team of over 500,000 volunteers and around 3,500 4-H professionals work to build our sons and daughters into tomorrow’s leaders, teaching health, science, agriculture, and citizenship through hands-on projects and mentorship. In Tennessee alone, we have over 176,000 4-H’ers and roughly 8,000 volunteer leaders.

We must do all we can to make sure 4-H can continue reaching more young people in even more areas across the country. At an event in Washington, D.C. recently, I was named a founding member of the 4-H Luminaries alumni group. I am honored to be a part of this group to help raise awareness of the life-changing impact 4-H can have and to generate support for bringing 4 H to more youth. I do not take this charge lightly and look forward to doing what I can to continue 4-H’s rich legacy of growing tomorrow’s leaders in community, industry, and life.

Congressman Blackburn represents Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives

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A Health Care Update from Congressman Blackburn

2017/05/04

Earlier today, my colleagues and I voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, which will finally repeal the burdensome Affordable Care Act. Many of you have expressed your concerns about the rising costs that have ensued after 8 years of impractical legislation. That’s why we’ve taken action to get rid of Obamacare.
 

Here's more on the American Health Care Act and why we passed it:

It will dismantle the Obamacare taxes. These taxes have hurt job creators, increased premium costs, and limited options for patients and health care providers—including taxes on prescription drugs, over-the counter medications, health-insurance premiums, and medical devices.

It eliminates the individual and employer mandate penalties. These penalties have forced millions of workers, families, and job creators into expensive, Obamacare plans that they don’t want and cannot afford. Health care cannot be forced as a one-size fits all model. We must allow more flexibility to states and better patient options by providing health coverage that is truly affordable and meets each individual’s unique needs.

It helps young adults access health insurance and stabilize the marketplace. The AHCA allows dependents to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26. And, the MacArthur amendment ensures that states cannot waive this provision.

It guarantees coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions and bans health insurers from charging a patient with pre-existing conditions higher premiums as long as they maintain continuous coverage, or sign up for new coverage within 63 days of exiting a previous insurance plan. And no matter what, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

This bill contains numerous protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The MacArthur amendment gives flexibility to states to tackle premium prices. There will be a very strict process in place to obtain the waiver and it will only be given to states with high-risk pools and other protections in place. For states seeking a waiver, the Upton amendment provides an additional $8 billion to allow people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care. States may not waive guarantee issue, gender discrimination, the age 26 provision, or annual and lifetime limits.

It establishes a Patient and State Stability Fund and Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program. This will provide states with $130 billion to design programs with will meet the unique needs of their patient populations, help low-income Americans afford health care, and provide a backstop safety net for Americans with pre-existing conditions. This includes $15 billion specifically toward mental health and substance abuse and newborn care.

It modernizes and strengthens Medicaid. The AHCA will transition Medicaid back to the states so that they can better serve the patients most in need. It prohibits states from expanding into the current broken Medicaid system. It maximizes state flexibility. It gives states the choice between a per capita allotment or a traditional block grant and provides the option for states to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients.

It protects current Medicaid beneficiaries. Anyone receiving health care under the expansion will continue to receive the enhanced state match. It ensures the rug isn’t pulled from underneath any able-bodied patient as he or she transitions to other coverage, like a plan purchased with refundable tax credits. The focus is re-directing able-bodied patients to private health care so that Medicaid can be refocused on helping the most vulnerable.

It empowers individuals and families. The AHCA will empower people to spend health care dollars the way they want and need by enhancing and expanding Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s), which are tax-free health care savings accounts for Americans with high-deductible plans. Americans will be able to contribute nearly double to their HSA and utilize the savings for more situations. HSA’s have to become a focal point of health care reform as they are critical for helping Americans save and spend their health care dollars more wisely.

It helps Americans access affordable, quality health care. Americans will have access to a monthly tax credit—between $2,000- $14,000 a year—for low- and middle-income individuals and families who don’t receive insurance through work or a government program. Americans can use this tax credit to purchase private, quality coverage of their choice. This credit cannot be used to purchase insurance plans that cover elective abortion.

It equalizes the tax treatment of health care regardless of where you buy it and helps create a vibrant individual market. These credits are longstanding conservative policy goals.

It restores pro-life principles and expands women’s access to health services. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, will be defunded for one year by blocking more than $500 million of federal dollars. The AHCA will redirect Planned Parenthood dollars to community health centers, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood. Pro-life organizations supporting the American Health Care Act include: National Right to Life, Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America.

It does not give Congress special privileges. Under the McSally Amendment, Members of Congress and congressional staff are not exempt from the State waiver provisions of the American Health Care Act. We follow the same procedures for obtaining, paying for, and utilizing our health care as you.

It ensures everyone has access to affordable, quality health care, without forcing people to buy insurance. Rumors have flowed that 24 million people will be kicked off health care. That is simply not true. That estimate failed to take into account other planned legislative and administrative actions, which will help bring down costs and expand coverage.
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The First 100 Days

2017/05/02

The First 100 Days

If you are trying to find a year when we have had a more productive first 100 days in the House of Representatives, you have to go back to 1949. No other Congress has gotten more bills signed into law. We have taken steps to remove burdensome regulations, promote economic growth and job creation, help our nation’s veterans, and protect life. And we are continuing our work to bring real reforms to the tax code, overhaul a broken health care system, and strengthen our borders.

In the first 100 days working with the Trump Administration, the House of Representatives has passed 214 legislative measures. Of those, 29 have and been signed into law, many aimed at reversing or removing the burdensome regulations that flowed from the regulatory ambush of the last eight years.

Using the Congressional Review Act, a tool Congress has to check uncontrolled executive branch spending and regulation, we reversed the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) “Stream Buffer Rule.” This resolution, which I was glad to be an original co-sponsor of, protects tens of thousands of mining jobs and keeps the DOI from placing up to 64 percent of our coal reserves off limits. We also passed a CRA resolution to empower states to stop funding big abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. This resolution, which I was also pleased to be an original co-sponsor of, overturned an Obama-era rule that forced states to send hard-earned taxpayer dollars to organizations which do not share the values of their residents.

From returning control of education to state and local leaders to protecting Second Amendment rights to curbing federal control over large swaths of land, Congress has worked to advance the people’s priorities and remove big government from their lives. These efforts are estimated to save families and small businesses over $67 billion dollars in regulatory costs and more than 56 million hours of regulatory paperwork and compliance!

In the House, we have passed a host of other measures and are working with our counterparts in the Senate to get those to the President’s desk as quickly as possible. Last month we passed the VA Accountability Act, a bill to force the removal of bad actors, giving our veterans the leadership they deserve at VA medical centers. We have passed bills to encourage STEM careers and education for women, roll back financial regulations that stifle investment by our community banks, let our small business contractors compete fairly for government contracts, and much more.

We have also made great progress in our work to repeal and replace the failing Obamacare law, bring much-needed reforms to a bloated and overly-complicated tax code, and keep American families safe and secure at home by strengthening our borders. We are close to the finish line on some issues and further on others; but I look forward to passing our conservative, pro-growth solutions in the coming weeks and months.

Additionally, two of my pieces of legislation that impact Tennesseans were passed. The House passed legislation to honor the beloved Senator, Fred Thompson by naming the new Federal courthouse in Nashville in his memory. The historical legacy of the Shiloh National Military Park has also been preserved by expanding the park boundaries to include the Fallen Timbers, Russell House, and Davis Bridge Battlefields. It also brings the Parker’s Crossroad Battlefield into the National Park System. Under this bill, more than 2,100 additional acres of land historical sites will be protected.

Despite partisan rhetoric to the contrary, House Republicans have been hard at work to turn the people’s priorities into realities. My conservative colleagues and I realized that we have an obligation to our constituents to address the issues that affect them each and every day. We will not stop working to keep our promises to the American people.
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A Health Care Update from Congressman Blackburn

2017/03/15

Tonight, I’ll be welcoming President Donald Trump to Nashville as he talks with Tennesseans on the serious issues facing this nation. We know that everyone is concerned about national security, jobs, the economy and of course, healthcare. We expect the President to touch base on each of these issues tonight.

Over the past three years, I have heard from countless constituents how they and their families have been negatively affected by the Affordable Care Act and last week, Congress took its first step in repealing this flawed law. You might have watched some of our marathon committee markup on C-SPAN or heard the news reports of how we worked for over twenty-seven hours on making the process and policy more reflective for the needs of the American people. Believe me, we have heard your stories of higher premiums, narrowed networks, and denial of services for insurance that is too expensive to even utilize. Based on your concerns, we need to repeal the Affordable Care Act and put the needed reforms in place that have been neglected for over a decade.

With that, I would like to continue the discussion with you in order to expand upon the process and substance of the bill. Today, I’d like to walk you through the process of budget reconciliation, what the American Health Care Act repeals, replaces, and reforms; and the concerns we are still working through in order to address the American people’s health care needs.

Last Wednesday, the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a public forum called a legislative markup on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill, The AHCA, is made up of two separate sections with jurisdiction in my committee, the Committee on Energy and Commerce and dual jurisdiction within the Committee on Ways and Means. The first section of the bill, with oversight of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, addresses the Medicaid and Affordable Care Act provisions of the law. The second section of the bill, which funnels through the Committee on Ways and Means, addresses the tax provisions of the law. The Energy and Commerce’s jurisdiction focuses on the provisions of Medicaid and the non-tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Committee on Ways and Means Committee’s jurisdiction covers the tax related provisions of the law.

With that, the Subcommittee on Health spent over twenty-seven hours discussing our portions of this bill with our Republican and Democrat colleagues. Throughout the night, over 70 amendments were offered and filed by members of the committee. Members and staff spent countless hours reviewing every amendment until the final gavel was offered on Thursday afternoon. Both committees spent multiple hours offering healthy debate and we believe this measure was not rushed through because both parties were able to voice concerns, offer solutions – and our committee spent almost thirty hours debating each idea prior to members voting to advance the bill in Congress.

Here is what the AHCA does:
    
Major repeals:
         - The Individual and Employer Mandates
         - Obamacare subsidies beginning in 2020
         - Sunsets Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020
         - Postpones the “Cadillac Tax” on expensive employer-sponsored plans until 2025
         - Eliminates all of Obamacare’s taxes, effective after 2017
         - Limits payments to insurers for cost-sharing reductions by 2020

Replaces – Ways and Means Committee:
Advanced and refundable tax credits based on one's age
         - Under 30: $2,000
         - Between 30 and 39: $2,500
         - Between 40 and 49: $3,000
         - Between 50 and 59: $3,500
         - Over 60: $4,000

The credits are available in full to individuals making up to $75,000 and families making up to $150,000. For every $1,000 in income higher than those thresholds, the credits decrease by $100

- Expanded health savings accounts
        - AHCA increases maximum contributions to health savings accounts, or medical savings accounts, to $6,550 for individuals and $13,100 for families beginning in 2018

  • Protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions
  • Continuous coverage requirement for our most vulnerable populations
  • Flexibility on age-based ratios – allowing better consumer choice and opening narrow networks
  • Per-capita caps for Medicaid, based on each state’s number of enrollees, beginning in 2020
  • Funds for states to set up high-risk pools, reduce out-of-pocket costs, or stabilize health insurance markets
  • One-year freeze on government funding to elective-abortion providers
  • Letting adults remain on parents’ plans until age 26
  • Tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage

Budget reconciliation:
The budget reconciliation process is an optional procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that operates as an adjunct to the annual budget resolution process. The chief purpose of the reconciliation process is to enhance Congress's ability to change current law in order to bring revenue and spending levels into conformity with the policies of the budget resolution. Accordingly, reconciliation may be the most potent budget enforcement tool available to Congress for a large portion of the budget.

Reconciliation is a two-stage process in which reconciliation instructions are included in the budget resolution directing the appropriate committees to develop legislation achieving the desired budgetary outcomes, and the resultant legislation (usually incorporated into an omnibus bill) is considered under expedited procedures in the House and Senate.

Concerns:
Within Medicaid expansion, Congressman Barton and I are working with our committee to address the Obamacare Medicaid expansion portion that is still set in place for three years after the policy is enacted. We are seeking to offer solutions to alter the worsening of the federal and state budgets by not incentivizing states to maintain expansion or to initiate new expansions and leaving the federal government picking up the majority of the bill.

For the tax credits portion of the bill, we want to be surefor future Congresses to come that we remain financially responsible and reduce the enhanced payments to states for expansion. While these creditsallow more choices for individuals, and is more patient-centered, it is fundamentally grounded on the idea that the federal government should fund insurance purchases. We want to ensure that we are not creating a large entitlement that the federal government simply cannot afford.

Most importantly, we want to ensure proper protection for the sanctity of life. While the current policy seeks to address pro-life safeguards on credit use, the language is ambiguous and it is unclear if such protections can survive Senate Byrd requirements as drafted.

Conclusion:
While there is still much work to do on health reform – this bill is not the final step. This measure is only the first step for beginning the discussion of federal health reform. For over six years, I have listened to my constituents and their requests to repeal this law and Congress took the initial step to repeal and replacing the Affordable Care Act.This battle is far from over. We have more work to accomplish for the betterment of the American people.

 

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Blackburn Applauds Passage of H.R. 375

2017/03/07

WASHINGTON D.C - U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) applauds passage of H.R. 375 - To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the “Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse”

“Fred Thompson was a neighbor, a friend, and a trusted political voice. Dedicated to first principles and conservative values from the start of his career in Sen. Howard Baker’s office, Fred Thompson made a lasting impression on the state of Tennessee. He loved our state and her people,” said Blackburn.

“A native of Lawrence County, Thompson went on to receive degrees from the University of Memphis and Vanderbilt University. He began his career in Nashville and excelled in every endeavor. Passing this legislation to allow the federal courthouse in Nashville to bear his name is an appropriate way to show our respect for his commitment to the people of Tennessee. I look forward to seeing this legislation passed in the Senate.” Read More

Competition: How Patient-Centered Health Care Reaches Affordability

2017/01/11

Competition is a good thing.  I’m a competitor, so I appreciate competitive sports, contests. I like it when companies compete for my business.  When I make a choice, I feel I have gotten a better deal.  I have had options and I chose what I wanted.  Health care is no different.  Competition benefits consumers with better options in both insurance and service options. It has always been my belief that competition allows a pathway for patient-centered care. In fact in, you can go back to the 2010 Blair House Summit on health care reform where I offered my legislation for across state lines health insurance purchase to President Obama.  You can watch here.    

Many elected officials, health care providers, and American citizens have seen Obamacare increase the cost of health care and health insurance.  Also, it is far too often that we see government organizations forecast that the U.S. health spending will grow considerably faster than growth in the economy.

This rapid growth leads a general consensus of Americans to beg the question – should competition be allowed within our current health care system?

One idea that demonstrates this type of free-market competition includes selling health insurance across state lines. This opens up the health insurance marketplace and in turn, make premiums more affordable for consumers. It allows you to buy insurance from whomever you want and wherever they are located.

Right now, if you decide to purchase individual health insurance, that plan is regulated by a specific state. Whereas an open market would eliminate the many differing state regulations to allow more health plan options – regardless of state - for the purposes of consumer flexibility.

This idea would allow insurers to sell health plans to consumers according to the rules of a single state, regardless of where a person lives. This concept would create a new framework that promotes competition for states by encouraging a reduction in unnecessary regulation.

Allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines flips the narrative from a bureaucratic choice to an individual choice, rather than a “one-size-fits-most” health plan that may not provide value for different consumer needs. 

Currently, because of Obamacare, the federal government has mandated what insurers’ offer consumers. The mandate to become a qualified health plan has, undoubtedly, limited how health plans operate – and this change is the farthest thing from competition, it is a form of wealth distribution.

The conclusion is simple - if the federal government is in the driver’s seat for regulating individual health choices – competition cannot exist. Therefore, it’s important that we allow states and consumers more flexibility in purchasing a health plan that it truly tailored to their needs.

That’s why I have been a long-time champion and author of legislation in the House called the Health Care Choice Act, which allows the purchase of health insurance across state lines. This bill will cut through the bureaucratic red tape and allows states, consumers and providers a better option for individual – patient centered – health care.

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The Select Investigative Panel Releases Final Report

2017/01/04

Contact: Stefanie Wheeler

Stefanie.wheeler@mail.house.gov

202-225-2811

The Select Investigative Panel Releases Final Report

 

 

The House Select Investigative Panel has concluded its yearlong investigation and released its Final Report which can be read in full here

 

The report details many of the disturbing practices the Panel uncovered in the abortion industry with the selling of fetal tissue along with information regarding our public hearings, subpoenas, criminal and regulatory referrals.  Also included is the listing of recommendations for improving access to appropriate scientific models, including human fetal tissue when warranted, in order to promote the advancement of science and the development of novel therapies.

 

“It was an honor to Chair the Select Investigative Panel.  I want to thank my colleagues who are strong pro-life leaders and have worked tirelessly over the past year. It is my hope that our recommendations will result in some necessary changes within both the abortion and fetal tissue procurement industries. Our hope is that these changes will both protect women and their unborn children, as well as the integrity of scientific research,” said Chairman Marsha Blackburn.  

 

“Over the last year, the Select Panel’s relentless fact-finding investigation has laid bare the grisly reality of an abortion industry that is driven by profit, unconcerned by matters of basic ethics and, too often, noncompliant with the few laws we have to protect the safety of women and their unborn children. I have never shied away from my own pro-life views, but the findings of this panel should incense all people of conscience,” said Congressman Diane Black.

 

“It has been a privilege to serve on this Panel alongside such dedicated members in pursuit of the truth. I applaud the diligent work the Select Panel did in investigating the callous practices of abortion providers, the nefarious dealings of the tissue procurement industry, and the atrocious disregard for the privacy and wellbeing of patients. The American people deserve to know these facts so responsible decisions can be made about research that respects women and protects life.  I truly wish this investigation hadn’t been necessary, but I am comforted and gratified knowing our work uncovered some truths I am hopeful will better inform Americans everywhere, lead to the preservation of life, and promote the safety and wellbeing of women,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler.

 

“It has been an honor to serve on the Select Investigative Committee on Infant Lives.  The committee’s work uncovered aspects of the fetal tissue industry few people knew about, and I look forward to tracking the progress of the criminal referrals.  We must protect the unborn, and every citizen’s God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Congresswoman Mia Love

 

“This select panel conducted a thorough and fact-based investigation to provide the American people answers and to hold those who facilitated these horrendous practices accountable,” said Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D.  “As a physician who has operated on babies as young as 22 weeks gestation, I am proud of our work on behalf of the most vulnerable among us – to protect the lives of the unborn from an industry that puts profits before the value and dignity of human life.”

 

“The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives succeeded in uncovering shameful practices, which undermined the very foundations of ethical American scientific research and have led to 15 criminal and regulatory referrals. Over the course of its year-long investigation of fetal tissue procurement companies and abortion businesses, the Select Panel found evidence that several tissue procurement companies and abortion clinics may have violated federal felony laws prohibiting the sale of human fetal tissue.  As a physician and researcher, it is my sincere hope that our investigation and the subsequent referrals have put an end to these shady and unethical practices,” said Congressman Andy Harris, M.D.

 

"I’m honored to have served on the Select Panel on Infant Lives because it played a pivotal role in uncovering the big business that is the fetal tissue procurement industry. In the course of our investigation, our panel requested the banking and accounting records from many institutions to verify those businesses’ activities. Although many complied, StemExpress, a major procurement business, did not. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that they are held accountable in the 115th Congress," said Congressman Sean Duffy.

 

"The Select Investigative Panel has worked hard to uncover the illegal and highly repulsive activities of the organizations involved in the sale and trafficking of baby body parts. Now it is up to the judicial system to hold the perpetrators accountable and up to Congress and the new Administration to see that these heinous acts are continued no longer. The way we treat our young, our weak, and our voiceless does matter. History will hold us accountable for these atrocities," said Congressman Joseph R. Pitts. 

 

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Tennessee Members of Congress Applaud Passage of H.R. 6135

2016/11/29

WASHINGTON- U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Diane Black (R-TN), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Phil Roe (R-TN) and U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) Applaud Passage of H.R. 6135 – To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 719 Church Street in Nashville, Tennessee, as the “Fred D. Thompson Federal Building and United States Courthouse”

Congressman Blackburn said: “From the start of his career in Sen. Howard Baker’s office, Fred Thompson was dedicated to first principles and conservative values. Thompson went to school in Lawrence County and his contributions were appreciated and respected by all Tennesseans. Passing legislation to name the federal courthouse in Nashville after him is a great way to show our respect for his commitment to the people of Tennessee. Senator Alexander filed the companion legislation in the Senate and my colleagues and I look forward to its passage there.”

Congressman Black said: “Fred Thompson was a statesman who led with conviction, and he was a visionary who helped turn our state into the conservative success story that it is today. Tennessee shines brighter because of Fred Thompson’s service. This courthouse will serve as a worthy tribute to his enduring legacy.”

Congressman Cohen said: “It is an honor to be a cosponsor of this bipartisan bill to honor my friend Fred Thompson. Fred served the United States Senate and the state of Tennessee with distinction for 8 years. He was a proud graduate of the University of Memphis and the only U of M grad to ever serve in the Senate. I was present when the National Conference of State Legislatures awarded him the Restoring the Balance Award for his dedication to federalism. For Fred, it was not a political or campaign issue, it was his philosophy. Despite our different political parties, Fred was always encouraging to me and I valued our friendship. He led an eclectic life from his time as an outstanding congressional staffer during the Watergate hearings and as a fine attorney, actor, and public servant. It is most appropriate that we name the federal courthouse in Nashville after this great American.”

Congressman Fincher said: “I am proud to recognize Fred Thompson as a great public servant and great Tennessean. As a prominent figure, he never strayed from his small-town Tennessee values and always conducted himself with integrity. This federal courthouse will serve as a testament to his lifetime pursuit of justice and as an inspiration for those who walk in his footsteps.”

Congressman Fleischmann said: “Senator Thompson had incredible career as a U.S. attorney, columnist, actor, and legislator. Most importantly, however, he was a proud Tennessean and I’m pleased that a Federal Courthouse will soon bear his name.”

Congressman Roe said: “Senator Thompson rose from humble beginnings to national prominence through hard work and perseverance. Fred dedicated much of his life to serving the state of Tennessee and this great country, and I am proud to join the Tennessee delegation to honor the memory of a great man I was lucky to call a friend.”

Senator Alexander said:“I am pleased the House voted to name the new Nashville federal courthouse in honor of Fred Thompson whose career as an attorney, Senate investigator, actor and United States Senator made him one of Tennessee’s most celebrated public figures. I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and passing it before the end of the year.”

Senator Corker said:“Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and our country with great distinction.Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service. I was proud to call him a friend and am pleased to join my colleagues to honor his life in this way.”

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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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