Diane Black

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Rep. Black Statement on Murfreesboro VA Developments

2015/05/28

Washington, DC– Today, Congressman Diane Black released the following statement after the Tennessee Valley VA released a message announcing plans to improve services to veterans following her call for a federal investigation of its Murfreesboro facility:

“It is curious that, days after my colleagues and I called for an Inspector General report on its Murfreesboro hospital, the VA finally announced a timeline of plans to improve services to veterans,” said Congressman Diane Black. “It should not have taken a Congressional request for a federal investigation to get the VA to act on behalf of our nation’s heroes. While we certainty welcome the promise of these forthcoming improvements, many unanswered questions remain. For example, the VA has yet to confirm or deny the reports I received that the Murfreesboro hospital’s intern agreement was not renewed, or that the facility was once left without a physician on the premises. What’s more, today’s update from the VA still does not indicate when a 24-hour emergency room will once again be fully operational, or why, when the hospital made a decision to close its emergency room, it did not take the simple step of issuing a news release so that area veterans would be informed of the changes. We will press forward with our calls for a full report from the Office of Inspector General so that we can ensure these mistakes are not repeated.”

Background: On Thursday, May 21st Congressman Black sent a letter alongside Congressmen Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, and Phil Roe to VA Secretary Robert McDonald asking for an independent investigation of the Murfreesboro VA hospital. The letter came after multiple sources reported to Congressman Black’s office that the facility was not admitting new hospital patients, that the hospital was once left without a physician to staff the premises, and that the hospital’s intern arrangement with Meharry Medical College was not renewed, leaving the facility short staffed. The reports further stated that the emergency room in Murfreesboro is closed and now functions as an urgent care center that closes at 8:00 PM daily – a claim that the Murfreesboro VA has since admitted as fact.

Today, the VA’s Tennessee Valley Health System Director, Juan Morales, released a message to staff stating that “Beginning June 1, the acute care medical unit (1A) will reopen 25 beds to acute medicine patients. This will progressively take place as the current sub-acute patients are discharged or transferred . . . By June 30, 2015, the progression of phasing in the ICU beds and Urgent Care Center to ED transition will be assessed for implementation.”

The message does not state when or if a 24-hour emergency room would be fully operational.

Resources:Original Press Release: Rep. Black Demands Answers on Patient Care at Murfreesboro VA; Leads Letter Calling for Independent InvestigationThe Tennessean: TN Lawmakers Seek Murfreesboro VA ProbeVIDEO: Fox 17 Reports on Rep. Black’s Letter Demanding an Investigation of Murfreesboro VA Hospital

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

 

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Rep. Black Praises Appeals Court Ruling Against President Obama’s Unconstitutional Amnesty

2015/05/26

Washington, DC– Today, Congressman Diane Black released the below statement regarding a federal appeals court’s refusal to lift an earlier injunction against President Obama’s November 2014 executive amnesty. This marks the second time that a federal judge has sided against the President’s immigration action.

“I am pleased that the courts continue to do what Congressional Democrats would not: hold President Obama accountable for following the law,” said Congressman Diane Black. “We have three branches of government for a reason and, as today’s decision affirms, the President simply cannot circumvent a clearly established separation of powers to make up his own immigration laws on a political whim.  This decision is an important victory for the rule of law and for every legal immigrant who is disrespected by the President’s unconstitutional amnesty. A reasonable Commander in Chief would accept this latest rebuke from our legal system, admit fault, and recommit to working with Congress on a real fix to immigration reform that upholds our laws already on the books and respects the sacrifices of legal immigrants. Sadly, President Obama seems intent on continuing with his go-it-alone strategy – ignoring the Constitution and the will of the American people in the process.”

Background: Congressman Black’s home state of Tennessee is among the 26 states challenging the President’s immigration action. Black signed an amicus brief led by the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) in support of these states’ lawsuit. Black is also a co-author of the Separation of Powers Act, legislation that seeks to defund the President’s immigration action. Earlier this year, Black voted for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that would have withheld funds for the President’s immigration orders. Black voted against the final bill that failed to properly address this overreach.

 

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

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Op-Ed: Protecting Foster Youth Must be a Priority All Year Long

2015/05/22


Rep. Black Demands Answers on Patient Care at Murfreesboro VA; Leads Letter Calling for Independent Investigation

2015/05/21

Washington, DC– Today, Congressman Diane Black led a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald highlighting stunning reports of mismanagement and inefficiencies at the Alvin C. York Campus of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, located in Murfreesboro. The letter lists a series of questions for the VA to answer about the state of affairs at the Murfreesboro hospital and further demands an independent investigation into the facility by the Office of Inspector General.

Congressman Black was compelled to write the VA after multiple sources reported to her office that the Murfreesboro facility is no longer accepting new patients, instead referring them to Nashville. The reports further claim that the emergency room in Murfreesboro is closed and now functions as an urgent care center that closes at 8:00 PM daily, and was once left without a physician to staff the premises – resulting in the Chief of Staff being called in. These reports additionally state that the hospital’s intern arrangement with Meharry Medical College was not renewed, leaving the facility short staffed.

The letter to the VA is also signed by Congressmen Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, and Phil Roe. Black released the following statement:

“We all know that the VA is broken and is failing to properly serve veterans across the country, but it appears that our service members here in Tennessee have been forced to bear the brunt of this agency’s shameful mismanagement,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Multiple reports last year found that the Murfreesboro VA clinic had some of the longest wait times in the nation. Now, we have reason to believe that the facility is turning away patients and has not maintained the support staff necessary to deliver efficient care. As the mother, wife, and daughter of veterans I am outraged by this blatant disrespect for those who have worn the uniform of our country and I will not relent in my fight to get answers and demand accountability. We owe our veterans at least that much.”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Congressman Black’s office has written the VA to demand better service on behalf of our veterans. In July 2013, the Congressman sent a letter to then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki after inquiries to the agency from Congressman Black’s staff on behalf of area veterans were not promptly returned.

Read Congressman Black’s full letter to the VA HERE.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

 

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TN Lawmakers Seek Mufreesboro VA Probe

2015/05/21


Congress Introduces Bill to Make Adoption Tax Credit Fully Refundable

2015/05/20


Rep. Black Named Among the “25 Most Influential Women in Congress” by CQ Roll Call

2015/05/20

Washington, DC– Recently, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), was named to CQ Roll Call’s “25 Most Influential Women in Congress.” A profile of Congressman Black is included in CQ Weekly’s annual “power issue” which describes her as someone who “knows how to effectively make her case and turn her ideas into legislation” and adds that “her background as a nurse gives her particular sway when discussing her stalwart opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.” Black released the following statement:

“I am humbled by this honor and grateful to see the accomplishments of women in Congress being recognized in this way,” said Congressman Diane Black. “Women bring a unique perspective to their work in Washington. We are multitaskers, caretakers, mothers, wives, grandmothers, and oftentimes the unofficial CFOs of our households. While there is much to celebrate about the gains that women have made in Congress, there is still work to be done. Today, women comprise a majority of the U.S. population and vote at a higher rate than men, yet they still make up less than 20 percent of the House and Senate. I am proud to be part of the efforts to bring more conservative women into the fold and encourage their participation in the political process.”

Congressman Black added, “Growing up as the child of parents with no more than a ninth grade education, I never would have imagined that I would have the opportunity to be the first woman to represent Tennessee’s 6th District in Congress. During my time here, I hope I have been able to show that conservatism offers a vision to benefit all Americans – including women – and that it is indeed possible to fight for the cause of women and the unborn with the same passion and tenacity.”

Background: Prior to being elected to Congress, Black was the first woman in state history to serve as Republican Caucus Chair in the Tennessee state senate. In that capacity, she helped engineer the Republican takeover of the state legislature and the election of Tennessee’s first Republican Lieutenant Governor since Reconstruction. Black is the first woman elected to represent Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. In Congress, Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee. She is a founding member of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee.

Resources: View a scanned PDF of Rep. Black’s profile in CQ Weekly here. CQ Roll Call subscribers can read Rep. Black’s profile online here.  CQ Roll Call’s book featuring Rep. Black – “Powerful Women: The 25 Most Influential Women in Congress” – can be purchased here.  Download a candid, hi-resolution photo of Rep. Black here

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

 

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Reps. Black, Davis, McDermott and Franks Introduce Bipartisan Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015

2015/05/19

Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, joined with Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL-7), Jim McDermott (D-WA-7) and Trent Franks (R-AZ-8) to introduce the bipartisan Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015. The legislation would make the current adoption tax credit fully refundable. Black, Davis, McDermott, and Franks released the following statements:

“This May marks National Foster Care Month and is a sobering reminder of the more than 400,000 children in the foster care system waiting on a forever family. The best outcome for a child in foster care is an adoption into a safe, loving home, but we know this is a costly process. Almost half of all children adopted from foster care live in households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty threshold. The tax code should work for these families that open their hearts and their homes to adoption – not against them. That is why our legislation would make the adoption tax credit more versatile and widen the playing field so that more families can benefit. I am grateful to Congressmen Davis, McDermott, and Franks for working with me on this critical, bipartisan measure,” said Congressman Diane Black.   

“The Adoption Tax Credit reflects common-sense federal policy – it strengthens families, removes income as a barrier to adoption, and helps vulnerable children join permanent, loving families.  Research shows that former foster youth represent the majority of children adopted by families earning less than 200 percent of the poverty level.  This bill will make a critical difference in the ability of lower and middle-income families to adopt.  I am proud to recognize National Foster Care Month by working across the aisle to improve the Adoption Tax Credit to better help children and families,” said Congressman Danny K. Davis.

“I have long felt that the tax code should work for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable among us,” said Congressman Jim McDermott. “The reality is that many of the children adopted in the U.S. join families that do not have sufficient income to take full advantage of the adoption tax credit. Making the adoption tax credit refundable will ensure that the tax code provides every family that adopts a child the resources they need and deserve. I thank my colleagues in the House for their work on this important issue, and I strongly urge swift passage of this bipartisan bill.” 

“I am honored to be able to join with my colleagues today in introducing the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. The Adoption Tax Credit is a simple but impactful way to prioritize the critical need of every child to enjoy the love, support, and protection of a permanent family. Every time the tax credit is claimed, we will be able to see that a child has found a forever family. In the long term, keeping children in families saves society money by breaking children out of a cycle we know for so many, often leads to homelessness, welfare, incarceration, or other tragic outcomes. When you measure that against the hope of a new life, stability, and a future of love and support for a child, it’s easy to make the case that the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act strengthens America's future on every level,” said Congressman Trent Franks.

The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015 has been endorsed by: American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Adopt America Network, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Joint Council on International Children’s Services, National Council For Adoption, North American Council on Adoptable Children, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, ShowHope, Voice for Adoption, and more than 115 national, state, and local groups.  

Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Senate companion measure to the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015. Read their statements here.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

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Rep. Black Leads the Fight to Pass Pain-Capable Legislation in the House

2015/05/13

Watch Congressman Black's remarks in support of H.R. 36 HERE or by clicking the image above 

Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a nurse for more than 40 years, spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation would provide federal legal protection for unborn children at 20 weeks, with exceptions to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Congressman Black is a cosponsor of this pro-life initiative and led debate in support of the legislation on the House floor.

Following Congressman Black’s remarks, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 36 by a vote of 242 to 184. To watch a video of Congressman Black’s speech, click here. A complete transcript is provided below:

Madam Speaker, when I became a nurse more than 40 years ago, I took a vow to "devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care” but, initially, our understanding of science limited the extent to which I could fulfill that promise.

During my first years of nursing, if a woman came into my hospital in labor at 32 weeks of pregnancy, our odds for saving her child were slim. However, today babies are being saved as early as 22 weeks into fetal development according to a study cited just last week in the New York Times. What’s more, there is significant evidence that by 20 weeks of development, unborn children have the capacity to feel pain.

Sadly, while we celebrate advances in technology that prove life has value and worth before leaving the hospital, we also continue to be one of only seven nations that allow elective, late-term abortions .

It is difficult to imagine a more important measure of a society than how it treats its most innocent and defenseless population. By condoning the destruction of unborn life that could otherwise live outside the womb, the United States tragically fails to meet this most fundamental human rights standard. Basic decency and human compassion demands that something has to change.

Polls consistently show that upwards of 60 percent of Americans support putting an end to the dangerous and inhumane practice of late-term abortions – so to be clear, we have a mandate to act. That is why I strongly support the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act this week, which will provide federal legal protection for unborn children at 20 weeks, with exceptions to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape and incest.

Today’s vote coincides with the two-year anniversary of the conviction of the evil abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who killed babies born alive in his “clinic” and is responsible for the death of an adult woman.

Americans were rightfully outraged when told of his crimes, but the truth is that innocent, unborn children routinely suffer the same fate as Gosnell’s victims through “normal” late-term abortions and the government does not bat an eye. The only difference between these casualties and the loss of life that resulted in Gosnell’s murder conviction is location.

Madam Speaker, if we cannot appeal to my pro-abortion lawmakers’ sense of compassion when it comes to this issue, then surely we can at least appeal to their sense of logic and fact.

Knowing that premature babies are being saved as early as 22 weeks into fetal development, there is no legitimate reason to oppose this bill. In the year 2015, the United States has no business aborting a life that can live outside the womb. Science agrees and so do the majority of Americans. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will right this wrong.  

Resources:PHOTO: Rep. Black Speaks at House Republican Press Conference in Support of H.R. 36Rep. Black Lauds Upcoming House Vote on Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection ActNew York Times: Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated, Study Finds

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees

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House Passes 20 Week Abortion Ban

2015/05/13


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2015-04-17 15:23:22


Contact Information

1531 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4231
Fax 202-225-6887
black.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Budget

Ways and Means

As a nurse, small businesswoman and former educator, Congressman Diane Black brings a unique and dynamic perspective to her work in Congress. Diane’s faith in America’s promise was shaped from an early age. The middle daughter of working-class, Great Depression era parents, Diane saw firsthand their efforts to create a better life for their children through their pursuit of the American Dream.

First elected to Congress in 2010, Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District, which includes 19 counties in middle Tennessee. Black is driven by her Christian faith and an unwavering commitment to restore fiscal sanity in Washington, enact market-based health care reform, and return America to its founding principles of limited government and a strong free enterprise system.

Black serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and has quickly established herself as a leader in the efforts to fundamentally reform the U.S. tax code for the first time in over 25 years. Black is fighting for a flatter, fairer and simpler tax code to help create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and higher wages for American workers. In the 113th Congress, Black was selected to chair the Ways and Means Education and Family Benefits Tax Reform Working Group.

Through her over 40 years of experience working in the health care field, Black learned first-hand about the importance of high-quality care and the obstacles faced by patients, health care providers and employers. Black’s real world experiences as a nurse have uniquely positioned her as a credible and effective leader on health care policy in Congress. She is focused on dismantling the president’s health care law and advancing true market-based, patient-centered reforms that will bring down the rising cost of care by increasing private sector competition and consumer choice. In the 112th Congress, Black was the first member of Congress to have legislation signed into law that repeals a health care provision in Obamacare, which saved taxpayers $13 billion dollars.

Black is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and a co-author of the 2014 Path to Prosperity budget, which balances the federal budget within ten years, reduces federal spending by $4.6 trillion, saves Medicare for future generations and promotes private sector economic growth. Black is a firm believer that getting America’s fiscal house in order also requires serious reforms of the broken Congressional Budget process. That is why she introduced the Legally Binding Budget Act, H.R. 1868, and has been a leading advocate for initiatives such as the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which withholds pay from Congress if an annual budget is not passed by the legal deadline.

Building off her work in the Tennessee legislature as a pro-life leader, Black has continued to fight for the rights of the unborn. Her first piece of legislation in the 113th Congress, H.R. 217, would block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood. Black is also the sponsor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, legislation that would protect the religious freedom of health care providers who refuse to perform abortions and offers full exemption from the Health and Human Services (HHS) employee healthcare mandate that requires coverage for abortion inducing drugs.

Black and her husband of over 30 years, Dr. David Black have three grown children and six grandchildren.  They live in Gallatin and attend Community Church in Hendersonville.


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

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

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