Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn


Blackburn Advances Initiatives to Encourage Health Innovation


Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today continued her work to encourage healthcare innovation and improve the lives of Americans through 21st Century Cures Act, which was unanimously approved by the committee. 

“We have all been affected by a challenging health condition in some way – whether we’ve faced a diagnosis ourselves or have stood by a loved one’s side as they battled through it. That is why we’ve embraced a focused vision of improving lives through our cures strategy,” Blackburn said. “I am pleased with the work we’ve done at the Energy and Commerce Committee in this bipartisan effort to rally the nation and its creative minds around an unwavering commitment to finding cures that will enable people to live better, healthier lives.”

Included in 21st Century Cures are several pieces of legislation authored by Congressman Blackburn -- H.R. 2396, Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (SOFTWARE) Act; H.R. 2435, the Reagan-Udall Foundation Reauthorization; and H.R. 2436, the Children Count Act.

The SOFTWARE Act, which Blackburn authored with Representative Gene Green (R-TX) would categorize health IT based upon the level of risk and create regulatory certainty for innovators by removing the lowest risk software from the purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

“At the core of the promise of 21st Century Cures is technology ---- technology that will bring new therapies and treatments to doctors and their patients,” said Blackburn. “Brilliant minds across the nation are developing software that will change the face of medicine. Health care innovation is happening at lightening speed, but our laws are not keeping pace. Our SOFTWARE legislation will help bring the nation’s regulatory framework into the 21st century so innovation may flourish and we might speed these changes along.”

Blackburn joined Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) in sponsoring the Children Count Act that would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure children are appropriately considered for NIH-funded studies.

 “Research is crucial to finding cures and we must ensure our children receive the benefit of these studies,” Blackburn said. “The children of today represent the future of tomorrow. By improving their lives through this legislation, they’ll have the best opportunity to grow up strong and healthy.”

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Reps. Blackburn & Capps Introduce Bipartisan Children Count Act


Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2436, the Children Count Act.        
This bipartisan legislation would direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure that children are appropriately considered for NIH-funded studies.
“The children of today represent the future of tomorrow. By improving their lives through this legislation, they’ll have the best opportunity to grow up strong and healthy,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Blackburn. “Research is crucial to finding cures and we must ensure our children receive the benefit of these studies.”
“I am proud to introduce the Children Count Act - bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will improve our research practices and help ensure our children are not only healthier, but safer,” Capps said. “We must be sure that treatments and devices are designed and tested to best meet the needs of our children and then labeled and marketed appropriately for use to help improve patient outcomes.”
The bill has support from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Every child needs a strong foundation to ensure a healthy life, and pediatric research has taught us what we know about what makes children thrive. The American Academy of Pediatrics commends Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) for championing an important research provision for children in the 21st Century Cures Act. By ensuring that children are counted and included in NIH research, Reps. Blackburn and Capps also ensure that children benefit from new medical advances and cures discovered through this research. Their recommendations make the entire process more transparent and give children the best possible chance to grow up healthy,” said Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics.

Rep. Blackburn and Rep. Capps have been working to get this provision in to the 21st Century Cures legislation.

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Blackburn Calls on IRS to Investigate Clinton Foundation


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was joined by 51 of her House colleagues today in sending a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen requesting a review of the Clinton Foundation’s tax-exempt status. The letter requests that the IRS respond within 30 days.

“As I've traveled through my district and talked to constituents, many people have asked about the widely reported improprieties concerning the Clinton Foundation. That’s why I decided to send a letter to Commissioner Koskinen asking the IRS to conduct a review of the Clinton Foundation’s tax-exempt status,” Blackburn said. “Media reports containing specific allegations have cast a cloud over the Clinton Foundation and call into question whether it is acting within the scope of its charitable mission for which it was originally granted tax-exempt status. In particular, the Clinton Foundation’s admitted failure to accurately report donations from foreign governments during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is an issue of great public importance. President Obama himself recognized the potential for a conflict of interest to arise, which is why he had the Clinton Foundation sign an agreement outlining how foreign donations were to be handled.

“We look forward to Commissioner Koskinen’s response.The allegations swirling around the Foundation are very serious and should be thoroughly vetted.”

Click here to read the full text of Blackburn’s letter to the IRS. Read More

Reps. Blackburn & Green Introduce SOFTWARE Act


Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Gene Green (D-TX) today introduced the Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency (SOFTWARE) Act

This bipartisan legislation would categorize health IT based upon the level of risk and create regulatory certainty for innovators by removing the lowest risk software from the purview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“At the core of the promise of 21st Century Cures is technology ---- technology that will bring new therapies and treatments to doctors and their patients. Health software is at the core of this promising technology,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Blackburn. “Brilliant minds across the nation are developing software that will change the face of medicine. It is the goal of the SOFTWARE legislation to bring our nation’s regulatory framework into the 21st century so that innovation may flourish and we might speed these changes along.
“We need to rally the nation and its creative minds around an unwavering commitment to finding cures. Our SOFTWARE legislation is a crucial first step toward that commitment and I look forward to once again working with Rep. Green in this bipartisan effort.”

Congressman Gene Green, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee said, “As new technologies emerge, it’s important that federal regulatory agencies like the FDA are properly equipped to provide a common sense level of oversight that is appropriate for the characteristics of the product. This bill builds on the progress made by the FDA in their recently released guidance documents, focuses federal regulation on software products that pose a true risk to patients, and gives certainty to innovators so we can unleash the next generation of health information technology.”

To read the full text of the SOFTWARE Act, CLICK HERE.

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Blackburn Fights for Fort Campbell and America’s Military


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement on House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, legislation that will provide important resources to the Fort Campbell community and our nation’s military.
Congressman Blackburn secured a provision in the bill that authorizes funding for the “Army and Air Force flying hours program,” to provide training and flight hours at 100% levels for military aviators. “Like many military installations across the country, Fort Campbell is facing budget constraints that will have an impact on military readiness programs. I have worked tirelessly to ensure this vital program provides the training necessary for mission success and the safety of our soldiers,” Blackburn said.
“It only takes a few weeks for our nation’s pilots and crewmembers to lose currency, which puts their lives and our country’s national security at risk. We must make sure resources are available to keep their training up to date. H.R. 1735 will ensure the brave men and women who serve our country will have what they need to defeat ISIL and continue the fight against global terrorism. It also initiates landmark reforms to the Department of Defense’s broken acquisition system that will eliminate the red tape hindering technological advances required to respond to the evolving security threats we face.”
“The NDAA improves military benefits by allowing servicemembers to contribute to a portable retirement plan, cutting the backlog for military childcare, and implementing communication between the VA and the DOD to ensure servicemembers receive consistent care as they transition out of military service. I am pleased to support this legislation and will continue my mission to make sure we meet and protect the needs of those serving in Tennessee and across our great nation.”
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Blackburn Leads Effort to End Brutal & Inhumane Late-Term Abortions


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today issued the following statement on House passage of legislation she authored with Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) to protect women and babies from dangerous late-term abortions. H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would limit late-term abortions starting at the sixth month of pregnancy when science proves an unborn child can feel pain.
“I have been so pleased to work with Trent Franks in leading this important effort to ensure the unborn are provided the same protections that all human life deserves,” Blackburn said. “Science tells us that unborn babies react to touch as soon as 8 weeks into the pregnancy and that they can feel pain by at least 20 weeks. Doctors have testified they have seen babies on the sonogram flinch and move away from sharp objects during surgical procedures to avoid the pain. Technology has advanced and so should our laws to protect women and children.
“Two years ago the world was awakened to the brutal and inhumane reality of abortion as we watched the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder for killing 7 babies and a mother during botched late-term abortions. We have a moral obligation to end these dangerous late-term abortions in order to protect women and these precious babies from criminals like Kermit Gosnell who prey on the most vulnerable in our society.

“The United States is one of only 7 countries in the world that still allow abortions after 20 weeks, putting us in the same camp as China and North Korea. America is better than that. We are better than abortion. It’s time to end this inhumane practice." Read More

Blackburn Joins SBA in Honoring Tennessee's Small Business Person of the Year


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in honoring Dr. Ed Glaser, Founder and CEO of Sole Supports Inc., on being named the SBA's 2015 Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year.
Located in Lyles, Tennessee, Sole Supports, Inc. is the largest manufacturing employer in Hickman County with over 100 employees. Sole Supports, Inc. makes and sells orthotic footwear to healthcare professionals such as podiatrists and chiropractors, and has also established a successful distribution network for internal sales.
“Dr. Glaser took a leap of faith to start his business with the goal of making people better. From its humble beginnings in Dr. Glaser’s garage, he grew it into the largest manufacturing employer in Hickman County. I congratulate Dr. Glaser on being recognized with this honor and am grateful for Dr. Glaser’s hard work and dedication to growing his business and our local economy. Small businesses, like Sole Supports, are the backbone of our district. This award is well-deserved.” Read More

Blackburn Works to Protect Taxpayers from DOE Regulatory Overreach


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today continued her fight to rein in the Department of Energy (DOE) and protect Americans from regulatory overreach with provisions she secured in the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. The House approved the bill 240-177.

The bill includes an amendment offered by Congressman Blackburn that would prevent DOE from using funds to finalize, promulgate, or enforce a proposed rule that would eliminate the use of non-condensing natural gas home furnaces. On average, condensing furnaces cost $350 more than non-condensing furnaces and require as much as $2,200 in additional installation costs. DOE has estimated this could cost American consumers up to $12 billion to install condensing furnaces nationwide.

“American families are struggling enough under the Obama economy without being saddled with additional costs because of more burdensome regulations being forced on them by bureaucrats at DOE,” Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Blackburn said. “Home furnaces fail and need to be replaced when they are actually used---in the middle of winter when it is cold outside. American families shouldn’t face increased costs to replace their natural gas furnace and get the heat flowing back into their homes.”

Blackburn’s amendment was supported by the American Gas Association; the American Public Gas Association; ACCA – The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association; Air-Condition, Heating & Refrigeration Institute; Heating Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International; and the National Association of Home Builders.

Working with Representatives Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Todd Rokita (R-IN), Blackburn also helped lead an effort to approve an amendment to the bill that would prevent any funds from being used by the DOE to finalize, implement, or enforce the proposed “Standards Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits” rule.

“New regulations being considered by DOE will diminish the ability of ceiling fan manufacturers, such as Hunter Fans in Memphis, to produce reasonably priced fans for homes. This provision will protect manufacturers and consumers from these invasive regulations that extend into the homes of American families, raise costs for consumers, and kill the ability of manufacturers to grow and create jobs,” Blackburn said. “I am pleased to once again be working with Representative Dent in this important effort to protect our homes and ceiling fans from the Obama Administration’s regulatory overreach.”

As part of a more than decade long fight to bring federal spending under control, Blackburn also offered her 1-percent across-the-board spending cut amendment, which would have saved taxpayers an additional $356 million.

“Across-the-board cuts are an effective tool to control the growth and cost of the federal government. They not only give agencies the flexibility to determine which expenses are necessary, but more importantly---they don’t pick winners and losers,” Blackburn said. “These cuts have worked effectively at the state level and there is no reason not to utilize them in Washington. Our nation is more than $18 trillion in debt. At some point bureaucrats in Washington have to learn to live within their means. I don’t think cutting one more penny on the dollar is too much to ask.”

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Blackburn Statement on House Passage of Budget Conference Agreement


Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Conference Agreement.

“Regularly I hear from our constituents that they want us to cut spending and pass a balanced budget. We are realizing that goal with the passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Conference Agreement,” Blackburn said. “The budget reduces spending by $5.3 trillion below the currently projected level and comes into balance within the budget window. It also includes provisions I fought for to strengthen defense and fund our men and women at Ft. Campbell, to provide a framework to begin reducing the federal workforce, to reduce federally held lands and property and to consider utilizing zero based budget principles.” Read More

Blackburn, Eshoo Renew Effort to Protect Musicians’ Creative Content


House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, today re-introduced the Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act.

This bipartisan legislation would condition the ability of broadcasters to opt for retransmission consent payments on whether radio stations they own pay performers for their music. Further, a provision that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from imposing radio chip mandates for mobile devices has been added to the bill. Blackburn and Eshoo first introduced this legislation during the 113th Congress.

“Broadcasters have repeatedly told us that retransmission consent payments are fair because cable and satellite stations make millions by retransmitting local broadcast content. However, when it comes to music, the same broadcasters, many who own both TV and radio stations, sing a completely different tune,” Blackburn said. “Our legislation seeks to modernize outdated law and put an end to a loophole that allows AM/FM radio to avoid paying musicians for their creative work.

“Internet radio pays music creators fair market value for their performances, Satellite radio pays music creators for performances, Cable and Satellite TV/radio stations pay music creators for their performances. Everyone but AM/FM radio pays. Moreover, we have included language to prevent the FCC from extending this injustice through a potential federally imposed chip mandate for mobile devices. This is a basic issue of fairness that must be addressed and I look forward to working with Congresswoman Eshoo and moving this legislation forward.”

“Broadcasters receive billions of dollars annually when their local broadcast television programming is aired by cable and satellite operators, yet when it comes to the music played on their AM/FM radio stations, they refuse to compensate the creator of the music. This double standard is patently unfair,” said Rep. Eshoo.

“The Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act ensures that television broadcasters who opt for retransmission consent fees must also pay artists when their music is played on AM/FM stations, just as they are on Internet and satellite radio. And as more consumers use Internet radio, the bill ensures consumers aren’t locked into outdated technology mandates and can choose how they access local news and music on their mobile device.”

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2015-04-17 15:23:22

Contact Information

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Committee Assignments


Energy and Commerce

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


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