Politics

Diane Black To Step Down As Budget Chair, Running For Governor

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter

Tennessee Rep. Diane Black is slated to step down as chairman of the House Budget Committee, but will continue to serve the remainder of her term in Congress, she announced Tuesday.

Black, the first woman to lead the Budget panel, said after helping pave the way for tax reform, her “next big challenge” is running for governor of The Volunteer State.

“I am very proud of the hard work of our members and all we accomplished, especially offering real reforms for mandatory programs and unlocking pro-growth tax reform. As we enter a new era under a brand new tax law and as members begin crafting a budget for fiscal year 2019, I am confident the focus will remain on addressing unsustainable mandatory programs,” Tennesee Republican said in a statement.

In a Fox News op-ed published Tuesday, Black called on her colleagues to work toward bringing down the deficit.

“It is now up to the U.S. Senate and future Congresses to follow our lead on mandatory spending,” she wrote. “If we don’t address mandatory spending programs, our country is headed for a sovereign debt crisis – and believe me, this crisis is closer than most will admit.”

In addition to applauding the House’s work on overhauling the tax code, she praised GOP lawmakers in the lower chamber for attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare, noting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repeals the individual mandate.

“Since the Senate’s initial failure, we successfully repealed ObamaCare’s individual mandate in our tax reform bill, to reduce this burden on middle-class Americans,” she continued. “This provision is the foundation of ObamaCare’s entire flawed scheme. With its repeal, the rest of the law will now be much simpler to dismantle. The House is ready to do just that, so let’s hope Republicans in the Senate muster the nerve to join us.”

A spokesman for the House Budget Committee confirmed she will remain chairman until her successor is chosen.

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