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Marsha Blackburn

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

Rep. Marsha Blackburn



U.S. House of Representatives


Marsha Blackburn was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives at the start of the 108th Congress to represent Tennessee’s 7th District.


In her first term Blackburn was declared a "top conservative" by National Journal while the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, has called her a "rising star." In 2004, a Washingtonian Magazine survey found Blackburn to be a "top newcomer" in the 108th Congress.


A frequent guest on local, state, and national television and radio programs, Blackburn is known as an articulate conservative dedicated to reducing government spending, supporting an aggressive war on terrorism, and defending family values.


Blackburn is an Assistant Majority Whip and serves on the exclusive House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee plays a key role in a broad portion of the legislative agenda with jurisdiction over issues ranging from health care to intellectual property protection. In addition, Blackburn is co-chairman of the House Task Force aimed at eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government.


Blackburn is the first woman elected in her own right to Congress from Tennessee.


Tennessee Government


Marsha Blackburn served as Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission from 1995 to 1997 where she worked to protect Tennessee’s vibrant creative community and attract new investments to the state.


In 1998 she was the first woman elected to represent Tennessee’s 23rd state senate district. During her time in the Senate, Blackburn gained national attention for opposing efforts by Tennessee’s political establishment to create a state income tax. Blackburn mobilized an enormous statewide grassroots coalition, defeated the tax, and built a reputation as a tax reform advocate.


Across-the-board spending reduction legislation Blackburn introduced to balance the state’s budget was derided by some newspapers at the time but has since been proved effective, leading one editorial page to declare that Blackburn had been right.


Blackburn also sponsored a bill to prohibit the state from issuing valid drivers licenses to illegal aliens and authored legislation to help make child care more affordable.


Private Sector and Family


A longtime volunteer in numerous Tennessee charities and non-profit organizations, Blackburn was a small business owner for nearly two decades.


Blackburn graduated from Mississippi State University, paying her way through college with a 4-H scholarship and by selling books door to door for the Southwestern Company. She was one of Southwestern Company’s first women booksellers in the South and was part of the team that developed the company’s first all women sales division.


Marsha married Chuck Blackburn in 1974. They have two grown children, Chad Blackburn and Mary Morgan Ketchel.


Congressional Legislative Highlights


Blackburn's record of results and the common sense legislation she has introduced have earned her a reputation as a problem solver.


In 2003, Blackburn introduced legislation to create a federal sales tax deduction for residents of states like Tennessee that do not have a state income tax. Her work paid off and the deduction was passed into law as part of a larger tax bill in 2004, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax savings for Tennesseans.


Blackburn has supported across-the-board pay increases for the nation’s men and women in uniform and championed legislation signed into law that provides concurrent receipt benefits for veterans. In 2005, Blackburn also introduced legislation to increase the death benefit for the families of soldiers killed while on active duty or inactive duty training from $12,000 to $100,000.


A critic of unnecessary government spending, Blackburn introduced three bills to require across-the-board spending cuts in the Federal budget. In late 2005, the House passed the Deficit Reduction Act containing a one percent across-the-board reduction supported by Blackburn that resulted in nearly $40 billion in savings for taxpayers.


In 2006, Blackburn introduced legislation to increase penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Additionally, Blackburn has also authored legislation requiring that all federal contractors use a free, existing database to verify their employees’ identities to prevent illegal aliens from gaining access to sensitive federal installations. Blackburn has voted in favor of increasing the number of border agents and construction of a border wall.


A proponent of entitlement reform, Blackburn introduced legislation to prevent Social Security funds from being spent on other government projects until a plan for the program’s long term stability has been enacted. In addition, Blackburn sponsored a bill giving seniors the right to choose a monetary voucher for health savings accounts rather than regular Medicare benefits.


Blackburn supported creation of a national sex offender registry and she is a vocal advocate for legislation that would allow law enforcement to better track online sex predators targeting children.


In 2006, legislation Blackburn sponsored to encourage competition in the consumer cable television marketplace was included in a bill that passed the House.


Blackburn founded and serves as the co-chairman of the House Songwriters Caucus. In 2006, a tax provision championed by Blackburn to reform tax liabilities for songwriters was passed into law.




National Journal described Blackburn as a "freshman to watch" and a "top House conservative"


Roll Call named Blackburn one of five House Republican "rising stars"


Blackburn serves as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus she founded in 2003 to give Tennessee's community of songwriters a voice on Capitol Hill


U.S. Border Control thanked Blackburn for a 100% pro-border security voting record


Blackburn received National Journal's highest conservative voting rank for any female member of Congress and placed tenth overall in the House in the 108th Congress


Blackburn has received the "spirit of enterprise" award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Americans for Tax Reform called Blackburn a "taxpayer hero"


Military Officers Association of America of Middle Tennessee thanked Blackburn for pro-military service member voting record and concurrent receipt legislation efforts


Blackburn declared one of the "best and brightest" by the American Conservative Union


The Small Business Survival Committee named Blackburn a "small business advocate"


Blackburn scored a perfect 100 in the American Shareholders Association ranking


The Family Research Council gave Blackburn the "true blue" award for defending family values


Blackburn praised for supporting Federal whistleblower protection by the Government Accountability Project


The American Legion National Headquarters recognized Blackburn for voting to support increased Veterans Affairs medical care funding


Blackburn called a "protector of property rights" by the Property Rights Alliance


The Alliance for Worker Freedom named Blackburn a "guardian of worker freedom"

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