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Congressman Diane Black

Representing the 6th District of Tennessee

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Rep. Black Speaks at Opening Meeting of Budget Conference Committee

April 20, 2015
Press Release

 

Watch Congressman Black’s remarks at the budget conference committee HERE or by clicking the image above.

Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) attended and spoke at the first meeting of the bicameral budget conference committee. Congressman Black was one of only five House Republican conferees appointed to this select committee tasked with reconciling differences between the House and Senate passed budgets to create a unified budget document.

In her remarks, Congressman Black discussed the importance of including language to repeal Obamacare in the final budget agreement. To watch a video of Congressman Black’s remarks click here. A complete transcript is provided below:

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying what an honor it is to serve on this conference committee as we begin the important work of adopting a unified budget agreement that will confront our spending problem and return us to a point of fiscal solvency here in Washington. 

We know that the stakes are high, and the challenges are big, but we can also be encouraged by the knowledge that our House and Senate passed budgets already reflect many of the same core principles. That is important because, as we’ve all heard said before, budgets truly are a statement of our values.

So I’m pleased that the House and Senate Republican budgets agree on the importance of a plan that balances within ten years. We agree that we shouldn’t take more from hardworking families to fuel Washington’s runaway spending with another tax increase. We agree that we must offer Americans a way out from the harmful regulations, mandates, and costs of Obamacare. And we agree that budgets aren’t an optional part of our jobs as legislators – they are a fundamental responsibility of governing.

I’m looking forward to working alongside my conferees in both parties and both chambers in the coming days to craft this bicameral budget agreement. During that time, I hope to have a productive conversation on each of the major tenets of our respective budget documents.

As a nurse for more than 40 years, I’m particularly interested in discussing how our budget can lay a vision for a better way forward on healthcare. We know that the President’s healthcare law is failing to live up to its most basic promises. I hear that in my town hall meetings across my 19 counties, in my visits with providers here in Washington, and in the phone calls and emails I receive on a daily basis.

The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare will cost our economy the equivalent of more than 2 million full time jobs. And once it’s all said and done, those same estimates tell us that about 31 million Americans will remain uninsured. We have to do better. That is why our budget agreement repeals Obamacare in full, allowing us to start over with real reforms that put patients and their doctors in charge of health care decisions – not Washington bureaucrats. I believe it is critical that our final, unified budget document maintain these provisions.

If we truly want to offer real-world healthcare solutions that strengthen the doctor patient relationship, that let families keep more money in their pocket, and that protect our seniors – it starts with erasing the damage of Obamacare and offering a clean slate to work from. We have an opportunity through this budget process to do exactly that.

I’m looking forward to the important work ahead and want to especially thank Chairman Price and Chairman Enzi for their leadership on this effort. Thank you. 

 

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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