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Congressman Diane Black

Representing the 6th District of Tennessee


Rep. Black Supports Bill to Bring Basic Accountability to Debt Ceiling Negotiations

February 11, 2016
Press Release

To watch Congressman Black’s remarks on the House floor, click HERE or the image above

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), member of the House Budget Committee and Ways and Means Committee, voted in support of H.R. 3442, the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act. This legislation, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 267 to 151, would require the Administration to appear before Congress before any future vote to extend the debt limit. Administration officials would be required to provide testimony and detailed reports on the drivers of our debt and progress on debt reduction.

Prior to the vote, Congressman Black spoke on the House floor to urge passage of the legislation. To watch her remarks, click here. A full transcript is provided below:

Mister Speaker, our nation is $19 trillion in debt. That is more than $58,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child. Tennesseans know that the mounting debt burden in Washington is not just an economic concern. This is a national security issue and it is a moral issue – one the President is willfully choosing to ignore.

His latest budget would cause our debt to spike to more than $27 trillion over the next ten years. And when the government maxes out its credit cards to pay for this runaway spending, the Obama Administration routinely insists on so-called “clean” debt ceiling hikes – a blank check with no strings attached.

Mister Speaker, our constituents deserve better than that. They expect that Congress would assert its role as a co-equal branch of government and leverage these opportunities to demand real cuts and engage the Administration in an honest conversation about Washington’s spending addiction. That is why I support the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act.  

This commonsense legislation would require the Administration to come here, to the People’s House, before any potential debt limit increase and testify about the drivers of our debt and their plan to fix it. The Treasury Department would then be required to post this information on their website so that the American people can see the facts for themselves. After all, it is their money that is being spent.

Mister Speaker, this is about injecting some basic accountability into our budgeting process.  Taxpayers – and the next generation of Americans who will inherit the debt burden we are accumulating today – are owed at least this much.

I urge a yes vote on the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act and I yield back the balance of my time.


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