Cole on Congress with guest Chairman Diane Black
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) recently filmed an episode of his television and web show, Cole on Congress for December 2017. This month’s program featured an interview with Chairman Diane Black, who represents the Sixth District of Tennessee and currently serves as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Elected in 2010, Black brings an extensive background of public service in the state legislature of Tennessee, as a registered nurse, a small businesswoman and an educator. She has served on the Budget Committee with Congressman Cole since 2011 and was named the Chairman of the committee in 2017.
Before running for public office and serving in the Tennessee State Legislature, Black worked in hospitals as a registered nurse. On what inspired her and pushed her to run for office, Black says:
“I never thought about myself running…I was working in a hospital and saw what kind of care, or the lack of care that people were getting. The cost was breaking the state of Tennessee. [I] decided that maybe I could have a voice in this.”
During her time in the Tennessee State Legislature, Black helped shape healthcare policy for the state, which eventually inspired her run for Congress:
“I’m very proud to have done a lot of things in healthcare there because my healthcare background has really been the base of most of what I have done. But then what comes along in 2010 – I’m watching the very same thing that happened in the state of Tennessee happen at the national level. The passage of the Affordable Care Act – which I always say is neither affordable nor caring – and I’m watching once again this healthcare plan that is not offering people quality nor the cost of things they can afford.”
In addition to her passion to improve healthcare policy, she is also driven by fiscal conservatism. On becoming a member of the Budget Committee, Black states:
“The second reason why I came here beside the healthcare piece was that I was watching what was happening in my country about this awful debt and deficits we have. And being a mother, and now a grandmother of six grandchildren, I just couldn’t fathom leaving our country in such terrible conditions.”
This year, Black was named the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and also serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. She attributes the experience of serving on both as achievements to unlocking mandatory spending reforms:
“It was such an honor to be asked this year, to do something that I really wanted us to do for the last several years and that is actually get in to some of that mandatory spending…we so many times forget about the mandatory [spending] and that being the true driver of our debt.”
To watch the full show of Congressman Cole’s conversation with Chairman Black, please click here.