Interview with Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn, left, with Georgeann King
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, left, with Georgeann King.

Although she will lose parts of Shelby County in the redistricting, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn stopped by Memphis today and was nice enough to sit down and talk to me this morning over coffee.

Mrs. Blackburn, one of our Republican stars in Congress, has earned my admiration since the days she was in the Tennessee legislature and sneaked out to call talk radio and sound the alarm on an attempt by the Democrats to pass a state income tax. It failed – thankfully – and Mrs. Blackburn went on to win the 7th district Congressional seat in Tennessee. Since there she has been a champion of personal liberty, standing up against Obamacare, tax hikes and the light bulb ban.

We touched on all those topics this morning.

The first business Congress will be taking up is the budget. Mrs. Blackburn says this year’s will be similar to Rep. Paul Ryan’s attempt last year. She wants to see across the board cuts every year in discretionary spending and has introduced a bill to freeze discretionary spending. The budget will require departments to work their way down, because she believes “bureaucracies can spare a dollar.”

Blackburn expects the Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare, which is good news. She would like to see a “Travelocity concept for health care so that an individual could see what’s available across state lines and choose whatever he or she wants.” Her Health Care Choice Act lets seniors age 65-70 who are still working stay with their own insurance and get premium support to offset costs.

As for the ban on incandescent bulbs, Blackburn was instrumental in getting it lifted for another year. “You can still buy them,” she said, offering that “you can get them by the case at Home Depot.” Friends have told her that they, too, are stocking up.

A grandmother who has two grandchildren ages 2 and 3, says she cooks lunch for her family every Sunday. She travels from Washington to Nashville and says she hopes she will find time to stop by a Midtown Republican Club meeting before Memphis is completely out of her district.

I asked her about the Commercial Appeal’s recent “Truth-O-Meter” article that targeted her. It questioned that she “is battling for freedom of choice for energy inefficient light bulbs” and found her statement “mostly false.” PolitiFact denied “that it strips away our freedom of choice and selection in the light bulbs we have in our homes.” Blackburn laughed that they had to admit later that she was correct.

She offered her site, www.blackburn.house.gov. as an alternate – and correct – source of information on what she’s doing for voters. Also, she is on facebook and twitter, which give her another opportunity to communicate with her constituency and those of us who wish we were.

Blackburn is optimistic that Republicans will keep the House in this year’s elections. “My biggest fear, though, is complacency,” she said, referring also to the presidential election.

As yet she has no Democrat opponent, and we’ll hope it stays that way because Tennessee needs Mrs. Blackburn in Congress working for us and for all freedom loving Americans.

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