NASHVILLE — U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., was named the House Budget Committee's interim chairman as the 115th Congress got underway on Tuesday.
The Gallatin, Tenn., lawmaker, vowed to work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, and implement "free market" health care solutions.
Black will replace current Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., who is President-elect Donald Trump's pick to become Health and Human Services secretary and has suspended his duties as he looks ahead to Senate confirmation hearings.
A registered nurse, Black said in a statement that "the passage of Obamacare is the reason I ran for Congress. As interim Chairman for the House Budget Committee, I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to repeal this law that has burdened families and businesses and turn the page to a new healthcare system that lowers costs, spurs free market competition, and ultimately empowers patients – not Washington bureaucrats."
She said she looks forward "to bringing my decades in healthcare as a registered nurse, my insight as a Member of the Ways and Means Committee, and my unique experience navigating Tennessee's own health reform crisis to this role. I am grateful to my colleagues for this opportunity and am ready for the important work ahead."
Black is expected by many Republicans to run for Tennessee governor in 2018 and will face what could be a fairly crowded GOP primary. Heading the Budget Committee that aims to achieve long-time GOP goals of repealing Obamacare is expected to provide her a limelight on a national stage.