Spirit of Enterprise awarded to Congressman Black

Congressman Diane Black accepts the Spirit of Enterprise award from Robert Purser and Catherine Glover of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, respectively. (Tribune photo/Sonya Thompson)

Tennessee Congressman Diane Black (6th District) recently spoke at the White House Chamber of Commerce luncheon while in town to receive the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Black, first elected to Congress in 2010, was thrilled to accept such an award in a room full of so many long standing colleagues, neighbors and friends.

“I see so many people out here that I have known for so many years,” Black said about the audience, a combination of members of the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and other elected officials. “I also see many people that I hope to get to know better in the future as well.”

After accepting the prestigious award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Black spoke about her current time as a member of Congress. Black focused on free-enterprise economics with four major talking points throughout her speech.

Black’s first item on the agenda was talk about deficit spending by the national government.

“We are close to $17 trillion in debt right now,” Black said. “This tremendous debt cannot be passed on to the next generation and must be stopped now.”

Black is part of a group of legislators working on a 10-year plan called the “Pact of Prosperity.” The plan is a real attempt to cut deficit spending and get rid of the staggering debt on a ten year cycle. The plan will make no cuts to Social Security or Medicare while saving money at rates that will make a deficit cut possible by 2023.

After speaking of the financial goals of Congress for the next ten years, she brought up the highly controversial “Obamacare.”

“Attempts to repeal Obamacare as a whole have failed,” Black said. “Our goal now is to fix everything that we can to make health care a viable and affordable option for both companies and citizens.”

In an attempt to make the bill something that will help everyone, Congress has seen both Republicans and Democrats work together in bi-partisan efforts to amend Obamacare. So far, seven provisions regarding the bill have been repealed as a result of bi-partisan work.

“I walked in and was pleasantly shocked to see Republicans complimenting Democrats and Democrats complimenting Republicans while working together for a common goal,” Black said about the move to fix the issues regarding health care and the Obamacare bill. “Everyone is helping out to find out what works and what doesn’t work to make this bill something that could help the country.”

Talking point number three for Black was an attempt to reintroduce the “REINS Act.” The REINS Act would change the process so that major regulations would be contingent on congressional approval — if a majority in each chamber does not vote “yes,” the regulation is not enacted.

According to the REINS Act, any regulation changes would be subject to both a scientific study as well as a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether that change in regulation was good for the nation. If the cost of the regulation change reaches a certain threshold, the regulation would need a vote to be enacted.

“We are attempting to implement this act to keep everyone accountable,” Black said. “By doing a scientific study as well as a cost-benefit analysis, we will be able to better tell if the regulation is a good idea or not.”

Wrapping up her four-point speech, Black brought up some positive news regarding taxes.

“Currently, the tax code is four-times the size of the Bible,” Black said about the lengthy tax laws. “We have taken a section on educational benefits within the tax codes and cut it from 15 different benefits to two or three and from 90 pages to 1.5 pages while still allowing citizens to take advantage of those tax breaks.”

The goal of Congress is to simplify tax codes for businesses and individuals so that the money saved can be invested into business which, in turn, would allow for increased wages and happier employees, she explained.

Black ended her speech letting the attentive crowd know that the current Congress wants to leave a legacy of an open, transparent, bi-partisan government for future Congressional groups to adhere to.

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