Growing up, Marsha Blackburn learned that the promise of our nation depends on each generation of Americans working hard to leave the country a better place than they found it. As a small business woman, author, mother, grandmother, and Member of Congress, Marsha Blackburn has dedicated her service to the sacred obligation all citizens have to their communities: making Tennessee and America a better, more prosperous, and freer place.
Congressman Blackburn began her elected service career in 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator. Blackburn’s Senate career was marked by her commitment to fiscal common sense and government accountability. She became known to her constituents for holding “budget school” in her district and across the state; identifying waste, proposing realistic spending cuts, and offering solutions for a state in a budget crunch.
While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Blackburn led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. She earned the reputation as a champion of anti-tax and government reform issues, frequently appearing on local talk radio and even earning the attention of national publications like the Wall Street Journal and conservative groups such as Americans for Tax Reform. In November 2014, the people of Tennessee passed an amendment to the state constitution to ‘expressly prohibit a state income tax’ – what a fitting cap to a 14 year battle. Her long time goal of permanently restoring the ability to deduct state and local sales taxes Tennesseans pay each year from their federal income tax filing was realized with the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.
Blackburn’s reputation for focusing on freedom, free people and free markets boosted her from the Tennessee Senate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Blackburn was first elected to represent Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District in 2002, quickly becoming a leader in Congress and a leading voice advocating for a small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. She is regularly praised by good government groups like the National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Taxpayers Union, the Farm Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council and the American Conservative Union. She has been named a Taxpayer Hero by Americans for Tax Reform each year she has served in Congress. In 2007 Blackburn received the Conservative Leadership Award from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. She also holds an honorary doctorate in letters from King University.
Congressman Blackburn is often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for common sense reform. In February 2010 she was selected to represent conservative views on health care reform at the President’s Blair House Summit. She has served as a Republican deputy whip every Congress, holds a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving as Vice Chair – the committee has jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, and telecommunications issues and is Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. In 2006 the Independent Electrical Contractors recognized her as their Lawmaker of the Year.
Marsha has earned a special reputation as a bi-partisan leader and policy expert on telecommunications issues and intellectual property rights. She has strong ties with Tennessee’s recording industry and the songwriters and performers who make it great. In 2003 Blackburn founded and continues to serve as Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus to give the nation’s creative community a voice on Capitol Hill. In 2007, she was awarded the Congressional Grammy by the Recording Academy; the White Hat award from the Nashville Songwriters Association and in 2008 received the Platinum Award from the RIAA. The Cecil Scaife Foundation has awarded her the Visionary Award.
In 2012, Health IT Now presented her with the HITN Innovation Award for her work in support of innovative solutions to our most pressing healthcare problems. Marsha has also been honored by the Family Research Council, received the Distinguished Leader Award from the Susan B. Anthony List for her pro-life, pro-family work, and was recognized by the Association of Children’s Hospitals and the American College of Radiology for her leadership on healthcare issues. In April 2013 at the “Women Run the World” Half Marathon in New York City, More Magazine recognized Blackburn for her service in government by honoring her as one of 10 women who are making a difference in the world. The Washington Post has named her one of the 40 Most Interesting Women in Politics and the Independent Women’s Forum has named her the 2014 Woman of Valor.
Blackburn is a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and continues her involvement in numerous charities and her church, Christ Presbyterian.
Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan Ketchel and Chad Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.