Freshman Rep. Diane Black (right) speaks with Maj. Gen. Patricia Horoho about her familys military roots and the medical field. The Tennessee Republican is a former nurse and now sits on the Ways and Means Committee.
Like many new Members, Black said she’s had an adjustment period since coming to Washington, D.C., four months ago. She complained that Members of Congress has “given much of their power over to the executive branch in way of administration agencies” and said that she plans to sign on to a bill from Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) that would give Congress the final say in crafting major agency regulations. She was frustrated by the slow pace in Washington in January and particularly annoyed that “we can’t get the Senate to move on some of the bills we’ve sent to them.”
But Black likes to talk about working for 10 years on legislative priorities in Tennessee before they won approval on the floor, proving that “sometimes it just takes being persistent, plugging away at it.”
Does that mean she plans to stay in the House 10 years?
“I have no idea, truly, how long I’m going to stay here. As long as I have that fire in the belly and that persistence to make a difference, I will work at it,” she said. “When I finally get to that point where I say, ‘Yeah, we’re on the right track,’ I may say, ‘I’m going to lay on the beach somewhere.’ I don’t know; that’s not in my personality.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.