Rep. Diane Black is stepping down from her chairmanship on the House Budget Committee and will pursue a run for governor of Tennessee.
Black, a Tennessee Republican who will continue to serve in Congress in 2018, credited the passage of the tax bill with allowing her to achieve her political goals and to move on to the next step in her career.
"When I was elected to Congress in 2010, I had three main goals: repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, and start attacking the growing federal debt and deficits. In just one year, the Budget Committee has taken significant steps to achieve all of these goals," Black said in announcing her decision Wednesday in a Fox News opinion piece.
The gubernatorial race is slated for Nov. 6, 2018, the same day as the midterm elections in Congress. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, the incumbent, is prohibited by Tennessee law from running for a third term. Black joins a field of other Republicans who have announced their candidacies, including former state Sen. Mae Beavers; Randy Boyd, former commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development under Haslam; Rep. Beth Harwell, speaker of the Tennessee House; businessman Bill Lee; and realtor Kay White.
Black will continue to work on the Ways and Means Committee. Before being elected to Congress, she was a Tennessee state representative and senator.
In a statement from the House Budget Committee's office, Black urged her colleagues to address "unsustainable mandatory programs."
"Without question, it is critical that lawmakers take real action to reverse the trajectory of our nation's growing debt," she said.
In her Fox News announcement, Black praised the House-passed budget as "the most conservative budget in the last 20 years."
"Our resolution balanced the budget in 10 years, by cutting more than $6 trillion in federal spending," she wrote. "We committed to rebuilding our military, decimated under President Obama, by increasing defense spending by $70 billion to get our mission done and our military men and women back home safely."
She also praised President Trump for undertaking a "year of action, pointing specifically to the House's passage of an Obamacare repeal and replace plan, called the American Health Care Act, which she co-sponsored. The bill was passed by the House and blocked by the Senate.
"The Senate let us all down," Black wrote.
But the tax bill, she continued, had allowed Republicans to repeal the Obamacare penalties requiring people buy insurance or pay a fine. As a result, she said, she hoped Republicans would be able to continue to go after the law.
"With its repeal, the rest of the law will now be much simpler to dismantle," she said. "The House is ready to do just that, so let’s hope Republicans in the Senate muster the nerve to join us."
Editor's Note: The headline has been updated to say Rep. Diane Black resigned as the chairwoman of the House Budget Committee amid her run for Tennessee governor.