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Republican

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R)

Marsha Blackburn Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-2811

Address: 217 CHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (615) 591-5161

Address: 305 Public Square, Franklin TN 37064-2584

Clarksville TN

Phone: (931) 503-0391

Fax: (931) 503-0393

Address: 128 North 2nd Street, Clarksville TN 37040-2400

Marsha Blackburn Staff
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Marsha Blackburn Committees
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Marsha Blackburn Biography
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  • Elected: 2002, 6th term.
  • District: Tennessee 7
  • Born: Jun. 06, 1952, Laurel, MS
  • Home: Brentwood
  • Education:

    MS St. U., B.S. 1973

  • Professional Career:

    Retail marketing consultant, 1973-98.

  • Political Career:

    TN Senate, 1998-2002.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Presbyterian

  • Family: Married (Chuck); 2 children

Marsha Blackburn, a Republican elected in 2002, is a conservative firebrand who has become a frequent GOP presence on television. Her penchant for tossing rhetorical bombs—in early 2013, she called for shutting down the government as a potential negotiating tactic—draws either passionate cheers and or boos from opposing ends of the political spectrum. Read More

Marsha Blackburn, a Republican elected in 2002, is a conservative firebrand who has become a frequent GOP presence on television. Her penchant for tossing rhetorical bombs—in early 2013, she called for shutting down the government as a potential negotiating tactic—draws either passionate cheers and or boos from opposing ends of the political spectrum.

Blackburn grew up in Laurel, Miss., where her father sold oil-field production equipment. Her interest in gardening and canning won her a 4-H college scholarship at Mississippi State University, where she majored in merchandising and clothing. She helped pay her way through college by selling books door-to-door. She then became a sales manager for Southwestern Company, which sells educational materials, and moved to Williamson County. Her hilltop home is known as “Up Yonder,” named by its former owner, Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl. Blackburn became director of retail fashion for a Nashville department store and was appointed by Republican Gov. Don Sundquist as executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission. In 1992, she was the Republican nominee against Democrat Bart Gordon in the 6th District and lost 57%-41%. Blackburn was elected in 1998 to the Tennessee Senate, where she became an outspoken opponent of Sundquist’s proposed income tax.

When Republican Rep. Ed Bryant decided to run for the Senate, Blackburn ran for his seat. Seven candidates ran in the GOP primary, three of them familiar figures in the Memphis area. Blackburn was the only well-known candidate from the Nashville area. She benefited from financial support of the national anti-tax group Club for Growth and from attacks by the Shelby County candidates on one another. She ran as anti-abortion rights, pro-gun, and pro-military conservative and won with 40% of the vote, while the other candidates split the rest. She went on to easily win the general election.

In the House, Blackburn is active on the Republican Study Committee, the caucus of the House’s most right-leaning members, and in 2012, she co-chaired the GOP’s Platform Committee in advance of its national convention. The platform included a plank that called for outlawing abortion and allowing no exceptions, including rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother. She said the provision took nothing away from individual states’ right to adopt those exceptions. She cosponsored the controversial “birther” bill in 2009 requiring future presidential candidates to prove they were born in the United States, a measure that played off groundless attacks from the right on Obama’s legal fitness to hold office. In February 2011, she sponsored an amendment to cut spending for most non-defense programs by 5.5%, but 92 members of her party joined Democrats in arguing that it went too far, and it failed. Several other amendments she proposed to cut spending on various programs also were rejected.

A champion of gun owners’ rights, Blackburn has boasted about her perfect marksmanship score with her Smith & Wesson .38. After the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, she said the debate should focus on mental health, because disturbed people disposed toward violence could use “a hammer, a hatchet, a car” instead of a gun. Among her admirers are Mary Matalin, a conservative adviser to several GOP presidents, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, who told The Tennessean of Nashville in 2012 that Blackburn is “relentlessly common-sensible.”

With her party controlling the House in 2011, Blackburn assumed a more prominent role on technology policy as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. A fervent advocate of the music industry central to her district, she has fought to protect intellectual property rights of artists against illegal music downloads. She also has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate the Internet, introducing a bill that would clarify that such a task is solely Congress’ responsibility. She was also active in the failed effort to repeal Obama’s health care legislation. In the 113th Congress (2013-14), she was named the committee’s vice chairman, providing reassurance to conservatives who were skeptical about Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., a moderate.

After the 2006 election, she was one of four candidates for chairman of the Republican Conference, but she was eliminated on the second ballot. Instead, she became communications chair for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In 2008, Blackburn faced a primary challenge from Shelby County Register of Deeds Tom Leatherwood, whose campaign gained ammunition when it was revealed Blackburn had misreported more than $440,000 on campaign finance disclosure forms dating to her first House campaign. Blackburn filed amended returns. The underdog Leatherwood also charged that Blackburn had used her campaign funds to help her family’s businesses and that she hadn’t been effective in Washington. But she easily won the primary, 62%-38%, carrying every county except Shelby. She won in November and hasn’t been seriously challenged since then.

In 2009, Blackburn wrote a book, Life Equity: Realize Your True Value and Pursue Your Passions at Any Stage in Life. She told The Tennessean that it was not intended to be political, but rather a “book of encouragement and empowerment for women.”

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Marsha Blackburn Election Results
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2012 General
Marsha Blackburn (R)
Votes: 182,730
Percent: 71.02%
Credo Amouzouvik (D)
Votes: 61,679
Percent: 23.97%
2012 Primary
Marsha Blackburn (R)
Votes: 41,524
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (72%), 2008 (69%), 2006 (66%), 2004 (100%), 2002 (71%)
Marsha Blackburn Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 21 (L) : 77 (C) 1 (L) : 98 (C) 30 (L) : 66 (C)
Social 13 (L) : 84 (C) - (L) : 91 (C) - (L) : 83 (C)
Foreign 5 (L) : 86 (C) - (L) : 91 (C) - (L) : 91 (C)
Composite 15.3 (L) : 84.7 (C) 3.5 (L) : 96.5 (C) 15.0 (L) : 85.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC90100
LCV96
CFG8182
ITIC-73
NTU8181
20112012
COC100-
ACLU-0
ACU88100
ADA00
AFSCME0-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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