As a woman in Congress, do you approach
issues differently than your male colleagues?
I think we all come to Congress with different
experiences, perspectives and a duty to represent
the interests of our constituents. I am a woman, a
Latina, a former businesswoman — all of these parts
of me shape how I approach my work.
Do you think the gender barrier has been
broken in the political process?
Hillary Clinton put it best at the end of her pres-
What do you believe is the most important
idential campaign in 2008: “Although we weren’t
able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this
time, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in
it and the light is shining through like never before,
filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge
that the path will be a little easier next time.”
The 113th Congress has a record high number
of women — 82 in the House and 20 in the Senate
— but there is still a long way to go before we are
equally represented in Washington. Although
we’re not there yet, every woman who gets
involved, organizes her community or runs for
office makes a difference.
issue for Congress to complete this year?
We need to get back on track and help grow the
economy instead of creating uncertainty with
debt ceiling fights and government shutdowns.
One way to reduce our deficit by $850 billion is to
fix our broken immigration system. We cannot sit
on the bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate
any longer; the time is now to enact common
sense immigration reform.
Do you have an issue you would like to share
with our readers?
I understand the delicate balance between needed
regulations and those that impose unreasonable
demands and costs to the private sector with little
benefit to the public. That’s why I introduced the
bipartisan Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure
Act of 2013 (H.R. 1249) to rectify menu-labeling
regulations that place unfair and unnecessary
burdens on the convenience store industry. This
legislation would permit innovation and flexibility in menu labeling and limit the affected businesses to those principally engaged in restaurant
activity. The bill is currently in committee and I
will continue to work to pass it.
Rep. Blackburn has
represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District since
2002. She was first
elected 1998 as a Tennessee State Senator.
Her Senate career
What do you think of the convenience store
was marked by her
commitment to fiscal
common sense and government accountability. She led
a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed
state income tax and earned a reputation as a champion
of anti-tax and government reform issues. Americans
for Tax Reform has named Blackburn a Taxpayer Hero
each year she has served in Congress. She has served
on the majority and minority whip teams since her
election in 2002, and serves as Vice Chair of the Energy
and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over
health care, energy regulation and telecommunications
issues. Blackburn also holds a seat on the House Budget
Committee and is a founding member of the Republican
Women’s Policy Committee.
The convenience store industry is doing exactly what
it should be doing: Making it convenient for consumers to fuel their cars, grab a quick bite of food and get
back to traveling.
When was the last time you were in a
We regularly pop in and out of convenience stores
when we are working through our 19 county districts.
What is your favorite item to buy in a
Fuel and popcorn.
As a woman in Congress, do you approach is-
sues differently than your male colleagues?
Every member brings their skill set and value system
to work with them. As a businessperson I focus on
cutting waste and right-sizing government. At the
Energy and Commerce Committee we focus this work
on the energy, health-care, telecommunications and