OPIOID SERIES:

House Budget chairwoman to step down amid governor's race

House Budget chairwoman to step down amid governor's race
© Greg Nash

House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackGOP lawmaker, candidate for governor cancels NFL season tickets over protests Ex-EPA heads urge Pruitt to scrap changes to truck pollution rule Protecting nurses’ conscience: a non-negotiable in the final FY 2018 spending bill MORE (R-Tenn.) announced Wednesday that she will leave the post after a successor is picked.

Black, who took the reins of the committee earlier this year, is running for governor of her home state in 2018. The lawmaker's office said that Black plans to remain in Congress.

“It has been an honor to serve as Chairman of the House Budget Committee, working alongside members this year to recommend responsible and balanced policies for building a better America," Black said in a statement. "I am very proud of the hard work of our members and all we accomplished, especially offering real reforms for mandatory programs and unlocking pro-growth tax reform."

Black took the lead on a budget resolution which called for cuts to mandatory spending and paved the way for tax legislation. The House approved the measure, though it ultimately adopted the Senate's resolution.

In an op-ed on Fox News's website, Black encouraged future Congresses to reduce mandatory spending.

"It is now up to the U.S. Senate and future Congresses to follow our lead on mandatory spending," she said. "If we don’t address mandatory spending programs, our country is headed for a sovereign debt crisis — and believe me, this crisis is closer than most will admit."

Under GOP rules, committee chairs are generally expected to vacate those positions if they run for outside office. But Black continued to serve in the position following her gubernatorial campaign announcement in August in order to steer the House through the passage of the budget resolution.

In addition to leading the Budget Committee, Black serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Several lawmakers have been floated in the past as possible successors to Black on the budget panel, including GOP Reps. Bill JohnsonWilliam (Bill) Leslie JohnsonHouse votes to delay EPA air pollution rules for brickmakers, wood heaters How SpaceX embodies the importance of the free market Watchdog: Federal utility spent nearly M on private aircraft MORE (Ohio), Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackCBO projects booming deficits Armed Services panel sets schedule for consideration of defense policy bill Sales tax battle moves to the Supreme Court MORE (Ark.) and Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallMcConnell, Schumer tap colleagues to explore budget reform Ryan, Pelosi name members to new budget and pension committees House GOP pushes hard-line immigration plan as Senate deals fail MORE (Ga.).

The new chair will be chosen by the House Republican Steering Committee, which includes House GOP leadership and regional representatives.