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 BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee 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."

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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 JohnsonOhio redistricting commission gives up on US House map Biden needs to be both Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside Maintain navigable waters rule to make homes more affordable MORE (Ohio), Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackArkansas legislature splits Little Rock in move that guarantees GOP seats Funding fight imperils National Guard ops Overnight Defense: 6B Pentagon spending bill advances | Navy secretary nominee glides through hearing | Obstacles mount in Capitol security funding fight MORE (Ark.) and Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallDraft Georgia congressional lines target McBath, shore up Bourdeaux The tale of the last bipartisan unicorns McCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 MORE (Ga.).

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