Senator Marsha Blackburn Visits All 95 Counties of Tennessee Each Year: The ‘Full Blackburn’ Takes a Page from Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Friday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy to discuss a new bill she and Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced as well as State Representative Gloria Johnson’s (D-Knoxville) recent vote against a bill that would allow prosecutors to pursue a death penalty sentence for convicted child rapists.

Blackburn, who was traveling through Sumner County while on the newsmaker line, first discussed the importance of her annual trips to all 95 Tennessee counties.

“It is so important to listen to people and find out what is important to them and I have enjoyed that so much. You know, I visit with each of our 95 counties every year and that’s what we’re on the road doing today. Being in the county meeting with citizens, elected officials, police chiefs and sheriffs, and citizens that own businesses and employ their friends and neighbors – this is something that is important. They tell you what is happening and how federal policy is affecting them and their lives and their ability to do business,” Blackburn said.

“And when I talk with law enforcement, they talk a lot about the border and that they’re not going to be able to get the situation with crime and gangs and drugs and human trafficking under control until that southern border is secured,” Blackburn added.

Leahy said Blackburn’s trip to the Volunteer State’s 95 counties should be called the “full Blackburn,” referring to Iowa U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, who coined the term “full Grassley” for his famous visits to all of his state’s 99 counties every year.

Pivoting to State Representative Johnson’s vote against HB 1663, which would amend existing law to authorize “the death penalty as a punishment for rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child, or especially aggravated rape of a child,” Blackburn said she was “surprised.”

“As a mom and a grandma, a lot of the work that I have done has been to protect children, protect those that are so vulnerable. And one of the things that we know is one of the most horrific, evil crimes committed is the rape of a child,” Blackburn said.

“I knew the bill was out there, that Representative Lambert was pushing this forward, and I thought it was just a terrific approach, and I was glad to see him take that step. I know that he has been an assistant district attorney and has some experience in prosecuting some of these rapists and criminals, and I thank him for the work he’s done there, but I was surprised to hear that there was one no vote and then surprised to learn who the one no vote came from. We should all be able to stand and support children, and support protecting children. And as I said, this is a very violent, evil crime,” Blackburn added.

Leahy asked Blackburn about her and Senator Hagerty’s newly introduced bill, the Equal Representation Act, which would ensure only U.S. citizens are factored into the count for congressional districts and the Electoral College map that determines presidential elections.

The bill, led by Hagerty and sponsored by Blackburn, would “require a citizenship question on the decennial census, require reporting on certain census statistics, and modify apportionment of Representatives to be based on United States citizens instead of all persons.”

“If we have looked at what is happening at the open border, we know that these big blue cities are declaring themselves “sanctuary cities” and then they are encouraging those that are illegally entering the country,” Blackburn explained.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Kaitlin on X / Twitter.
Photo “Marsha Blackburn” by Sen. Marsha Blackburn. 




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