The day after a Politico article on the subject, Lt. Governor Tim Griffin predicted Third District U.S. Rep. Steve Womack will be the next chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Politico reported on Monday (Sept. 11) that current chairman, U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., is planning to run for governor in 2018. Womack and Reps. Rob Woodall and Bill Johnson are considered possibilities to helm the influential committee.
“There’s an expectation that Black will step down having announced for governor of Tennessee, creating a vacancy in the chair, and I’m interested in taking the chairmanship,” Womack told Politico. “These are very important times for our majority… and I think the Budget Committee will be very critical in establishing the right framework whereby a sustainable fiscal policy can be crafted that can reach many of the outcomes that a majority of our majority would like to see.”
Griffin, a former Second District Congressman, said he spoke to Womack on Monday and expects his rise to the powerful committee chairmanship is all but certain.
“He will be budget chair. He should be budget chair. I talked to him yesterday and I said, ‘Steve, I don’t see anybody that’s even close to you on this,’ and wished him well. I think he’ll get it. I think he should get it,” said Griffin.
“He understands how bad a problem the debt is, and it’s a problem not just for the federal government at large. It’s a problem for states like ours because we are so federal money dependent and we have got to get this spending, this debt under control. It’s already biting us in ways… sort of like high blood pressure. It’s sort of a silent killer at first until you’re dead. So we have got to deal with the debt issue. I think he’d be a great budget chair. Steve Womack will be the next budget chair,” Griffin said.
Griffin also discussed ideas for transforming state government, an initiative launched by Gov. Asa Hutchinson that involves the Lt. Governor. Griffin is hoping to use technology and a fresh approach to providing government services to citizens in a way that saves taxpayer money and improves the delivery of services. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced an Office of Transformation, led by Amy Fecher, in December 2016 and the creation of the Transformation Advisory Board in February 2017.
Watch Griffin’s full interview below.