Black delaying governor announcement until after finishing U.S. House budget work?

Rep. Diane Black will have to step down as chair of the House Budget Committee if she announces as  candidate for governor, reports The Hill, but is still likely to do so later this year – “perhaps as soon as this summer.” The Washington publication quotes “House colleagues and GOP sources.”

One reason that Black may be delaying her announcement: an internal House GOP rule says she’d have to immediately relinquish her Budget gavel once she announces a run for higher office.

If she runs, Black will have to give up her gavel just four months into her new Budget role.

Black replaced Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) in February when he was confirmed to be President Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary.

It’s a critical time to be Budget chair. Black is working furiously to find agreement in her party on spending levels and to write the GOP’s budget blueprint for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Appropriators are anxiously waiting for her panel to set spending levels so they can begin moving appropriation bills through the chamber. The new budget resolution is also expected to kick off the reconciliation process that will allow Senate Republicans to avoid a Democratic filibuster on tax reform.

Budget leaders plan to unveil and mark up their new spending blueprint in the next couple weeks.

In a brief interview in the Capitol, Black said she’s solely focused on the task at hand.

“My job is to get the budget out,” she told The Hill.

Asked whether she’ll mount a bid for the governor’s office, Black replied: “That decision has not been made yet. There are a lot of rumors out there. I will let you know if I make that decision.”

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