Harshbarger speaks public service to Elizabethton government students

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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By Angela Cutrer
Star Correspondent
U.S. Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) visited the area May 4 to speak with students at Elizabethton High School during their government class. She highlighted the importance of public service and took questions from the students.

“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share my experience as a legislator with students at Elizabethton High School,” said Harshbarger (T-01). “Our nation’s future depends on the success of bright minds like these right here in East Tennessee. It is more important than ever to stress the importance of public service to our future leaders.”

A native East Tennessean, Harshbarger was born in Bloomingdale, near Kingsport. She attended East Tennessee State University and graduated from Mercer University College of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After graduation, she returned home to start a business and raise her family. She assumed office Jan. 3, 2021.

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A licensed pharmacist and successful business owner for more than three decades, Harshbarger said she is “dedicated to fighting for East Tennessee’s priorities, including health care reform, economic development, the opioid epidemic and expanding broadband access for rural communities.”

She currently serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and lives in Kingsport with her husband, Robert, as well as on their farm in Unicoi. They have a son and two grandchildren.

Just last month, Harshbarger visited several schools to donate books to the libraries and to visit with constituents. She has recently introduced several bills, including two in April, including H.R. 2816, the PBM Sunshine and Accountability Act, which seeks to establish new, public reporting requirements for pharmacy benefit managers to ensure “patients, providers, and employers are able to make informed, cost-efficient, and value-based PBM choices.” She also introduced H.R. 2556, the Simplify, Don’t Amplify, the IRS Act, which would “implement reforms to bring more transparency and accountability to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and help ensure that the IRS cannot be weaponized against American taxpayers.”