Government Reform

In Congress, I have taken numerous steps to begin to change the way we do business in Washington and to restore accountability and transparency to government. I have voted for and passed legislation that banned gifts from lobbyists, prohibited the use of corporate jets, and required full disclosure of earmarks. Also I have passed legislation banning pensions for Members of Congress convicted of certain crimes; and strengthening the Freedom of Information Act to increase government transparency.

More on Government Reform

September 11, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking that he reconsider blanket loan forgiveness for recipients of assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program after both the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service identified egregious instances of fraud. Congressman Cohen reminded Mnuchin of his public testimony on the issue of loan forgiveness and asked, in light of the fraud concerns, whether he has reversed his position.

The letter reads in part:

August 28, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, this evening wrote to Attorney General William Barr asking that Memphis federal law enforcement officials be included in the Justice Department’s body-worn camera pilot program. The request comes days after U.S. Marshals shot a Memphis teenager in an incident in which cameras were not in use.

Congressman Cohen’s letter reads in part:

August 25, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) and State Senator Raumesh Akbari (District 29) today condemned a bill signed into law last week that makes it a felony to protest on the grounds of the state Capitol. The measure also imposes mandatory minimum jail sentences for assaulting a first responder or participating in a riot. It also enhances penalties for vandalism of government property.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

August 22, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today returned to Washington and voted for the Delivering for America Act to restore normal operations and confidence in the U.S. Postal Service. This is in response to the Trump Administration efforts to dismantle postal infrastructure and to delay deliveries of vital shipments during a pandemic and before large scale mail-in voting for the November Presidential election is set to occur. The vote on passage was 257 to 150.

August 19, 2020 Press Release

 

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today wrote to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland about an outdated funding formula that shortchanges Memphis in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program. Congressman Cohen told Strickland that he plans to introduce legislation to both remedy the formula and increase overall funding for the program after seeking the mayor’s input.

August 19, 2020 Press Release

 

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy expressing his concern about the removal of sorting machines from Memphis postal processing facilities and the delays in delivery times that have resulted in reduced service. He urged DeJoy to reverse his decisions and “ensure people can receive their mail in a timely manner.”

The letter reads in part:

August 13, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, today expressed deep concerns about Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s reported conflicts of interests in running the USPS. 

Yesterday, Congressman Cohen joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and 191 other House Democrats in calling for the reversal of policies that have worsened the crisis facing the Postal Service and exacerbated a dramatic increase in delayed and undelivered mail.   

August 4, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Jim Cooper (TN-05) today wrote to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee expressing their concern that the state has placed obstacles in the way of families eligible for food assistance and other benefits available through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program, and potentially forfeiting $60 million in federal funds devoted to the program.

The letter reads in part:

August 3, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded Trump’s decision to fire Skip Thompson, Chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), over the TVA’s outsourcing of jobs during the ongoing pandemic. He also agreed with Trump’s criticism of the TVA CEO’s $8 million per year salary, which Congressman Cohen has denounced for years.

July 29, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, today introduced the Civil Rights Enhancement and Law Enforcement Accountability Improvement Act. The measure would explicitly provide that an employer of a law enforcement officer is vicariously liable for officers’ acts or omissions committed within the scope of their employment that deprive people of their constitutional rights.  Municipalities would be liable to the same extent as private employers under state law.