Addressing the Pandemic and its Economic Fallout

July 17, 2020
Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

Next week, The House of Representatives will work on critical legislation addressing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the serious damage it is doing to our economy and social safety net. In particular, I will be urging the Senate to extend critical unemployment benefits for 30 million people, already authorized by the Heroes Act in the House, before they run out in the week ending July 25. This week, I applauded the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for including language transferring responsibility for Memphis’ flood control system to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Water Resources Development Act; introduced the Share America’s Diverse History in the Capitol Act, allowing states to submit three statues to the National Statuary Collection and encouraging them to honor women and members of ethnic and racial minority groups, now underrepresented in memorials inside the U.S. Capitol; applauded decisions by the House Appropriations Committee to include major priorities I have championed in its annual education, health, transportation and legislative branch spending bills; announced two major grants to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; condemned Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to reconvert the iconic Hagia Sophia to a mosque; expressed outrage at the President’s commutation of the sentence for convicted felon Roger Stone; remembered the late C.T. Vivian; and provided a coronavirus-related health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Addressing the Pandemic and its Economic Fallout
Applauding Transfer of Memphis Flood Control System to USACE
Introducing Share America’s Diverse History in the Capitol Act
Applauding Victories for Memphis in Major Annual Spending Bills
Announcing Two Major Grants to St. Jude
Condemning Decision to Reconvert Hagia Sophia to a Mosque
Expressing Outrage at Trump’s Commutation of Stone’s Sentence on Felony Convictions
Remembering the Reverend C.T. Vivian
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
 


Addressing the Pandemic and its Economic Fallout

Next week, the House of Representatives will address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the damage it is doing to our economy and social safety net. In particular, I will be urging my Senate colleagues to extend the $600 federal supplement to state unemployment benefits that will expire for Tennesseans next week. In the Heroes Act, the House passed an extension through January 31, 2021 for the 30 million people currently depending on the supplement, but the Senate must act immediately to avoid financial disaster. While in Washington, I will vote for annual appropriations bills, including several that contain spending priorities I have championed (see below).

Applauding Transfer of Memphis Flood Control System to USACE

On Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on which I serve as a senior member approved language that I sought to include in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) transferring responsibility for Memphis flood control to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This is a real victory for Memphis, which sought the change. See my release here.

Introducing Share America’s Diverse History in the Capitol Act

On Thursday, I introduced the Share America’s Diverse History in the Capitol Act, which authorizes a third statue for each state in the U.S. Capitol and encourages that third statue to honor women and members of ethnic and racial minority groups, now underrepresented in memorials inside the U.S. Capitol, making our Capitol more accurately reflect our nation’s history. See my release here.

Applauding Victories for Memphis in Major Annual Spending Bills

This month, the House Appropriations Committee has been reviewing annual spending bills to finance federal government operations in the fiscal year beginning October 1. I applaud the Committee’s inclusion of my language in several of those spending bills. See my releases on those provisions here, here and here.

Announcing Two Major Grants to St. Jude

This week, I announced two cancer research grants, totaling more than $1.1 million, to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. See those releases here and here.

Condemning Decision to Reconvert Hagia Sophia to a Mosque

On Sunday, as a senior co-chairman of the Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, I condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to reconvert the Hagia Sophia from a secular museum celebrating Turkish culture to a mosque. The move to convert the iconic monument, inaugurated in 537 as a Byzantine Christian cathedral and later named a mosque in 1453, was widely seen as an effort to bolster Erdogan’s domestic appeal to conservative Muslims in Istanbul where he once served as mayor. See my release here.

Expressing Outrage at Trump's Commutation of Stone’s Sentence on Felony Convictions

On Saturday, I released a statement condemning President Trump’s commutation of the sentence of his friend Roger Stone.  Stone was convicted of felony charges of making false statements to investigators, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering, to shield the President. He was sentenced to over three years in federal prison for his crimes. In my statement it, I said the President has demonstrated he has no shame and refuses to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law he has sworn to defend. See that statement here.

Remembering the Reverend C.T. Vivian

On Friday, we all learned that the Reverend C.T. Vivian, a giant of the Civil Rights movement and a field general for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., had died in Atlanta. See my tribute to him here.

Weekly Health Tip

Again this week, I want to call attention to the alarming spike in coronavirus cases as cities reopen, prematurely and often without implementing basic precautionary measures like wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please consider the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and orthose  those adopted by Memphis and Shelby County for staying safe in this ongoing pandemic: Wash your hands frequently for at least 25 seconds; keep a minimum social distance of six feet from others; wear a face mask when out in public; and avoid being in crowds of more than 10. We must work together to get through this. 

Quote of the Week

“You can turn your back now and you can keep your club in your hand, but you cannot beat down justice. And we will register to vote because as citizens of these United States we have the right to do it.” – The Reverend C.T. Vivian, in a 1965 speech outside the courthouse at Selma, Alabama, before being struck by Sheriff Jim Clark.

As always, I remain,
Most Sincerely,

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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress