Advancing H.R. 40, a Measure to Study Reparations

April 16, 2021
Enewsletters

April 16, 2021

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Congressman Cohen offers a statement Wednesday before the Judiciary Committee advances H.R. 40.

Dear Friend,

This week, I voted in the Judiciary Committee to advance H.R. 40, a historic measure to create a commission to study the history of slavery and post-Civil War discriminatory Jim Crow laws and to make recommendations on reparations for African Americans. I also led a letter with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 26 of my Congressional colleagues to the Biden Administration asking it to reevaluate the use of fast-track national permits for pipelines in sensitive areas, such as the Byhalia Connection pipeline project through Boxtown and over the Memphis Sand Aquifer that provides water to Memphis, which I, and so many of my constituents, oppose. The Energy and Commerce Committee reviewed my bill to ensure the safe disposal of coal ash like that stored at TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant, and I wrote an op-ed in The Commercial Appeal on issues related to coal ash cleanup. I re-introduced the Second Screening Act to permit air travelers an opportunity to avoid “pat-down” searches at security checkpoints and voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act to assure women equal pay for equal work. I also introduced, and had adopted, an amendment to include Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities in the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. I also announced $6.2 million in community health center grants. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Advancing H.R. 40, a Measure to Study Reparations

Asking Biden Administration to Reconsider Byhalia Pipeline Permit

Voting for Paycheck Fairness Act

Reviewing Safe Disposal of Coal Ash Bill in Legislative Hearing Introducing the Second Screening Act

Voting for the Paycheck Fairness Act

Voting for Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

Announcing $6.2 Million in Community Health Center Grants

Weekly Health Tips

Quotes of the Week


Advancing H.R. 40, a Measure to Study Reparations

I was proud to vote Wednesday to advance H.R. 40, a bill to create a commission to study slavery and past government-sanctioned discrimination against African Americans. I chaired two hearings in the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties – the first hearings on reparations in decades – on this legislation. Watch my opening statement from Wednesday’s hearing here and see my release on Wednesday’s historic, late-night vote here.

Asking Biden Administration to Reconsider Byhalia Pipeline Permit

I led a letter with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“AOC”), co-signed by 26 of my Congressional colleagues, to ask President Biden and Vice President Harris to reevaluate fast-track permitting authority for fossil fuel pipelines. The environmental injustice posed by the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline through Boxtown and over the Memphis Sand Aquifer is now widely known. I was pleased my colleagues from coast to coast stood up for my constituents and for transparency in this process. See my release and the letter here.

Voting for Paycheck Fairness Act

On Thursday evening, I voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure equal pay for equal work. See my release here.

Reviewing Safe Disposal of Coal Ash Bill in Legislative Hearing

The Energy and Commerce Committee is working on a major climate measure and on Thursday included my bill, Ensuring the Safe Disposal of Coal Ash, in its legislative hearing on the CLEAN Future Act and environmental justice. See my release on that development here. I also wrote an opinion article in The Commercial Appeal about coal ash issues related to the cleanup of the TVA’s Allen Fossil Plant on Presidents Island. Read that here.

Introducing the Second Screening Act

On Tuesday, I re-introduced a bill inspired by my own experience at security checkpoints, the TSA Second Screenings Act. It would permit airline passengers to request a second electronic screening before the invasive “pat-down.” See my release here.

Voting for Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

Today, I voted to pass the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which provides health and social service workers the protection they deserve by compelling employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans. I am pleased that the House adopted my amendment ensuring that Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities are included in the bill. See my release including my floor speech, here.

Remembering My Friend Roscoe Dixon

I was saddened to learn earlier today of the passing of my former State Senate colleague and friend Roscoe Dixon. I served with him in the 1977 Tennessee Constitutional Convention and then in the Tennessee General Assembly, when he was House member, and later when he joined me in the Senate, where he helped advance many good measures. Out of office, he did so much as a dedicated citizen, helping others. He was a friend to many and had a cheery disposition, which lifted the spirits of many, including mine. I extend my condolences to his family, colleagues and his many friends.

Announcing $6.2 Million in Community Health Center Grants

Earlier today, I announced major grants to the Memphis Health Center and to the Tri-State Community Health Center, institutions doing essential health care work during this pandemic in some of our most underserved neighborhoods. Read that release here.

Weekly Health Tip

Like you, I am hopeful that we are emerging from this pandemic and its various personal, social and economic consequences now that 56 million have been fully vaccinated against this coronavirus. It’s still important to follow public health protocols of wearing masks, washing hands and keeping our distance. It’s also important for those who haven’t availed themselves of the expanded vaccination capacity in our community to get the shots. Nobody likes having a needle in an arm, but I assure you modern inoculation is almost painless and you will be doing your community, your family and yourself a good deed. To make an appointment, go to https://covid19.memphistn.gov/ or call (901) 222-SHOT (7468). Through Sunday, you can also get vaccinated with a first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine without an appointment at the Pipkin Building site at the Fairgrounds between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Quotes of the Week

“A great many people in this country are worried about law-and-order. And a great many people are worried about justice. But one thing is certain: You cannot have either until you have both.” – Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who died last Friday at the age of 93.

“And that’s the way it is.” – Walter Cronkite’s signature evening signoff after he began anchoring the CBS Evening News on this date in 1962.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress