Announcing $12 Million Innovation Corridor Grant to MATA
This week, I announced that the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) will receive a $12 million grant in support of a Rapid Transit Bus line and nine new electric buses. I also wrote to Governor Bill Lee seeking answers about why Tennessee hasn’t spent millions of federal dollars allocated for low-income families; called attention to open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance; questioned witnesses at a hearing on recent immigration raids in Mississippi; expressed concern about now-proven claims that Trump conditioned military aid to Ukraine on its willingness to open a baseless investigation on a political rival; discussed other new impeachment-related subjects on national television; attended the funeral for former Michigan Congressman John Conyers; called attention to a free workshop on lowering utility bills; offered Capitol Historical Society 2020 calendars; and offered a health tip. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Announcing $12 Million Innovation Corridor Grant to MATA
Seeking Answers from Governor Lee about Unspent Funding for Low-income Families
Calling Attention to Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Health Coverage
Questioning Tactics and Goals of Recent Immigration Raids
Expressing Concern about Revelations from the Trump Impeachment Inquiry
Applauding Introduction of the SONG Act in the Senate
Talking Impeachment with “The Circus” on the Showtime Network
Attending the Funeral of My Friend John Conyers in Detroit
Calling Attention to TVA Holding Free Workshops on Lowering Utility Bills
Offering 2020 U.S. Historical Society Calendars
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
On Wednesday, I announced that the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) will receive a $12 million grant to support a Rapid Transit Bus line that will run from downtown to the University of Memphis. Planners are calling the eight-mile route, which will include the construction of 28 new transit stations, the “Innovation Corridor.” See my release about this major, transformative transit news here.
Also Wednesday, I wrote to Governor Bill Lee with questions about why Tennessee – the 10th poorest state in the nation – has not spent hundreds of millions of federal dollars allocated through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to help low-income families. Tennessee is the only state in the nation to accumulate an estimated $700 million dollar TANF reserve. This is a big deal to struggling Tennesseans, and the funds should be immediately dispersed in bold ways to assist families in need. See my release containing the letter here.
Open Enrollment for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance coverage began last Friday, November 1, and ends December 15, which is closer than you might think. The Trump Administration reduced the open enrollment period by six weeks after taking office and is keeping that limited window of opportunity again this year. I have scheduled a “Congress On Your Corner” for Friday, November 22, at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue, so that my District Office staff and an ACA “navigator” can help with the process, as well as with questions about other federal agencies and programs. See more details about the upcoming Congress on Your Corner here.
On Thursday, I drove to Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, to attend a Committee on Homeland Security field hearing on recent immigration raids. My friend Congressman Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, Chairman of the Committee, presided over an examination of the August 7 raids at seven poultry processing plants, the largest one-state immigration raid in American history. I asked about the Trump Administration’s enforcement policies that ignore existing guidance on minimizing the impact of these raids on American communities. See my release about the hearing here.
Despite Trump’s inner circle’s efforts to mislead and cover up their actions, the impeachment inquiry is quickly proving that the President asked Ukraine to intervene in next year’s elections in exchange for Congressionally appropriated military aid or a Presidential meeting. As a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, I offered my views in national television interviews as we consider what constitutes impeachable conduct. See my interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow here and with Brianna Keilar here.
This week, Tennessee Senators Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced the Stadiums Operating under New Guidance (SONG) Act, a companion measure to the bill I introduced in the House in July along with Tennessee Congressmen Jim Cooper, Tim Burchett, John Rose and David Kustoff. The measure would give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) the authority to restrict air space over music concerts and other events at stadiums across the country, as the FAA already can over sporting events held at stadiums. See my release here.
Congressman Cohen talks with "The Circus" host Mark McKinnon
On Sunday night, my views on impeachment will be the focus of an in-depth documentary program called “The Circus” on the Showtime network. The show will air at 7 p.m. local time.
On Monday, I attended the funeral of my friend and mentor, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, a champion of civil rights and justice, with whom I served when he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. See my release about the funeral here. Last Saturday, I attended the funerals of my former colleague Rufus Jones and of former State Senator Reginald Tate.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has been holding free Home Energy Workshops in Shelby County to offer tips on lowering utility bills with money-saving habits for lower energy use. Attendees will receive a free home energy kit. The last workshop is Saturday, November 9, at the Cornelia Crenshaw Library, 531 Vance Avenue, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
My office will have a limited number of 2020 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars available. If you would like to receive a calendar, please complete this form on my website. Due to the rules of the House, I am only able to mail calendars to residents of Tennessee’s Ninth District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the Ninth District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my e-Newsletter.
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I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. If you are interested in attending one of my “Congress on Your Corner” events, you can sign up here to receive a notification as soon as the next event is scheduled. My next Congress on Your Corner will be November 22 at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Those who want more information or assistance during open enrollment for Affordable Care Act health insurance are encouraged to attend.
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November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so designated in 1983 by President Reagan who in November 1994 publicly announced his own Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In the United States alone, an estimated 5.2 million have Alzheimer’s, and thousands more have other age-related dementias. I have long supported increased research funding on the disease and efforts to delay the onset of dementia. See the National Institute on Aging’s information about Alzheimer’s and other dementias here.
“He was out there banging the drum against apartheid in South Africa long before it was a widely popular cause. He always supported the people of Haiti even when he couldn’t support their government. He worked for all of our cities and jobs and employment and opportunity and peace and justice everywhere. Not every district gives their elected representative the elbow room to do all those things.” – President Bill Clinton, eulogizing Congressman John Conyers at his funeral Monday in Detroit.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress