Calling for the Impeachment of Attorney General William Barr

September 18, 2020
Enewsletters

September 18, 2020

Dear Friend, 

This week, I reiterated my call for the impeachment of Attorney General William Barr after his unacceptable comments comparing pandemic stay-at-home orders to slavery, and calling protesters seditious, and the continued politicization of the Department of Justice to benefit President Trump and his friends. I also voted for legislation to help end pregnancy discrimination – the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – an issue that Memphis workers have helped bring to light; voted to strengthen educational diversity programs; in light of a scathing new Congressional investigation, resolved to end the lax oversight of airlines by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the misplaced priorities of airlines; applauded Memphians who made national news this week; voted to advance a measure prohibiting discrimination based on racial hair identity; wrote to President Trump about the troubling case of a poisoned Russian opposition leader; reminded constituents of the approaching deadline for filling out 2020 U.S. Census forms; announced significant grants to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; offered 2021 Congressional calendars; and provided a pandemic-related health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Calling for the Impeachment of Attorney General William Barr
Voting for Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Voting to Strengthen Educational Diversity Programs
Resolving to Improve FAA Oversight of Airlines
Seeing Memphians in the National Spotlight
Advancing the CROWN Act
Writing to Trump about Poisoning of Putin Critic
Reminding Constituents of Approaching Census Deadline
Announcing Grants to St. Jude and UTHSC
Offering 2021 Congressional Calendars
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week


Calling for the Impeachment of Attorney General William Barr

I have called for an impeachment inquiry into Attorney General William Barr for his assault on the rule of law, due process, and our system of elections. This week, he compared pandemic stay-at-home orders to slavery and called protestors “seditious.” My resolution, H. Res. 1032, would instruct the Judiciary Committee to immediately begin this work. Some people counsel patience but I’m reminded of what wise men have always known: If we do not stand up to injustice, our silent indifference will condemn us. See an op-ed in today’s The Hill newspaper laying out my case against Barr here.

Voting for Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On Thursday, I voted for and the House passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will protect pregnant workers and prevent the suffering caused by insufficient workplace protections, a situation far too familiar to many workers in Memphis. Two years ago, I was shocked to learn of the disturbing workplace abuses occurring in an XPO Logistics warehouse in Memphis. Warehouse workers were denied minor and reasonable accommodations like less taxing workloads and shortened work shifts. As a result, several women suffered miscarriages, some while still on the warehouse floor. I look forward to the Senate’s consideration and the law’s swift implementation. See my release on the measure here.

Voting to Strengthen Educational Diversity Programs

In Shelby County Schools, segregation is far worse today than it was 60 years ago. Nationwide, segregation of students by race and income has dramatically increased over the past two decades. On Tuesday, I voted to strengthen educational diversity programs already in place. See my release on the measure here.

Resolving to Improve FAA Oversight of Airlines

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on which I serve as a senior member of the Aviation Subcommittee, this week released the findings of an 18-month investigation into two Boeing 737 Max airliner crashes resulting in the deaths of 346 people. The investigation found lax oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and a focus on cost-cutting by Boeing. I am determined to make sure these errors are addressed and corrected before anyone else dies needlessly.

Seeing Memphians in the National Spotlight


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I follow the success of Memphians around the world and am always pleased to see their work championed to a national audience. That’s why I was delighted to see former Christian Brothers High School and University of Memphis All Star wide receiver Anthony Miller pulling down a game-winning catch for the Chicago Bears last week in The New York Times.

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The same edition of the newspaper looked at what restaurants are doing to meet employee needs during the pandemic (the focus of the RESTAURANTS Act I have sponsored), and focused on Memphis’ own Four Way Restaurant.


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It seems I also made the national news, if inadvertently, when USA Today told its readers Wednesday that hedge fund operator Steve Cohen had bought the New York Mets – but ran a picture of me rather than the new Mets owner. On Twitter, a lot of people have had a laugh. Let me assure you: If I bought the New York Mets, I’d move them to Memphis!

Advancing the CROWN Act

During a Judiciary Committee markup on Tuesday of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN Act, I spoke in favor of the measure and mentioned my long history with the issue of prohibiting discrimination based on race-based hair texture and associated styles such as braids, twists and knots. I am an original cosponsor of the CROWN Act, and I was proud to vote to advance this legislation to the House floor. I also noted that my friend, state Senator Raumesh Akbari of Memphis, introduced a similar measure, S.B. 1832, in the Tennessee General Assembly earlier this year. Black women are far more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair, and that’s not fair. See my release on the measure here.

Writing to Trump about Poisoning of Putin Critic

As a senior member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, also known as the Helsinki Commission), I led a letter to President Trump this week asking that he keep Congress informed of the Administration’s ongoing investigation of what Germany has determined was the intentional poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. See my release and the letter here.

Reminding Constituents of Approaching Census Deadline

Unless the courts intervene, there are now just 12 days before the current deadline to fill out the every-ten-year head count mandated by the Constitution, which provides an accurate measure of the population for federal benefits and political representation. I urge you to fill out the U.S. Census form as soon as possible. Your community is counting on you. If you need help filling out your Census questionnaire, call the help line at (844) 330-2020.

Announcing Grants to St. Jude and UTHSC

On Wednesday, the National Institutes of Health announced two substantial grants for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Earlier in the week, St. Jude received a grant to conduct molecular research from one of the institutes. See those releases here and here.

Offering 2021 Congressional Calendars

My office will have a limited number of 2021 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.  

Weekly Health Tip

Again this week, I want to call attention to the high number of coronavirus cases, in Tennessee and across the country, that are likely the result of reopening prematurely without implementing basic precautionary measures such as wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and those adopted by Memphis and Shelby County for staying safe in this ongoing pandemic: Wash your hands with soap 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. When you’re indoors, six feet might not be far enough, according to recent studies; 14 feet might be better. It is best to wear a mask, particularly when indoors in close quarters. We must work together to get through this.      

Quote of the Week

"Jewish tradition teaches us that, for the next ten days, the Book of Life is open. As millions of Jews ask God to inscribe their name in that book, we recognize how much lies beyond our control. Yet during these Days of Awe we also recognize our tremendous power to make a difference, in our lives and in our world.” – President Barack Obama’s Statement for Rosh Hashanah, September 13, 2015

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Rosh Hashanah.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress