Commending Governor Lee for Recommending Removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust

July 10, 2020
Enewsletters

 

Dear Friend,

This week, after years of advocacy by myself and others, I was pleased that Governor Lee recommended and the State Capitol Commission voted for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest – a Confederate war criminal, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan leader – from the Tennessee state Capitol. I also expressed my concern that, even though the Supreme Court’s decisions in Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars uphold the principle that no one is above the law or prosecutors’ subpoenas, Congress and the American public will not have access to the President’s tax returns and other business records until after the November election. I also condemned the Supreme Court’s ruling denying access to contraceptive health care coverage; cautioned that  supplemental unemployment benefits could end without Senate action; introduced the Second Screening Act to protect travelers’ privacy and health at airport security checkpoints; informed constituents that the extended deadline for filing federal tax returns is next Wednesday, July 15; announced significant grants to the Shelby County Board of Education for Head Start, the University of Memphis for biotechnology research and the Memphis Fire Department for Personal Protective Equipment; reminded everyone to fill out the 2020 Census forms; and offered a coronavirus pandemic-related health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens. 

Commending Governor Lee for Recommending the Removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust
Expressing Concern that Supreme Court Rulings Temporarily Shield Disclosure of Trump Business Records from Congress
Condemning U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Restricting Access to Contraceptives  
Extending Federal Supplement to State Unemployment Benefits
Introducing the Second Screening Act
Reminding Taxpayers of Upcoming July 15 IRS Deadline
Announcing $4.1 Million Head Start Grant to Shelby County Board of Education
Announcing Biotechnology Grant to the University of Memphis
Announcing Coronavirus-related FEMA Grant to Memphis Fire Department
Filling Out 2020 Census Forms
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
 


Commending Governor Lee for Recommending the Removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust 

It has taken too long and extensive advocacy, but I’m pleased Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has finally seen the wisdom of removing the bust of Confederate war criminal and slave trader Nathan Bedford Forrest from our state Capitol. I commended him on his recommendation to the State Capitol Commission in a statement Wednesday evening in which I pointed out that I’ve long advocated the bust’s removal, including in my 2015 request to his predecessor, Bill Haslam. See that release here. I also commended the Capitol Commission Thursday evening for taking the required action. See that release here

Expressing Concern that Supreme Court Rulings Temporarily Shield Disclosure of Trump Business Records from Congress

I expressed concern that the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Vance would not provide Congress and the American people access to President Trump’s tax and business records before the November election. Importantly, the high court unequivocally reaffirmed the principle that no one is above the law and President Trump’s tax and business records could be subpoenaed by state prosecutors in a criminal investigation.

Condemning U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Restricting Access to Contraceptives  

On Wednesday, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, I joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler in condemning the U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting access to contraceptive coverage. This decision allows employers to deny people birth control under their company insurance plans. Birth control is an important component of health care, and it is essential that these contraceptives are affordable and accessible. I am a proud cosponsor of the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, which would repeal this dangerous rule and restore this important provision of the Affordable Care Act. See our statement here.

Extending Federal Supplement to State Unemployment Benefits

I want to bring to your attention that the supplemental $600 in federal unemployment assistance could be coming to an end this month. For Tennesseans, the final payment will be the week of July 19-25. It is clear that many people will still need additional support, which is why I voted to pass the Heroes Act in May to extend this supplemental payment through January 31, 2021. However, the Senate has failed to act. It is important to be mindful that this supplementary payment may be ending soon without Senate action and to plan for that possibility.

Introducing the Second Screening Act

On Thursday, I introduced the Second Screening Act. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, I see and hear from those who are subject to physical pat-downs at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints when a minor movement or an overlooked object in a pocket requires it. My bill would permit passengers to request a second electronic screening before the more invasive pat-down, limiting contact with others during this pandemic. See my release on the measure here.

Reminding Taxpayers of Upcoming July 15 IRS Deadline

The three-month reprieve in filing federal income taxes because of the pandemic ends this Wednesday, July 15. If you need help with filing a return or have questions, my Memphis office can be of assistance. Please leave your name and number at (901) 544-4131 and one of our caseworkers will get back to you as soon as possible.

Announcing $4.1 Million Head Start Grant to Shelby County Board of Education

On Wednesday, I announced that the Shelby County Board of Education will receive a $4.1 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start programs. See my release here.

Announcing Biotechnology Grant to the University of Memphis

On Monday, I announced the University of Memphis will receive a significant grant from one of the National Institutes of Health. See that release here.

Announcing Coronavirus-related FEMA Grant to Memphis Fire Department

Also Monday, I announced that the Memphis Fire Department will receive a $1.3 million grant to address coronavirus-related equipment needs authorized by the CARES Act that became law in late March. See that release here.

Filling Out Census Forms

By now you will have received two or more reminders that this is a U.S. Census year and that you can fill out the forms online at 2020Census.gov. I did mine online in a matter of minutes. Help your community get its fair share of our national funding and resources. Consider filling out the forms today. And see my Public Service Announcement about the Census 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 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 will get through this together. 

Quote of the Week 

“Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding. We reaffirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need.” – Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion in Trump v. Vance, District Attorney of the County of New York, decided Thursday.
 
As always, I remain
Most sincerely,

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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress