Passing the Build Back Better Act with Important Provisions for Memphis
This week, I voted for the Build Back Better Act, a once-in-a-generation investment in the American people that will be transformational for Memphis and our country. I also went to the White House to attend the signing ceremony for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; applauded the nomination of Andre Mathis for a seat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; voted to advance my sentencing reform bill to the full House of Representatives; spoke in favor of and voted to advance a bill reforming forced arbitration in sexual harassment cases; questioned expert witnesses on foreign kleptocracy; noted the role West Tennessee will soon play in the development of electric vehicles; welcomed the conclusion of the criminal case against a Missouri man charged with making a threat against me; announced a significant grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) for epilepsy research; and offered a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.
Congressman Cohen speaks on the Build Back Better Act from the House floor Wednesday
This morning, I voted for the Build Back Better Act, a transformational investment in the future of our country and the planet. Among its many positive provisions for Memphis, it expands Medicaid coverage in Tennessee and the other 11 states that have refused to, boosts health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, lowers prescription drug prices, provides universal pre-K, and an enhanced Child Tax Credit. See my statement on this historic legislation here and watch me announcing my vote here.
Congressman Cohen wirh President Biden at Monday's bill signing
On Monday, I joined my Congressional colleagues, Mayor Jim Strickland and state Senator Raumesh Akbari on the South Lawn of the White House for President Biden’s signing of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The law includes major investments in the physical infrastructure of our country, creating millions of jobs, and also includes elements of four important bills I have authored, plus others I have sponsored and advanced. See my speech on the House floor before the bill signing here and my release on what is in the bill for the 9th Congressional District here.
President Biden on Wednesday nominated Memphian Andre Mathis for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the first African American male nominated to the court from Tennessee. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. I commend the President on his choice and look forward to his confirmation. The vacancy would fill the seat of my friend Judge Bernice Donald of Memphis, who plans to take senior status as a federal judge. See my statement on the nomination here.
On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee on which I serve reviewed and voted to advance to the full House of Representatives my bill, the Prohibiting Punishment for Acquitted Conduct Act, which would close a federal criminal sentencing loophole that permits judges to consider conduct that a jury has rejected in pronouncing sentences. See my release on the bill here.
On Tuesday, the Judiciary Committee considered a bill to reform the misuse of forced arbitration in employment contracts involving sexual harassment, ending “the boss is the boss” ethic that leads to so much a abuse and injustice. The following day, I voted to advance the measure to the full House of Representatives. See my statement on the bill here.
On Thursday, as Co-Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, I expressed concern about foreign corruption and its impact on global world order. I also questioned the chief of staff for imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny and expressed concern for his safety and welfare. Earlier Thursday, I introduced a Congressional resolution that would require the United States to end its recognition of autocrat Vladimir Putin as legitimate president of Russia in 2024 because of widespread fraudulent elections that took place to amend the Russian Constitution to allow Putin to stay in power. See my kleptocracy hearing release here and my resolution on President Putin here.
As President Biden tours the country focusing on the critical elements of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that he signed into law on Monday, including its focus on electric vehicles and the charging-station infrastructure it will create, I pointed out how transformational it will be for Memphis when Ford builds a major electronic vehicles and battery plant in West Tennessee. It will produce thousands of good-paying jobs and help get America moving again. See my statement here.
On Tuesday, I was informed that the man who threatened me and my friend and colleague, Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, was sentenced to a term in prison after his guilty pleas in federal court in Springfield, Missouri. See our joint statement here.
On Monday, I announced that the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will be receiving a significant grant to conduct research on epileptic seizures. See my release here.
The Food and Drug Administration has expanded eligibility of booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine for all individuals 18 years of age and older who got the original regiment of shots earlier this year. The shots will be available to everyone who got vaccininated at least six months ago.
More information about the booster shots is available here.
Vaccines are currently available for everyone 5 years of age and older. If you need a ride to a vaccination site, you can call 901-RIDE901 (901-743-3901) to coordinate the best transportation option for you. The City of Memphis is also now coordinating with organizations, congregations, community groups, and businesses to host coronavirus vaccinations. The Pipkin Building at the old Mid-South Fairgrounds is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Health Department at 814 Jefferson is now open, too, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointments are needed. To find the latest information about vaccination sites, to request a vaccination appointment for a homebound individual, or to set up a community coronavirus vaccination event, visit https://covid19.memphistn.gov/
“Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act to take another giant step forward in carrying out my economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and the middle class a fighting chance.” – President Biden this morning after the House passed the Build Back Better Act.
I wish everyone a pleasant Thanksgiving.
As always, I remain.