Questioning Transportation Secretary Buttigieg

March 26, 2021
Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

This week, I questioned Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about airline passenger seat safety, the Byhalia Connection pipeline project, Memphis’ high pedestrian fatality rate, and truck accidents. I was pleased to see him engaged and responding positively on issues important to the Ninth Congressional District. I also spoke in favor of my bill, which was endorsed by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to rename the Memphis federal building exclusively for the late Judge Odell Horton so it can now can advance to the House floor for a vote; questioned expert witnesses in a hearing on the importance of diversity in the federal judiciary; presided at a hearing on expanding eligibility for compensation for radiation exposure; received a 100 percent score on my voting record from Defenders of Wildlife; announced $14.8 million in Covid-19-related funding for the Memphis International Airport; announced community health center and Early Head Start grants; and introduced the Fair Debt Collection Improvement Act and the Housing Accountability Act. I also offered a health tip and noted the Biden Administration has extended the open enrollment deadline for Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) coverage to August 15. Keep reading and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Questioning Transportation Secretary Buttigieg

Voting to Advance Naming Odell Horton Federal Building

Noting Importance of Diversity in the Federal Judiciary

Presiding Over Hearing on Compensation for Radiation Exposure

Receiving 100 Percent Score from Defenders of Wildlife

Announcing $14.8 Million in Covid-19 Relief Memphis Airport

Announcing $6.1 Million Grant to Christ Community Health Services

Announcing $1.2 Million in Early Head Start Funding

Introducing the Housing Accountability Act

Introducing the Fair Debt Collection Improvement Act

Weekly Health Tip

Quote of the Week


Questioning Transportation Secretary Buttigieg

On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the Biden Administration’s plans and priorities for transportation infrastructure. When it was my turn to question “Secretary Pete,” I told him about the Byhalia Connection pipeline through Boxtown and over our aquifer that I’ve asked the Biden Administration to stop and raised issues about airline passenger, pedestrian, and truck safety. See my release and my exchange with the Secretary here.

Voting to Advance Naming Odell Horton Federal Building

During a markup of my bill to rename the Memphis federal building exclusively in honor of the late Judge Odell Horton, I spoke of the reasons why we should remove the name of the former Congressman and Klansman, Clifford Davis. I voted with the committee as it unanimously reported the bill favorably to the full House. See my release here.

Noting Importance of Diversity in the Federal Judiciary

Also Thursday, it was my pleasure to introduce my longtime friend, Circuit Judge Bernice Donald of Memphis, during a Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the importance of diversity on the federal bench. See my introduction of Judge Donald and my questions to her in my release on the hearing here.

Presiding over Hearing on Compensation for Radiation Exposure

As Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, I presided Wednesday over a hearing about expanding eligibility for compensation for radiation-related health problems associated with our nuclear weapons programs. See my release and questions to witnesses here.

Receiving 100 Percent Score from Defenders of Wildlife

On Tuesday, I was proud Defenders of Wildlife gave me its highest score for my voting record last Congress on wildlife conservation measures. See my release here.

Announcing $14.8 Million in Covid-19 Relief Memphis Airport

Also Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $14.8 million in relief for the Memphis International Airport and the employees of its on-site parking garage, rental car agencies and other concessionaires. See that release here.

Announcing $6.1 Million Grant to Christ Community Health Services

The Department of Health and Human Services announced a $6,176,771 grant on Wednesday to the Christ Community Health Services programs supporting our most-underserved residents. See that release here.

Announcing $1.2 Million in Early Head Start Funding

I was also pleased to announce that Porter-Leath’s Early Head Start programs received a $1.2 million grant. See that release here.

Introducing the Housing Accountability Act

Earlier today, I introduced the Housing Accountability Act with Senator Rubio of Florida. This legislation would hold property owners of low-income housing accountable for poor living conditions. The bill was first introduced in response to local and federal investigations that found deplorable living conditions at several federally subsidized-housing properties owned by the Global Ministries Foundation (GMF) in Memphis and in Jacksonville, Florida. See my release here.

Introducing the Fair Debt Collection Improvement Act

This week, I joined Congresswomen Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York in introducing the Fair Debt Collection Improvement Act which would prohibit debt collectors from collecting or attempting to collect debt from consumers after a statute of limitation has expired. See our release here.

Weekly Health Tip

We’re making progress against the coronavirus and the Biden Administration’s ambitious goals are being met, but we still must remain vigilant. As of today, all Shelby County residents aged 16 and over are eligible for the vaccine. Please make every effort to get your vaccination now that you are eligible. Because there are concerns about virus variants and we have not achieved herd immunity, we must continue to follow public health protocols involving washing hands, wearing masks and keeping our distance. I know we’re all eager to get the vaccine, so to make an appointment for a free vaccination through the City of Memphis, click here or call (901) 222-SHOT (7468).

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that consumers will have until August 15 to sign up for Affordable Care Act health care plans, extending the deadline from May 15. The special open-enrollment period began February 15 to help people who had lost jobs or encountered other access issues because of the pandemic gain health insurance coverage. See Healthcare.gov for details.

To see how the American Rescue Plan will bring down health care costs and expand on the Affordable Care Act, click here.

Quote of the Week

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick. Deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote, deciding that you’re going to end voting at five o’clock when working people are just getting off work, deciding that there will be no absentee ballots under the most rigid circumstances, it’s all designed…It is the most pernicious thing. This makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle. I mean, this is gigantic what they’re trying to do and it cannot be sustained. I’m going to do everything in my power, along with my friends in the House and the Senate, to keep that from becoming the law.” -- President Biden at his news conference Thursday, referring to Republican efforts to limit voting rights.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress