This week, I questioned witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing examining policing practices, the lack of trust of the police in some communities and the need for transparent investigations of the use of deadly force by law enforcement. I also questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials about coal ash contamination and the regulation of deadly asbestos; remembered distinguished Memphian philanthropist and civic leader Ira A. Lipman; demanded answers from former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; wrote an opinion article for The Commercial Appeal opposing the block-granting of TennCare; introduced the Deadly Force Independent Review Act; was named a “notable leader” in Congress for my votes on international religious freedom issues; questioned Republicans’ harmful politicization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process; announced a grant supporting the hiring of 36 new Memphis Fire Department firefighter-paramedics; announced a grant aimed at reducing gang violence; announced a $9.9 million grant to St. Jude Children’s Research Center for leukemia research; called attention to a gun crime tip line; offered Capitol Historical Society calendars; offered a health tip on enrolling for TennCare; and recognized the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Reviewing the lack of trust between the Police and Community and use of excessive force
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on policing practices and the lack of trust many communities have in police departments over concerns about transparency in investigations of the use of deadly and excessive force. Witnesses endorsed the ideas behind several criminal justice measures I have introduced. See my release on the hearing here.
Demanding Solutions to Coal Ash Contamination
On Wednesday and Thursday, I questioned Environmental Protection Agency officials about coal ash contamination. I requested Wednesday’s hearing with the EPA’s top official on water pollution to raise my concerns about the pollution of the Memphis sand aquifer beneath the Allen Fossil Plant. See that release here. On Thursday I questioned EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler when he appeared before the Committee on Science, Space and Technology about when the risk evaluation on whether to ban asbestos will be completed. See my questions to him in this release.
Remembering Ira A. Lipman
I was saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, the distinguished Memphian, founder of Guardsmark, philanthropist and all-around civic leader Ira A. Lipman. See my statement about his storied life in The Congressional Record here.
Demanding Answers from former Trump Campaign Manager Lewandowski
On Tuesday, Corey Lewandowski appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and did his best to aggressively avoid answering our questions. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report established that the President asked Lewandowski to obstruct justice and the Tuesday proceeding established that, like his former boss, he lies a lot. See my release on the hearing, and my questions to Lewandowski, here.
Writing Opinion Article Opposing Block-Granting of TennCare
Earlier today, The Commercial Appeal published my opinion piece where I expressed my strong opposition to Governor Lee’s proposal to turn TennCare into a block grant. See that article here. Also Friday, I wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express my opposition and sent a letter to Governor Lee requesting that a public hearing about the TennCare program be held in Memphis. See a release containing both letters here.
Introducing Deadly Force Independent Review Act
This week, I introduced the Deadly Force Independent Review Act. The bill would require federal law enforcement agencies to establish a protocol for investigating the use of deadly force by federal officers and require the inspector general for the investigating agency to review and report on the adequacy or flaws in the review. See my release on the bill here.
Being Recognized as a “Notable Leader” on International Religious Freedom
Based on my voting record, I was recognized as one of 34 House Members considered a leader on international religious freedom. See my release on the award here.
Questioning Republicans’ Politicization of the FISA Process
On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee examined the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) designed to identify and pursue foreign spies and expressed my disappointment that Republican members of the Committee continue to spin absurd conspiracy theories and bizarre accusations about the intelligence and law enforcement professionals trying to keep us safe. See my release on the hearing here.
Announcing FEMA Grant to Hire 36 New Memphis Firefighter-Paramedics
On Tuesday, I announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had awarded a $4.4 million grant to the Memphis Fire Department, allowing it to hire 36 new firefighter-paramedics and reduce its use of overtime. See my release here.
Announcing Grant to Reduce Gang Violence
Also Tuesday, I announced that the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will receive a $500,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to combat gang violence. See that release here.
Announcing $9.9 Million Grant to St. Jude for Leukemia Research
On Monday, I announced St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be receive more than $9.9 million from the National Cancer Institute for research on acute leukemia. See that release here. On Friday, St. Jude received a $448,750 grant to study immunology and transplantation.
Calling Attention to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Tip Line
Last month, I met with officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to talk about gun crime in Memphis and the creation of a strike force to address it. I also told the officials that I would call attention to the bureau’s Gun Crimes Tip Line in my newsletter to constituents. Call (888) ATF-TIPS – (888) 283-8477 -- if you have a tip for these dedicated law enforcement specialists.
Holding a “Congress On Your Corner”
Today my District Office staff held a “Congress On Your Corner” event at the Frayser Branch Library. They were able to help my 9th Congressional District constituents with federal programs, benefits and opportunities.
Offering U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars
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 eNewsletter.
Sign Up for “Congress on Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter
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” is Friday, October 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the South Branch Library, 1929 South Third Street, Memphis 38109.
For those who haven’t participated in a telephone town hall, it’s easy to sign up for them by using this form.
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Weekly Health Tip
TennCare provides comprehensive health care for both children and adults. If you have any questions about your coverage, you can contact TennCare Connect at 1-855-259-0701 or visit its website here.
Quote of the Week
Tuesday, September 17th was Constitution Day, the 232nd anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
A woman in Philadelphia at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” “A Republic,” Franklin replied. “If you can keep it.” – Notes of James McHale, a Maryland delegate to the Convention, first published in 1906.
“The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution …” -- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison, 1797.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress
167 North Main Street,
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 544-4131
Fax: (901) 544-4329
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3265
Fax: (202) 225-5663