Taking Up the Budget and Republicans’ Flawed Tax Plan
This week, I voted against the Republican Budget blueprint, spoke out against President Trump’s “tax reform” plan, decried the President’s treatment of Senator Bob Corker, called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman to pursue the Trump-Russia campaign probe, remembered Tri-State Defender Publisher and President Bernal E. Smith II, criticized Vice President Pence for casting the tie-breaking vote preventing lawsuits against banks, and hosted my monthly “Congress on your Corner” event. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen.
Taking Up the Budget and Republicans’ Flawed Tax Plan
On Thursday, the House took up and passed a budget blueprint, setting up a tax plan Republican leaders expect to pass before Thanksgiving without Democratic support. The budget measure would allow for a tax plan benefiting the super-rich and add as much as $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years. The rush to pass a tax bill is designed to avoid the kind of scrutiny that would make it clear that low-income and middle-class Americans will end up being victims of a con job. I will continue to fight for low and middle-income interests as the showdown gets closer. On Monday I spoke out against the President’s tax reform plan. Watch my remarks here.
On Thursday, I penned an op-ed in The Commercial Appeal on Governor Haslam’s decision to reintroduce work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in most Tennessee counties. The Governor’s announced change in policy will turn back time for Shelby County and make it harder to prevent some of our most vulnerable citizens from going hungry. Read my op-ed here.
On Tuesday, I discussed the abhorrent treatment of Tennessee’s Senator Bob Corker at a Judiciary Committee hearing on President Trump’s so-called “Tax reform” plan – in truth, a massive give-away to the wealthiest Americans. Corker speaks the truth when he says President Trump’s likely legacy will be the abasement of our country. Tennesseans can be proud to have a principled leader willing to point out the president’s ongoing embarrassing behavior. See my remarks here.
On Tuesday, I took to the House floor to note that both House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee have ongoing investigations of the connections between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, but the House Judiciary Committee does not. As a member of that committee, I again urged Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to open a probe in an area where we clearly share jurisdiction. Hear my floor remarks here.
Photo of John F. Kennedy taken on Union Avenue in Memphis by Congressman Cohen when he was 11 years old.
On Thursday. President Trump delayed release of documents related to the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination, despite a clear deadline set by a 25-year-old federal law. He should have used the time before Thursday’s announcement to determine which documents seriously require redaction, not take another six months to comply. With very few exceptions, the American people should be able to see the records now.
On Sunday, I was saddened to learn of the death of Tri-Stare Defender publisher and president Bernal E. Smith II. Smith was a strong voice for African-American business and culture. Under his guidance, The New Tri-State Defender carried on its tradition as a beacon for social and economic justice in Memphis. On Friday, I attended his funeral at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church where a huge crowd gathered for the sendoff officiated over by the remarkable 90-year-old Rev. James Netters. Rev. Keith Norman and Dr. Karanja Ajanaku delivered inspiring addresses. Read more about his life here. He will be missed.
Vice President Mike Pence, doing the bidding of Wall Street banks whose systemic policies have harmed customers, cast the tie-breaking vote Tuesday night to prevent class-action lawsuits. The vote overturned the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that would allow class-action lawsuits against banks that violate their customers’ trust, keeping in place the banks’ mandatory arbitration procedures, contradicting the Trump Administration’s claim that it stands up for the working class. I voted against this measure when it came before the House of Representatives in July.
Today my office held “Congress on your Corner” office hours at the Gaisman Community Center. My staff and I answered questions and assisted with problems with Social Security, Medicare, FHA, the VA and other federal agencies. The next “Congress on your Corner” will be Friday, December 1, 2017 from 11am-1pm at the Cordova Branch Library. Visit my website for more information.
On Friday, November 10th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at BRIDGES, I will be hosting my 9th annual Veterans Day BBQ Luncheon to honor our veterans in Memphis. I will also discuss my work as your Representative in Washington, DC to help improve the lives of veterans, including my support of programs that assist our veterans who are homeless or who are on the verge of homelessness. Veterans should RSVP at 901-544-4131 by Wednesday, November 8th if you would like to attend. Visit my website for more information.
The open enrollment period for the Healthcare.gov insurance marketplace for 2018 plan shopping and comparison opens November 1, 2017. The last day to sign up for health insurance is December 15, 2017. Please note that the Trump Administration has shortened the enrollment period. Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/ for more information.
My office currently has a limited number of 2018 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 9th District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the 9th District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my eNewsletter.
On September 7, the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax disclosed a data breach from earlier this year that compromised the personal information of 143 million Americans. All 9th District residents should be aware of precautionary measures that can help ensure their financial security.
If you believe your data may have been compromised, there are steps you can take. These include: regularly monitoring your accounts, creating additional alerts for your credit report, and placing a security freeze on your credit report, which prevents others from opening up accounts in your name without your knowledge. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) has published a helpful guide, which you can find here, on how to secure your identity following the Equifax data breach.
If you have any questions or are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (901) 544-4131 or visit my website at https://cohen.house.gov/contact/email.
The Congressional App Challenge is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. K-12 students to learn how to code by creating their own applications, or “apps.” The Congressional App Challenge is open to all students in the 9th Congressional District of Tennessee. Students entering the competition must submit their app on CongressionalAppChallenge.us by 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on November 1, 2017. Click here for more information.
"Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments With Truth
Each week, I share a health tip in the hopes of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the 9th Congressional District. As always, it is best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine or lifestyle.
Starting this week, consumers are able to start using the “window shopping” feature of Healthcare.gov to compare plans available during the Open Enrollment period. As in previous years, window shopping lets consumers browse plans without logging in, creating an account, or filling out an application. A new fact sheet with information consumers need to know about this year’s Open Enrollment is posted here.
As always, I remain.