Voting to Advance Articles of Impeachment to the House Floor
This week, I voted to advance two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump at this crossroads in our nation’s history. I also voted to lower prescription drug costs for millions of Americans; demanded that Boeing be held accountable for not correcting known safety defects in its 737 MAX aircraft; introduced the Safety is Not for Sale Act; highlighted the accomplishments of the House in passing legislation addressing real national needs; questioned experts on the evidence for impeaching the President; called attention to the fact that SUNDAY, December 15, is the deadline for signing up for Affordable Care Act health insurance; pointed out available resources for childcare assistance; offered free 2020 Capitol Historical Society calendars; and offered a health tip about handwashing. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Voting to Advance Articles of Impeachment to the House Floor
Voting to Pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act
Demanding that Boeing be held Accountable for Not Correcting Known 737 MAX Flaws
Introducing Safety is Not for Sale Act
Highlighting Accomplishments of the “For the People” Agenda
Questioning Legal Counsel and Supporting Introduction of Articles of Impeachment
Announcing $1.9 Million Grant for Continued Rape Kit Testing
Calling Attention to Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Health Coverage
Welcoming New American Citizens to Memphis
Pointing Out Federal Resources Available for Childcare Assistance
Offering 2020 U.S. Historical Society Calendars
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week
Congressman Cohen spoke at Wednesday's session on the markup of articles of impeachment
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the House Judiciary Committee, on which I serve as a senior member and Chairman of the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, considered two articles of impeachment against President Trump – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In my opening statement, I discussed the foundation of our democracy, free and fair elections. Throughout our history, heroes have fought to ensure that Americans can choose our leaders, and that every vote counts. See those remarks here. On Friday morning, I voted to advance both articles to the House floor. See my release on that vote here.
On Thursday, I was proud to vote and see the House pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, legislation which will allow the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate the price of drugs, including insulin, and lower costs for tens of millions of people on Medicare and private insurance. The bill also reverses price hikes above the rate of inflation and caps the drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000. With the savings achieved, the bill will reinvest billions of dollars in the search for new breakthrough treatments and cures at the National Institutes of Health. See my release about the bill here.
On Wednesday, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) appeared before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on which I serve as a senior member. I asked him about his agency’s inadequate response to two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and told him someone at Boeing needs the be held accountable. See my release and my questions to the Administrator here.
Before Wednesday’s Transportation and Infrastructure hearing got under way, I introduced the Safety is Not for Sale Act, legislation that would require air carriers to ensure all non-required safety-enhancing equipment is offered to all carriers without additional charge. See my release about the bill here.
I am hearing misleading commentary from the right-wing echo chamber to the effect that the House is not doing anything as it pursues an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s conduct. Nothing could be further from the truth. The House has passed nearly 400 bills this year. But more than 300 of those -- including 275 bipartisan bills -- are stuck in the Senate where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to call them up for a vote. This includes the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and bills to protect people with pre-existing conditions, to raise the minimum wage and to lower prescription drug costs. As we are so often reminded these days: the truth matters.
On Monday, I questioned counsel for the House Judiciary Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the evidence collected during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. See my release and my questioning of the witnesses here. On Tuesday, I supported Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s introduction of two articles of impeachment. See my release on that decision here.
This week, I was pleased to announce that the City of Memphis received a $1,899,781 grant to continue rape kit testing from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). This will help Memphis and our local law enforcement track down assailants, help victims get justice and protect individuals from becoming victims of recidivists. Since 2014, I have worked successfully to substantially increase federal funding for rape kit testing, passing amendments to appropriations bills. A recent story in The Daily Memphian indicated Memphis has completed testing of 98 percent of previously untested kits.
Open Enrollment for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance coverage began on November 1 and ends December 15 – this Sunday. The Trump Administration reduced the open enrollment period by six weeks after taking office and is keeping that limited window of opportunity again this year. You can visit www.Healthcare.gov/lower-costs to see if you qualify for tax credits that will be applied as discounts on your monthly insurance premium.
On Thursday, sixty new American citizens were sworn in during a naturalization ceremony in U.S. District Judge Mark Norris’ courtroom in the downtown Memphis federal building. One of my district staff members represented me at the ceremony at which former residents of Indonesia, Congo, Senegal, Somalia, El Salvador, Columbia and 24 other countries raised their right hands and swore allegiance to our country. I agree with what Judge Norris told those assembled for the event: every American should attend one of these inspiring ceremonies. I welcome the new citizens to Memphis.
As your Congressman, one of my top priorities is to ensure that Memphians who work tirelessly to provide a strong foundation for their children have the support they need to be successful. It is important to know that the state of Tennessee has resources available for child care assistance. Eligible parents and guardians may receive support for child care services through Tennessee’s Smart Steps Child Care Payment Assistance Program. Visit here to see if you are eligible.
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 e-Newsletter.
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Weekly Health Tip
Handwashing is the easiest way to reduce and prevent the spread of disease. It’s simple and, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us, good hand hygiene is good for everyone – except the germs. See that guidance here.
“The evidence of the president’s misconduct is overwhelming and uncontested.” – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff at Tuesday’s announcement that the House would consider two articles of impeachment against President Trump.
“When President Trump, for his own personal political gain, asked for a favor from a foreign leader, he did exactly what our Founders feared most -- he invited the influence of a foreign power into our elections. This is one of the primary reasons the Founders placed impeachment in our Constitution....
“President Trump’s subversive and illegal actions in seeking foreign interference are an effrontery to our Constitution and to free and fair elections.
“They are an affront to our Founders.
“They are an affront to the suffragists who fought for women’s voting rights.
“They are an affront to the memory of Medgar Evers, a civil rights leader assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.
“They are an affront to the memories of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, civil rights workers murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964 while registering African Americans to vote.
“They are an affront to the memory of Viola Liuzzo, a mother of five, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan while she was in Alabama to participate in the Selma-to-Montgomery March.
“And they are an affront to the memory of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. who championed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“And they are an affront to every service member who has fought to defend our nation and our system of self-government, based upon free and fair elections.
“President Trump’s attempt to subvert our election was an attack on America...
"Those who want to turn a blind eye to President Trump corrupting our Democracy will try to get us to look away. We should not look away. I will not look away. I will remember our Founders’ great plan for our great nation and I will remember the rule of law. Above all, I will adhere to my oath of office.” -- from my Opening Statement at the Judiciary Committee markup of two articles of impeachment.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress