Voting to Lift the Federal Debt Ceiling

October 15, 2021
Enewsletters

Dear Friend,

This week, I voted to lift the debt ceiling and prevent the economic catastrophe that would occur if the United States defaulted for the first time in history. Failure to act would have jeopardized 401(k) savings, Social Security, and our economy as a whole. I also expressed grave concern at yet another shooting in Memphis, this time at an Orange Mound U.S. Postal Service facility; wrote to President Biden about the Byhalia Connection pipeline and the need to consider environmental justice in granting nationwide permits for similar projects; spoke at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on human rights in Hong Kong; relaunched the Global Road Safety Caucus; held a procurement fair to help constituents navigate the federal contracting process; announced a significant Department of Justice law enforcement grant to Memphis and Shelby County; offered 2022 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars; and provided a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Voting to Lift the Federal Debt Ceiling

Expressing Concern at Recent the Shooting at the U.S. Postal Service Facility in Orange Mound

Writing to President Biden to Review Nationwide Permits for Pipeline Projects

Speaking Out on Human Rights in Hong Kong

Relaunching the Global Road Safety Caucus

Holding a Procurement Fair with Constituents and Federal Agencies

Announcing a Department of Justice Law Enforcement Grant for Memphis and Shelby County

Offering 2022 U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars

Weekly Health Tip

Quote of the Week


Voting to Lift the Federal Debt Ceiling

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The U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday evening, I joined my House colleagues in voting to concur with the Senate in lifting the federal debt ceiling through early December. It was the only responsible thing to do to protect the 401(k) savings and Social Security benefits of our senior citizens, and our own and the world’s economy. Unfortunately, the vote was along party lines, with every Republican refusing to vote to meet financial obligations incurred by Presidents and Congresses of both parties. Until recently, this sort of irresponsible brinksmanship was unheard of because it is so dangerous. I regret we will need to go through this dangerous exercise again in just a few weeks. See my statement on the vote here.

Expressing Concern at the Recent Shooting at the U.S. Postal Service Facility in Orange Mound

Memphis had another shooting on Tuesday, this time at the U.S. Postal Service facility in Orange Mound. Two employees were killed and the shooter also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This follows a recent home invasion resulting in the shooting death of a Rhodes College student, a shooting at Cummings Elementary School, and a shooting at a Kroger in Collierville in just the past several weeks.  As a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, I remain concerned that too many guns are in the wrong hands. I continue to advocate for and support legislation requiring universal background checks and other commonsense gun violence-prevention measures. See my statement on the Orange Mound shooting here.

Writing to President Biden to Review Nationwide Permits for Pipeline Projects

On Wednesday, I joined my colleague, Chairman Peter DeFazio of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, in writing a letter to President Biden, asking that his Administration review the use of Nationwide Permits for large projects with far-reaching cumulative impacts such as pipelines . Our recent local victory over the planned Byhalia Connection pipeline that would have crossed historic African American neighborhoods in southwest Memphis called attention to the need to consider environmental justice issues and community input and transparency in making pipeline decisions.

Speaking Out on Human Rights in Hong Kong

On Thursday, I spoke at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on human and political rights in Hong Kong. I mourn the loss of freedom in Hong Kong and see the people who stood up as heroes, and admire them. We need to stand up to China for its repression of Uyghurs and citizens of Hong Kong. See my full remarks here. I was proud to serve with the late California Congressman Tom Lantos, a true champion of human rights.

Relaunching the Global Road Safety Caucus

As a leading proponent of the Complete Streets approach to traffic safety, I was pleased to join my colleague Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina in relaunching the Global Road Safety Caucus. Automobile accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States and for Americans abroad. More must be done to make our roads safer.

Holding a Procurement Fair with Constituents and Federal Agencies

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On Thursday, I held a virtual Federal Procurement Fair with constituents, stakeholders, and federal agencies to explain and coordinate efforts for small businesses to engage in contracting with the federal government. We heard from minority business development leaders and from representatives of the General Services Administration (GSA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), Southwest Tennessee Community College, and others, who provided practical tips and useful information. For those who missed it, the 90-minute Facebook Live presentation is now available on my official website here.

Announcing a Department of Justice Law Enforcement Grant for Memphis and Shelby County

On Thursday, I announced a $931,746 Department of Justice law enforcement grant to Memphis and Shelby County. See that release here.

Offering 2022 U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars

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My office will have a limited number of 2022 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.

Weekly Health Tip

The National Institutes of Health are considering making the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines available as boosters to eligible individuals. Should either vaccine be authorized, as is expected in the days ahead, I encourage all those eligible to get the free shot to strengthen their immune response as the Delta variant continues to circulate in our region. Anyone who received the two-shot Pfizer vaccine and is eligible for a booster should also make arrangements to get their third shot as soon as possible. People are eligible for the Pfizer booster if their second Pfizer dose was received at least 6 months ago, and they are 65 years of age or older or live in a long-term care setting, have underlying medical conditions, or work or live in high-risk settings and are 18 or older. More information about the booster shots is available here.

Vaccines are currently available for everyone 12 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., and will remain a vaccination site through December 31. 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/

Quote of the Week

“The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians and we can never rest.” – The late California Congressman and human rights advocate Tom Lantos.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,
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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress