This week, I voted to make lynching a federal hate crime in a bill named for 1955 Mid-South lynching victim Emmett Till. I also presided over a subcommittee hearing on extending the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund; promoted my bill to make tractor trailers safer; presented WREG-Channel 3’s “Service to Community Award,” introduced a bill to prevent for-profit colleges from exploiting veterans benefits; offered an amendment to prevent federal spending at Trump-owned businesses; introduced a bill to honor the legacy of Julius Rosenwald, who dedicated himself to educating African Americans in the South; announced two significant grants; voted to enforce subpoenas to compel documents and testimony from recalcitrant Trump Administration officials; questioned former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean and federal prosecutors; called attention to health care legislation we’ve passed since taking the Majority in January; and offered a health tip about aphasia. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
On Wednesday, as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I voted to send the Emmett Till Antilynching Act to the House floor for a vote. Lynching was used to instill fear in African Americans, just as the statues of defeated Confederate generals were erected to send a message of white supremacy. I am a cosponsor of the antilynching measure and look forward to its passage. See my release on the committee vote here.
Presiding Over 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Hearing
On Tuesday, I chaired the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. After the devastating attack on September 11, 2001, a toxic cloud shrouded Lower Manhattan, leading to illnesses in first responders and those who lived and worked near the Twin Towers. Congress must provide for these brave men and women by extending and strengthening this fund. On Wednesday, I voted in the full Judiciary Committee to send the measure to the floor. See my release here.
Promoting Truck Safety Measure
On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing on “the State of Trucking in America.” As a member of the Committee, I questioned the witnesses on the need to pass the Stop Underrides Act, which would require front and side guards on tractor-trailers to prevent cars from slipping under trucks in accidents. My constituents, Laurie and Randy Higginbotham lost their son Michael in a underride crash in Memphis in 2014. I have introduced the bill in the last two Congresses, and I reintroduced it in March. See my release and my exchange with the witnesses here.
Honoring WREG-Channel 3 with “Service to Community” Award
On Tuesday night, I attended the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation Awards and, along with Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, presented the “Service to Community Award” to WREG-Channel 3. WREG won the award for “Go Jim Go,” meteorologist Jim Jaggers’ annual 333-mile bicycle ride around the station’s service area that raises money for LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Congratulations to WREG, Ron Walter, Bruce Moore, Jim Jaggers and LeBonheur for their service to our region.
Introducing POST Act and Recognizing the 75th Anniversary of the G.I. Bill
On Monday, I introduced the Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the G.I. Bill that sends millions of veterans to college. My bill would prohibit for-profit colleges and universities from receiving more than 85 percent of their revenue from the federal government, including funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ G.I. Bill and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance benefits. See my release here.
Offering an Amendment to Prevent Federal Spending at Trump-owned Businesses
On Thursday, I spoke on the House floor about my amendment to the State and Foreign Operations spending bill that would prohibit certain federal departments and agencies from spending taxpayer dollars at Trump-owned businesses. I believe that President Trump’s refusal to divest from his many businesses continues to raise serious questions about his compliance with the Constitution’s Domestic Emolument Clause, which protects against presidential corruption. The measure I offered is expected to go to a vote next week. I intend to offer the same amendment to the remaining spending bills for the fiscal year that begins October 1.
Introducing Rosenwald Schools Study Act
On Thursday, Representative Danny Davis and I introduced, with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Study Act to honor the legacy of a visionary philanthropist of the early 20th century devoted to educating African Americans in the South. See my release about the bill here.
Announcing Grants to Rhodes College and UTHSC
On Wednesday, I announced significant grants to Rhodes College and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. See my release here.
Voting to Enforce Subpoenas to get Special Counsel Mueller’s Report
On Tuesday, I voted for, and the House passed, a resolution authorizing House committees to file lawsuits to compel Trump Administration officials to comply with Congressional subpoenas. This resolution allows the Judiciary Committee, a Committee on which I serve, to seek a court order enforcing subpoenas connected to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference in our 2016 election. Among the documents the Judiciary Committee is seeking is the unredacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. See my release here.
Questioning former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee heard from former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean on obstruction of justice. He was joined by former federal prosecutors who talked about parallels between Nixon’s behavior as the House prepared to impeach him, and Donald Trump’s actions now. See my release and my exchange with the witnesses here.
Making Health Care a Priority
Since January, the House Democratic Majority has passed a series of measures to lower prescription drug costs, protect people with pre-existing conditions, and protect the Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from Republican sabotage. The Trump Administration is pursuing efforts in court to strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions and overturn the ACA. I will continue to remind residents of the 9th Congressional District of our priorities.
Weekly Health Tip
June is National Aphasia Awareness Month. Aphasia is an inability to speak articulately, or understand others, usually due to a brain injury to the language centers of the brain. It’s important to be sensitive to people with this kind of disability, since it can be mistaken for other conditions. See the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders here.
Quote of the Week
Today is Flag Day.
“You’re a grand old flag
You're a high-flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave
You're the emblem of
The land I love
The home of the free and the brave
Ev’ry heart beats true
’Neath the red, white and blue
Where there’s never a boast or brag
But should old acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.”
– “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” lyrics by George M. Cohan (1906).
I want to wish all fathers a Happy Fathers Day this Sunday.
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