News from Congressman Steve Cohen

May 8, 2020

Dear Friend,

This week, I announced $1.4 million in Department of Health and Human Services grants to three Memphis community health centers to expand their coronavirus testing capacity. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Aviation Subcommittee, I worked to reverse a misguided airline plan to charge passengers a fee to maintain a healthy distance from other passengers. I also announced a $2.5 million Department of Justice grant to address the City of Memphis’ law enforcement needs during the coronavirus pandemic; held my weekly virtual news briefing for reporters; sent thousands of coronavirus awareness and response informational guides to my constituents; welcomed the honorary Pulitzer Prize for the late Memphis journalist and anti-lynching writer and activist Ida B. Wells; recognized National Nurses Day and National Teacher Appreciation Week; was interviewed by actress Alyssa Milano for her podcast “Sorry Not Sorry;” cosponsored the ReWind Act; expressed disappointment at changes in Title IX rules for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct on college campuses; and offered a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I am doing as it happens.

Announcing $1.4 Million in Grants to Community Health Centers to Expend Coronavirus Testing Capacity
Fighting for Passengers’ Rights and Safety
Announcing $2.5 Million Department of Justice Grant for Memphis
Holding My Weekly Press Conference to Update Constituents on Covid-19 Response
Sending Coronavirus Awareness and Response Guidance by Mail to Constituents
Cheering the Honorary Pulitzer Prize for Memphis Journalist Ida B. Wells
Recognizing National Nurses Day and National Teachers Week
Speaking with Alyssa Milano on “Sorry Not Sorry”
Cosponsoring a Bill to Prohibit Fossil Fuel Industry Bailouts with CARES Funds
Expressing Regret at DeVos Education Department’s Title IX Rules on Sexual Misconduct Investigations
Weekly Health Tip
Quote of the Week



Announcing $1.4 Million in Grants to Community Health Centers to Expend Coronavirus Testing Capacity

On Thursday, I announced $1,488,117 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grants to three Memphis community health centers to expand their coronavirus testing capacity. Memphis Health Center Inc. will receive $409,024; Tri-State Community Health Center will receive $136,924; and Christ Community Health Services will receive $942,169. The best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and contain this pandemic is through testing. See my release here.

Fighting for Passengers’ Rights and Safety

Last week, I was pleased that I could help persuade the major airlines to require their passengers and crews to wear face masks. This week, after Frontier Airlines announced it would add a fee for ticketed passengers who wanted to avoid sitting next to a middle seat passenger in order to maintain a healthy social distance, I wrote to the airline and asked it to reconsider the misguided policy. Within hours, it did. See my releases here and here.

Announcing $2.5 Million Department of Justice Grant for Memphis

On Tuesday, I announced that the City of Memphis will be receiveing a Department of Justice grant of more than $2.5 million to address emergency needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The money can be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus with funding for law enforcement overtime pay; equipment; hiring; supplies such as gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer; training; travel expenses; and addressing the medical needs of inmates in jails and detention centers. The funding is timely and much needed. See my release about it here. On Thursday, Shelby County received $114,695 from the same program.

Holding My Weekly Press Conference to Update Constituents on Covid-19 Response

I have been conducting weekly press conferences by video and updated local reporters Tuesday on what I’m hearing will be in the next coronavirus bill. One reporter asked about Congress establishing a mail-in ballot for November’s general election, which I think would be a good idea. I also conducted one-on-one video interviews with several local and national reporters this week.

Sending Coronavirus Awareness and Response Guidance by Mail to Constituents

This week, I sent thousands of postcards with coronavirus awareness and response guidance to my constituents. I also sent the same message to constituents by email. Updates are posted at cohen.house.gov.

Cheering the Honorary Pulitzer Prize for Memphis Journalist Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was a crusading journalist whose anti-lynching campaign in The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight led to her presses being smashed and she herself being harassed out of town. I was so pleased to see Ms. Wells honored posthumously with a Pulitzer Prize, American journalism’s most prestigious award, on Monday. See the Pulitzer citation here.

Recognizing National Nurses Day and National Teacher Appreciation Week

On Wednesday, I thanked all our nation’s nurses for the courageous work they do and for their dedication and bravery during this ongoing pandemic. We can thank them for their sacrifices by staying home and preventing the spread of COVID-19. This was also National Teacher Appreciation Week and I thanked all our hard-working teachers, including those now working to teach students remotely because of this crisis.

Speaking with Alyssa Milano on “Sorry Not Sorry”

On Tuesday evening, I did a video interview with my friend the actress Alyssa Milano for her podcast “Sorry Not Sorry.” Ms. Milano was a witness when I chaired the first hearing in decades on the Equal Rights Amendment before the House Justice Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Right and Civil Liberties last year. In the interview Tuesday, we talked about the CARES Act, about my role in the impeachment of President Trump, the functions of the Subcommittee in addressing privacy issues, my proposal to repeal the Electoral College and a review of presidential pardon and emergency powers. We also talked about the great job Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing and about what it was like flying back for votes in Washington on almost-empty planes.

Cosponsoring a Bill to Prohibit Fossil Fuel Industry Bailouts with CARES Funds

On Tuesday, I joined several of my Congressional colleagues in cosponsoring the Resources for Workforce Investments, not Drilling (ReWIND) Act, which would prohibit Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding being used to bail out the fossil fuel industry. CARES Act money is intended to help us get through a public health crisis, not to make it easier for fossil fuel companies to drive us closer to climate catastrophe.

Expressing Regret at DeVos Education Department’s Title IX Rules on Sexual Misconduct Investigations

On Wednesday, I was disappointed to see Secretary Betsy DeVos weaken the Title IX rules in investigations of sexual misconduct on college campuses. I recently joined my colleagues in sending a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting report language in the Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill to ensure language would be included to prevent the Secretary of Education from implementing these harmful changes. I am also a cosponsor of the College Affordability Act which would bar Secretary DeVos from enforcing her new Title IX rule.

Weekly Health Tip

As I have the past several weeks, my tip is to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on the coronavirus pandemic: stay home; keep your distance from others; wear a mask when you go outside and wash your hands frequently for at least 25 seconds.

Quote of the Week

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” ― Ida B. Wells 
 
As always, I remain
Most sincerely,

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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress

 

 

 

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