Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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Children and Families


From educating our children to promoting fair environments for working mothers, policies that strengthen our families are the most important investments we can make for the future of our country.

Education is the basis of a child’s future. We need to look at ways to improve outcomes of students and support teachers and staff who are committed to providing the best education possible. It was an honor to support Tennessee’s Race to the Top Grant in 2010. We’re already seeing promising results from this incredible opportunity for Tennessee. Secretary of State Arne Duncan even called Tennessee’s results “remarkable.” But we still have more work to do to ensure every child has a chance at a good education. Higher education is also important in our global society, and I support policies to help keep college affordable. If you know someone considering college, encourage them to visit my Student Financial Aid Center.

Women are vital to today’s workforce, and we need to do a better job promoting equality in the workplace. Gender should never affect compensation; most Americans believe in equal pay for equal work and an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. Unfortunately, women today make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and in some states the discrepancy is worse. Women and men need to be compensated fairly and equally. That's why I co-sponsored and voted for the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which became law in 2009. I am also a cosponsor of both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equal Rights Amendment to help end discrimination in this country on the basis of gender, race and sexual orientation. I’m also a co-sponsor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. This bill would allow common-sense accommodations so that pregnant workers can protect their families and not risk losing their jobs.

Another major challenge we face for the future is reforming our foster care system—a system that I believe is the most broken area of federal law. I’ve supported many bills and laws to improve outcomes in foster care and am working on a book about these issues. I’m also a long-time and current Advisory Board member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Though Congress has made some progress on these issues, it has been largely incremental. America’s abused and neglected children are our greatest national tragedy, and we need the ideas of a new generation of reformers to solve these serious problems. Middle Tennessee has some of the finest foster care and adoption advocates, and it’s an honor to recognize our local “Angels in Adoption” every year in Washington. I remain committed to work with our local “Angels” and my colleagues on foster care and adoption reforms that lie ahead.

Links & Additional Information

Savings and Ownership Caucus (New America Institute)

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute

Head Start

TN Score


More on Children and Families

Apr 8, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper expressed support on Equal Pay Day for passing the critical Paycheck Fairness Act and closing the wage gap that still exists between women and men.Paycheck Fairness Act

Mar 6, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced today that he is cosponsoring legislation that would address an alarming increase in military sexual assaults by moving the response to such crimes outside the chain of command.

Feb 27, 2014

Welcome to our #coopergraphics page. No fancy graphic designers here, just a staff trying to make infographics about what's going on in Congress. We're always looking for new ideas, so send us an e-mail if you have suggestions or questions.

Taxpayers' Right to Know: My bill on duplicative programs passed the House on February 25, 2014. Check out the full GAO report on Duplication & Cost Savings here.

Oct 18, 2013
Press Release

NASHVILLE – On Saturday, Oct. 19, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) will host an information session for middle and high school students interested in America's service academies.

Cooper's annual Academy Day presentation is designed to connect prospective students and their families with educational opportunities available at the service academies.

Representatives from the following will be in attendance:

• U.S. Military Academy
• U.S. Naval Academy
• U.S. Air Force Academy
• U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Oct 2, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today issued the following statement about the government shutdown:

May 28, 2013
Press Release

Rep. Jim Cooper recently signed on as a co-sponsor to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job.

While most working pregnant women do not encounter discrimination at work, some are faced with work environments that put their pregnancies at risk. This bill would encourage employers to make reasonable and temporary  accommodations, like letting a pregnant worker use a stool rather than stand for hours, to allow pregnant women to continue working safely.

Apr 11, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement that First Lady Michelle Obama will be the commencement speaker at Martin Luther King Magnet School’s graduation in May:

“I’m sorry I couldn’t attend today’s announcement because of votes in Washington, but it’s wonderful that the First Lady will be speaking at one of our best schools. This is a testament to MLK, its teachers and its students. I am very proud of and excited for them.”

Jan 23, 2013
Press Release

Rep. Jim Cooper, others watching how Tennessee deals with DCS
The Tennessean
January 23, 2013
By Tony Gonzales

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper calls the inability of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to protect children and meet federal standards “embarrassing” and “tragic.”

Dec 14, 2012
Press Release

NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) released the following statement in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School today:

“I’m appalled that a season of joy has turned into one of horror for the community of Newtown. Children and teachers should be safe when they’re in school. I hope we all will hold our kids closer tonight and think about what we, as adults, can do to stop tragedies like this.”