Budget and Economy

As you know, I’ve spent decades talking about these issues. Nobody wants to admit how bad our financial situation is. I try to be honest and tell people where things really stand. In fact, I've been called everything from  “A Budget Cassandra”  to a Fiscal Hero to “Mr. Fiscal Responsibility” and “Dr. Doom” because I am such a fierce advocate for balanced and honest federal budgeting.

The federal government doesn’t even use real accounting. Washington is the only accounting-free zone left in America. I have been talking about this for years and even wrote a foreword to the Treasury Department’s 2005 Financial Report.

I was one of the first Members to reject earmarks. I've also introduced bipartisan bills to eliminate wasteful spending and prevent agencies from duplicating programs that already exist. The main ideas behind my No Budget, No Pay Act, which would stop paying Congress if it fails to pass our budget and spending bills on time, became the law of the land in early 2013. It was only temporary but it worked. We need to make it permanent law.

Even though we are piling on unbelievable debt right now, this is no time to count the pennies. It’s really unprecedented that Congress responded so quickly and so unanimously by passing four bills to address COVID-19, including the largest relief package ever. This is what is needed to help America recover and begin healing--even the Federal Reserve Chairman has said we need additional relief, which may be costly but worth it to avoid long-term economic damage. The only thing that matters right now is defeating a dangerous virus, helping the people and small businesses that are hurting and financially at the end of their rope, and rescuing our economy.

Links & Additional Information

Fiscal Five Minutes by the Peterson Foundation

What is the Debt Ceiling?

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

House Budget Committee

Financial Report of the United States from the Department of the Treasury

Current U.S. Debt

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Calculate Your Tax Receipt


More on Budget and Economy

Oct 19, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE - Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today spoke at the State of Tennessee’s Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Redistricting, again calling on lawmakers to keep Nashville whole.

Cooper spoke at the House Select Committee on Redistricting last month.

Sep 9, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) yesterday spoke at the State of Tennessee’s Select Committee on Redistricting inaugural meeting, calling on lawmakers to keep Nashville whole.

Aug 17, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced Tennessean Christopher Jerrolds re-joined his staff as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Aug 11, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced components of his Don’t BLock Our Communities (D-BLOC) Act are included in the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate yesterday.

Aug 10, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) released the following statement on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that just passed the Senate:


Jul 30, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced the rebranding of his IssueWatch project, formerly a twice-weekly online newsletter dedicated to Middle Tennesseans interested in important congressional updates and other major news items.  

Jul 29, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced $4,796,812 has been included for American Baptist College, Meharry Medical School and Jefferson Street Interstate Cap in the seven-bill spending package that passed the House.  

For the first time in more than a decade members of Congress have been able to submit specific requests for their districts, known as Community Project Funding, to be included in the spending package. Cooper’s approved projects would go to the following:

Jun 4, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Yesterday Rep.

Jun 4, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced his legislative strategy for solving the problem of trains parking on railroad crossings on busy commuter roads. He and his office have received countless complaints from Nashvillians who report that local trains are parking for much longer periods of time than ever before on busy roads, preventing car and truck traffic from getting to and from work, dealing with emergencies, or shopping for groceries.

May 18, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Following President Joe Biden’s Major Disaster Declaration for several counties in Tennessee, individuals in Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson counties impacted by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding from March 25-April 3 of this year may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration.