Budget and Economy
The biggest crisis our nation faces is our fiscal future, and we must act soon to start solving these problems.
As you know, I’ve spent decades talking about these issues. 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. I've served on the Budget and the Oversight and Government Reform Committees and used my position in the fiscally responsible Blue Dog Coalition to advocate for making the hard choices that lead to balanced budgets: cutting spending, closing tax loopholes and being upfront with taxpayers about how the federal government spends their money.
I was one of the first Members to reject earmarks. I've also supported a balanced budget amendment, voted for across-the-board spending cuts and worked to reinstate "pay-as-you-go" rules into law. I've 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. I also have a bill to stop congressional pay if we default.
I will also continue to push for a replacement for sequestration. These are thoughtless cuts, not surgical ones, and only go into effect because Congress failed to pass a comprehensive debt reduction plan. Sequestration was designed by Congress to force action on reducing our national debt. It was never intended as good fiscal policy. So far, only one bipartisan and balanced budget has been introduced in Congress that's big enough to address our problems – theSimpson-Bowles budget alternative that I introduced in 2012. Although it didn't win the support of the majority in Congress, it was praised by budget experts and newspapers all over the country as a serious effort that would actually work.
We need citizens, business leaders and elected officials to work together to protect the future of our nation. From debt ceiling debates to fiscal cliffs, I believe delay is never an option. Every day we wait adds $8 billion to our debt, delays the creation of millions of private-sector jobs and risks additional downgrades of our credit rating. The U.S. already lost its AAA credit rating in 2011 due to congressional mismanagement, creating upward pressure on interest rates. Tragically, Congress has become a risk factor.
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
WASHINGTON – Of the three bills that Rep. Jim Cooper has been pushing to help the Nashville tourist economy recover, two are included in the $2.2 trillion relief package that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is offering the White House and the U.S. Senate.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today introduced an amendment to permit the Old Hickory Dam and Cordell Hull Dam, both upstream of Nashville, to include flood risk management as one of their authorized purposes.
“Nashville was hit hard by a devastating flood a decade ago,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “By allowing the Old Hickory and Cordell Hull dams to be used for flood risk management we mitigate the chance of future flooding.”
NASHVILLE – At a press conference this morning, Rep. Jim Cooper announced how CARES Act funds were allocated in Davidson, Dickson, and Cheatham Counties. The $2.5 trillion CARES Act is the largest relief bill in U.S. history. It was signed into law in March but there has been little transparency on how funds were distributed within congressional districts despite congressional efforts to monitor the funds.
NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) released the following statement about the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, H.R. 6800, which is expected to pass the House tonight:
NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) released the following statement after he voted for the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, H.R. 266, which passed the House today:
NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced new resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic are now available on his website here.
U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced he is introducing legislation to give more independence to Inspectors General and allow them to do their jobs without fear of political retribution.
The bill, named the Inspectors General Independence Act, establishes seven-year terms for Inspectors General and protects them from politically-motivated firings by only allowing for removal for cause. This comes on the heels of President Trump’s removal of seven Inspectors General—including the one tasked with oversight of the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief funds.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) made the following statement after H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed the House by voice vote:
“Coronavirus is an unprecedented pandemic, and this is an unprecedented bill. It is the largest economic relief bill passed in America’s history, Rep. Cooper said. “It is important that Congress acted quickly so we can help people and businesses who are struggling. Now the administration needs to get the money out the door fast to help everyone through this crisis.”
NASHVILLE – Following the tornadoes in Tennessee earlier this week, the president has approved Tennessee’s request for Major Disaster Declaration. FEMA released the information below and attached.
State of Tennessee
Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet
March 5, 2020