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

Apr 8, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) commended President Joe Biden’s executive actions to end gun violence by saying: “President Biden’s actions today will undoubtedly save lives, especially here in Middle Tennessee where our governor just signed a bill to allow the carrying of firearms without a permit,” Rep. Cooper said. “The House passed expanded background check bills last month that we still need the Senate to bring up for a vote.”

Apr 7, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) announced the U.S. Small Business Administration Shuttered Venues Operations Grant portal will open tomorrow, April 8, and venues that qualify can apply on the Small Business Administration’s website by clicking here.

Mar 23, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25) reintroduced the bipartisan bill, the Eliminate the Digital Divide Act. The bill addresses the digital divide by giving more internet access to more people who have been left behind at a time when they most need reliable broadband. 
The legislation requires the Federal Communications Commission to set up a new State Broadband program, which will provide funds to expand internet access to unserved areas. This includes more than 600,000 Tennesseans. 

Mar 22, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), along with United Neighborhood Health Services and Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, announced the award of two grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. United Neighborhood services will receive nearly $5 million and Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center will receive nearly $3 million. The grants are a continuation of funding for operations at the federally qualified health centers.

Mar 12, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) is one of the most exclusive and important committees in Congress. The Committee is charged with the oversight of intelligence activities and programs of the United States Intelligence Community.

Jan 21, 2021 Page

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Sent Tuesdays and Fridays, the IssueWatch newsletter focuses on easily readable and shareable summary of news on health care, national security, budgetary policy, the environment and other issues of interest to Middle Tennesseans. Find the most recent newsletters below:

Jan 3, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) was sworn-in to serve in the 117th United States Congress.

Shortly after being sworn-in, Cooper re-introduced the following three bills to ensure the voting process is fair and equitable for all Americans.

Dec 27, 2020 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Yesterday Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) along with Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn, sent a letter to President Trump asking him to approve Governor Bill Lee’s disaster declaration for Tennessee.

Dec 9, 2020 Press Release

NASHVILLE – Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) along with Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) announced their bipartisan Taxpayers-Right-to-Know Act is part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference agreement that will be heading to the President for his approval.