Budget and Economy

Overview

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

May 15, 2020 Press Release

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:

Apr 23, 2020 Press Release

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:

Apr 10, 2020 Press Release

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.

Apr 9, 2020 Press Release

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.

Mar 27, 2020 Press Release

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.”

Mar 18, 2020 Page

 

COVID-19 Testing & Treatment

Federal law requires that all private insurance plans cover coronavirus testing without deductibles, coinsurance, or co-pays. Insurers also have to cover fees for visits to the ER, an urgent care center, or a doctor’s office associated with getting a test without cost sharing.

Cheatham County Testing Sites (Call before visiting)

Mar 6, 2020 Press Release

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

Feb 5, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed H.R. 3830, The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act. Rep Jim Cooper (TN-05) and Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) reintroduced the measure last session.

Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). Cooper’s Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act has now passed the House four times, but the Senate has never passed the bill.

Dec 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) issued the following statement on his decision to vote to charge President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress:

Jul 22, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) joined Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to reintroduce H.R. 3830, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act. The bipartisan bill, which passed the House in each of the last three Congresses, would provide Americans with more information on how federal tax dollars are being spent and help eliminate duplicative and wasteful government programs.