Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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Government Reform


We live in the greatest nation on earth, and my job is to make sure we preserve America’s promise for future generations. I’m a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), the main investigative body in the House, and I focus extensively on government reform issues.

My "Fixing Congress" speech in 2011 helped to launch a series of reform measures to cut government waste and eliminate, increase transparency and make the government work better for its citizens. I’m a founding member of the “Fix Congress Now” and “No Labels” groups and have been named a “Problem-Solver” for my commitment to working across the aisle and putting nation before party.

One of my proposed reforms, “No Budget, No Pay” is now the law of the land, and more reform efforts are underway including the launch of a major bipartisan reform package in July. One of my efforts to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs was approved by the 113th Congress as a rules measure.  I’ve also introduced bipartisan legislation requiring federal agencies to produce an annual a list of their programs and submit it to the Office of Management and Budget so we can identify additional duplicative efforts.

We need more accountability and transparency in our nation’s finances. The Consolidated Financial Report of the United States Government is the most important government financial document because it shows a real picture of our nation’s finances, but most folks don’t even know it exists. It is the only government document that includes liabilities like Medicare and Social Security that are on the country's "credit card" for future payment, and it’s published every year by the Treasury. In 2006, I wrote a foreword to the Financial Report which was published, along with the full report text, and available in bookstores across America. A subcommittee of OGR held a hearing on the 2011 report, and you can watch video of my comments here.

As one of the first members to reject earmarks, I am glad that we again have a ban on earmarks this Congress. But we need a permanent fix, and that's why I'm working on legislation to completely end the practice.

I also continue to support redistricting reform and was proud once again to introduce the Redistricting Transparency Act, which would curb the practice of gerrymandering by letting the public participate in the Congressional redistricting process.

Links & Additional Information

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. Government Accountability Office


Financial Report of the United States Government


More on Government Reform

Apr 18, 2018 Press Release

More Than 3,000 New Voters Across Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced results after this year’s 42 nonpartisan voter registration drives at high schools across Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, encouraging more than 3,000 new voters in Cheatham, Davidson and Dickson counties to participate in the 2018 election cycle.

Some of the results of this effort were unveiled recently at the Youth Opportunity Center in Nashville.

Mar 28, 2018 Press Release

Cooper, Rice, Budd, Norman: Our Bill Would Ban Earmarks Forever
Pet Projects Don’t Belong in Congressional Budgets

WASHINGTON – Fighting a push to resurrect pork-barrel federal spending, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04), U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13) and U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05) today announced bipartisan legislation that would permanently ban earmarks from the legislative process.

Mar 17, 2018 Press Release

NASHVILLE — Amid reports that President Trump’s lawyer wants a premature end to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s active investigation, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) defended the probe, urging Congress to protect Mueller so he can finish examining Russian interference in American affairs.

“Republicans must join Democrats and move to protect Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation,” Rep. Cooper said. “Americans deserve the whole truth. Anything less corrodes our democracy. The investigation must be allowed to continue.”

Feb 6, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today applauded House passage of two anti-sexual harassment bills, saying it’s a long-overdue step to ensure appropriate conduct in the halls of Congress.

Both bipartisan bills were introduced as the #MeToo movement swept over Capitol Hill, exposing numerous harassment cases among lawmakers and staff.

Jan 19, 2018 Press Release


A list of government agencies and how you might be affected during a shutdown.

Oct 11, 2017 Page

Project Register logo

May 17, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Joining every Democratic member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) sent a detailed letter to the committees’ Republican chairmen outlining a request for an immediate and robust investigation into the recent actions of President Trump and other administration officials.

This week’s request for a thorough probe of the administration came on the heels of a brief period during which President Trump:

Jan 27, 2017 Press Release

NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced his IssueWatch project, a twice-weekly online newsletter dedicated to Middle Tennesseans interested in important congressional updates and other major happenings in Washington.

Jan 27, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today reintroduced two bills that would stop the private practice of gerrymandering and unmask the secretive congressional redistricting process so all Americans can participate.

Jan 25, 2017 Page

Knowledge is power, but it’s never been more important to stay informed. Sign-up for IssueWatch, a twice-weekly online newsletter dedicated to Middle Tennesseans interested in following important congressional news and other major happenings in Washington.