Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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Government Reform

Overview

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

Recovery.Gov

Financial Report of the United States Government
 


 

More on Government Reform

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.

Jan 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced he is co-sponsoring the Protecting Our Democracy Act, a bill that would compel Congress to create a bipartisan, independent commission to examine foreign interference – specifically by Russia – in the 2016 election.

Jan 4, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), working with U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07), today announced House passage of his first bill of the new congressional session. The bill will provide Americans with more information on how tax dollars are spent.

Cleared without opposition in the House today, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act also unanimously passed the House in the last two sessions of Congress.

Dec 8, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and other members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today called for an investigation related to an internal Pentagon study that identified $125 billion in potential savings, but never saw the light of day.

Nov 28, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to Chairman Jason Chaffetz requesting an immediate review of President-elect Donald Trump’s financial arrangements.

In August, OGR Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz pledged to hold the next President-elect accountable, no matter who is in the White House saying his “job is to hold them accountable and provide that oversight.”

Jul 7, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) today participated in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing focused on FBI Director James Comey. A video of Cooper’s comments can be found here, and his full statement is below.
 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Director Comey.
 
Jan 14, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House this week passed a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) and U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) that would require the federal government to highlight ways to eliminate duplicative programs.

Cleared without opposition in the House this week, the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act also unanimously passed the House in the last session of Congress. The bill would compel each federal agency to publish an annual report card for every program.