Government Reform

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.

One of my proposed reforms, “No Budget, No Pay” became law of the land in 2013. It was only temporary but it worked. We need to make it permanent.

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 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

Oct 19, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE - Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today spoke at the State of Tennessee’s Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Redistricting, again calling on lawmakers to keep Nashville whole.

Cooper spoke at the House Select Committee on Redistricting last month.

Sep 23, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE  Today Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), along with the Veteran Service Organization Operation Stand Down Tennessee, announced a $2.1 million federal grant under the Veteran’s Administration Grant and Per Diem (GPD) program.

Sep 21, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) introduced a bill to rename the United States Post Office located at 2245 Rosa L Parks Blvd. in Nashville to honor the late State Senator Thelma Harper.

Sep 9, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE  This morning Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) submitted his concerns in the federal comment period for TennCare III, Tennessee’s controversial Medicaid block grant, and urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to renegotiate a new waiver that is in the best interest of Tennesseans.

Sep 9, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) yesterday spoke at the State of Tennessee’s Select Committee on Redistricting inaugural meeting, calling on lawmakers to keep Nashville whole.

Aug 30, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON  Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), along with Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3) and Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07), introduced the Rosa Parks Day Act. The bill would honor civil rights leader Rosa Parks by designating a new federal holiday. Nashvillian Moses Fisher, Jr. proposed the idea to Cooper and has championed it very effectively.

Aug 17, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced Tennessean Christopher Jerrolds re-joined his staff as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Aug 11, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced components of his Don’t BLock Our Communities (D-BLOC) Act are included in the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate yesterday.

Aug 10, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) released the following statement on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that just passed the Senate:


Jul 30, 2021 Press Release

NASHVILLE Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced the rebranding of his IssueWatch project, formerly a twice-weekly online newsletter dedicated to Middle Tennesseans interested in important congressional updates and other major news items.