Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

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

Jun 8, 2018 Press Release

Legislation Asserts Congress’ Right to Scrutinize Presidential Trade Actions, Including Tariffs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation that would require presidents to allow Congress to review proposed trade actions – such as tariffs – at least 60 days before the trade actions are scheduled to take effect.

Mar 28, 2018 Press Release
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.
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

EFFECTS OF A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

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.

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.