Cooper Praises Funding for Nashville Courthouse in Omnibus Spending Bill
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) praised funding for a new federal courthouse in Nashville, culminating an effort that began when authorities deemed the existing courthouse “inadequate” more than two decades ago.
Cooper applauded Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for his leadership.
"Sen. Alexander was essential in our efforts, and I thank him for his leadership," Rep. Cooper said. "For safety reasons, Nashville has to have a new courthouse, and we've needed one for more than 20 years. This is a huge win for our city."
Cooper also acknowledged the efforts of former Rep. Bob Clement, an early and tenacious advocate for the project. And Cooper thanked Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Congress included the funding in an “omnibus” spending bill. Votes are expected later this week.
The existing Estes Kefauver Federal Courthouse was first judged “inadequate” in 1992, and Nashville tops the Judicial Conference’s national list of priorities for courthouse construction.
In 2002, the federal government purchased the downtown property on Church Street as the site of the new courthouse. About $25 million has been spent on the project, but additional studies and a recession have delayed construction. This year, for the first time, the project was a priority in President Obama’s budget.
Cooper was a founding member of the Congressional Courthouse Caucus, which was formed to address the urgent need for functional, secure courthouses that would be funded based on greatest need, rather than political influence.