Another week has passed with Rep. Steve Cohen once again telling us what a great job he did for us in D.C.
First, he’s fighting for the unemployed. He’s fighting not to get them employment; he’s fighting to get them more government money. That’s a good vote getter, much better than working on a climate that encourages businesses in our community which in turn promotes hiring.
At the end of last year, unemployment insurance expired for more than a million Americans. Since then, House Republican leaders have blocked multiple attempts to bring up legislation to extend this critical lifeline. People who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own shouldn’t have to wait another day for Speaker Boehner to allow a vote on their unemployment benefits. The more than 31,000 Tennesseans who rely on the unemployment insurance program to put food on their tables and pay their rent need Congress to act immediately. That’s why I joined my colleagues in signing a “discharge petition” that—if a majority of the House signs—will force Speaker Boehner to stop blocking a vote on unemployment insurance and allow the House to have its say.
What if a person did lose his job through a “fault of his own”? Does this never happen in Cohenland? Evidently not. Instead, it’s Speaker Boehner and the evil GOP’s fault. Is the government really the one to put food on the table and pay their rent? Evidently Cohen believes so. This paragraph tells you a lot about this man’s thinking.
Next he was on to President Obama’s taking the law into his own hand – and businesses, too – to increase overtime pay. Cohen refers to it as “expanding opportunity to all.” Is this really opportunity or opportunistic?
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced a plan to help make sure millions of people who work overtime are paid a fair wage for a hard day’s work. Today, eighty-eight percent of salaried workers don’t qualify for overtime protections because they make more than $455/week—a wage that would leave a family of four in poverty. The President’s announcement is another step in his effort to ensure that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules gets an opportunity to succeed. I applaud the President for this announcement and look forward to working with him to make sure that all Memphis families have a fair shot at success.
There’s a lot more to this than bumping up overtime because companies can find a lot of ways to avoid it. Or they can fire people. This is just a feel good move by the Dems.
Having interfered with federal matters, Cohen decides he has a right to inject himself into state ones.
He’s on a tear about Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise proposal and lauds the General Assembly for deferring the vote. He is afraid it will siphon money from his “successful Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program.” He says it will create a “huge new government program.”
Now that criticism is rich, considering Cohen’s love for huge government programs. Of course he wants to protect the Hope scholarships. He worked 17 years to get this, which I rightly agree is a “tax on the poor” to fruition.
Cohen then goes on to say he’s busy “ensuring Memphians get the tax returns they deserve. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is too important for people to overlook, and everyone who is eligible should claim it when filing their taxes. But historically, eligible taxpayers in Memphis and Shelby County have not taken full advantage of the program—last year alone, as much as $70 million in potential tax credits were left on the table by area taxpayers.”
What about those of us who consider we pay way more taxes than we need to and get zero for it? Roads are crumbling, security is lax, national defense concerns have been shelved and education is a mess. Instead, we get studies about these things, shrimps on treadmills and Vegas vacations for IRS employees. Why not check into the abuse, Rep. Cohen?
As a good Democrat (and isn’t he a model one?), Cohen says he joined efforts on the floor of the House to debate “the so-called ‘ENFORCE the Law Act,’ which is yet another one of the Republicans’ attempts to distract the American people from real issues by attacking President and the Affordable Care Act. It would allow just one chamber of the legislative branch to sue the President without approval of the other chamber if it believes the President hasn’t properly enforced the law, even though the Constitution gives him wide discretion on how best to implement laws. This legislation is just a show to give those on the other side of the aisle another reason to attack the President for doing his job.”
Funny how differently the Dems acted when GWB was in office. Do you get the underlying code in his diatribe, too? (Psst! Republicans are racists who hate the president because he’s black.)
Cohen follows that up with an appeal to get people to enroll in the ACA. Good luck with that! Then there is the obligatory suck up. This time it’s “congratulating the Minority Business Development Council on its 45th Anniversary.”
I look forward to the spring break when these guys go home for a while!