U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, (D-TN-09), reportedly wants Congressional hearings to discuss slavery reparations, according to The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
No one in Cohen’s office returned The Tennessee Star’s request for comment Tuesday.
Former Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves in most states in the country more than 156 years ago. ( A Constitutional amendment ended slavery in all states a few years later.)
According to The Commercial Appeal, Cohen is working with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, on the matter.
“He said her bill calls for a study of reparations, not the actual reparations themselves, and that he’d like to invite writers such as Ta-Nahisi Coates, Jelani Cobb, and Michelle Alexander to give testimony,” according to the paper, quoting Cohen.
“The concept of reparations has been around for decades. But hearings on the subject are far more possible now that last year’s midterm elections gave the Democrats control of Congress once again, Cohen told a small group of people at a ‘Congress on your corner’ event at the Randolph Branch Library near Summer Avenue on Friday.”
Cohen has stayed busy ever since his party retook the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives,
As The Star reported this month, Cohen co-sponsored the controversial Green New Deal, saying “it contains a full employment initiative and investments in a transition to sustainable, non-carbon sources of energy.”
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released the resolution that’s become a central part of the Democratic agenda, including backing from 2020 candidates.
The “Green New Deal” resolution calls for “10-year national mobilizations” towards a series of goals aimed at fighting global warming, according to a copy of the bill obtained by NPR. A separate fact-sheet claims the plan would “mobilize every aspect of American society on a scale not seen since World War 2.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s non-binding resolution calls for a variety of social justice and welfare state goals, including “a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security” and “high-quality health care” benefits for Americans.
As reported, Cohen lost his temper at a news conference in Memphis in 2013 when Tennessee Watchdog asked former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius what she would say to people whose health insurance costs doubled or tripled due to Obamacare. Cohen has also said Tea Party supporters are no different than arsonists and compared Republicans to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels for opposing Obamacare.
He also said the Ebola virus would mutate into a Biblical-style plague that would devastate Tennessee— unless state Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly complied fully with Obamacare and expanded Medicaid.