U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) this week voted for a seven-bill “minibus” that he said increases spending for several government social programs.

The bill increases spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and other school nutrition programs. Cohen said in a press release that the money also increases spending on the Small Business Administration, consumer protection agencies, veterans affairs and veterans medical services.

Cohen said the bill also includes funding for many of his highest priority community project requests.

The bill passed 219 to 208, the press release said.

“In Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District, 24,000 youths and 153,000 adults are eligible to receive federally funded job training. House Democrats’ appropriations bill provides $3.1 billion in WIOA funds for job training for disadvantaged youths and adults, and for assistance to dislocated workers, an 8.8 percent increase over 2021. This increase would provide $395,000 in additional WIOA funds for job training in the district. The additional funds support middle class and working families by helping youths and adults obtain good-paying jobs,” the press release said.

“Additionally, the House Democrats’ appropriations bill provides $36 billion in Title I funds, a 118 percent increase over 2021. This increase would provide $78.1 million in additional funding for schools in Tennessee’s 9th District to support children at risk of failing out of school. An estimated 92,000 children benefited from federal Title I education funding in the District in 2021, including 33,000 children living in poverty, receiving monthly Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or in foster care or delinquency.”

Among the approved community project requests included in the appropriations package is $3 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve the Tom Lee Park along the Mississippi River waterfront. That money is included in the Energy and Water appropriations bill, the press release said.

“Congressman Cohen secured $750,000 for the Memphis ReStart Initiative, a multi-faceted small business development program that includes leadership training for black managers, entrepreneurs and business owners, and identifies opportunities for Black businesses to thrive,” the press release said.

“The program is led by the Black Business Association of Memphis and the funding was included in the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected].