One of the main responsibilities of Congress is to determine how taxpayer dollars are distributed throughout the nation. I work hard to make sure that programs that will help the Ninth District receive adequate funding. It is important that we ensure economic security for hard-working American families and small businesses by providing adequate funding for our nation’s transportation projects, Social Security and Medicare, and medical research.

I am proud to have supported budgets that prioritize job creation, financing public investments, strengthening the middle and working classes, and raising adequate revenue to meet budgetary needs while simultaneously restoring fairness to the tax code, protecting social insurance programs, and ensuring fiscal sustainability for years to come.  

Public Investments

In 2015, I voted in favor of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which secured funding for important government programs, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  It extended the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) through 2019, delayed the implementation of the “Cadillac Tax” until 2020, and made additional investments in Head Start and early childhood development, among many other provisions. Also, I am proud to have secured an extra $4 million in the budget to help reduce the backlog of untested rape kits in Memphis.

In 2014, I supported the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) budget when it was offered as a substitute to the Republican Budget. The CPC budget would have made significant investments aimed at getting Americans back to work. These investments would have created jobs, repaired and modernized our nation’s roads, bridges, and water infrastructure, fostered investment in teachers and schools, and provided training programs for the nation’s unemployed.

Protecting Medicare and Social Security

I have consistently voted to protect funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security to ensure that these programs remain solvent for future generations. I will not vote to make severe cuts to these programs because I believe that given our current economic climate it would be inhumane of us to not provide aid to those individuals who need it the most.

Scale Back Tax Cuts

While I wish to see the United States return to a fiscally responsible budget, I do not believe that we should attempt to balance our budget by asking the poor and the middle class to contribute more than wealthier Americans. I continue to believe that the only realistic way to balance our nation's budget is to scale back needless business subsidies and end the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. By requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share we could put America on track for a balanced budget without putting a burden on the middle class.  

More on Budget

October 12, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today voted for, and the House passed, a temporary increase to the debt limit so that the United States can meet its obligation to creditors through at least early December. The vote followed Senate action last week. The measure now goes to the president to be signed into law.

The party-line vote on passage was 219 to 206.

September 29, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) tonight voted for, and the House passed, a suspension of the nation’s debt ceiling through December 2022, assuring the full faith and credit of the United States and preventing a Republican-caused economic crisis.

The vote on passage was 219 to 212.

August 24, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today voted for a rule that advances major elements of the Biden-Harris “Build Back Better” infrastructure plan. The rule also set annual budget targets for 2022 through 2031 and sends the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the floor for a vote later today. 


February 10, 2021 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, participated in a daylong markup to consider legislative proposals to comply with the reconciliation directive included in section 2001 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2021, S. Con. Res. 5. The proposal includes nearly $100 billion to support transportation workers and communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Congressman Cohen voted for the measure in Committee this evening.

December 20, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) will vote for tonight’s Continuing Resolution to provide an additional 24 hours for finalizing the compromise negotiators have achieved, and made the following statement:

October 1, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) tonight voted for the updated Heroes Act, which contains many of the provisions he has fought hard to have included in the measure addressing our ongoing health and economic catastrophe to protect lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy. The $2.2 trillion measure is a scaled down version of the Heroes Act the House passed on May 15 but which the Senate has so far failed to consider.

Tonight’s vote on passage was 214 to 207.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

December 17, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today voted for one of two comprehensive spending measures funding federal government programs through the end of fiscal year in September 2020. Both measures passed the House, averting another government shutdown. The measure the Congressman supported provides a record high level of spending on the National Institutes of Health, Child Care and Community Development Block Grants, Head Start, Title 1 Education, and Food for Peace. 

June 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) applauded House passage of his amendment to the State and Foreign Operations spending bill that would prohibit certain federal departments and agencies from spending taxpayer dollars at Trump-owned businesses. The vote was 231 to 187.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

April 4, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, led a letter to House Appropriation Committee leaders, signed by 40 of his House colleagues, asking them to include language prohibiting the use of federal funds at businesses owned in whole or in part by President Trump in the annual spending bills for the next fiscal year beginning October 1. See the full letter here.

March 25, 2019 In The News

Recently, I testified before the House Budget Committee to advocate for a people-oriented budget that would build a stronger and healthier nation. If our budget is to truly reflect our values, it is time to significantly increase non-defense spending to combat compelling needs at home.