Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee


With the 164th Airlift Wing and the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington both within Tennessee's Ninth Congressional District, defense and military policy play a significant role in our community.

We need to support our troops with sufficient funding so that they have access to adequate equipment and receive necessary training. I believe that the best way to protect our troops is to bring them home. 

My votes for strict timelines for withdrawal from both Afghanistan and Iraq corresponded with the hundreds of responses I heard from people in the Ninth Congressional District.

The National Guard has been stretched too thin by extended tours overseas. Their primary function is to respond to emergencies within the United States. I believe they should be readily available to respond when needed during catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina.

As your Congressman, I worked to pass the following Defense-related bills:

In 2015, introduced the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 4246).  This bill, which was signed into law by President Obama on December 18, 2015, ensures that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves who fall on hard economic times after their military service will continue to obtain bankruptcy relief without having to fill out the substantial paperwork required by the so-called "means test" under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The bill extends the existing “means test” exception until 2019.

H.R.1046, the Honor the Written Intent of our Soldier Heroes Act (Honor the WISH Act), which allows our servicemembers to designate any person to direct disposition of their remains.  The text of this bill was included in an amendment of H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. Previously, our servicemembers were limited to designating spouses and blood relatives.  With the complexities of families today, I believe a servicemember who is willing to sacrifice their life to be trusted with the decision of who can oversee something as simple, meaningful, and final as making their funeral arrangements.  I am pleased that this language was included in the NDAA and became law.

Additionally, I voted in favor of:

  • H.R. 5136, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2011
  • H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2010
  • S. 3001, the FY 2009 Defense Authorization, representing a House-Senate agreement on the bill
  • H.R. 4986, the 2008 Defense Authorization Act
  • H.R. 3222, the 2008 Defense Appropriation Act, which provided the funding for the military needs that were included in the 2008 Defense Authorization Act

More on Defense

February 24, 2017 Enewsletters

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November 20, 2015 Enewsletters

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November 19, 2015 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement regarding allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.

October 28, 2015 Press Release

[Washington, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) joined 265 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues in voting for H.R. 1314, the bipartisan budget package, to help avert a fiscal crisis, boost spending caps, protect seniors, and raise the debt ceiling.

October 22, 2015 Press Release

[Washington, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement regarding the House Benghazi Select Committee’s hearing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

July 20, 2015 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressmen Scott DesJarlais, M.D. (TN-04) and Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced their bipartisan Enhancing Safety at Military Installations Act with the support of the entire Tennessee House Delegation. This legislation would require the Department of Defense to issue a directive permitting members of the Armed Forces who have received firearms training and are authorized to use firearms to carry military-issued firearms on bases and recruitment facilities.

June 11, 2015 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Late last night, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) aided the passage of an amendment he cosponsored to help limit the risk of taxpayer dollars being wasted or stolen in Afghanistan. The amendment to the FY2016 Department of Defense Appropriations bill, which was also cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (MI-07), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) and David Cicilline (RI-01), would prohibit additional funds from being used on projects supported by the Afghan Infrastructure Fund. The Afghan Infrastructure Fund, which is managed by the U.S.

May 25, 2015 Press Release

[MEMPHIS, TN] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) released the following statement today to recognize Memorial Day, which will be observed on Monday, May 25th, 2015:

“This Memorial Day and all others, we pay tribute to the memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our nation and our liberty. We should all take a moment to reflect on their selfless courage, commitment to our country, and the sacrifice they and their families made to keep us safe. I encourage all Memphians to keep our nation’s heroes in their thoughts.”