Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Foreign Affairs

Iran Nuclear Deal

I voted for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (H.R. 1191), which passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2015.  This bill gave Congress 60 days to review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) before conducting a vote of disapproval.  The JCPOA is an historic agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  After carefully reviewing the JCPOA and listening to constituents who oppose and support the agreement as well as speaking personally with President Obama and Secretary Kerry about the agreement, meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Dan Baer, attending classified briefings and meetings with officials at the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency while on official travel, and speaking with Asian officials and diplomats, I voted to approve the JCPOA as a diplomatic way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and avoid possible military action.  

U.S. Helsinki Commission

I am the Commissioner of the Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, which seeks to improve security by promoting human rights, democracy, and cooperation on economic, environmental and military issues in 57 countries.  As a Commissioner, I have attended numerous hearings, briefings and meetings on these issues in Washington, DC, participated in the 2015 Annual Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and has traveled to Helsinki member states on official travel to meet with foreign elected officials.

Cuban Relations

I have long supported normalizing U.S. relations with Cuba.  I supported President Obama’s steps to normalize relations with Cuba and has cosponsored the Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act (H.R. 635), the Export Freedom to Cuba Act (H.R. 634) and the Free Trade With Cuba Act (H.R. 403).  These bills aim to lift restrictions on exports of agriculture and medical goods to Cuba, ease travel restrictions to and from Cuba for U.S. citizens or legal residents, and repeal the embargo on trade with Cuba, respectively.  I have also written to the Cuban government in support of medical diplomacy with Memphis health institutions.

Syrian Refugees and Immigration Restriction

I have been remained adamantly opposed to President Trump’s anti refugee and immigration rhetoric. In a time when millions are suffering, it is our duty as Americans to find ways to help, not to isolate ourselves. For this reason, I have done all that I can to counteract President Trump’s refugee ban including cosponsoring the  Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act (H.R. 724) to prohibit the use of federal funds from being used to implement President Trump’s ban. I have also signed on to a letter urging federal departments to comply with the 9th circuit court of appeals decision to overturn the travel ban that would have prevented people from several countries, including Syria, to travel to the U.S.


Israel has been our closest friend and ally in the Middle East since 1948 when the U.S. became the first country to recognize the establishment of the Jewish state.  Our nearly seven decades long relationship has contributed to the national security of both of our countries and remains as important today as it was during the tumultuous first 20 years of Israel’s existence.  This is why the safety, security and right of Israel to exist as a democratic Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state has been my focus when considering any legislation or actions pertaining to Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  

More on Foreign Affairs

July 16, 2018 Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) condemned the disgraceful and embarrassing comments by President Trump after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Trump’s remarks accepting the Russian’s denial of election meddling is an attack on American democracy.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

July 11, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN), a Member of the bicameral U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (known as The Helsinki Commission), was pleased that the House of Representatives today passed his bipartisan resolution expressing support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance and reaffirming the sovereignty of our partners in Central and Eastern Europe. The text of the resolution, introduced in April 2017, can be found here.

May 8, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) condemned in the strongest terms President Trump’s wrongheaded decision today to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated with our closest allies and warned that it makes the world less safe. He made the following statement:

April 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today recognized Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with his Congressional colleagues. Congressman Cohen recalled that, at the urging of his friend and constituent Ira Lipman, he sponsored and passed legislation to create the Tennessee’s Holocaust Commission as a state senator in 1984. He has been a consistent supporter of legislation and other Congressional efforts to assure the perpetual memory of those lost in the Holocaust.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

March 22, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today welcomed rapidly increasing support for his discharge petition to force a vote on his bipartisan Special Counsel Integrity Act (H.R. 4669). Under House rules, if a majority of the House signs onto a discharge petition, the bill is automatically sent to the floor for a vote.

March 9, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has signed on to an effort to require the President to act on a law enacted last August to impose sanctions against high-level Russian officials for their roles in malicious cyber attacks on American democracy.

February 1, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Before leaving Washington for Memphis, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) reviewed the controversial Republican House Intelligence Committee memo ascribed to California Rep. Devin Nunes, as well as the Committee Democrats’ response memo, and released the following statement:

“Because material in the Intelligence Committee memos remains classified, I can’t say very much about them, but I can compare them in terms of persuasiveness, and by that measure, the Nunes memo is a dismal failure.

January 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement on President Trump’s reported comments at a meeting on immigration:

“Donald Trump should apologize to the countries he sullied with his disgraceful comments,” said Congressman Cohen. “It is the President’s job to act on behalf of our nation’s best interests, and as President he must apologize.

November 3, 2017 Enewsletters

Dear Friend,