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

May 23, 2017 Press Release

“President Trump’s so-called ‘taxpayer first’ budget would be detrimental to taxpaying low- and middle-income Americans, while it would greatly benefit super rich Americans. The President’s budget cuts Medicaid an astounding $1.4 trillion over 10 years and makes deep cuts to programs essential to many Americans such as food stamps (SNAP), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program (WIC), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Meals on Wheels.

May 19, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressmen Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Steve Chabot (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans, released the following statement in response to the attack in Washington, D.C. this week:

May 17, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, released the following statement after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor in the Trump-Russia investigation:

May 16, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, released the following statement after reports that President Trump compromised highly classified information during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak:

May 5, 2017 Enewsletters

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April 28, 2017 Enewsletters

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April 28, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — In the wake of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) today introduced bipartisan legislation to commission a bust of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel to be installed in the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC.

April 24, 2017 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement in observance of Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day:

April 21, 2017 Enewsletters

Dear Friend,