Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Government Reform

In Congress, I have taken numerous steps to begin to change the way we do business in Washington and to restore accountability and transparency to government. I have voted for and passed legislation that banned gifts from lobbyists, prohibited the use of corporate jets, and required full disclosure of earmarks. Also I have passed legislation banning pensions for Members of Congress convicted of certain crimes; and strengthening the Freedom of Information Act to increase government transparency.

More on Government Reform

April 7, 2019 In The News

As the presidential campaign heats up, so too has the movement to abolish or otherwise neutralize the electoral college.

Some advocates argue that the electoral college was originally established to help less-populated states retain power, or to have every part of the country heard from in electing a chief executive. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) claims the system was designed to help the slave states.

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.

April 2, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Dick Durbin (D-IL) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), introduced a Senate companion to Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Congressman Steve Cohen’s  proposed constitutional amendment (H.J.Res 7), which would eliminate the Electoral College and provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States.  

March 27, 2019 In The News

House Democrats raised concerns Wednesday that President Donald Trump, newly emboldened after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, could seek to pardon associates and allies entangled in the multiyear investigation.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing with legal experts to examine the limits of the pardon power and a president’s ability to pardon himself - scheduled before the end of the Muller probe - Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, said the “academic” discussion “has taken on greater importance” during Trump’s presidency.

March 27, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) today introduced the DUI Reporting Act to address the loophole in our nation’s drunken-driving laws that enables repeat DUI offenders to be charged and tried as first-time offenders because of inconsistent reporting.

The bill has been endorsed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and has in the past received overwhelming bipartisan support.

March 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) voted to override President Trump’s veto of a bipartisan resolution to overturn his declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexican border and to spend unauthorized money on a wall. The override vote, which requires a two-thirds supermajority, failed by a vote of 248 to 181.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

March 20, 2019 In The News

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Every vote counts.


This week saw yet another push from Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen and some Democratic Presidential candidates to abolish the Electoral College.

While President Donald Trump is against the move, some states are trying to bypass Congress and the White House altogether.

Last election the candidate who got the popular vote, Hillary Clinton, did not win the White House.

Cohen says that doesn't make any sense and it's time for a change.

“The candidates should have to appeal for every state,” Cohen said.

March 19, 2019 In The News

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) said Tuesday the Electoral College was "conceived in sin" and originally designed to effectively perpetuate slavery.

"The country is different than it was when the Constitution was drafted," Cohen said on CNN while issuing support for the push to move to a national popular vote for presidential elections.

Cohen criticized the Electoral College's origins, saying, "When the Constitution was drafted, a lot of it had to do with slavery."

March 12, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, today presided at a hearing on the history and enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“The right to vote is the most fundamental right of citizenship in our democracy. Yet for most of our history African Americans were denied this most basic right, especially in the Deep South.

March 8, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 1 – the For the People Act – to restore our democracy and clean up corruption. The vote was 234 to 193.

The comprehensive bill, which Congressman Cohen cosponsored, provides for automatic voter registration, ends inappropriate voter roll purges, restores voting rights to those who have completed their criminal sentences and reforms the campaign finance system.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement: