It is important that we sufficiently protect our citizens within our borders and keep out those that would do us harm. Homeland Security is not just protecting our borders and screening the cargo that comes through our ports. It also includes providing adequate training and equipment for our first responders – police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. These courageous people work on the front lines, often entering into dangerous and uncertain situations. Congressman Cohen is working hard to provide additional funds for our first responders.
Congressman Cohen strongly opposes President Trump’s executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugees from entering the United States and temporarily halting all immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen executive order and originally spoke out against it on the House Floor on January 30, 2017. He believes it is unconstitutional and immoral. The United States does not - and should not - have religious tests. This hasty and unsound executive order makes the United States less safe. It will provide ISIS with additional propaganda against the United States. The order also singles out a small number of countries, but ignores others like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt from which individuals have been linked to actual terror attacks inside the United States.
Congressman Cohen is a cosponsor of the Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act, which would prevent the Administration from denying entry to immigrants and refugees based on race, religion, or nationality. This legislation does not weaken the existing vetting process. Everyone agrees that we should screen refugees to ensure that no one intent on doing harm is allowed into our country. That’s why it currently takes up to two years for applicants to be fully screened, and Congressman Cohen continues to support this screening process. Congressman Cohen was very disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the President’s travel ban on June 26, 2018.
On February 7, 2017, Congressman Cohen signed on a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General and Acting Officer for Civil Rights requesting an investigation into the Muslim Ban executive order.
Congressman Cohen voted against the against the Department of Defense Appropriations Act which includes $1.6 billion for construction of President Trump’s border wall, breaking the President’s promise to the American people that Mexico, and not taxpayers, would pay for it. The House of Representatives passed the bill on July 27, 2017 by a vote of 235-192.
Congressman Cohen is also a cosponsor of the Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act which directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate voting systems as critical infrastructure which would mean that election infrastructure becomes a priority within the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and prioritize cybersecurity assistance to state and local election officials, but only for those who request it. The bill directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct research to mitigate the consequences of threats to voting systems. The bill requires that the voting systems used in elections for Federal office to comply with national standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for operational security and ballot verification.
Congressman Cohen wrote a letter to President Trump on October 17, 2017 expressing disappointment in his decision to set the presidential determination for refugee admissions at 45,000 for Fiscal Year 2018, urging the President to reconsider his determination and establish a minimum refugee admission level of 110,000 for Fiscal Year 2018, and expressing concern about the proposed changes to the resettlement process to require refugees to meet an assimilation standard.
Congressman Cohen wrote a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen on July 10, 2018 to set the Presidential Determination for Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2019 to 110,000.
War on Terror / Protecting the Home Front
Ensuring the safety of America and our allies is a matter that Congressman Cohen takes very seriously. This includes preventing weapons and military technology from falling into the hands of international terrorist organizations and governments that support these organizations. It is imperative that any arms sales meet strict criteria that would prevent weapons from falling into the hands of those who would use them against us, our allies or for terrorism purposes anywhere in the world. Congressman Cohen believes that extreme ideologies of all kinds are a serious concern to the safety of our nation and its citizens.
Congressman Cohen is a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act. This bipartisan bill prohibits suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns or explosives.
Congressman Cohen is a cosponsor of the Reauthorization of the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System Act. The National Urban Search and Rescue Response System is used to locate, rescue, and provide initial medical stabilization to individuals who have been trapped in confined spaces due to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and large-scale accidents and emergencies. The authorization for this crucial program lapsed in 2008, but it has continued to receive appropriated funds every year since. In fiscal year 2018, this program received $35.2 million, the year before – $38.3 million. There is a Taskforce in Memphis.
Congressman Cohen is a cosponsor of the Port Security Grant Program Reauthorization Act. The National Port Security Grant Program is a key component of our national strategy to strengthen critical infrastructure against potential terrorist attacks. The authorization for this crucial program lapsed in 2013, but it has continued to receive appropriated funds every year since.
More on Homeland Security
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) noted Tuesday’s 17th anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the loss of life in the four hijacked planes, and made the following statement:
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:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) urged Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to honor today’s request from several airlines not to use their services to transport immigrant children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy. He made the following statement:
“The desire by American Airlines and other airlines to avoid being parties to a Trump Administration policy decision separating children from their parents on the border is an example of good corporate citizenship.
WASHINGTON – President Trump finally made a call to James Shaw Jr., the hero who disarmed the April 22 Nashville Waffle House shooter, on Monday, a day after Steve Cohen (TN-09) chided Trump for not having done so in an MSNBC interview Sunday. The Congressman made the following statement:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) went to the House floor this afternoon to commend recent acts of heroism by Southwest Airlines Pilot Tammie Jo Shults and Waffle House patron James Shaw Jr. whose courageous acts saved lives. See his remarks here.
“Malevolent actions and accidents give an opportunity for people to rise to heroic actions,” Congressman Cohen said. “America is a country familiar with heroes.”
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.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) reacted to today’s Grand Jury indictments against 13 Russian nationals by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of pro-Trump Russian influence in the 2016 campaign, and made the following statement:
“The Russians’ use of false U.S. personas and social media designed to attract U.S. audiences with divisive political and social issues was clearly intended to sway American voters, and succeeded. Russian manipulation influenced the psychology of American voters.
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.
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today released the following statement on the recent natural disasters in the United States, including Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey and wildfires in the West: