Congressman Cohen Expresses Appreciation for the Work of the National Guard and Law Enforcement Surrounding Inaugural Events

January 19, 2021
Press Release
Notes long record of support for National Guard and law enforcement

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, today expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the work of the U.S. Capitol Police, National Guard troops and federal and local law enforcement officials in ensuring the safety of the President-elect and Vice President-elect, Members of Congress, dignitaries and the public in preparation for Wednesday’s historic Inaugural events.

Congressman Cohen was recently quoted on national television expressing his concerns about safety after reputable news organizations reported that the Pentagon’s leadership, including the acting Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army, asked for background checks on members of the National Guard who were assigned to protect Washington after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The interviewer framed the question in light of the recent insurrection at the Capitol but later reports indicate that vetting the National Guard before the Inauguration is standard procedure. 

While a small number of members of the National Guard have been implicated in the Capitol insurrection – and one has been arrested -- and two Guardsmen have been relieved of duty in Washington, Congressman Cohen maintains his support for the National Guard as a whole as he has throughout his career.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“I commend the work of our law enforcement professionals and of the National Guard that supplements their efforts during major events. I appreciate the assurance their presence provides that we will have a successful inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. Their work and dedication to guaranteeing a secure and lawful observance of this momentous transfer of power is a testament to our long tradition of peaceful transitions. I thank them all for their sacrifice and hard work.”

Congressman Cohen introduced and shepherded into law the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act of 2019 which recognizes the sacrifice of our Guard and Reservists by ensuring that members can obtain bankruptcy relief without filing substantial paperwork required by the “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Congressman Cohen also voted for the National Defense Authorization Act, and voted to override President’s Trump’s veto of the measure, thus ensuring servicemembers the 3 percent wage increase they deserve. Congressman Cohen began his career in public service as a legal adviser to the Memphis Police Department.