Protecting the Sanctity of the House Chamber

February 27, 2015
Enewsletters

Dear Friend, 

This week, I decided that I while I strongly support Israel I will not attend the highly-politicized speech of Prime Minister Netanyahu next week, the House passed my amendment to help keep our kids out of prison, and Republican leaders kicked the can down the road again and are threatening to shut down our nation’s homeland security just a few days from now. Keep reading to learn more about what happened this week, or if you’d like to receive the updates in this eNewsletter (and more) as they happen simply “like” my Facebook page. Be sure to check it regularly, as it will be updated often with news, pictures, and videos!

Protecting the Sanctity of the House Chamber
Keeping our Young People Out of Prison
Working to Keep our Homeland Safe
Helping Keep College Affordable
Supporting Memphians Recovering from Substance Abuse and Addition
Protecting Animals from Abuse
Working for People Suffering from Tourette Syndrome
Help Bring First Lady Michelle Obama to Memphis!

Protecting the Sanctity of the House Chamber
As a supporter of the state of Israel and a Jewish American, I have been placed in a difficult position regarding the anticipated speech of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the United States Congress. After deliberation, I have decided I cannot in good conscience attend the Prime Minister’s speech. If you’d like to know more about my reasoning for not attending, you can read my full statement here. And don’t miss Otis Sanford’s commentary about my decision here.

Keeping our Young People Out of Prison
Unless dealt with early and effectively, young perpetrators of minor, non-violent offenses can unnecessarily fall into a pattern of violent conduct later in life. That’s why I am pleased the House approved my restorative justice amendment to cut short the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ that disproportionately impacts African-American communities. Read more about my legislation here and watch to House Floor debate on it here

Working to Keep our Homeland Safe

After I met with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson yesterday in my Capitol Hill office, Speaker Boehner decided against allowing a vote on the clean, bipartisan, year-long DHS funding bill in favor of a 3-week extension that merely kicks the can down the road again.

That Speaker Boehner refused to even consider the clean, bipartisan, full-year Department of Homeland Security funding bill that the Senate passed is disappointing. 

That House Republican leadership has once again chosen politics over policy—and over our national security—in order to attack our President and actions well within his constitutional authority is frustrating. 

That the Speaker and the Tea Party are once again threatening to shut down our Homeland Security days from now is just wrong.

Helping Keep College Affordable
Governor Haslam says he is ‘flattered’ that President Obama used Tennessee Promise as a model for the national America’s College Promise program. But, in reality, the biggest correlation between the two programs is the name. You can read my statement on the Governor’s criticism of President Obama’s plan here, and the Commercial Appeal reported on several other problems with Governor’s Tennessee Promise plan here.

Supporting Memphians Recovering from Substance Abuse and Addition

Earlier this week, I helped present a $53,500 grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to MidSouth Sober Living. The grant will help MidSouth Sober Living provide supportive services to Memphis-area citizens recovering from substance abuse and addiction, and I was proud to be there in support of their efforts.

Protecting Animals from Abuse
This week I was honored to receive a perfect score from the Humane Society for my work to protect animals from abuse. Our treatment of animals is a reflection of how we treat each other, and we should each do all we can to do better on both fronts. Read more about my work to protect animals here.

Working for People Suffering from Tourette Syndrome
Congress needs to do more to help people suffering from Tourette Syndrome, so I am proud to have joined New York Congressman Pete King earlier this week in relaunching the bipartisan Congressional Tourette Syndrome Caucus with Senator Chris Murphy and 22 Members of the House. Read more about our Caucus here.

Help Bring First Lady Michelle Obama to Memphis!
First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the #ReachHigher competition to raise awareness and get more high school seniors to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can help families afford college, and she will speak at the winner’s high school commencement ceremony. You have until March 16 to enter.  Learn more about the competition here

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress