Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Chairing Hearing on Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act

March 15, 2019

March 15th, 2019

Dear Friend,

This week, I chaired a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing on the history and enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. I also voted to move the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act from the Judiciary Committee to the House floor; called on the Federal Aviation Administration to ground Boeing 737 Max airplanes, which were involved in two recent crashes; introduced a bill to ensure the fair taxation of digital goods and services; introduced a bill to provide more low-cost housing; voted to express the sense of Congress that the Special Counsel’s report should be made public; announced a research grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center; remembered songwriter and minister John Kilzer; and offered a health tip about women and heart disease. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen. 

Chairing Hearing on History and Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act  
Voting for Committee Passage of Violence Against Women Act  
Calling on Federal Aviation Administration to Ground 737 Max 8s  
Introducing the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act  
Introducing the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act  
Voting to Make Public the Special Counsel’s Report  
Announcing Research Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  
Remembering Songwriter John Kilzer  
Sign Up for “Congress on Your Corner”  
Weekly Health Tip  
Quote of the Week 

Chairing Hearing on the History and Enforcement of the Voting Rights Act 
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On Tuesday, as Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I presided over a hearing on the history and enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was designed to ensure all citizens are protected from discrimination in the voting process. Court action has weakened the measure and we need to have critical elements restored and strengthened. See my release here  and see my opening statement here. I was pleased that the Shelby County Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was in town and able to attend the hearing. 

Voting to Move Violence Against Women Act to the House Floor 
On Wednesday, I voted in the Judiciary Committee to advance the  Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) to the House floor for a vote. This is important legislation to address our nation’s crisis of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Updating this legislation and strengthening the protections it affords are critical. 

Calling on Federal Aviation Administration to Ground 737 Max 8s 
On Tuesday, I wrote to the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urging him to ground  the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes that had been involved in two fatal crashes. See my letter and a release about it here. On Wednesday, President Trump belatedly announced the grounding would occur. As a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, my first priority is making sure the FAA protects the traveling public and I intend to look into why the FAA’s action was delayed. 

Introducing the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act 
I joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) and 14 of my House colleagues on Wednesday in introducing the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act. The measure promises to take a big step toward addressing the racial wealth gap by promoting home ownership. It would also lower rents in most areas and produce three million new housing units with no impact on the deficit. Read Senator Warren’s release here.

Introducing the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act 
On Wednesday, Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and I introduced the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act,  which would protect consumers from unfair taxes on digital goods and services like e-books, MP3s, and software downloads. See my release on the bill here.

Voting to Make Public the Special Counsel Report on the 2016 Election 
On Thursday, I voted for, and the House passed, a resolution expressing Congress' belief that  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, once completed, should be made public. I also spoke during floor debate on the measure. See my release here.  

Announcing Research Grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
On Wednesday, I announced that the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will be receiving a $609,360 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to conduct vascular research. See my release here.

Remembering Songwriter and Minister John Kilzer 

On Wednesday morning, I went to the House floor to pay tribute to my friend, the former Memphis State Tigers basketball guard, gifted songwriter and St. John’s United Methodist Church Minister John Kilzer, who died on Tuesday. He will be missed, especially by the many he helped in his addiction and recovery ministry. See those remarks here. 

Signing Up for “Congress On Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter   

I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. My next “Congress on Your Corner” will be at the Hollywood Branch Library (3752 Given Ave) on March 29th from 11:00 to 1:00. If you are interested in attending, you can sign up here to receive notifications about this and future events  

For those who haven’t participated in a telephone town hall, it’s easy to sign up for them by using this form.     

If you would like to receive this weekly e-Newsletter, or share it with others, you can do that with this form.   

Weekly Health Tip 

I am taking special note of women’s health concerns during March’s National Women’s History Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both African American and white women. Women’s symptoms present differently than men’s, and it is important to know what risk factors to monitor. Almost two thirds of women who have died of sudden coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance for women and heart disease here. 

Quote of the Week 
“Until we’re all free, ain’t nobody free 
Until we’re all free, not just you and me 
The colors of the rainbow shine in harmony 
When we’re all all free.” – John Kilzer and Kirk Whalum, “Until We’re All Free.”  

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress