Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Holding District Issues Meeting

January 18, 2019

Dear Friend,

This week, I held my annual District Issues Meeting with constituents in my Memphis office. I also voted to re-open the parts of the federal government shuttered by the Trump shutdown, spoke out against white nationalism and hate speech, received an award for my work to stop animal cruelty, cosponsored legislation to raise the federal minimum wage, noted the success of Big River Crossing, announced a $6.67 million HIV/AIDS grant to Shelby County, announced a $400,000 grant to St. Jude, offered U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars and provided a food safety health tip. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen.



Today I held my annual District Issues Meeting with constituents and we talked about the agenda for the new Congress. I mentioned that the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on which I serve will take up strengthening the Voting Rights Act. Several constituents expressed concern about the ongoing government shutdown and I told them I understand the pain those federal employees furloughed or working without pay are enduring. I also expressed my concern about access to Food Stamps and Section 8 Housing during the prolonged government shutdown. We also discussed job training opportunities and the anticipated infrastructure bill. I received excellent questions and feedback which will help me do my job representing Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District even better.

This week, like last week, I voted to re-open the federal government agencies and departments and put people back to work. I’ve now voted nine times to re-open the government since the new Congress convened on January 3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to call these spending bills up for a vote in the Senate, so the Trump Shutdown persists. The impact of the shutdown is already being seen in estimates of reduced economic growth by the President’s own White House Council of Economic Advisers.  It is time to end this harmful shutdown.

On Tuesday, I went to the House floor to speak in favor of a resolution condemning white nationalism and white supremacy following controversial comments by Iowa Congressman Steve King in a New York Times interview. My floor speech can be found here

That same day, I had the honor of speaking at the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which is one of the oldest Jewish advocacy organizations and has a long history of fighting against various forms of discrimination in the United States. I reiterated that white supremacy and hate have no place in America.

Also Tuesday, I joined Priscilla Presley at the National Press Club where she and I both received awards from the Citizens Campaign Against Big Lick Animal Cruelty for our work to stop the cruel practice of horse soring, the torturous practice some trainers use on Tennessee Walking Horses to enhance their signature gait. The fight continues and I will continue to lead on this issue in Congress.

Memphians Sepia Coleman, Congressman Cohen and Tiffany Lowe

This week, I co-sponsored the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. I also met with 9th Congressional District constituents Sepia Coleman and Tiffany Lowe who came to our nation’s capital to participate in the “Fight for 15” rally on the National Mall.

This week, I read The Daily Memphian’s assessment of the success of the Big River Crossing footpath and bike lanes over the Mississippi on the Harahan Bridge for which I helped secure a $15 million TIGER grant in 2012. The story says more than 214,000 people checked out the venue in 2018 – for one of the best views of the Bluff City waterfront.

On Tuesday, I announced that Shelby County would be receiving a $6.67 million Department of Health and Human Services grant from its Ryan White HIV Emergency Relief Program.The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program has had exceptional success in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. See my release on the grant here.

On Thursday, I announced that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be receiving a $403,875 grant to conduct endocrinological research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. See my release on the grant award here



My office has a limited number of 2019 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars available. If you would like to receive a calendar, please complete this form on my website. Due to the rules of the House, I can mail calendars only to residents of Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the 9th District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my e-Newsletter.  




I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. If you are interested in attending one of my “Congress on Your Corner” events, you can sign up here to receive notification as soon as the next event is scheduled.  


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.  


On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) resumed some food safety inspections that had stopped when the government shutdown began on December 22. Inspectors who are now back on the job are doing so without pay. The FDA is updating its food recall list, adding some vanilla-flavored milk products, boxed lunch sandwiches, butter and salad shake since the shutdown began. See all of the FDA’s food safety tips here.


“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” -- The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake During the Great Revolution,” speech at The National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., March 31, 1968.

As always, I remain,
Most sincerely,


Steve Cohen
Member of Congress