Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Questioning the Judicial Fitness of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

October 6, 2018

Dear Friend,

This week, new allegations about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh emerged as the FBI undertook a hasty supplemental background investigation that did not even include an interview with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and I expressed my concern about the reputation of both the High Court and the Senate were he to be confirmed. I also  spoke out about unsafe working conditions at a Memphis logistics warehouse, wrote to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in response to the Memphis VA Medical Center being ranked among the nation’s worst for the third year in a row, applauded Senate action on my bill to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to set minimum passenger aircraft seat sizes for the safety of the flying public, commended The New York Times for its exposé on the Trump family’s alleged abuse of the U.S. tax system, met with prospective applicants to our national service academies, began offering 2019 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars and offered a health tip. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more updates as they happen. 

Questioning the Judicial Fitness of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh 
Expressing Concerns about Working Conditions at XPO Logistics 
Taking Action in Response to Disappointing VA Medical Center Rankings 
Praising Senate Action on my SEAT Act 
Commending an Investigation into Disturbing Trump Family Tax History 
Meeting Prospective Service Academy Applicants 
Offering U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars 
Signing Up for “Congress On Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter 
Weekly Health Tip 
Quote of the Week



Questioning the Judicial Fitness of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

This week, as the FBI reopened its background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for a hurried review, I questioned why the obvious evidence already apparent that Kavanaugh lacks the required judicial temperament shouldn’t disqualify him. It was clear the Majority wanted to rush to confirm him before another scandalous eruption occurred, but my concern was always to preserve the integrity of two fundamental institutions: the Supreme Court and the United States Senate. Both have been damaged in this process but Kavanaugh’s confirmation -- after his display of hyper-partisanship and disrespectful disdain for the process and for the Senate, as well as his evident misrepresentations under oath -- would do long-term harm to the High Court. I continue to hope the interests of the country will prevail and his nomination will be withdrawn.

Expressing Concerns about Working Conditions at XPO Logistics

Twice this week, I went to the southeast Memphis warehouse of XPO Logistics to talk with constituents who allege that company employees are being sexually harassed and work in unsafe conditions. I also wrote to the company’s CEO with my concerns and notified the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Labor. I will continue to monitor this situation and seek answers.

Taking Action in Response to Disappointing VA Medical Center Rankings

On Wednesday, I read The Commercial Appeal story detailing the unfortunate one-star ranking – for the third year in a row -- of the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). I immediately wrote to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to ask for his intervention. I also received a detailed briefing on the facility from Memphis VA Director David Dunning. We discussed the existing problems at the VAMC and what more must be done. Director Dunning has been on the job for 14 months and there have been improvements during his tenure, including improved employee morale and declines in mortality rates. Prior to Director Dunning, the Memphis VA had a series of interim directors with no long-term plans.I will continue to demand improvements so that our veterans can receive the level of service they deserve and expect.

Praising Senate Action on my SEAT Act

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted 93 to 6 to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act containing the Seat Egress in Air Travel (SEAT) Act provision that I introduced with Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Florida). On Friday it was signed into law. As a senior member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, I worked for three years to pass the measure, which requires the FAA to establish both minimum seat size and distance between rows of seats on commercial aircraft to protect the safety of the flying public. Safety must never take a backseat, much less a shrunken seat, to profits. The safety of the public must be the airlines’ primary concern and this bill now requires the FAA to take it seriously. I’m proud that this measure has been enacted into law and I commend my colleagues for including this important safety measure in the FAA bill. 


Commending an Investigation into Trump Family Tax History

On Tuesday, The New York Times published a lengthy and detailed examination of the alleged tax abuses perpetrated by President Trump and the Trump family.  President Trump claims his father loaned him $1 million that he was required to repay with interest. The Times investigation establishes that Trump was a millionaire by age 8 and in fact received up to $413 million from his father through what may have been fraudulent transfers to avoid estate and gift taxes. The American people deserve to see Trump’s tax returns.    


Meeting Prospective Service Academy Applicants


Last Saturday, I met at the Crosstown High School with prospective applicants to the five service academies – the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. These bright and patriotic students will make us proud should they be admitted to these sterling and very competitive national institutions.

Offering U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars

My office will soon have 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 am able to 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.

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. 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.

Weekly Health Tip


Each week, I share a health tip in the hope of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the 9th Congressional District. As always, it is best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine or lifestyle.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that women between 50 and 74 get a mammogram every two years, while women under 50 are advised to talk to their doctors about how often they should be screened. For information on free and low-costs screenings, see this resource from the CDC.

Quote of the Week 


“This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.” – President Theodore Roosevelt, speech in Memphis, Tennessee, October 25, 1905.  

As always,

I remain,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress