News from Congressman Steve Cohen

January 31, 2020

Dear Friend,  
  
This week, I enthusiastically supported House Democrats’ ambitious framework for improvements to our roads, bridges, transit, aviation, rail and drinking water infrastructure. I also offered two amendments, which passed, and voted for the Comprehensive CREDIT Act, which makes commonsense reforms to the credit reporting industry; questioned the head of the General Services Administration about the Trump International Hotel lease; voted to prevent the President from unilaterally going to war with Iran and to repeal the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq; observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations in New York; spoke out against anti-Semitism from the House floor; questioned a human rights diplomat about growing anti-Semitism and racism in Europe; announced a large grant to support HIV-affected Shelby Countians; and offered a Super Bowl LIV-related health tip. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.   
  
Supporting Infrastructure Plan that is Good for Memphis 
Passing Comprehensive CREDIT Act with My Amendments 
Questioning GSA about Trump International Hotel Lease 
Voting to Prevent the President from Unilaterally Going to War with Iran   
Observing International Holocaust Memorial Day at the United Nations 
Condemning Anti-Semitism from the House Floor 
Questioning Human Rights Diplomat about Anti-Semitism in Europe 
Announcing $1.3 Million Ryan White HIV Grant to Shelby County 
Weekly Health Tip 
Quote of the Week 


Supporting Infrastructure Plan that is Good for Memphis 

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On Wednesday, House Democrats released a framework for funding roads, bridges, transit, rail, aviation, broadband, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure in a smart and sustainable way. This plan includes elements of my legislation, H.R. 3663, the Complete Streets Act. This bill promotes improving safety on our streets for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will work to  ensure that the framework supports the ongoing Bus Rapid Transit “Innovation Corridor” project now under way linking downtown Memphis with the University of Memphis. See my release about the framework here
  
Passing Comprehensive CREDIT Act with My Amendments 
  
On Wednesday, I voted for, and the House passed, the Comprehensive Credit Rating Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation and Transparency (CREDIT) Act that contained elements of two bills I have introduced. I also offered two amendments – the first specifies the time period in which credit reporting agencies must remove loan default from consumer credit reports and the second clarifies that credit reports cannot be used as the sole reason for denial of employment – both of which were added to the bill. I have been working for 11 years to make sure consumers have access to their credit scores without charge and that prospective employees are not denied jobs because of their credit. See my release, including my floor speeches in favor of my amendments, here
  
Questioning GSA about Trump International Hotel Lease 

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On Tuesday, I questioned the top official in the General Services Administration (GSA) about the Trump Organization’s reported plan to sell its lease of the historic Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is currently the Trump International Hotel. See my release and my exchange with the official here
  
Voting to Prevent the President from Unilaterally Going to War with Iran  
  
On Thursday, I voted to prohibit federal funds from being used for military action in or against Iran unless Congress has declared war.  I also voted to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq. The repeal removes the false rationale for any action the President might take that could be political in nature and not a legitimate defense of our country. We must impress on this President that Congress has the sole authority to declare war. These votes will save lives and promote diplomatic solutions to our tense international relations. See my release on those votes here
  
Observing International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the United Nations 

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On Monday, I was one of two invited members of Congress who attended the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day in New York. We observed the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were killed. Speakers included the U.N. Secretary General and Holocaust survivors who told of the horrors they endured. See my release about attending the ceremony here
  
Condemning Anti-Semitism from the House Floor 
  
After returning from observing the United Nations’ International Holocaust Remembrance  Day, I went to the House floor to deliver some remarks. See them here
  
Questioning Human Rights Diplomat about Anti-Semitism in Europe 

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I am a member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. The Commission held a hearing on Wednesday on the human rights situation, and the rise of right-wing extremist elements, in Europe. I questioned a senior Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) diplomat about the high level of discrimination and violence against Jews and against the Roma people. See my release and the exchange with the diplomat here
  
Announcing $1.3 Million Ryan White HIV Grant to Shelby County 
  
On Thursday, I announced that Shelby County will be receiving a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant of $1.3 million to support AIDS- and HIV-affected Memphians. See my release on the funding here

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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 a notification as soon as the next event is scheduled.   

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Weekly Health Tip 

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Don’t touch that three-bean salad. Seriously, with Sunday’s Super Bowl 54, a lot of us will be eating potluck at other peoples’ houses and eating foods we did not prepare ourselves. We may also be inclined to imbibe more than usual. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on how to be prepared for “game day” here
  
Quotes of the Weeks 

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“My primary thesis is still, what did the President know, and when did he know it?” -- Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, questioning former White House Counsel John Dean during the Nixon-Watergate hearings, June 29, 1973.

“That’s what we celebrate today.  The long arc of progress.  Progress that is never assured, never guaranteed, but always possible, always there to be earned – no matter how stuck we might seem sometimes.  No matter how divided or despairing we may appear.  No matter what ugliness may bubble up.  Progress, so long as we’re willing to push for it; so long as we’re willing to reach for each other. “ – President Barack Obama, December 9, 2015 remarks on the commemoration of the 13th Amendment which passed the House 155 years ago today. 

As always, I remain
Most sincerely, 

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Steve Cohen
Member of Congress 
  
  

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