Voting for Aid to Ukraine

Dear Friend,

This week, I voted for nearly $40 billion in military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine in its ongoing confrontation with Russian aggressors. I also addressed an international assembly and urged it to stand united in support of Ukraine, democracy and the rule of law; met with Finnish diplomats to hear their concerns about their long border with Russia; urged the Tennessee Valley Authority to re-think the short-sighted shift to natural gas for electricity production and to recommit to alternative sources like solar and wind; voted in the Judiciary Committee to advance a Code of Ethics for the US Supreme Court and two supporting bills of law enforcement officers; met with John P. Freeman teacher Dr. Melissa Collins; talked with University Middle School students; announced two National Park Service grants and two grants to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and offered a health tip. Keep reading and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.

Voting for Aid to Ukraine

Addressing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Meeting with Finnish Officials about Russia Concerns

Urging TVA to Refocus Efforts on Alternatives to Natural Gas

Advancing a Code of Ethics for the US Supreme Court

Voting to Advance Bills Supporting Law Enforcement Officers

Meeting with John P. Freeman Teacher Melissa Collins

Talking with University Middle School Students

Announcing National Park Service Grants

Announcing Research Grants to UTHSC

Weekly Health Tip

Quote of the Week

Voting for Aid to Ukraine

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives took up a measure to provide nearly $40 billion in military aid and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. I was proud to vote for this additional aid. See my release detailing the measure here. Glory to Ukraine!

Addressing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly

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As Co-Chairman of the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, I am by extension a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. When the Assembly met on Wednesday, I took the opportunity to speak forcefully about the need to be united in our support for Ukraine and to condemn the actions of Russia and Belarus. “This is a fight for all of our democracies,” I said. See my release and the speech here.

Meeting with Finnish Officials about Russia Concerns

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Congressman Cohen and Finnish minister Tytti Tuppurainen

On Tuesday, I met with Finnish Ambassador Mikko Hautala and Ms. Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs/Ownership Steering of Finland, about Finland’s concerns with its long border with an increasingly bellicose Russia. Finland is now considering NATO membership. This meeting, and others like it, allow me to have a more nuanced and detailed knowledge of the concerns of our European allies.

Meeting with a Delegation from Turkey

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This morning, I met with a delegation of powerful and experienced Turkish parliamentarians and the Turkish ambassador. We talked about our nations’ relations which have been good but took a detour when Turkey purchased a Russian defense system. Things are better and it is my hope they will continue to improve. I raised human rights concerns and the importance of our approving Finland and Sweden for NATO admission.

Urging TVA to Refocus Efforts on Alternatives to Natural Gas

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On Wednesday, as members of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority were meeting in Georgia, I wrote to CEO Jeffrey Lyash to say that TVA’s plans to replace coal-fired power plants with natural gas plants was short-sighted and out-of -line with the utility’s stated climate and alternative-energy goals. See my letter and release here.

Advancing a Code of Ethics for the US Supreme Court

As a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, I was proud to support and advance the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2022, HR 7647, on Wednesday. This critical piece of legislation would require the United States Supreme Court to establish a code of ethics for the Justices. It is outrageous that in 2022, there is no binding code of conduct for the Justices and no firm rules that require recusal or disclosure regarding conflicts of interest. The American people deserve to have confidence in their high court, and transparency is essential to restore trust in the institution.

Voting to Advance Bills Supporting Law Enforcement Officers

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Also at the Judiciary Committee markup, I spoke in support of HR 6943, the Public Safety Officer Support Act. I voted to advance it and HR 2992, the Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Law Enforcement Training Act, to the House floor . I started my career as the legal advisor to the Memphis Police Department and both of these bills will help them.

Meeting with John P. Freeman Teacher Melissa Collins

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On Thursday, I met with John P. Freeman Optional School science teacher, Dr. Melissa Collins. No stranger to our nation’s capital, Dr. Collins was inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and was also the winner of a 2010 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. During the East Room ceremony at the White House, President Obama jokingly asked Dr. Collins to consider tutoring his daughters. We had a lively discussion about education policy and the teacher shortage in Memphis and nationwide.

Talking with University Middle School Students

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I met with University Middle School students on the steps of the US Capitol on Thursday afternoon. They are in Washington to visit historic sites and engage in discussions of public policy, to become better citizens, all organized by The Close-Up Foundation.

Announcing National Park Service Grants

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This week I announced that the National Park Service will provide a $500,000 grant for the rehabilitation of Collins Chapel and $50,000 for the Memphis Heritage Trail Youth and Civil Rights Summer Camp. See my release here.

Announcing Research Grants to UTHSC

The National Institute of Allergy and Musculoskeletal Diseases announced a grant to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) on Wednesday. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded the medical school a grant on Friday. See those releases here and here.

Weekly Health Tip

Dr. Michelle Taylor, director of the Shelby County Health Department, told county commissioners this week that we are seeing an uptick in Covid-19 cases – at a seven-day rolling average of 132, or 5.5 times higher than three weeks before. She recommended wearing masks indoors among those whose immunization status is unknown. She also said just 53 percent of county residents are fully vaccinated. I urge the remaining 47 percent to get the shots and boosters.

Quote of the Week

“The future, of course, will present other global health crises, but they don’t have to become catastrophes if we do this work together. Now is the time, we know, for bold thinking and concrete action. – Vice President Kamala Harris at The Global Covid-19 Summit on Thursday.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress

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