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Steve Cohen's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (TN) - District 9, Democratic

On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House (TN) - District 9

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Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Candidates who qualify will be invited to take the 2020 Political Courage Test.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2018.

  • "This bill isn’t about fetal pain, it’s about trying to subvert the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision protecting a woman’s right to choose. H.R. 36 endangers women’s health, shows utter disregard for the victims of rape and incest, and does not pass constitutional muster." (cohen.house.gov)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (votesmart.org)
  • "It will spur further economic growth by making critical investments to improve our roads and bridges – creating jobs in Memphis and around the country – and boost take-home pay for the middle-class while closing tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest one percent to avoid paying their fair share." (votesmart.org)
  • "We need to support our troops with sufficient funding so that they have access to adequate equipment and receive necessary training." (cohen.house.gov)
  • "My campaign, coming from the ground up with the people, has carefully weighed this unequal and unjust equation in the balance, and found it wanting. Hence, I will challenge all contenders for the 9th Congressional District to a series of unfiltered, uncensored, uncontrolled by-the-system "community Debates;" and, on the campaign trail, I will demand that they publicly declare themselves before the people on that unequal and unjust equation that VOTERS may see the big picture of the 2014 campaign for what it is: just another round of re-cycled, self-serving, career-seeking political puppets and prostitutes, lined up -- and willingly bent over -- to do the bidding of special interest lobbies, corporate dictators, and the eternal will of the Wall Street big money 1% -- at the expense of the 99% masses of the people. It has for too long been that way. The mission of my campaign is to change it. We all know that those who take masters' money, also take master's orders. While the people are told -- in response to their petitions, appeals, and supplications for relief -- to be damned!! From this economic yoke of political bondage, the masses of the people in Memphis want real change." (votesmart.org)
  • "I'm worried about health and also jobs, and a major driver of jobs is research and development, education, and infrastructure spending by the Federal Government. Most of our great advances, whether it's railroads or the Internet or health care, have come through Federal Government partnerships with the private sector." (votesmart.org)
  • "Cohen Votes for Bipartisan 2014 Government Funding Bill. […] But this bipartisan agreement to fund the government through 2014 is a responsible compromise that reduces the threat of government by crisis, provides stability for our economy, alleviates some of the crippling effects of sequestration, and restores funding for our disabled veterans. (cohen.house.gov)
  • "The #GOPTaxScam brought news of corporate goodwill: small bonuses&raises here&there. But the #TaxScamBill legacy won't be seen thru rose-colored glasses: minimal raises&capital investment, execs &shareholders made wealthier on the backs of the #MiddleClass" (twitter.com)
  • "As it stands now, No Child Left Behind is a collection of unfunded mandates that require standardized testing in the schools. It's bad from a funding standpoint, as the increase in funding brought on by No Child Left Behind is not even always enough to cover the cost of the standardized testing that the law requires. More importantly, it's bad from an educational standpoint, as it encourages teachers to simply teach what they know will be covered on the test rather than provide a comprehensive education for the students of the United States." (votesmart.org)
  • "Mr. Chairman, we need to redouble our efforts at this point on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and the efforts by this amendment would save money – $5 million for the budget, energy deficit reduction – it would protect our environment by having more research on energy efficiency standards, save our consumers and constituents money, and protect our environment at the same time, and yet not have us invest needlessly in fossil fuels, which is the opposite direction we should be going." (votesmart.org)
  • "Just as an example, walk-in coolers and freezers, the rules that have been proposed will yield $37 billion in savings, while cutting 159 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of taking 30 million cars off the road." (votesmart.org)
  • "The NRA isn't going far enough to curb gun violence in America. I own a firearm – I support the 2nd Amendment – and I authored the concealed carry law in Tennessee. But I do not support having assault weapons or high-capacity magazines on our streets. We must do a better job of screening those who want to purchase firearms and also invest more in mental health to better prevent gun violence." (votesmart.org)
  • "We are writing in support of the executive actions President Obama recently announced as part of his effort to reduce gun violence in America. As you know, approximately 30,000 Americans are killed every year as a result of gun violence. An average of eight children and teens are killed by guns in our nation every single day. An epidemic of senseless shootings in Blacksburg, Aurora, Newtown, Oakland, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and many more have left families and communities devastated." (votesmart.org)
  • "I hope that this ruling will help the nation to see that the Affordable Care Act is a federal law that is keeping Americans healthy and alive, and that it is here to stay." (cohen.house.gov)
  • "We could pass #Daca and end #FamilySeparation but #Trump & #Republican supplicants in #Congress want 25 billion$ Wall #Mexico was to pay for ." (twitter.com)
  • "Rather than taking a piecemeal approach, the House of Representatives should work on comprehensive legislation, like the Senate is considering, that would secure our borders, provide for the low-skilled and high-skilled workers that we need and create a path to citizenship for people who are currently undocumented." (votesmart.org)
  • "We strongly support key reform elements that include: 1) broad and humane treatment of the 11 million aspiring Americans, including DREAMers, and an earned path to citizenship making it possible for them to fully integrate into the nation's social and economic fabric; and 2) policies that prevent unscrupulous employers from exploiting foreign workers and reducing wages and job opportunities for U.S. workers, while directing enforcement resources in a smart and effective manner." (votesmart.org)
  • "It's #420day&just like on 4/19, 4/21&every other day,#marijuana shouldn't be in same class as drugs like cocaine,heroine&meth.Too many lives are ruined by failed #WarOnDrugs. I've fought for #justice in drug crimes& #MedicalMarijuana for years,#legalmarijuana is overdue.#Happy420" (twitter.com)
  • "Canada’s Senate votes to legalize recreational use of #marijuana and House has already voted for it so it’s #Trudeau signature and #Canada becomes 2nd nation to legalize #cannabis .Oh Canada leads the way! #marijuananews #marijuana failed #WarOnDrugs" (twitter.com)
  • "Trump's reckless approach to the #IranDeal makes us less safe,all in the name of undoing #PresidentObama's work.The #IranNuclearDeal is working&has kept #Iran from creating nuclear weapons.Leaving the deal insults our allies, & is a decision we'll regret. (bit.ly)
  • "We cannot just say 'never again' about the attacks, as more attacks are certainly possible. Those who would harm Americans can fail as many times as they need to, for they only need to succeed once. We must learn and better adapt so that more of the heroes that respond to an emergency get to watch their children grow up." (votesmart.org)
  • "I stand with the President in the fight against global terrorism, and I plan on supporting him as he works with a broad international coalition to eliminate ISIS through military, economic, and other means." (cohen.house.gov)
This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.
The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
X b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.

Greatly Increase a) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increase b) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increase c) Environment
Slightly Increase d) Health care
Slightly Increase e) Law enforcement
Maintain Status f) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Status g) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Decrease d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Eliminate f) Inheritance taxes
g) Property taxes
Greatly Decrease h) Sales taxes
Maintain Status i) Vehicle taxes
j) Other or expanded categories
Yes k) Should Internet sales be taxed?
l) Should Tennessee implement a flat tax on income?
m) Should Tennessee implement a graduated income tax?
n) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

Yes a) Do you support the current limit of two consecutive four-year terms for Tennessee governors?
No b) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Tennessee state senators and representatives?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
Yes 4) Political Parties
Yes d) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yes e) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yes f) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yes g) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Tennessee are closed?
Yes h) Should Tennessee provide property tax relief for seniors?
Yes i) Should Tennessee recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
No j) Should Tennessee restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
Be tolerant, don't discriminate, don't hate, be bipartisan.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.Drug Issues: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
X b) Support the death penalty in Tennessee.
X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X d) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
X e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
X f) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
X g) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
h) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
X i) Other or expanded principles
X a) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
b) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X c) Create a separate crime of "severe child abuse" for parents who make methamphetamine with their children present.
X d) Limit purchases of over-the-counter ingredients that are used to make methamphetamine.
X e) Quarantine all methamphetamine labs until they are cleaned up by state-approved contractors.
X f) Other or expanded principles
No mandatory minimum; Re-categorize offenses so violent spend more time and victimless less.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
e) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
X h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
X k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
X l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
X n) Other or expanded principles
Lottery Scholarship Standards should be high so there is excess money for pre-K and after school programs.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies’ decisions on:

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
X e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
X f) Include sexual orientation in Tennessee’s anti-discrimination laws.
g) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
a) Public employment
b) State college and university admissions
c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

X a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
X c) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
X d) Support funding for open space preservation.
X e) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
X f) Other or expanded principles
Protect our parkland-especially Shelby Farms and Overton and Audubon Park

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

a) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
X d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
f) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
g) Require a license for gun possession.
X h) Other or expanded principles
Sponsored (Passed) original carry bill which has been very successful.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.

X a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
X b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
X e) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
X g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Tennessee.
X h) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
X i) Other or expanded principles
Maintain Tenn Care - but eliminate fraud & administrative expenses.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

X a) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
X b) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
X d) Support current limits on benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
X f) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
X i) Other or expanded principles
Co-sponsored Families First Law - Welfare to Work.
1) Vigilant oversight of lottery; maintain standards for scholarships and provide for pre-K funding and after school funding - allow scholarships for transfer students. 2) Protect arts funding by keeping special license plates.

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