Congressman Steve Cohen holds a Question and Answer session with AP Government classes


Justin Kouch

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen attends a Question and Answer with White Station AP Government seniors. He talked about a wide range of topics, such as, impeachment, Medicare, free college, and Donald Trump’s presidency.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, seniors who take AP Government met in the auditorium to ask questions and listen to ninth district Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen. This meeting was established by  AP Government teacher Curt Rakestraw who has been setting up these Q&As for the past 12 years.

Cohen first began by talking openly of his position as House Committee of Judiciary chairman and being a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He attests that because he served seven terms, his seniority has benefits in the House of Representatives, like getting better committee assignments.

As he warmed up to the seniors, he began talking about the impeachment process and about Donald Trump’s presidency.

“Do any of y’all keep up with his tweets? It’s unbelievable…Who says they have an ‘unmatched, unparalleled wisdom?’…He sounds like the Wizard of Oz, but he’s more like the Scarecrow; he has no brain,” Cohen said.

Seniors were then allowed to ask questions:

Q. “What is your opinion on the Tennessee Block Grant Medicaid?”(Stevion Young)

A.“It’s a mistake; people need help.”

Q.Why is it so important to have a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi?” (Rakestraw)

A.“[Nancy Pelosi] determines who’s on which committee; she’s like the queen.”


Q.“Have you ever tried to work with Trump on projects and grants?”(Avery Rooker)

A.“[Yes] I wrote him a letter that I never got a response.”


Q.“Can you explain your economic policy and your opinion on free college?”( Elizabeth Hubbard)

A. “Those are actually two different things. But I believe that there shouldn’t be free college for everyone. It should be merit-based or based on need.”

He also explained that his economic policy would include taxing the wealthy and Medicare for all. However, he supports citizens who wish to keep their private healthcare; there should be Medicare if you want it, but citizens should also have the option of keeping private insurance.


Q.“Will [President Trump] get impeached and thrown out of office? If not, which Democratic candidate do you think can beat him in the election?” (Graham Campbell)

A.“I think he will be impeached; I don’t think the Senate will convict him…Biden’s the most likely person to beat him…”


Q. “What is your view on climate change, and what is the government doing about it?” (Honoria Hayes)

A.“Trump is doing nothing; he doesn’t believe in it…The Green New Deal is very aspirational and progressive, but it’s very similar to the book ‘Plan B.’”

The session ended on a lighter note, however, in order to pacify all political parties in the room.


Q. “Do you think Tiger Football or Tiger Basketball will lose more games?” (Rakestraw).

A.“…Probably football.”