2017-12-13 / Political Page

I On Politics

GOP GUN BILL ‘UNDERMINES SENSIBLE STATE GUN-SAFETY LAWS’: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after the House approved a Republican bill that would force a universal concealed carry law on Americans:

“Today, Republicans in Congress failed to protect Americans and reduce the horror and heartbreak of gun violence.

“This NRA-approved bill is far from a responsible approach to prevent gun violence in our communities. Instead, it will undermine sensible state gun-safety laws by allowing dangerous and violent individuals to secretly carry powerful firearms like those used in the Orlando and Las Vegas mass shootings.

“American families want to feel safe and secure in our churches, our schools, our communities, and our homes. Democrats won’t rest until it becomes a reality.”

MALONEY SLAMS CONCEALED CARRY RECIPROCITY ACT: After the passage of H.R. 38, Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), released the following statement:

“We have a gun violence epidemic in this country and it is glaringly obvious to anyone paying attention that our pathetically weak federal gun safety laws need major improvements. Yet instead of standing up to the NRA and working to actually make our country safer, House Republicans today passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill strongly opposed by law enforcement organizations across the nation because it will put more lives at risk.

“Under this bill, someone who couldn’t get a concealed carry permit in New York would all of sudden be able to carry a concealed gun in New York City, as long as they have a permit from another state. New York has some of the most effective gun safety laws in the country. But, our efforts to keep our residents safe from gun violence would be eviscerated by this bill, which would put everyone at the mercy of the weakest gun laws in the country. It’s far past time for Congress to stand up to the NRA and enact sensible gun safety laws, not tear them down.”

Maloney spoke on the floor against this bill during debate.

GOVERNMENT FUNDING BILL ‘INADEQUATE’: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after the House voted for a continuing resolution “that doesn’t address the country’s most pressing needs”:

“I am opposed to the Republicans’ continuing resolution. It fails to provide thousands of children with access to health care or lift up our teetering economy. It leaves DREAMers without the stability and safety they deserve and fails to invest in transportation and infrastructure.

Crowley added: “Republicans control the House, Senate, and the White House. Yet, they have failed to pass any meaningful legislation to help hard-working Americans. Their lack of vision for how to strengthen America and improve the lives of those trying to make ends meet have brought us today to the brink of a government shutdown. Republicans will clearly need Democrats to avoid disaster. We have made clear our votes will require an investment in our priorities.”

MALONEY LEADS 44 COLLEAGUES IN URGING APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO PROPERLY FUND 2020 CENSUS: Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), sponsor of the 2020 Census Investment Act, sent a letter with 44 of her colleagues to the House Committee on Appropriations Chair Rodney P. Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Nita Lowey urging the committee to ensure that the Census Bureau receives the funds it needs to produce an accurate, constitutionally mandated decennial census in 2020.

In their request, the members explain that an accurate Census is of vital importance because it “helps to determine the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in annual federal funding, business investment decisions, as well as representation at all levels of government.”

Maloney added that “FY2018 is a critical year of preparation for a successful 2020 Census. During this year, the Census Bureau must make final design decisions for and begin to execute the 2018 End-to-End Census Test. This comprehensive test will be evaluated as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the 2020 decennial Census, designed to test the readiness of key data technologies, internet response methods, outreach and promotional operations, as well as the management and response process. Unfortunately, due to historic underfunding, the 2018 test has already been scaled back significantly. Operational testing will take place at just one urban site in Providence, RI. The bureau had to cancel testing planned for sites in rural or suburban communities. This has introduced unprecedented risk to successfully modernize the Census in 2020 and has put numerous populations at risk of not being accurately counted.”

CROWLEY: DELAY TRUMP IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the House vote to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump:

“I am one of many Americans that’s disappointed in the direction President Trump has taken our country, and I have grave concerns about his leadership, his policies, and his judgement.

“That is why I was one of the first members of Congress to call for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate. I strongly believe that what the American people want is the facts and, therefore, we should let Special Counsel Mueller and his team complete their task. For these reasons, I do not think today is the right time for a vote of impeachment.”

CROWLEY BLASTS TRUMP’S DECISION TO SHRINK OUR NATIONAL PARKS: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (DNY) released the following statement after President Trump announced plans to reduce the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monuments by a combined two million acres:

“Americans have a right to access our nation’s public lands – pristine areas that inspire awe and, in the case of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase- Escalante, hold significant meaning for Native Americans. This reckless decision by President Trump is an assault on our national monuments and sacred sites on behalf of big oil and gas corporations. It trades the rights of future generations in order to satisfy Republican donors. This is unacceptable.”

500K US WOMEN HAVE OR ARE AT RISK OF GENITAL MUTILATION: The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3317, Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation (SAFE) Act; legislation introduced by Congress Members Dave Trott (R-MI) and Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) to increase the federal penalty for female genital mutilation from 5 years to 15 years in prison and to encourage states to improve reporting requirements for suspected female genital mutilation. Following the bill’s passage, Rep. Maloney released the following statement:

“Female genital mutilation is a heinous, abusive practice that causes immense physical and emotional pain and damage to young girls that lasts a lifetime. While this practice is illegal in the U.S. and we condemn it around the world, we need to do more to stop this practice here at home. The Centers for Disease Control estimated in 2012 that 500,000 females in the U.S. have been subjected to or are at risk of female genital mutilation. That number is rising. It is up to us to bring that number to zero. This bill creates a harsher and more appropriate penalty, increasing the current sentence of 5 years to 15 years imprisonment. Stricter penalties for performing the procedure are critical to eradicate this horrific abuse. I am proud to have worked with Rep. Trott on this bill and thank him for his leadership on this issue that threatens women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. Today’s unanimous vote in favor of this measure sends a clear message that the United States House of Representatives has zero tolerance for this outrageous abuse of women and girls.”

Congress Member Maloney spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor, declaring:

“The Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 500,000 females in the United States have undergone or are at risk of female genital mutilation. In stark contrast to other developed countries, the 5-year penalty for perpetrators of female genital mutilation in the U.S. is significantly shorter. For example, the penalty in the United Kingdom is up to 14 years imprisonment and in France up to 20 years imprisonment.”

VAN BRAMER BILL ADDRESSES SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT CITY-FUNDED ORGANIZATIONS: City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer proposed two pieces of legislation to address the sexual harassment policies of organizations that are the recipients of city funds. The proposed legislation includes the following provisions:

• Require organizations applying for public funds from the city to provide up-to-date documents and records related to sexual harassment complaints in the workplace, how complaints are resolved, what disciplinary actions are taken with personnel involved in complaints, and what type of education and training is administed to ensure all staff understand rules and regulation as they pertain to harassment and a safe work environment.

• Prohibit any organizations with multiple complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace from receiving public funds from the city for a minimum of five years. Organizations will be required to demonstrate they have not had incidents of harassment during the embargo period, and what steps were taken to make the work environment safe for all employees.

“The #MeToo movement is about exposing systematic workplace sexual harassment and assault, but it’s up to lawmakers now to push forward solutions to address it,” Majority Leader Van Bramer said. “That’s why I’ve proposed legislation to put our money where our mouth is and require organizations seeking city subsidies to submit their records on sexual harassment complaints as a condition of funding. We need to back up the women and men who’ve been brave enough to come forward and make clear that we won’t support institutions that don’t take sexual harassment seriously.”

HOUSE RESOLUTION PASSES, CALLING FOR NEW SANCTIONS ON BURMA: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (DNY) applauded the passage of H.Con.Res.90, a resolution he authored along with Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), condemning the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people and calling for the Trump administration to impose sanctions on the Burma security services responsible for rights abuses.

The measure passed the House by a vote of 423 to 3. The resolution also calls for an immediate restoration of humanitarian access in Burma’s Rakhine State. The bipartisan resolution was cosponsored by 30 members of Congress.

“The House of Representatives sent a strong message today that there must be consequences for the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. That includes imposing sanctions against the military and security services who perpetrate these atrocities.

“I will continue to press for stronger actions to end violence against innocent men, women, and children, and call on American and Burmese authorities to do everything they can to extend equal rights to the Rohingya as well as protect them from further attacks.”

WEPRIN APPLAUDS RECOGNITION OF JERUSALEM AS CAPITAL OF ISRAEL: Assembly Member David I. Weprin issued the following statement on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

“I applaud the President’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the start of the process to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the official home of the Israeli government, and as a sovereign nation, Israel long ago chose Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Today’s announcement is a testament to the special bond between Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, and the United States; and I am grateful that this long-awaited and most welcome change is being made.”

ADDABBO INTRO’S BILL TO REPLACE PUBLIC PARKING LOST TO TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS: Citing serious hardships for local businesses that have lost significant customer parking spaces to the newly-implemented Select Bus Service (SBS) program, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. has introduced legislation (S.6962) to require the City of New York to provide alternate parking spaces to make up for those that disappear as a result of the SBS or other municipal capital projects.

“Since SBS went into effect on November 12 on Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards, many small businesses along these roadways have found that nearby customer parking spaces have been sacrificed to the bus routes and newly created bus stops,” Addabbo said. “This directly impacts the economic health of our community and the local companies that are the foundation of our local business areas. If customers can’t get to these stores owing to an elimination of parking, they will certainly decide to take their business elsewhere – therefore placing our stores in jeopardy.”

Under Addabbo’s plan, when parking is eliminated under an SBS or other capital project, the city would be required to dedicate an equal number of publicly available commercial or residential parking spots within a block of the spaces that were lost. In addition, the city would be required to hold a public hearing to solicit community input, and consider alternative parking sites, prior to the elimination of any existing parking spaces.

“I worked with city legislation which required that alternate green space must be found when parkland is taken for other uses,” said Addabbo, who was the Chair of the NYC Council Committee on Parks and Recreation during his tenure there. “If we can take action to prevent our rare green spaces from being lost to development, we can also find a way to ensure that customer access to our local merchants isn’t sacrificed to municipal projects.”

A frequent critic of many aspects of the SBS plan for Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards, Addabbo noted that critical parking spaces have been eliminated that were directly in front of many local stores. “Unbelievably, these spaces were taken away for the sole purpose of installing a bus lane for a non-existent Saturday rush hour,” he said. “At some locations, the spaces are unavailable 24 hours a day due to the new SBS bus stops, even when already-existing bus stops remain just a short distance away.”

Addabbo believes that when working on the need to provide better mass transit options, such as more efficient bus service, the city must carefully weigh the overall impacts the proposed measure has on the residents of the host community.

“In addition to the potentially disastrous effect of SBS on local businesses, I am also seeing greater vehicular congestion and am concerned for the safety of pedestrians waiting on medians between traffic lanes,” he said. “We need to continue urging the city to better address all of these vital issues. When it comes to parking availability, the administration must be made to understand the need to give back what it takes away. Our local businesses depend on customer foot traffic to succeed. The ‘No parking, no customers, no local businesses’ formula is bad for our city and its residents.”

Addabbo’s companion legislation will be introduced in the Assembly by Assembly Member Mike Miller. “This bill is being introduced to address the growing concerns of my constituents regarding the loss of numerous parking spots. The SBS project and other capital projects have taken away much needed parking in our districts,” said Miller. “This bill will ensure that any future endeavors by New York City which affects parking will require the city to replace these spots at a suitable location in the same community.”

NOVEMBER JOBS REPORT SHOWS ANEMIC WAGE INCREASES: Following the release of the November jobs report, House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley said, “Republicans lack vision on how to create an economy that lifts up working and middle-class families. Their to-the-brink style of governing has once again brought the country to the precipice of a shutdown. The tax plan they’ve rushed through Congress helps corporate special interests and GOP donors, but will decimate a generation of teachers, firefighters, shift workers, and the elderly.

“There is a better way. Democrats have a plan to raise wages, which today’s jobs report shows are increasing far too slowly. We must also invest in our country by supporting a robust infrastructure plan that put people back to work in meaningful and well-paying jobs and opens new opportunities for the American middle class.”

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