2012-01-11 / Features

On the brief side...

Maloney Urges GOP, ‘Get Back To Work’

Charging that Republicans in Congress are prolonging the House’s present year-end holiday by two weeks, which will shorten their work period this month, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) urged them to return to Washington earlier “and get to work on a range of issues that are vitally important for the American people…”

Among these are legislation to create jobs and extend President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut, expanded unemployment insurance coverage and Medicare payments to doctors for a full year.

The latter three issues were extended temporarily before the year-end holidays, but only until the end of February under a compromise agreement.

Maloney who had joined her fellow Democrats in the House in making her plea, stated:

“House Democrats are ready to work, but when it comes to job creation Republicans have been missing in action not just today, but for the entire year they’ve been in charge.

“The millions of Americans who are unemployed can’t wait for Congress to pass the president’s Jobs Act and to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Families all over the country can’t wait for Republicans to agree to a full-year extension of the president’s payroll tax cut. And doctors who serve Medicare patients deserve the reassurance of a full-year ‘doc fix’ that prevents a huge cut in their revenues.”

Maloney added: “To my Republican colleagues, with all due respect, it’s time to get to work and finally address these issues, which are among the most important to the American people. We can’t wait any longer, and we shouldn’t have to.” Liu Seeks End To TV Sports Blackout

Addressing the blackout of Madison Square Garden television channels for Time Warner Cable customers, City Comptroller John Liu urged a quick end to the dispute because, “New Yorkers deserve to get what they pay for.”

Liu said he had contacted the city Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) and urged it “to step up and hold the company accountable and make sure it reimburses subscribers for the loss of those channels… anything less is unacceptable.”

Liu’s office is responsible for enforcing cable agreements in the city, and acting under that mandate, his office contacted DOITT concerning the blackout of the Fuse channel for Time Warner customers as a result of the ongoing cable dispute.

The comptroller demanded that the agency develop a plan for future blackouts, as well as update his office as to what discussions have taken place with cable providers regarding consumer protections.

Liu declared: “This ongoing corporate dispute does nothing more than unfairly punish their customers and city residents. What started as a blackout of the Fuse channel, has now escalated to MSG sports networks, causing nearly two million customers to be without access to their beloved Knicks and Rangers.”

Four months ago, the New York City Franchises Concession and Review Commission (FCRC) authorized cable franchise agreements with Time Warner and Cablevision, Liu said. As a member of the FCRC, Liu expressed concern that the city needed to protect cable consumers during blackouts such as this one that Time Warner subscribers are now facing.—John Toscano

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