2017-10-04 / Political Page

I On Politics

CROWLEY TO FEDS, CONGRESS: DO MORE FOR PUERTO RICO, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement calling for urgent assistance for Puerto and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma:

“Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in crisis. The federal government and Congress must do significantly more to ensure that everyone living there has the resources and assistance needed to rebuild their homes and communities, including appropriating recovery funds and clearing the way to ensure goods and services can reach Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands immediately.

“President Trump’s response to the crises in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has been anemic, and he must immediately devote the necessary federal resources to provide humanitarian and search-and-rescue aid. Additionally, congressional Republicans must abandon their partisan approach to disaster response and work with Democrats to allocate funding for an aid package that will truly help Puerto Rico recover.

“My thoughts and prayers continue to be with those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of my constituents in Queens and the Bronx are desperate to hear how their loved ones are doing. An immediate response from Congress is especially critical as reports indicate that families are struggling to find adequate shelter, safe drinking water, and access to health care.”

MALONEY, HISPANIC CAUCUS, HOUSE DEMS CALL FOR SWIFT AID IN PUERTO RICO, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined her colleagues of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and House Democratic Caucus last Friday to call for swift action to help the Americans suffering in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria.

“The federal government’s response to the humanitarian crises in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has been wholly inadequate. Millions of Americans are starved for even the most basic of resources – food, water, medical care – because of the destruction from Hurricane Maria. It is critical that military assets and the Army Corps of Engineers, along with additional FEMA personnel, be deployed immediately to ensure relief supplies are delivered and basic services are restored. While that happens, the House and Senate need to pass legislation as quickly as possible to supplement those efforts. The people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should not be waiting for more than week to get the help they so desperately need. Let’s act – now.”

MALLIOTAKIS COMMMENTS ON PUERTO RICO’S RECOVERY FROM HURRICANE MARIA: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “Today, I call on the House, the Senate and President Trump to put aside their political differences and do the right thing for the people of Puerto Rico; pass a multi-billion dollar aid package and waive the restrictive Jones Act, so needed food, water and equipment can be delivered to the island as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“The people of Puerto Rico are facing a massive humanitarian crisis. 3.4 million American citizens are at risk; red tape and political bickering must stop so humanitarian aid can be delivered immediately. For me, this is a personal issue, many of my mother’s family settled in Puerto Rico after fleeing Fidel Castro’s repressive regime in Cuba.

“Five years ago SuperStorm Sandy devastated New York City and it was a far less powerful storm than Hurricane Maria. I personally witnessed the pain, loss and the frustration with the recovery process that Sandy caused my constituents. That’s why it’s time for New Yorkers and all Americans to step up to the plate and let our elected officials know that Puerto Rico needs help and it needs it now.”

CROWLEY: ‘REPUBLICANS PUTTING AMERICANS AT RISK’ LETTING HEALTH CARE EXPIRE: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on Republicans’ failure to extend critical health care programs designed to provide access to primary care and keep children healthy ahead of an October 1 deadline:

“Despite holding majorities in both the House and Senate, congressional Republicans are effectively unable to pass basic legislation. This Republican gridlock will put 9 million children at risk when the Children’s Health Insurance Program runs out of federal funding this Sunday. This is unacceptable. Ensuring that children, who would otherwise have no access to comprehensive health care, have the guarantee of coverage should be a bipartisan issue. Extending this critical program must be a top priority when Congress returns to Washington.

“There must also be immediate action on the expiration of Community Health Center funding, as this program supports 1,400 health centers across the country. In New York alone, this program supports 2.2 million. These centers bring health care to communities lacking regular access to doctors, specialists, and clinics. It is a stunning failure from congressional Republicans that this program was allowed to expire and must be reauthorized immediately.

“Republicans must commit to bringing the reauthorization legislation for these two critical programs, along with other expiring programs, including the Special Diabetes Program, the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Payment Program, and the National Health Service Corps, to the House and Senate floors immediately.”

MALONEY SIGNS DREAM ACT DISCHARGE PETITION: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined with House Democrats on September 26 in signing a petition to force a vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act, legislation providing a permanent solution to allow young undocumented immigrants brought here as children to remain in the United States legally.

The House will be forced to take a vote on the DREAM Act if the petition is signed by a majority of congressmembers. Maloney also called on Republicans to allow a vote on this bipartisan bill.

“I was proud to sign Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s (D-NM) discharge petition to force a Floor vote on the bipartisan DREAM Act, which would protect young DREAMers once and for all by allowing them to study, work and live in this country without fear of deportation. DREAMers know no home but the United States. They are our neighbors, our friends, our children’s classmates. These young people are an essential part of building this country’s future and I hope all my colleagues will take that to heart and support the DREAM Act.”

H.R. 3440, the DREAM Act, is bipartisan, bicameral legislation which would permanently protect DREAMers from deportation. It was originally introduced by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on July 26. Rep. Maloney is a cosponsor of the bill.

CROWLEY STATEMENT ON RYAN MCCONNELL TAX FRAMEWORK: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, issued the following statement on the tax framework released on Sept 27 by congressional Republicans:

“This is not tax reform – it’s a thinly-veiled attempt to slash taxes for the wealthy while leaving the middle class, working families, and small business owners empty-handed. It will not serve as a needed boost for our economy, nor will it expand opportunities for the hardest-working Americans – two principles we all agree should be a core tenet of comprehensive tax reform.

“This framework would also cause our national debt to spike, resulting in Republican leaders cutting even more from critical programs that help American families, like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to offset the massive tax cuts they’ve gifted to the rich.

“Yesterday, I asked Speaker Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Brady to expand negotiations to include Democrats, who have been purposefully excluded from the debate thus far. It’s clear that tax reform will only be successful if Democrats and Republicans work together to create a comprehensive plan that benefits all Americans.

CROWLEY ON NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement in recognition of National Voter Registration Day:

“On National Voter Registration Day, we honor the legacy of civil rights leaders who fought to secure Americans’ right to vote and remember the great responsibility all Americans have to participate in our democracy.

“As we celebrate progress and honor the sacrifices made in pursuit of a more perfect union, we must remember there is much more that needs to be done to ensure that every citizen is able to participate in our democracy to the fullest extent. It is with this hope that I call on my Republican colleagues to join Democrats to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act and restore key protections of the Voting Rights Act.”

GRAHAM-CASSIDY BILL PULLED FROM SENATE FLOOR: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after Senate Republicans said they will not bring their latest version of Trumpcare, the Graham-Cassidy bill, to the Senate floor:

“Similar to all Republican efforts so far to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Graham- Cassidy bill would significantly harm seniors, working families, and the millions of Americans with preexisting conditions,” Crowley stated. He added that the Sept. 26 announcement that Senate Republicans will pull their latest version of Trumpcare from the floor “does not end the fight to protect Americans’ health care. We will remain ever-vigilant of attempts to undermine our health care system.

“While I risk repetition, Republicans must abandon this partisan approach to health care and work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act and expand affordable access to care. I hope the Alexander-Murray talks will begin again to set an example for bipartisan conversations on health care.”

PHEFFER AMATO, CITIZENS COMMITTEE NYC: GET GRANT FUNDING!: $ for More Community Work after Launch of Rockaway Beach Org

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) announced on September 26 that her office will be hosting an informational workshop of the Citizens Committee for New York City to help small, volunteer-led organizations apply for grant funding. The workshop will be held at Pheffer Amato’s district office, 95-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, on Monday, October 23, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Pheffer Amato previously hosted the successful launch of Perfect Piece of the Puzzle (PPOP), a Rockaway-based resource for parents of children with disabilities, over the summer; that organization was a Citizens Committee grantee. Impressed by the financial, logistical and informational support the Citizens Committee provided, Pheffer Amato decided to host a workshop for the Committee so that they could expand the reach of their work in South Queens.

“The Citizens Committee for NYC is one of the oldest micro-grant organizations in the country, and the impact of their decades of work shows every day across the Five Boroughs,” said Pheffer Amato. “We’re New Yorkers; we’re restless; we care deeply about our neighborhoods; and sometimes, we know we need something a city agency or nonprofit isn’t providing. That’s where the Citizens Committee steps in, to encourage innovative, truly home-grown efforts to make our neighborhoods a better place. Trishia Bermudez’s group PPoP was a great idea, matched with the funding and expertise to make it happen – all accomplished by volunteers. In South Queens, of all communities, I expect many more smart, home-grown ideas to come out of the woodwork. A group like the Citizens Committee is exactly what we need to make our neighborhoods flourish. I’m excited to host an opportunity to find out how to apply for a grant!”

According to their website, the Citizens Committee has undertaken “four decades of reinventing New York City neighborhoods through resident-led initiative and engagement.” In order to receive a Citizens Committee grant, organizations must meet several criteria, such as having no paid staff, not being for-profit, and operating on a budget of less than $40,000 per year. Organizations do not have to have 501(c)(3) nonprofit certification. Grants are limited to groups, not individuals; grants cannot be used for partisan purposes, for capital expenses, for AV equipment (though the Citizens Committee also runs an Equipment Share for grantees), or for salaries, (though they can stipend). More information on grant criteria can be found at www.citizensnyc.org/grants.

To RSVP, residents are encouraged to email Pheffer Amato’s team at amatos@nyassembly.com, or call her office at (718)-945-9550.

ONGOING DISPUTE BETWEEN ALTICE USA, WALT DISNEY COMPANY: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing carriage dispute between cable distributor

Altice USA and The Walt Disney Company:

“When broadcasters and cable companies negotiate new carriage contracts, it is imperative they always keep the best interests of their customers in mind. Customers should not be unfairly targeted or used as leverage in ongoing talks. As major players in broadcast television, Altice and The Walt Disney Company need to ensure that programming is maintained and that blackouts are avoided throughout their negotiations. I hope that both sides are fully committed to reaching a deal so that New York viewers aren’t impacted or victimized during this process.”

CROWLEY: PLUNKETT A ‘PILLAR OF THE QUEENS COUNTY DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION’: Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chair of the Queens County Democratic Organization, issued the following statement on the passing of Mary Lu Plunkett:

“It fills me with incredible sadness to learn of the passing of Mary Lu Plunkett, a dear, personal friend and pillar of the Queens County Democratic Organization. For over six decades, Mary Lu was committed to building stronger neighborhoods throughout our borough, and her influence on our political process was felt year after year. She leaves behind an incredible legacy, having helped welcome to Queens such dignitaries as Presidents John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and Governor Mario Cuomo. She played a fundamental role in our day-to-day operations and everyone who came in contact with her will miss her charm, warmth and kindness. I express my deepest condolences to her family and friends and join the borough of Queens in mourning her loss.”

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