2017-10-18 / Political Page

I On Politics

MALONEY SEEKS FULL HEARING ON EQUIFAX’S IRS CONTRACT AWARDED AFTER DATA BREACH: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) has called for an investigation into the decision by the IRS to award Equifax a no-bid contract to provide tax fraud protection services just three weeks after the public disclosure of the company’s major security and data breach. Rep. Maloney, senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked Chairman Trey Gowdy and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings to convene this hearing.

In her request, the Congresswoman says, “Multiple committees in the House and Senate have held hearings over the last two weeks to conduct oversight, and investigations are ongoing. Given these efforts, I have deep concerns about the IRS’s decision to move forward with this $7.2 million no-bid contract to Equifax and I believe our committee should schedule a hearing to determine how the IRS came to its decision.”

Maloney added, “[T]he American people need and deserve to know how the government is protecting their personal data. Our Committee has thoroughly investigated data security breaches in both the private and public sectors, and I believe oversight on this issue is critical to provide transparency about a government contract that has an impact on millions of Americans.”

In her letter to Chairman Gowdy and Ranking Member Cummings, Crowley stated “Providing tax filers an opportunity to access more records digitally has great benefits, but we must be vigilant in ensuring that those technological upgrades do not come at the expense of security and identification protections. In instances where the government seeks private sector partnerships to put identity safeguards in place, Americans expect that due diligence is carried out to ensure the highest standard of service.”

MALONEY JOINS TO INTRODUCE BILL TO EXPAND NORTH KOREA POLICY AND SANCTIONS: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney joined Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) to introduce the bipartisan Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy Act of 2017. This comprehensive bill would supplement efforts in search of a diplomatic solution to the threat of North Korea’s developing nuclear capabilities, authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses, and apply economic and diplomatic pressure to North Korea and those who enable it. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

“The dangerous rhetoric and actions from North Korea present a grave challenge to the world,” said Maloney. “Strategic diplomacy, in full cooperation with our allies, is the only responsible course of action. I am proud to join Rep. Wagner in introducing this legislation as a companion to the Senate bill sponsored by Sens. Gardner and Markey. This important bill would strengthen our ability to block financial transactions between North Korea and those who continue to conduct prohibited business with that regime. Toughening our ability to enforce sanctions against North Korea is a key step toward starting productive talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, she added.”

PHEFFER AMATO OPPOSES A NY STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: Pheffer Amato issued the following statement: “The working men and women of New York State, represented by labor unions and activists, have been crystal-clear: a Constitutional Convention would leave crucial worker protections vulnerable. The NYS Constitution, while not a perfect document by any means, gives collective bargaining and other labor rights a permanent seat at the table, which is not something any of us can afford to lose.

“There are major reforms that can – and should – be achieved in New York State legislatively. I’m proud to champion ethics and transparency in Albany as part of the Assembly Majority. But I am, and will remain, opposed to a Constitutional Convention in New York State.”

MALONEY ON TRUMP ROLLBACK OF CLEAN POWER PLAN: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) released the following statement denouncing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s proposed rule to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

“Administrator Pruitt’s decision to scrap the Clean Power Plan violates the EPA’s legal and moral obligation to combat climate change. Climate change is the single greatest humanitarian crisis facing our world today. The U.S. should be leading the effort to fight it, but President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have made it clear they have no interest in acknowledging climate change, much less addressing the problem. I’m hopeful that Congress and the courts will act to stop this repeal effort before that happens. I remain committed to protecting the Clean Power Plan, and will work with my colleagues in Congress to combat climate change and prevent this Administration from further undermining the worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

CROWLEY OPPOSES TRUMP REPEAL OF CLEAN POWER PLAN: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after President Trump’s administration repealed the Clean Power Plan:

“Climate change is undeniably real – one just needs to review the sheer number of natural disasters Americans have experienced in the last month to understand how the decision to end the Clean Power Plan will put Americans’ health, well-being, and security at further risk.

“This was an incredibly short-sighted decision from the administration that highlights President Trump’s continued support of special interests over Americans’ interests.”

CUOMO: ‘WE WILL SUE’ TO SAVE HEALTH SUBSIDIES: “Unable to move the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in Congress, President Trump is now attempting to administratively dismantle the ACA bit by bit. His actions will slash benefits and raise premiums in many health plans by 20 percent next year, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, and it will single-handedly destabilize insurance markets. With a swipe of a pen, President Trump puts the health of New Yorkers at risk.

“We will not stand silently by as the federal government tries to take away health care from New Yorkers. As President Trump executes on his mission to strip health care protection from those who need it most, we stand ready to join states across the nation to sue the federal government. We will not go backwards.”

CROWLEY BLASTS TRUMP’S ‘FURTHER SABOTAGE’ OF AMERICANS’ HEALTH CARE: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement after President Trump issued an executive order “designed to undermine our nation’s insurance markets,” Crowley said.

Crowley continued, “This is a last-ditch effort by President Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, despite desperate pleas from Americans for Republicans to join with Democrats to improve health care in this country.

“Undermining insurance markets will cause premiums to skyrocket, leave hardworking men and women vulnerable to cut-rate care that doesn’t cover basic health care needs, and make the system worse for all Americans. This executive order is not a solution, it’s just another way for President Trump to sabotage Americans’ health care.”

Crowley added after President Trump said he will stop critical cost-sharing payments, “This decision will devastate the health and financial security of seniors, veterans, children, and middle-class families. And it will do nothing to help improve Americans’ access to affordable, high-quality health care. ”With this decision, President Trump and congressional Republicans have taken their political obsession to dismantle our health care system to the extreme. The American people deserve better. We cannot afford to return to a time when quality health care coverage was unattainable for millions. This sabotage cannot be allowed to continue. House Democrats will keep fighting, as we believe access to affordable and quality health care is a right, not a privilege.”

MALONEY SLAMS TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER ‘UNDERMINING THE HEALTH PLANS’: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) issued the following statement after President Trump issued an executive order relaxing requirements for association health plans.

“After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act through legislation, this latest Executive Order is a desperate attempt by President Trump to dismantle it. This action harms the sickest among us, raises healthcare prices, and destabilizes insurance marketplaces. Insurers will no longer have to provide Essential Health Benefits, such as maternity care and mental health coverage, which the ACA requires. This destructive sabotage must stop. Instead, we should be building on the progress we’ve made thanks to the ACA, and making sure that everyone has access to affordable, quality care.”

“In order to reverse President Trump’s action, Congress should immediately take up the Marketplace Certainty Act (HR 3528), which would provide permanent funding for cost-sharing payments. Congress has a responsibility to keep people safe. By continuing cost-sharing payments we can live up to that responsibility by ensuring that millions of low-income Americans continue to have access to affordable health insurance and the care they need.”

ON TRUMP’S DECISION NOT TO RECERTIFY IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL: After President Donald J. Trump announced his decision not to recertify the Iran nuclear deal: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement.

“It is unfortunate that President Trump has ignored the findings of his Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that Iran is complying with the agreement and that the agreement is in our national interest, and has chosen not to certify the Iran deal. This purely political act undermines America’s position in the world and strengthens Iran’s, while sending an unfortunate message to North Korea. Congress must reject any effort to unilaterally renegotiate the agreement and instead focus on working with our allies to ensure implementation of the agreement and to address Iran’s other bad behavior.”

House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement:

“President Trump’s decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is reckless and irresponsible, and will erode our credibility around the world and deteriorate our national security. The Iran Deal is working as intended: preventing Iran from acquiring enough material to develop a nuclear weapon. While it isn’t perfect, this multinational agreement was a result of years of tough sanctions and intensive diplomatic efforts.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency and every country participating in the deal has confirmed that Iran is in compliance with the terms set forth in the JCPOA. Even President Trump’s top military advisor and his own State Department have confirmed that Iran is adhering to its obligations.

“There is no question that Iran is engaged in deeply concerning activities. But instead of jeopardizing the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program included in the JCPOA, we should accelerate our efforts to work with global partners to counter Iran’s destabilizing conduct. Unfortunately, the president has now risked leaving the U.S. in a weaker position with less leverage to secure international cooperation on any efforts moving forward.”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY- 12) released the following statement condemning the decision:

“The President’s decision to withhold certification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) risks our credibility in the world without doing anything to strengthen the deal. Iran is the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism and must never have nuclear weapons. I’m pleased that Congress has recently passed, with my strong support, sanctions to crack down on Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as its sponsorship of terrorism, human rights abuses, and support for the Assad regime.

“Unfortunately, the President’s non-action today will not help in the effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, nor will it prevent Iran from ramping up its long range missile program or curtail its destabilizing actions in the region. Instead, this unilateral decision to withhold certification will damage our alliances, weaken our country’s standing in the world, hamper our efforts to deal with North Korea, and leave lasting negative consequences for our future diplomatic efforts.

“Less than ten days ago, Defense Secretary Mattis testified that our intelligence community and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe that Iran has been compliant with the terms of the JCPOA. Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the President is required to provide to Congress credible evidence of Iranian noncompliance with JCPOA. To date, he has not provided such information. As long as our military leaders and the IAEA verify that Iran is complying with the JCPOA, and that our partners are abiding by its terms, then I agree with Secretary Mattis that remaining in the Iran Deal is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”

CROWLEY ON COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT INCREASE FOR SENIORS: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement after the Social Security Administration announced that beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent increase in their cost-of-living benefits next year:

“Social Security is an economic lifeline for millions of seniors in Queens, the Bronx, and across the country. After spending a lifetime working, this increase will bring some much-needed relief for beneficiaries. But it’s not enough, which is why I’ll continue fighting to strengthen and expand Social Security and fight back against attempts to weaken the program.”

Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, Social Security was created at a time when the American economy had crashed and was still struggling to recover. Pensions were almost non-existent and a majority of seniors were unable to support themselves after retirement. Today, more than 60 million Americans, including 3.5 million in New York, rely on Social Security’s guaranteed benefits for retirement security.

Since 1975, Social Security benefits have been automatically adjusted each year to maintain purchasing power, keeping millions of seniors from falling into poverty. Social Security beneficiaries will begin to see next year’s increased payments on January 1, 2018.

CROWLEY ON TRUMP’S THREAT TO ABANDON PUERTO RICO: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (DNY) issued the following statement after President Trump said he plans to abandon the people of Puerto Rico as the island rebuilds following recent hurricanes:

“President Trump’s threats are a slap in the face to the people of Puerto Rico. We cannot abandon our brothers and sisters who are simply asking for the same aid and assistance to rebuild their homes, economy, and lives that any U.S. citizen would expect from their government following an unprecedented natural disaster and humanitarian crisis.

“When 90 percent of the island still lacks electricity and the majority of people lack access to clean drinking water, the Trump administration must intensify its support of Puerto Rico – not issue baseless threats to abandon these Americans.

“Our commitment to helping Puerto Rico rebuild must be measured in months and years – not days and weeks. President Trump’s threats to abandon Puerto Rico show a deep disregard for the pain and suffering of our fellow Americans. This is simply wrong.”

CROWLEY ON HOUSE OK OF AID PACKAGE FOR PR, USVI, CA: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after the House approved $36 billion in disaster and humanitarian assistance for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and California on October 12:

“It is a basic responsibility of the federal government to help Americans recover in the wake of natural disasters and crises. The aid package that passed the House will help those in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and California by injecting urgently-needed funding and establishing loan programs that will directly help communities and towns rebuild.

“While I was proud to vote for this disaster relief package, I remain concerned that it does not go far enough to help the people of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and California fully recover. There is much more that must be done to ensure Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and California will be able to rebuild. Congress must stand ready to provide additional resources and assure our fellow citizens that their government will be there for them in their time of need.

“Congress must reassure our fellow Americans that they will not be abandoned as they recover from these unprecedented natural disasters. Despite threats from President Trump, House Democrats will fight to ensure that the federal government remains committed to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and California.”

MALONEY LAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF EMERGENCY AID BILL: After the House passed a $36.5 billion aid bill for hurricane and wildfire relief, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney released the following statement:

“This emergency aid bill is vital to the recovery efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and California as they deal with the aftermath of natural disasters that have deeply hurt, and in some cases, totally destroyed communities. Nevertheless, this bill is just the beginning. These communities will continue to need our help as they rebuild and work to return to normalcy. Thousands of people have been displaced and have seen their homes completely destroyed or burned to the ground. In Puerto Rico, critical services, including power and telecommunications, are badly damaged and many people are lacking access to food and clean water. Americans have always come together to help one another in times of crisis, and we must commit to supporting a full recovery for our neighbors.”

CROWLEY ON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THREATENING NEW YORK CITY: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after President Trump’s administration threatened to withhold federal funding from New York City due to its status as a sanctuary city:

“This announcement lays bare the priorities of President Trump’s administration – and it’s clear the most extreme anti-immigration voices are dictating federal policy. Threatening to withhold millions of dollars from New York City – money that is chiefly used to fund crime-fighting analysts, prosecutors, and emergency dispatchers – will leave Americans less safe and our communities at risk. New York City has always been, and will always be, a place where immigrants are welcomed, valued, and protected. These are founding principles of our city and no amount of bullying from this anti-immigrant White House will change our values.”

CROWLEY ON NATIONAL LATINO AIDS AWARENESS DAY: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement marking National Latino AIDS Awareness Day:

“National Latino AIDS Awareness Day allows us to remember those we have lost to this devastating disease and recommit ourselves to the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have made tremendous progress, but much more needs to be done to educate, raise awareness, and eliminate this disease.”

In comparison with other races and ethnicities, Latinos in the U.S. are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latinos accounted for 24 percent of new diagnoses in the United States in 2015.

For more information on AIDS/HIV, or to find your nearest testing center, visit www.gettested.cdc.gov.

MALONEY JOINS REP. SPEIER TO DEFEND SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), sponsor of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA), joined Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14) as she introduced H.R. 4030, The Title IX Protection Act, which will codify Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors. Maloney is an original cosponsor of the bill.

The Title IX Protection Act codifies into law guidance released under the Obama, George W. Bush, and Clinton Administrations to provide clear standards for sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and response that colleges and universities must meet under Title IX, which ensures educational equality for men and women. “H.R. 4030 is a response to Secretary DeVos’s recent actions to rescind this guidance and allow schools to discriminate against survivors,”

Maloney stated.

“I am proud to join Rep. Speier and many of my colleagues to make permanent Title IX protections for sexual assault survivors. Secretary DeVos’ decision to rollback these protections threatens the safety and wellbeing of college students. This change in policy creates confusion at best, and catastrophe at worst. Students should never feel they are unsafe on their campuses, and they should be confident that college administrators are held accountable for ensuring their safety. The Title IX Protection Act sets clear standards that a preponderance of evidence be used for Title IX grievances, which is the standard for other civil rights law. It is our duty as lawmakers to make sure that students’ civil rights aren’t infringed upon and that they have a safe environment in which to learn and grow,” Maloney concluded.

CENSUS CAUCUS SAYS CENSUS FUNDS ARE INADEQUATE:

Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY- 12) and Keith Ellison (MN-5), co-chairs of the House Census Caucus, and Reps. Mark Takano (CA-41) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-7) were joined by civil rights groups as they announced a new effort to address the current severe underfunding of the Census Bureau. This announcement comes ahead of Secretary Ross’ testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the 2020 census.

Despite its constitutionally mandated responsibility to conduct a nationwide census every 10 years, the Census Bureau’s 2020 Decennial effort is woefully underfunded with budget constraints forcing a scale back of its 2018 end-to-end test, a dress rehearsal during which all new technologies and counting methods are meant to be tested and evaluated. Due to these cuts, rural and suburban communities, as well as communities with high levels of military personnel, have been dropped entirely from operations testing and the Spanish language test in Puerto Rico has been canceled. Work on advertising campaigns and partnership programs are also delayed. All of this is particularly ominous if we are to fulfill our constitutional mandate of an accurate count in 2020, Maloney explained.

“Counting every person in this country every ten years is a Constitutional obligation that dates back to our founding, yet because of chronic underfunding the 2020 Census is at serious risk of failure,” said Rep. Maloney. “With just three years to go before the 2020 Census, critical planning, testing and outreach are being cut back due to lack of funds and the Census Bureau is in desperate need of additional funding now to get things back on track. That is why today, we are introducing the 2020 American Census Investment Act. This bill will provide the Census Bureau with the funding it needs to conduct a fair, accurate, and cost effective census. The choice is simple – we can pay now or ask our constituents to pay far more later down the road – or worse, we can own the first ever failure to fulfill our Constitutional duty to deliver a full, fair and complete count of the nation.”

LIZ CROWLEY ENDORSED BY MENG IN COUNCIL RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN: Democratic New York City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) enters the final stretch of her re-election bid in The 30th District with a major new endorsement from Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY 6). This latest boost to Queens lawmaker resoundingly beat out controversial opponent Bob Holden in the September primary.

“I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Elizabeth Crowley on many issues affecting Queens, and I’ve seen first-hand how hard she fights for her constituents,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “I’m proud to endorse her candidacy for reelection so that she can continue the important work she has done, especially fighting for first responders, improving transportation and being an independent voice at City Hall. I look forward to continuing to work with her for another four years!”

“It’s a true honor to have the support of Congressmember Meng,” said Crowley. “The Congressmember has been a tireless advocate for Queens in the nation’s capital. I was proud to stand with her in opposing the misguided plan to place homeless families in the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express, and I look forward to standing with her in the years ahead, fighting for our communities.”

With Meng’s endorsement, Crowley continues to build on her strong coalition of supporters in her bid for a third term in the City Council. Meng joins prominent New York City and state officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell in endorsing Crowley.

This comes just weeks after Crowley’s resounding victory against conservative Bob Holden by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent, and further contrasts the Councilwoman’s long record of achievement and Democratic bona fides against Holden’s false flag candidacy in the primary,” noted Crowley.

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