An Historic Week
This has been an historic week – with the House sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate voting to become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. On Monday, the House passed my bill to prevent corporate executives from taking advantage of a loophole that currently allows them to trade on information before it’s made public and I introduced a bill to ensure a greater number of employees are entitled to accommodations in the workplace to pump breastmilk.
Then, on Tuesday, I joined with my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee to take a look at this nation’s affordable housing crisis and what action the federal government can take to combat mistreatment of tenants. On Wednesday, I received an award from the Trucking Cares Foundation for my work to combat human trafficking. And yesterday, I stood with Congressman Gregory Meeks to introduce the Tax Relief for Taxi Drivers Act which will help drivers who were sold predatory loans with their taxi medallions and are now being charged unfair tax bills as a result of receiving debt relief. I also led my New York delegation colleagues in demanding answers from ICE about the treatment of Yuen “Chin” Mei Tsui – a transgender man who has been mistreated in custody and who we believe is not even eligible to be detained by ICE in the first place. Mr. Tsui should be home with his friends and family – not held in a facility where his medical and mental healthcare needs are not being met.
More on all of this below.
Impeachment Heads to the Senate
On Tuesday, I joined with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel to send additional evidence to the Judiciary Committee that would be included with the Articles of the Impeachment sent to the Senate.
This included phone records, as well as new documents and materials produced to the Intelligence Committee by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, pursuant to a subpoena served on him on October 10, 2019.
Despite President Trump’s efforts to conceal his actions and his unprecedented obstruction of our inquiry, Congress continues to uncover overwhelming evidence of the President’s scheme. The Senate must now conduct a fair trial by obtaining documents and hearing from key witnesses. The Constitution demands it and the American people deserve it.
One Step Closer to Putting Women’s Equality in the Constitution
As the long-time sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment in the House of Representatives, witnessing Wednesday’s votes in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate was truly exhilarating. I commend and congratulate the leaders in Virginia for prioritizing this historic legislation.
In less than three years, three states have voted to ratify the ERA, rejecting arguments that the time for the ERA had passed. I am confident that more will follow. I remain committed to working to ensure a vote in Congress to remove the time limit that was attached to the amendment when it passed in 1972.
A Constitutional amendment is forever. It cannot be repealed, rolled back or expire. It is not subject to the whims of who controls Congress, a statehouse, or the White House. We will keep moving forward until women’s equality is adopted into the Constitution, where it belongs.
Closing the 8-K Trading Gap Loophole
Corporate executives shouldn’t be allowed to trade on significant information ahead of the public and investors, but that’s exactly what’s happening because of a current legal loophole. To fix this, I introduced the 8-K Trading Gap Act. This bill offers a very simple solution to this problem by prohibiting executives from trading during the four-day gap between when an event happens and when the company publicly files a Form 8-K to alert the public and shareholders of the event. Given the unanimous, bipartisan support for this bill in the House Committee on Financial Services, and the broad bipartisan vote out of the House, I hope the bill will pass the Senate quickly. It’s just commonsense.
PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act
As the first woman to give birth while serving on the New York City Council, I know firsthand the difficulties new mothers face in the workplace. Those difficulties should not include barriers to breastfeeding.
It is unacceptable that millions of nursing mothers are still not guaranteed a clear right to pump at work. Without these protections, nursing mothers face serious health consequences, including risk of painful illness and infection, diminished milk supply, or inability to continue breastfeeding.
I introduced the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act this week to strengthen the 2010 Break Time law by making sure more working moms are guaranteed the right to pump at work because no mother should be made to choose between her job and breastfeeding.
Our nation is facing an affordable housing crisis, and New York City faces enormous — and unique — challenges in tackling this issue. Too many New Yorkers spend more than a third of their income on housing, and many spend more than half of their income on housing — which makes it difficult to afford anything else.
In New York, it’s become far too difficult to find decent, affordable housing. We need many more affordable units in order to meet the overwhelming demand. That’s why I support expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, one of the most powerful tools to build and rehabilitate affordable rental housing.
And while things like tax credits are effective, it’s just as important to ensure that people who have found affordable housing, are able to remain in that housing.
In cities like New York, some landlords resort to tactics like shutting off gas for months at a time in order to force tenants out — just so the landlord can cash in on rising property values. On Tuesday, at a Financial Services Committee Hearing, I asked experts how we in the federal government can act to prevent this cruel, disgraceful behavior.
Combatting Human Trafficking
On Wednesday, I was honored to receive the 2020 Hero Award from the Trucking Cares Foundation—the charitable arm of the American Trucking Association— for my work in Congress to combat human trafficking.
I thank the foundation for recognizing this work and the trucking industry for taking a stand against trafficking to save lives. In recent years, thanks to calls made to the national anti-trafficking hotline by the industry, more than 1,240 victims were identified and rescued. Human trafficking happens here in the United States and all over the world, but if we all come together to stop it, we can finally eradicate slavery in all its forms.
Tax Relief for Taxi Drivers Act
For over a century, yellow taxi cabs have been a staple of NYC streets and a pathway to the American dream. However, predatory lending and inflated medallion pricing defrauded taxi drivers – disproportionately harming immigrants and people of color.
In September, I called on the federal agencies that held most of this unfair debt to put an immediate moratorium on medallion foreclosures and give yellow taxi riders relief. But now, drivers who were granted debt relief face unjust IRS tax bills.
Today, I gathered with the Taxi Workers Alliance (TWA) and other elected officials in support of Congressman Gregory Meeks’s Tax Relief for Taxi Drivers Act. With all of these New Yorkers working together, I know we will do right by our yellow cab drivers.
Working to Bring Yuen “Chin” Mei Tsui Home
Yuen “Chin” Mei Tsui has been struggling greatly while being detained by ICE, including 19 months of solitary confinement. Mr. Tsui has been confirmed as a survivor of human trafficking and, per my and my colleagues’ understanding, is not eligible to be held at all by ICE. We are demanding answers from ICE on why he is still being held, why his court date was postponed an additional year, and why his treatment appears to be in violation of the 2015 “Further Guidance Regarding the Care of Transgender Individuals” memorandum.
The conditions Mr. Tsui has described to us are appalling and I am deeply disturbed by the emotional and physical trauma he has been subjected to while in our government’s custody. This must not go unchecked or unanswered for.
You can read the full letter to ICE here.
As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress