Congressional Update - News for New York's 12th Congressional District

Oct 27, 2015
Newsletter

Dear Friend,

The past few weeks in Congress have been, in a word, interesting. The Pope visited. Speaker Boehner announced he was resigning. Majority Leader McCarthy said he wanted the job, then withdrew. Planned Parenthood was senselessly and savagely attacked, and Hillary Clinton spent nearly 11 hours answering questions by members of what multiple Republicans openly admitted was a politically-motivated Benghazi Select Committee intended to take her down.

In the meantime, real priorities are being ignored. A majority of House members now support permanently extending the bipartisan James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, yet we still haven’t had a vote and thousands of first responders and survivors are left waiting in the wind. There hasn’t been a single committee hearing or vote on gun safety legislation, and many mainstream priorities to bolster the U.S. economy and help working families aren't even being discussed.

As extremists use Congress to act out their ideological agendas, we’re rushing toward another government shutdown and debt default debacle. Is it any wonder why Congressional approval is in the gutter?

I’m fighting against this nonsense, and to get things done for New Yorkers. Read about my latest efforts below.

Sincerely,

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

New Documentary: The Real Story Behind the E. 91st St. Garbage Station 
Have you heard about the plans to build a Marine Transfer Station waste facility at E. 91st Street? I vigorously oppose the proposal, because I don’t think we should be building waste facilities like this in residential areas. It would bring thousands of tons of garbage rumbling through our streets every day, destroy our quality of life, and increase the levels of air pollution in a neighborhood where air quality is among the worst in the city. Watch this new documentary to learn more.

30 Days since Zadroga Act Expiration – Congress must #Renew911Health 
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act has started to expire, and unless Congress acts, more than 70,000 9/11 responders and survivors will lose their health care and medical monitoring. If Congress allowed a vote, it would pass tomorrow with strong bipartisan support. Watch my interview on PIX 11 Up Close.
 

I’m standing with Planned Parenthood against latest anti-choice witch hunts 
Hiding behind discredited and misleading videos released this summer, anti-choice activists are at it again with a heavily partisan inquisition of Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and several bills restricting women’s access to healthcare services. I was proud to stand with Planned Parenthood against these attacks:

Taking on the NRA in the fight for common-sense gun safety laws 
After the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, I hosted a citizens’ summit on gun violence. I also took to the floor of the House to shame those whose reaction to this tragic shooting was to simply declare “stuff happens.” We need a plan to keep the American people safe from gun violence, not politicians who shrug their shoulders and look the other way.  Read about the gun violence summit here, or click here to watch my floor speech.

Working to protect Social Security and stop huge Medicare fee hikes
Seniors in New York City who rely on Social Security are seeing their expenses go up and without a Social Security COLA, they will struggle to pay higher medical, food, housing, and other bills. Seven and a half million Americans will also face higher Medicare premiums. I'm working to change the way COLA's are calculated so that Seniors can live with dignity, and I'm also working to stop the Medicare rate hike. Read more about my efforts here.

Finally a vote to renew the Export Import Bank
I’ve been fighting for months to extend the Export-Import Bank – a little known institution that creates a lot of jobs for New Yorkers. This summer, I issued a report showing that the bank sustained 164,000 jobs last year, but a radical element of the Republican Party forced the bank to shut down anyway. Last week I was proud to join a majority of the House in signing a discharge petition that will force a vote to renew the ExIm Bank. With a discharge petition, Members can bring a bill to the floor even over the objections of House leadership.

Affordability protected at Stuy Town Peter Cooper Village
Last week, Mayor DeBlasio announced that Blackstone Group, LP is acquiring Stuy Town Peter Cooper Village for $5.3 billion. As part of the deal, Blackstone has entered into an agreement with the City to preserve 5,000 units of affordable housing for at least 20 years. Rent-stabilized tenants will continue to be protected by state rent stabilization laws. Blackstone agreed that as rent-stabilized apartments become vacant, 4,500 apartments will be set aside for families with incomes up to 165% of area median income and another 500 apartments will set aside for families with incomes of up to 80% of area median income. Rents on those apartments will be capped at 30% of area median income. Because of the commitment to provide affordable housing, this agreement eliminates an incentive for the new landlord to evict or harass tenants with below market rents. This is very welcome news for residents of the complex who had been subjected to harassment from a landlord trying to maximize profits.

On June 26, 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the parent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had provided financing that made the disastrous transfer from Met Life possible, responded to my inquiry about a potential sale of the property and said: “they would not consider an application for financing until the affordability issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of both the City of New York and the tenants ' organization.” This commitment limited the opportunities for another greedy landlord to buy the property because financing for such a large transaction would not have been available. Any new purchaser had to commit to keeping affordable housing at Stuy Town Peter Cooper Village.

MTA Capital Plan to include funding for Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 
New York State’s 2015-2019 $26.1 billion Capital Plan is on the verge of being adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board following an agreement by New York State to provide $8.3 billion, and New York City to provide $2.5 billion. The program includes $1.5 billion for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway which will run from 99th to 125th Street, with station stops at 106th, 116th and 125th Streets. Phase 1 is fully funded and is scheduled to open in December 2016.  The federal government has provided $1.3 billion for Phase 1, all of which has already been appropriated. I will be working to provide federal funding for Phase 2.

Protesting Land Grab at NYCHA
NYCHA is considering building a residential building with 50% luxury units and 50% moderate income units on NYCHA land at Holmes Towers in the district I represent.  The so-called affordable units will have income requirements that are too high for all but the highest income NYCHA residents.  NYCHA has told residents that it has identified three possible sites where the new housing would be built.  Two of the three sites include playgrounds and the third includes open space.  Holmes is also adjacent to the street where the new ramp for the 91st Street garbage transfer station is being built, which will mean an influx of polluting sanitation trucks. Taken together, these two construction projects will lead to a significant deterioration in quality of life for the public housing residents living at Holmes Towers, many of whom struggle to make ends meet. I believe NYCHA should find other ways to meet its capital needs, and I will be happy to work with them to come up with better solutions.