DC Update: Michael Cohen and Fighting for 9/11 Heroes, Gun Safety, & Against a Fake National Emergency
We had a very busy week in DC so I wanted to highlight some important developments and victories.
Fighting to Give Our 9/11 Heroes the Compensation They Deserve
On Monday, I joined with 9/11 first responders, survivors, their families and Jon Stewart to introduce a bipartisan bill that will fully fund and make permanent the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
In February, the Special Master of the VCF announced that because of a funding shortfall, the program would need to cut compensation awards by 50-70%. This is unacceptable. We need to make sure the Victim Compensation Fund is there for all those who are sick and injured and the families of those killed because of the toxins at Ground Zero. They shouldn’t have to come begging for us to do our jobs. They’ve done that too many times before. I’m urging my colleagues to make this time different and quickly pass this bill.
Questioning Michael Cohen
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to question former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. His testimony points to campaign finance violations, ethics violations, possible tax and insurance fraud and other criminal activity by those closest to the President and perhaps the President himself.
In response to my question about why Trump left off the $130,000 he owed Mr. Cohen for the Stormy Daniels hush money from his 2017 financial disclosure form, Cohen said that the President intentionally left this off to avoid embarrassment. This omission could be a crime.
The committee is reviewing the transcript and the evidence presented and working on a plan to move forward. We need to bring in more witnesses and follow the leads that Michael Cohen laid out for us.
Voting to Stop the Border Wall National Emergency Declaration
Earlier in the week, I joined with my House colleagues in voting to block President Trump’s emergency declaration for a border wall. I hope my colleagues in the Senate will do the same. Declaring a fake national emergency because Congress rejects what you want is an extremely dangerous precedent to set.
This is the most consequential vote that Congress will take in a generation on the balance of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches of government. This isn’t about politics, it’s about our Constitution and our system of checks and balances.
Historic Votes on Gun Safety
The Democrats in the House are delivering on a major campaign promise to finally address gun violence in this country. This was the first time in 25 years that the House passed real gun safety reforms. If more guns made us safer, we would be the safest country in the world, but we are far from it. The American people know it and that’s why more than 90% of Americans, including more than 90% of gun-owning households, support commonsense universal background checks.
I was proud to support the two bills that passed this week to close glaring loopholes that currently exist in the background check system.
H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, included a provision that I have introduced for a couple years to close the gun show loophole. No matter where you buy your gun, you should be subjected to a background check. The Enhanced Background Checks Act, introduced by Majority Whip Clyburn, will close the so-called “Charleston Loophole” by extending the time the FBI has to conduct a background check so that an individual isn’t given a gun by default after 3 days even if the background check has not been completed.
I hope the Senate will stand up to the NRA and pass these important, life-saving measures.
As always, your concerns remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress