Important Updates from Rep. Maloney
This weekly update is coming early this week as the House has finished up voting with Democrats heading to our Issues Conference in Virginia this afternoon. While we were only in DC for a short time this week, we still got a lot done. Below are some highlights.
But, before we get to that, I need to address the public health crisis we are currently seeing in our city; a measles outbreak in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Measles is a virus that causes fever and a rash. It is highly contagious and anyone who is not vaccinated against the virus can get it at any age. Measles can lead to minor complications like diarrhea and ear infections or major issues like pneumonia, encephalitis, premature birth or death. Due to the 285 cases that have been reported since October, the New York City Health Commissioner has ordered that every person who lives or works in Williamsburg must get immunized with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting yourself and your family vaccinated against this preventable disease. More information can be found here on NYC.gov.
I fully support the Health Commissioner’s decision to issue this order and to take proactive action against measles in the interest of public health. I’m vaccinated, my kids are vaccinated, and I believe everyone who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and effective and right now, it is important that New Yorkers follow this directive to keep their kids and other kids safe and healthy.
Questioning Treasury Sec. Mnuchin on Trump Tax Returns
Yesterday, during a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee, I asked Treasury Secretary Mnuchin point blank about his comments that Treasury officials communicated with the White House about Congress’s request for President Trump’s tax returns. His response that there was in fact “consultation” between the White House and Treasury is deeply troubling. This communication certainly violates the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law and I will continue looking into this so that we can hold this Administration and President accountable for any wrongdoing. You can see my exchange with Sec. Mnuchin on Twitter or Facebook.
Holding the Big Banks Accountable and Putting Customers First
Today, the CEOs from Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, State Street, Bank of New York Mellon, and Goldman Sachs testified before the House Financial Services Committee. It has been ten years since these CEOs last testified before Congress, in the wake of the financial crisis, and it was an important opportunity to question these leaders of America’s largest financial institutions. I took this opportunity to grill these CEOs about overdraft fees and the numerous complaints raised by customers in recent years who believe they’ve been gouged or ripped off. It’s clear that banks are engaging in very shady practices, like reordering transactions so that customers will be forced to pay the highest overdraft fees, and it needs to end. That is why I will soon be introducing the Overdraft Protection Act to stop these abusive practices and put consumers first. You can see my exchange about this here.
I also took the opportunity to ask JP Morgan’s CEO about adopting formal policies limiting their business with certain gun industry clients that don’t require background checks for all of their customers. Some banks, such as Citi and Bank of America, already have these policies, but this is something all banks should do. Today, I was able to get JP Morgan’s CEO to agree to consider adopting such a policy and I will be following up with him to make sure that this happens.
Voting to Restore Net Neutrality
Today, the House voted to restore the net neutrality rules that the Trump FCC repealed in 2017 because the free and open market of the internet must be protected. Internet service providers cannot be allowed to favor certain websites or apps over others, to block access to certain services, or to interfere in any way with the content individuals access and use on the internet. This is why we must restore net neutrality. I proudly cast my vote to pass H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, and will continue to work to restore net neutrality.
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