News for New York's 12th Congressional District
With the fall season fully underway, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the latest from Congress and what I have been doing very recently in New York.
Before Congress adjourned at the end of September, we were able to pass a Continuing Resolution (C.R.) that will fund the government through December 9, and, on top of that, provide significant funding to combat the opioid epidemic and fight the spread of the Zika virus. We were also able to move a bill in the House to finally provide federal resources for the people of Flint, MI, whose water system was contaminated with lead. Below you’ll find more information on these three key issues.
Back in New York, I’ve been busy visiting with constituents across our amazing district. Earlier this week, I addressed a conference in Manhattan focused on addressing cybersecurity threats to the international financial system. With hacks on banks ratcheting up, federal regulators now recognize that cybersecurity threats can pose a risk to our nation’s financial stability. At the conference, I outlined why I believe cybersecurity must be addressed as a policy issue because of its threats to customer privacy and its risks to essential financial activities. I also called on Congress to pass the Data Security Act, which would require all companies that handle sensitive consumer financial information to adopt the same minimum data security standards that are already in place for banks. Threats posed by hackers are only going to grow in the coming years and we need our public policy to ensure that we are protected from these threats.
On Wednesday, I celebrated the official unveiling of a new U.S. Postal Service Commemorative Stamp in honor of Diwali, the annual Hindu festival of lights, at the Indian Consulate in New York City. For years, I had been leading the effort in Congress to call on the USPS to issue this commemorative stamp-- sponsoring resolutions, contacting USPS officials, and gathering additional support. I’m so pleased that our efforts paid off. Diwali, the Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil, light over dark, and knowledge over ignorance, is an important spiritual and cultural festival for many Americans, but up until now it has not had its own commemorative stamp. While commemorative stamps recognized holidays for every other major religion, Diwali was ignored. I am so proud to have rectified this omission.
As always, your concerns remain my top priority here in New York and for our nation. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @RepMaloney for daily updates, and please visit my website to let me know what is on your mind!
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress
More Information on Opioids, Zika, and Flint, MI
As I said this summer, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that President Obama signed into law this July was a great step forward, but without funding, it was simply an empty promise. The $37 million dollars allocated in the C.R. will allow federal programs to begin combatting opioid abuse and addressing this health crisis that has already taken too many lives. Overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in New York State and since 2000, the U.S. has seen a 200% increase in the rate of deaths attributed to opioids. In New York City in 2015 alone, an estimated 886 people died as a result of opioid overdoses.
During my trip to West Africa this summer with Senator Ed Markey and Representative Karen Bass, I visited with mothers and their babies who suffer from the devastating birth defects caused by Zika. I was stunned when Congress wouldn’t put aside partisanship and take action to prevent this kind of suffering. I am relieved that we have provided our health agencies with some of the funds needed to combat this virus. For months, health agencies had been forced to repurpose funds that were supposed to have been dedicated to other critical public health issues to launch a response to Zika – now, hopefully, we are on the path to fully funding these emergency operations and research to stop this disease in its tracks.
It took weeks of negotiating, but Democrats held strong in demanding relief for Flint, Michigan. Although there is no question that Congress should have acted sooner to address the public crisis in Flint, I’m pleased we pushed to pass a bill in the House authorizing $170 million for water infrastructure repairs in the city and finally bring clean water to Flint’s homes, schools and businesses. The people of Flint have already waited too long for aid to replace their city’s water system.