Update: A Busy Week in Washington, DC

Dec 13, 2019
Newsletter

Dear Friend,

It was yet another busy week in Washington, DC and I wanted to share some highlights with you. On Tuesday, I joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, and Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters to present to the public two articles of impeachment. This is not a decision we arrived at lightly, but it is what must be done in service to our country and upholding our democracy and rule of law.

Also on Tuesday, I held my first hearing as permanent Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the need for comprehensive paid family and medical leave for all American workers. This hearing came as the House and Senate reached an agreement to include part of my Federal Employee Paid Leave Act in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which passed the House on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson and I released a joint staff report from our two committees detailing how the Coast Guard mishandled complaints of harassment and bullying and failed to hold those in leadership accountable for their actions. Following the 18-month investigation from our committees, the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security held a joint hearing on Wednesday on our findings and to hear from Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Young-McLear, Ph.D. – a brave whistleblower who shared her story with us.

Yesterday, the House took bold action to lower prescription drug prices by passing H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

And today, back home in New York City, I joined with NYCHA residents in support of their lawsuit demanding the timely completion of necessary repairs and to announce new legislation to ensure that when a public housing authority sells or leases some of its assets, that it financially benefits those public housing residents.

 

Articles of Impeachment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, center, speaks to Rep. Maxine Waters, left, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney after announcing articles of impeachment on Tuesday.

(Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The evidence is overwhelming: Trump put himself before our country. He abused his power for personal and political gain at the expense of our national security. And then, to try and cover it up, engaged in an unprecedented campaign of obstruction of our investigation. Impeachment is the only remedy.I did not run for office or come to Congress to impeach a President – I came to represent the people of New York and make this country better for everyone who calls it home. But, on Tuesday, after the President left us no other choice, I joined with my colleagues to introduce two articles of impeachment; abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

We need to hold the President accountable for his actions because if we don’t, he is above the law. That is unacceptable. No person, not even the President, is above the law.

I hope all my colleagues will look at the facts – because they are uncontested – and make the choice to honor their oath of office and put country over party when we vote on these articles next week.

 

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Click here to watch the video of Chairwoman Maloney’s opening statement from Tuesday’s hearing:  Examining the Need for Comprehensive National Paid Family and Medical Leave

Right now, we are one of only two nations in the world that does not provide our workers with any form of paid family or medical leave.

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, and I asked about my office’s leave policy. Do you know what they said? They said, “Leave? What leave? Women just leave.” I said that I didn’t intend to leave.  And the response was, “That’s never happened before.”

That was an unacceptable answer for me then, and it is an unacceptable answer now for families across this country.

I am thrilled that the House-approved NDAA conference report includes language from my Federal Employee Paid Leave Act to give 2.1 million federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. When this bill is signed into law, it will ensure that federal employees will no longer need to choose between being home with their new child or their paychecks. 

While this agreement is an incredible win for families, it is not perfect.  It does not cover paid leave for medical reasons or cover employees outside the federal government. That’s why on Tuesday, I held my first hearing as permanent chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform on this very issue. All Americans—whether they work for the federal government or a private company—should have access to comprehensive paid family and medical leave. We will continue fighting for all hardworking Americans in the years to come to make this a reality.

 

Examining the Coast Guard’s Failure to Address Harassment, Bullying, and Retaliation

Click here to watch Chairwoman Maloney’s opening statement from Wednesday’s hearing: Righting the Ship: The Coast Guard Must Improve its Processes for Addressing Harassment, Bullying, and Retaliation

Last Congress, then-Ranking Members Cummings and Thompson, of the Oversight and Reform and Homeland Security Committees, began an investigation into the Coast Guard’s handling of bullying and harassment. This week, the Committees released a report that shows the Coast Guard repeatedly swept allegations of bullying and harassment under the rug, and did not hold senior officials accountable for their actions.

 applaud our late Chairman for his extraordinary leadership on this issue, and as Chair of the Oversight Committee, I will continue this work to ensure whistleblowers are protected when alleging misconduct in the workplace. 

The Coast Guard should fully adopt the recommendations in this report to prevent these abuses from happening in the future. No employee should ever feel unsafe at work or worry about retaliation for sounding the alarm on misconduct.

 

H.R. 3 – the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act

I’m very proud to have voted on Thursday to pass H.R. 3, legislation to finally address the high costs of prescription drugs.  Americans are dying because they can’t afford their prescriptions. They are rationing their medications, cutting their pills in half, and skipping doses—three in ten Americans say they haven’t taken their medicine as prescribed due to costs. And yet drug companies keep raising the prices higher and higher. Yesterday, the House acted to change that.  

It’s fitting that H.R. 3 bears Elijah Cummings’s name, because this was his top priority. Our former Chairman met personally with President Trump early in his presidency, seeking common ground to address this crisis. He introduced his own legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.  One of his first acts as Chairman of the Oversight Committee was launching a comprehensive investigation into why drug companies are raising prices and how to help families afford their medications. In the last hearing he chaired, families spoke about the devastating impact of this crisis. As the new Chairwoman of the Committee, I am committed to continuing this work and holding pharmaceutical companies accountable.

 

Standing with NYCHA Residents

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Earlier today, I joined with tenant associations as they launched their lawsuit against NYCHA demanding the timely completion of necessary repairs. Every week, my office responds to calls from NYCHA tenants seeking assistance with repairs for broken elevators, vermin infestations, lack of heat and hot water, and broken intercoms. It is unacceptable that anyone is made to live in these conditions, and that residents often file multiple work order requests for the same issue without ever receiving a response from NYCHA. I’m proud to stand with these New Yorkers as we fight for much needed repairs in public housing without privatization. NYCHA tenants are not asking for special treatment, they are simply asking to be treated with respect.

And in that vein, today I announced that I will be introducing new legislation, the Public Housing Residents Protection Act, to ensure that when a public housing authority sells or leases some of its assets, that it financially benefits those public housing residents. The interests of public housing residents must be protected and guaranteed by law.

 

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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Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress