Update: Census hearing 5/28 in NYC & the past week in DC
First, I would like to wish you and your families a Happy Memorial Day as we honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend this country.
Second, I would like to announce that that I've been working with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to host a hearing on the 2020 Census here in NYC. It will take place this Tuesday, May 28 at 2pm at LaGuardia Community College's The Little Theater. If you can't join us, live stream here.
I also want to give you a run down on what I was up to in Washington, DC this week.
Standing for Afghan Women
On Monday, I wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that he document how the United States is responding to the concerns of Afghan women that they are not being included in the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban.
Earlier this month, I had the honor of meeting with Dr. Sima Samar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, to discuss her and others’ concerns that Afghan women and the Afghan government were being excluded from these discussions. In the last 18 years, with the support of the United States and our international partners, Afghanistan has empowered women and girls throughout the country. Any agreement that comes from the ongoing peace talks must protect women’s rights and human rights in Afghanistan, in accordance with the Constitution of Afghanistan, which ensures equality for women in many areas, including education, medical services, and civic participation.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights
On Tuesday, ahead of the 10th Anniversary of President Obama signing the CARD Act into law in the Rose Garden on May 22, 2009, I marked the occasion with various consumer groups including Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), USPIRG, Center for Responsible Lending, and Consumer Federation of America.
Before the CARD Act, banks were ripping off credit card customers by charging outrageous fees and jacking up interest rates without any warning — even on purchases we had already made! This left to far too many consumers drowning in credit card debt. Now, 10 years after its passage, the CARD Act has saved consumers an estimated $12 billion a year, which translates into a total savings of more than $100 billion over the past decade. I’d call that a win for consumers. And I’m still fighting to strengthen consumer protections – my next step is to introduce my Overdraft Protection Act so that no one pays $35 for a $2 cup of coffee. Expect more updates on that effort soon.
Stopping Federal Funding from Being Used to Make 55,000 American Children Homeless
On Tuesday, I asked Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson what his plan was for the 55,000 American children his agency would make homeless by evicting mixed status families from affordable housing. He didn’t have one.
So, after the hearing, I teamed up with my friend Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez to ask our colleagues on the Appropriations Committeeto include a provision known as a limiting amendment in the FY2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to stop HUD from using any federal funding to implement this cruel plan.
On Wednesday morning, the Committee announced that the limiting amendment was adopted in the bill and joined us to fight this cruel policy.
Passing the Consumers First Act
On Thursday, I spoke on the House floor urging my colleagues to vote for the Consumers First Act and then proudly cast my vote to help pass this much need legislation to restore and protect the supervisory and enforcement powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
As part of the Dodd-Frank conference committee, I worked to create the CFPB because rampant consumer abuses helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and worsened the lives of those most harmed by the crisis – the people who could afford it the least. Under Director Cordray’s historic tenure, the bureau resolved more than 1.3 million consumer complaints and secured over $12 billion for nearly 30 million people who were wronged by financial institutions. The bureau did exactly what we had created it to do — and then the Trump Administration stepped in.
Putting Mick Mulvaney in charge of the CFPB was the epitome of a fox guarding the henhouse — so it’s critically important that we immediately undo all of the damage he did while Acting Director of the CFPB – and that includes making the Consumers First Act law. The Senate needs to take this bill up immediately and send it to the President’s desk.
Standing for Gold Star Families
Yesterday, before Congress adjourned for Memorial Day Weekend, I voted to pass the bipartisan SECURE Act, which includes the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act to fix a consequence of the GOP Tax Law that is causing Gold Star families to see drastic tax increases.
Our Gold Star Families have sacrificed more than we can ever imagine protecting our country and our freedoms. As I cast my vote yesterday for the SECURE Act, I could not help but feel how fitting it was that we make sure these families get the tax relief they need as we head into Memorial Day when we honor all our fallen soldiers. We can never repay the debt we owe them, but this vote was an important way to tell Gold Star Families that we will be here for you.
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