Update: Voting No on NDAA, Fighting for Renter Protections & More

Jul 24, 2020
Newsletter

Dear Friend, 

 

I write today after another busy week in our nation’s capital during which I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021 (FY21), made the case for much needed renter protections in the next COVID response package, and launched a new investigation into the Administration’s targeting of Planned Parenthood organizations through the Small Business Administration. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security answered my request to launch inspectors general investigations into the Administration’s use of federal forces in cities across the US, including Portland; and I announced an emergency hearing on this coming Wednesday, July 29 on President Trump’s unconstitutional efforts to politicize and undermine the accuracy of the 2020 Census. More on all of this and other updates below.

 

NDAA No Vote

On Tuesday, I voted against the FY21 NDAA because I could not, in good conscience, support a bill which continues to explode the Pentagon’s budget while too many Americans are suffering because our government is underfunding key safety net programs and human needs. 

 

We should be reallocating NDAA funding to better serve the American people. We need to be investing in our schools, social safety net programs, and rent relief for millions of people who now find themselves out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. No one should be worried about where their next meal is coming from or about keeping a roof over their head in the middle of a national medical crisis.

 

The bill also failed to address demilitarizing police departments across the country by staying silent on the 1033 program and therefore leaving in place the mechanism under which the Department of Defense transfers military equipment to local law enforcement.

 

I voted for amendments to better this bill, including one from Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chair Mark Pocan to reduce defense spending by 10%. Unfortunately, this and other CPC amendments were not included in the final bill. The House voted to accept my amendment adding my Corporate Transparency Act to the bill, but its inclusion did not outweigh the failures of the underlying bill.  

 

Corporate Transparency Act of 2019

On Monday, the House once again voted in favor of the bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, my bill to end the illicit use and abuse of anonymous shell companies. This is one of the most pressing national security problems we face in this country, because anonymous shell companies are the vehicle of choice for money launderers, criminals, and terrorists. It is also driving up housing costs in our city because when apartments are used as bank accounts instead of homes, New Yorkers pay higher prices as supply dwindles. 

 

Unfortunately, the U.S. is the world’s capital of anonymous shell companies, because no state in the U.S. currently requires companies to name their true, beneficial owners. My bill would solve this by requiring companies to disclose their true, beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, at the time the company is formed.

 

No American can walk into a bank and open an account without identifying themselves and it should be no different for companies. 

 

Fighting for Renter Protections

Both the CARES Act and the Heroes Act provide more relief for homeowners than for renters. Under these bills, homeowners are afforded protection from foreclosures and get the option of forbearance for their mortgage payments. Renters, on the other hand, are not granted the equivalent of forbearance on their rental payments.

 

So, at Thursday’s Financial Services Committee hearing on the Heroes Act, I asked Shaun Donovan, former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and former Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, if he agreed that we should extend these same protections to renters. 

 

He agreed, stating that “[extending] the moratorium is an enormously important step” and that “we need to go beyond the moratorium and look at the types of rental assistance, eviction prevention, and other supports, especially housing vouchers, that are contained in the Heroes Act. Those are critical steps.”

 

You can watch our full exchange here.

 

Protecting the 2020 Census & Our Democracy

On Tuesday, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to exclude undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census apportionment calculations for the House of Representatives.

 

The Supreme Court already struck down the Trump Administration’s brazen attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census, and this memo is exactly what the Trump Administration claimed over and over they were not going to do. Taking this step right in the middle of the ongoing Census is particularly egregious and sinister because it appears purposefully designed to depress the count, deter people from filling out their forms, and corrupt the democratic processes on which our nation is founded.

 

I have announced that the Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold an emergency hearing this coming Wednesday, July 29 at 10am. We will be hearing from former Census Directors, Dr. Kenneth Prewitt, Vince Barabba, and John Thompson, and have invited Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Census Director Steven Dillingham, and Chief Scientist John Abowd to testify.

 

You can watch the livestream on the Committee’s website.

 

Investigation into Federal Forces in Portland

On Thursday, the Inspectors General (IG) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will both launch investigations into the Trump Administration's use of violent tactics against peaceful protestors in Washington D.C., Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere around the country.

 

This announcement comes after I joined with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) condemning the Trump Administration's use of violent force and demanding the Inspectors General investigate. You can read our letter here.

 

Commemorating 46 Years Since the Illegal Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

On Wednesday, I joined the American Hellenic Institute to commemorate the 46th anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion of Cyprus. 

 

Forty-six years ago, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus forced thousands of Greek Cypriots to leave their homes and become refugees in their own country. Religious and cultural sites were damaged and destroyed, families displaced, and lives stolen. Those who were forced out of their homes still have not been able to return home or even worse, recover the remains of their loved ones.

 

As co-chair and co-founder of the Hellenic Caucus, I remain committed to strengthening the United States’ alliance with Cyprus by supporting its stability and sovereignty.

 

Investigating the Trump Administration’s Targeting of Planned Parenthood Organizations

Yesterday, I joined with Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the Committee on Small Business, demanding documents from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury regarding SBA’s attempts to target local Planned Parenthood organizations that have participated in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

 

You can read more about the investigation here.

 


COVID-19 in NYC

 

The Data

United States

Cases: 4,061,925

Deaths: 144,552

 

New York State

Cases: 410,450

Deaths: 32,594

 

New York City

Cases: 222,832

Deaths: confirmed 18,839, probable 4,624 (total: 23,463)

 

Social Distancing Violations

New York State is creating a multi-agency task force to crack down on social distancing violations at restaurants and bars across the state. The NYS Police and State Liquor Authority will lead the effort in utilizing real time data to deploy investigators to respond to social distancing violations as they happen. 

 

Travel Advisory

Ten additional states have been added to NYS’s travel advisory list; Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington, and Minnesota has been removed.

 

Individuals traveling to New York from the following states must quarantine for 14 days.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

More information about the travel advisory can be found here.

 

Phase 4 

New York City has entered Phase 4 without indoor activity. Read more about Phase 4 here

 

Alternate Side Parking

Alternate side parking will be suspended Monday, July 27 through Sunday, August 2.

 

Play Streets

In partnership with the Fresh Air Fund, Building Healthy Communities and the Police Athletic League, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday a new initiative, Play Streets, to provide families with safe, structured activities. 

 

According to the Mayor’s office: “At Play Streets locations, children will participate in independent crafting and art projects that include making kaleidoscopes, birdhouses, rhythm drums, and cloud climbers. Giant board games such as Connect 4 and Jenga will also be available. Sports drills will include basketball, frisbee, softball, Wiffle ball, kickball, and laser tag. Reading corners, dance classes, cardio and yoga exercises will also be provided. Street Lab, an NYC-based nonprofit that creates outdoor furniture and programming for public space, is providing 160 custom benches, and a new no-touch obstacle course called PLAY NYC. All programming is creatively designed to meet social distancing guidelines.”

 

Play Street Locations:

 

NEIGHBORHOOD

STREET

PARTNER

DATES

DAYS

TIMES

Sunset Park

6th Ave btwn 44th St &45th St

Fresh Air Fund

8/5-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Crown Heights

Park Pl btwn New York Ave & Kingston Ave

Fresh Air Fund

8/3-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Brownsville

Blake Ave btwn Powell St & Mother Gaston Blvd

PAL

7/27-9/4

M,T,W,Th

12pm-5pm

Bushwick

Humboldt St btwn Moore St & Varet St

PAL

7/27-9/4

M,T,W,Th

12pm-5pm

Quarry Ballfields/Belmont

Oak Tree Pl btwn Hughes Ave & Quarry Rd

Fresh Air Fund

8/3-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Mt. Eden/Highbridge

Cromwell Ace btwn McClellan St & Jerome Ave

Fresh Air Fund

8/3-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Harlem

150th St btwn St. Nicholas Pl & Edgecomb Ave

Fresh Air Fund

8/5-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Harlem

129th St btwn Adam Clayton Powell Blvd & Frederick Douglas Blvd

PAL

7/27-9/4

M,T,W,Th

12pm-5pm

Jackson Heights/Corona

34th Ave btwn 72nd St & 74th St

Fresh Air Fund

7/30-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Jackson Heights/Corona

34th Ave btwn 79th St & 80th St

Fresh Air Fund

7/30-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Jackson Heights/Corona

34th Ave btwn 92nd St and 94th St

Fresh Air Fund

7/30-9/4

M,T,W,Th

10am-4pm

Stapleton

Wright St btwn Canal St & Thompson St

The Central Family Life Center

8/7-9/4

F

12pm-4pm

 


As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.

 

If you have any friends who you think should be receiving my newsletters, tell them they can sign up here.

 

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney 

Member of Congress