Weekly Update: 3 Big Votes in DC, 2 Investigations, 1 Key Win at SCOTUS
It was another busy week in Washington. I was proud to vote to pass three important bills; H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act; H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act; and H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. Today, I released the results from two investigations; first, a Committee on Oversight and Reform memo documenting how the administration failed to provide sorely-needed guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement and distribution, and in fact even pressured companies to procure PPE from China at exorbitant prices. Second, the findings from a joint investigation with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey into COVID-19 outbreaks at facilities run by the nation's 11 largest assisted living operators and the actions these facilities are taking to prevent and mitigate outbreaks when they do occur. We also announced our new legislation; The Assisted Living Facility Coronavirus Reporting Act.
More on these and other updates below.
H.R. 1425: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing economic and healthcare disparities that put minority and low-income communities at especially high risk. Among the hardest hit neighborhoods in New York City are Queensbridge and the Lower East Side in NY-12. We have known that we can and must build on the success of the ACA to better healthcare for all Americans and enacting H.R.1425 is a key step to do that. And yet, instead of working with Democrats, Republicans have consistently tried to do the opposite. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the Trump Administration is still in court, trying to strip Americans of their health care. The repeal of the ACA would cause an estimated 2.7 million New Yorkers to lose coverage.
But I and House Democrats remain committed to protecting the more than 133 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions, to making health care more affordable, and to improving access to comprehensive care.
I am especially glad that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act includes key provisions from H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, that will empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Investigating abusive pricing practices has been a top priority of the Oversight Committee going back to the work of our late Chair Elijah Cummings and continues today. I am urging Senator McConnell to take up this legislation immediately.
H.R. 7301, the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act
|Watch Rep. Maloney's Floor Speech in Favor of H.R. 7301|
Through no fault of their own, New Yorkers and Americans across this country are struggling to pay their rent or make mortgage payments due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Even worse, people experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence have seen their limited options for safety and shelter dwindle due to the pandemic’s impact on social services.
The Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act is a bold and necessary step toward providing economic and housing relief for millions of Americans. It expands the eviction moratorium to protect all renters and the foreclosure moratorium to protect all homeowners, it creates a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund, and provides nearly $13 billion targeted money for homeless grants and Housing Choice Vouchers for people experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence.
Nobody should lose sleep worrying about how they will keep a roof over their head while they are suffering through a pandemic. I was proud to vote for this bill and I am calling on the Senate to pass it immediately.
H.R. 2: Moving Forward Act
|Watch Rep. Maloney's Floor Speech in Favor of H.R. 2|
I was proud to vote on Wednesday to pass H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, a bill that will invest not only in our city, state, and nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems, but also provides much needed funding for our schools, affordable housing, and modernizing our Postal Service.
This bill is a huge win for New York, which needs the federal government to do its part by investing in our communities. This bill will enable our city to fix our roads and bridges, complete projects like Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway and the Hudson Tunnel project, reduce housing inequality, and create jobs all while making New York City cleaner, greener, and safer. I’m proud that this bill creates renewable energy tax incentives, strengthens the electric grid system, and enacts principles of the Green New Deal. I’m calling on the Senate to pass this bill to move our country forward.
Oversight Committee Memo on the Trump Admin’s Failure to Lead on PPE
Today, I released a Committee on Oversight and Reform memo summarizing discussions between Committee staff and representatives of six large medical equipment distribution companies that are playing a role in the Trump Administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis.
The United States has had more cases and more deaths from coronavirus than any nation on Earth. Despite months of effort, there are still severe shortages of PPE and critical medical equipment, and the Trump Administration has no coherent national strategy to address these deficiencies. These shortages continue even as coronavirus cases are now re-surging dangerously to record highs after the President insisted that states re-open prematurely. These shortages are also occurring as public health officials warn about the possibility of an even more grave recurrence in the fall.
Responding to COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facilities
The coronavirus pandemic has made painfully clear that the federal government must do more to protect residents of assisted living facilities. My investigation with Sens. Warren and Markey has revealed that at the most basic level, we need more transparency into the crisis playing out in these facilities and that these facilities need more federal support to access the testing and PPE they need to keep residents safe. Our new legislation, The Assisted Living Facility Coronavirus Reporting Act, will put in place national data collection and reporting requirements to ensure that assisted living facilities adequately protect residents from COVID-19.
A Win for Reproductive Rights at the Supreme Court (June Medical Services v. Russo)
On Monday, the Supreme Court once again upheld the fundamental right to abortion in the United States in its ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo. While I am pleased by the Court’s decision, I remain deeply troubled that nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade affirmed access to legal abortion as a constitutional right, anti-choice officials at every level of government continue to target individuals’ reproductive health and freedom.
Last November, I convened a hearing in the Oversight Committee to examine how states like Louisiana are undermining access to comprehensive reproductive health care, and the ways the Trump Administration has emboldened these efforts. As these attacks continue, it is imperative that Congress take action to safeguard access to abortion care in this country.
NYC COVID-19 Updates
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is deploying a dozen vending machines at 10 subway stations allowing customers to buy COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). The new machines will offer reusable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.
Eight additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to NY from those states to quarantine for 14 days.
- This brings the total to 16 states;
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
- New York State employees who voluntarily travel to these high-risk states will be ineligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.
- NYC Phase 3 is on track to begin Monday, July 6
- Phase 3 industries will include personal care. See the full list here.
- NYC will NOT resume indoor dining on Monday, July 6. Indoor dining is postponed indefinitely.
New York State will create an enforcement department to supplement local enforcement of COVID-19 guidance and restrictions.
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