Weekly Update: 9/11 Compensation, Census & Family Leave
I hope you had a good week – I know I had a busy one with some key wins in Washington, DC – in Congress and at the Supreme Court. I’m thrilled to share good news on our fights to fully fund and make permanent the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and to ensure a full, fair, and accurate 2020 Census. This week, I also gathered with my colleagues to celebrate growing bipartisan support for a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum, the House passed the SAFE Act – a bill to better secure our elections against foreign interference, and I offered my Federal Employee Paid Leave Act as an amendment to the NDAA. More on all this below.
Ensuring Our 9/11 Heroes Get the Help They Need & Deserve
On Tuesday, 9/11 first responders and survivors met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and got him to promise to bring H.R. 1327, the Never Forget the Heroes Act, to a vote in the Senate once we pass it in the House. This is a huge win and, quite simply, the right thing to do.
We are moving forward with passing the bill in the House, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signing on as cosponsors of the bill this week and with Leader Hoyer announcing that the House will vote on the bill this July.
We have a moral obligation to these heroic men and women. They were there for us in one of our nation’s darkest hours. They ran into the flames when everyone else was running away. We are responsible for the fact that our government told all those who worked on the pile and who lived, worked, and went to school near Ground Zero that the air was safe to breathe, and the water was safe to drink when it wasn’t. They are sick because of us. Fully funding and permanently extending the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is the least we can do as a grateful nation.
Census Developments Including a Win at SCOTUS
On Wednesday, I went to the House floor to release documents directly linking Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census to Thomas Hofeller, known to the GOP as the “Michelangelo of gerrymandering.” These documents show the motivation behind the decision from the very beginning was to benefit Republicans electorally. You can read them here.
Also this week, I joined with my colleague Rep. Adriano Espaillat to lead our Democratic colleagues in a response letter to Secretary Ross’s request to Members of Congress asking us to become an “official partner of the 2020 Census” to ensure a full and accurate count. I am stunned by the hypocrisy. Since the beginning, the Secretary and the Trump Administration have been out to corrupt the census and rig the count with the citizenship question, lying to Congress all along the way. Nevertheless, getting an accurate count is our greatest priority. And while I question the Secretary’s motives, I am more than happy to work with the career professionals at the Census Bureau to get an accurate count of our country, as mandated by the Constitution. You can read our response to Sec. Ross here.
Today, I gathered with census experts and community advocates in NYC to celebrate yesterday’s Supreme Court decision rejecting the Trump Administration’s lie about why they were pushing to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. We came together to call on the Census Bureau not to delay printing census forms without the citizenship question on July 1st so that we can be sure to start the Census on April 1, 2020 as the law requires.
Working to Protect our Elections from Foreign Interference
On Thursday, I voted to pass H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, to better secure our democracy against foreign interference by providing states funding to update and secure their voting systems. The Mueller Report outlined very clearly how Russians waged an unprecedented, all-out attack on our elections to undermine our democracy in 2016, and our top intelligence and security officials are warning about the same type of foreign interference from Russia in 2020. Our national security demands that Congress act now to prevent such an attack from ever happening again. The Senate must act quickly to pass the SAFE Act and join the House in working to uphold our patriotic duty to defend our nation and our democracy against threats, both foreign and domestic.
Gaining Support to Enshrine Women’s History in a Smithsonian Museum
Just three months ago, I introduced H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act to create a national museum dedicated to honoring the contributions of women throughout American history on the National Mall.
Today, we have more than 160 bipartisan cosponsors and the list keeps growing by the day. There is no reason this bill should not be supported by every member of the House and Senate. This is not about politics or partisanship: women are half the population. This is about giving women – all women – their rightful place in history.
I hope you’ll share your stories of women who’ve inspired you with the hashtag #InspiredByHer on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I look forward to reading about who you think belongs in a women’s history museum.
Fighting for Working Families
Earlier this week I introduced my Federal Employee Paid Leave Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith. No person should need to choose between taking care of a loved one or being able to put food on the table. Paid family leave is a benefit to the workforce, the government and the nation. The U.S. government should be a model employer, and this amendment will help take a big step forward allowing employees to appropriately care for themselves and their families without worrying about job security.
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