Weekly Update: Cyber Ninjas, Trump Hotel Docs, and Mobile Casework Hours
I am hosting Mobile Casework Hours tomorrow, Saturday October 9 from 11am-12pm at 1st Ave & E 15th Street and this coming Tuesday, October 12 from 10–11am at Astoria Houses. My staff will be there to answer questions and provide help with federal agencies.
This week, I introduced the Federal Agency Climate PREP Act, legislation that supports and codifies President Biden’s work to guarantee a whole of government plan for and response to climate change. Today, I released documents detailing new concerns about former President Trump’s lease of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., his failure to disclose significant losses and debts in public filings and lease documents, and his conflicts of interest as President. The Committee’s discoveries were based on documents we recently obtained from General Services Administration (GSA).
Also this week, I held a hearing on the Cyber Ninjas “audit” in Arizona – a dangerous exercise which is undermining the public’s trust and faith in our elections and threatening our democracy.
More on these and other updates below.
In case you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Vaccination & Recovery Update here.
Addressing the Climate Crisis Head-On
On Tuesday, I held an Oversight Committee hearing with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on recovery efforts following Hurricane Ida, as well as the need to invest in climate resiliency efforts to mitigate future disasters, especially for frontline communities. To support these efforts, I introduced H.R 5477, the Federal Agency Climate PREP Act, to ensure the federal government has a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change.
From record-breaking fires in the West, to devastating hurricanes in the South, to rising sea levels that threaten 40 percent of America’s population near our coastlines, the destructive impact of climate change is rapidly escalating. It is past time for the federal government to step up and help communities better prepare for and mitigate the effects of the next extreme weather event. The Federal Agency Climate PREP Act would play a critical role in ensuring that the federal government works in tandem with local and state governments to better plan for and mitigate the very real climate crisis we face.
You can view the highlights from the hearing here.
Document Release: Trump Concealed Millions in Losses, Hid Debts, and Received Millions from Foreign Governments at Trump Hotel
Today, with Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, I sent a letter to the General Services Administration (GSA) detailing new concerns about former President Trump’s lease for the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., his failure to disclose significant losses and debts in public filings and lease documents, and his conflicts of interest as President. The Committee’s discoveries were based on documents we recently obtained from GSA.
These documents raise new and troubling questions about former President Trump’s lease with GSA and the agency’s ability to manage the former President’s conflicts of interest during his term in office when he was effectively on both sides of the contract, as landlord and tenant.
As discussed in our letter to the GAO, this new evidence raises many questions that require further investigation and action by the Committee.
You can read more here.
Guaranteeing Free and Fair Elections
Yesterday, I held an Oversight Committee hearing on the months-long, hyper-partisan “audit” in Maricopa County, Arizona, that was conducted by Cyber Ninjas. The hearing explored how this audit and similar efforts nationwide are undermining public confidence in elections and threatening our democracy.
The attempts by former President Trump and his allies to undermine America’s elections—after failing to win the last one fair and square—represents the biggest threat to our constitutional republic since the Civil War.
You can view highlights from the hearing here.
$6.05M in American Rescue Plan Funding for Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements
I am proud to announce that $6,057,226 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding is coming to NY-12 for Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements.
Community health centers provide much needed healthcare to our most vulnerable neighbors and provide critical services to our city’s most marginalized communities. The ARP funding awarded to Care for The Homeless, Community Healthcare Network, The Floating Hospital, The Institute for Family Health, and New York City Health and Hospitals will support construction, expansion, alteration, renovation, and other capital improvements to enhance and expand healthcare infrastructure, allowing these organizations to continue and expand on the services they provide to New Yorkers. I thank these institutions for all they have already done for our communities and will continue to do all I can to support their work.
You can read more here.
Ensuring a Full Range of Contraceptive Coverage
Yesterday, I requested that Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen work together to ensure that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirements to provide individuals with coverage for the full range of contraceptives that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to be protected and enforced.
After being made aware of numerous denials of coverage and extensive medical management requirements that have limited individuals’ access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives, I am concerned that health plans are not fully complying with the requirements under the law and therefore limiting consumers’ access to contraceptives.
You can read the full letter from me, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), and Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) here.
Evaluating Regulation Best Interest and Standing Up for Diverse Corporate Boards
At this week’s Financial Services Committee virtual hearing, I questioned Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler on his work to evaluate Regulation Best Interest and applauded his support of diverse corporate boards and workforces. Congress must work to protect investors and ensure that our markets are fair, efficient, and transparent for everyone to access.
You can see the full exchange here.
Examining San Pedro Bay Pipeline Oil Spill
On Wednesday, I was joined by Congressman Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment, in sending a letter to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requesting information on the recent crude oil spill from the San Pedro Bay Pipeline, which is owned by Amplify Energy Corporation (Amplify Energy).
According to reports, Amplify Energy did not report the devastating oil spill to the National Response Center (NRC)—which the company is legally required to do—until Saturday, October 2. This was at least ten hours after the NRC and California authorities were made aware of the spill from other sources. I am also deeply troubled by reports that local officials and members of the public were not warned of the spill until hours after the NRC was notified. This is incredibly concerning as the pipeline reportedly should have been monitored by an automated leak detection system.
NY-12 in DC
It was so much fun seeing NYS Senator Jessica Ramos in Washington, D.C. yesterday. We spoke about the path to recovery from Hurricane Ida and how we can work together to deliver aid to our constituents and all those impacted. Thanks for stopping by to say hi!
Snapshot from NY-12
On Monday, I stood with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, NYC Councilmember Carlina Rivera, and creative arts leaders to call on Congress to pass the Creative Economy Revitalization Act. The creative arts industry is integral to NYC’s economy and suffered immensely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to support these talented New Yorkers and an industry that makes our city so unique.
The annual Congressional App Challenge for NY-12 ends on November 1! All middle and high school students in New York’s 12th Congressional District are eligible to apply.
The CAC accepts computer program apps written in any programming language, for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry Pi, etc.).
The Challenge’s submission portal is now open. The deadline for student submissions is November 1, 2021. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience.
Winners will be selected by panels of judges drawn from the local community and honored by their Member of Congress. Their apps are eligible to be featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.