Weekly Update: Monday's Mobile Casework Hours, $6.3M for NY-12, Arizona "Audit" Investigation
This Monday, July 19, my office is hosting Mobile Casework Hours at 68th Street and Lexington Ave from 10-11am to answer questions and provide help with federal agencies.
As you may know, the U.S. Passport office has seen an influx of requests now that international COVID-19 travel restrictions are being lifted. For those planning travel in the fall and for Thanksgiving and around Christmastime, the State Department is urging you to check your passports and, if needed, submit renewal requests now.
This week, I’m very happy to report that I was able to secure $6.3 million for NY-12 through community project funding requests in House appropriations legislation. As we work to recover from the pandemic, this funding will help our community to build back better.
On Wednesday, I launched an Oversight Committee investigation into the private “audit” of Arizona’s 2020 election results to determine if this effort was focused on securing the right to vote or was instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine confidence in America’s elections, and reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain.
This week, I also released a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the public health impact of America’s gun violence epidemic. This study was conducted in response to a request I made to the GAO with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) last February.
More on these and other updates below.
In case you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Vaccination and Recovery Update here.
$6.3M for NY-12 Community Organizations
I’m proud to announce that I was able to secure $6.3 million for NY-12 through community project funding requests in House appropriations legislation.
I was proud to submit community project funding requests for these 10 deserving organizations and projects. These groups are integral to our community, and I’m thrilled to be able to support their work through federal funding.
The $6.3 million coming to NY-12 will fund healthcare and IT upgrades at The Floating Hospital, empower New Yorkers in their job searches through training and financial counseling, and reduce hunger through healthy cooking and nutrition education and by expanding meals and produce services to food-insecure New Yorkers. It will help provide tele-mental and tele-health services to children and families with complex medical, mental health, and developmental needs and bring much-needed stability and support to our small businesses and restaurants. These funds will also provide youth development programs, community programming, and workforce and entrepreneur training.
The inclusion of these projects in the Appropriations Committee’s bills is the next step in the funding process. I will continue to fight for this funding as the bills move to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and negotiations with the Senate.
The $6,301,000 in funds projected to come to NY-12 are for projects at:
Garment District Roundtable: COVID-19 and the Path Forward to Rebuild NYC
On Monday, I held a roundtable at LIM College with manufacturers, designers, and the Garment District Business Improvement District. The discussion focused on the designers and manufacturers who pivoted to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 crisis and why the District’s revitalization is critical to New York City’s recovery.
During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, our nation and city were woefully under supplied with personal protective equipment. New York City’s frontline medical workers were going into hospitals wearing garbage bags! Harnessing the ingenuity and creativity of our great city and using the Garment District’s talent, factories, and resources, New York City was able to produce PPE for hospital workers. Now, as we are entering a post-pandemic world, it is essential we re-invest in the businesses that made it possible for us to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch the roundtable here.
Investigation into the Private ‘Audit’ of the 2020 Arizona Election Results
On Wednesday, I launched an Oversight Committee investigation into the private “audit” of nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona in the 2020 election. Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chairman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and I sent a letter to Douglas Logan, Chief Executive Officer of Cyber Ninjas, requesting information on his company’s role in this “audit.”
As we stated in our letter, Americans’ right to vote is protected by the Constitution and is the cornerstone of our democratic system of government. The Committee is seeking to determine whether the privately funded audit conducted by Cyber Ninjas in Arizona protects the right to vote or is instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine confidence in America’s elections, and reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain.
You can read our full letter to the Cyber Ninjas CEO here.
GAO Report: Gun Violence Costs U.S. Healthcare System $1B+ per Year
On Wednesday, I was joined by Oversight Committee Members Congresswomen Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Cori Bush (D-MO) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) in releasing a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the public health impact of America’s gun violence epidemic. We were also joined by experts and advocates — including Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association; Alexis Confer, Executive Director of March For Our Lives; Sharon Webb, who serves on the Board of Directors of Families Advocating Safe Streets; and John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety — at a press conference to release the report.
The report provides shocking new evidence of how gun violence strains our health care system and disproportionately harms historically marginalized communities in the United States. Congress must do whatever it takes — including abolishing the filibuster if necessary — to address this public health crisis and keep our constituents safe from gun violence.
You can read more about the report here.
Working Towards a Unified Cyprus
On Monday, as co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and I met with special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Deputy Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Elizabeth Spehar.
We remain encouraged by the UN’s commitment to pursing talks on a final status agreement for Cyprus and both recognize and appreciate that the United States has a critical role play in bringing Greece, Turkey, and Greek and Turkish Cypriots to the table. The outcome of the talks will ultimately be decided by the Cypriot people, but we strongly believe the U.S. government must remain actively engaged in their progress.
The Federal Reserve Must Continue to Support Our Economy
On Wednesday, during a Financial Services Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Powell, I urged him to ensure that the Fed continues to support the economy through asset purchases for the foreseeable future.
You can read more about exchange and watch it here.
The 8-K Trading Gap Act
On Thursday, in partnership with Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), I reintroduced the 8-K Trading Gap Act, legislation that will fix a loophole in our current law that allows corporate executives to trade on information before it’s disclosed to the public and to their own shareholders.
Currently, when a significant corporate event – such as bankruptcy or an acquisition – occurs at a public company, the company must disclose that significant event to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the public by filing a Form 8-K within four days of the event. During this four-day window, executives at the company know about the significant event, but other investors, and the public, do not.
Corporate executives shouldn’t be allowed to trade on significant information ahead of the public and investors, but that’s exactly what’s happening because of this legal loophole. The 8-K Trading Gap Act has a very simple solution to this problem: prohibit executives from trading during the four-day gap between when an event happens and when the company publicly files a Form 8-K to alert the public and shareholders of the event. Given the broad bipartisan support for this bill last year in the House, I’m hopeful that we will be able to enact this commonsense law this Congress.
GAO Report: Key Causes of Military Rollover Accidents
This week, I joined with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Congressmen Anthony G. Brown (D-MD) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), and Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee John Garamendi (D-CA) in announcing the results of a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on steps the U.S. Army and Marine Corps should take to “mitigate and prevent” fatal training accidents.
Training exercises are supposed to safely prepare our soldiers and Marines for whatever may await them on the battlefield. The lack of consistent training year after year has caused the tragic loss of life and irreparable damage, particularly for the victims of these accidents and the families of those lost. The Army and Marine Corps must take necessary action to implement the GAO recommendations and ensure all aspects of training, including training for drivers, surveillance of training grounds, and oversight meet the highest standards of preparedness and employ best practices in all areas.
You can read more about the report here.
Snapshot from NY-12
Last night, I held my first in person town hall since the COVID-19 crisis began.
It was great to be at Ravenswood to see so many familiar faces and meet new ones while talking about the importance of getting vaccinated, keeping public housing public, and issues in the community!
The annual Congressional App Challenge for NY-12 has officially begun! 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.