Weekly Update: Vaccine Equity, An Apology from Robinhood, Standing with Afghan Women & Girls

Feb 20, 2021

Dear friend, 


Yesterday, during the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis’s briefing on ensuring vaccine equity, I highlighted the great need that New York and other states have for an increased coronavirus vaccine supply, especially given that this shortage has disproportionately affected minority, rural, and low-income communities. 


Also this week, as a senior member of the House Committee on Financial Services, I questioned Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev on the GameStop market frenzy, and as Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, I made clear that the United States must continue to support Afghan women and girls in the Afghanistan peace negotiations. 


I also joined with Congressman Jerry Nadler and the and the 9/11 community to encourage all those with 9/11-related illness to get vaccinated as they became eligible to do so in New York State this past Monday. 


More on these and other updates below. 


In case you missed it, you can read this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Update here



The Need for Equitable Vaccine Distribution and Increased Vaccine Supply



Watch Congresswoman Maloney's question line from the briefing on vaccine equity here.

At yesterday’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis briefing entitled “Ensuring Equity in Coronavirus Vaccinations,” I spoke about my concerns that communities of color, rural communities, and low-income communities are falling behind in vaccinations.  


Here in New York, predominantly Black and Latino communities have been vaccinated at lower rates than predominantly White neighborhoods. There are reasons for these disparities, but one is that New York and other states simply need more doses of the vaccine. And so, I am grateful that the Biden Administration has already made great strides in increasing the supply of vaccines and distribution efforts. We must do everything in our power to make sure that all Americans have access to vaccines as soon as possible. 


Read more about the briefing here



Getting the Robinhood CEO to Apologize



Watch Rep. Maloney's exchange with the GameStop CEO here.


On Thursday, at the Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide,” I was able to elicit an apology from Vlad Tenev, Chief Executive Officer of Robinhood Markets, Inc, for Robinhood’s recent failures. As a senior member of the Committee, I questioned Tenev about Robinhood’s behavior last month during the market frenzy surrounding GameStop, prompting him to admit that the brokerage fell short of meeting its customers’ needs. 


You can watch my full exchange with Tenev and read more about the hearing and the market frenzy surrounding GameStop here.



Encouraging All Those with 9/11-Related Illnesses to Get Vaccinated

On Monday, individuals with 9/11-related illnesses became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine across New York State and I joined with members 9/11 community and Congressman Jerry Nadler to encourage all those with 9/11-related illnesses to get vaccinated. 


I first called on the City of New York to expedite COVID-19 vaccine access for World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) participants back in January because the 9/11 community lives with these conditions because they were exposed to the toxins in the air at and around Ground Zero after our government told them it was safe. We made a promise to “Never Forget” all the lives lost and the sacrifices made by these heroes. Making sure those with 9/11-related illnesses can get the vaccine is fulfilling that promise. 


As we add to the list of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is also imperative that the federal government, New York State, and New York City work together to make vaccine distribution more effective, efficient, and equitable. I continue to work with my colleagues in all levels of government to make that happen. 



The U.S. Must Continue to Support Afghan Women & Girls



Watch Rep. Maloney's full exchange with the witnesses at Friday's hearing here.


At yesterday’s Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security hearing entitled, “A Pathway for Peace in Afghanistan: Examining the Findings and Recommendations of the Afghanistan Study Group,” I made clear that the United States must continue to support Afghan women and girls in the Afghanistan peace negotiations. 


During the hearing, I shared a letter that Subcommittee Chair Stephen Lynch and I received from the Afghan Government’s Chief Negotiator, along with four female diplomats on the Afghan team involved in peace negotiations. In the letter, the negotiators wrote that the Committee’s previous hearings on the Afghan peace process, “sent a strong message that there is accountability and that the women negotiators must be listened to, respected, and that the issues they speak about must be taken seriously” and that “the two hearings also gave us the assurance that we will not be alone in demanding a just and practical political settlement, one that guarantees equal rights and opportunities for all people.” 


We have seen again and again that women’s participation in resolving conflict is essential to building a sustainable peace, and it is critical that the United States continues to support the women and girls of Afghanistan and around the world. 


You can read more about the hearing here



Delivering a $350B COVID Aid Package for States & Localities

Late last Friday, February 12, the Oversight Committee adopted a momentous package of $350 billion in critical assistance to help communities across the country battle the coronavirus. This package is part of House Democrats’ larger coronavirus relief package modeled on President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 


I am so proud of my colleagues on the Oversight Committee who listened to governors, mayors, Tribes, territories, workers, industry officials, and others across the country who are in desperate need of critical funding to combat the coronavirus crisis. And I am pleased to report that with this bill, New York and its localities can expect a total of $23.3 billion in aid, with the State receiving an estimated $12.7 billion in direct aid and NYC an estimated $5.6 billion. Having been the epicenter of the pandemic in the early months, our city and state are in desperate need for this relief which will help keep our first responders, teachers, frontline workers, and other essential workers safely on the job. 


This landmark legislation means that critical services can be restored, jobs will be saved, and that local and state governments across the country will finally receive the help they need to fight the pandemic. 


You can read more about the package and the business meeting during which it was passed here.



The End of Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial

Last Saturday, 57 Senators voted to find former President Donald Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection. As a two-thirds majority is needed to convict in a Senate impeachment trial, the former President was acquitted. 


We all saw on January 6 how our Capitol was seized, and our democracy halted by insurrectionists incited by former President Trump. At his behest, a mob desecrated the seat of our democracy with Confederate flags, wearing shirts extolling Nazism and the Holocaust, chanting that they wanted to murder the former Vice President. 


The facts of that day are incontrovertible, which is why this was the most bipartisan impeachment of a president in our nation’s history – in both the House and Senate. The House did our job to approve the Article of Impeachment and I am proud of my colleagues, the House Managers led by Congressman Jamie Raskin, who presented a strong, clear case for conviction. 


When presented with the facts, 43 Republican Senators still chose to put Donald Trump above the American people. This trial was about standing up for our democracy and the future of this nation – and they caved to a would-be despot. 


Of course, I am disappointed in the final results of this vote, but I want us all to remember that this was a strong, bipartisan vote to impeach and convict former President Trump of his crimes. 



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


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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress