2017-12-20 / Political Page

I On Politics

MALONEY ON ATTEMPTED TERROR ATTACK IN MANHATTAN: In response to the attempted terror attack at New York’s Port Authority terminal in Midtown Manhattan, Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) said the December 11 attack “is another somber reminder that New York City, a beacon of freedom, hope, and the American Dream, remains the top terrorist target in the country. I wish the three people injured a swift and full recovery.”

Maloney added, “By attacking New York’s subway system, this terrorist was trying to attack our city’s lifeblood and strike fear into the hearts of everyday New Yorkers. But New Yorkers will always persevere in the face of adversity. We will never allow terrorists to dictate how we live. Just as we always have, we will stay New York strong and carry on together after this attack.”

Maloney added that she was deeply grateful for the tireless work of our first responders and law enforcement agencies for their swift response and all they do every day to protect our city and she reminded all New Yorkers, “if you see something, say something.”

Maloney took to the House floor on December 12 to stand against any cuts to or delays in funding grants for law enforcement in the wake of the failed terror attack in New York City.

“We can’t play politics with federal funding for local law enforcement and homeland security. This funding for states and cities, especially high-threat areas like New York City, must not be delayed or cut off.

“New York City… is and always has been the top terrorist target in the country. Our city has suffered and persevered through the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, 9/11, the Chelsea bombing last year, the truck attack earlier this year, and now yesterday’s attempted pipe bomb explosion. The NYPD openly talks about 27 separate terrorist attacks that our intelligence and law enforcement authorities have thwarted.

“Despite this history, the Trump administration has been threatening to withhold Byrne JAG funding from New York City and other cities it deems to be a so-called ‘sanctuary city.’ The administration has also proposed major cuts to the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). New York City received more than $175 million for the UASI program and $4.3 million from Byrne JAG in FY16. The loss of this funding will only make it more difficult to keep New Yorkers safe. That is why I will be doing everything I can to ensure that New York City gets the resources it needs to meet the unprecedented security threats we face.”

SANDY HOOK ANNIVERSARY: HONOR THEIR MEMORY WITH REAL GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION: House Democratic Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six educators on December 14, 2012:

“I will never forget the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. It was one of the darkest, most difficult days we’ve seen as a nation. The lives lost were too young, too innocent, and absolutely irreplaceable.

“While we will never fully ease the pain of the Sandy Hook community or the families who lost loved ones, we must honor their memory by enacting true and meaningful gun safety legislation. I am committed to that cause, and won’t back down until it becomes a reality.”

CROWLEY SLAMS REPUBLICAN TAX BILL AS ‘SHAMEFUL’: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the tax bill released by congressional Republicans:

“It’s hard to fathom how Republicans can justify so severely undercutting the financial security of middle-class families and working Americans just so corporate special interests can see a tax break. But time and time again, Republicans were given the opportunity to help students, seniors, families, and veterans and they opted to instead fill the coffers of their GOP donors.

“This is a shameful bill.”

CROWLEY: ‘NET NEUTRALITY REPEAL STACKS DECK AGAINST MIDDLE CLASS’: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission voted to dismantle net neutrality protections:

“A free and open internet has been a driving force of American ingenuity. The FCC’s decision to end net neutrality will not just restrict Americans’ ability to innovate, it will impinge on our freedom to communicate. This is unacceptable.

“The American people overwhelmingly told the FCC to protect the open internet and preserve net neutrality. But President Trump’s FCC has instead decided to ignore these voices so they can have the final say over what Americans see online. This is yet another way the Trump administration and Republicans are stacking the deck against the middle class.”

KOO BILL CRACKS DOWN ON IMMIGRANT TENANT HARASSMENT: Immigrant tenants will have additional protections under the law, thanks to legislation passed in the New York City Council on December 12 that will amend the definition of harassment to include discriminatory threats and requests for proof of citizenship.

Int. No. 1678B, sponsored by City Council Member Peter Koo, will amend the definition of harassment under the Housing Maintenance Code to include discriminatory threats and requests for proof of citizenship. Amending this definition will allow tenants to bring harassment claims for such actions in Housing Court. While harassment claims are already heard through the Human Rights Commission as violations under the Human Rights Law, expanding the harassment definition in the Housing Maintenance Code to include discriminatory threats or requests for proof of citizenship would also allow tenants to bring harassment claims directly against landlords through housing court.

The bill will update the definition of harassment to include:

• Threatening any tenants based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, uniformed service, sexual orientation or alienage or citizenship status, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking, lawful source of income, or because children are, may be or would be residing in the unit,

• Requesting proof of citizenship after a current government-issued I.D. has already been provided.

Koo stated, “The message this legislation sends to bad landlords is clear: if you harass your tenants, or make any threat based on status, you will face consequences. In New York City, we support and stand by our immigrant communities, and this legislation will provide additional protections from harassment. Expanding this definition of harassment allows tenants to bring claims directly against landlords in housing court. And we are making a statement that all are welcome here.”

Landlords convicted of harassment are subject to civil penalties between $1,000 and $10,000.

For two years, Koo has partnered with Queens Legal Services to provide monthly free legal tenant services for residents of his district in his office.

MALONEY, ROYCE APPLAUD UNANIMOUS PASSAGE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILL: Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined Congress Member Ed Royce (R-CA) to praise the unanimous passage of the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act (H.R. 2219) by the House Financial Services Committee during a full committee markup:

“Human trafficking is happening in this day and age, in this country and all around the globe,” said Rep. Maloney. “It is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world, generating more than $150 billion in profits every year. Some of those funds are undoubtedly flowing through U.S. financial institutions – with or without their knowledge. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that financial institutions are actively monitoring for money laundering specifically related to human trafficking. This bill will help us crack down on this despicable industry and I am proud to join my friend Rep. Royce in this effort and thank him for his leadership.”

“In order to stop sex trafficking in our local communities and around the world, we must constantly strive to be one step ahead of the perpetrators who commit these horrible crimes,” said Royce. “This abhorrent trade is increasingly carried out by sophisticated international criminals who pose a threat to U.S. national security interests. The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act will hit these criminals where it hurts the most: their bank accounts. I’m pleased to see this bipartisan solution continue to gain support in order to proactively fight human trafficking before it occurs.”

The End Banking for Human Traffickers Act amends the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 to add the secretary of the treasury as a member of the president’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking. The task force must submit to Congress recommendations for the revision of anti-money laundering programs to specifically target money laundering related to human trafficking.

MENG URGES UPDATE TO RACE AND ETHNICITY DATA COLLECTION STANDARDS IN TIME FOR 2020 CENSUS: In an effort to collect more accurate and complete data on race and ethnicity for the 2020 Census, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) urged Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney to revise outdated federal standards for data collection as soon as possible. The Census Bureau must submit final questions for the 2020 Census to Congress by March 31, 2018, so any change to federal data collection standards must be made immediately to allow the Census Bureau sufficient time to respond.

“I cannot overstate the importance of accurate and reliable Census data, particularly concerning race and ethnicity,” said Meng. “This data is used in everything from how we allocate federal resources to how we determine the distribution of congressional seats. Research shows that shifting from a two-question approach on race and ethnicity to a one-question approach would improve data collection and lead to more reliable and more accurate results. OMB should adopt this more comprehensive approach so that government at all levels can better serve every community.”

OMB is directed by statute to coordinate the U.S. federal statistical system, including establishing standards and guidance for data collection and dissemination, and reviewing agency compliance with the standards. OMB has a limited number of Statistical Policy Directives that clarify minimum requirements for agencies when they collect statistical information. Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Records, concerns standards for collecting data on race and ethnicity. It was last updated in 1997.

Meng requested that OMB implement a single, comprehensive question on race and ethnicity within its Statistical Policy Directive No. 15. Census Bureau research shows that a single, comprehensive question leads to much better data collection than the current two-question approach that first asks a question about Hispanic ethnicity, followed by a second question on racial identification. The research shows a distinct mismatch between Latino identification and the current Census question sequence and race categories. More than 43% of Latinos chose “Some other race” or did not answer the race question in the 2010 decennial Census. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders also face mismatches with self-identification and a larger problem of a lack of disaggregated data. The current two-question approach only includes listed race categories of “Asian Indian” and “Other Asian” with an option to write in a more specific race.

In 2015, the Census performed the National Content Test (NCT), an extensive evaluation of the content of the Census questionnaire. NCT tested the traditional two-question approach to race and ethnicity as well as a comprehensive one-question approach that asked for both racial and Hispanic ethnicity identification through a single question. The single question was found to be the most optimal question format to gather data.

Supporting organizations of the letter include:

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Fair Elections Legal Network, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., NALEO Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, National LGBTQ Task Force.

PENTAGON ALLOWS TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the Pentagon announcement that it will allow transgender individuals to serve in the military beginning on January 1, 2018:

“This is welcome news for the thousands of transgender individuals currently serving in our military and those who aim to serve in the future. Serving in the military is one of the highest honors a citizen can give his or her country. Our military should celebrate and welcome the patriotism of individuals who volunteer to answer the call of duty. While today’s decision is a step forward for equality and fairness, we must remain vigilant against the hateful policies of President Trump’s administration.”

MENG PROVISIONS TO HELP WOMEN IN MILITARY SIGNED INTO LAW: Multiple provisions authored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) that provide assistance to members of the military were signed into law this afternoon by President Trump as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill which sets policies and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Meng’s provisions include the following:

• Section 558: Improving childcare services for military families by enhancing the hours of operation for Department of Defense childcare development centers and establishing childcare coordinators for military installations. Meng authored the provision in the House, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) sponsored a similar version in the Senate.

• Section 544: A two-year extension of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, a critical suicide prevention and resilience initiative for members of the National Guard and Reserves. The program promotes the well-being of National Guard and Reserve members, their families and communities by connecting them with resources during and after their deployment, especially during the reintegration phase that continues well beyond the service members’ return home.

• A conference report provision requiring the secretary of defense to review the design, material, sizing, price, availability, quality, and utility of maternity uniforms for pregnant members of the military. Meng spearheaded the issue after servicewomen expressed concerns about the design of maternity uniforms in the 2016 Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services Report.

“We cannot thank members of our military enough for the service and sacrifice they make to our nation,” said Meng. “We must do all we can to ensure that they have the assistance and resources that they and their families need, and these provisions will go a long way towards achieving that goal. I am extremely pleased that these bipartisan measures are now law, and I thank all who supported them.”

CROWLEY LAUDS GENERAL CULLEN: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) issued the following statement on the passing of General Jim Cullen, the former President of Friends of Sinn Fein:

“Jim was a proud leader in the United States Army and a dedicated advocate for justice and fairness for those suffering in the North of Ireland. For decades, he defended the rights of those seeking change in the North and worked to shine a light on injustices carried out against innocent victims. Ireland knows greater peace because of Jim’s efforts.

“Jim’s leadership went beyond the North, as he became a leading voice for human rights here and abroad. He will be sorely missed by those who had the privilege of calling Jim a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with his partner Catherine and his whole family at this time.”

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