This Week in Washington
Today, along with the rest of the New York House Republican Delegation sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, requesting they ask President Biden's nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, about the Department of Justice investigation into Governor Cuomo during Garland's confirmation hearing next week. It’s absolutely imperative that the Senate Judiciary Committee questions President Biden’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, about the Department of Justice’s investigation into Governor Cuomo’s obstruction of justice. The American people, especially New Yorkers, deserve to know that their Attorney General will undoubtedly follow through with an impartial, independent, and thorough investigation into Governor Cuomo’s obstruction of justice and fatal nursing home order that led to the deaths of thousands of innocent nursing home residents. Read the letter here.
I have said from the beginning that this is more than a nursing home scandal, this is a criminal coverup corruption scandal at the highest levels of New York State Government. The reported FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn investigation into Governor Cuomo and his Administration is an important first step towards justice and accountability for all New Yorkers. Most importantly, it is a critical step towards answers for the thousands of grieving families who have lost loved ones. In light of this news, the New York State Legislature must immediately revoke the Governor’s emergency powers. The State Senate and Assembly should immediately issue subpoenas to the Governor and his senior staff. I will continue to stand with the families of victims, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and New Yorkers across our state who deserve answers and justice.
On Tuesday, I announced Lewis County Head Start will receive a $1,445,236 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education and development services to promote school readiness for low-income children. There is no greater investment than one that helps our children. I am excited to announce this significant funding for the Head Start program of Lewis County, as it continues to provide essential resources and support to improve the development of kids in our rural communities.
Announced Grant for Housing Assistance Program of Essex County
On Wednesday, I announced the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. will receive a $170,000 grant from NeighborWorks America. NeighborWorks America is a public, non-profit organization established by Congress in 1978 to support and enhance communities across the country. As many North Country residents face the economic challenges wrought by COVID-19, it's more important than ever to invest in our rural communities to keep housing costs low, sustain neighborhoods, and preserve jobs. This federal funding will do just that for our rural communities in Essex County and beyond.
This week, I cosponsored the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, legislation that I helped pass through the House with bipartisan support in the 116th Congress. The bill enforces the obligation of employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act adopts an interactive process between employers and pregnant employees to determine appropriate accommodations and minor modifications to job duties. It also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women because of necessary accommodations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. As millions of women have tragically lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that we strengthen workplace protections for women and pass legislation that will help keep them in the workforce. No woman should ever have to leave her job during pregnancy for being denied the appropriate accommodations she rightfully deserves. The time to finally sign this bill into law is now.
This week, I co-sponsored HR. 1013 - Extending Second Amendment Protections for Military Spouses. Under the current federal statue, active duty service members of the United States Armed Forces may purchase firearms in any state they are stationed with proper documentation. Yet, their spouses are not granted this same constitutional right. This bill amends that unfair decree, by changing the federal crime code to allow licensed gun dealers, importers, or manufacturers to sell firearms to the spouse of an active-duty U.S. Armed Forces service member, by specifying the residency requirements under federal firearm laws. North Country military spouses and families make immeasurable sacrifices to serve our country. Our nation's laws should unequivocally protect their constitutional right to bear arms and defend themselves, regardless of where they live. Read more here.
District Meetings and Events
On Tuesday, I joined the Northern New York-Fort Drum Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) for their semi-annual breakfast business meeting, to discuss legislative defense priorities for 2021.
I appreciated the opportunity to join members of the Northern New York-Fort Drum AUSA Chapter and discuss my plans to support the Fort Drum community in the 117th Congress. As the chief advocate for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division on the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to focus on investing in military readiness, supporting advanced technologies and capabilities, improving America's missile defense capabilities, including the east coast missile defense site at Fort Drum, and advocating for our North Country troops, military families, and veterans.
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