Weekly Update - Week of February 22nd, 2021

March 3, 2021
E-newsletter

This Week in Washington
Governor Cuomo has earned his title as Worst Governor in America, and now every New Yorker knows that he is a criminal sexual predator. On December 14th, I was one of the first and one of the only elected officials in New York State to call for an investigation into Governor Cuomo's sexual harassment of Ms. Boylan. It is an inexcusable disgrace that almost every other elected official in New York State quietly brushed this serious and credible allegation under the rug. Sadly, much of the media in the state either ignored this matter or chose to report the sexist character and professional smears of Ms. Boylan by Governor Cuomo's taxpayer-funded staff. I have served in Congress during the height of the #MeToo movement leading to resignations and retirements of my colleagues. Sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the workplace is not a political issue, it is about right and wrong. Governor Cuomo must immediately resign. And any elected official who does not immediately call for his resignation is complicit in allowing a sexual predator to continue leading the great state of New York.
On Tuesday, I introduced the End College Chinese Communist Partnerships Act, and cosponsored the Oppose Business with Chinese Military Companies Act. These strong pieces of legislation will ensure commonsense, pre-established measures are officially implemented to combat the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) sustained efforts to undermine the United States’ power and infiltrate American institutions.
 
  • The End College Chinese Communist Partnerships Act will block taxpayer funds from going to American colleges and universities that have partnerships with Confucius Institutes and the People's Republic of China. President Trump offered this proposal to deter China's ever-growing influence on American academia, but President Biden rescinded it upon taking office.
 
  • The Opposing Business with Chinese Military Companies Act will ensure any and all companies affiliated with, or operated on behalf of the Chinese military, are made public and sanctioned, as we know the Chinese military is engaged in hostile actions against the United States and a genocide of ethnic minorities. More than two decades ago, Congress required President Clinton to do this, but the mandate was never adhered to until President Trump issued a list of companies and began imposing sanctions on them in July 2020. President Biden paused the implementation of those sanctions.
 
District Meetings and Events
On Wednesday, I met virtually with members of the Center for Lyme Action, an organization dedicated to increasing federal funding for Lyme Disease research, diagnostics, and treatments. Lyme Disease continues to impact the lives of many residents in the North Country, particularly throughout the Adirondack region. The Center for Lyme Action awarded me with the 2021 Lyme Champion Award for her work on this issue. I am grateful to the Center for Lyme Action for their dedication to increasing resources for Lyme Disease research. As co-chair of the Invasive Species Caucus, I will continue to passionately advocate on behalf of my constituents who suffer from Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

Joined Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Meeting
 
On Tuesday, I joined the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors to provide an update on vaccine distribution, COVID-19 relief funds for small businesses and schools from previous bipartisan packages, and more. Thank you to the board for the opportunity to participate!
met virtually with members of the New York Farm Bureau to discuss their federal legislative priorities and reaffirm my commitment to supporting North Country agriculture. During the meeting, I announced that I sent a letter to incoming Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to emphasize my support for USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which greatly helped address food insecurity in rural communities across the North Country. I also announced my support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation that I also supported in the 116th Congress to reform the H-2A agricultural guest worker program and create a merit-based visa program designed for agriculture. More information on that bill is available here. Our farmers are the backbone of our North Country economy, and they have continued to provide for our rural communities despite the challenges wrought by COVID-19. I will advocate for our North Country farmers as they seek to address longstanding labor issues, overcome the pandemic, expand trade options, and continue to produce wholesome product for our families and communities.
 
In addition, I have recently taken several actions to assist North County agricultural producers, businesses and surrounding rural communities:
 
  • Sent letter to President Biden requesting the resumption of the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to immediately process and issue direct payments to participating farmers
 
  • Cosponsored GIVE MILK Act – increases access to milk products for those who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
 
  • Cosponsored Fairness for Craft Beverage Producers Act – provides full access to the Paycheck Protection Program loans for small brewers and distillers 
Met With NY-21 Community Health Centers
I met with representatives from the Community Health Care Association of New York State and representatives from the Federally Qualified Health Centers to discuss issues surrounding COVID-19 testing and vaccine rollout, the need for better broadband coverage and expanded access to telehealth, and more. Our community health centers are so important to our rural communities, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf in Congress.
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