Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D- Brooklyn, LES, Queens) last night reassured dozens of audience members in attendance at her Downtown Brooklyn Town Hall meeting that she was going to continue to resist against current U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration policy changes.
Velazquez is one of the many outspoken legislators in the state that decried the Trump election last November, and was one of the first responders at John F. Kennedy Airport when Trump signed the initial immigration travel ban.
She, along with Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Western Manhattan) was also instrumental in helping with the release of Iraq War hero Hameed Khalid Darweesh, after immigration authorities detained him for 24 hours.
“It is the diversity of the people that makes this country great, and the fact that we care for each other and that we know what makes this country a great place is how we treat each other. Immigration traditionally represents the fabric of this nation. It really defines who we are,” Velazquez said at the Town Hall meeting held at St. Francis College.
The congresswoman then became more blunt, specifically calling out the difficult struggles facing Democrats in Washington, D.C. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we are living in difficult and challenging times, and I believe that today nowhere is this more clear than Trumps erratic foreign policy. The escalations that we have seen most recently in Syria, Afghanistan and now the tone with North Korea,” she said
In the past weeks, the relationship between the US and North Korea has escalated to the point of threats of thermonuclear war from North Korea due to the Trump’s administration’s recent announcement ending the “strategic patience” policy with Pyongyang.
Just last week President Trump approved of dropping a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped in combat onto an ISIS stronghold near the border of Pakistan .
The congresswoman went on to talk about the challenges facing healthcare reform, climate change, the public housing crisis and the possible interference of Russia in the 2016 Presidential Election.
“Getting to the bottom to what happened in last year’s election. We have to remember that our intelligence community confirmed that indeed Russia interfered in our election. It really represents a direct attack on our democratic institution,” said Velazquez.
The FBI, headed by FBI Director James Comey, is officially investigating the link between Russia and the 2016 Presidential Election. The House Intelligence Committee has been holding multiple hearings on the issue, which has now swept up the chairman of the committee, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) into the scandal as he recused himself from the investigation after he was leaked information regarding the possible link to Russia from two anonymous sources to White House officials.
Velazquez stated that she was the first member of Congress to write a letter to the Department of Justice after the November 8 election results, requesting the appointment of an independent council. She has co-sponsored legislation that will create a 9/11 style commission to investigate the polling results and their legitimacy.
During the event the congresswoman did take a moment to note the success of Democrats to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which would have cut health care funding to more than 280,000 people in her 7th Congressional District alone.
She promised her unwavering support for public access to primary health care and hopes that one day universal healthcare will be the solution.
“We will resist! They will have a fight on their [Republican] hands. In the meantime, Democrats are meeting, we are having discussions. We are looking for ways to improve ACA, to make it work, to build a system that will last. And we know the only way to do that is if Republicans and Democrats come together and look for solutions that will make this ACA system stronger. I am convinced that the best solution for this country is universal medicare for all,” said Velazquez.