MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 30, 2020

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Nadler Reacts to Passage of CARES Act

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) released a statement last Friday following the House’s bipartisan passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package whose purpose is to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. It provides, among other things, direct payments of $1,200 to all taxpaying Americans, a $250 billion unemployment insurance program, and $350 billion allocated to provide relief to small businesses.

Nadler said the bill was a step in the right direction, but maintained that we still have more to do.

“While the bill takes incredible measures to meet the challenge of this moment, I believe more must be done,” said Nadler. “The bill does not provide nearly enough funding for New York State and New York City to cover the costs they are bearing responding to the pandemic. We have to make sure our state, which is on the frontlines of this pandemic, remains whole in future stimulus bills. In addition, I have long supported direct cash payments to help people get through this economic crisis, but the $1200 one-time payment to working families is totally insufficient. I do appreciate my Democratic Senate colleagues for fighting to at least double these payments from the $600 initially offered by Leader McConnell, and I will continue to fight for sustained funding for working families.”

AG James Warns New Yorkers about Scams Related to Federal Relief for COVID-19

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) issued an alert warning New Yorkers about potential scams related to the recent COVID-19 stimulus package.

As part of the bill, the federal government will send one-time payments of $1,200 to all taxpaying Americans, and $2,400 to married couples. Since its signage, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has received reports of scammers using this provision to steal personal and financial information from others.

James cautioned New Yorkers not to trust anyone who tries to charge them “processing fees” for their stimulus payments. If you are eligible for a payment, she said, there is nothing you need to do to receive it.

“Scammers have been using a variety of tools to take advantage of this crisis and steal from New Yorkers,” said James. “The latest example involves scammers pretending to be from the federal government and preying on individuals who desperately need financial support right now. I remind all New Yorkers to be vigilant and take precautions to ensure they do not fall victim to these harmful and heartless scams.”

Stringer Condemns EPA for Suspending Enforcement of Environmental Regulations

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released a statement on Friday condemning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for suspending regulations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The previous day, the EPA announced a broad relaxation of environmental regulations during the pandemic. For the duration of the pandemic, it will not be penalizing oil and gas companies for failing to monitor or restrict their release of pollutants.

“At a time when thousands of Americans afflicted with COVID-19 are gasping for breath, the Trump Administration wants to rollback crucial environmental regulations that protect our air, our water, and our health,” said Stringer. “Scientists tell us that during earlier outbreaks of respiratory diseases, people in areas with even moderate air pollution were 84 percent more likely to die than people living in areas with low pollution. Poor air quality already kills more than 2,000 New Yorkers per year.

“Choosing this moment to allow big polluters to police their own actions and poison our air and water with impunity is nothing short of craven opportunism on the part of a Federal government that cares more about corporate bottom lines than protecting public health.”​

Johnson, Treyger Propose $50 Million in Emergency City/State Funding for Food Assistance Programs 

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

Last Friday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) called on the de Blasio Administration to release emergency funding for food banks and food assistance programs.

Since COVID-19 reached New York, nearly a third of the City’s emergency food programs have closed. To address the problem, Johnson and Treyger have requested $50 million in emergency funding for those programs: $25 million worth of city funding, and $25 million worth of state funding. According to the Met Council, the combined total would provide funding for over 19 million meals.

“The richest city in the richest nation in the world is on the cusp of a hunger crisis,” said Johnson. “We must act now to quickly get relief to our food providers. This is an emergency and time is of the essence. Undoubtedly we will need more funding in the coming weeks, but it’s imperative that we begin now to stop more of our providers from shutting.”