NY Lawmakers on the Move, July 21, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Clarke priorities funded through FY2023 appropriations

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) yesterday voted to pass H.R. 8294, the Fiscal Year 2023 six-bill government funding package that invests in several of her Congressional priorities for years to come:

“As America contends with this pivotal crossroads in our history, we must ensure its budget reflects the values found in its communities. Within this bill exists scores of critical investments that will directly further the lives and futures of both Brooklynites and Americans long into tomorrow,” said Clarke. “I will continue working with Republicans and Democrats to fund these local and bipartisan priorities, and look forward to fighting in the future on behalf of Congress’s duty to keep our government funded and our communities safe.”

This crucial funding included in the FY23 appropriations government funding package that passed the House with bi-partisan support responds directly to some of the most pressing needs throughout the nation and will directly address the greatest challenges faced by the middle class, working families, small businesses, and underserved, underrepresented communities. 

Clarke championed several investments within the FY23 that directly address her priorities in this Congress including money for public housing ($8.733 billion), homeless assistance grants $3.604 billion) and transit infrastructure grants – Healthy Streets Program ($55 million).

Maloney lauds Postal Service’s decision to more than double purchase of electric vehicles

Congressional primary
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, yesterday released the following statement in response to the Postal Service’s announcement that it will more than double its initial purchase of electric vehicles.

“I am pleased that following my Committee’s hearing and letter urging the Postal Service to more rapidly transition to electric vehicles, the Postal Service has announced that it will more than double its initial purchase of EVs.  Our Postal Service fleet of the future must be clean, affordable, and electric.  This is the fleet that the American people deserve.  I am pleased by this progress, but I will continue to fight for the Postal Service fleet to fully transition to electric vehicles.”

On April 5, 2022, the Committee held a hearing that raised troubling concerns that the Postal Service used flawed assumptions in its environmental and cost analyses to justify the purchase of gas-guzzling delivery trucks rather than electric vehicles. 

On May 11, 2022, Maloney sent a letter to the Postmaster General requesting information about the Postal Service’s acquisition of its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle and urging the Postal Service to issue a new environmental impact statement and to take steps to rapidly transition to an electric fleet rather than moving ahead with plans to buy tens of thousands of gas-guzzling trucks.

Yesterday’s announcement detailed that, as a result of its new environmental impact statement, the Postal Service is increasing the share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in its initial purchase order from 20% to 50%, for a total of 25,000 electric vehicles.  The Postal Service also announced that it will purchase an additional 34,500 off-the-shelf vehicles, including “as many BEVs as are commercially available.”  

Suozzi petitions Biden to intervene in case of Long Island Man illegally imprisoned in China

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Longs Island/Queens) yesterday  asked President Biden to personally intervene in the case of Kai Li, an American businessman who has been held illegally and unjustly by the Chinese Communist Party since 2018. 

For the last four years, Li – a 60-year-old man – has been living in poor health and is rapidly deteriorating under harsh and inhumane conditions, the severity of which have been exacerbated by the record-breaking heatwave in Shanghai. While detained, he has suffered a stroke, high blood pressure, chronic gastritis, and shingles. His immune system has become very weak. Li’s family has reported he is kept in a tiny cell with 11 other prisoners, except for daily covid testing and one weekly hour of exercise. Even worse, there have been reports of forced labor from the prison Li is held in. 

“Please personally intervene in the case of Mr. Kai Li, my constituent, who is one of only two Americans that the United Nations has opined is arbitrarily and improperly imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party. Additionally, the Department of State’s Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs has identified Mr. Li as one of three US Nationals who are “wrongful detainees,” Suozzi wrote to President Biden, calling for the urgent intervention in Li’s case

Malliotakis presses Buttigieg on congestion pricing

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, yesterday pressed U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on New York City’s plan to implement a Congestion Pricing Plan, calling for a thorough Environmental Impact Study and the full release of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) answers to the Federal Highway Administration’s 430 required technical questions for full transparency.

“New York City’s Congestion Pricing Plan is the latest cash grab by New York City, New York State, and the MTA,” Malliotakis said. “Given this program is the first in the nation, the Federal Highway Administration has a responsibility to conduct a full and thorough Environmental Impact Study versus a simple assessment, along with an Economic Impact Study. I don’t want my constituents to be guinea pigs. I don’t support this plan at all, but if the City does move forward, we need to make sure it’s being done right and see what the actual impact will be on businesses, residents, and the surrounding communities.”

During the hearing, Buttigieg claimed the process would be thorough and transparent but to date, only a simple environmental assessment, not a full study, has been required and he did not commit to releasing the 430 questions and answers to the public.

Malliotakis has also called for more public hearings to ensure the process is fair and transparent. While Buttigieg reaffirmed everything is going “by the book,” with over 500 comments received, other projects across the nation that impact populations the size of the New York City metro area have historically garnered tens of thousands of public comments.

“If we believe in transparency, we want to make sure we get that information out in the public domain,” said Malliotakis, who has been outspoken against New York City’s Congestion Pricing Plan since her time in the New York State Assembly.