E-Newsletter: Budget Proposal Hurts New Yorkers and Middle Class

Feb 28, 2018 Issues: Budget, Government Oversight, Immigration, Trump

Budget Proposal Hurts
New Yorkers and Middle Class 


The Administration’s FY19 budget proposal continues what I believe has been a disgraceful record of rewarding the wealthy and powerful at the expense of working families. In my view, we knew these cuts to critical federal programs were coming when the Majority passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut which I feel rewarded only the wealthiest Americans. But to see the cuts in print is still galling. 

This budget proposes cuts to programs that help millions of working families in New York and around the country meet their most basic needs: $214 billion from SNAP (or food stamps), $6.8 billion from federal housing programs including a complete elimination of federal funding for public housing repairs, $4.4 billion from K-12 education, and $72 billion from disability programs. Once again, the budget also cuts all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Administration has also trotted out a new infrastructure plan in conjunction with these cuts. From my perspective, this was done as a distraction and the plan is a scam that puts most of the burden for funding our infrastructure on commuters and cash-strapped states, while cutting $168 billion from transportation programs in the President's budget.

There are many things I could say about this budget. It is inefficient and irresponsible. It is unrealistic. But at its core, this budget is heartless. 

"FISA Abuse" Memo Attempts to Discredit the Russia Investigation

Recently, the House Intelligence Committee released a classified document written by the Chairman of the Committee, which contains accusations of political bias and illegal surveillance of the President and other officials by the FBI. As Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am one of a small group of Members to have seen the underlying source documents, along with the full Intelligence memo and Democratic response, and I can attest that the memo is nothing more than a set of deeply misleading and partisan talking points, intentional distortions and deliberate mischaracterizations.

By releasing this memo, the House Majority and President Trump went against the repeated objections of the FBI and the Department of Justice. I believe that the release of the memo not only jeopardized national security, but was itself dangerously misleading. That is why I wrote a letter to my colleagues providing a legal rebuttal to the assertions made within it - knowing that it was important to set the record straight in an unclassified manner to prevent any action against the DOJ, FBI, or the Special Counsel investigation.

You can read my letter here.

Ensuring the Integrity of Our Elections

As you know, the consensus assesment from our intelligence agencies is that Russia interfered in our 2016 election. The head of cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that Russia targeted the voter rolls in at least 21 states, and successfully penetrated a small number of those systems. CIA Director Mike Pompeo admitted that he has “every expectation” that the Russians would continue their attacks in the future. Unfortuntately, based on the lack of action taken by those in power, I believe the hacking threat is not being taken seriously by the President or the House Majority. That is why I led my Democratic colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee in writing a letter to Chairman Goodlatte calling for emergency hearings examining the U.S. election infrastructure.

It is Congress' responsibility to examine the vulnerabilities and risks facing our election processes in order to protect the right to vote for every American, and yet, the Majority has remained silent. The lack of action on this issue speaks volumes. Russia committed an attack on our democracy, and we need to know what steps the Administration may or may not be taking to ensure the future integrity of our elections.

Click here to read the full letter to Chairman Goodlatte calling for immediate hearings into our election infrastructure.

Standing Up for Dreamers

 Rep. Nadler speaking in favor of a legislative resolution that would condemn the President for his comments regarding immigrants.

During the government shutdown last month, the House Majority passed a short term spending bill to reopen the government, a bill which I could not support. Though the budget deal included important funding to for Community Health Centers, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and disaster relief for Puerto Rico and others, which I strongly support, in the end, it failed to provide a solution for the Dreamers.

As we inch closer to a deadline that puts young immigrants at risk of being expelled from the only country they have ever known, the President and the House Majority should take action. By not doing so, Dreamers are being held hostage to extremist immigration policy proposals. We ought to vote on a clean Dream Act now.