E-Newsletter: Judiciary Committee Hearing with AG Lynch Should Focus on Gun Violence

Jul 22, 2016

Rep. Nadler speaking on House floor about lack of action on pressing issues, including Zika, gun violence, and the Flint, MI water crisis.

Judiciary Committee Hearing with AG Lynch Should Focus on Gun Violence

At a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, while others were focusing on Sec. Clinton's emails, I decided to raise the more pressing issues facing our country at this time: policing and the gun violence epidemic in America.

We are all sickened by the recent killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. According to the ACLU, Mr. Castile was the 123rd African-American to be killed by law enforcement this year. But the knowledge that Mr. Sterling’s and Mr. Castile’s deaths come on the heels of a long list of senseless killings of black men, women and children, whose encounters with the police might have gone differently had they not been black, must spur us to take action. Black lives matter is not a hashtag, it is an imperative.

At the same time, news reports of gun violence have become all too common, and there is no excuse or justification for the vicious murder of five police officers in Dallas, Texas. Gun violence is a distinctly American problem, producing more than 33,000 deaths every year, yet Congress has refused to take any action. As the massacre at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando demonstrated, assault weapons have no purpose other than to commit mass casualties. A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine found that, compared to 22 other high-income countries, the gun-related murder rate in the United States is 25-times higher. This is simply unacceptable, which is why I used my question time with the Attorney General to raise these important issues and to focus the attention of the Department of Justice on the issues that really matter to the American people.

 Cross Harbor Freight Program Receives Federal Grant Award for Improvements to NY Freight Infrastructure

This month, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded more than $10.6 million to the Port Authority for key elements of the Cross Harbor Freight Program.  For many years, I have passionately pushed this project, which will finally connect New York City to the national freight rail network, taking tens of thousands of trucks off of our streets bringing significant benefits for the environment, our national security, and our regional and national economy.  The grant is part of the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program—also known as the FASTLANE program—that I helped create as part of the surface transportation bill we passed in 2015.
The Cross Harbor Freight Program was one of only 18 national projects selected under the FASTLANE program, the first ever dedicated freight program for large scale multimodal projects critical to our regional and national economy.  This is a major victory and an important step forward for addressing New York’s freight infrastructure, alleviating the freight bottleneck in our region, and I am thrilled that the Cross Harbor Freight Program was recognized as a deserving project for federal funding. 

Congress Passes Families Flying Together Act

Washington Post recognizes legislation as “an amazing win for consumers”.

I am happy to announce that the Families Flying Together Act, a bill I sponsored with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), has been included in the latest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension bill that was just signed into law by President Obama. This important provision requires each airline carrier to establish a policy to ensure—to the greatest extent practicable—that families are seated together during flight, putting an end to the absurdity of children sitting separate or unattended on an airplane.  For several years, we have tried to push the airlines to enact family-friendly seating policies so that children can sit with their parents, without shifting the burden onto other passengers to vacate their seats.  Thankfully, the new FAA bill includes this common sense measure, allowing families with children 13 and under to travel together safely and reliably without disrupting other passengers.