Swearing In a New President
After the chaos and pain of the past four years, it was difficult to feel anything but relief and hope for the future as I watched Joe Biden take the oath of office to become President. His Presidency promises to be everything his predecessor’s wasn’t—science driven, guided by fundamental values of fairness and integrity, and committed to addressing the urgent issues of our day, like income inequality and climate change. Thus far, I’ve been deeply encouraged by President Biden’s leadership. In the few weeks since he assumed office, President Biden has already worked to correct Trump’s injustices by reversing the Muslim Ban and forming a task force to reunite families separated at the border, taken executive action to fight climate change and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and expanded the federal government’s ability to respond to COVID-19.
There is much work ahead of us. The public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to ravage our nation, reforming policing remains a top priority, and the threat posed by the climate crisis grows more urgent with every passing day. I and my Democratic colleagues in the House are eager to lead on these issues—and the many more impacting Americans—and I look forward to working closely with President Biden in the weeks and months ahead.
Impeaching Trump for Inciting an Insurrection
The insurrection against the Capitol on January 6thwas terrifying, horrifying to watch, and above all, clearly incited by former President Trump’s rhetoric. That is not a political statement, nor should it come as any surprise to anyone who has been watching Trump’s conduct over the past four years—when I warned about the danger of Trump’s lies and rhetoric at his first impeachment over a year ago, it was exactly this kind of outcome that I feared.
Trump’s lies about the reliability of our election whipped his supporters into a frenzy that ultimately cost six lives. When we serve, we hold the public’s trust in our hands. To violate that trust as wantonly and dishonestly as he has over the past several months is not only unforgivable, it poses a clear and present danger to our Republic. With his conduct posing a clear menace to our democratic order—and with him having made clear that he had no intention of changing his behavior—I called for his immediate impeachment. I’m glad that House Democrats acted decisively to impeach Trump and I’m grateful that his behavior received bipartisan condemnation. This was not a step taken lightly, but it was necessary, and it was the right step to take. Now, conviction rests in the hands of the Senate. I urge them to convict Trump and ensure that he can never again hold office and cause further harm to our nation.
Delivering the American People the COVID19 Relief They Need
This December, I voted in support of the Congressional Coronavirus relief package, which was shortly thereafter signed into law. The package came up short in certain key areas—I had called for and was disappointed by the lack of additional funding for state and local governments, independent restaurants, and expanded direct payments to the American people—but for millions of Americans, whose unemployment benefits were about to run out or whose small businesses were on the brink of going out of businesses, anything was better than nothing. That said, I am proud of many of the provisions included within the package. Whether it was $25 billion in rental assistance, the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program and the inclusion of Co-ops, or eleven additional weeks of unemployment insurance, this aid package will make—and already has made—a vast difference in the lives of many. For more detailed information, including on how to apply for small business relief programs such as the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants, and questions if you have not received your stimulus check, please clickhere.
Guided by President Biden’s leadership, Democrats in Congress are already hard at work negotiating the next relief package, which I hope will be more ambitious and wide-reaching than what we passed in December. As the American people struggle to weather a crisis of unprecedented proportion, the federal government must continue to serve as a force for good. I will do all I can to ensure Congress delivers support to those most in need.
Making Progress on New York City’s Transportation Priorities
A New York City with safe, efficient transportation infrastructure is a vibrant New York City. That’s why meeting New York City’s transportation needs has always been among my very top priorities—it’s why I have and will continue to fight so hard for federal funds to help the MTA recover from COVID19—and it’s why I’ve already taken action this Congress to address transportation issues facing our city.
Shortly after the 117thCongress began in January, I introduced the Safe and Quiet Skies Act to regulate the commercial air tours that buzz loudly over the New York skyline. Not only do these low-flying helicopters and small planes cause noise and environmental pollution, they also crash with shocking regularity and put both New Yorkers’ and tourists’ lives at risk.
President Biden’s swearing-in makes me hopeful for New York’s long-standing transportation needs. President Biden—who many fondly refer to as ‘Amtrak Joe’ due to his famous daily Amtrak commute—knows better than most how important a functional, streamlined rail system is for a city and its economy. With that in mind, I look forward to working closely with the President on expanding the Gateway tunnels that run under the Hudson river and desperately need to be rebuilt. A revitalized Gateway program would deliver jobs, high-speed rail, reduced carbon emissions, and much more to New Yorkers who have already had to wait too long. I look forward to working with President Biden on getting it done.