Queens officials in the U.S. House of Representatives this week refused to support another bill to keep the government open over problems such as lack of protections for immigrants and higher deficits.
Congress succeeded in passing a bill that would extend government funding for the next two years, which President Donald Trump quickly signed into law. The law would keep the government open for the next two years after a brief five-hour shutdown last night.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) praised the agreement for including benefits for New Yorkers, such as pension reform and expanded health care for communities suffering from the opioid crisis. Across the country, the bill would provide $20 billion to build or maintain infrastructure and ensure child care is more affordable for families.
“The budget deal doesn’t have everything Democrats want; it doesn’t have everything the Republicans want, but it has what the American people need. It shows that bipartisanship still lives in Washington and that both parties can work together to address the issues affecting our nation,” he said.
However, every single Democrat from Queens voted against it in the House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, The Bronx) shared his opinion of the deal yesterday—a firm no.
“The Republicans’ latest effort to keep the government funded fails to make the investments this country needs and deserves,” said Crowley.
The 14th Congressional District Representative elaborated that without a solution to the potential loss, and probable deportation, of undocumented immigrants covered under DACA, he could not support the GOP-led plan.
“People want to be put back to work in good-paying jobs with good benefits. They want us to create strong and safe communities. They want us to lead and innovate. None of these things can or will be achieved through this bill,” he said.
Ahead of the scheduled House vote yesterday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (Western Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn) criticized House leadership under Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) for not guaranteeing protections for young undocumented immigrants.
“His refusal to allow regular order and willful disregard of the wishes of the American people is an insult to the House of Representatives and our democratic process. If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could do it, so can Speaker Ryan,” Maloney said.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth), also a no vote, derided the deal as ineffective to the country’s long-term problems.
“This agreement adds billions to the federal deficit and provides no solution to protect DREAMers. Speaker Ryan failed to commit to a simple bipartisan vote despite Mitch McConnell doing so in the Senate. GOP leaders cannot continue to kick the can down the road and the dysfunctional manner in which they govern must change,” she said.