The most pressing issues we face in District 13 are housing, employment opportunity, education, and healthcare.
Politics in Albany and Washington favor the wealthy and connected and our politicians are captive to that system.
The Supreme Court has twice affirmed the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans continue to call for its repeal and offer no plans for a replacement. I oppose them completely.
Tax reform is coming and we can’t let the Republicans shape it. I support expansion and reforms of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). President Obama signed legislation making tax cuts for the rich permanent but marriage penalties in the EITC expire in 2017. I ask why and will fight for them to be made permanent.
Do you know that homeowners can deduct up to $100,000 in mortgage payments from their taxes each year? Renters deserve relief. I want to create a tax credit for renters who struggle to meet monthly housing costs. That’s money in your pocket.
Finally, the time has come for statehood for Puerto Rico for which I advocate unequivocally.
Here, in short, are some Congressional topics with brief positions I hold as a candidate. As the campaign progresses in the coming months, these answers will expand.
Affordable Care Act: Yes.
African Burial Ground International Memorial Museum and Educational Center: Yes.
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): Yes. Congressman Rangel’s legislation.
Budget Deficit: Not the immediate problem it was very recently.
Under current law, deficits during the 2014–2023 projection period will average 3.3 percent of GDP, CBO projects, similar to the 40-year average of 3.1 percent. In those projections, the deficit initially declines from 5.3 percent this year to a low of 2.4 percent in 2015 and follows an upward trend thereafter, reaching 3.8 percent by the end of the projection period.
CBO projects that revenues will average about 19 percent of GDP during the coming decade under current law, above their 18 percent average of the past 40 years. CBO also projects that outlays will average 22 percent of GDP over the next 10 years under current law, above their 21 percent average of the past 40 years. Thus, both outlays and revenues are projected to be higher than their historical average shares of the economy’s total output.
CBO expects that, under current law, outlays will be above their historical average primarily because the aging of the population, rising health care costs, and a significant expansion in eligibility for federal subsidies for health insurance will push up spending for Social Security and the major federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and the subsidies to be provided through insurance exchanges). Such spending is projected to equal 10.9 percent of GDP during the coming decade, compared with a 40-year average of 7.2 percent. In addition, with federal debt held by the public much larger relative to GDP than it has been in the past, net interest payments are projected to equal 2.5 percent of GDP, compared with a 40-year average of 2.2 percent.
Other broad categories of spending are expected to represent smaller shares of GDP than they have been in the past: Mandatory spending other than for Social Security and the major health care programs is projected to average 2.6 percent of GDP, compared with a 40-year average of 3.0 percent; defense spending is projected to average 3.0 percent of GDP, compared with a 40-year average of 4.7 percent; and nondefense discretionary spending is projected to average 3.0 percent of GDP, compared with a 40-year average of 4.0 percent.
Burwell V. Hobby Lobby: No. Strong women’s rights. “Denial of contraception for women hampers progress towards creating a constitutional right to access various types of contraception and even threatens women’s access to basic healthcare.” Democracy is a hard deal.
Charter Schools: I am not opposed to charter schools. I am opposed to the diversion of resources from public schools to charter schools here in New York, particularly when Albany has failed to abide by court-ordered agreements under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit.
Citizens United: No.
Common Core: Yes. Not unequivocally, but I am in favor of standards in this case, not unlike Obamacare, I believe we are better served by amending and improving these existing standards.
Corporate Inversions: No. Stop corporations from changing their tax address in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes. This is legitimate Treasury Department behavior.
Cuba: Yes. Normalization.
Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA): Yes.
DISCLOSE 2012 Act, H.R. 4010: Yes. Requires disclosure of corporate and special interest money in politics.
Dominican Republic: The Dominican Heritage Resolution, first sponsored by Rangel in 2011, commemorates the achievements and rich culture of the 1.5 million people of Dominican descent in the United States. With over 700,000 people, Dominicans are the largest Hispanic group in New York City.
Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Yes.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Tax reform and expansion of the EITC is essential. “Last year, EITC was claimed by 1.8 million New Yorkers who received nearly $5 billion in federal, state and New York City benefits. However, the IRS estimates that 20-25 percent of taxpayers eligible for the EITC fail to claim it, many because they do not know they are eligible.”
Federal Minimum Wage Increase: Yes
Gay Rights: Yes. Marriage included.
Immigration Reform: Yes. Obama style.
Infrastructure Investment and Improvements: Yes. The federal gas tax needs to be raised to fund the national Highway Trust Fund.
Iran: Obama’s pursuit of negotiations is not without risk but preferable to unilateral bombing.
ISIS/ISIL/DAESH: Opposed to ground troops. Advocate intervention in a multi-lateral way. Should be called DAESH because it is insulting to them.
Korea: Peace on the Korean peninsula is our goal. I applaud Congressman Rangel’s service and sacrifice. World’s 13th-largest economy would be improved by unification. The divided families issue has been previously addressed by both Presidents Bush and Obama, due to the efforts of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Chahee Stanfield of the Divided Families Coalition. In 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181), which required a report on family reunions between United States citizens and their relatives in North Korea. Later in 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Continuing Appropriations Act 2011 (Public Law 111-242), which urged the Special Representative on North Korea Policy to prioritize the issues involving Korean divided families.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay: Yes. “A landmark bill and important step towards achieving equal pay for women… The first bill President Barack Obama signed into law, the Fair Pay Act restored protections against wage discrimination, and ensured any woman facing unfair treatment on the job would have her day in court. Today, women make up nearly half of the workforce and are increasingly serving as the primary breadwinners in their households. Despite the President’s continuous efforts promoting equal pay, women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and African American and Hispanic women earn only 64 and 55 cents, respectively. It is clear we still have some way to go.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Yes.
Marriage Equality: Yes.
Mitchell-Lama: Yes. “New York State’s Mitchell-Lama Housing Program was first proposed by State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama and was signed into law in 1955 by Governor William Averell Harriman. Under the state’s Private Housing Finance Law, the program provided for the creation of affordable housing, both rental and co-operatively owned, for middle-income residents. Developers received tax abatements and low-interest mortgages, subsidized by the federal, state, or New York City government. In total, 269 housing developments with 105,000 units were developed with State aid under the Mitchell-Lama Program.”
Net Neutrality/Open Internet: Yes.
Paycheck Fairness Act: Yes. (See When Women Succeed, America Succeeds, a Democratic economic agenda that addresses the need to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work)
Prison Reform: Justice Safety Valve Act of 2015 (which would let judges set sentences below mandatory minimums) and the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2015 (which would reduce both mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders and mandatory life sentences)
Shelby v. Holder: No. Ruled Section 4b of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 unconstitutional. Large blow to the Voting Rights Act and to the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. Our country’s success is built upon the right to vote, and it must be preserved.
Social Security: Yes. One of the most successful federal programs ever created.
Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID) Act: Yes
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Yes.
Trade Africa: Yes. East African Community partner nations (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda).
Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014: Yes. It can help restore the protections lost with the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Shelby v. Holder and safeguard the ballot box from unfair infringement
Wage Equality: Nationwide, women on average earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men and nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women. This gap is wider for African American and Hispanic women: on average African-American women are paid only 64 cents and Latina women earn only 55 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men. With mothers now serving as the sole breadwinner or co-breadwinner for two-thirds of American families and women making up nearly half the labor force, the wage gap hurts families, businesses, and communities.