Addressing COVID-19: Fighting for New York and “Mom and Pop” Businesses

In times of crisis, Long Islanders deserve leaders, like Congressman Suozzi, who is fighting for his constituents, New York, our country, and the common good.

Suozzi has made delivering federal aid to our municipalities in New York one of his foremost priorities in DC. He has repeatedly fought Mitch McConnell and other Republicans who continue to delay federal funding for States and local communities. The House passed Heroes Act, the latest COVID-19 stimulus package, included three of Suozzi's biggest priorities: a special fund based on ‘rate of infection’ for the hardest hit states, the elimination of the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions, and billions for local municipalities both with populations over 50,000 people and under 50,000. New York would receive more money than any other state as a part of this legislation and Suozzi will continue to fight to ensure its passage in the Senate. The longer Mitch McConnell waits, the more New York suffers.

The first four COVID-19 relief packages passed by Congress included hundreds of billions of dollars in direct relief for individuals, expanded unemployment insurance, small business loans, aid to our hospitals and frontline healthcare heroes, testing, and much more. During the self-quarantine period in NYS, Suozzi traveled to Washington, DC to ensure passage of each of these bills, while fighting for more to be done for New York state and local governments, hospitals, and small businesses. Suozzi successfully led a bipartisan coalition in Congress to push back against Mitch McConnell saying that some states should file bankruptcy before getting more federal aid. This would include the states that were hardest hit by COVID-19, like New York, which Suozzi found unacceptable.

Suozzi believes the COVID-19 crisis is about both healthcare and economics. He believes that before we reopen the economy in New York, there will need to be an increase in testing, to establish contact tracing, and to procure more PPE for our frontline workers. The federal government must do more to help New York through more federal funding, massive infrastructure investment, and repealing the cap on SALT deductions.

Suozzi has led multiple initiatives with the entire New York congressional delegation (Republicans and Democrats), which has resulted in federal money for hospitals being allocated based on the number of COVID-19 positive cases in a state. He led the entire Long Island congressional delegation in convincing the Federal Reserve to allow Nassau and Suffolk Counties to access hundreds of millions of dollars in federal relief. Suozzi has been one of the loudest voices in Congress in calling on banks and financial institutions to ensure that every small business has access to loans and grants provided for in the CARES Act, regardless of size.

On Long Island, Suozzi has personally helped deliver thousands of gowns, masks, and gloves directly to frontline workers and meals to the elderly and vulnerable. He has also worked to keep his constituents updated on the latest news regarding the pandemic, sending messages and hosting town halls to keep more than 100,000 NY-03 residents up-to-date on best practices, the latest federal action, and the resources that are available to his constituents. Congressman Suozzi believes that by fighting this together, we can come out stronger than ever before.

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State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions

Congressman Suozzi has been tasked by leadership to lead the fight to restore SALT deductions. In December of 2019, after months of hard work, Suozzi achieved a big victory when Congress passed his legislation to restore the SALT deductions. The legislation was passed with bipartisan support, but now must pass the Senate to bring tax relief to families across Long Island.

At Suozzi’s urging, the Heroes Act, the latest COVID-19 stimulus package passed by the House, included the elimination of the cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions.

As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax-writing committee in the House, Suozzi has been a leader in the fight to restore this crucial deduction. At the start of the new Congress and at his urging, a Congressional SALT Working Group was formed to explore the impact of limiting the SALT deduction and build consensus for a repeal of the limit. He also received the honor of chairing a Ways and Means Committee hearing specifically focused on the impacts of capping SALT on local communities.

The 2017 cap on the SALT deductions was a punch in the gut to hardworking families across Long Island as it placed an additional and unfair tax burden on working families across Long Island. Suozzi will not rest until fairness is restored for taxpayers on Long Island and across the country who were unfairly and cynically targeted by the Republicans in 2017.

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Protecting and Preserving our Environment

Congressman Suozzi believes that climate change is real and requires bold solutions to leave a healthier and more sustainable world behind for future generations.

Throughout his career in public service, Suozzi has worked hard to clean up pollution, preserve open space, clean up toxic sites, protect our air and the Long Island Sound, and to ensure that our drinking water is clean. He was previously named New York State Environmentalist of the Year by the League of Conservation Voters. He has continued that fight in Congress as a leading member of the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Suozzi co-sponsored and helped pass the Climate Action Now Act, a bill that reverses President Trump’s misguided decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. As a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Suozzi helped introduce the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act. This legislation encourages and incentivizes the deployment and production of cleaner, safer, and more sustainable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and geothermal.

Back home on Long Island, Suozzi has, since arriving to Congress in 2017, increased federal funding to protect and preserve the Long Island Sound by almost 500%. He has also secured tens of millions of dollars in funding increases to clean up the Navy-Grumman Plume while holding both the Navy and Northrop Grumman accountable.

Suozzi is focused on waste and drinking water improvements, as well as green energy production, electric vehicles, and the accompanying infrastructure to support them.

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Restoring American Values to Immigration

Congressman Suozzi has worked on immigration issues since his days as Mayor of Glen Cove. He was previously named as Person of the Year by the New York Immigration Coalition. He is a co-sponsor of and voted for the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for DACA recipients. He has also co-sponsored, voted for, and helped secure support for several House-passed bills which would end Trump's inhuman and shortsighted border policies, improve conditions at the border, and ensure that newcomers to our country are treated with humanity and respect.

In July 2019, Suozzi visited our southern border to inspect conditions at detention facilities housing migrants where he witnessed conditions that no American would find acceptable. As a first-generation American, Suozzi is a strong voice against the Trump Administration’s immigration policies. While he favors strong borders, he is committed to restoring American values to our debate on immigration.

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Increasing Access to Healthcare and Lowering Drug Prices

Congressman Suozzi has said we need to “mend, not end,” the Affordable Care Act. Incessant Republican attacks on this law are wrong-headed and will cause millions of Americans to lose access to their healthcare. He believes that we must build on President Obama’s signature law to expand access to healthcare and lower costs for all Americans.

Suozzi also believes that the cost of prescription drugs must be reduced and supports allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Suozzi was instrumental in the House passage of the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Cost Now Act, which will ensure that Americans can afford the medication they need to remain healthy.

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Gun Violence Prevention

Congressman Suozzi has been a leader in the fight for gun violence prevention legislation. He voted for legislation to support universal background checks and the banning of assault weapons and continues to support Red Flag Laws. As a member of the new Democratic majority, Suozzi worked hard to help secure $25 million for gun violence prevention research in 2019. This was the first funding to research gun violence that had been appropriated in more than two decades.

On Long Island, Suozzi has worked closely with gun violence prevention activist, Linda Beigel Schulman. Linda, who lost her son Scott in the tragic 2018 Parkland shootings, has stood with Suozzi for common-sense legislation. Together, they have held rallies, press conferences, and other events to emphasize that this should not be a partisan issue. This is about the safety of our communities and the lives of our loved ones. Suozzi has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign and has been named a Gun Sense Candidate by Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety.

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Taking Care of our Veterans

Congressman Suozzi is a proud supporter of America’s veterans and appreciates the sacrifices our veterans, and their families, make to protect our country. Congress must ensure veterans have access to world-class healthcare and post-service economic opportunity. Above all else, we must never forget the vet.

In Washington, Suozzi has secured tens of millions of dollars for housing and other programs that would ease our new veterans’ transition back to civilian life. He has also worked to combat the veteran suicide crisis across the United States by introducing and supporting legislation which would expand access to mental health for all veterans, regardless of discharge status.

On Long Island, Suozzi has worked closely with each Northport VA Director, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to improve services for veterans and address the physical conditions of the facilities, including expediting the demolition of buildings 1 and 2. Suozzi's goal is to work with the Northport VA, the Department, and all stakeholders to turn the Center into a model for VA facilities across the nation and will continue to push for ongoing improvements to realize that goal.

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Human Rights Around the World

In 2019, Congressman Suozzi was appointed by the Speaker of the House to the prestigious Congressional-Executive Commission on China. As a member of the Commission, Suozzi helped write bills that will allow the United States government to put additional pressure on the Chinese government's inhumane policy of holding more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in detention camps.

As a member of the Commission, Suozzi has helped write bills that would hold the Chinese government responsible for holding more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in detention camps. He also helped write the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act which declared that the Chinese government must respect the autonomy of Hong Kong.

Suozzi has also used his voice as a Member of Congress to advocate for people around the world who have faced persecution for simply practicing their faith. From the persecution of Muslims in China to anti-Semitism here in the United States, and even closer to home on Long Island, Suozzi will do all in his power to help those who wish to practice their faith without fear of oppression and mistreatment.

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Supporting Israel

Congressman Suozzi is a strong supporter of the state of Israel and is dedicated to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship. He has traveled to Israel in both a personal and Congressional capacity over the years. Suozzi has spearheaded efforts that would strengthen Israel’s regional security, and regularly voices his support in combating anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitism.

In the House of Representatives, Suozzi has:

  • Helped pass multiple pieces of legislation to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad. This includes passage of the Never Again Education Act, which helps teach our children about the horrors of the Holocaust;
  • Led the passage of the SHIELDS Act, which, now a law, sanctions members of Hezbollah and their foreign backers for their use of human shields and civilian infrastructure to hide hundreds of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel;
  • Led passage of an amendment in 2018 which detailed Hezbollah’s nefarious activities in Lebanon, Russia’s cooperation with Iran in Syria, preventing Iran from establishing a foothold on Israel's border, and much more.

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Rebuilding our Infrastructure

Congressman Suozzi is committed to ensuring that New York and his constituents receive a 21st-century infrastructure for a 21st-century economy. The New York economy is the engine that drives our country, yet limited federal dollars are relegated to fixing our old and decaying rails, roads, bridges, tunnels, schools, and sewers. A band-aid approach will only stymie the power and might of New York's economy. We need a comprehensive approach that adequately reflects the demands of New York's $1.7 trillion economy and incorporates sustainable infrastructure that can mitigate the impacts of climate change while reducing human contributions that exacerbate the ongoing crisis. Suozzi will fight to ensure that this infrastructure investment looks to the future and is smarter, safer, and built to last.

Suozzi’s priorities include:

  • waste and drinking water improvements;
  • ensuring upgrades for the Long Island Railroad;
  • increasing access and updates to Glen Cove Ferry and New York City public transit;
  • stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund to improve local roads on Long Island;
  • green energy production, electric vehicles, and the accompanying infrastructure to support them;
  • public school modernization; and
  • funding, expediting and advancing Gateway.

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National Security and Foreign Affairs

As a former member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, Congressman Suozzi believes in a strong national defense and is dedicated to America’s national security, human rights, and the rule of law. He has traveled to Afghanistan, South Korea, Israel, and other countries to meet with troops and receive briefings from commanders on the ground.

Suozzi’s priority is the safety of our troops and the American people. He believes that the Administration must work in concert with the legislative branch before taking any military action. Suozzi also believes in both a strong military and a State Department, to advance our national security interests. Deterrence, coupled with diplomacy, is necessary for sustained peace.

In 2019, the House passed Congressman Suozzi's resolution, H.Res.585, Reaffirming support for the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements to ensure a lasting peace in Northern Ireland." Ireland is one of the oldest and closest friends of the United States, and Suozzi believes that Brexit and other political challenges must not compromise the safety or the peace process in Ireland by introducing a hard border.

The United States’ adversaries around the world continue to try to foment division in the United States through social media and other online platforms. That is why Suozzi led the Long Island delegation in sending a letter to top national security officials asking them to investigate whether foreign countries are contributing to the rise of hate in the United States.

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