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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (12th District of New York)

On Friday, I joined with Rep. Katie Porter to intoduce her Accountability for Acting Official Act to limit who can serve as an “acting” official and for how long, closing various loopholes in the current law. The bill would also ramp up transparency and reporting by acting officials. I also joined with the Chairs of the other House Committees that oversee the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to voice our strong opposition to a harmful Trump Administration rule that would roll back Affordable Care Act (ACA) nondiscrimination protections.

As we continue to contend with the coronavirus crisis, we must make sure that all New Yorkers and that every single person living in this country is counted in the 2020 Census, even with the difficulties created by the pandemic. Accurate data is incredibly important to make sure our city and state receive the federal funds we need and deserve to support things like health care, including our hospitals, Medicare, and Medicaid. Please remember to fill out your 2020 Census if you have not done so already. You can submit the form online, by phone, or by mail. 

As the CARES Act is implemented across the country, my office is here to help you navigate these new resources that are available from the federal government. If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to my office at 212-860-0606.

You can continue to expect these updates from me as verified and pertinent information becomes available.

Facts and Figures

United States

– According to Johns Hopkins, the United States has confirmed 1,104,345 cases with 65,069 deaths.

New York City:  
– The City has confirmed 169,690 cases with 18,399 deaths.

News Updates:

National

The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. This portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn’t yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.

– On Friday, I joined with Rep. Katie Porter to intoduce her Accountability for Acting Official Act to limit who can serve as an “acting” official and for how long, closing various loopholes in the current law. The bill would also ramp up transparency and reporting by acting officials. The Administration’s longstanding failure to fill critical vacancies across the federal government—including vacancies that go back several years—has deprived agencies of stable, vetted leadership and aggravated the current pandemic crisis. This bill would institute critical reforms to require stability, expertise, and accountability when it is necessary for an administration to fill a vacancy temporarily. I commend Congresswoman Porter for her work and look forward to moving this important legislation through the Committee on Oversight and Reform. 

– Also on Friday, I joined with the Chairs of the other House Committees that oversee the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to voice our strong opposition to a harmful Trump Administration rule that would roll back Affordable Care Act (ACA) nondiscrimination protections. At a time when the United States is grappling with the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and access to health care services is so critical, we are disappointed that this Administration is once again taking steps to limit access to health care and embolden discrimination against some of the most vulnerable among us,” the Chairs wrote. “If finalized, this dangerous rule would open the door to discrimination against patients in express contradiction to the plain language and intent of the law, and would therefore be illegal. Undermining protections for marginalized individuals at any time is unacceptable, but it is particularly egregious to do so during the worst global pandemic in over a century. You can read our full letter to Secretary Azar urging him not to finalize the proposed rule here. 

New York State

NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to May 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here

– All K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning. Schools will be required to continue meal programs and child care services for essential workers. The State will make a decision about summer school programming by the end of May.

– Governor Cuomo is directing all schools and colleges to create re-opening plans that re-imagine schools facilities in light so the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans should consider how schools can monitor the spread of COVID-19, how to reinforce student safety, when and how to resume extracurricular activities, protocols for special student populations, steps to ensure students’ mental health, and alternative academic calendars, among other considerations. All plans will be reviewed and approved by the State. 

– The State is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers. Frontline health care workers can taxt NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to acccess these emotional support services. 

– The State Department of Financial Services (DFS) will require state-regulated health insurers to waive cost-sharing including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, for in-network mental health services for New York’s frontline essential workers during COVID-19.

– The Governor announced new targeted efforts to further reduce the number of new hospitalizations per day which has remained steady at approximately 1,000 over the last several days. These efforts will gather additional information and data from hospitals about the individuals who are being hospitalized for COVID-19, including if they are essential workers, where they work, how they communte, where they live, and other demographics. This specific informaiton and data from the hospitals will be used to come up  with a new strategy more tailored to the reduction of new daily hospitalizations.

– Governor Cuomo issued an executive order delaying school board election and budget votes statewide until June 9, 2020. These elections and votes will be conducted by mail and all qualified voters will be sent an absentee ballot with return postage paid. The Executive Order also delays local special district and village elections until September 15, 2020.

– The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it had distributed more than $4.6 billion in unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic began impacting businesses in early March. DOL has processed more than 1.6 million completed applications for unemployment benefits since March 9 including for both traditional unemployment insurance and the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. Earlier this week, DOL issued a directive requiring NYS-based employers to provide New Yorkers with information that they need to apply for unemployment benefits.

– New York State is accepting applications for contact tracers, team supervisors, and commuity support specialists. 

– A reminder that the State has a domestic violence hotline for those in need: 1-800-942-6906. 

– A reminder that New Yorkers can get free online mental health assistance related to COVID-19 by calling the State’s hotline: 1-844-863-9314.

New York City

If you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, the NY Blood Center is asking for your plasma. If you had a positive COVID-19 test and have been symptom free for 14 days, please consider donating. You can sign up here.

– The City is opening up the first 7 miles of streets for pedestrians and cyclists today. Saturday May 2. Please remember to practice social distancing.

– Starting on Monday, May 4, NYCHA will begin installing dispensers for hand sanitizer in all 69 senior developments. Using hand sanitizer is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19, but please remember that the best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

– Free walk-in testing sites are prioritizing NYCHA residents. You can learn more here. 

Census Update

– As a reminder, census data informs the distribution of more than $1.5 TRILLION in federal funding for things like schools, hospital beds, safe roads and bridges, and essential first responder programs. It also determines voting districts at every level of government for the next decade. If you are not counted, you are not respresented. Make sure you are heard, make sure you are counted.

– The response rate in our district, NY-12, is up to 45.1% and is climbing by the day! However, we are still below the New York State rate of 49.9% and the nationwide rate of 55.6%. Please fill out your census today if you have not already done so.

– The lowest responding areas in our district are Hunters Point/Sunnyside, East Williamsburg, Midtown/Midtown South, and Upper East Side/Carnegie Hall. If you live in one of these areas – please fill out your census and encourage your friends, families, and neighbors to do the same.  

– As a reminder, it is illegal for the Census Bureau to share your information with law enforcement. You answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are ONLY used to create statistics about our community, city, state, and country. 

– The Census is available online, by phone, and by mail. Paper questionnaires are being mailed out with a reminder letter to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. If you were not able to answer via online or by phone, please fill out this paper form.

As always, if you need assistance with any federal matters, please call my office at 212-860-0606. Please forward this information to any of your friends, families, or coworkers and let them know that they can sign up for regular updates from me here.

Please, wash your hands, stay home, and thank the medical workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery workers, transit workers, childcare workers, mail carriers, take-out cooks, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.

Sincerely, 

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress

MIL OSI USA News