News/Media/Press Releases

Engel Statement on Worst Mass Shooting in United States History

WASHINGTON D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement:

“This morning, America awoke to the deadliest mass shooting in its history.

“The carnage seems almost impossible. More than 400 people injured, 50 dead, and police currently estimate that number will go up. The gunman opened fire from a hotel room window on a concert below, and reports indicate he had a stockpile of weapons, clearly some capable of firing off multiple rounds in seconds. Whatever his evil intentions were, they will not break our spirit as Americans. His terror will not win.

“We’ve long ago run out of the right words to say in these terrible moments. We pray for the dead, the wounded, and their families. We thank the brave first-responders who put their lives on the line to deal with this act of domestic terrorism. But clearly, all of that is not enough. Clearly, we as a country need to do more.

“So, while my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, my voice, my focus, my energy and my vote as a Member of Congress is with the type of legislation that will curtail the proliferation of gun violence on our streets. We are a civilized country, the greatest country on earth. This should not be happening here, period. We cannot allow ourselves to ever become numb to these moments of horrific violence, and we certainly cannot stand idly by while our fellow citizens are gunned down in cold blood.

“I know my constituents, as most Americans, are shocked, saddened, and angry to know a person can legally buy a military grade automatic rifle in the United States. This is beyond belief and must be outlawed.”

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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs
Congressman
Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464

Engel Signs Discharge Petition to Force Vote on Dream Act

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bryant Daniels (718-796-9700)

Engel Signs Discharge Petition to Force Vote on Dream Act

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, joined over 100 of his House colleagues on Monday in signing a discharge petition to force a vote on H.R. 3440, the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill which would grant lawful permanent resident status to undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children. The legislation would fill the void left by the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama era initiative that granted legal status to the more than 800,000 young individuals, commonly referred to as DREAMers, who attended school, joined the workforce, and have contributed to American society in spite of never having legal status here. President Trump announced he would end the DACA program in March of 2018.

Engel, a cosponsor of the Dream Act, believes Congress cannot wait to act on this crucial issue.

“The President’s short-sighted decision to end DACA in 6 months means that for the 800,000 DREAMers who call America home, time is of the essence,” Engel said. “These young men and women, who were brought to this country as children, should not be punished for their parents attempts to give them a better life. Congress needs to stand with our DREAMers in this critical moment, which means we must take up the Dream Act as soon as possible. I signed this discharge petition because we cannot wait till the 11th hour to act. Letting 800,000 people who are facing deportation twist in the wind is cruel and can only serve to hurt us economically. It’s imperative that we take up and pass the Dream Act immediately.”

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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs
Congressman Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464
Subscribe to Rep. Engel’s eNewsletter

Engel on Senate GOP Failure to Pass Trumpcare

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bryant Daniels (718-796-9700)

Engel on Senate GOP Failure to Pass Trumpcare

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a leading member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement:

“The President and Congressional Republicans have revealed, once again, that the emperor has no clothes. After seven years of demonizing Democrats and sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, they’ve shown that the ‘better way’ they’ve long promised didn’t exist.

“It is thanks to the sustained commitment and activism of the American people, who refused to remain silent in the face of a rushed and unworkable plan, that ‘Trumpcare’ has once again failed.

“But now, the President and Senate Majority Leader plan to gut the ACA—and, with it, the American health care system—without the slightest idea of how to pick up the pieces.

“This is the height of irresponsibility. Rather than even consider Democrats’ ideas to improve the ACA, Republican leadership has chosen to throw the baby out with the bathwater, even though some Republican Senators have openly said they want to work with Democrats to make the ACA work better. Apparently, to some, fulfilling a seven-year political ploy is worth devastating American families.

“The vigilance of the American people has foiled the GOP’s disastrous health care plot at every turn. That vigilance and activism is needed more now than ever before. Know that I will keep fighting with you to protect our care.”

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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs
Congressman Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464
Subscribe to Rep. Engel’s eNewsletter

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Engel, Ros-Lehtinen Reintroduce Bipartisan Open Fuel Act

Washington D.C.— Congressman Eliot Engel and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have reintroduced the Open Fuel Act, legislation that would require 50 percent of new automobiles in 2020, 80 percent in 2021, and 80 percent in each subsequent year, to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum based fuels. The bill allows for the full array of existing technologies – including plug-in electric drive, fuel cell, flex fuel, natural gas, hydrogen, ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, as well as a catch-all for new technologies—to meet the new threshold for alternative fuel vehicles.

“There are many reasons for the United States to allow competition among fuels in the transportation sector – from national security to environmental protection to economic prosperity,” Congressman Engel said.  “As of now, Americans have no choice at the pump.  When the price of gasoline spikes, we buy it anyway because our cars cannot run on anything else.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  If we provide a platform for existing fuels to compete, we can give consumer a choice that will reduce our reliance on foreign sources of energy, promote alternative fuels that will create thousands of new jobs here at home, and protect human health by reducing emissions.”

“South Florida is negatively impacted by the consequences of the burning of fossil fuels so it is important to continue exploring alternative sources of fuel in order to expand our energy options,” Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said.“Providing American consumers with compressed-natural-gas cars, biodiesel cars, flex fuel (methanol-ethanol-gasoline capable) cars, and electric cars will diversify energy consumption resulting in fewer detrimental impacts to our environment via emissions, increased usage of our natural resources, and will help alleviate our dependence upon foreign oil.”

“Cutting costs for consumers, creating jobs, strengthening national security, and improving the air we breathe. This bipartisan bill accomplishes all of those goals and I urge my colleagues to see its swift passage in the House,” added Congressman Engel.

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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs

Congressman Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464

Engel Statement in Opposition to the Financial CHOICE Act

Washington D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on the Financial CHOICE Act:
 
“The Financial CHOICE Act is yet another bill designed by the GOP to dismantle key consumer protections under the false pretense of ‘consumer choice.’ If signed into law it will undo significant portions of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, threatening to send our economy back to a time when reckless behavior in the financial sector was the norm. This bill could trigger another financial crisis, which as we all know can take years to fix, and do untold harm to the job market and working-class families in New York. I strongly oppose this bill and any action that could drag our economy back to the brink of collapse.”   
 
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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs
Congressman Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464

Eliot Engel & Adriano Espaillat Statements in Response to House Republican Passage of AHCA

May 4, Washington D.C. — Congressman Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today voted against the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. He released the following statement in response to the Republicans’ passage of the bill:

“Last month, when House Republicans failed to pass the first iteration of Trumpcare, I’d hoped that the embarrassment of that failure would mark a turning point. Following such resounding opposition from the American people, one would think that the Republican Majority might end its senseless crusade against the Affordable Care Act and, at long last, work with Democrats to improve the ACA and build on its progress.

“Sadly, that was not the case.

“Today, House Republicans successfully voted to strip health care away from millions of Americans, raise costs for working families and seniors, and put insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions – contrary to everything the President said he would do.

“The version of Trumpcare that passed today is, shockingly, even worse than its predecessor: it guts protections for those with preexisting conditions, allowing insurers to once again discriminate against people based on their health status. It lets states eliminate essential health benefits, resulting in paltry plans that cover very little. And it gives insurers free rein to levy an unlimited ‘age tax’ on older Americans.

“In a pathetic attempt to placate worried constituents, Republicans added $8 billion to their plan at the last minute to help cover those with pre-existing conditions. But estimates suggest that this eleventh-hour addition constitutes a mere fraction of what’s needed. No matter what the Republicans say, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are still left without the protections they need under Trumpcare. This change is too little, too late.

“Now, there are no illusions regarding the GOP’s answer to the Affordable Care Act, which they criticized and voted to repeal repeatedly for seven years.  Their plan is simple: pay more and get less.  Not an appealing alternative.

“How anyone can claim to be a ‘compassionate conservative’ while actively working to take health care away from another human being – and for a political end, no less – is beyond me. I am deeply saddened by House Republicans’ actions today.”

May 4, Washington, D.C – Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement on today’s House vote on the Republican Trumpcare bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and strip health insurance coverage from more than 24 million hard-working Americans.

“Protecting the ACA is the top issue for my constituents. Constituents like Ms. Leslie Gauthier, who without the protections of the ACA, would not have received treatment for Leukemia when she was diagnosed at the age of 22. Leslie is now in remission. For her and individuals like her, the ACA’s protections, like the essential health benefits, were a matter of life and death. This Republican Trumpcare bill will destroy those patient protections that Leslie relied upon and for millions of hard-working Americans.

“From the beginning, we have known that this bill will be a poison pill and will mean higher health costs for American families. Trumpcare is disastrous and will be a gut punch to pregnant women seeking health care, patients with preexisting conditions, senior citizens who will pay more for less, and more than 24 million people, including 6.5 million Latinos, who will lose their health coverage. This bill is frightening and will cut $880 billion in Medicaid over ten years, having a devastating impact on families who need affordable, dependable health care the most.

“The damage this bill will cause is even worse than the last version Republicans put forth and will put our country on a fast track to disaster.”

ENGEL, HOUSE DEMOCRATS REINTRODUCE EQUALITY ACT

Engel, House Democrats Reintroduce Equality Act

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a member of the House LGBT Caucus, today joined Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01) and 192 of their House colleagues in reintroducing the Equality Act, which would provide explicit, permanent protections against discrimination for LGBT people in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service.  It would also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex with regards to federal funding and access to public places.

“No one should feel discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Engel said. “I was proud to be one of only 67 Members to vote “No” in 1996 against the highly discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and I am proud to once again be an original cosponsor of the Equality Act. While we have made great progress with marriage equality, we still have far to go to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. I am committed to doing all that I can to see to it this legislation passes, so every American can be  guaranteed the same rights and protections.”

The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  The legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), with 45 original cosponsors.

Currently, LGBT Americans have no protection from discrimination in 29 states.  In these states, LGBT persons can be fired, evicted, or denied a loan just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The Equality Act will ensure nationwide, comprehensive protection from discrimination for LGBT people.

Engel Responds to President Saying we Need a “Good Shutdown” of Government

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump saying we need a “good shutdown” of the government in September:
 
“There is no such thing as a ‘good’ government shutdown. Anyone who claims different is simply being irresponsible.
 
“When Republicans shut down the government in 2013, our economy was hamstrung; tax refunds totaling $4 billion were delayed; our veterans were forced to wait for the processing of new disability claims; federal research activities at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly shut down entirely; Environmental Protection Agency inspections were halted at 1,200 locations; the National Parks shut down, resulting in $500 million in lost tourism revenue; and seniors were terrified that their Social Security checks wouldn’t arrive. And those were just some of the major problems we saw in 2013.
 
“The impact of a shutdown is not limited in scope—everyone will feel the pinch in one form or another. So, no, Mr. President. We don’t need a ‘good shutdown.’”
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Bryant Daniels | Director of Public Affairs
Congressman Eliot L. Engel
2462 Rayburn House Building | (202) 225-2464
Subscribe to Rep. Engel’s eNewsletter