In Public Service – December 18, 2019

December 20, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Jeffries speaks out on impeachment

As the House of Representatives debated the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, U.S. Rep Hakeem Jeffries spoke on the floor of the house about the importance of holding the president accountable.

“Donald Trump pressured a foreign government to target an American citizen for political gain and at the same time withheld, without justification, $391 million in military aid to a vulnerable Ukraine as part of a scheme to solicit foreign interference in an American election. That is unacceptable. That is unconscionable. That is unconstitutional,” said Jeffries, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

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“We will hold this president accountable for his stunning abuse of power. We will hold this president accountable for undermining our national security. We will hold this president accountable for corrupting our democracy. We will impeach Donald John Trump. We will clarify that in America, no one is above the law,” Jeffries said.

Velázquez speaks of ‘stark choice’

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, who spoke on the House floor during the debate in support of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, told her congressional colleagues they all face a stark choice.

“The facts are clear — the president of the United States withheld $400 million in military aid to an ally of the U.S. and also held back a White House meeting to compel a foreign nation to investigate his political opponent. The president abused his powers to persuade a foreign nation to dig up dirt on a political opponent. This was, quite simply, a ‘geopolitical shakedown.’ The president then tried to block Congress from exercising its constitutionally-mandated duty to uncover the truth,” said Velazquez, whose district includes parts of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.

“Every single one of us, today, faces a stark choice. If we choose to turn a blind eye, to put political expediency before the Constitution, then we are complicit in this subversion of democracy. If we do not hold this president accountable, we have failed the people who sent us here and we have abdicated our own oath to defend the Constitution,” she said in her speech.

Rose leads push for drug abuse prevention funds

U.S. Max Rose led a push by bipartisan House members for $140 million in additional funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“The opioid epidemic has caused incredible trauma and destruction in our communities, which is why the status quo is simply unacceptable,” said Rose, a member of the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioids Task Force. “That’s why I’ve been fighting non-stop to not only hold the Chinese pharmaceutical companies who are flooding our streets with fentanyl accountable, but also making sure those on the front lines of prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts have the necessary tools and resources.”

Rose, a Democrat, represents Bay Ridge, Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The legislation provides $5.9 billion in funding for SAMHSA, $140 million above the 2019 level of funding and $205 million above President Trump’s budget request, Rose said.

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