BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) stopped by the PRESS Of Southeast Queens on Friday to discuss some of the issues currently facing the nation and borough as well as his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s presidency.
Crowley said that something needs to be done to address college affordability since many parents who have jobs that pay less than $75,000 cannot afford to pay their children’s college tuition. This results in their children struggling to pay off debt, he said.
“There is nothing coming out of Congress to help students with education debt,” said Crowley.
Crowley blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be phased out and added that any executive order by President Barack Obama is projected to be overturned for no other reason than “Obama did it.”
Crowley said that since the Republican-led Senate and House were unable to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, he expected that Trump could allow it to “bleed to death.”“It’s been 240 days and he still hasn’t done anything,” said Crowley of Trump’s presidency, adding that, in six months, Trump had “diminished our role in the world.”
Crowley said that he believes Democrats have a good chance of recapturing the House during the 2018 election. He said that this would restore a balance in government.
“Republicans are going to have to recognize that the Hastert Rule has to be put aside,” said Crowley.
Also known as the “majority of the majority rule,” the Hastert Rule—which is named after former House Speaker and Republican Dennis Hastert—was created in the mid-1990s and acted as an informal governing principle that helped to maintain the GOP’s speakerships and limit the power of the minority party to bring bills up for a vote on the floor.
“It’s a tough rule for [the Republicans] to get around,” Crowley said. While New York City continues to maintain its status as a sanctuary jurisdiction, Crowley said that Trump’s next immigration move is undetermined. However, Crowley added that the president’s threats to take away funding would not prevent New York City from remaining a sanctuary city.
“It makes the city a less-safe city by threatening to take away UASI [Urban Area Security Initiative funds,” said Crowley.
Each year, the city’s Police and Fire departments receive federal funding and Crowley said that it’s counterintuitive for Trump to threaten to take away that funding.
“To me, it’s ridiculous,” said Crowley. “But again, I think it’s a form of extortion, a form of hostage taking.”
He also said he believes that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) funding crisis would be solved if Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo worked together.
In regard to the September Democratic primary races, Crowley said that he supports Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing), Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and Community Board 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams, who is running for former Councilman Ruben Wills’ seat.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.