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Charles Schumer

March 30, 2021 - 1:37pm
posted by Press Release in STAMP, business, Alabama, Charles Schumer, semiconductor industry.

Press release:

After announcing that a strategic partnership between Intel and IBM will bring hundreds of new semiconductor R&D jobs to New York’s Capital Region, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer followed up on his efforts to cement Upstate New York as the global hub of the semiconductor industry and pitched Intel’s recently appointed CEO Pat Gelsinger on how Intel should build on its new partnership with IBM and locate their next semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant in Upstate New York.

Last week, Intel shared its plans to select a second site for its next U.S. manufacturing facility within a year, following the announcement of the IBM R&D partnership.

Schumer said New York boasts several sites across Upstate ready to be home to Intel’s next Chip fab, or the supply chain Intel would require, from Alabama's STAMP campus in Western New York and the White Pines campus in Central New York, to Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley and Luther Forest in the Capitol Region.

Plus, Upstate New York boasts a thriving semiconductor ecosystem as evidenced by the just announced IBM partnership, the state’s top notch universities and world-class workforce, and a diversity of companies across the supply chain. Typically, semiconductor fabs bring thousands of new jobs into a region, a number which Schumer said would be a win-win-win for the local economy, Upstate New York workforce, U.S. competitiveness, and Intel itself.

“Intel’s plans to invest in a second U.S. semiconductor fab offers a game-changing opportunity for Upstate New York and I made it clear to Intel all that New York has to offer to make their U.S. expansion a huge success for the company and the country,” Senator Schumer said.

“With an existing semiconductor ecosystem, including leading R&D companies, premier universities to train the next-generation workforce, a thriving supply chain, and robust utilities that can host advanced manufacturing, Upstate New York is tailor made to be the home of Intel’s new manufacturing facility.”

Schumer added, “An Intel fab in Upstate New York would not only help shore up our domestic production of chips, but it also positions the company to take even more advantage of its partnership with IBM to develop and lead in next generation semiconductor technology, a point I made to Intel’s CEO as they consider further building out their U.S. manufacturing operations in the year ahead.

"I stand ready to give my all out support in helping Intel harness all that the federal government has to offer to continue to lead the tech industry and position New York as a global hub of semiconductor manufacturing, including pushing to fully fund the federal incentives I created in last year’s defense bill so companies like Intel receive support to invest in U.S. competitiveness and create thousands of new jobs.”

Schumer has long emphasized the importance of active federal support for the semiconductor industry. This includes his push to include provisions in the FY2021 NDAA to create new federal semiconductor manufacturing, R&D, and training programs.

He notes that even though the United States revolutionized the semiconductor and broad microelectronics industries and invented nearly all of the key technology used to this day, by 2030, non-U.S. competitors are projected to control 83 percent of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply. And domestic production could be less than 10 percent, threatening U.S. reliance on foreign-made microelectronics, including from China, and posing huge risks to U.S. national and economic security.

In a meeting with then-nominee for Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, Schumer raised the urgent need to fully fund and implement the new Commerce semiconductor manufacturing grant and R&D programs he passed into law as part of last year’s defense authorization. He pointed to this Intel investment as an example for why these federal incentives are such a high priority.

In February, Schumer announced that the Senate would work on a bill in the spring of this year that includes his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, which would provide a major infusion of federal funds for federal R&D, including for semiconductors.

As part of this competitiveness package Schumer plans to bring to the Senate floor this spring, he will be pushing for emergency funding to implement the federal semiconductor programs created in last year’s defense bill so these critical programs can be implemented to help the U.S. successfully compete with other countries, including China, for new semiconductor manufacturing investment.

Schumer has led the effort to create these historic new federal investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D. Last year, Schumer unveiled his bipartisan American Foundries Act to bolster U.S. leadership in semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries. He successfully added this bill as an amendment in July 20202 to the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The new programs included in NDAA will increase federal support for semiconductor manufacturing by providing new federal incentives to conduct advanced research and development of semiconductor technology, including the creation of the NSTC, secure the supply chain, and ensure national and economic security by reducing reliance on foreign semiconductor manufacturing.

March 30, 2021 - 12:45pm
posted by Press Release in ghost guns, DOJ, ATF, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

Saying Americans are clamoring for action on the issue of gun violence, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said Monday that under current law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) in concert with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) can do something—right now—to tackle the rising threat of untraceable and undetectable firearms known as "ghost guns."

“Amid the pain of another senseless shooting in this country, Americans are clamoring for the feds to do something, and so I’m calling for DOJ and ATF to use their existing authorities to act,” Schumer said.

“The lights are flashing red on the issue of ghost guns and the rising threat posed by these totally unregulated, available-to-anyone, no-background-check-required weapons. That is why we are demanding the feds take action now, before these easy-to-use assembly kits result in another foreseeable and preventable tragedy.” 

Schumer explained that "ghost guns" are sold in pieces or kits and come without background checks, serial numbers, or anything else that the current law demands of legally purchased firearms—despite the fact that only a few simple steps are required to turn these unfinished pieces into fully functional weapons. 

Schumer said New York has already seen ghost guns used in crimes, and that Attorney General Tish James has taken strong action to prevent their flow here, but that using existing authority to close the federal loophole allowing these weapons to proliferate across the country is a commonsense action that the feds can and must take to make New Yorkers safer, right now.

In September 2019, Attorney General Tish James sent cease and desist letters to companies behind a number of websites selling incomplete weaponry pieces—ghost gun kits—to New Yorkers that could be easily assembled into illegal assault weapons. In July 2020, Attorney General James announced that all the companies behind the sale of these firearms or firearms components had complied with her cease and desist letters and ended the sale of these weapons to New Yorkers. 

But Schumer, today, said this hard work is for naught unless the feds stop the unfettered flow of these kits across the country.

“In some states, it is harder to buy cold medicine than it is a ghost gun assembly kit,” Schumer said. “The feds know it, the people who are building these kits know it, and the public should not have to be threatened by it.”

“Ghost guns pose a grave threat to communities across this country,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “We know that these untraceable and undetectable weapons can cause the same immense destruction and harm as traditional firearms, yet they are not subject to the same regulations.

"My office has successfully shut down companies that provide access to these weapons and taken action to regulate them, but far more is needed to protect our families and our children. I thank Senator Schumer for taking the stand that is desperately needed to protect New Yorkers and all Americans.”

Last summer, Nassau County law enforcement officials recovered 22 ghost guns, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition and narcotics and bomb-making equipment, in a crime bust on Long Island.

In February of last year, Schumer wrote to then-Attorney General William P. Barr and Acting Director Regina Lombardo urging the DOJ and the ATF to take action to stem the tide of unmarked, unregistered, and untraceable firearms that continue to proliferate the country.

Schumer said "ghost guns" continue to pose a danger to public safety and have the potential to end up in the hands of convicted criminals, domestic abusers, minors and other individuals that are otherwise prohibited from purchasing handguns under existing federal law.

Today, Schumer said Biden Administration officials, including Attorney General Garland, should do what the Trump Administration failed to do and take prompt action to rectify this regulatory failure and protect Americans lives.

Schumer requested that DOJ and ATF immediately take the following steps to address this eminent threat:

  1. Amend the definition of "firearm frame or receiver" in 27 C.F.R. section 4 78.11 such that it applies to any part of a firearm which provides housing for the trigger group, including any such part (1) that is designed, intended, or marketed to be used in an assembled, operable firearm; or (2) that, without the expenditure of substantial time and effort, can be converted for use in an assembled, operable firearm.
  2. Provide all available data on the frequency with which federal authorities are encountering these so-called ghost guns and efforts on the part of your respective agencies to collaborate with state and local law enforcement within 30 days. Should this information not be readily available, explain why and describe strategies on how to improve collaboration, monitoring and data collection.
March 29, 2021 - 12:25pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,702,246 in federal block grants for seven New York tribal communities through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Indian Housing Block Grants Program.

Included is $35,007 for the Tonawanda Band of Seneca in Basom.

The funding, authorized in the American Rescue Plan, will go toward developing new affordable housing projects and improving existing units on Indian reservations and lands, in turn providing tangible relief to individuals and families. 

“Let me make this clear: safe housing, especially during a pandemic is a right,” Senator Schumer said. “This federal investment gets us closer to our goal of ensuring that every New Yorker has a safe place to call home, including our neighbors in New York’s tribal communities.

"I have long believed in the importance of directing resources to historically disadvantaged communities, and that need is even more pronounced in this crisis which has done so much to worsen those inequities. I will always fight tooth and nail so all of New York’s tribal community members have a place to call home.”

“I am proud to announce this American Rescue Plan funding to combat homelessness across the country,” Senator Gillibrand said. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated housing insecurity across New York, especially in underserved communities.

"This funding will help ensure that New York’s tribal communities have access to stable, safe, and affordable housing. No one should ever have to question whether they’ll have a safe place to sleep at night during the pandemic and beyond.” 

TRIBE

CITY

AMOUNT RECEIVED

Cayuga Nation

Seneca Falls

$186,448

Oneida Indian Nation of New York

Verona

$512,804

Seneca Nation of New York

Irving

$1,745,554

Shinnecock Indian Nation

Southampton

$67,575

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Akwesasne

$1,119,851

Tonawanda Band of Seneca

Basom

$35,007

Tuscarora Nation

Lewiston

$35,007

March 18, 2021 - 3:47pm

Press release:

Following steadfast support for New York’s colleges and universities throughout the pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes an estimated $2.6 billion for New York’s public, private, and proprietary institutions of higher education.

In Genesee County, Genesee Community College is expected to get $9.1M and Genesee-Livingston-Steuben-Wyoming BOCES is expected to get a total of $662,000. The total allotment for the Finger Lakes Region is almost $164M.

Schumer said that public and nonprofit schools will use half of their award on emergency financial aid grants to students to help them with college costs and basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare.

The other half of the funds will allow institutions to provide additional student support activities, and to cover a variety of institutional costs, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. Proprietary schools must use their awards exclusively to provide financial aid grants to students.

“As New York’s colleges, universities, and students face over a year of unprecedented hurdles, they do so at a steep cost that it is our responsibility to address and overcome. In prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, New York’s higher education institutions have ripped massive holes in their budgets and are now facing down financial devastation – and we simply can’t let that happen,” Senator Schumer said.

“As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for New York’s higher education institutions and students a top priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed $2.6 billion in assistance to help our world-class institutions through the crisis, get students safely back to classes, and get campuses across the state back to ‘normal’.”

This funding announced today is in addition to the $2.4 billion Schumer secured for New York’s institutions of higher education in the past COVID-19 relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $5 billion for New York’s colleges and universities in the past year.

March 17, 2021 - 12:32pm
posted by Press Release in education, Charles Schumer, news, COVID-19, American Rescue Plan.

Press release:

After championing funding for education to benefit Upstate New York’s schools, children, and students throughout the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes $2.5 billion that will allow Upstate New York’s school districts: to fill budget gaps; address learning loss; meet the needs of students with disabilities; assist students experiencing homelessness; provide summer enrichment and afterschool programs, and more.

Schumer explained that after the COVID crisis forced schools to close, safely reopening them has and will continue to cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the federal funding allocated for them in the American Rescue Plan will help schools bring students back to their desks when New York recovers from the pandemic and returns to "normal."

“Everyone wants schools to reopen completely and for our children to be able to return to the classroom, but it needs to be done in a way that is safe for students, families, educators, and learning institutions,” Senator Schumer said.

“COVID brought unprecedented challenges that have cost a year of learning and development for students — challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more.

"As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for our schools a priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to get Upstate students back in school. Help is on the way for Upstate New York’s schools put behind the curve by the pandemic.”

New York Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee said, “Thank you to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his hard work and persistence to ensure New York schools and students receive much needed support through the American Rescue Plan. This unprecedented federal funding will put us on the right path to recover from the devastation our school communities faced during the pandemic.

"I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that all federal aid will be used to supplement, rather than replace, state funding. The pandemic exacerbated disparities in our schools, and we must ensure that resources and staff are available to help students recover academically and work through mental and emotional health challenges. Thank you also to Majority Leader Schumer’s staff members for working closely with me in our efforts to secure additional education funds for our schools.” 

This funding is in addition to the $5 billion Schumer secured for New York school districts in the past COVID-19 relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $14 billion for New York school districts in the past year.

Schumer previously visited the Finger LakesNorth CountryCentral New YorkWestern New YorkSouthern Tier, and Hudson Valley to advocate for federal funding for Upstate school districts.

Genesee County is in the Rochester -- Finger Lakes Region, which is earmarked to get $392 million.

Collectively, Genesee County School districts are expected to get a total of $10,677,000:

Genesee County: Alexander Central School District $603,000.00
Genesee County: Batavia City School District $4,767,000.00
Genesee County: Byron-Bergen Central School District $1,209,000.00
Genesee County: Elba Central School District $372,000.00
Genesee County: Le Roy Central School District $1,207,000.00
Genesee County: Oakfield-Alabama Central School District $724,000.00
Genesee County: Pavilion Central School District $806,000.00
Genesee County: Pembroke Central School District $1,189,000.00
March 15, 2021 - 5:27pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes $480,249,023 that will guide Upstate New York’s pandemic-battered airports and transit systems to lift off. Specifically, Upstate airports will receive $84,410,140, and Upstate transit systems will receive $395,838,883 of the total amount.

Genesee County Airport will get $32,000.

Schumer said that as the COVID crisis extends beyond what was initially estimated, impacting the air travel industry and public transportation systems for months on end, the federal funding allocated for them in the American Rescue Plan will help transportation systems keep their wheels turning while New York recovers from the pandemic and returns to "normal."

“Air travel and public transportation are among the most severely impacted industries amid the pandemic, and both are vital to the connectivity and success of the Upstate economy,” Senator Schumer said. “Airports and transit systems serve important functions in their communities, especially in more rural areas, connecting communities and residents and allowing for economic opportunities to cruise in.

"As Majority Leader, I was proud to make transportation funding a priority and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to keep Upstate residents connected. Help is on the way that will put Upstate New York’s transportation on the road to recovery.”

Schumer explained that the funding announced today will be allocated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and includes $12.5 million for the New York State DOT Rural 5311 program. This program aims to support public transportation in areas with populations of less than 50,000 people and funds may be used for capital and operating assistance grants to local public bodies, tribes, and operators of intercity bus services in rural areas.

This funding is in addition to the $143,980,632 Schumer secured for upstate airports and $395,239,378 for Upstate transit in the past relief bills. In total, Schumer has now secured more than $624,229,655 for Upstate airports and $624,472,505 for transit in the past year.

March 13, 2021 - 12:25pm
posted by Press Release in Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, news.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following joint statement on Friday:

“Confronting and overcoming the COVID crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct.

"Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”

March 7, 2021 - 2:05pm
posted by Press Release in Charles Schumer, news, COVID-19, American Rescue Plan.

Press release:

Just back from Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced, today, that "help is on the way" to New York and New Yorkers as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate.

Schumer detailed the plan’s tentative impact to New York as $100 billion. The deal includes an additional round of direct stimulus checks, extends enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, will help solve New York State and Upstate New York municipalities budget woes.

The assistance marks a not-too-soon moment of relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent venues and small businesses across the state. As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion flows directly to New York State government(s) on top of increased education funding, transit funding and highways, vaccine distribution, COVID-19 health funding, emergency rental and housing assistance and more included for New York in this bill.

“Back in November, the American people and New Yorkers sent a crystal clear message to the previous administration: deliver the robust COVID relief this country needs or get out of the way," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

"The deal we reached with the help of a new president, and a new democratic Senate marks real relief to the tune of $100 billion for workers, families, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and New York — the things we need to support to weather this crisis and then work to recover.

“This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history — second to the CARES Act — and it comes just in time, because Americans and New York still need real help to get through this."

The details and the impact on New York appear in the breakdown below. These numbers are tentative.

STATE & LOCAL FISCAL RELIEF

$23.8 billion for New York – Total amount of funding provided to New York State through the state and local fiscal relief fund, to keep first responders, frontline health workers, and other providers of vital services safely on the job as states and local governments roll out vaccines and fight to rebuild Main Street economies.

Funding can be used for assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits, aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality, investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, and to provide premium pay to frontline workers. Local governments of every size, including all counties, cities, towns, and villages, receive dedicated federal aid awards.

A new $10 billion capital projects program also support state broadband deployment efforts. Funds are allocated in New York as follows:

  • $12.569 billion for New York State Government
  • $6.141 billion for New York’s Metro Cities
  • $3.907 billion for New York’s Counties
  • $825 million for New York’s Small Cities, Towns, and Villages
  • $358 million for a New York State Broadband Investment Program

ADDITIONAL AID TO NEW YORK

  • $3.1 billion: Medicaid FMAP increase ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to $1 billion from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation);
  • $7+ billion: New York Area Transit ($6.5B to MTA). The New York State Department of Transportation will receive $12M directly to support rural transit systems. The remainder will support county bus services, and Upstate transit agencies;
  • $418 million: New York’s hard-hit airports to continue operating safely during the pandemic. Port Authority Airports will receive: $218M for JFK, $107M for LGA, $4M for Stewart, and $164M for EWR. This includes $60M in relief at the four airports for large and small concessionaire businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic and unable to pay minimum guarantees to airports;
  • $1.7 billion – Relief for Amtrak to help maintain operations and other expenditures during the pandemic, especially in New York;
  • $15 billion – The CARES Act Airline Payroll Support Program which will save thousands of New York airline and airline contractor jobs by keeping workers on payroll without furloughs or reducing pay rates and benefits until March 31, 2021 New York will receive sizable share of these funds.

EDUCATION – K-12 SCHOOLS & INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER ED

  • $9 billion – K-12 Schools – these flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. A portion of the funds are targeted toward addressing learning loss, providing resources through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and implementing summer enrichment and afterschool programs;
  • $2.6 billion – Colleges and Universities – Institutions must distribute half of their allocation to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. The remaining portion of the funds can be used on reopening costs, revenue losses, classroom retrofits, PPE, and other expenses;
  • $257 million – Private K-12 schools – these funds are administered by the state educational agency to provide public health and related assistance and services to private K-12 schools.

CHILD CARE & HELP FOR NY FAMILIES

  • $1.8 billion – Child Care – Through the Child Care Stabilization Fund and the Child Care Community Development Block Grants (CCDBG), these funds ensure that the child care sector will continue to assist working families, and to support child care providers in meeting their increased operation costs during the pandemic;
  • $59 million – Head Start – this is emergency funding that will continue to provide access of services for children and their families;
  • $7.03 billion: Child Tax Credit payment to New York families;
  • $786 million: Earned Income Tax Credit payment to New York families;
  • More than $1 billion in additional Emergency Rental Assistance and assistance for preventing homelessness;
  • $575 million in mortgage and utility assistance for homeowners;
  • $1.07 billion: Nutrition Assistance ($810 million for Pandemic EBT Benefits, $227 million for SNAP)

UI AND DIRECT CHECKS TO NEW YORKERS

An estimated $21.7 billion for NY in Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits. This bill provides billions in additional federal relief for struggling New Yorkers – who are out of work through no fault of their own – by extending the historic unemployment insurance reforms established in the CARES Act, through Sept. 6.

Importantly, it continues the critical lifeline of the enhanced unemployment assistance, providing an additional $300 per week on top of all state and federal unemployment benefits.

The bill extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers and others in nontraditional employment, as well as the additional weeks of federal unemployment insurance for workers who exhaust their regular state benefits. Notably, this legislation excludes up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 from taxable income, providing much-needed tax relief for workers making less than $150,000.

Over $22 Billion in Direct Payments for NY – The American Rescue Plan includes an additional round of Economic Impact Payments of $1,400 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $2,800 for couples making up to $150,000 per year. Eligible families will also receive an additional $1,400 payment per child and adult dependent, amounting to $5,600 for an average family of four. Nearly 9 million New York households will receive another round of direct payments, helping them to cover essential expenses like food, rent or mortgages, and medical bills during this crisis.

COVID VAX & TESTING EFFORT ACROSS NY

Roughly $4 billion to support more vaccines, testing and healthcare in New York.  

 

NEW RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR NEW YORK SMALL BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, NONPROFITS, ARTS AND CULTURE VENUES, AND TOURISM SECTOR

$28.6 billion for Restaurants – A new restaurant relief fund, modeled on the widely support, bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, which will provide flexible grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a lifeline for New York’s restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit by the economic effects of the COVID pandemic.

Food service or drinking establishments, including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms, that are not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations will be eligible. To provide comprehensive support to local restaurants, grants from the fund could be used alongside first and second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

The new restaurants relief fund will be designed to provide flexible grants of up to $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant, that can be used to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, setup for outdoor seating, PPE, paid leave, food and other supplies, or debt and other expenses. Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the SBA Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant.

Of the $25 billion total, $5 billion is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

$1.25B and a Key Fix for Save Our Stages – The bill provides an additional $1.25 billion for hard-hit independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.

The bill also includes a critical fix that allows venues to access a PPP loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the PPP loan amount from the grant amount. Including access to both programs will provide a much-needed source of additional capital as these struggling businesses and nonprofits try to stay afloat during the crisis. 

$15 billion for SBA Targeted EIDL Grants -- This funding will provide hard-hit, underserved small businesses with increased flexible grant relief. These grants will be particularly helpful for very small businesses and sole proprietors, which include over 90 percent of minority-owned businesses that have been disproportionately devastated by this crisis.

Expanded PPP Eligibility for Nonprofits – This bill makes additional 501(c) nonprofits eligible for PPP. It also makes local offices of larger nonprofits eligible for PPP assistance as long as those locations are not larger than 500 employees for first PPP loans or 300 employees for second PPP loans, expanding access to vital relief for nonprofit organizations that are critical to local services and the economy.

Community Navigator Program for Underserved Businesses – $100 million is included to fund community organizations and community financial institutions with a focus on and experience working in minority, immigrant, and rural communities to serve as community navigators to help connect small business owners in these communities to critical resources, including small business loans, business licenses, and federal, state and local business assistance programs. 

$10 billion for Small Business Opportunity Fund – This funding available through the Treasury Department is modeled on the State Small Business Credit Initiative and will support state and local capital and technical assistance initiatives for small businesses responding to and recovering from the pandemic, which will be particularly beneficial to minority-owned and other underserved small businesses.

$3 billion for Economic Development Grants, Including for Tourism and Travel -- $3 billion is included for the Economic Development Administration to provide flexible grants for rebuilding the local economies of communities that have experienced significant job loss from COVID-19. A $750 million set-aside is included for assistance to states and communities that have suffered from job and GDP loss in the tourism, travel, and outdoor recreation sectors.

Extended Employee Retention Tax Credit – The bill extends through the end of 2021 the refundable payroll tax credit designed to help employers keep more of their valued workers on payroll during this economic crisis. This tax credit is available to struggling New York companies and nonprofits of all sizes, and is equal to 70 percent of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.

CONNECTING MORE NY FAMILIES TO BROADBAND

$632 million -- The American Rescue Plan includes $7.172 billion nationally to close the homework gap by providing internet and connected devices to vulnerable students and educators. New York is estimated to receive around $632 million in funding to help students and educators.

REDUCING POVERTY FOR NEW YORKERS

The American Rescue Plan includes a significant expansion of two of the most powerful and effective anti-poverty tools the federal government has – the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit – for 2021:

  • Makes the CTC fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6). An estimated 3.56 million children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit, and it will lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line.
  • Strengthens the EITC for childless workers, many of whom are in lower-paid but essential jobs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, benefitting 910,000 of these workers in New York.

PROVIDING FINANCIAL STABILITY FOR NY WORKERS AND RETIREES

The American Rescue Plan importantly delivers critical relief for ailing multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting the hard-earned benefits of retirees.

In New York State alone, there are more than 1.3 million participants in multiemployer pension plans, and around 624,600 New Yorkers are participants in plans that are expected to receive relief directly through this legislation.

*****ROUGH TOTAL FOR NEW YORK: $100 BILLION*****

March 6, 2021 - 1:04pm
posted by Press Release in Charles Schumer, news, American Rescue Plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor in advance of the passage of the American Rescue Plan by the Senate.

Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

"It has been a long day, a long night, a long year. But a new day has come. And we tell the American people, help is on the way. When Democrats assumed the majority in this chamber, we promised to pass legislation to rescue our people from the depths of the pandemic and bring our economy, and our country, roaring back.

"In a few moments, we are going to deliver on that promise. This bill will deliver more help to more people than anything the federal government has done in decades. It is broader, deeper and more comprehensive in helping working families and lifting people out of poverty than anything Congress has seen or accomplished in a very long time.

"The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life. So this bill spans the gamut and provides support to every part of our country. For Americans who doubted that the government can help them in this time of crisis, you’ll be getting direct checks, your schools will receive assistance to reopen quickly and safely, your local businesses will get another lifeline, and the day when you receive the vaccine will be a lot sooner.

"The American Rescue plan will go down as one of the most sweeping federal recovery efforts in history. It’s never easy to pass legislation as momentous as this. But it will all, and soon, be worth it.

"Now, I know that on a Saturday morning, the American people haven’t been watching our proceedings here. They’re probably out walking the dog or sitting down for breakfast with their kids. But I want them to know that help is on the way. That their government is going to give one final push to get us all over the finish line.

"I want the American people to know that we are going to get through this. And someday soon, our businesses will reopen and our economy will reopen and life will reopen. We will end this terrible plague and we will travel again and send our kids to school again and be together, again. Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future. And it starts with voting AYE on the legislation before us.

"Vote yes on the American Rescue Plan. Vote yes.

"And before I yield the floor, let me express my deepest gratitude to all my colleagues who went through a long, long day and the staff of the committees and the personal Senate offices, who worked so hard to put this legislation together. Let me especially thank the floor staff, the clerks, the cafeteria workers, custodial staff, and the Capitol Police and National Guard. Many of them have worked for as many as 36 hours straight.

"And of course, one more thank you to my great and wonderful staff. I will thank them all by name at a later date because I want everyone to awake and alert when I do.

"I yield the floor."

February 25, 2021 - 3:25pm
posted by Press Release in wny stamp, GCEDC, Charles Schumer, news.

Press release:

After fighting for and securing Plug Power’s commitment to build their new "gigafactory" for hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing in Rochester last month, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support the newly proposed plan by New York-based Plug Power to create the first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities.

Plug Power plans on starting with the construction of a $290 million production facility at the Western New York STAMP (Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Plant) site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo. Schumer said DOE’s engagement will be a win-win in opening the door to additional federal resources to make Plug Power’s plans a reality while providing DOE with a first-ever national model for the creation of a domestic green hydrogen energy production supply chain.

Schumer said with DOE support, the new 60+ job green hydrogen production facility eyed at STAMP could help lead the nation in producing carbon-free green power to run hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles and equipment all while creating new green jobs.

“My message to the DOE is that with its support, New York’s own Plug Power can lead the charge in dramatically shifting the nation towards clean energy starting with the construction of its first green hydrogen production facility at the STAMP campus in Western New York,” Senator Schumer said.

“The facility would create over 60 new good-paying green-energy jobs, boost the Western New York economy, and serve as a jumping-off point to create the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities to produce carbon-free fuel-cell power.

"With DOE support, this new green hydrogen fuel production facility in the heart of Western New York between Rochester and Buffalo can be a national model in efforts to achieve the Biden Administration’s drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating and 10 million clean energy jobs.”

In his letter to DOE today, Schumer invited DOE officials to join him in meeting with Plug Power to discuss how DOE support, technical assistance, and resources can help supercharge Plug Power to new heights by making its plans to build its hydrogen fuel production facility in Genesee County a reality.

Additionally, the senator explained that the expansion is part of Plug Power’s planned green hydrogen network to develop vertically integrated hydrogen infrastructure across the United States positioning the New York-based company to lead the charge in dramatically reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Plug Power’s new production facility at STAMP would produce 40 tons-per-day of green hydrogen to supply fuel-cell-powered equipment and vehicles such as freight transportation and logistics handling equipment – some powered by fuel cells that will be manufactured at the upcoming Plug Power Gigafactory slated to open in Rochester this summer.

The facility would become the first nationally recognized green hydrogen production center and the first of its kind in the Northeast United States.

Plug Power, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Latham, NY, currently employs more than 400 workers in New York to innovate, manufacture and assemble hydrogen fuel cells including about 300 workers in the Capital Region at its headquarters and Capital Region manufacturing sites in Latham and Clifton Park, and about 70 workers at its Rochester manufacturing site.

In 2020, Schumer successfully fought for Plug Power to build their new "gigafactory" in Rochester, which will manufacture hydrogen electrolyzers, used for the production of hydrogen fuel, and hydrogen PEM fuel cells used to produce electricity to power equipment. Slated to open in the middle of next year, the "gigafactory" will add another 375 employees to Plug Power’s New York workforce.

Senator Schumer’s letter to the Department of Energy appears below:

Dear Acting Secretary,

I am writing to seek the Department of Energy’s (DOE) assistance in the newly proposed plan by New York-based Plug Power to create the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities, starting with the construction of a $264 million production facility at the Western New York STAMP site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo. With a soon-to-be nearly 975 member New York workforce and a history of reliability and strong investment in the U.S. hydrogen economy, Plug Power is perfectly positioned to meaningfully contribute towards to Biden Administration’s goals of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating 10 million clean energy jobs.   

Plug Power is striving to build five new green hydrogen fuel production facilities across the U.S., including a proposed $290 million production facility at the Western New York Science and Technology Advance Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP) that will produce 40 tons-per-day of green hydrogen to supply the fuel-cells in advanced freight transportation vehicles and logistics handling equipment. Support and technical assistance from DOE now would create a win-win in both opening the door to additional federal resources to make Plug Power’s plans a reality while providing DOE with a first-ever national model for the creation of a domestic green hydrogen energy production supply chain. This new 60+ job green hydrogen production facility eyed at STAMP could help lead the nation in producing carbon-free green power to run hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles and equipment all while creating new green jobs. 

Plug Power is focused on serving the zero-emissions material handling, transportation, and industrial sectors with low-cost green hydrogen fuel that is generated using 100% renewable, zero carbon energy. This project aims to strengthen our country’s economic, environmental, and national security by utilizing domestic energy resources, including low-cost renewable energy from solar photovoltaic, wind, and hydro-electric generation facilities to produce green hydrogen. It will decrease the need for energy imports while creating industry and employment growth opportunities across a variety of markets.

Plug Power, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Latham, NY, employs over 1,217 across the world, including over 600 employees in New York with another 375 expected to be added in the coming years at the company’s new gigafactory slated to open in Rochester, NY this summer. The company is focused on building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions. Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology, deploying approximately 40,000 fuel cell systems, more than any other company in the world.

I would welcome the opportunity to host DOE officials for a meeting with Plug Power to discuss how DOE can provide technical assistance, support, and resource access to this cutting-edge company to help drive the construction of this new WNY green hydrogen production facility, a strong step towards a nationwide green hydrogen supply chain.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to my staff with any questions you may have.

February 24, 2021 - 1:12pm

Press release:

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discussed his push to direct Senate committees to craft legislation to protect American jobs and outcompete China. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

"Today on our caucus call, I directed the chairs and members of our relevant committees to start drafting a legislative package to outcompete China and create new American jobs.

"The legislation will have as its centerpiece a bicameral, bipartisan bill, the Endless Frontiers Act, which I introduced last year with (Sen.) Todd Young (R-IN), and Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in the House. And it will take the key cutting industries and make American investments so we will outcompete China in all of them.

"In addition, we will make serious investments in strengthening the U.S. semiconductor industry to outcompete China and stop depending on foreign sources.

"Right now, semiconductor manufacturing is a dangerous weak spot in our economy and in our national security. That has to change.

"You've all seen that auto plants throughout America are closed because they can't get the chips. We cannot rely on foreign processors for the chips. We cannot let China get ahead of us in chip production. This will be part of the proposal that we will introduce. 

"We will also talk about the build out of 5G and how America can remain number one there. And all of these have bipartisan support. The bill we will intend to introduce, and I talked to Senator Young about it, and he's eager to get it done, will be bipartisan.

"Our intention is to put this legislation on the Senate floor for a vote this spring.

"To get a little more specific, the new legislation must achieve three goals: enhance American competitiveness with China by investing in American innovation, American workers and American manufacturing; invest in strategic partners and alliances: NATO, Southeast Asia and India; and expose, curb, and end once and for all China's predatory practices which have hurt so many American jobs.

"We're looking at emergency funding to implement the bipartisan Semiconductor Program as part of this package. You all know about the chip shortage. I want this bill to address America's short term and long term plan to protect the semiconductor supply chain and to keep us number one in things like AI, 5G, quantum computing, biomedical research, storage. All of these things are part of the bill and the Endless Frontiers Act.

"So we need to get a bill like this to the president's desk quickly to protect America's long term economic and national security."

***************************************************************************

In Genesee County, the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park -- STAMP -- in Alabama is a semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant.

Previously: Schumer pitches top brass at Samsung on shovel-ready STAMP site for new semiconductor plant

February 1, 2021 - 12:32pm

Press release:

Continuing his advocacy for New York’s craft beverage industry, today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the inclusion of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) in the FY2020 end-of-year omnibus legislation.

It will permanently reduce excise taxes for brewers, vintners, cider makers, and distillers and remove regulatory barriers to help New York’s craft beverage industry stay afloat.

Schumer explained that the legislation will provide critical economic relief for craft beverage alcohol producers across the state, many of whom have seen a significant decline in revenue and are struggling to remain open as a result of the ongoing economic crisis, especially those whose sales are mainly on premise.

“Craft beverage producers throughout New York not only brew, bottle, and distill great products, but they also attract visitors and pour hundreds of jobs into their local communities,” Senator Schumer said. “By making permanent the reduced tax rates for New York producers and removing regulatory barrier to accelerate growth, we can help local brewers, vintners, cider makers, and distillers make it through this economic crisis.”

Schumer added, “I have always said that New York’s breweries, wineries, and distilleries are the crown jewel of so many of our communities, with many of them bringing the added benefit of growing and reinvesting in their local economies. So by putting more money back into the hands of these businesses and making sure they are not choked off by bureaucratic red tape, we can ensure our craft beverage producers can tap into their full potential and make a full recovery from this downturn.”

There are an estimated 462 breweries, 450 wineries, 186 distilleries and 72 cideries across the state, supporting tens of thousands of New York jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the state’s economy:

  • According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry has created approximately 29,000 full-time jobs in the state, with an annual economic impact of $4.9 billion.
  • The New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s 2019 Economic Impact Study reveals that New York’s wine and grape industry directly created 71,950 jobs and contributes $6.65 billion in direct economic impact.
  • According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, New York’s distilled spirits industry supports 93,860 jobs and contributes $8.3 billion to the state’s GDP.

Brewers, vintners, cider makers, and distillers across New York celebrated the inclusion of the CBMTRA.

Sam Filler, executive director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, “The New York grape and wine industry applauds Senator Schumer’s steadfast advocacy for the industry in Washington, D.C., by making CBMTRA permanent, which will ensure that the industry continues to grow and positively impact New York’s economy.”

Paul Leone, executive director New York State Brewers Association, said, “For five years we’ve been trying to make the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act permanent, and for all of those five years Senator Schumer has been right there with us leading the charge to make this a reality. With everything going on in the world, he never forgot about the craft beverage community in New York State and thanks to his efforts, along with strong bipartisan congressional support, brewers in this state will continue to save money on their federal excise taxes to help them through this pandemic and beyond.”

“Thanks to Senator Schumer and his staff for working hard to build bipartisan support for this critical legislation that prevents a costly tax increase to all brewers and beer importers,” said Mary Beth Popp, vice president of corporate communications, FIFCO USA, parent company of Labatt USA and Genesee Brewing. “This legislation recognizes the significant impact our industry makes, providing millions of jobs while also contributing to the U.S. economy.”

“This is a huge help to small breweries like Ithaca Beer,” said Dan Mitchell, founder of Ithaca Beer Company Inc. “It allows us to take the savings we see from TTB taxes and put them back into the business to help us grow. Specifically, it allows us to hire more people, and address some other financial challenges we see as a small Craft Brewer."

Jason Barrett, president and master distiller Black Button Distilling in Rochester, said, “Words cannot fully express what making CBMTRA means to my team and I. The ability to not only keep our staff working, invest in our community and follow our passion has been secured by this action. When we came to Senator Schumer a few weeks ago we were just hoping for a one year reprieve.

"I never would have imagined we would have the ability to actually make long term plans for our business and sincerely thank Senator Schumer for pushing to make this happen. Thousands of New York state families will sleep a little easier now knowing their jobs will still be there in 2021.”

Kim Wagner, owner Stoutridge Vineyard and Distillery in Marlboro, said, “Small, family businesses are the backbone of the economy. The uncertainty over the last few years regarding the CBMTRA has significantly impacted our ability to grow our business. Because we age our products for multiple years, we had to manage production and cashflow to ensure that if the CBMTRA expired we would be able to make our excise tax payments when our products were ready for sale.

"Having the CBMTRA made permanent gives us the predictability we need to increase production and optimize investment in our business. Senator Schumer’s leadership and the strong support of the New York Congressional delegation was critical to making this happen. There are over one thousand craft beverage businesses in New York State and each of us, our staffs and our communities will benefit from this legislation.”

Elizabeth Ryan, farmer and owner, Breezy Hill Orchard and Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider in Staatsburg, said "The Craft Beverage Modernization Act has been a critical instrument for supporting the expansion of the Craft Beverage industry. The growth of domestic craft beverages has been an economic engine for farms and local economies, stimulating investment and job creation.

"I have been producing hard cider in the Hudson Valley since 1996. There have been many hurdles to overcome on the regulatory and taxation front. Particularly now as craft producers face challenges both financial and operational due to the COVID pandemic, the permanent extension of the CBMA will significantly help craft producers expand and thrive instead of contracting and struggling. On behalf of farmers, apple growers, we thank Senator Schumer for his continued commitment, vision and hard work."

Schumer joined Senator Wyden (D-OR) and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the CBMTRA. Specifically, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act:

  • For beer, it reduces the rate for small brewers (making no more than 2 million barrels annually ) to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels, and $16 per barrel on the remaining ones. Large brewers and beer importers can benefit from a reduced excise tax rate of $16 per barrel, reduced from $18 per barrel, on the first 6 million barrels. It also allows for the transfer of beer in bond between two breweries, regardless of who owns such facility.
  • For wine, it establishes a new tiered tax credit system for wine produced in the United States or imported: $1 for the first 30,000 wine gallons, $0.90 for the next 100,000 wine gallons, and $0.535 for the next 620,000 wine gallons. Hard cider is taxed as wine, subject to lower rates and a reduced credit amount.
  • For distilled spirits, it makes permanent the reduced rate of $2.70 per proof gallon for the first 100,000 proof gallons of distilled spirits produced or imported annually, and a rate of $13.34 per proof gallon for the next 22,130,000 proof gallons of distilled spirits.
January 29, 2021 - 1:41pm
posted by Press Release in salt, tax cap, COVID-19, news, Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand.

Press release:

Today, U.S Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation in the new Congress to eliminate the $10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction starting in 2021.

The proposal would allow taxpayers to fully deduct their state and local taxes on their federal income returns. In 2017, the deduction was capped at $10,000 and resulted in a tax increase for many middle-class families.

“When it comes to SALT, New York families needed and deserved this money before the coronavirus took hold, the stakes are even higher now because the cap is costing this community tens-of-thousands of dollars they could be using amid the crisis,” Senator Schumer said.

“That is why I am proud to be leading this legislation to restore our full SALT deduction. Double taxing hardworking homeowners is plainly unfair; We need to bring our federal dollars back home to the to cushion the blow this virus—and this harmful SALT cap—has dealt so many homeowners and families locally.

“I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation to repeal the cap on the State and Local Tax deduction, a cynical policy passed by Republicans as a way to repay wealthy donors and lobbyists with big corporate tax cuts,” Senator Gillibrand said.

“The reinstating of the SALT Deduction will ensure that New York families have more money in their pockets, get much-needed tax relief and will once again be treated fairly.”

Schumer and Gillibrand pointed to the following reasons for why the SALT deduction is unfair to New Yorkers:

  • New Yorkers already subsidize other states by paying $36-45 billion more in taxes than we receive back from the federal government;
  • The repeal of the SALT deduction results in double taxation by imposing federal taxes on the income used to pay state and local taxes;
  • The elimination of the deduction drives wealthier people to other states and leaves middle- and lower-income taxpayers holding the bag to pay for school, police and other essential state and local tax burdens.

A breakdown of data from 2017 shows just how critical the full deduction was to New York homeowners. In the 27th Congressional District, for example, 33 percent of taxpayers used the SALT deduction that year, and the average deduction was for $14,096. In Genesee County, a total of 6,840 households claimed the SALT deduction and the average deduction amounted to $10,156. Countywide, 94 percent middle-income taxpayers were beneficiaries of the SALT deduction.

Across Upstate New York, the average SALT deduction was more than $13,000 across more than 1.2 million households.

Under the pre-Trump tax code, taxpayers who itemized deductions on their federal income tax returns could deduct state and local real estate and personal property taxes, as well as either income taxes or general sales taxes.

State and local income and real estate taxes had made up approximately 60 percent of local and state tax deductions, while sales tax and personal property taxes made up the remainder. According to the Tax Policy Center, approximately one-third of tax filers had itemized deductions on their federal income tax returns.

January 28, 2021 - 2:06pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer yesterday (Jan. 27) followed up on his efforts to secure a provision in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act to boost American-based semiconductor manufacturing by reaching out directly to Samsung, which is interested in possibly locating their new plant in Genesee County.

He called Senior Vice President of Samsung Device Solutions Joe Herr and other top brass about the Genesee Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park -- STAMP -- in Alabama and expressed his strong support for the project coming to Western New York.

Samsung is currently considering the STAMP campus, as well as several other locations in other states, for its semiconductor fabrication (“fab”) plant – with 1,900 jobs – that the company plans to open late next year. Samsung’s Device Solutions division includes Samsung’s Global Semiconductor Foundry business. 

“This Samsung project is an exciting and a potential game changer for the region," Schumer said. "I made it clear to Samsung that I strongly support locating their planned 1,900 worker state-of-the-art semiconductor chip fab at the shovel-ready STAMP site in Genesee County. I know firsthand that STAMP is shovel-ready – and that, combined with Upstate New York’s robust semiconductor industry, make Genesee the perfect location for Samsung’s new chip fab.

World-class WNY Workforce

"Our world-class Western New York workforce combined with New York’s considerable experience in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D means STAMP is tailor-made to be the home for Samsung’s new facility. I stand ready to help Samsung harness all that the federal government has to offer to continue to lead the tech industry and position New York as a global hub of semiconductor manufacturing.

“When I stood at STAMP in August to announce my proposal to create the first-ever new federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives program, I said it could put sites like Western New York’s STAMP in contention for landing a new semiconductor manufacturing plant and the thousands of new jobs that come with it.

"This game-changer proposal passed into law last month and already companies like Samsung are considering STAMP for a 1,900 job chip fab plant, partly because of this new federal initiative. Now, I will work to secure this federal investment and offer my all-out support and advocacy in helping STAMP compete for this multi-billion-dollar plant.” 

Schumer has long championed the Genesee site and toured STAMP in August, and knows firsthand how ideal the campus would be as home for Samsung’s new chip fab. Schumer explained to Samsung that he, alongside the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCECC), New York State, and Western New York officials, worked for a decade to help ensure that it was shovel-ready for a semiconductor facility.

WNY Offers: Low Utility Costs, Transportation Networks, Supplies Access, Brain Power

“The STAMP campus, sitting on 1,250 acres of land between Buffalo and Rochester, New York’s second and third largest metros, respectively, with a 1.2 million person world-class workforce, is specifically designed for large-scale fabs and provides maximum flexibility in layout and infrastructure connections,” Schumer said.

"Additionally, the senator pointed out many cost and infrastructure advantages to the STAMP campus location, including low utility costs, access to existing transportation networks, access to New York state’s existing chip fab supply chain ecosystem, and 62 colleges, universities, and community colleges within a two-hour drive of the site including Cornell University, University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, Genesee Community College.

Schumer said Samsung is relying on his legislation to building new fabs like this one in the United States. In fact, Schumer pointed out, the United States has gone from producing 24 percent of the world’s semiconductors in 2000, to just 12 percent while China, by comparison, has gone from producing zero chips to 16 percent of the world’s supply because the United States is not matching the investments that other competing nations are making in order to land new job-creating semiconductor chip fabs.

The senator's first-ever legislation will reverse this imbalance and level the playing field for companies like Samsung to build new chip fabs in the United States. For the first-time Schumer’s legislation will provide federal incentives to semiconductor chip fabs to build in the United States.

U.S. Reliance on Foreign-made Microelectronics Could Pose 'Huge Risks'

Upon passage of his legislation last month in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act Schumer said his legislation is vital. He noted that even though the United States revolutionized the microelectronic industry and invented nearly all of the key technology used to this day, by 2030, non-U.S. competitors are projected to control 83 percent of the global semiconductor manufacturing supply while domestic production could be less than 10 percent, threatening U.S. reliance on foreign-made microelectronics, which could pose huge risks to U.S. national and economic security.

In a recent meeting with the Commerce Secretary nominee, Governor Gina Raimondo, Schumer raised the urgent need to fully fund and implement the new Commerce semiconductor manufacturing grant program he passed into law as part of last year’s defense authorization, pointing to this Samsung investment as an example for why these federal incentives are such a high priority. Federal incentives are critical to the United States successfully competing with other countries, including China, for new semiconductor manufacturing investment like the proposed Samsung facility.

Schumer, in addition to paving the way for future federal incentives for investment into domestic semiconductor manufacturing previously brought STAMP to the attention of the Department of Defense, urging the agency to work with the semiconductor industry to expand the domestic supply of chips and other microelectronics.

STAMP is Made Specifically for What Samsung Needs

STAMP is specifically designed for development of large-scale semiconductor manufacturing. The 1,250 acre mega site can accommodate large advanced manufacturing operations with its expansive space for several plants.

Schumer has also previously lobbied the Board of Directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) to put STAMP on their map and pitched SIA’s 18 semiconductor industry CEOs to look to expand their operations in Upstate New York at sites like STAMP in Genesee County.

In 2017 Schumer helped secure Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approval of Empire Pipeline Inc.’s revised and extended PILOT agreement with Genesee County, the proceeds of which were needed to finance new water infrastructure at STAMP.

In 2016 Schumer began assisting STAMP secure necessary U.S. Fish and Wildlife right-of-way permits to construct new infrastructure hook-ups to STAMP. In 2012, Schumer successfully advocated on behalf of STAMP by calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide necessary wetlands permit assurances so that STAMP's developers could proceed with developing the site.

January 27, 2021 - 2:10pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, FEMA.

Press release:

Following U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s call last week with Jeffrey Zients, President Biden’s pick to be the White House coronavirus coordinator, Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today (Jan. 27) announced $466,800,000 in federal funding for New York’s vaccine distribution and administration.

These federal funds are critical to the safe and effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and were allocated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Specifically, this funding covers the costs of supplies required for storing, handling, distributing, transporting, and administering COVID-19 vaccines.

This includes emergency medical care, containers for medical waste, and supplies necessary for proper storage of the vaccines including liquid nitrogen, dry ice and portable storage units. Additionally, the funding supports vaccine transportation such as refrigerated trucks and transport security, medical and support staff, onsite infection control measures, PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff and face masks for patients, temperature scanners, physical barriers and disinfection services for vaccine distribution facilities. Finally, the funding will be used for facility costs, including leasing space for storage and administration of vaccines.

“In order to get these wonderful vaccines injected into the arms of millions of New Yorkers, we must also inject hundreds of millions of dollars into New York State and New York City’s budgets – so they can get this job done ASAP to keep people safe and to reenergize our economy,” Senator Schumer said. “New York continues to face unprecedented health and economic crises and is working to combat the virus with COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

"Federal support of the state’s vaccine distribution system is critical to delivering vaccines to New Yorkers as quickly and safely as possible. This infusion of almost half-a-billion in federal funds supports the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines to distribution sites across the state and will ensure that distribution sites are safe and equipped with the proper medical supplies, medical staff, cleaning services, and more. I will continue to fight for federal funds like these so we can effectively beat back the virus with the safe and equitable distribution of vaccines.”

“While we celebrate the authorization of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines that put us one step closer to eradicating the virus, we have to face reality – federal aid is critical to helping New York State ensure vaccinations are distributed efficiently and equitably to those who need it the most,” Senator Gillibrand said.

“I am proud to deliver nearly half-a-billion dollars in federal funding to do exactly that – get vaccines in the arms of New Yorkers. These federal dollars will help New York guard against our nation’s lagging vaccine distribution by providing resources for staff, supplies, PPE, and distribution centers. Only then can we move forward and begin to recover from the current health and economic crisis.”

Schumer and Gillibrand have been instrumental in securing federal funds for New York to fight the coronavirus and support its vaccine distribution efforts. In December, the senators delivered $1.3 billion through the COVID relief deal for vaccine distribution, testing, tracing and more. The senators previously announced $14 million in federal funding for COVID-19 vaccine preparedness and response to help New York’s public health agencies and nonprofits implement vaccine programs.

And most recently, Schumer and Gillibrand penned a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the department’s failure to develop and implement a comprehensive national vaccine plan under the former administration. Senator Schumer has also spoken with and communicated that New York needs three things: predictability, communication, and vaccines, in order to have an effective and efficient vaccine distribution system.

January 19, 2021 - 1:24pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced an additional $1.4 billion in federal funding for New York state’s private, public, and proprietary institutions of higher education.

The funds are allocated to the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II by the recently Schumer-negotiated, Gillibrand-backed, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA).

The funding is in addition to federal funding already allocated from the CARES Act in March.

Genesee Community College will get $5,220,960.

“Our universities have been selflessly navigating the ongoing global pandemic, ripping huge holes in their budgets to prioritize the health and safety,” Senator Schumer said.

“Today’s funding I prioritized in negotiations for the recent COVID relief package will help to mitigate some of the financial devastation our colleges and universities face as the crisis continues long beyond what anyone imagined. We need to ensure that our world-class institutions of higher education right here in New York are equipped with the assistance they need to make it through this crisis and thrive.”

“New York’s universities have been hit hard by this pandemic and they’ve been forced to make tough budget cuts in order to prioritize the health and safety of their students and staff. Federal funding is critical to ensure students maintain access to a strong education throughout this crisis,” Senator Gillibrand said.

“The funding that Leader Schumer and I fought to deliver will provide an essential lifeline for these institutions to support students, provide essential technology and infrastructure for online learning, and fund increased expenses due to the pandemic. I’m proud to have secured this funding and I will continue working to deliver resources that our higher education institutions need to weather the COVID-19 crisis.”

Schumer and Gillibrand said that public and nonprofit schools will be able to use their awards for financial aid grants to students, student support activities, and to cover a variety of institutional costs, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. Proprietary schools must use their awards exclusively to provide financial aid grants to students.

The DOE specified that allocations to institutions were based on a formula that includes the relative shares of Federal Pell Grant recipients, the relative shares of non-Pell Grant recipients, and the relative shares of Federal Pell and non-Pell Grant recipients exclusively enrolled in distance education prior to the coronavirus emergency.

Allocations to each institution can be found here(GCC's allocation is on page 62 of the PDF file).

January 15, 2021 - 2:44pm

Press release:

As New York embarks on phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today called out the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) failure to develop and implement a comprehensive national vaccine plan, despite having months to do so, and demanded the Department take immediate action to fix the significant failures of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.

The senators said they have been requesting HHS work and communicate with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, vaccine and PPE manufacturers, public health experts, and health care providers for months to develop a plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

“The biggest thing we want to ensure about the coronavirus vaccine is access. The vaccine must be available to whoever needs and wants it,” Senator Schumer said. “By refusing to work with local governments to implement a national vaccine plan, HHS is failing New Yorkers who are earnestly waiting their turn for a vaccine, and they must step up to address the health inequalities and distribution failures. In order to succeed in the collective goal of public health, I am demanding that HHS fix its broken distribution plan and work with municipalities to get New Yorkers vaccinated ASAP.”

Senator Gillibrand said: “New York’s health systems have been stretched to the limits and as the virus surges across the state, federal support is necessary to effectively distribute and administer vaccines. The Trump administration’s lack of leadership has hampered our nation’s vaccine distribution and resulted in doses of vaccine expiring before reaching Americans.

"Even in the final days of this administration, it’s crucial that they enact a robust federal plan to allow the incoming Biden administration to quickly reach every American in need of the vaccine. The Biden administration should not have to start from scratch to form close partnerships with state and local governments in order to deliver detailed guidance and essential resources to speed up vaccine administration.”

Schumer and Gillibrand underscored that a successful plan must include guidance and best practices on taking the vaccine from distribution to administration, provide all necessary resources to state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments and other jurisdictions, account for the significant challenges jurisdictions face in scaling up their workforces, and act to ensure vaccine distribution efforts also combat health inequities.

The senators also called for HHS to launch a massive public facing campaign to promote vaccine confidence and help people understand where, when and how to get vaccinated.

In the coming weeks, the senators emphasized that HHS must engage with states to proactively identify and address challenges to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are quickly and equitably distributed and administered across the country.

Additionally, Senator Gillibrand recently called for the passage of the Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act to address the nation’s lagging vaccine campaign by investing billions in local public health infrastructure and recruiting, training and employing hundreds of thousands of Americans to administer and distribute vaccines, particularly in underserved communities.

Community-based public health jobs and resources, like those created by the Health Force, are known to improve local vaccine education, outreach, and vaccination rates. The Health Force proposal would ensure the federal government has a proactive and coordinated approach to vaccine distribution and administration including delivering $40 billion a year, for the first two years, to meet the COVID-19 vaccine distribution needs and address the various public health challenges caused by the pandemic. 

Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand’s letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, signed alongside 43 other senators appears below:

Dear Secretary Azar:

We write to you with concerns about significant challenges in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration across the country and to outline key actions the Trump Administration should have taken—and must now take—to address these challenges. With our health system and economy in crisis, and millions of lives at stake, we cannot afford for this vaccination campaign to continue to be hindered by the lack of planning, communication, and leadership we have seen so far.

President Trump tweeted on January 3rd that “the vaccines are being delivered to the states by the Federal Government far faster than they can be administered!” That should have been an indicator of a failed vaccine roll out, not a point of pride. It is the federal government’s role to ensure states, Tribes, localities, and the public are receiving the resources and support they need, rather than requiring every jurisdiction to manage on their own without the benefit of the national resources and perspective that only the federal government can provide.

Since July, we have been calling on the Trump Administration to work with states, Tribes, and localities, vaccine and PPE manufacturers, public health experts, congregate care settings, and other health care providers to develop a comprehensive, national plan for vaccines. Since September, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Operation Warp Speed (OWS) first published their playbook and strategy for vaccine distribution, state, Tribal, and local health departments have said that they need clear communication, transparent decision-making, evidence-based guidance, and financial resources to effectively implement vaccine administration plans.

Despite months to plan, the Trump Administration has failed to meet these needs or deliver promised doses to jurisdictions, and as a result of this lack of planning, only 36 percent of distributed vaccines have been administered.

We hope the recently announced efforts to scale up vaccinations in pharmacies will help to turn this tide but it is clear much more is needed. States, Tribes, and localities, providers, and the public are being left without federal support or clear, complete information about what to expect in the future as nearly 300,000 Americans fall ill daily from this virus. 

In order to avoid these failures, the Trump Administration should have issued and implemented a comprehensive national vaccines plan, including detailed guidance and an infusion of resources to support states. Federal responsibility does not end with delivery of vaccines to states, as you have suggested. Vaccine administration must be a close partnership between the federal government and state, Tribal, and local governments, with the federal government stepping up to ensure that all needs are met.

A vaccine allocated on a spreadsheet, or even a vaccine distributed and sitting on a shelf, is not enough to protect anyone. The metric that matters, and where we are clearly moving too slowly, is vaccines in arms. A comprehensive national plan should:

  • include robust guidance for states, Tribes, localities and health care providers including on personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, vaccine administration prioritization, and best practices for taking the vaccine from distribution to administration;
  • specify how the Federal government will support these entities with funding, supplies, information, and personnel—which thus far the Trump Administration has failed to do; and
  • account for the significant challenges jurisdictions face in scaling up their workforces while continuing other lifesaving public health work, which may include providing increased support for mass vaccination clinics and mobile testing units, as well as supplementing the vaccination workforce including vaccinators, logistical support, and more. 

In the absence of this long-overdue national plan, it is all the more important that the Trump Administration actively engage with state planning efforts in the coming days, identify challenges across distribution and administration, and proactively address problems that arise in partnership with jurisdictions.

In order to support the efforts outlined in a comprehensive, national plan, the Trump Administration must also quickly provide robust vaccine distribution funding to States, Tribes, and localities. In advance of vaccine distribution efforts commencing, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had provided just $617 million in funding to states for vaccine efforts—this amount was woefully inadequate. In fact, the Trump Administration falsely stated as recently as November that States did not need funding for vaccine distribution.

Ultimately, Congress provided $8.75 billion for vaccine distribution efforts in the recently enacted COVID relief bill which will meaningfully help states execute their vaccine administration plans. The bill requires a portion of this funding to be sent to states within 21 days, and President Trump’s delay in signing this legislation should not further delay the distribution of these funds.

We recognize that the CDC announced the availability of $3 billion for states for vaccination activities, but we cannot afford a repeat performance of this Administration’s decision to sit on billions of dollars in testing funds when states urgently needed them.

The Trump Administration must ensure strong support reaches jurisdictions as soon as possible to support their critical work. The challenges we are seeing in vaccine distribution also underscore the need for robust and permanent investments in public health infrastructure to get us out of this cycle of crisis and response.

The Trump Administration must act to correct the lack of transparency and communication from the federal government around COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. Over the first two weeks of vaccine distribution, more than a dozen states found their actual vaccine allocations fell significantly below initial OWS allocation forecasts.

For several days, OWS denied these discrepancies, before ultimately admitting officials had provided states with flawed numbers. Even now, states are given just one week of advanced notice about the number of doses they will receive and have been given no information about distribution projections after February.

Local health departments are largely excluded from planning calls with OWS and CDC, even though they often ultimately receive and administer vaccines. There is no federal plan to publicly release sufficient data on vaccinations in long-term care settings, where more than 133,350 residents have died, accounting for 37 percent of all deaths from COVID-19.

The federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, which states expected to rely on to support vaccination of these particularly vulnerable populations, has administered only 17 percent of the vaccines distributed to these facilities to date.

Jurisdictions and health care providers are not the only ones in the dark; members of the public do not know when, where, or how they will be able to be vaccinated. CDC already supports a national portal to provide information to the public on where they can receive flu vaccines and other vaccines; the public needs this and more information when it comes COVID-19 vaccines, which should be broadly publicized.

Furthermore, while some states are taking steps to educate providers and the public to improve communication and build trust, the Trump Administration has failed to meaningfully address vaccine confidence, after spending months directly undermining such confidence by casting doubt on our nation’s world-class scientists and scientific agencies.

The Trump Administration should launch a long-overdue, large-scale public awareness campaign and work with leaders in communities across the country to provide science-based information to promote high vaccination rates. The federal government must play a proactive role in improving transparency and communication with public health departments and the American people.

Finally, the Trump Administration must also act to ensure vaccine distribution efforts combat rather than exacerbate the health inequities that have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. A failure to plan strategically and proactively for vaccine distribution means communities of color, residents of congregate care facilities, rural communities, and other populations disproportionately at-risk will remain neglected in our pandemic response.

This is especially true for the millions of health care workers of color who provide the daily care and support for residents of congregate care settings and who provide home health care. We have seen the toll this pandemic has taken on vulnerable communities, and the egregious health disparities that have resulted from this pandemic, and we must act to combat these inequities.

Since FDA granted the first emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, only 2 percent of Americans have been vaccinated. In that same time, the United States passed 20 million cumulative cases of COVID-19 and saw a new record in daily deaths from COVID-19 when over 4,085 Americans died on January 7.

Of the 20 million doses promised by the end of 2020, only 4 million doses were administered before the end of the year. In light of this failed vaccine rollout amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, we urge you to finally take the steps necessary to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are quickly and equitably distributed and administered across the country.

January 15, 2021 - 11:55am

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced Thursday that after numerous discussions with President-elect Joe Biden and his team, his incoming administration’s FEMA will deliver roughly $2 billion MORE to New York State for COVID-19 relief.

Schumer said that while these funds are meant to help alleviate the mounting local costs associated with the pandemic, they will ultimately help New York State tackle COVID-related budget gaps.

The money, Schumer explained, is tied to the March 2020 FEMA Disaster Declaration declared by the Trump administration. Under that declaration and current policy, 75 percent of NYS COVID-related expenses are covered by a Disaster Relief Fund (DRF.) Now, the expenses covered will be 100 percent -- and this will deliver roughly $2 billion more to New York within the next several months.

“President-elect Biden is laser-focused on America’s economic recovery, and this recovery begins with tackling the costs states and local governments have incurred in managing the pandemic,” Senator Schumer said.

“For New York, the costs have been huge and will take years to overcome entirely, but achieving my goal of 100-percent FEMA cost share to New York will mean a sigh of relief for all New Yorkers because these critical dollars will help protect essential services and workers while we deal with badly burdened budgets that have been gut-punched by COVID. I am glad we could get this done even before the President-elect is sworn in because it shows how we will be hitting the ground running come January 20th.” 

Schumer has been pushing for 100-percent FEMA cost share since the crisis began.

Early on, in March 2020, Schumer wrote FEMA saying, “I write today to urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to wave the 25 percent state cost share associated with any coronavirus disease (COVID-19) work under the March 13 Emergency Declaration. As New York has become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., I urge the FEMA to request this waiver from the President as soon as possible.”

Schumer spent the next month’s making more calls, speaking with President Trump and hammering home the critical need for 100-percent relief. His advocacy continued for months thereafter and included many meetings, calls, and additional letters.  

New York State has been responding to COVID since last March, spending limited funds on masks, extra nurses and doctors, temporary hospitals, and so much more. Because of Schumer’s earlier pushes, FEMA told the state that many of these expenses are covered, similar to insurance, under the COVID declarations.

Over time the state has submitted to FEMA a log of these expenses and FEMA has assessed those expenses. For every dollar spent, FEMA and federal government currently cover 75 cents and the state provides the remaining 25 cents. Now, after Schumer’s push, the incoming Biden administration’s FEMA will cover 100-percent of eligible expenses, delivering roughly $2 billion more to the State of New York.

January 7, 2021 - 1:25pm
posted by Press Release in Charles Schumer, President Trump, 25th Amendment, news, impeach.

Press release:

Washington, D.C. -- Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today (Jan. 7) released the following statement calling for the President to be immediately removed from office:

“What happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the President. This President should not hold office one day longer.

“The quickest and most effective way -- it can be done today -- to remove this President from office would be for the Vice President to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment. If the Vice President and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the President.”

January 4, 2021 - 1:13pm
posted by Press Release in news, vietnam veterans, agent orange, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

After successfully securing in July an amendment to the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which expanded the list of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Jan. 3 that the FY2021 NDAA included his amendment, which officially authorizes $8 billion in new benefits for vets suffering from Agent Orange-linked illnesses.

Schumer explained that upon the president’s signature, nearly 240,000 veterans around the country who might be suffering from bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and parkinsonism will be able to access healthcare and benefits, numbers that have expanded because of the senator’s amendment associating additional diseases with exposure to the herbicide commonly referred to as Agent Orange.

“After years and years of suffering and fighting, I proudly stood shoulder to shoulder with our Vietnam Vets who were exposed to Agent Orange to get Congress to finally take a major step forward so they get access to the medical care they need,” said Senator Schumer. “It’s taken far too long, but I join veterans across the country in celebrating today as a victory for those who put their lives on the line finally getting the healthcare they deserve.”

Schumer added, “I’m especially proud today to have expanded access to this incoming influx of benefits by securing an amendment that adds bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to THE LIST of diseases associated with Agent Orange. Our veterans did not hesitate in the face of danger to fight for our country, and we must not nickel and dime them as they fight for their health now.”

The senator has fought for years to not only secure funding for Agent Orange-affected veterans’ health benefits, but also to increase the number of veterans who have access to those benefits. Earlier this year, Schumer unveiled his plan to add an expansion of the illnesses associated with exposure to "Agent Orange" to the NDAA.

The senator has previously visited Staten Island, Rochester, Albany, Utica, Dunkirk, Wallkill, and Ithaca to meet with Vietnam vets and advocate for an expansion of the associated illnesses list. Schumer said that the nation’s Vietnam veterans – more than 240,000 of whom are in New York – who were exposed to Agent Orange, have been calling on the feds to expand the list of diseases associated with the herbicide exposure.

Schumer added "I am proud to have helped our Vietnam vets cut through bureaucratic red-tape and with only the president’s signature needed, New York’s vets are closer than ever to getting the medial access they deserve.”

Schumer emphasized the importance of adding added bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism to the list of diseases associated with ‘Agent Orange’ exposure, and reiterated just how long this fight has been waged. Last year, the Senator secured a provision in the budget deal requiring OMB and the VA to issue a detailed report to Congress on the delay in adding these conditions to the presumptive conditions list, BUT the report was woefully insufficient and Schumer said those agencies failed to properly explain why they were denying veterans. In addition to the failure to include bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism on the Agent Orange presumptive conditions list, the VA has never acted on a 2018 National Academies report that found sufficient evidence of association between exposure to herbicides and hypertension.

Schumer also explained that per the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the VA automatically accepts that if a Vietnam Veteran physically served in Vietnam between January 1962 and May 1975, it is probable that the veteran was exposed to an herbicide agent like Agent Orange.

Furthermore, the Act established a list of “presumed” diseases that the VA stipulates are caused by Agent Orange exposure. Therefore, if a veteran served in Vietnam at any time between 1962-1975 and is diagnosed with one or more of the diseases VA recognizes as service connected, the VA will compensate the veteran and his or her family. However, even though there has been scientific evidence linking Parkinsonism, bladder cancer and hypothyroidism to Agent Orange exposure, they are not currently on the VA’s list of recognized presumptive conditions.

Schumer said if an Agent Orange-related condition isn’t specifically listed on the presumptive conditions list then the VA forces the suffering veterans and their families to argue their claim in a lengthy, bureaucratic appeals process that can last years and often end in a denial. In many cases the veteran will die before the process is even concluded.

Schumer said veterans shouldn’t have to wage their own war to gather the scientific facts and medical opinions about hypothyroidism in order to receive the care and benefits needed to treat the illnesses they contracted because they served our nation. Schumer said that is absolutely crucial that thousands of Vietnam-era veterans in New York State receive the healthcare benefits they need and deserve, and final passage of his amendment in the NDAA will allow that to happen.

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