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Charles Schumer

April 27, 2021 - 2:33pm

Press release:

Amid the opening up of the Small Business Administration (SBA) "Save Our Stages" online application for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer confirms about 6,000 applications have already been filed in the first five hours of the program, with more than 8,000 additional applications being worked on.

He is urging New York stages and other venues and cultural institutions to ready their paperwork, log on to the SBA.gov website for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program and file an application for their relief.  

“Knowing the SBA has already received 6,000 applications, with over 8,000 additional requests in the works, for stages and venue relief shows both the need that exists, but also the desire to bring back a variety of venues, entertainment and arts options that make New York one of the greatest states – and strongest economies,” Senator Schumer said. “So, I am urging New York stages to ready their documents, log onto the SBA site and file applications for their relief. The shows will go on!”

Schumer successfully fought to include $15 billion in the end-of-year COVID-19 relief bill in December for the "Save Our Stages" (SOS) program to provide national assistance for independent live venue operators, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions such as live performing arts organizations and museums that have been significantly impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The American Rescue Plan that passed into law in March included an additional $1.25 billion for the program following Schumer’s efforts to add more money to the national pot. Schumer says that New York will receive the lion’s share of the total national pot and that the legislation will provide temporary relief not only to the venues, but also to the employees, promoters, managers, producers, and entertainers that support them.

Specifically, the COVID relief package created a new Small Business Administration (SBA) grant program which independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions are eligible for.

To be eligible, an entity must have experienced at least 25 percent lost revenue due to COVID-19. Schumer said the SBA grants are designed to provide up to six months of financial support that could be used to keep employees paid and New York’s prized cultural hubs open for business.

“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force across our economy,” Schumer said. “Our local stages, from those on Broadway to the ones in Binghamton, Buffalo, and everywhere in between, were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to fully reopen—so they need this SOS relief, and I want to make sure they apply.” 

Specifically, the new program includes the following components:

  • Creates a new grant program at the Small Business Administration to provide assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
  • Permits recipients to use grants for various costs, including those associated with COVID-19:

                 -- Rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases; and

                 -- PPE procurement, capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.

  • Grants are narrowly targeted and appropriately calculated to provide 6 months of operating assistance for small and independent live venue operators and their industry partners.

                 -- Grants are equal to the lesser of 45 percent of gross revenue during 2019; or

                 -- $10 million.

  • To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90 percent of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70 percent can apply. A reserve of 20 percent of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion out of the $15 billion provided, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days.
  • There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.
  • An entity is still eligible for a grant if they have received a PPP loan prior to implementation of the program, but the entity may not receive a PPP loan and a grant after implementation of the program.

More details on the SBA program, including the application, can be found here.

April 14, 2021 - 1:09pm

Press release:

In a new push to combat a silent but devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on mental health, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer this week pushed the feds to "quick release" $5 billion dollars he worked to include in the recently passed American Rescue Plan (ARP) so that the funds can give New Yorkers—and the mental health providers they rely upon—the help they’re asking for amid rising need.

Schumer said that, on average, three times more people than last year at this time report struggling with mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, drug use and more. Schumer said that one of the biggest problems to beating these feelings and reclaiming mental health depends on timely access to care and overall access to care.

He explained that with the "quick release" of these fed funds, New York will see a surge in mental health support programs and increased access to a variety of care options.

“What many New Yorkers are saying right now is that the pandemic has taken such a mental toll that some of them need more help than others to overcome new challenges and struggles related to their mental health and happiness,” Schumer said. “In fact, New York’s increased mental health struggles are an overall silent—but devastating—effect of this pandemic with three times more people than last year reporting the onset of symptoms like depression, anxiety and more.

"Untreated, these conditions can lead to dangerous spirals that upend lives and families. That is why we need a quick release of the $5 billion in fed funds secured as part of the American Rescue Plan to beat back this surge in need and give patients and providers more help.”

COVID-19's Toll on Mental Health: Anxiety, Depression, Psychiatric Disorders Rising 

Schumer stressed the importance of combatting the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, citing a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation that said during the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported the same symptoms less than a year ago.

Amongst COVID-19 survivors as well, it has been reported that 1 in 3 patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months of physical recovery, indicating that the mental health effects of COVID-19 will last well beyond the end of the pandemic.

“This is a critical moment where we must acknowledge the lasting mental effects of the pandemic and work to combat them before the crisis deepens,” Schumer added. “The feds (via HHS and SAMHSA) must stand up their programs ASAP and begin the hard, but important, work of getting these funds out to support our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

“As a field, we are seeing surges in New York area patients with anxiety, depression, and loneliness for adults and children. Some COVID-19 survivors are experiencing psychiatric symptoms for the first time months into their recovery. And nationally there has been a significant increase in substance use and overdose deaths.

This is not a surprise. COVID-19 has disrupted every facet of life and people are struggling. The reality is that the pandemic has blocked common coping strategies including social interactions, daily routines, and planning for the future.

Schumer is wise to have secured these funds because there is a need in the community with new patients seeking care, and old patients returning to care.

Mental Health Funding Needed Sooner Rather Than Later

"The faster these funds are released the sooner more individuals can get the help they need,” said Aspasia Hotzoglou, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist at American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.​

The roughly $5 billion Schumer helped to deliver nationally is broken down, in part, below. New York will see a sizable portion of these funds, once they begin to flow.

  • Schumer secured $3 billion for mental health and substance use block grants. These grants are used to fund treatment for a variety of New Yorkers, enhance mental health prevention efforts, and implement local, community-based mental health interventions. Based on the services they offer, New York mental health organizations—and providers—will be able to apply for these funds via SAMHSA.
  • Funds would also be in the form of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants. These funds are sent directly to community organizations to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment and services, such as screening, day treatment programs, emergency services, outpatient treatment and more.
  • More than $1 billion for a new federal program to create mobile crisis intervention services, which are dispatched when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis. These services can work closely with law enforcement and help protect both patients and police officers.
  • $140 million for mental health needs of doctors, nurses and health care providers, who have struggled with PTSD and exhaustion during the pandemic:
    • $80 million for health care professional mental health programs;
    • $20 million for a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals and first responders;
    • $40 million for grants for health care providers to promote mental and behavioral health among their health professional workforce.
  • $140 million for youth mental health.

“Bottom line here is that the feds need to get this money out the door so local organizations and providers can keep theirs open and meet the increased demand spurred by COVID,” Schumer added.

April 8, 2021 - 11:53am
posted by Press Release in Charles Schumer, news, WNY STAMP, Alabama.

Press release:

After fighting for and securing Plug Power’s new hydrogen fuel cell "gigafactory" in Rochester, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (April 8) announced his support to secure a $520 million federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to be used in constructing a network of green hydrogen facilities.

This includes the planned 68-job green hydrogen production facility at the Western New York Science, Technology, Advanced Manufacturing Park -- STAMP -- site in Genesee County between Rochester and Buffalo.

Schumer first wrote to the DOE in November 2020 to advocate for the DOE to approve a loan guarantee through its Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. Last month he doubled down in urging the new Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to provide support and resources to help make Plug Power’s plans to build its hydrogen fuel production facility in Genesee County's Town of Alabama a reality.

The DOE has since approved Plug Power, which initially submitted its Part I application in November 2020, to submit a Part II Application for a loan guarantee under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program which is the next step in the multistep process to ultimately secure a DOE conditional commitment and final loan guarantee agreement.  

Senator Schumer said, “Securing this federal loan guarantee will be a win-win to supercharge Plug Power to new heights by supporting its planned 68-job hydrogen fuel production facility at the WNY STAMP site in Genesee County while also creating the nation’s first U.S.-wide network of green hydrogen production facilities to produce carbon-free fuel-cell power.

"I’m glad the DOE has now given Plug Power the green light to pursue a federal loan guarantee. I’ll continue to support Plug Power to the fullest in securing this loan guarantee and creating North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility right here in the heart of Western New York. “

The $520 million loan guarantee will support Plug Power’s construction of five new green hydrogen production facilities to create the nation's first green hydrogen production network. The facilities will vary in size, producing between 10 to 60 tons of green hydrogen fuel per day up, totaling approximately 180 tons per day of liquid hydrogen production capacity.

Plug Power plans on starting with the construction of a $290 million production facility at the WNY STAMP site, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily, create 68 new jobs, and rank as North America’s largest green hydrogen production facility.

Schumer previously noted this new network of green hydrogen fuel production facilities, including the facility at STAMP, can be a national model in efforts to achieve the Biden Administration’s goal to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create quality clean-energy jobs.

Plug Power’s new production facility at STAMP would produce 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.

Schumer said Plug Power can lead the charge in dramatically reducing our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions with the construction of its first green hydrogen production facility at the STAMP campus.

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 transportation equipment. Slated to open in the middle of next year, the "gigafactory" will add another 375 employees to Plug Power’s New York workforce.

April 1, 2021 - 12:24pm

 Press release:

Following his advocacy, Schumer released the following statement regarding President Biden’s Plan to Invest in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, that included $50 billion to fund and implement the federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D incentives, which Schumer introduced last year as part of his American Foundries Act, and that passed into law as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act: 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said, “I have made it a top priority to work with President Biden to prioritize the absolute necessity of making a major investment in the nation’s semiconductor domestic manufacturing and R&D, which can also fuel new high-paying jobs across Upstate New York.

"President Biden delivered on my requests with his inclusion of $50 billion to implement the new federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D programs, that I fought for and passed into law in last year’s defense authorization bill. With the industry’s top companies considering expansion and new investment at New York sites -- like STAMP in Western New York, White Pines in Central New York, Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley, and Luther Forest in the Capital Region -- we have no time to waste.

"So I want to move quickly to pass this funding to support the semiconductor industry’s plans to invest in the United States, enhance our global competitiveness, promote our national security, and create thousands of new jobs.

"As I announced weeks ago, I am working to bring to the Senate floor this spring a competitiveness package that includes my bipartisan Endless Frontier Act to invest in American innovation and manufacturing.

"As part of this legislative effort, I am working with members of both parties and the administration to include emergency spending to fully fund the federal semiconductor manufacturing and R&D programs authorized in the defense bill.”

March 31, 2021 - 1:33pm

Press release:

Standing at the Bug Jar in Downtown Rochester, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that "help is on the way" to the Finger Lakes region as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan Act he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate.

Using the Bug Jar as a backdrop, Schumer explained that even more for New York’s live independent venues which are eligible for their own, DIRECT, federal pandemic relief, thanks to a provision he championed.

Save Our Stages

The Save Our Stages provision included an additional $1.25 billion for independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions and included 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. Schumer said the additional funding and technical fix would be a lifeline for New York’s independent venues, hard-hit by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, a venue had to choose between getting a PPP loan or a Save Our Stages grant.

Just last week, SBA announced that the Save Our Stages program will open to applications on April 8th after Schumer’s continued press to implement the program. SBA also released an updated PPP application that now allows venues to apply for a PPP loan as well as a Save Our Stages grant, as Schumer intended with the fix included in the recent COVID-19 bill.

“Independent venues, like theaters, concert halls, and cinemas, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the Upstate economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to fully reopen, costing jobs and leaving a giant hole in the fabric of our communities,” Senator Schumer said.

“That is why I made sure this relief bill included a swan song – additional reliefs dollars to boost the Save Our Stages legislation and a critical technical fix to allow venues to access PPP and flexible grant support. Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling small businesses, like independent venues in the Finger Lakes, not only makes sense, but it’s the curtain call needed to keep small businesses like the Bug Jar going.”

Schumer said that live venues remain one of the hardest hit industries as the state carefully reopens, and dedicated assistance from the American Rescue Plan will save many venues from permanently shutting their doors to the public. It is estimated that by the end of 2020 live venues across the country lost $9 billion in ticket sales alone.

The senator said the federal assistance was imperative because independent venues not only drive economic activity within communities through restaurants, hotels, taxis and other transportation and retail establishments, but live events provide 75 percent of all artists’ income.

The December package included $15 billion to create the Save Our Stages program after Schumer’s tireless efforts to pass it into law. The program, which will be overseen by the Small Business Administration, provide assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.

Grant amounts equal to 45 percent of gross revenue in 2019 for the venue, up to $10 million, can be used for various costs, including payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, PPE procurement, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.

To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90 percent of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70 percent can apply. A reserve of 20 percent of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion out of the $15 billion provided, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days. There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.

American Rescue Plan's Impact on New York

Additionally, Schumer detailed the American Rescue Plan’s tentative impact to New York as more than $100 billion dollars. The deal includes the additional round of direct stimulus checks for tens of thousands of Finger Lakes residents, on top of aid to help schools safely reopen, vaccine distribution, critical pension relief, an expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, new rental assistance, agriculture and nutrition assistance, direct local fiscal relief to revive the local economy and help solve the Finger Lakes’ budget woes, all of which adds up to essential relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent live venues and small businesses across the state. 

Schumer also highlighted that researchers have said that the American Rescue Plan will cut the child poverty rate in half, which is especially important for Rochester as the city ranks the highest for child poverty among cities of a comparable size, with 48 percent of children living below the poverty line.

THIS PLAN:

  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (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. It is estimated that New York families will receive $7.03 billion in relief from the enhanced CTC.
  • Strengthens the Earned Income Tax Credit (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. It is estimated that New York families will receive over $786 million will receive in relief from the enhanced ETIC.

Money for the Finger Lakes Region

Sends $22 million in direct payments of $1,400 to over 9 million New Yorkers. That includes approximately $1.4 billion in direct payments for more than an estimated 556,000 households in the Finger Lakes Region: An estimated 344,000 households in Monroe County will receive approximately a total of $858 million; an estimated 41,500 households in Wayne County will receive approximately a total of $104 million; an estimated 51,000 households in Ontario County will receive about a total of $127 million; an estimated 29,000 households in Livingston County will receive approximately a total of $72 million; an estimated 18,500 households in Orleans County will receive approximately a total of $46 million; an estimated 26,500 households in Genesee County will receive approximately a total of $66 million; an estimated 18,000 households in Wyoming County will receive approximately a total of $46 million; an estimated 16,000 households in Seneca County will receive approximately a total of $39 million; and an estimated 11,500 households in Yates County will receive approximately a total of $29 million.

As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion in state and local aid will be going to New York, with more than $566.31 million going directly to the Finger Lakes Region. New York State government will receive over $12 billion, solving the state’s budget woes. 

With 50 percent of Rochester’s rental units currently occupied by tenants spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, Schumer explained that rental assistance, included in the American Rescue Plan, is also a necessary tool of fighting poverty.

This funding is a win-win allowing residents to cover past-due rent and future rent payments while maintaining rental streams for property owners needed to maintain this housing. Without this federal aid, too many families would be unable to make payments, through no fault of their own, and be faced with the prospect of being thrown out of their homes in the middle of a pandemic.

EPPI 2.0 builds and improves upon the success of EPPI 1.0, which was launched last summer thanks to funding Schumer secured in the CARES Act. Changes in the second round of the program include less cumbersome eligibility guidelines to qualify for rent relief; and the ability of landlords to apply for relief on behalf of their tenants with their consent.

Funding for Education

The American Rescue Plan also includes $9 billion for New York’s 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. Finger Lakes school districts will receive $404.5 million in total in K-12 support funds.

New York’s Colleges and Universities will also receive $2.6B from the American Rescue Plan, half of which must be distributed to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. Finger Lakes colleges will receive $163.8 million in total.

Funding for Transit 

Schumer was able to secure more than $7 billion in transit funding for New York, with $45.5 million going toward the Rochester Transit Services (RTS), $12,061,336 for Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Airport, and $219,000 for other Finger Lakes airports.

Multiemployer Pension Plan Relief

The legislation also delivers critical relief for suffering multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting benefits retirees have earned. 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.

“As Majority Leader, I fought hard to ensure this deal sent real relief to the tune of $100 billion to New York for workers, families, farmers, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and communities in Ithaca—the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” Schumer said. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Finger Lakes residents still need real help to get through this.”

March 30, 2021 - 1:37pm

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.

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