Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report, Volume XII, #1

Feb 7, 2015
The Serrano Report

On Capitol Hill

Congressman Serrano is Sworn in for the 114th Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives came back into session for the 114th Congress, and Congressman Serrano was sworn in to his 14th term in Congress, on January 6, 2015. During this upcoming Congress, Congressman Serrano will continue serving on the important House Appropriations Committee as the Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee; a member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee; and a new member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee. On January 21st, Congresswoman Nita Lowey formally announced her recommendations for the Appropriations committee:

“Every two years, a new Congress convenes to start the legislative session. New members join returning members to take the oath of office in a constitutionally mandated ceremony and receive a new Congressional lapel pin. I am very proud to represent The Bronx, New York in the U.S. Congress and I look forward to representing my constituents’ best interests over the next two years,” said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano after being sworn in and receiving a new lapel pin for the 114th Congress.


Congressman Serrano in Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address

On January 20th, Congressman Serrano joined other Members of Congress for President Obama’s State of the Union address. The President presented his ideas for working with Congress this year in the areas of economic growth, foreign diplomacy, and immigration.

Continue reading for highlights from Congressman Serrano’s response to the President’s address:

“Tonight, President Obama laid out his vision to continue moving forward and build on the progress we have made as a nation. I fully agree with the President that we need to seize the moment, and build on it by investing in our continued economic progress and providing all Americans with more economic opportunities.

“In the foreign policy arena, I fully support President Obama’s policy towards Cuba and his call on Congress to help him continue updating our failed policy towards the island. We also need to strengthen our national security, instead of putting it at risk, as Republicans are doing by putting forth an extreme anti-immigrant Homeland Security Bill that threatens to partially shut down our government in an effort to prevent the President from implementing Executive Action on immigration.

“In recent months, the President Obama has demonstrated his willingness to take bold action and to get things done to continue moving forward. Tonight, the President renewed his commitment to continue fighting for a stronger America that works for all, not just a few.  I have no doubt that he will continue putting forth and supporting brave policy initiatives throughout the next year based on the priorities he outlined in his speech. Republicans need to put politics aside and join Democrats at the table to pass legislation and implement policies in the interest of the American people.

Click here to read Congressman Serrano’s full statement in response to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union.

Congressman Serrano on President Obama’s FY2016 Budget

This past Tuesday, President Obama presented the U.S. Congress with a budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. Congressman Serrano said:

“President Obama has presented Congress with a balanced proposal focused on strengthening and expanding the middle class, and creating a 21st century economy where everyone wins—not just a few rich individuals and corporations.

“The President wants to make sure that, as we reap the benefits of the economic progress we have made in recent years, we choose to invest in the areas that will allow our economy to continue growing in the future – infrastructure, education, scientific research and innovation, entrepreneurship, and the middle class.  Investing in these areas will help create jobs and boost America’s competitiveness in the global economy.

“I look forward to discussing all the pieces of the President’s proposal through the Appropriations process on the Financial Services; Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS); and State-Foreign Operations subcommittees."

Congressman Serrano on Republican Homeland Security Funding Bill and Riders

Earlier this year, House Republicans introduced a Homeland Security Funding Bill with attached riders that aims to prevent the President from implementing Executive Action on immigration and to undo other important policies that provide relief to the immigrant community.

Congressman Serrano said:

“It’s inconceivable that Republicans are choosing to play partisan politics at the expense of our nation’s security at such a vulnerable time. Their only objective is to satisfy the most extremist elements of their party by attempting to prevent President Obama from addressing our country’s broken immigration system through executive action to provide some relief to the immigrant community. Republicans keep saying they want comprehensive immigration reform, yet every time the topic is up for debate and Congress considers important related legislation, they only succeed at introducing and rallying behind radical anti-immigrant legislation.

“The amendments they propose adding to this bill will hurt millions of families, and do nothing to fix our broken immigration system. Republicans know the President will veto this misguided bill and as a result, their actions are threatening a partial government shutdown that would leave one of our nation’s most important national security agencies without the funds it needs to operate well and keep our citizens safe. Republicans should bring to the table a clean funding bill without all the poison pills that threaten to undermine common sense immigration initiatives and our nation’s ability to prevent terrorist acts.”

Congressman Serrano in Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

In commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Congressman Serrano joined local leaders and members of the community at the Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church and released the following statement:

“Few men have had an impact on our nation’s history and the national discourse around race relations and social justice as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, we honor his life and legacy and renew our commitment to continue fighting for greater justice and economic opportunity for all regardless of race or social background.

“While we have certainly made great progress as a nation on these fronts since the Civil Rights Movement, we have also backtracked on certain areas and have more work to do in others. Dr. King’s legacy remains as important as ever. The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down several important parts the Voting Rights Act in 2013 serves as example of why we can’t give up the fight.

“Let’s make sure we keep moving forward, not backwards. In the spirit of courage, service, and peace that guided Dr. King’s life, let’s continue fighting for an inclusive America that guarantees justice, equality, and prosperity for all.”


In New York City

Congressman Serrano Joins Mayor de Blasio for Affordable Housing Announcement

On January 15th, Congressman Serrano joined Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference in Brooklyn to announce that The City of New York was able to exceed its first year projections for their affordable housing plan. The City financed the creation and preservation of more than 17,300 affordable units throughout the year of 2014, exceeding their plan by more than 1,300 affordable units. Congressman Serrano hailed the achievement:

“Affordable housing is a priority for the residents of New York City and Mayor de Blasio has delivered, and exceeded everyone’s expectations, on his promise to protect and expand access to quality and affordable housing. Thanks to his efforts, there are an additional 6,150 affordable housing units in the Bronx. This is only the beginning and I look forward to continue seeing the results of the Mayor’s Housing New York Program during the next couple of years.” said Congressman José E. Serrano.

Read the full press release here.

Congressman Serrano joined Mayor de Blasio at a press conference to tout the accomplishments that have been made under the Mayor’s Housing New York Program.


Mayor de Blasio Announces the Next Phase of NYC’s Young Men’s Initiative

On Monday, Congressman Serrano released the following quote in response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement for the next phase of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI):

“The New York City’s Young Men’s initiative is a crucial resource for our young Black and Latino men and for our community as a whole. Thanks to this program, young men in the Bronx can access the tools and support they need to succeed academically and reach their full potential. I applaud Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to close the opportunity and achievement gap of minority men, and working to make sure New York City offers them the best counseling possible,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano.
NYC’s Young Men’s Initiative works to improve literacy, graduation rates, professional development, financial literacy, as well as to prevent violence among young men of color. The City led initiative plans to align itself with programming from President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper.”  

Read more about this initiative and Mayor de Blasio’s announcement here.

Congressman Serrano on Passing of Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo

New York and the rest of the nation mourned the passing of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo on January 1, 2014.

Congressman Serrano released the following statement:

“America has lost a great leader and public servant who dedicated his life to advancing the most pressing progressive causes and serving as a voice for the disadvantaged. I had the honor of working with him on many issues as a member of the New York State Assembly during his tenure as Governor and I will never forget his passion and commitment to building a strong and prosperous state for everyone, as well as his incredible negotiation skills and ability to get things done. His eloquence and command of the stage had the power to move and influence many like few are able to.  To this day, his words remain a source of inspiration for all of us who believe a more just America is possible. For these reasons and many more, New York will never forget Governor Mario Cuomo. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Serrano also joined the New York Delegation in mid January to honor his life and legacy on the House floor:

Congressman Serrano with former Governor Mario Cuomo when he was a member of the New York State Assembly.