Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report, Volume XII, #3

Feb 27, 2015
The Serrano Report

On Capitol Hill

Serrano Applauds Inclusion of Quigley/Serrano/McKinley Paraprofessionals Standards Amendment in H.R. 5

Today, Congressman Serrano applauded the inclusion of an amendment he co-authored with Representatives Quigley and McKinley to restore paraprofessional qualifications requirements in the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). 

The Student Success Act seeks to reauthorize the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) since 2002.  The NCLB put in place educational and professional standards for non-teachers paraprofessionals that work in classrooms to provide special assistance to teachers and students.  The amendment offered by Quigley, McKinley, and Serrano would ensure that federal employment standards for paraprofessionals in public schools are reinstated with passage of H.R. 5. The amendment passed by a vote of 218-201.
Serrano is a former paraprofessional in the New York City public school system.

“This is great news for our children and I applaud Republicans for supporting this common sense measure. As a former paraprofessional, I saw firsthand the impact professionals like myself made in classrooms, especially in underserved communities. Paraprofessionals are essential to ensuring that students in low-income public school districts receive a high-quality education. This amendment will help ensure our schools can only hire professionals who are adequately prepared to assist in the classroom by setting national standards to require them to have a formal education and adequate professional training prior to hiring.”

Congressman Serrano on FCC’s Board Vote in Favor of Net Neutrality Rules

Yesterday, Congressman Serrano released the following statement in support of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Board's historic vote in favor of adopting rules to protect network neutrality on the Internet. Serrano is Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC.

“The rules adopted yesterday will help guarantee consumers continue to have access to an open internet that promotes communication and innovation by restricting service providers’ ability to control access to an essential resource in today’s economy with unfair practices.  Everyone – private businesses, entrepreneurs, schools, nonprofits, and families—will benefit from these rules. I applaud Chairman Wheeler and the FCC for taking this historic step to bring up to date and strengthen the laws that regulate the internet and to ensure it continues serving Americans’ needs in a 21st century global economy. Now we need to protect the new rules from Republicans’ attacks in Congress. House Republicans have already begun taking steps to replace the them in this Congress and roll back the progress we have made. In the past, their efforts to fight net neutrality rules have included trying to limit the FCC’s ability to regulate the internet through the Appropriations process. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FCC, I would strongly oppose any similar efforts roll back these rules, and will do everything in my power help ensure these protections remain in place.”

Serrano Questions IG George and Taxpayer Advocate Olson about the IRS Budget

On Thursday, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing to evaluate the challenges the Internal Revenue Service is currently facing due to budgetary cuts. As the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member Congressman Serrano questioned Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, J. Russell George, and National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson

 “The IRS ensures the collection of taxes and provides taxpayer services. Approximately $2.9 trillion dollars in federal revenue is collected by the agency each year. Without the work of the IRS staff, the federal government would not be unable to function since the IRS collects the vast majority of the revenue that allows funds the government.

There IRS is currently facing many budgetary challenges that are hindering its ability to function efficiently and effectively. For several years now, it has been severely underfunded due to budget cuts made by the Republican Majority in the Appropriations Committee–which I strongly opposed. A lack of resources has made it difficult for the agency to fund operations and hire the personnel it needs to carry out taxpayer services and collect taxes. I am glad we had the opportunity to discuss this problem in the Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee.”

Congressman Serrano on Texas v. US Ruling

Last week, José E. Serrano (D-NY) released a statement in response to the Texas v. United States of America preliminary ruling, which has temporarily blocked the implementation of the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs under President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. 

 “President Obama’s executive actions on immigration announced in November 2014 are founded on ample historical and legal precedent, and I am confident their validity will be upheld on appeal despite this setback.  The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and even other courts have confirmed time after time that the President’s plan is constitutional, within his legal authority, and in line with similar actions taken by past Presidents—Democrats and Republicans—to shape our nation’s immigration policies. Today is a sad day for the millions of families that would have benefitted from the expanded DACA and DAPA programs, but I encourage immigrant families to be patient and continue taking advantage of the original DACA program announced by President Obama in 2012. The ruling today is not a final decision on the President’s executive action plan, including these two important programs, and the U.S. Department of Justice has already announced its decision to appeal the district court injunction.  I will continue working with the Administration to ensure these two programs, as well as the rest of the President’s executive action proposal, become a reality soon. We can’t afford to continue delaying taking action to address our broken immigration system. Fixing our immigration system is important not only for millions of families, but also for our economy and our national security.”

In New York City

Congressman Serrano Joins Local Immigrants, Activists to Denounce Texas Court Ruling

Last week, Congressman Serrano joined other local elected officials, immigrants, and representatives from immigrant rights groups and labor unions at a local event to denounce the Texas district court’s ruling that blocked the rollout of President Obama’s Executive Actions on immigration and discuss the impact it will have on New York City’s immigrant community.

Congressman José E. Serrano joined other local elected officials, representatives from immigrant right groups and labor unions, and immigrants who will be affected by the ruling to denounce the Texas district court’s ruling.

Congressman José E. Serrano with local elected officials, representatives from immigrant groups and labor unions, and immigrants who will be affected by the ruling to denounce the Texas district court's ruling. (02/18/2015)

Serranos Celebrate Black History Month 

Congressman José E. Serrano and New York State Senator José M. Serrano hosted their annual celebration of Black (African-American) History Month in the Bronx on Tuesday February 24, 2015. In a ceremony at the Bronx Museum of the Arts that gathered local leaders and members of the community, Representative Serrano and State Senator Serrano celebrated the achievements and contributions of African-Americans throughout America’s history and recognized the work and service of four outstanding local African-American community leaders.

The honorees were  Mary E. Coleman,Vice President for Administration and Finance, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College; Margarette Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Food Bank for New York City/Food for Survival; David Shuffler, Executive Director, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice; and Kenneth J. Knuckles, President and Chief Executive Officer, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Each honoree was presented with a Congressional Record Statement and a New York Senate proclamation. 

“On Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the African-American community’s countless contributions to our nation in every field. From the arts to politics, America is stronger and richer today thanks to their achievements.  I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate the month than to honor those in our community who carry on this legacy of achievement through their service to the Bronx. This year, it gives me great pleasure to recognize the work of four outstanding local African-American leaders who have demonstrated commitment to helping their neighbors and strengthening our community:  Mary E. Coleman, Margarette Purvis, David Shuffler, and Kenneth J. Knuckles. These individuals work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of our community and we honor their leadership and dedication. The Bronx is a better place thanks to their contributions and for that we are thankful. Their service and accomplishments serve as inspiration to us all,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.

"During Black History Month, we pause and reflect on all of the great contributions the African American community has made for society. I am so proud to acknowledge these remarkable leaders who have worked tirelessly to make their communities a better place for future generations to come. Although Black History Month is celebrated in February, leaders like the ones honored today are making contributions every day in their respective fields. It is important that we continue to celebrate the many achievements of the African American community," said New York State Senator José M. Serrano.

Congressman Serrano addresses the audience at the Serrano's Annual Black History Month Celebration 2015. (02/24/2015)


Senator Serrano addresses the audience at the Serrano's Annual Black History Month Celebration 2015. (02/24/2015)

Congressman Serrano Celebrates 100th anniversary of Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club

Last week, Congressman Serrano joined the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club at the Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse to celebrate their 100th Anniversary. Community members came together to celebrate a wonderful organization that has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to improving and enhancing young people’s quality of life in the Bronx.

“I was very happy to be able to join the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Center to celebrate their 100th Anniversary of great service to our youth. It was a great celebration, and I look forward to their next 100 years and beyond.”

Congressman Serrano at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club 100th Celebration.(02/22/2015)