Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - Volume XV, Issue #1

Jan 7, 2017
The Serrano Report

In Washington, DC

Congressman Serrano on Start of the 115th Congress

Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement on the start of the 115th Congress:

“I am proud to once again take the oath of office to represent my constituents in the 15th Congressional District in the Bronx.  It is an honor to represent you in Congress, and I will do my utmost to ensure that our core values- tolerance, fairness, community, and social justice- are given voice here in Washington, DC.

“We are facing a time of unprecedented challenges to many of the principles and programs that we hold dear.  Republicans are already lining up efforts to reduce or privatize programs that many of my constituents depend upon, including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act.  These are core pieces of our social safety net- pieces that hundreds of thousands of Bronx families use to help ensure their health and make ends meet.

“Unfortunately, this radical agenda also extends beyond these areas.  Republicans are also seeking to implement the hateful and hurtful words of the election.  They will seek to break up immigrant families and drive immigrants back into the shadows.  This is repugnant to the diverse mosaic that makes up our community in the Bronx- and I will fight with every fiber of my being to stop these efforts.

“Very few Americans actually support these extreme proposals- and nothing in this past election indicated a desire to undermine these essential parts of our American experiment.  I will do everything in my power to ensure that this radical agenda is not implemented, and will strongly oppose Republican efforts to do so.

“There are already troubling signs of the dangerous type of government that Republicans are seeking to implement.  The rules package proposed by Republicans that we will vote on today undermines accountability and our constitutional rights.  By instituting fines for expressing dissent, Republicans are attempting to weaken free speech in the House of Representatives.  By reinstituting the Holman rule on appropriations bills, they are trying to undermine our civil service and harm our federal workers and labor unions.  And by even contemplating undercutting the independence and investigatory powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics, Republicans have shown just how little they value transparency, oversight, and accountability. I will vote against these proposals today.

“As the Dean of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to speak out against Republican attempts to undermine our values, our society, and our Constitution.  It is time to redouble the fight for our principles.”

Congressman Serrano Joins Congressman Adriano Espaillat’s Swearing-In in Congress

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano participated in Congressman Adriano Espaillat’s historic Swearing-In ceremony. Congressman Espaillat is the first Dominican-American elected to Congress. Senator Schumer, Congressman Engel, Congressman Gutiérrez, and Congresswoman Velázquez also joined the ceremony.

“Every time I

see the U.S. Capitol I think about my parents. About my dad who worked at a “factoria” and my mother who worked in the needle industry so their son could become a Member of Congress. Today that history repeats itself with your parents, and with the Dominican Community,” said Congressman Serrano.

Click HERE to watch Congressman Serrano’s full remarks at the ceremony.

Congressman Serrano Announces New Office Location in Washington, DC

Washington, DC- Congressman José E. Serrano announced his new office location in Washington, DC – Suite 2354 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Previously held by New Yorkers, Congressman Charlie Rangel for the past 21 years, and Hamilton Fish, Jr. from 1993-1994, the office will continue to serve New York City constituents with Congressman Serrano's and his staff's move.

"I am pleased to announce we have moved to a new office to help continue serving Bronxites when they come to Washington, DC.  It is an honor to take over an office with a long history of serving New Yorkers and that most recently belonged to my longtime friend and ally, legendary Congressman Charlie Rangel," said Congressman Serrano. "I am proud to be able to continue the tradition of progressive New York values at this location started by Congressman Rangel.  Throughout the span of more than 20 years, Congressman Rangel and Congressman Fish served and welcomed thousands of New Yorkers at this office. I look forward to continuing this New York connection and providing visitors with better attention and services thanks to this location’s larger facilities and meeting spaces. I encourage Bronxites to come visit next time they are in town and take advantage of our open door policy!" 

America Competes Act with Language to Establish HSI Undergrad Grant Approved in Congress

Last month, Congressmen José Serrano and Joe Crowley announced that language that requires the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a grant program to support undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) was approved in Congress last week as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, also known as America COMPETES Act. In 2015, Serrano and Crowley offered an amendment to the House version of the bill to ensure that NSF establish a program focused on HSIs. The final Senate version contains substantially similar language in Section 315 requiring the NSF’s director to award merit-based grants to HSIs.

“Hispanics continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields, and without a dedicated program to help institutions that serve primarily Hispanic students, that will continue to be the case.  Hispanic Serving Institutions need to have the necessary financial resources to help encourage more students to pursue careers in the sciences, and this provision will ensure that HSIs have just that.  I am pleased to see this important measure included in the America COMPETES act; investing in Hispanics’ education in the science fields is investing in the future competitiveness of our country,” said Congressman Serrano.

In the 114th Congress, Serrano and Crowley introduced the Hispanic Opportunity Program in Education and Science Act (HOPES Act), H.R. 1924, to require NSF to establish a HSI undergraduate program. This bill inspired the amendment to the America COMPETES Act.


In New York City

NY Reps. Serrano and Maloney Lead Delegation Letter Calling on Congress to Reimburse NYC for President-Elect’s Pre-Inauguration Security

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-15) led 10 members of the New York Delegation on a letter to Congressional leadership in the House and Senate calling for funding to reimburse New York City’s taxpayers for the costs of securing President-elect Trump and his family prior to his inauguration on January 20. The delegation is requesting that the funds be included in the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government that Congress is expected to pass this week.

In the letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, the delegation states that,

“New York City is faced with the unique and unprecedented costs associated with protecting the President-elect, and as in the past with other localities, should be reimbursed for such costs.  In particular, we support an anomaly, requested by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), of $35 million within the Byrne-JAG program to provide relief for costs that can be attributed to safeguarding the President-elect since Election Day… New York City has already been forced to spend significant amounts of money to ensure the safety of the President-elect and his family….The anomaly requested by OMB in this latest continuing resolution will help ensure that public safety in New York City, and elsewhere, does not suffer as result of shifting resources from basic law enforcement activities to protecting the President-elect.”

Click HERE for a full text of the letter.

After the funding allocation was announced, Congressman Serrano issued the following statement:

“I am very disappointed that only $7 million was included in the continuing resolution to reimburse New York City for the costs of protecting the President-elect.  This is a matter of basic fairness- other cities have been reimbursed in the past for identical costs- and now New York City should be treated the same way.  New Yorkers alone should not have to bear what are really national costs. Myself, Ranking Member Lowey, Congresswoman Maloney and the other Members of the New York delegation will keep on fighting in the future for the remainder of this funding.”


Serrano’s Legislation to Rename Morris Heights Post Office in Honor of Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. Approved in the Senate

Last month, Congressman Serrano announced that H.R. 6282, his legislation to rename the Morris Heights Post Office after former Tuskegee Airman and Bronx Community College President Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. has been approved in the Senate. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for his approval. Congressman Serrano introduced the legislation on September 28th, along with Congressmen Charles Rangel, Eliot Engel, and the rest of the New York Delegation in the House of Representative. In a letter to the Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in the Senate, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand expressed their strong support for the bill in the Senate.

Congressman Serrano introduced the legislation on September 28th, along with Congressmen Charles Rangel, Eliot Engel, and the rest of the New York Delegation in the House of Representatives.

“I am proud to see this legislation to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. reach this important milestone, and I thank my colleagues Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their lead in the Senate to see it approved before the end of this Congress,” said Congressman Serrano. “Dr. Brown was a trailblazer who fought heroically for his country despite segregation during World War II and improved the lives of countless New Yorkers and Americans through his work in the Civil Rights Movement and the education field. He challenged the status quo and made the Bronx, New York City, and our country a better and more fair place for all. I was proud to call him a friend, and I thank Congressman Rangel, Congressman Engel and the rest of the New York Delegation for working with me on this bill.  Bronxites will now be able to always remember Dr. Roscoe Brown’s life and legacy with this honor.”