Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - Volume XVI, Issue #42

Jan 22, 2019
The Serrano Report

In Washington, D.C. 


Congressman Serrano on Federal Court Decision Blocking Inclusion of Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

Congressman Serrano applauded the decision by a New York federal court to block the Department of Commerce from including a citizenship question in the 2020 Census.

“I am encouraged by the federal court's decision to block the Department of Commerce’s political decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 Census. Asking respondents’ citizenship status is unwarranted on policy grounds, will discourage immigrants’ and minority communities’ participation, and ultimately undermine the only mechanism we have to obtain critical data every 10 years. The Census is the only constitutional tool we have at our disposal to gain an accurate picture of U.S. society, to ensure a fair distribution of resources, and to guarantee just representation in Congress. Today’s ruling is a victory and an important step but we must continue fighting in Congress to ensure we protect the Census from this Administration’s efforts to erase a large segment of American society from this process. As the top Democrat on Appropriations Subcommittee funding the Census, I will continue to fight for a fair and accurate count.”, said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano Elected Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Chair

Congressman Serrano was elected Chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Subcommittee for the 116th Congress by the House Appropriations Committee’s Democratic members. The CJS Subcommittee oversees several important federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Census Bureau, among others. In addition to the CJS subcommittee, Rep. Serrano will continue serving in the Financial Services Subcommittee and join the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee.  

“From gun safety, to criminal justice reform, to scientific research and the protection of U.S. commercial interests abroad, the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee has oversight over some of our government’s most important agencies and programs. I look forward to leading my Democratic colleagues once again as we set a new agenda for the Committee to continue tackling these and other important issues in the 116th Congress. During my service in the Appropriations Committee, I have always made it a priority fighting to ensure our agencies, programs and public servants have the resources that they need to have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans.  In particular, I want to make sure that the agencies under the subcommittee jurisdiction are focused on helping working families in the Bronx and around our nation as we face unprecedented challenges from the White House. Most of these agencies remain shut down because of President Trump’s temper tantrum to build an unnecessary wall that the vast majority of people don’t want, endangering public safety and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Americans. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the employees at the vital agencies are able to get back to work, and to get paid for that work.”, said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano Urges the President and Republican Senators to End the Trump Shutdown

Congressman Serrano has joined fellow Democrats and voted to reopen the government six times since the shutdown began. Unfortunately, the Republican led Senate has not taken up a vote to reopen the government since it started. The shutdown is affecting over 800,000 federal employees who are not receiving pay until it ends. Affected federal agencies include the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation, State, Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Congressman Serrano has also condemned President Trump for suggesting that he would use money designated for disaster relief in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands to build the border wall. Watch Congressman Serrano speak on this ongoing issue below:

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Congressman Serrano speaks on the House Floor on the Trump Shutdown. (1/14/2019)
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Congressman Serrano speaks on the impact of shutdown & condemns the President for suggesting the use of disaster funding for a border wall. (1/11/2019)

Congressman Serrano Applauds Emergency Funding for Puerto Rico, Territories in New Emergency Disaster Appropriations Bill

Congressman Serrano, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, celebrated the successful inclusion of additional emergency relief assistance for Puerto Rico in the new Disaster Supplemental Bill made public Friday last week by the House Appropriations Committee. The bill includes a total of $12.14 billion in recovery assistance for areas that have been affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters, including $662 million in nutrition and Medicaid assistance for Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, Guam, and American Samoa, of which $600 million is for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico. It also includes waivers of local cost share requirements for FEMA Categories A (debris removal) and B (emergency protective measures) for Puerto Rico. This language is similar to the COMPROMISO Act (H.R. 6859 in the 115th Congress), which Congressman Serrano introduced on the first anniversary of Hurricane María last September. Serrano, who helped secure this important assistance for the island, released the following statement:

“Millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico are still suffering the effects of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. This legislation will help ensure they have access to the help they need to successfully get back on their feet in the aftermath of the worst hurricane in the islands’ history. It will also reinstate key FEMA waivers that have helped rebuild the island during the ongoing crisis.  I’m very pleased to see this important emergency relief included in the bill and thank Chairwoman Lowey for her leadership in making sure this bill truly helps the people of Puerto Rico and other territories,” said Congressman Serrano.

For a summary of the legislation, click here.