In the midst of a pandemic that plagued our nation and hit NYS especially hard, for the 22nd consecutive year, Schumer safely completes tour of all 62 NY counties | WIVT
From the office of Senator Charles Schumer:
Even a year as tumultuous as 2020, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader, today completed his 22nd consecutive tour of all 62 New York State counties—an accomplishment that continues his track record as the first New York State public official to visit every single county in New York each year he has been in office.
Over the course of the year, Schumer made 86 county visits to Upstate New York and Long Island. He visited counties in the Capital Region 15 times; Western New York 6 times; Central New York 8 times; the Rochester-Finger Lakes 12 times; the Southern Tier 10 times; the Hudson Valley 14 times; the North Country 8 times; and Long Island 13 times.
“22 years ago, upon my election to the United States Senate in 1998, I promised that each and every year I served, I would visit all 62 of New York State’s diverse counties. Not only has this ritual remained a steadfast passion of mine because of all I learn from my constituents and bring to Washington, D.C. as both a senator and the Democratic Leader of the Senate,” said Senator Schumer. “Especially this year, when New York battled the global health and economic pandemic especially hard, visiting all 62 counties was vital for me to learn firsthand the struggles and needs of New Yorkers, from one end of the state to the other. Through a year that much has changed – I, too, traveled with masks and disinfectant in tow to much smaller and more understated events – one thing remained the same: my commitment, dedication, and love for New York. This year, more than ever before, I learned more about the struggles and needs of New York and saw New Yorkers resilience, perseverance, and grit and time and time again the very best New York has to offer even during our darkest of days.”
Schumer added, “Although I’ve gained the title of Senate Democratic Leader, my proudest and most principal titles have been, and will always remain, New York’s Senator and ‘New Yorker.’ At the close of twenty-two years, my beliefs are as clear as ever: ‘Senators who stay in Washington and never return home are simply not doing their job.’ Although this year looked a little different with online or-socially distanced events and celebrations, that’s why I safely go to all of the places that I can. Whether I’m celebrating a virtual high school graduation or fighting for our first responders all over the state, I’m always learning more about New York directly from my constituents.”
Some of the key highlights include:
New York State
Delivered $167 Billion For New York In COVID Relief: During negotiations for the CARES Act, Schumer worked for days to deliver a plan that best protected New York’s workers, small businesses, and health centers so they could receive the help they needed amidst the COVID crisis. The CARES Act Included:
· Over $37 billion In Federal Funding For ‘Unemployment Insurance On Steroids’ Relief For New Yorkers: In the CARES Act, Senator Schumer successfully fought for and secured a historic expansion and reform of unemployment insurance (UI). Importantly, economists have credited the UI expansion with mitigating a larger increase in poverty. The Senator conceived this plan with an understanding of how the modern New York economy functions, expanding unemployment benefits to more than 1.8 million freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors, and other workers in non-traditional employment across New York State since the start of the pandemic. The extended and expanded UI programs in the CARES Act also increased the maximum unemployment benefit amount by $600 per week above one’s base unemployment compensation benefit for four months and ensured that workers who were laid-off or out of work through no fault of their own, on average, received their full pay for a full quarter. Additionally, Senator Schumer secured 100% federal financing of benefits paid through existing state Shared Work programs, allowing thousands of New York employers to avoid layoffs during the downturn by connecting their employees who are working reduced hours with partial UI compensation.
· $10.7 Billion In Emergency Federal Funding For NYS Hospitals, Health Systems, And Community Health Centers: The chief architect of the ‘Marshall Plan for Healthcare’ in the CARES Act, Senator Schumer secured over $10.7 billion for New York state’s hospitals, health systems, and community health centers. New York also received the lion’s share of the initial $10 billion designated for ‘hot spots’ nationally, receiving $4.5 billion. The funding allowed hospitals and health systems across New York state to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or make up for lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from COVID-19, especially from cancelled elective procedures, increased staffing and overtime costs, expanded bed capacity, and increased spending on supplies and equipment to meet the surge in COVID-19 patients.
· More Than $55 billion In Paycheck Protection Program And Economic Injury Disaster Loan And Grant Funding For New York’s Small Businesses And Nonprofits: Senator Schumer, a longtime champion of small businesses and nonprofits across New York, negotiated a small business rescue plan that allocated over $38.6 billion in forgivable loans through close to 349,000 awards to New York’s small businesses and nonprofits so they could maintain their existing workforce and help pay for other expenses, including rent, mortgage, or utilities. Self-employed, independent contractors, and sole proprietors were also eligible for assistance. Schumer also fought to ensure nonprofits as well as churches, other houses of worship, and faith-based service organizations were made eligible for small business relief. Because of Schumer’s efforts, a PPP set-aside was created in COVID relief legislation that passed following the CARES Act to provide more assistance to underserved businesses. This $60 billion set-aside was for lending through community lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), Minority Depository Institutions, and microloans to expand access to minority-owned and other underserved small businesses and nonprofits. This included a specific $10 billion CDFI set-aside established by the Treasury Department after Schumer’s relentless advocacy. Senator Schumer also fought to create in the CARES Act a new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) cash advance grant program that provided more than $1.3 billion in grant funding to over 450,000 New York small businesses and nonprofits. More than $17.3 billion in EIDL loan assistance was awarded as well. In addition, Schumer
also successfully added farms and value-added farm businesses as eligible recipients of EIDL loans and grants to provide New York’s agricultural economy a lifeline in this crisis.
· Over $3.4 Billion For Economic Development And Public Infrastructure through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): With $1 billion allocated to New York state and over $2.4 billion allocated directly to communities across New York, Senator Schumer secured over $3.4 billion in CDBG funding in the CARES Act that supports local economic growth, community revitalization, and affordable housing. The funding allows New York state and communities to create good-paying jobs, continue delivering essential services, and invest in affordable housing at a time when the COVID crisis had endangered all community services.
· Over $4 billion For New York Transit Systems: In the CARES Act, Senator Schumer secured $4,158,708,448 for transit systems across New York State. The funding enabled transit systems to continue operating safely during the pandemic to allow essential workers to commute to their jobs and act as a lifeline for transit riders without a car to continue to access every day essential services.
· Over $411 Million For New York Airports: As the COVID-19 crisis immediately impacted the travel industry, Senator Schumer secured $411,274,414.22 in the CARES Act for airports all across New York state. The funding increased the federal share in the Airport Improvement program and other grants already planned for the fiscal year 2020, to 100%. The additional funding and elimination of the local share allowed for critical safety and capacity projects to continue as planned despite the financial impact of the COVID crisis on airports.
· Over $15.7 Billion In Direct Cash Payments To Individuals And Families Across the State: The CARES Act provided critical financial support in the form of one-time Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples below a certain income threshold, as well as an additional $500 payment per dependent child. More than 9.8 million of these direct cash payments were delivered to lower and middle-income New Yorkers this year, helping working families cover their household expenses and weather this unprecedented economic crisis. Senator Schumer also successfully called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reverse its original guidance and streamline these direct payments to Social Security recipients, ensuring that seniors and other vulnerable New Yorkers would not have to take an additional, unnecessary step of filing tax returns in order to receive this assistance.
· $1.5 Billion In Testing Funding For New York State: In May, Senator Schumer announced that New York state received $1.5 billion out of a $10.25 billion national pot for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing he proposed and fought to secure as a lead negotiator in the ‘Corona 3.5’ legislation. Specifically, New York State received $700,248,982 and New York City received $807,512,729 that can be used for COVID-19 testing purposes, including for testing equipment and supplies, contract tracing and surveillance, personal protective equipment and more.
· Secured $7 Billion In Loans For New York Hospitals And Providers: In addition to the grant money he secured, Senator Schumer secured roughly $7 billion in loans for New York hospitals and health care providers. This additional cash flow provided a lifeline to those providers as they weathered caring for Covid-19 patients and major revenue losses from shutting down as many of their services as possible. Schumer subsequently re-negotiated the repayment terms for these loans to make them far more favorable to New York providers, ensuring that they had all the resources they needed to combat the pandemic.
· Expanded SNAP Benefits, Secured An Additional $162 Million In Funding For Child Care, Continued Nutrition For Seniors, And Delivered Nearly $1 Billion To Help Heat Homes When Income Becomes A Problem
· Secured $2.15B For K-12 Schools And Institutions Of Higher Education Across New York: In the CARES Act, Senator Schumer fought and secured $1 billion for K-12 schools through the Education Stabilization Fund, $164 million under the Governor’s Emergency Education fund, and over $900 million for institutions of Higher Education to assist the education sector as they face new demands in meeting the educational needs of students across the state as a result of the pandemic.
Secured Nation’s First Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19, Unlocking Almost $6 billion In Federal FEMA Support for New York State: Following Schumer’s tireless advocacy and early calls for broad federal support from FEMA, New York State was granted the first Major Disaster Declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic of any state in the country. Schumer has continued to push the Administrator and the President to provide all support available to New York under FEMA’s control, delivering almost $6 billion for the state thus far, with over $1 billion in reimbursement for COVID-19 costs incurred by the state, localities, and eligible non-profits, like purchasing personal protective equipment and paying health care workers overtime.
Secured Over $6 Billion In FMAP Funds For NYS And Its Counties To Provide Vital Budget And Health Care Relief: Senator Schumer successfully pushed for Congress to include a cost-sharing provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act so New York’s counties, which pay part of Medicaid’s costs, could benefit from the increase federal Medicaid support. Schumer had successfully championed this provision in prior disaster response legislation, including after 9-11, Hurricane Sandy and the 2008 financial meltdown. The legislation immediately unlocked over $6 billion in state-wide dollars related to healthcare funds known as ‘FMAP’ for New York state and its counties
localities to cover healthcare costs, $1 billion in unemployment benefits, free testing, pair emergency leave, meals for homebound seniors, and other critical services.
Fighting Hunger By Securing Pandemic-EBT Program Extension through September 2021: After tirelessly advocating for expanded nutrition benefits, Senator Schumer secured numerous nutrition benefits in the negotiations for the Continuing Resolution. The Continuing Resolution extended P-EBT benefits through September 30, 2021 and creates a pathway to allow territories to participate in the P-EBT program. Roughly 2.1 million students across New York State are eligible for the P-EBT program, which provides families with additional nutrition assistance for students when schools are closed or in virtual learning.
Boosted NYS Hemp Growers and Producers To Create Jobs: Senator Schumer called on USDA to delay the implementation of the USDA’s U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program final rule and urged USDA to respond to the numerous concerns of hemp growers and producers in Upstate NY. The senator worked closely with the House of Representatives to include language in the Continuing Resolution that extends the authorization for the 2014 hemp pilot program regulations through September 30, 2021, which will give New York hemp farmers additional time to come into compliance with USDA’s new regulations for hemp.
Secured Over $409 Million for NYS Farmers: Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Schumer has pushed USDA to expand the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to include as many commodities as possible and ensure New York State farmers receive the assistance they need. Senator Schumer lobbied USDA to include more specialty crops, small livestock, goats, microgreens, nursery and greenhouse commodities, nontraditional crops, and more on the list of eligible crops for CFAP. Following his efforts, USDA expanded the eligibility lists for CFAP 1 and rolled out a second CFAP program, CFAP 2, which included a significantly expanded list of eligible crops. To date, New York farmers have received over $222 million in assistance through the CFAP 1 program and $187 million through CFAP 2.
Secured A Major Disaster Declaration And Disaster Funding After Tropical Storm Isaias And Demanded Answers From Electricity Ceos: After Tropical Storm Isaias ripped through the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island, Senator Schumer personally called the CEOs of Con Edison, Central Hudson, and PSEG to demand answers for why New Yorkers were left without power for days following inadequate communication. Schumer also sent a letter to the President urging him to declare this a major disaster and unlock millions in federal funds for the impacted region. After receiving this letter, the President granted the declaration for the 7 worst hit counties.
Called on TSA to Keep Agency Secure by Eliminating Its Use of TikTok: Citing concerns about communicating with the public via TikTok, Schumer called on the Transit Security Administration to reconsider its use of the platform and consult with the Department of Homeland Security, given laws that compel Chinese companies like partially China-owned TikTok to share data with the Chinese Communist Party. After raising the alarm, TSA discontinued its use of the social media platform.
Awarding Of Construction Contract On The Jamaica Armory Project After Senator Schumer Secured $91 Million In Funding: A construction contract has been awarded to further make progress on the Jamaica Armory project for both a 41,000 square foot addition to the readiness center and the restoration of the 140,000 square foot facility to support the center’s training, administrative, and logistical needs. The modernization of the Jamaica armory will create jobs and act as an anchor to the Southeast Queens community, the National Guard, and all of New York City.
Established PPP Set-Asides For Lending To Underserved Small Businesses And Communities Of Color: After the enactment of the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) in the CARES Act, Senator Schumer fought to provide more focused relief to the most underserved small businesses, which are often located in communities of color. As part of the subsequent COVID 3.5 bill – the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” – Schumer negotiated a $60 billion PPP set-aside for small and mid-sized community lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and microloan funds. After that bill passed, Schumer sent letters and placed calls to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, calling on him to create an even more narrowly focused set-aside for CDFIs and MDIs. In May, Secretary Mnuchin and the Small Business Administration heeded the calls of Sen. Schumer by announcing they would set aside $10 billion exclusively for PPP lending through CDFIs.
Delivered Billions in Aid To Save Our Subways, Busses and MTA; Delivered Two Financial Lifelines To The MTA As Ridership Levels Plummeted: As ridership levels on the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s network of subways, buses, and commuter rails dropped to historic lows due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Senator Schumer prevailed in the face of Republican intransigence to secure nearly $4 billion to stop the fiscal bleeding at the nation’s largest public transit network. These funds stabilized the MTA’s finances as it undertook an historic subway car cleaning program and other safety measures to keep the system running through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, Sen. Schumer successfully secured access to the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) for the MTA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey after he appealed directly to Fed Chairman Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. To date, the MTA has tapped the MLF for $450 billion in debt relief.
Delivered Urgent Aid To Parishes, Churches, Schools To Enable Then To Survive The COVID Lockdown: As a result of Schumer’s efforts, nonprofits as well as churches, other houses of worship, and faith-based service organizations were made eligible for small business COVID relief. This relief enabled parishes, schools, churches, synagogues and more to remain solvent and survive the COVID lockdown.
Hosted Workshop With Local Faith-Based Community Organizations To Broaden Access To Nonprofit Security Funding Amid Troubling Increase In Hate Crimes, Leading To Largest Number of Grants Ever Awarded to NYC Area In Program History: Following his successful push for an historic 50 percent increase – $30 million – in Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) funding at the end of last year, Senator Schumer sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Administration and the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) calling for a series of workshops and webinars to assist New York-based religious institutions applying to strengthen their security preparedness against religiously motivated attacks like in Monsey. In February, Sen. Schumer’s office co-hosted a workshop in Manhattan with Sen. Gillibrand’s office, FEMA, DHSES, the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and New York Police Department that brought together dozens of local churches, synagogues, mosques, parochial schools, and other faith-based community organizations to discuss the application process for NSGP. In July, DHS announced over $12 million in nonprofit security grants for 138 NYC area organizations, the greatest funding amount nationwide and the largest number of grants ever awarded to the NYC area in program history.
Secured $15.3M In The CARES Act For Albany International Airport Which Was Severely Disrupted By The Pandemic: With travel business dropping almost 80%, airports have struggled. Not only is the direct revenue down but all of the tenant businesses located at the airport have been affected as well.
Troy Seawall Stabilization And Riverfront Park North Projects Completed: In September, Sen. Schumer joined Troy Mayor Patrick Madden in cutting the ribbon on the this important project. The Seawall was compromised by the flooding during Tropical Storm Irene, leaving the fledgling downtown and key infrastructure vulnerable to a catastrophic flood. Schumer toured the area in 2014 and kicked off an effort that ultimately secured $14.5M for the project. The Stabilization project has also enabled the creation of the beautiful Riverfront Park North and the new Troy Dock and Marina.
CDTA Launches “Blue Line” Bus Rapid Transit: On November 19, CDTA officially launched the new Blue Line BRT service linking Albany, Watervliet, Cohoes, Troy and Waterford. This was the culmination of a seven year effort by Sen. Schumer to help CDTA expand BRT service (Schumer press conference at The College of St. Rose on 10/21/13). Schumer was successful in getting CDTA added to the Federal Transit Authority’s “New Starts” program in late 2016. CDTA received approximately $28m in New Starts funding to create the Blue Line.
Called On Department Of Defense To Stop Incineration Of PFAS At Norlite: Upon hearing that the Norlite facility in Cohoes, NY was incinerating PFAS, Senator Schumer called on the Department of Defense to stop the incineration of these forever chemicals so close to a housing project and the Hudson River. After follow up calls with the Department of Defense, Schumer secured a commitment that the Department of Defense would respect the Cohoes Common Council’s ban on PFAS incineration, which also followed Schumer’s letter to top brass at Defense Department and wide public push.
CENTRAL NEW YORK
Secured $9 Million In DoD Funding For Watertown YMCA Community Center, Boosting Downtown Watertown, Fort Drum, And Regional Economy: After continued engagement with the DoD and a personal call with former Defense Secretary Esper, Senator Schumer successfully secured a $9 Million DoD grant to support the Watertown YMCA community center. The funding enables a project that will provide year-round community space for Fort Drum’s military families in addition to bolstering downtown Watertown. The completed community center will have a six-lane lap pool, a separate full-size recreational pool, three exercise rooms, and arts/multipurpose room, two indoor tennis courts, and a community kitchen.
Delivered Funding to Allow Saab, Inc. to Bring 50 Jobs from Switzerland to Syracuse: Senator Schumer delivered $7 million in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget for Saab, Inc. to begin work on a new radar missile technology for Navy combat ships. The funds will not only protect our troops in the battlefield but will allow Saab Inc. to bring approximately 50 jobs from Switzerland to their facility in Central New York.
Helped Secure $20 Million to Buyout Flood-Prone Properties Along Sauquoit Creek in Oneida County: Senator Schumer worked with state and local officials to secure $20 million from United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) to buyout flood prone properties along Sauquoit Creek and deliver long sought relief for homeowners who have suffered from years of repetitive flooding events The federal funding came from USDA NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection-Floodplain Easements (EWP-FPE) program after Congress replenished the program in the Fiscal Year 2019 Disaster Supplemental Appropriations bill. Schumer directly secured additional funding for the EWP-FPE program during negotiations in order to aid communities that have suffered from repetitive flooding events like Oneida County.
After Horrific Fire at Charlestown Mall in Utica, Senator Schumer Brought Critical Federal Dollars To Assist With Cleanup: The abandoned Charlestown Mall has long been an eyesore in the Mohawk Valley and posed a severe threat to first responders. After a fire damaged the property even further, Senator Schumer delivered nearly $1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist in the cleanup and improve public safety at the site. The funds will be used to clean up the site, build a perimeter fence to protect the community, and continue monitoring the area for toxic chemicals.
Secured FAA Funding For Griffis International Airport’s UAS Test Site To Grow NYS’ Emerging Leadership On Drone Technology: In late 2018, Senator Schumer created a $6 million funding stream for the development of Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology at six test sites across the country. Standing at the Griffis UAS Airport Test Site Operations Center, Schumer called on the FAA to direct some of the money to Griffis for the advancement of UAS technology. Schumer successfully delivered this funding via an $808k grant to the Griffis Test Site and the NUAIR Alliance, allowing upstate New York to continue to be a world leader in the emerging field of UAS Testing for development and commercial deployment. (AB/AN/JN – if you search your inbox for Calhoun Analytics, from March 30, 2020, you’ll find the thread on the award.)
WESTERN NEW YORK
Delivered Nearly $160M For Erie County Covid-19 Response: As part of the CARES Act, Senator Schumer negotiated desperately needed aid to local governments like Erie County, delivering more than $159M in funding to cover the cost of the county’s Covid-19 related expenditures. This funding has allowed the county to help offset the cost of municipal response efforts as well as upgrade their preparedness and response efforts for future spikes. These federal funds have also allowed Erie County to provide new relief assistance to local businesses.
Successfully Fought For USACE Funding To Research Harmful Algal Blooms At Chautauqua Lake And Keep Western NY Economy Afloat: Following his push for more Harmful Algal Bloom funding in the FY 20 Appropriations Package, Schumer called on the research division of the Army Corps to spend a portion of that funding on ways to prevent and eliminate harmful algal blooms in New York, specifically Lake Chautauqua. Harmful Algal Blooms can be toxic to pets and humans and limit the number of recreation days for residents and visitors to enjoy—thereby also limiting tourism spending, a key component in the local economy. The Corps heeded his call and in late August 2020, they successfully launched a pilot program to begin testing and research at Lake Chautauqua. Schumer continues to push for renewed HABs funding in the FY21 appropriations omnibus so that the Lake Chautauqua pilot can be taken to full-scale in the coming years.
Secured $16 Million For CUBRC To Construct A State-Of-The-Art Long-Duration Testing Facility: The funding will continue to boost the Western New York economy and will support the state-of-the-art complex to continue to compete with international competitors like Russia and China in performing hypervelocity weapons systems tests. The $16 million DoD award will enable CUBRC to further upgrade capabilities in Buffalo and construct new capabilities, enabling CUBRC to continue to support good-paying high-tech jobs in Western New York.
Secured Over $100M In Funding For Now-Completed Job-Boosting WNY Construction Projects: Senator Schumer’s tireless efforts to securing federal funding for important projects across Western New York culminated in the completion of two major projects in 2020. First, the Athol Springs Break Wall along Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg was recently completed, allowing a safer winter commute for drivers along the traditionally icy and wind-blown thoroughfare. Senator Schumer was also instrumental in facilitating the modernization project at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge Plaza. The second phase of a the project, featuring a state-of-the-art processing facility, was opened in mid-October.
Successfully Advocated For Buffalo To Host The Toronto Blue Jays: The continued closure of the border between the United States and Canada to all non-essential personnel left the Toronto Blue Jays unable to host home games at Rogers Center in Toronto during the abbreviated 2020 Major League season. Senator Schumer was relentless in his advocacy for Rich Baseball Operations and the City of Buffalo to host the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field, home of the AAA Blue Jays affiliated Bisons. After his push, the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball made Buffalo their home and brought Major League Baseball games back to the city for the first time since 1915.
Secured New Red Wings Baseball MLB Affiliate Washington Nationals To Preserve Triple-A Baseball In Rochester: Earlier this month, Senator Schumer made personal calls to MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred and the Washington Nationals to secure a commitment that the Nats would be choosing the Red Wings as their new Minor League Affiliate Team.
Secured Over $129m For Monroe County: In negotiations for the CARES Act, Senator Schumer made it a priority to allow localities to use the funding to cover COVID Pandemic response costs, sparing local taxpayers from shouldering the bill. In Monroe County, funds have been used to cover PPE expenses, business support grants to keep small and minority-owned businesses open, frontline worker hazard pay, provide direct rent assistance to tenants and landlords to prevent evictions, job training for new healthcare workers, payments to municipalities, and more.
Secured $4.5 Million In Federal Funding For The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers (USACE) To Repair And Rebuild The Battered Charles Point Barrier Beach Breakwall: Homes along the Charles Point bluff have been at risk of falling into the lake as the barrier meant to prevent lake water from reaching the homes has been broken. Following Schumer’s push for funding the repair the breakwall, $4.5 million in funding was secured and construction began this summer to help protect homeowners along the Bay from threat of further damage.
Senator Schumer Fought To Secure A Level Playing Field For L3Harris To Compete And Ultimately Secure A $95 Million Order To Produce Innovative MANPACK Radios For The U.S. Army In Rochester: This is the third order of radios that L3Harris will produce under the Army’s $12.7 billion Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) HMS Manpack radio contract. Senator had long pushed to ensure a full and fair Army procurement process for the Manpack radio to ensure that companies like L3Harris would have an even playing field to compete.
Saved Minor League Baseball And Secured Class AA Affiliation For Rumble Ponies In Binghamton: Senator Schumer fought tooth and nail to preserve the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. After working for over a year to save the team, the senator announced earlier this month that the Mets had chosen to continue their affiliation with the Rumble Ponies and that the team would remain a Class AA affiliate. Last November, after hearing that MLB proposed plans to form a new league that would mean the reassignment of four teams across New York state, including the Rumble Ponies, Schumer sprang into action to keep baseball in Binghamton, writing to MLB to express his concerns about the proposal and urging the league sit down with local stakeholders to work out a plan that would maintain minor league baseball’s strong presence in Upstate New York. Last December, the senator personally met with MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred in New York City to once again urge him to keep the Rumble Ponies in Binghamton. Additionally, in February of this year, Schumer invited MLB and Mets top brass to tour NYSEG Stadium with him and hear directly from stakeholders themselves. Even after touring the stadium, Senator Schumer continued to push for the Rumble Ponies in numerous calls with Commissioner Manfred and Mets’ ownership, ultimately securing their commitments to preserve the Rumble Ponies and their Mets affiliation.
Delivered $204 Million To Corning Inc. To Substantially Expand Manufacturing For Accelerated Production Of Valor® Glass Vials For Secure Delivery Of Future COVID-19 Vaccine And Doubling Employment Of Horseheads Facility: In the CARES Act negotiations, Senator Schumer successfully fought to increase the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) budget to $7.1B enabling the award of millions of critical funding to entities prepared to support the urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, $204M of this vital federal funding was awarded to Corning Inc. to jumpstart production of their Valor® Glass vials that will be used for the rapid production and secure delivery of an upcoming coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and other critical drugs. Corning’s Valor® Glass is engineered to resist damage, prevent cracks, and includes a revolutionary coating that enables vials to speed through pharmaceutical filling lines. In addition, this federal investment will lead to doubling the employment at Corning Inc.’s Horsehead facility in Chemung County.
Secured Close To $750,000 For Prattsburgh Wastewater Business District Project: After calling for federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding to support Prattsburgh’s Business District Wastewater Project late last year, in May of this year, the EDA awarded the Town of Prattsburgh with $748,500 to build a wastewater collection, over 1,000 feet of wastewater collection sewer lines, manholes, a pump station, and allow for further improvements to the facility’s treatment capacity collection system. This EDA funding was combined with an additional $200,000 federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant award. The project will secure sustainability for 11 existing businesses, support the creation of 15 new jobs, help retain 63 existing jobs, leverage $700,000 in private investment, and encourage the re-occupancy of empty commercial space in Prattsburgh’s Business District.
Secured Over $1.5M In Federal Funds To Start Critical Broadband Project To Bring High-Speed Internet To Counties Across The Southern Tier: After calling for the Economic Development Administration to provide additional funds to match an award from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Schumer secured the full $1,552,593 to revitalize the Southern Tier Network, Inc. (STN) in Corning’s High Speed Network. The EDA contribution provided the final piece of funding needed to begin the project which will support business development, economic growth, and new jobs throughout the region.
Kept Amtrak Growth On Track In Hornell With Permit Approval For Next Gen High-Speed Trainset: After Alstom’s Hornell facility completed construction of the latest Next Gen High-Speed Amtrak Trainsets, Schumer successfully called on the FRA to approve the permit need to move the trainset to FRA’s test track in Pueblo, Colorado. The FRA heeded his call and is now underway with testing the new trainsets. Once testing is complete, the trainsets can be fully-produced and placed into Amtrak service.
Successfully Secured Over $168M In COVID Relief For Westchester County: In his CARES Act negotiations, Senator Schumer prioritized securing federal funding for Westchester County, one of the nations’ first hotspots for COVID-19, and the County has used funds thus far to cover additional PPE and personnel costs, implement grant programs for struggling small businesses and nonprofits, create programs to bridge the technology gap for K-12 students, and more.
Successfully Pushed For Final Expanded Site Investigation At Stewart Air National Guard Base: Through his nonstop advocacy, Senator Schumer successfully pushed the Department of Defense (DoD) to finalize its Expanded Site Investigation (ESI) at Stewart Air National Guard Base (SANGB) this fall. The ESI is required in moving SANGB forward to the next phase of the DoD environmental remediation process, which is needed to clean up the Air National Guard’s (ANG) PFAS contamination on base and its surrounding communities in Newburgh and New Windsor. Schumer also worked tirelessly to bring the Schumer-secured interim filtration device on Recreation Pond online to stop the flow of PFAS off base.
Delivered The $11.5M Needed To Hire 30 Additional Firefighters In The City Of Yonkers: After supporting the City of Yonkers Fire Department in their efforts to cut overtime costs by hiring 30 new firefighters, in September, Senator Schumer announced that he successfully secured over $11,580,930 in federal funding for the City of Yonkers Fire Department to hire 30 additional firefighters. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program.
Secured Over $5.8 M To Protect Residents From Exposure To Arsenic-Contaminated Soil At The Kent Arsenic Mine Superfund Site In Putnam County: After learning from residents that bureaucratic hurdles could further delay the prompt cleanup of the Kent Arsenic Mine in Putnam County, Senator Schumer stepped in and cut through the red tape by contacting various state and federal agencies to secure the funding needed to protect residents from exposure to arsenic-contaminated soil at the Schumer-secured EPA Superfund site. In late September, Schumer secured over $5.8M from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with New York State, to begin the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) efforts to offer to acquire certain properties and permanently relocate impacted residents at their request.
Locked-In Over $30.4M To Improve Historic Hyde Park National Sites: Hyde Park is the home of Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Sites, which comprises over 1,000 acres of historic land that had accumulated over $30.4 million of deferred maintenance over the years. This past August, Schumer stepped in and secured the $30.4 million federal investment needed to properly upkeep Dutchess County’s iconic national historic sites which are key to tourism, acting as an economic engine for Hyde Park and its surrounding area.
Successfully Passed The National Purple Heart Honor Mission Commemorative Coin Act In U.S. Senate To Benefit Orange County’s National Purple Heart Honor Mission: Senator Schumer introduced the bipartisan National Purple Heart Honor Mission Commemorative Coin Act last Veteran’s Day, and this November announced its Senate passage. The legislation will require the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and 50¢ clad coins in 2022, commemorating our nation’s Purple Heart recipients. All proceeds from the sale of the coins will contribute to the Orange County-based National Purple Heart Honor Mission, located in New Windsor, New York.
Secured Over $3.2M For Economic Development In The Town Of Cortlandt Ahead Of Indian Point’s Impending 2021 Closure: Senator Schumer locked in over $3.2 million in federal funds for the Town of Cortlandt to boost economic activity in the Lower Hudson Valley when the Indian Point nuclear power plant shuts down in April 2021. This funding comes from a new program housed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) that Schumer helped create to assist communities, like those surrounding Indian Point, offset the devastating economic impacts of a closing nuclear power plant.
Ensured Funding To Deepen The Port Of Ogdensburg Remained Locked-In Place After Project Delay: In 2017, Senator Schumer secured funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to deepen the Ogdensburg Harbor and create new economic opportunities for the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA). However the federal funds were in jeopardy as the project was delayed while OBPA sought additional funds to complete the project. In 2020, Senator Schumer worked with USACE keep the federal funding in place while OBPA successfully secured additional funding. The long-delayed project will finally begin this year and lead to increased commerce at the Port of Ogdensburg.
Secured Over $4 Million For Economic Development Projects Across The Northern Border: Senator Schumer secured $4,499,626 in federal funding for eight projects aimed at improving the economy in Northern New York. The funding was allocated through the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment Program to support infrastructure projects and other initiatives that create jobs, support infrastructure, and strengthen the economy in the city of Troy Warren, Washington, Sullivan, St. Lawrence, and Herkimer Counties, Tupper Lake, Town of Essex, and North Country Community College.
Delivered Historic $2.6 Billion Federal Investment To Construct World First Electron Ion Collider At Brookhaven National Lab On Long Island: The Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) is a proposed machine that would allow scientists to look inside the building blocks of an atom. In 2018 Senator Schumer, a long time benefactor of BNL, urged the Department of Energy to construct a U.S.-based EIC after a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published a report urging immediate action to advance fundamental research into nuclear physics as a national security interest. Sen. Schumer spearheaded Congressional commitment to advancing scientific research by using his role as Democratic Leader to ensure that DOE had enough funding to advance the construction of an EIC to the solicitation phase. DOE issued a request for proposals for construction of the EIC triggering a competition between BNL and Jefferson Laboratory (JLab). Senator Schumer successfully made the case to DOE that BNL’s track record in constructing large user facilities of national significance like the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) made them the ideal choice for the EIC. In early 2020, DOE announced that it had chosen BNL’s proposal and would begin the process of providing funds to BNL beginning the design phase of this $2.6 billion atom smasher.
Steered Course Correction By U.S. Navy To Proactively Clean Up The Toxic Grumman Plume; Secured Navy Commitment To Finally Intercept Ever Expanding Plume After 20 Year Fight: The Navy-Grumman Plume is a 3,000+ acre mass of volatile organic compounds (VOC) emanating from the former Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) and Grumman facilities in Bethpage which specialized in aviation, weapons and space exploration manufacturing from the 1930s to 1998. Schumer long championed the position that the state and the Navy should be working to “hydraulically contain” and remove the ever expanding plume from Long Island’s sole source aquifer rather than focusing on its practice of “wellhead treatment” which addressed the problem on the surface but ignored the swiftly metastasizing chemicals underneath. For twenty years Senator Schumer advanced the ball by pushing the United States Geological Survey and later, the Navy to fully map the plume through federal legislation. With this new data secured by Senator Schumer, state health regulators realized that containment was possible and began working on a plan to contain the plume. At first recalcitrant, after Schumer’s urging, the Navy began to work with the state on a plan to try to contain the ever expanding plume. In late 2020, Navy announced that they had developed a plan to intercept migrating plume, Navy would construct extraction wells along the Southern State Parkway to intercept plume before it reaches south shore communities like Massapequa and the Great South Bay.
Landed Department Of Energy National Center For Quantum Information Science At Brookhaven National Lab, Part Of $625 Million Federal Commitment To Quantum Science: Senator Schumer worked tirelessly in Congress to pass The National Quantum Initiative Act which directed the DOE to establish at least three national centers for the purpose of advancing the United States’ knowledge in the field of Quantum Information Science (QIS). In 2019, after passage of the act, Schumer worked directly with the DOE Secretary to ensure Congress adequately funded DOE to swiftly establish the National QIS Centers while simultaneously urging him to consider BNL as one of the three sites based off of their achievements in advancing our knowledge of QIS. In early 2020, DOE announced up to $625 million over five years to fund five Quantum Research Centers including the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage at Brookhaven National Labs.
Sounded The Alarm On Vital Equipment Taken Off Fire Island Post-Sandy Project And Moved To Project One-Mile From Mar-A-Lago: Schumer has long-fought for federal funding to shore up costal storm protections for communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy, including the Fire Island and Moriches Inlet project off of Long Island. Part-way through the construction work to replenish beaches this year and protect residents from future storm threats, the vitally needed dredging equipment—one of just a handful off the Atlantic Coast—was pulled off the project to complete another beach dredging project at Midtown Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida—a beach that already has a sea wall and sits just a mile from Mar-A-Lago—before turtle nesting season. Schumer called for an explanation of the decision and commitment that the dredging ship would return to Long Island on time to complete its New York work. After sounding the alarm and staying on top of the Army Corps in subsequent months, the dredge was returned to Long Island on time to resume its emergency coastal protection work.