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Rep. Lawler holds special Hudson Valley hearing on housing crisis

February 23, 2024

News12
By Ben Nandy

Video available here

For the first time in several years, a congressional hearing was held in Rockland County to tackle a common hardship among New Yorkers: the housing crisis.

Rep. Mike Lawler and two colleagues from the U.S. House Financial Services committee convened researchers, Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny and housing attorney Leah Goodridge Thursday morning in the county’s legislative chambers.

Lawler and some witnesses agreed that some of the best ways to ease the housing crunch long-term include tax relief for developers to build more housing and creative zoning changes to allow additional dwellings to be built onto homes and businesses.

One zoning change Lawler floated was transit oriented districts, which allow for more homes and businesses near bus and train stations.

“We actually, under the prior supervisor, looked at the potential of a TOD in Pearl River, where I live, in part to help beautify the downtown district and incentivize property owners to reface the buildings,” said Lawler. “Potentially they could add on apartments on top of their existing commercial property.”

Depending on the municipality, overhauling a zoning code, approving new projects and then waiting for them to be built could be a yearslong process.

Witness Leah Goodridge, a housing attorney with nonprofit Mobilization for Justice, told the lawmakers that while long-term strategies are worked out, local officials must also find ways to keep renters from being priced out of their homes. She mentioned a client who she says would have been saved by rent stabilization.

Rent stabilization is a policy adopted in New York City and Newburgh that allows a city-sponsored board to limit yearly rent increases.

“I talked about my client, ‘Ms. P’ and the fact that she’s lived in a private, unregulated apartment, and now she’s facing eviction after living there for seven years,” Goodridge said in an interview after the hearing.

Daniel Eudene, of Catholic Charities of Rockland County, agreed there must be stopgaps, such as rent stabilization in certain communities, to prevent displacement in a tight housing market.

“The dollar amounts of people’s rents have gone through the roof,” Eudene said in a Zoom interview Thursday afternoon.

Eudene said he has worked with some lower-income families who have seen their rents increase from about $2,000 a month in 2019 to $4,000 a month in 2024.

“I don’t know what the community’s temperament might be for some level of rent controls, but to me, it’s an issue because I see it right in front of me,” he said.

Lawler said afterward that rent stabilization may have a place in some communities, should their leaders approve it, but also that the state and federal governments must give those communities freedom to attack the housing crisis how they see fit.

Lawler said that blanket government policies, laws and programs may derail some municipalities’ attempts to shape their communities.

Lawler made special mention of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s 2023 proposal to compel municipalities to rezone areas near transit hubs and require them to increase housing stock by 3% within three years.

The proposal, called the Housing Compact, did not make it into the governor’s budget last year and did not gain significant support as standalone legislation.

The Housing Compact would have included a $250 million fund to improve infrastructure as housing increased.

Lawler said the plan did not account enough for the overhauls to drainage, water, bridge and road systems that would be necessary to accommodate such an increase in housing stock.

“When you look at what the governor proposed just in the last two years, there’s a reason there was broad bipartisan opposition to it,” Lawler said. “It’s not because people don’t realize the need for housing. They do. It is because there was no plan to actually address the real infrastructure needs.”

NYC’s migrant crisis highlights the ‘ineptitude’ of the city’s leadership: Rep. Mike Lawler

February 11, 2024

Fox & Friends Weekend

Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., argues that the problems emerging from the U.S.’s border crisis have highlighted Democrats’ flawed approach to immigration policy on ‘Fox & Friends Weekend.’

NYC Housing Authority Employees Arrested

February 9, 2024

Rockland County Times
By Joe Kuhn

Dozens of employees of the New York City Housing Authority were arrested this week in what Damian Willams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, described as one of the largest bribery take down’s in the history of the U.S. Justice Department.

Those arrested stand accused of accepting cash payments in exchange for awarding NYCHA contracts for a over a decade, the federal investigation spanning alleged criminal behavior that occurred between 2013 and 2023.

As the justice department prepares to prosecute more than 60 members of the NYCHA, U.S. Congressman and Rockland representative Mike Lawler (R) took a moment to tout legislation that he had proposed before the crackdown, which would add new tools for the inspection of the NYCHA. In an act of vindication, Lawler shared the following statement with the Rockland Times:

For years, I have railed against NYCHA for corruption, mismanagement of funds, and more, and, all of those concerns have come to a head,.With the arrests of over 60 NYCHA employees for their participation in an alleged pay-to-play scheme, it’s clear that the entire authority must be investigated to ensure this corruption doesn’t run deeper.”

“That’s exactly why I introduced the Accountability for NYCHA Act, H.R.6550, which would require the Inspector General of HUD to provide a report to Congress on NYCHA and their activities to ensure they are in compliance with prior federal agreements.

This is all the more critical at this moment, to help prevent additional public corruption from one of the most corrupt public authorities in America which oversees a multi-billion dollar budget.

“With hundreds of buildings and potentially tens of thousands of New York City residents being put at risk by the NYCHA employees who were arrested, it’s imperative we advance the Accountability for NYCHA Act expeditiously,” concluded Congressman Lawler.

“Tackling public corruption and ensuring NYCHA residents aren’t living in squalor should be a bipartisan effort supported by all of New York’s Congressional delegation.”

‘Armenian Protection Act’ Bill Seeks to Stop Military Aid to Azerbaijan

February 9, 2024

Asbarez

WASHINGTON – Congressman Michael Lawler (R-NY) joined with a bipartisan group of Armenian Caucus colleagues in introducing the “Armenian Protection Act” (H.R.7288) – a bill, strongly supported by the Armenian National Committee of America, aimed at stopping U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan. Its Senate counterpart (S.3000), spearheaded by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), was adopted unanimously last year.

The ANCA has launched a nationwide grassroots action campaign –  anca.org/Lawler – to expand Congressional support and fast-track consideration of the Armenian Protection Act (H.R.7288).

Representative Lawler co-authored this legislation with Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and fellow first-term legislator Gabe Amo (D-RI). If and when adopted and enacted into law, the Lawler-Pallone-Bilirakis-Amo Bill will tighten the existing statute restricting U.S. aid to Azerbaijan – Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act – substantively limiting the authority of the President to waive its full enforcement.

“For decades U.S. Presidents have recklessly waived statutory restrictions on military aid to Azerbaijan’s authoritarian regime – materially aiding and morally emboldening both its 2023 ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh and its ongoing illegal occupation of Armenian territory,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We thank Representatives Lawler, Pallone, Bilirakis, and Amo for their principled leadership in restoring long-overdue Congressional oversight of military assistance to Azerbaijan. We stand behind this and other legislative initiatives – from Section 907 and 502B-related measures to Magnitsky and Leahy sanctions – to hold Azerbaijan’s Aliyev regime accountable for its violations of international law,” concluded Hamparian.

Rep. Lawler, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was adamant about the need for clear Biden Administration action to stop bolstering Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian attacks. “Over 100,000 Armenians were targeted, abused, and displaced by the Government of Azerbaijan when they fled Nagorno-Karabakh in recent months,” explained Rep. Lawler. “There is no question of Azerbaijan’s aggression, yet President Biden continues to turn a blind eye.” He continued to note that “It’s simply unacceptable for the U.S. to be funding Azerbaijan’s campaign against the Armenian people. The Armenian Protection Act will put a stop to the Biden Administration’s funding of Azerbaijan’s authoritarian regime and desire for regional dominance.”

Rep. Pallone stressed the need for Azerbaijani accountability for the genocide against Artsakh’s indigenous Armenian population. “President Aliyev broke international law when he ordered his deadly assault of Artsakh last September and still has not faced any meaningful consequences from the international community. World leaders failed to stop his genocidal campaign that has displaced 120,000 Armenians from their historic homeland even though his belligerent rhetoric and troop movements made it clear an attack was imminent,” stated Rep. Pallone. “It’s far past time for the United States and our allies to take serious actions that will prevent even more death and destruction at the hands of Aliyev and provide the safety and security in the region that Armenia needs to thrive as a democracy. The Armenian Protection Act will finally hold the Aliyev regime accountable, halt any further U.S. security assistance until they end their destabilizing actions in the region, and require proof that they can be a trustworthy party in peace negotiations moving forward. I call upon House leadership to take up this commonsense legislation and pass it immediately.”

Rep. Bilirakis stressed the importance of passing the measure. “Given the political and humanitarian crisis that has resulted from Azerbaijan’s recent aggression toward neighboring Armenia, it is unconscionable that U.S. tax dollars are going to support this brutal regime. Those dollars could better be used here at home,” said Rep. Bilirakis.

“We must send a clear message to the Government of Azerbaijan and our partners around the globe that the United States will not stand for unprovoked attacks on the Armenian people,” said Congressman Amo, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We cannot allow the Government of Azerbaijan to get a free pass for their brutal military aggression and blockades against the ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation to show that the United States stands with the people of Armenia and will not accept Azerbaijan’s assault on Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Both Presidents Trump and Biden – counter to the spirit and letter of Section 907 – chose to materially arm and morally embolden Azerbaijan’s aggression and eventual genocide against the indigenous Armenian Christians of Artsakh. The Lawler-Pallone-Bilirakis-Amo Bill will – by reaffirming this statute – help restore the Constitutional role of Congress in setting U.S. military aid policy and ensuring appropriate oversight and accountability of U.S. security and military assistance programs.

Welcome to New York. That’ll Be 100 Bucks

February 1, 2024

Opinion | WSJ
By Mike Lawler and Josh Gottheimer

Traffic in Manhattan, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2023. PHOTO: YUKI IWAMURA/BLOOMBERG NEWS

We are from different states and political parties. Our views on issues vary widely. But on at least one thing, we passionately agree: New York’s “congestion pricing” plan for Midtown Manhattan, scheduled to begin later this year, is a greedy and unnecessary cash grab. It’s a slap in the face to hardworking families, small-business owners and commuters who want to put food on their family tables. It should be repealed, root and branch.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs public transportation in New York, stands to benefit from the revenue generated by congestion pricing. If the agency has its way, drivers entering Manhattan south of 60th Street will pay a daily driving tax of $15—nearly $4,000 a year—if they have an E-ZPass account. Those without one will be billed $22.50 a day by mail.

New York being New York, it doesn’t stop there. The MTA has unilateral authority to declare “Gridlock Alert Days” whenever it needs to line its pockets more, which will add 25% surge pricing to the daily invoice. The state has also reserved the authority to raise the congestion tax by 10% in 2024, its very first year.

For drivers entering the city from New Jersey and suburban Rockland County, N.Y., the congestion tax is a looming nightmare. Drivers will pay as much as $24.75 a day on top of the $17-a-day bridge and tunnel tolls, plus the cost of gasoline and parking. A single trip into the city could easily cost families $100 before they even get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. New York is ostensibly trying to get workers to return to the office and diners, viewers and shoppers back into Manhattan restaurants, theaters and retail stores. Good luck with that.

To add insult to injury, the state disingenuously marketed the tax to the public. We were told it would stop gridlock. It won’t. We were told it would improve air quality. In fact, it will make it worse for hundreds of thousands of drivers and adjacent neighborhoods. We were told the MTA—the worst-run transportation agency in America—needs the money as leverage for more borrowing.

The MTA would be flush with cash if it were even moderately well run. The agency, which loses more than $700 million annually in unpaid fares, was flooded with billions of federal Covid-19 recovery dollars in recent years. Much of that money has been swallowed up by historic cost overruns. We just learned that another $1 billion will be wasted to build unnecessarily large Second Avenue subway stations—much of which the public will never see.

Notably, $1 billion is exactly what the MTA claims the congestion tax will produce in revenue during its first year. But its math is wrong. According to an analysis performed by Mr. Gottheimer’s office, the agency will actually collect $3.4 billion annually from drivers.

The MTA’s own assessments describe how the congestion tax will increase traffic in many New York and New Jersey neighborhoods and reroute carbon-belching truck traffic into low-income communities that already suffer from some of the highest asthma rates in the nation. A January 2023 study by the Black Institute titled “Just Call It a Black and Brown Toll” showed how the congestion tax will disproportionately affect inner-city communities. Their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

The MTA’s most egregious sin continues to be its blatant, thoughtless disregard for how it uses taxpayer money. The agency is always crying broke, but it never fixes what’s wrong. The Second Avenue subway cost New Yorkers $4.45 billion for two miles of track—$1.26 million a yard. The congestion tax is much the same: a shameless cash grab. After decades of overspending, incompetence and mismanagement, the MTA should focus on cleaning up its own mess. Hardworking families shouldn’t be forced to subsidize failure.

Mr. Lawler, a Republican, represents New York’s 17th Congressional District. Mr. Gottheimer, a Democrat, represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District.

New York Republican calls on Hochul, Adams to denounce Biden’s border policy amid migrant crisis in Big Apple

February 1, 2024

‘They need to demand the president secure the border,’ Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., told Fox News Digital

FoxNews
By Kyle Morris

Amid the migrant crisis in the Big Apple, one New York House Republican is calling for state and local leaders in the Empire State to strongly denounce the Biden administration’s immigration policies as conditions at the southern border continue to deteriorate.

New York GOP Rep. Mike Lawler, whose district has been forced to deal with the massive influx of migrants in New York City, told Fox News Digital that now is the time for New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul to speak out against President Biden’s blatant disregard for stronger border security measures.

Lawler, who represents New York’s 17th Congressional District, said the ongoing situation in New York City is a result of policies offered or supported by both Adams and Hochul.

“Both of them need to be voicing support for the fact that we need to enforce our laws,” he said. “We need to secure our border. We need to stop this massive influx of illegal immigration. They are bearing the consequences of their policy decisions, but also that of President Biden and his administration’s failure to enforce the law.”

“It’s costing the state and the city billions of dollars every year to deal with this migrant crisis,” he added. “So, it’s illogical not to demand action at the root cause of it, which is our porous southern border.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began bussing migrants to New York City and other sanctuary jurisdictions last year. Abbott’s office has said it has sent around 27,000 migrants to New York City and has done so to relieve pressure on besieged border communities.

A handful of migrants expressed to one local outlet this month that they are aggravated with their taxpayer-funded living arrangements in the Big Apple, insisting that their living situation at the time differed immensely from that which they were allegedly promised.

“They told me that we would have a decent place to live. They told me I’d have support finding work. They told me I’d have support with my children. Those were lies,” Yenifer Vargas, the mother of three, told ABC 7.

While it is unclear who allegedly promised support for Vargas, the mother of three said the shelter she and her family had been living in — the so-called “tent city” at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field — was not a “decent place” for her children.

Like Vargas, Ayimar Araque told the outlet she also has struggled to apply for work authorization and complete certain casework because she cannot reach anyone by phone.

“I’m given a phone number that I’m supposed to call, but I get an answering machine,” she said at the time.

Asked about those comments, Lawler said he believes the “crisis of their own making” has been “handled horribly by the state and the city.”

Pointing to the city’s decision to move migrants from that shelter to a nearby high school and force the students there into remote learning, as well as the costs of health care, food and education, Lawler said the city has “mismanaged” the crisis.

“It stems from their failed policies. Change your policies. Stop this sanctuary city nonsense. Start cooperating with ICE. Stop this interpretation of the right to shelter to mean that illegal immigrants are entitled to housing at taxpayer expense,” said Lawler, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“They need to stand up to the president and not demand more money, not demand work authorizations,” he added. “They need to demand the president secure the border.”

Echoing the sentiments shared by Lawler, House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, told Fox News Digital Hochul and other Democrats in the state have seemingly welcomed the migrants to the state through their support for certain policies.

“Kathy Hochul and radical New York Democrats have incentivized the raging illegal and border crisis plaguing New York,” she said. “Illegal immigrants continue to arrive in New York state in record numbers, attracted by far left Albany Democrats’ failed open border and sanctuary state policies, overwhelming resources and costing New York taxpayers an additional $2.4 billion in 2025.

“Enough is enough,” she added.

Abbott claimed Monday that President Biden is in violation of federal law because he refuses to enforce immigration statutes already on the books, adding that Biden is giving “mass parole” to foreign nationals who illegally enter the United States.

Abbott told “Hannity” Monday evening both members of the Border Patrol and the Border Patrol Council, its union apparatus, have told Texas officials they side with them when it comes to the controversy over the construction of razor wire at a state-owned park along the border at Eagle Pass.

“They want to have nothing to do with regard to tearing down that razor wire or tearing down the barriers that Texas has erected for one simple reason. And that’s because they are working,” Abbott said.

“Border patrol says that what Texas has done to secure the border actually makes their job even easier. The only resistance we’re facing is coming from Joe Biden.”

Fox News’ Charles Creitz contributed to this report.

Married Couples to Receive Thousands Under New Tax Break

January 31, 2024

Newsweek
By Giulia Carbonaro

After an unexpected revolt from New York House Republican moderates earlier this week, a tax cut bill for married households filing a tax return jointly is set to be discussed in the chamber in the coming days, according to reports.

A group of four New York House Republicans held up a procedural vote on unrelated bills on Tuesday as a warning shot against the GOP for failing to include a reform of SALT—the federal deduction for state and local taxes—in a bipartisan tax package set to expand the child tax credit and restore some tax breaks for businesses.

During his 2017 tax overhaul, Donald Trump imposed a $10,000 SALT cap, which the rebelling New York House Republicans said disproportionately hurt taxpayers in blue states—where property and state income taxes are higher than elsewhere.

Using a method that has been tried and tested by hardliners in the GOP, Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, Andrew Garbarino and Mike Lawler threatened to block legislative action over an enhancement of SALT—reportedly obtaining reassurance from their party an amendment to the bill will be discussed in the coming days.

Commenting on this concession, Lawler, one of the four rebelling House Republicans, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “I look forward to the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act coming to the floor and passing the House. Upon its passage, Senator Schumer must move it through the Senate asap. The hard-working taxpayers of #NY17 deserve nothing less.”

On Wednesday night, LaLota wrote on the social media platform: “I promised Long Islanders I would fight tooth and nail for SALT relief and vote against this year’s tax bill if it didn’t have a reasonable amount of SALT in it. Tonight I fulfilled that promise by voting against the Wyden-Smith tax bill.”

He added: “Thankfully, the fight for SALT isn’t over. Tonight I helped introduce the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act, which would raise the joint filing deduction to 20k and ensure that we keep our promise to push pro-family and tax-cutting bills. Speaker Johnson has pledged to allow this bill to come to the floor next week. Stay tuned!”

Newsweek called the offices of LaLota, D’Esposito, Garbarino and Lawler on Thursday morning outside standard working hours and is awaiting a response.

According to the change to the bill obtained by the New York House Republicans, as shown in the redacted text posted by journalist Laura Weiss on X, the deduction cap for married couples could be increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

This is valid “in the case of a joint return for a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2022, and before January 1, 2024, if the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for such a taxable year is less than £500,000.” Having the amendment backdated to December 31, 2022 means that the change would apply to married households for all of last year.

Weiss wrote that it “is a very limited, temporary deduction increase for married couples.” Weiss said that a source stated a meeting over the SALT bill should take place on Thursday morning.

As per anonymous sources quoted by The Hill, Congress should meet to discuss a SALT-related bill in the coming days. The same sources believe the bill will reach the chamber under a rule rather than a fast-track suspension process.

Rollcall.com wrote that a floor vote on changes to SALT might come “as soon as next week.”

After making this concession to the four New York House Republicans, the House passed the $78 billion bipartisan tax bill—the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act—on Wednesday evening with a 357 to 70 vote. It’s unclear whether the bill will pass so smoothly through the Senate.

The business and tax credit changes would last until the end of 2025, when the bulk of the tax cuts contained in the 2017 overhaul expires.

GOP Rep. Lawler: Biden Needs to Push Senate on Sanctioning Iranian Oil

January 30, 2024

Breitbart
By IAN HANCHETT

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America Reports,” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) urged President Joe Biden to push for the Senate to finally act on legislation to crack down on Iranian oil sales to China.

Lawler stated, [relevant remarks begin around 1:40] “Well, look, to me, we are in the most precarious situation since World War II, and I think the unholy alliance between China, Russia, and Iran has come into full view. China is the biggest purchaser of Iranian petroleum. The illicit sale of Iranian petroleum is what is funding Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other terrorist organizations, including those that just took the lives of three servicemembers. Since October 7, there have been over 150 attacks on U.S. military bases and personnel. The administration needs to take serious and severe action against Iran, including moving our bill through the Senate and signing it into law. We passed this bill, a bipartisan bill, through the House in the aftermath of October 7. The Senate has refused to move it. They need to act, and we have called on the administration to push for this bill to come forward. We need to crack down on the illicit funds that are funding terrorism, including the attacks that just took the lives of three servicemembers. There needs to be a military response, yes, there needs to be a diplomatic response, yes, but we need to cut off the funding at its head.”

Congressman Lawler introduces bill to improve soil health on farms

January 28, 2024

Mid Hudson News

WASHINGTON DC- Congressman Mike Lawler (R, NY-17) has introduced the Innovative Practices for Soil Health Act, legislation to improve soil health on farms and support sustainable alternatives to annual agriculture by improving federal conservation programs to ensure they are better able to support farmers who incorporate perennial systems and agroforestry into their operations.

The bill, which is supported by several House Democrats, would make improvements to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP); increasing technical assistance for farmers installing perennial systems; and designating four national and regional agroforestry centers.

Annual crops and monoculture cropping, common in farming, require tilling which disrupts the natural soil structure and can lead to increased erosion and a reliance on harmful fertilizers and pesticides.  Perennial and agroforestry systems require less soil disturbance improving soil structure, preventing erosion, increasing ecosystem nutrient retention, and promoting carbon sequestration.

“By supporting farmers in the utilization of perennial systems and agroforestry, the Innovative Practices for Soil Health Act encourages healthy soil management – improving overall farm productivity and stimulating microbial life,” said Lawler.“This is a win for farmers, a win for the environment, and a win for American families.”

Environmental groups, including Carbon 180, have come out in support of the bill.

This bill could unlock critical incentives for farmers and ranchers to implement carbon-storing practices like agroforestry and perennial systems,” said Carbon180 Deputy Director of Policy Cristel Zoebisch.  “By making targeted changes to federal conservation programs and expanding technical assistance for innovative, climate-friendly production systems, this bill would equip producers with the tools they need to activate their soils as carbon sinks and bolster resilience to weather extremes.”

Haverstraw Post Office to be Renamed in Memory of Paul Piperato

January 25, 2024

Rockland County Times
By Allison Lax

On the morning of Wednesday, January 24, Congressman Mike Lawler (NY-17) announced his bill to rename the Haverstraw Post Office in honor of former Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato. Piperato, a Haverstraw Democrat who passed away on May 6, 2020 at the age of 61, was well known for his dedication to public service and involvement with civic organizations throughout the county, having also had a state highway and park named after him. Piperato has been remembered for his good nature and compassion.

“Paul Piperato was someone who, though elected as a Democrat, worked across the aisle with all his colleagues in government, showing them respect and decency,” Congressman Lawler said in his opening remarks. “That’s really who he was. He was a man who was well respected by his colleagues, well respected by his community, and beloved by Rockland County. He is missed.”

Piperato’s niece, Alexis Piperato, briefly spoke, thanking Congressman Lawler for taking the initiative on this legislation memorializing her uncle.

“Thank you to everybody that is here today showing your support and to those that took part in making this happen,” said Piperato. “We know many love and miss him every day and having this building named after him is permanent recognition of the impact he had and continues to have on everybody.”

County Executive Ed Day, Rockland Sheriff Lou Falco, Rockland County Clerk Donna Silberman, Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howie Phillips and
Mayor of the Village of Haverstraw also spoke at the short ceremony, echoing the personal and governmental impact Piperato made on Rockland County.

“This post office was built during the Depression, where people had to come together, work together,” noted Supervisor Phillips. “That’s what Paul did. He transcended politics. It wasn’t, ‘This is Democrat, everything is this way and we’re against them.’ It was reaching out, opening doors, creating opportunities, making sure that everybody knew that they were welcome.”

Congressman Lawler explained that before the Haverstraw Post Office can be officially renamed, he must get the consensus of his colleagues in the New York delegation to sign off on the change. They will then push to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote, where it is expected to be passed and signed into law.

“Obviously, this was a life cut short, a life that had a profound impact on this community and this county,” Congressman Lawler concluded. “Paul is someone that is deserving of all the accolades that we could bestow upon him. This is one (bill) from the federal level that I am happy to introduce and fight for its passage so we can come back here to dedicate this building in his name.”