Press Release

Author Archive

CONGRESSMAN LAWLER ENDORSED BY AFFILIATED POLICE ASSOCIATIONS OF WESTCHESTER

March 8, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: [email protected]

Pearl River, NY – 3/8/2024… Today, Congressman Mike Lawler announced the endorsement of the Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester (APA), a coalition of more than 50 law enforcement labor organizations from across Westchester County. The APA of Westchester represents thousands of law enforcement officers in the Hudson Valley.

“The Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester (APA) is proud to once again endorse Congressman Mike Lawler’s candidacy for reelection to NY’s 17th District. With public safety at the forefront of most voters’ minds and with his impeccable record of fighting for law and order, Mike Lawler is the clear choice,” said Keith Olson, President of the APA of Westchester. “The APA looks forward to continuing to work with Congressman Lawler in keeping the 17th District safe.”

“I’m deeply honored to have the endorsement of the APA of Westchester in the race for New York’s 17th District,” stated Congressman Mike Lawler. “There’s only one candidate in this race for Congress who has a track record of bringing back funding for law enforcement and standing up to the radicals in the defund the police movement – and it’s not Mondaire Jones.”

“In Congress, I’ve been proud to support legislation that helps cops in the Hudson Valley secure more affordable housing, lower their taxes, and increase penalties on those who would attack our cops,” Lawler added. “While Mondaire Jones was in Congress, he claimed federal law enforcement officers were waging terror on communities and consistently called for the defunding of the police – his radical views on defunding law enforcement will be made clear to Hudson Valley voters over the next 8 months.”

###

Congressman Lawler secures nearly $36 million of funding for Hudson Valley projects

March 7, 2024

Mid Hudson News

PEARL RIVER- Nearly $36 million of federal funds are bound for projects in the Hudson Valley following the passage of the House appropriations package on Wednesday.  The funds were secured by Congressman Mike Lawler (R, NY-17) and will be distributed to communities across Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.

“I am thrilled to have secured almost $36 million in funding for communities across New York’s 17th District,” Lawler said.  “The projects range from providing clean drinking water for tens of thousands of residents to repairing aging infrastructure and dams to expanding pedestrian safety and accessibility, and this funding will significantly improve the quality of life of residents across the Hudson Valley.”

In Rockland County, $1.2 million will go toward sewer screenings improvement and another $8 million is earmarked for the Town of Ramapo’s Safer Neighborhoods Project.  Also on the docket is a streetscape improvement project in Haverstraw that will receive $800,000 and the Resource Hub for Disadvantaged Children in Rampo which will receive $1.6 million.

Dutchess County will receive support as well, including $2 million for a water supply mitigation project in the Town of East Fishkill and $1 million for the construction of a service along the Route 22 corridor in the Pawling.

Putnam County’s support comes in the form of $2 million for clean water infrastructure in the Town of Carmel, $1.25 million to assist with the Oregon Corners Pump Station Replacement Project in the Town of Putnam Valley.  $7.5 million was also earmarked for the county to develop a comprehensive pedestrian improvement plan, which entails the replacement and installation of sidewalks.  The project’s goal is to in improve accessibility and safety, improve connectedness, and improve ADA compliance.

Westchester County is also slated to receive support for several projects including $1 million for the Annsville Sewers Project in Cortlandt, $1 million for the North State Road Water Main Replacement Project in Ossining, and $2 million for a water main project in Sommers.

“When I took office, I promised Hudson Valley residents that I wouldn’t stop fighting for them and their priorities in Washington, D.C. and this funding is the latest example of keeping that promise,” concluded Lawler, who noted that this year’s community project funding was four times greater than two years ago in the 17th district.

Stop With the Fear Tactics: Republicans Aren’t Cutting My Safety Net

March 5, 2024

Letters | The Examiner News

I get tired of the constant fear tactics we hear in politics. “Republicans are cutting your Social Security!” is a worn-out trope that has little basis in reality.

Our elected Republicans know any attempt to shortchange us is a non-starter. As someone who’s paid into these programs for decades, I expect our leaders to protect these programs so that my own children can one day benefit from them.

Decades of bad budgeting by shortsighted leaders, coupled with the fact that there are fewer and fewer young people paying into the system, has put these programs in jeopardy. Instead of increasing contributions or taking steps to boost youth employment, our leaders are dumping billions into nonprofit organizations that dole out undeserved tax dollars to illegal immigrants, big businesses and the willfully unemployed. They then complain that we’re broke, point the finger at fiscally-prudent conservatives and fundraise off of this smear campaign.

I raised this issue to our congressman when I first met him. Congressman Lawler was crystal clear even then: any proposals to stabilize Social Security and Medicare must protect the lifelong contributors like me.

Unlike our absentee U.S. senators, Lawler isn’t pointing fingers or pulling punches – he’s standing up for those who have paid their fair share. I expect the same of my other elected leaders, and going forward I want to hear less of the blame game and more problem-solving.

Shirley Norton
Cold Spring

Hudson Valley families deserve SALT relief. Congress must deliver

March 2, 2024

Lohud – Opinion
By Mike Lawler

 A cop and a teacher with two small children and a modest home in Yorktown.  

A shop owner and a nurse in Suffern. 

A landscaper and a non-profit executive expecting a first child in Carmel. 

This is what middle class families look like in the Hudson Valley, and many of them are hurting.  

Prior to 2017, married New York couples were able to fully deduct state and local taxes — SALT — from their perennial federal income tax filings. The 2017 SALT revisions, signed into law by then-President Donald Trump, restricted the amount one can deduct to $10,000 for both individuals and married couples, effectively penalizing couples for tying the knot. That’s no small loss for families pinching pennies to get by.  

A recent non-partisan study estimated that amounted to a $1,700 tax increase for local families — on top of what are already the highest taxes in America. 

I promised voters I’d do something about this if elected to Congress, and I’m proud to say that, after months of passionate haranguing, I was able to force through the Rules Committee legislation I authored called “The SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act” (H.R.7160) that would provide a full $20,000 annual deduction for married couples. 

In passing the 2017 SALT deduction changes, politicians in both parties in Washington argued that families living in high tax states, like New York and California, have no right to higher federal deductions than Americans in other states. They reasoned that by penalizing taxpayers in expensive, big-government states, voters feeling the sting would pressure state and local legislators to begin reducing their tax loads. 

Good luck with that in New York, where the Democratic governor and Democratic majority in the Legislature have shown zero willingness to reduce New York’s tax load, only adding to it with outrageous new taxing schemes like the upcoming $15 congestion tax to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street by car. Indeed, Albany hasn’t substantially lowered taxes since former Gov. George Pataki’s personal income tax cut in his first year in office. That was a long, long time ago. 

With near total gridlock in Washington, a common-sense, bipartisan law change over SALT would have pointed the way for other cooperative efforts between the two parties. God knows we need that.  

When I first ran for Congress almost two years ago, I promised voters that I’d call “balls and strikes” in Washington on legislation that could help or hurt my constituents. The SALT deduction inequity for married couples is one of those issues. It doesn’t matter that my Republican colleagues passed the 2017 SALT limitations, or that they were signed into law by a president from my own political party, the revisions were bad for my neighbors, so I need to do something about it, politics be damned. 

I had been hopeful to have enough bipartisan support for this measure to finally reverse the SALT inequity on married New Yorkers. 

But, alas, partisan politics got in the way. 

For years, Democrats, including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, have claimed they’re fighting to lift or repeal the SALT Cap.  

Yet, just like when they controlled the White House, Senate, and House in 2021 and 2022, when Democrats were presented with a real opportunity to provide SALT relief to hundreds of thousands of families across New York State, they balked. Every single New York House Democrat voted no. Why? Because they put politics before the very people they represent with Leader Jeffries making it clear he wouldn’t allow New York Republicans a “win” in an election year. 

So much for wanting to work across party lines to address SALT. 

There are also a number of Republicans in Washington who didn’t support my bill, and they’ve let me know it. Some of them loudly. They erected every possible obstacle to my legislation along the way to kill off this latest attempt at SALT relief which Hudson Valley residents so deserve. 

Shame on both parties — especially as we had all just worked together on a landmark tax bill, which I supported, that greatly expanded the Child Tax Credit and enacted significant small business tax cuts. 

I joined with my Democratic colleague from New Jersey, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, whom I am also working with in opposition to the congestion pricing tax, to lobby for these changes. Gottheimer and I even sent a joint letter to the Ways and Means Committee advocating for this critical tax relief. 

There was a time in Washington when bipartisan efforts like ours were a matter of course. We need to get back to that again. 

But rest assured, I will not be deterred. We will continue to work towards lifting the cap on SALT — which expires in 2025 — and fighting for hard working middle-class New Yorkers and Hudson Valley families that need immediate tax relief. 

Rep. Mike Lawler represents New York’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Rockland County, Putnam County and portions of Westchester and Dutchess counties.

Mike Lawler to Mondaire Jones: Tell us again who’s guilty of “unfathomable cruelty”

February 29, 2024

Lawler challenges Jones to own his radical views and apologize to border patrol & ICE agents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: [email protected]

Pearl River, NY, February 29 – As new details emerge about the brutal attack and murder of Laken Riley in Georgia, by illegal immigrant, Jose Antonio Ibarra, Congressman Mike Lawler today took Mondaire Jones to task for his radical support of open borders, backing of Sanctuary States and Cities, and for his calls to slash funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Lawler also demanded Jones retract, apologize, and answer for his accusations that U.S. Border Patrol agents are guilty of “unfathomable cruelty” against people illegally crossing into the United States, and of his assertions that ICE “terrorizes” illegal immigrants.

“I’ll tell you what ‘unfathomable cruelty’ is, Mondaire – it’s stalking a young woman who just wanted to go for a jog, hunting her down like an animal, and beating her so viciously it disfigured her skull,” said Congressman Lawler.  “That’s what terrorizing someone looks like. That’s what cruelty looks like.”

“If it weren’t for the Biden open border policies that Mondaire Jones wholeheartedly supported during his time in Congress and his embrace of Sanctuary State and City policies – that let Ibarra walk free after his arrest in New York City – Laken Riley would be alive today,” concluded Lawler. “It’s time for Mondaire Jones to answer for his radical and dangerous views and stop playing keyboard warrior on his Twitter/X. His support for extreme policies created the disaster at the Southern Border and Americans are paying the price for it.”

###

Congressman Mike Lawler Reacts to Finalized Congressional Maps in New York

February 28, 2024

Commends State Legislature for largely adopting NYIRC’s bipartisan map

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: [email protected]

Pearl River, NY, February 28 – After the Senate and Assembly having both voted in favor of a final version of New York’s Congressional Map, sending the legislation to Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk, Congressman Mike Lawler released the following statement.

“I was glad to see both the Senate and Assembly exhibit restraint when it came to their final map,” said Congressman Lawler.  “While there were numerous attempts throughout this process to engage in a partisan gerrymander, the final map largely abides by the New York Independent Redistricting Commission’s bipartisan version and ensures fair, competitive districts across the state.”

“Today’s bipartisan vote is a win for the voters and a win against partisan gerrymandering,” continued Lawler. “Now it’s on to November.”

###

Lawler’s Efforts to Raise SALT Cap Were Greatly Appreciated

February 27, 2024

The Examiner News

Here in Mount Pleasant, we have communities that are severely impacted by the unfair cap on state and local taxes (SALT).

I was glad to see that Congressman Lawler was able to force the SALT Marriage Penalty Elimination Act through the Rules Committee, forcing a vote on the floor of the House on whether the bill should be considered for a formal vote.

However, when the rule came up for a vote on the floor of the House, Democrats voted against it in overwhelming fashion, effectively killing off the first standalone bill on SALT relief to come to the floor of the House since 2017.

The vote by House Democrats hurt middle class families here in Mount Pleasant, who would have greatly benefited from Congressman Lawler’s efforts to lift the cap for married couples from $10,000 to $20,000, effectively undoing the unfair marriage penalty that exists within the current tax code.

This change would have directly benefited people in Briarcliff Manor, Pleasantville, Hawthorne, Sleepy Hollow, Valhalla, Thornwood and elsewhere across the Hudson Valley where the high cost of living and burden of excessive state and local taxes is felt deeply.

Thank you, Congressman Lawler, for your consistent efforts in trying to lift or repeal the SALT cap. I know it’s deeply appreciated by all residents in Mount Pleasant.

Carl Fulgenzi
Supervisor, Town of Mount Pleasant

Washington Needs More of Lawler’s Bipartisan Approach

February 27, 2024

The Examiner News

I must express my admiration for Congressman Mike Lawler’s handling of current key problems with the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act. He has masterfully struck a balance between strengthening our national borders and extending a helping hand to our allies through foreign aid while working in a bipartisan fashion.

By setting aside $60 billion for our military and for our strategic partners – Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan – Congressman Lawler isn’t just supporting our friends, he’s fortifying the pillars of global democracy. Part of the package is showing commitment to bolstering our border security, ensuring that we have some order at the border.

I’m happy Lawler represents us in North Salem. His method of bipartisan, effective policymaking in building focused bills represents us well. We need more of this in Washington.

Mary Pat Campbell
North Salem

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.’