STATEN ISLAND, NY – TODAY, November 21, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I – Staten Island/Brooklyn) issued the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge:
“While the Verrazano Bridge has certainly become an iconic symbol- reminding us of the ingenuity and craftsmanship that defines our borough, it’s also a constant reminder that what was meant to improve the quality of life on Staten Island has become one of the biggest banes of our existence,” Rep. Grimm said.
“It’s a perfect example of the disconnect that comes with living in the forgotten borough- you can’t build a bridge that will explode population density without investing in the requisite transportation infrastructure. Now, with the MTA’s announcement of even more outrageous toll hikes, it’s just another reminder that while the bridge was paved with good intentions, the massive traffic and exorbitant tolls have been devastating for middle class Staten Islanders and our local economy.”
Rep. Grimm concluded, “I think it’s fair to say that all of Staten Island’s elected officials are united in our efforts to prevent these devastating and economy-crushing toll hikes.”
Rep. Michael G. Grimm represents New York’s 11th Congressional District, which includes both sides of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
STATEN ISLAND, NY – TODAY, November 20, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I – Staten Island/Brooklyn) issued the following statement reacting to President Obama’s announcement tonight of his intent to grant legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States through unilateral executive action:
“This is a shameless act of defiance against the will of the American people, as evidenced by the fact that even countless Democrats begged the President not to grant blanket amnesty before the recent midterm election,” Rep. Grimm said.
“I’ve made clear since day-1 that I reject amnesty and believe that we cannot have an honest discussion about immigration reform until we first secure our borders. Unfortunately, the President’s unilateral executive order does nothing except create a class of non-citizen residents that further complicates our already convoluted immigration system, and proves that he has zero interest in actually working with Congress to accomplish long-term, meaningful reform.”
Rep. Grimm concluded, “The priorities of this President and the left-wing base this move is aimed at pleasing are completely backwards, especially at a time when our focus should be on strengthening our economy to put middle class Americans back to work and taking care of our seniors and veterans.”
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, DC – TODAY, November 18, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I – Staten Island/Brooklyn) issued the following statement condemning the murderous assault on a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday, which took the lives of 4 innocent worshippers (including 3 Americans) and wounded several others:
“This vicious rampage against peaceful worshippers once again shows the true depth of Hamas’ savagery and the threats facing our Israeli allies and Jewish Americans abroad,” Rep. Grimm said. “Now more than ever, the Israeli people deserve to know that they have our full, unwavering support in combating these horrific attacks on their very way of life.” Rep. Grimm concluded, “I pray for these victims and their grieving families, especially for our fellow Americans brutally murdered in the attack, and look forward to swift justice to all terrorists seeking to harm innocent Jewish lives.”
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus.
STATEN ISLAND, NY - TODAY, OCTOBER 1, 2014, REP. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I – NY) announced that starting today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin issuing refunds to over 1 million flood insurance policyholders nationwide that were forced to pay astronomical premiums hikes resulting from unforeseen triggers in the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. Rep. Grimm’s landmark flood insurance relief bill, H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which was signed into law in March of this year, prevented these rates from continuing to skyrocket, provided refunds to those forced to pay the higher rates, and allowed countless homeowners to maintain affordable flood insurance and remain in their homes:
“Starting today, millions of Americans, including thousands of homeowners in Staten Island and Brooklyn living in flood-prone areas will be able to remain in their homes and enjoy a breath of much-needed financial security,” Rep. Grimm said. “This is exactly why I ran for Congress in the first place- to deliver real, tangible results to the hardworking, middle class families of Staten Island and Brooklyn, and I’m proud that we’re seeing these results in action today. Thanks to Congress rising above partisanship and passing my bill earlier this year, starting today my constituents will be able to afford their homes, buy and sell their homes, and avoid a crippling housing market crisis in our community.”
According to FEMA, flood Insurance premium refunds resulting from Congressman Grimm’s legislation, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (Public Law-113-89), will start going out to policyholders beginning today, October 1, 2014, with all refunds expected to go out by the end of this calendar year.
FEMA estimates that 1 million policyholders nationwide (approximately 1 in 5 flood insurance policyholders) will receive refunds. Refunds will go out to property owners that were affected by one of 3 triggers in the Biggert-Waters Act which resulted in an immediate loss of their lower, subsidized rates ( (1) those whose properties were sold after July 6, 2012, (2) those who purchased a new policy after July 6, 2012 or (3) those who reinstated a lapsed policy after October 4, 2012.)
In addition, policyholders whose annual increase in 2013 violated the 18% individual annual premium increase cap set by the Congressman’s bill will also receive refunds. FEMA estimates that some rebates will be as high as several thousands of dollars. FEMA also plans to implement an optional $10,000 deductible starting in April 2015 as required by the Congressman’s reform bill. FEMA estimates that this new higher deductible could save policyholders up to 40% per year in their annual premium over the standard minimum deductible.
Rep. Michael Grimm is a member of the Home Protection Caucus and authored Congress’ major flood insurance reform package, H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which became law in March and spared millions of Americans across the country, particularly those in flood-prone areas in Brooklyn and Staten Island, from astronomical flood insurance premium increases
WASHINGTON, DC– TODAY, September 18, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) announced the awarding of a $200,000 grant to Staten Island Legal Services that will be used to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. The grant was awarded by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women:
“Reports of domestic violence on Staten Island have risen dramatically in recent years, in part because of an increasing awareness that violence in the home and within relationships should not be tolerated or swept under the rug,” said Rep. Grimm. “The message we must continue to send to people who find themselves in violent, abusive situations is that there is support for those who come forward, and that they are not alone. This grant marks another important step forward in this effort by providing tangible, necessary resources that can help people, especially women, get out of a violent environment.”
The funding - which will help Staten Island Legal Services provide an array of legal support to victims of abuse on matters including family law (divorce, child custody, child support), immigration, housing and offender accountability - will come from the Department of Justice’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program. This program was created by the Violence Against Women Act of 2000. Rep. Grimm proudly voted to reauthorize the program with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization in 2013.
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, DC – TODAY, September 17, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) issued the following statement on his reluctant vote in favor of an amendment to H.J.Res. 124 authorizing support – including training, weapons, and equipment – to moderate forces in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) currently resisting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the region:
“There’s no doubt that ISIL poses a greater threat to American safety than any terrorist group we have ever seen, and this vote lends some immediate support to the only force, albeit imperfect, resisting ISIL in Syria,” Rep. Grimm said. “Taking no action, and allowing ISIL to expand unchecked is simply not an option, however the President’s proposal is a small piece of a flawed and incomplete strategy to deal with this extreme threat,” Rep. Grimm continued.
Rep. Grimm outlined three key reasons why the President’s approach to ISIL is likely to fail:
1) Betting on the FSA has the same odds of success as a coin flip at best:
“Using the FSA as a proxy ground force has a serious risk of backfiring, with American weapons ending up in the hands of ISIL. Furthermore, it’s unrealistic to believe that we can train and equip enough rebels in the time needed to actually be effective in destroying ISIL, even with U.S. air support,” Rep. Grimm said.
2) The President has failed to secure the support of an international coalition to defeat ISIL:
“The ‘international coalition’ that the President promised simply hasn’t materialized, and that’s a direct result of his failed foreign policy and utter lack of credibility among our allies,” Rep. Grimm went on to say.
3) The President’s disregard for the advice of U.S. military leaders is a dangerous mistake:
Rep. Grimm concluded, “The President still continues to disregard the advice of our military leaders who have and continue to ask for more resources and commitment to securing victory. Bottom line: the President appears to lack the will and conviction to get the job done.”
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11), a Marine combat veteran of the Gulf War, represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, DC – YESTERDAY, September 10, 2014, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to make a statement commemorating the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks on our nation 13 years ago today. Rep. Grimm also renewed the call for the House to act quickly in passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act:
See below for text of Rep. Grimm’s remarks from the House floor:
“I thank the gentlewoman from New York. And I echo the sentiments of my colleagues with the need to reauthorize the Zadroga bill in a timely fashion.
Mr. Speaker, I rise alongside my colleagues in the New York delegation also to honor and commemorate the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans whose lives were cut short in the unspeakable attacks on our Nation 13 years ago. Like so many of my constituents in Staten Island and in Brooklyn, I have images of the most horrific sight that I have ever seen burned into my memory forever.
I will never forget what it was like searching for the survivors in the rubble after both towers of the World Trade Center disintegrated into ash. I will never forget the look in the eyes of the firemen, the police, the construction workers as we worked side-by-side. It was a look of overwhelming despair.
And though our hearts broke at the loss of those taken from us, I am very proud of the fact that Americans soon rallied together. We united around an unshakable truth that the servants of hatred and terror did not strike the greatest Nation on Earth at random but because we embodied the very freedom and liberty that they so despise.
As Senator McCain said on the floor of the Senate the day after the attacks, ``Those who unleashed these attacks and those who support them are not our enemies alone. They are the enemies of freedom and independence, of justice and peace. And they wage war on the United States because we are and will remain the principal guarantors of freedom.''
Mr. Speaker, in the Arrochar neighborhood of Staten Island lies a beautiful memorial dedicated to some of the 274 Staten Islanders murdered on 9/11, many of whom were first responders and fallen heroes of our beloved FDNY and NYPD, all of whom went above and beyond the call of duty to bring their fellow New Yorkers to safety.
Amidst the pictures and devotions to the fallen lies an inscription: ``On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. From that hatred, a little piece of heaven evolved here called Angel's Circle.''
It reminds us, Mr. Speaker, that from the horror and despair our Nation endured on 9/11 - and endures in all of our hearts until this day - comes the constant reminder of our strength, our pride, and the unwavering heroism at the heart of the American spirit.
May God eternally bless the victims of 9/11. May he bring peace to their loved ones. And may we never, ever forget the sacrifice they bore for our freedom.”
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives, a district which lost hundreds of residents on 9/11.
Thanks to the Zadroga Act, over 60,000 responders or survivors are getting treatment or medical monitoring in the New York area and across the country. The individuals receiving care through the World Trade Center Health program have at least one injury, though many have multiple injuries. Included in those receiving medical treatment are over 2,800 people who have been certified as having a 9/11 cancer.
The Zadroga Act also reopened the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide economic compensation for losses incurred from the aftermath of the attacks. The VCF has made over 1,300 compensation determinations and has deemed over 7,000 injured 9/11 individuals eligible for compensation.
WASHINGTON, DC– TODAY, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) issued the following statement applauding the House’s passage of Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) bill S.231, the Senate companion to Rep. Grimm’s Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act (H.R. 262), which extends the availability of the Save Vanishing Species stamp for an additional four years. The stamp provides an opportunity for the public to voluntarily contribute to conservation efforts by purchasing the stamp. The U.S. Postal Service then gives the proceeds from stamp sales to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fund projects for endangered keystone wildlife species including African and Asian elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, great apes and marine sea turtles:
“Extending the popular Save Vanishing Species stamp gives Americans across the country a unique opportunity to support both the budget-strapped U.S. Postal Service and the worthy cause of protecting endangered wildlife worldwide,” Rep. Grimm said. “With no cost to the taxpayer or a single cent added to our deficit, this bipartisan legislation will go a long way in supporting critical animal conservation efforts and the outstanding work of zoos and aquariums like the Staten Island Zoo.”
“Thanks to this action by Congress, there is good news on the horizon for some of the globe’s most iconic and imperiled species,” said Michael Markarian, chief program & policy officer of The Humane Society of the United States. “This common-sense stamp program will provide funding for tigers and other endangered species without costing taxpayers a dime. We are grateful to Congressman Grimm for championing this important conservation measure."
“We applaud Congress for their action in saving a truly worthy program,” said John Calvelli, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “Wildlife conservation is not a partisan issue, as demonstrated by the bipartisan support for these efforts. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office has scored similar legislation as revenue-neutral, as the stamp raises funds at no net cost to the Federal government or taxpayers.” Calvelli added, “The stamp empowers the American public to show their support for wildlife conservation by simply mailing a letter, as proceeds from every stamp purchased goes directly to conservation efforts on the ground. I thank the Senate and the House for moving forward on this reauthorization, and I look forward to seeing the final version of the legislation enacted into law.”
This stamp has been highly successful, with 4 million stamps sold in the first 41 days of issuance, and it is currently available at over 35,000 post offices around the country. This legislation costs zero tax dollars, while diverting desperately needed funding to some of the most highly endangered species throughout the world.
The stamp also benefits our postal service by creating new revenue for the United States Postal Service (USPS) that can be used to create and save postal jobs in our local communities. Every Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semi-Postal Stamp that is collected and/or not used equals a 100% profit for USPS that would not be there without this stamp.
Finally, the stamp promotes visitation to zoos and aquariums throughout the United States such as the Staten Island Zoo, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium resulting in increased tourism revenue to our local communities.
Legislation to create the stamp was introduced in a previous Congress and was signed into law on September 30, 2010, mandating the stamp be available for two years. The Portman-Grimm bill extends the stamp for an additional four years.
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Zoo and Aquarium Caucus. The House of Representatives passed the Portman-Grimm bill by a voice vote on September 8, 2014.
Staten Island, NY– Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) issued the following statement and sent the accompanying letter calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to deny permits for a proposed protest march across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on August 23, 2014:
“Staten Island already bears the burden as the traffic and pothole capital of the country, not to mention having the most exorbitant toll in the nation. To close our only direct passage to the rest of the City on a summer travel weekend is a recipe for total disaster" Rep. Grimm said. "There's a reason the bridge has rarely been closed in its 50-year history; because the major disruption and safety risks are massive: our small businesses – already coping with the outrageous tolls - would bear an even greater financial burden, families would be severely impacted, and the Staten Island Expressway would be a parking lot. FDNY and EMT facilities in southern Brooklyn that serve Staten Island's north shore neighborhoods would be cut off in the event of an emergency, and that is unacceptable."
With the Bayonne Bridge closed during the proposed march, the already heavily congested Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing would be the only way on or off Staten Island. The Verrazano’s annual closure for the New York City Marathon and Five Borough Bike Tour take place after several months of intense planning and emergency preparedness measures.
"There's no question that a fair, unbiased review of the circumstances surrounding Mr. Garner's tragic death must go forward, but there is an appropriate time, place, and manner of holding a demonstration without wreaking total havoc on a community of almost half-a-million hardworking Staten Islanders." Rep. Grimm concluded, "The fact remains: the people of New York elected Bill de Blasio - not Al Sharpton - and it's time for the Mayor to stand up, show some true leadership, and deny these permits to close the Verrazano bridge.”
See below for the text of the letter sent to Mayor de Blasio today:
The Honorable Bill de Blasio
Mayor, City of New York
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor de Blasio:
It has been reported that a protest march which would result in the total or partial closure of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is scheduled for Saturday, August 23rd at 1pm. My purpose in writing is to request that you deny the issuance of permits that would be needed for such an event to occur.
Without question, I strongly support the right to peaceably assemble and speak out on matters of justice as each citizen sees fit. However, I object to this proposed shut-down of the Verrazano given the widespread implications it would have on residents of Staten Island and elsewhere who could face significant travel disruptions and diminished emergency services. As you well know, the Verrazano is Staten Island’s only land-based connection to the City and is rarely closed for non-emergency purposes, with the exception of the New York City Marathon and Five Borough Bike Tour, both of which are planned for months ahead of time. This march is scheduled to occur in just over two weeks.
Relevant judicial rulings have consistently held that protests and demonstrations may be limited in terms of time, manner, and circumstance in order to preserve public safety and order, thus making the decision to deny these permits both legal and prudent. The bridge is a vexing traffic bottleneck with which Staten Islanders must regularly contend. To further burden and disrupt this vital thoroughfare for a protest march that could just as easily take place on many other parts of Staten Island would be a serious mistake, and I hope that you will use your authority as Mayor to ensure a march on the Verrazano Bridge is not permitted.
MICHAEL G. GRIMM
Member of Congress
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, encompassing both sides of the Verrazano Bridge, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, DC – TODAY, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C,I-NY) issued the following statement hailing the House of Representatives’ passage of an extensive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill (H.R. 3230 - The Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act) aimed at correcting the vast systemic failures that have left thousands of our nation’s veterans without adequate medical care:
“I’m proud that the House of Representatives rose above partisan politics today and did what was right for the brave men and women who have served our great country,” Rep. Grimm said. “This reform bill will provide the resources, the restructuring, and most importantly the accountability to demand that the VA finally gives our veterans the care and dignity that they unquestionably deserve – it’s a black mark on our history as a nation, however, that our vets were put in such a deplorable position in the first place.”
Yesterday, the Senate unanimously confirmed former U.S. Army officer and Procter & Gamble chief Robert McDonald as the next VA Secretary. “Continued vigilance and follow-through will be crucial…we simply cannot accept a single brave veteran falling through the cracks and waiting to die on a secret list.” Rep. Grimm concluded, “If the greatest, most exceptional nation in the world is to truly live up to that reputation, then we must demand nothing less for our veterans. I call on the Senate to waste no time in passing this bill before breaking for recess so that every veteran who has answered the call to serve knows that help is finally on the way.”
H.R. 3230’s most significant reforms include:
· Allowing any veteran enrolled in the VA health care system who cannot get an appointment at a VA hospital within 30 days to receive VA-covered medical care at certain non-VA facilities.
· Augmenting the VA’s ability to demand accountability by:
o Authorizing the VA to fire or demote Senior Executive Service (SES) employees and Title 38 SES equivalent employees for poor performance or misconduct.
o Prohibiting SES employees from receiving pay, bonuses, and benefits during any appeal of disciplinary action.
o Reducing funding for bonuses available to VA employees by $40 million each year through Fiscal Year (FY) 2024.
· Establishing an independent assessment of VA medical care and establishing a Congressional Commission on Care to evaluate access to care throughout the VA health care system.
· Increasing the VA’s capacity to provide timely care to veterans and address the backlog by:
o Providing $5 billion to increase access to care through the hiring of physicians and other medical staff and by improving VA’s physical infrastructure.
o Authorizing 27 major medical facility leases in 18 states and Puerto Rico.
Rep. Michael G. Grimm (NY-11) is a Marine combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm and represents Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn in the U.S. House of Representatives. New York’s 11th Congressional District is home to a VA hospital in Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn.
The House of Representatives passed the VA reform bill, H.R. 3230, the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 on July 30, 2014, by a vote of 420 – 5.
512 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Michael Grimm’s service to our nation began at the age of nineteen, when he left college after his freshman year and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After serving in the Persian Gulf War and being awarded a Combat Meritorious Promotion Michael returned reserve status and continued his education.
While attending college full time during the day Michael went to work as a clerk for the FBI on the midnight shift. Michael was chosen to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where he completed the Federal Police Officer Training Program. Upon returning from training, Michael was deputized as a U.S. Marshal and entrusted with full arrest authority as a Uniformed Police Officer for the FBI.
With a desire to diversify his background, Michael left the FBI for a Research Analyst position on Wall Street attaining several securities industry licenses. During this period, Michael attended Bernard M. Baruch College at night to further his education. Upon graduating with his BBA in Accountancy with a concentration in Finance, Grimm felt the pull of public service and returned to the FBI where he was appointed a Special Agent and assigned to the New York Office. Although he was assigned to investigate the Gambino Crime Family in the prestigious Organized Crime Branch, Michael found his niche fighting corruption on Wall Street as a member of the Financial Fraud Squad.
During his service in the FBI, Michael attended New York Law School at night. Special Agent Grimm was then admitted to practice law in New York and Connecticut.
It was during his tenure with the Fraud Squad that Michael started his undercover career becoming the first FBI Agent to successfully infiltrate Wall Street. Posing as a hedge fund manager during Operation Wooden Nickel, arguably one of the most successful White Collar undercover investigations in the history of the FBI, Michael obtained evidence against more than 50 individuals committing frauds spanning the spectrum from stock manipulation and currency scams to money laundering. After establishing a reputation as a reliable, “go-to” undercover agent, Michael was enlisted to investigate corrupt politicians in New Jersey, corrupt police officers in Florida, and various other cases. Michael has relentlessly fought corruption and served our country proudly.
After approximately 11 years as a Special Agent and more than 5 years serving as a deep Undercover Agent, Michael decided to leave the FBI to further expand his experience and became an entrepreneur. Michael founded a small health food restaurant in Manhattan and was a principal in a bio-fuel company.
Michael Grimm is serving his second term in Congress, proudly representing Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn. He continues to fight for the issues that matter most to his district, such as combatting toll hikes, job creation, and creating a safer NYC against those who wish to do us harm. He actively led efforts to pass the Superstorm Sandy relief bill, which is now helping his district rebuild stronger and better. Rep. Grimm currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee.
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