by A.Turner and J.Gavron
To defeat Zeldin, we need to understand his voting record and dispel the perception that he’s pro-environment and a moderate Republican. His record reveals his extremist views on issues such as gun ownership and women’s rights. Below is just a sampling of his votes. Other important issues will be covered in the next “LZ at a Glance.”
The misconception that Zeldin is an environmentalist stems from his votes on LOCAL issues. He’s voted to prevent Plum Island from being sold to the highest bidder and to safeguard the Long Island Sound. But his voting record on NATIONAL environmental issues makes it clear he is anti-regulation, particularly as regards environmental controls of the fossil fuel industry which he has lobbied against for decades.
For example, Zeldin voted to gut EPA funding and rescind regulations that protect our air, land and water, all of which endanger our local (NY01) environment, and earned him a League of Conservation Voters rating as among the worst environmental legislators for three consecutive years (2015-2017). Zeldin voted to:
- Let coal mining companies dump toxic waste in streams H.J.Res.38 (2/1/2017)
- Slash funding for key environmental programs and agencies, such as the
EPA and the Land and Water Conservation fund H.R.3354 (9/14/2017)
- Block the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Clean Water Rule, which protects the small streams and wetlands that feed into drinking water of 1 in 3 people, in the U.S Beyer Amendment to H.R.5538 (7/14/16)
- End significant Clean Air Act health standards and allow corporations to pollute at unsafe levels H.R.4775 (6/8/16)
Lee Zeldin: Environmental Scorecard
Zeldin pays lip service to global warming. He voted against bills to address it 88.2% of the time; claims he’s an environmentalist based on his membership on the Bipartisan Climate Caucus BUT FAILED to support the Republican Climate Resolution (H.Res.195), which calls for government action on climate change, and to sign the Caucus’s 1/11/18 letter urging Trump to recognize, as part of his “National Strategy,” climate change as a national threat. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/16012018/military-climate-change-bipartisan-congress-letter-national-defense-strategy
“Mr. Zeldin has accepted $14,850 from the NRA since his first congressional run, the most of any sitting NY representative, and has earned its A rating as a solidly pro-gun candidate who has reliably supported NRA positions on key votes.” –Editorial, East Hampton Star, 10/05/17
- Co-sponsored Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which compels states with strict concealed carry requirements to allow individuals from states with no or lax permit requirements to carry a concealed weapon. (H.R. 38) Opposed by police commissioners and District Attorneys across the country. (12/6/2017)
- Voted in favor of H.R. 3354, which among other harmful provisions prohibits federal funding of CDC research on gun violence. (9/14/17)
- Voted to end federal checks that prevented 167,000+ veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” from owning or buying firearms. H.R.1181 (3/16/2017)
- Voted to prohibit bans of firearms in airports and other public transportation facilities. Griffith Amendment to H.R.2406 (2/26/2016)
- Voted to restrict the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from regulating the sale of ammunition for semi-automatic weapons. H.R.2578 (6/1/2015)
Although Zeldin touts his vote against the House tax bill (H.R.1), don’t let him fool you.
- In 2017, 68 House members, including some from NY and NJ, signed a bipartisan letter protesting Mnuchin’s plan to eliminate SALT deductions. ZELDIN DID NOT SIGN THE LETTER. His opposition began only when it looked like his job might be at stake.
- Zeldin focuses only on SALT and has said little about other damaging provisions including huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans; repeal of the estate tax; elimination of tax deductions for veterans, teachers, and those with student loans; increased taxes on many middle class families.
- Plus he voted for the budget that paved the way for these tax cuts. That budget included $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and was opposed by every other member of the LI congressional delegation, including Peter King. H.Con.Res. 71 (10/5/2017)
- Voted for the AHCA, which would result in 14M losing health care and included (among other terrible provisions): gigantic tax cuts for wealthy; huge Medicaid cuts; reinstatement of pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime and annual caps; and defunded Planned Parenthood H.R.1628 (5/7/17)
- Voted to ban abortion at 20 weeks with only two extremely narrow exceptions, directly challenging the Roe v. Wade finding that abortion is legal until fetus is viable outside the womb, generally considered to be about 24 weeks. H.R. 36 (10/7/17). This bill was opposed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a serious threat to women’s health and not based on sound science.
- Voted to defund Planned Parenthood (as part of the AHCA).
- Voted to require state and local governments to comply with ICE requests to detain undocumented immigrants, including those arrested for nonviolent conduct, until ICE can take custody. Non-complying governments would be blocked from receiving certain DHS and DOJ grants. H.R. 3003 (6/29/17)
- Voted to make it more difficult for green card holders to obtain ACA subsidies. H.R. 2581 (6/13/17)
- Supported Trump’s DACA rescission. Although open to debating the issue in Congress, he said, “My priority will always unapologetically remain with fighting for the people following the laws rather than the ones breaking them.” Press Release (9/5/17)
Track Zeldin’s Votes
Special thanks to David Friedman and Marc Rauch, who have made their valuable and comprehensive research available as a “file” on the “Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin” FB page.