By Jacquelyn Gavron & Amy Turner, July 19, 2018
New York’s First Congressional District (NY-1), historically a swing district, is represented by Lee Zeldin (R). He was initially elected with Tea Party support and is an unwavering Trump loyalist with extremist views. Here’s a sampling of how he’s voted.
Zeldin voted for the American Health Care Act—the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare—which would have resulted in:
- 14 million people losing health care coverage in 2018 (51 million by 2026)
- Huge Medicaid cuts ($834 billion)
- Loss of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, which includes pregnancy.
Don’t be misled into thinking that Zeldin’s an environmentalist due to his votes on LOCAL issues such as offshore drilling and the “Save Don’t Sell Plum Island” bill (introduced by Bishop, 2013). On NATIONAL issues, he’s consistently opposed regulation and was rated among the worst environmental regulators 3 years running by the League of Conservation Voters. Zeldin’s voted to:
- Slash EPA funding by $500M
- Permit coal companies to dump mining toxic waste in streams
- Prohibit the EPA from requiring oil and gas companies to reduce methane pollution—a key contributor to global warming.
GOP TAX BILL
Zeldin boasts that he voted against the tax bill because it eliminated SALT deductions. But months earlier he had refused to sign a bi-partisan letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin protesting its elimination. He voted against it because Ryan didn’t need his vote to pass the bill and has said little about its other damaging provisions such as:
- Huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans
- Repeal of the estate tax
- Eliminating deductions for vets, teachers, and those with student loans
- Increased taxes on many middle-class families.
Zeldin has received $56,281 in NRA donations, more than any sitting NY representative. He co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would override New York’s strong gun laws and let gun owners from states with weaker laws carry hidden, loaded weapons in public places in New York and is opposed by law enforcement across the country, including AGs from 17 states, local police commissioners (including NYPD and SCPD) and the Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (comprised of 12 associations including the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association and the National Sheriffs Association). Zeldin has also voted against bills to:
- Ban firearms in airports
- Deny guns to people on the terrorist no-fly list
- Prevent mentally ill veterans from buying guns
- Fund CDC research on gun violence
- Restrict the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from regulating ammunition for semi-automatic weapons.
Zeldin has been in lock-step with Trump’s immigration policies since his post-inaugural travel ban against Muslims and defended Trump’s comment about immigrants from “shithole countries.” He has also voted to:
- Rescind DACA
- Require state and local governments to comply with ICE requests to detain undocumented immigrants
- Block funding for states and localities that have “sanctuary” laws on immigration.
Zeldin has said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and has voted against the Marriage Equality Act of New York 2011 and legislation preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Zeldin has:
- Supported Trump’s rescinding of Obama’s rule on transgender bathroom use
- All but said he supported Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military.
Zeldin voted for a bill to ban abortion at 20 weeks (directly challenging Roe v. Wade), which was opposed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a serious threat to women’s health and not based on sound science. Zeldin has supported:
- Defunding Planned Parenthood
- Federal legislation allowing parents to prevent their daughters from receiving abortions.