Issue #2: August, 2018 by Jacquelyn Gavron and Amy Turner
Lee Zeldin repeatedly votes for laws that jeopardize the health and financial wellbeing of 55% of his constituents: the 310,000 females in New York’s 1st Congressional District. Women in NY01 deserve a representative who understands that when women succeed, families and communities do too. Here’s Zeldin’s voting record, which speaks for itself.
#1 “FEMALE” IS NOT A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
Zeldin and the GOP-controlled house voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Had it passed, 61,951 people in NY01 would have lost their health care (ACASignups.net). And insurance companies would be allowed to charge women more than men and refuse to cover:
- Essential services—pregnancy, maternity and newborn care
- Pre-existing conditions —pregnancy, C-sections, celiac disease, hysterectomies, eating disorders, and treatment for domestic violence and sexual assault
- Preventive services—mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, osteoporosis, anemia, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia; and breastfeeding support and supplies.
Did you know. . . Zeldin has received a whopping $267,975 in contributions from insurance companies since 2014. (OpenSecrets.org).
#2 WOMEN DESERVE EQUAL PAY
In Suffolk County, women earn $51,014 for a job that pays men $65,326—$14,312 less. (labor.ny.gov). Don’t expect Zeldin to help. He’s repeatedly undermined equal pay protection by:
- Voting to block Congress from considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to end the pay gap and protect workers from retaliation for sharing info on their wages. (H.R. 1619, 2015)
- Voting to make it extremely difficult for women seeking equal pay to bring a class action lawsuit against their employers. (HR 1927, 2016).
#3 LET WOMEN CONTROL THEIR OWN BODIES
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:
- Amending the constitution to ban abortion except to save life of mother
- A nationwide ban on private insurance coverage of abortion
- Federal legislation allowing parents to prevent their daughters from receiving abortions
- Requiring rape victims to wait 48 hours before obtaining an abortion
- Barring the government from distributing emergency contraceptives
#4 GUN VIOLENCE IS A WOMAN’S ISSUE
Zeldin co-sponsored the federally mandated concealed carry bill, which would override New York’s strict gun laws and let gun owners with a history of violence against women roam our neighborhoods with a hidden, loaded gun. Most people don’t know the hidden toll guns take on women:
- 50 women a month are shot to death by a current or former partner
- 4.5 million American women have been threatened with guns, often by intimate partners, so they live in fear for themselves and their children for days, months and even years.
- U.S. women are 16x more likely to be killed with a gun than in other high-income countries.
#5 WE NEED PAID FAMILY LEAVE
Most workers are covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, which lets you take up to 12 weeks of leave a year to care for family members. But for most people, that leave is unpaid. The GOP solution? Take a “loan” from Social Security and delay receipt of your retirement income.
#6 SOCIAL SECURITY: ON THE CUTTING BLOCK
The GOP tax scam gives huge tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations that add $2 trillion to the national debt. They’re using this as an excuse to slash Social Security—it’s especially important to women as they earn less, take more time out of the workforce, live longer, save less and get smaller pensions.
In NY01, 150,262 people receive Social Security. Zeldin said he’d “continue to support legislation that protects and supports Social Security and Medicare” (letter, 6/2017) but he:
- Voted YES to a constitutional amendment that would allow Social Security to pay beneficiaries only if a federal budget surplus could offset them. (HJ Res.2, 4/12/18)
- Voted to block the transfer of tax revenue to keep the Disability Insurance afloat—unless it was part of a larger plan to cut benefits or tax increases. (HRes 5, 1/6/15; Politico).
#7 GOP GUNNING FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID
In New York, nearly 2 million women rely on Medicare for their health insurance. Zeldin voted for a budget resolution (H.Con.Res 71, 10-15-17) that would pay for Trump’s huge tax cuts by:
- Slashing Medicare by $487 billion
- Increasing the age at which you can apply for Medicare from 65 to 67 nscpssm.org
More women than men are covered by Medicaid as they often work in lower paying jobs, and many work for small businesses that don’t offer health insurance. But Zeldin voted to take way the Medicaid option. And Trump recently gave the go-ahead for states to take away Medicaid from people who aren’t working a minimum number of hours a month. This disproportionally hurts women because they:
- Often work in low-wage jobs with inconsistent hours that may not meet the requirements.
- Typically care for children or other family members and aren’t in the paid workforce
#8 UN-AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE
Trump’s tax scam doubled the maximum child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000—“but the parents of about 29 million kids won’t get the credit because their families earn too little.” (TPC.org).
#9 PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Zeldin has repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Perhaps he doesn’t understand that Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of health care services to 2.4 million clients, including, prenatal care, breast exams, PAP smears, vasectomies, HIV and STD testing and treatment, and sex education.
#10 WOMEN DESERVE A REP WHO VALUES WOMEN
In January 2017, thousands of Zeldin’s constituents showed up at women’s marches in D.C., NYC, Port Jeff, Sag Harbor and other places to advocate for women’s rights. But rather than acknowledge their concerns, Zeldin questioned their sanity, suggesting that some of his constituents might hold views that are “off the reservation” and using his 37th birthday two weeks later as an occasion to express his “love” for “even those Hillary supporters who have lost [their] beautiful minds since the election.”