Maloney: You Can Get Things Done in DC
Source: Queens Tribune
Maloney, who has represented Astoria and Long Island City in Congress since 1993, is running for a 13th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces a primary challenge from Peter Lindner, a computer programmer from Manhattan, on June 28.
While acknowledging how unpopular Congress is, Maloney rejected the notion that because of the partisan nature of Congress today, it is impossible to get things done. Identifying allocations of funds for the two largest mass transit infrastructure projects in the United States – the East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway – as well as the 9/11 Zadroga Act, which provides funds for healthcare for first responders of 9/11. “I don’t feel that way,” she said after being asked if she feels powerless in the minority. “The two largest mass transit infrastructure projects in the country are in my district.”
On funding for mass transit projects, Maloney noted that she worked with Republicans, notably former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato in the 1990s, to secure funding by helping him secure support on her side of the aisle for what he prioritized.
“At the time we were earmarking projects and I’d write a letter and get all the Democrats to support D’Amato’s project and he’d write a letter and get all the Republicans to support my project, and we just moved it through,” she said.
Maloney spoke about the East Side Access project, which will open up a route for the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, relieving the overcrowding at Penn Station and making commutes easier for LIRR users who work on the East Side of Manhattan. The project will also include a new station at Sunnyside along Skillman Avenue, which was funded by Maloney, but killed by the state. Mayor Bill de Blasio then put money in for it.
“I’m very pleased the mayor put in the funds for a stop in Sunnyside,” she said. “Nothing will do more for this part of Queens than having that stop in Sunnyside.”
Another bill she’s been working on is legislation that would require a benefactor be named when a property is bought. Many times a property is bought by an LLC or some organization, with no name attached to it, and Maloney says often the funds used in the sale go for nefarious causes, including terrorism and drug trafficking.