Recently, my inbox has been filled with lots of happy messages from our congressman, Lee Zeldin. In almost every one, Mr. Zeldin seems to be taking credit for whatever good news he is announcing. A load of personal protective equipment is delivered to a Long Island hospital — and there is our congressman, smiling approvingly. Money comes through for an environmental problem, and Mr. Zeldin assures us that he is the one getting it done. I am expecting him to take credit for the rising of the sun tomorrow.
Delivery of PPE to an American hospital should be nothing so unusual that it deserves a celebration. But because of the ineptitude of the Trump administration, to which Mr. Zeldin has shown unwavering support, such a delivery is now noteworthy.
And as for Mr. Zeldin’s environmental creds, one needs to look no further than his rating with the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters: They gave him a lifetime score of 13 percent. Not what you would expect from the environmental warrior Mr. Zeldin would like us to believe he is.
Rather than relying on Congressman Zeldin’s happygrams, I prefer to look at his record. Here are some highlights:
Zeldin voted against a bipartisan bill to lower drug costs by letting the federal government negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. If passed, the bill would have considerably lowered the prices that hardworking Americans pay for their medications.
Apparently, Mr. Zeldin didn’t think that was a good idea. Is it possible that the $718,692 in donations that he has accepted from the pharmaceutical, health and insurance industries had something to do with his opinion?
Our congressman voted to cut nearly $15 billion from the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor, which would have drastically impacted programs that fund schools, Pell grants, childcare, and early childhood learning programs. Eighty thousand fewer children would have been eligible for Head Start, and approximately 222,000 children would have been kicked out of much needed after-school programs.
Our congressman was the only member of the New York delegation to vote for the cuts. Too bad poor kids don’t have PACs to contribute to Mr. Zeldin.
At a time when millions of Americans are losing their job-related health insurance, Mr. Zeldin still supports the Trump administration’s efforts in court to take away the coverage they can now get through the Affordable Care Act. Many hardworking Long Islanders will now face bankruptcy if they have any medical emergencies. And people with preexisting health conditions? Our congressman is not interested in your problems.
Voters, please keep a close eye on Mr. Zeldin’s record. Then ask yourself if he is voting with your interests in mind.
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One fine body…