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30 Controversial Votes by NYC’s MAGA Congresswoman

Manny Jalonschi Oct 19

Click here to read South Brooklyn, Staten Island Activists Take Aim at NYC’s MAGA Congresswoman by Manny Jalonschi

Limited in scope as it may be, a glance over even her last two years of voting shows why local organizers sometimes refer to Malliotakis as “the Congresswoman representing NY-MAGA”. 

Her track record, though, stretches back years. So you will find her seven federal-level votes against gun control below, not listed are the other nine times she voted against gun control during her time in the state Assembly.

The right to an abortion

At the federal level, Malliotakis has refused to stand up for the right to an abortion three different times.

Thousands of abortion rights supporters rallied in Washington Square Park hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 28.
  1. HR 8296 – Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022
    Voted: Against
    7/15/22
    The bill “prohibits governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, abortion services” in general. Specifically, it banned governments from limiting a health provider’s ability to prescribe certain drugs related to abortion services, provide telehealth services and immediately perform an abortion when a delay would risk a patient’s health. It furthermore bans governments from requiring medically unnecessary steps and procedures before a person can have an abortion.
  2. HR 8297 – Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022
    Voted: Against
    7/15/22
    The bill “prohibits anyone acting under state law from interfering with a person’s ability to access out-of-state abortion services.” Essentially, if a person is living a state where abortion is severely restricted, that state cannot then legally prevent or punish someone from getting that abortion in a different state.
  3. HR 3755 – Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021
    Voted: Against
    9/24/21
    Much like the 2022 version of the bill, this bill essentially “establishes a statutory right for health care professionals to provide abortions”. It also, like the 2022 one, provided protections for abortion providers and banned restrictions at the state and local level.

Environment, pollution and climate change

As sea levels rise and the severity of climate-related catastrophes increase, New York’s 11th congressional district, which Nicole Malliotakis represents, consists of Staten Island and the South and Southwest Brooklyn coastline. New York City as a whole has 520 miles of coastland, all threatened by climate change, environmental degradation and sea-level rise.

The New York Harbor abuts both South Brooklyn and Staten Island. Photo: marinas.com
  1. The Inflation Reduction Act
    HR 5376 – Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
    Voted: Against

    While the bill’s primary focus was on reducing inflation, there are 17 references to the “climate” within it. It addresses everything from climate-change mitigation (dealing with the damage that we can’t avoid), to tweaking federal energy policy in order to make it more rewarding for energy giants, to switch to cleaner energy (whether by making it easier to engage in off-shore wind farming or by making it more challenging to use dirty energy — and creating governmental revenue streams — by substantially increasing offshore oil and gas drilling royalties, mandating royalties be paid on methane extracted from federal ground and substantially hiking “rental rates and minimum bidding standards for onshore oil and gas leases”).

    It covers a wide range of environmental concerns. For example: $50 million is set aside to protect old-growth forests, $3 billion dollars for community-led projects in areas experiencing disproportionate impacts of climate change and an pollution, $3 billion to clean up air pollution at ports, $3 billion for the U.S. Postal Service to electrify its vehicle fleet, $1 billion invested in clean heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses, school buses and trucks, and more than $20 billion to help ranchers and farmers switch to more sustainable practices (the EPA estimates agriculture to be the cause of more than 11% of United States greenhouse gas emissions in 2020).

    The act also included a 30% tax credit for individuals installing solar panels and up to $14,000 for individuals to make energy-efficiency updates to their homes. It also includes a tax credit of $7,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle. 
  1. Build Back Better Act
    HR 5376 – 11/19/2021
    Voted: Against
    11/19/2021
    Her vote against the Build Back Better Act could be classified as horrible under a few categories, but it also represented a direct federal investment in mitigating and trying to prevent climate change (with the adjacent problems of pollution, environmental degradation, etc.).

    The bill included: $29 billion in a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, $15 billion to investments in green technology innovation, $5 billion Climate Pollution Reduction Grants, $2.9 billion towards modernizing the energy grid (which would also lower costs to consumers in the long term, $55 billion towards replacing certain types of heavy-duty vehicles (likes buses and trucks) with zero-emissions vehicles (which also includes funding for workforce training and infrastructure), more than $12 billion to more efficient household appliances and reducing building emissions (reducing both costs to consumer and toxic impact on the planet), $4 billion to reduce industrial emissions, $9 billion for replacing lead pipe sewers around the country, and more.

    In short, Malliotakis voted against clean air and unleaded drinking water. 

    She voted against clean school buses – buses that won’t make kids wheeze with plumes of acrid, toxic smoke trailing their wake.

    She voted against cheaper, cleaner electricity when people below the poverty line are counting pennies (around 100,000 folks in her own district). 

    Malliotakis voted against investing in technology to reduce our climate impact when using energy and she voted against training people in how to use current technology to reduce the economy’s climate impact. 
  2. HR 2773 – Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021
    Voted: Against
    The bill proposed to spend more than $4 billion dollars (over the course of five years) for the “conservation or restoration of wildlife and plant species of greatest conservation need, including endangered or threatened species.” New York State lists dozens of species in the state as endangered or threatened, including the Peregrine Falcon, the Short Eared Owl, the Gray Wolf, the Golden Eagle and even a type of cougar.

Guns in the streets

For all her persistent fear-mongering about crime and violence, Malliotakis has consistently voted to make it easier for guns to end up in the streets and become part of the violent crime she claims to care about. Meanwhile, according to the CDC, nearly 49,000 people in the United States died by gun violence in 2021 alone, a new all-time high. 

“God. Guns. Trump.” on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Sue Brisk for The Indypendent.
  1. HR 1808 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2022
    Voted: Against
    7/29/22
    The bill would make it illegal to “knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).” The bill was pushed heavily by Democrats in the wake of the July 4 mass murder in Highland Park, Illinois, where a shooter killed seven people and injured dozens of others. In spite of the entire Republican Party’s fear mongering about violence and crime, only two Republican House Representatives voted in favor of this bill. Malliotakis was not one of them.
  1. HR 6538 – Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022
    Voted: Against
    07/13/2022
    Essentially, when given a chance to support the establishment of a national system of emergency alerts (akin to “Amber Alerts”) dedicated only to active shooters, Malliotakis refused. This bill would require “a designated officer of the Department of Justice to act as the national coordinator of an Active Shooter Alert Communications Network regarding an emergency involving an active shooter.”
  2. S.2938 – Bipartisan Safer Communities Act
    Voted: Against
    06/24/2022
    This bill looked to expand gun control by focusing on things like enhanced background checks, broadening already existing restrictions and establishing new criminal offenses. It also focused on addressing underlying problem exacerbators by promoting access to mental health services, enhancing school safety initiatives and addressing gun violence within the communities it occurs. Even though this bill was introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Malliotakis still voted against it. In the four months since she voted against the Safer Communities Act, she tweeted and posted on Facebook dozens of diatribes about the need for safer communities.
  1. HR 2377 – Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021
    Voted: Against
    6/09/22
    This bill would, in general, have allowed federal courts to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which would ban individuals thought to be an “extreme risk” from purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm (or ammunition).
  1. HR 7910 – Protecting Our Kids Act 
    Voted: Against 06/08/2022
    This bill works to tighten up various parts of gun control. Among its contents is a prohibition on the sale or transfer of particular types of semi-automatic firearms to people under the age of 21. This portion of the bill was a special focus of national news in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shooting. In that mass shooting, the perpetrator of the shooting that left 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers dead  bought two AR-style rifles legally just after his 18th birthday. Even in the wake of the Uvalde massacre, Malliotakis couldn’t bring herself to vote to keep semiautomatic weapons out of the hands of teenagers. 
  1. HR 1446 – Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021
    Voted: Against 3/11/21
    This bill was intended to make background checks more effective during the sale of a firearm from a licensed owner to a non-licensed owner (essentially extending from three to 10 days the period in which the licensed seller must await a completed background check). This bill came to national attention again after the Uvalde shooting (which occurred only 10 days after the Buffalo grocery store mass shooting in which 10 Black people were killed).
  1. HR 8 – Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021
    Voted: Against 3/11/21 
    This bill would essentially require a background check for all gun sales. The bill language specifically would prohibit “a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check” (with very few exceptions).

Mental health

A memorial for Daniel Prude at a protest on Sept. 6, 2020 in Rochester. On March 23, 2020, Prude was killed by members of the Rochester Police Department while he was experiencing a mental health crisis. Photo: Twitter commons.
  1. Mental Health Justice Act
    Voted: Against
    9/22/22
    This bill was written to allow states, local governments and tribal lands to “to train and dispatch mental health professionals to respond, instead of law-enforcement officers, to emergencies that involve people with behavioral health needs.” Instead of police being sent to respond to someone having a mental or behavioral crisis, trained mental health professionals would be sent. The 2021 Police Violence Report found there were at least 101 incidents nationwide of police killing someone after responding to reports of someone “behaving erratically or having a mental health crisis.”

    Furthermore, as noted by the Vera Institute (which focuses its efforts on ending overcriminalization and mass incarceration), “the mere presence of armed, uniformed officers can exacerbate feelings of distress for people with behavioral health conditions.”

    An alternative crisis call routing program — where 911-dispatched mental-health professionals arrive to mental health crises as first responders (instead of police) — has been tried in New York City and yielded better outcomes for people experiencing mental health crises. 
  1. HR 7780 – Mental Health Matters Act
    Voted: Against 9/22/22
    The bill included numerous supports for increasing the availability of mental and behavioral health resources at the school level. This includes training and recruitment of school counselors. Malliotakis has, meanwhile, echoed the right-wing claim that guns are not a gun issue, but a mental-health issue.

Unions

Workers from Amazon Labor Union, Starbucks Workers United, Trader Joe’s Union, Texas AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, RWDSU, UPS and the UFCW among others gathered at a NYC Labor Day protest led by Amazon Labor. Photo by Nina Berman for The Indypendent.
  1. HR 842: Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 (The PRO Act) 3/9/21
    The bill, which passed in the U.S. House despite Malliotakis’ vote against it, was landmark legislation that would strengthen union bargaining power over the next generation. It would allow unions to override “Right-to-work” legislation at the state level (20 states had such laws when the PRO Act passed) that is intended to weaken union funding by letting “free riders” who benefit from hard-won union contracts from backing out of paying their dues — forcing their co-workers to fund the union on their own. 

    The bill also seeks to forbid employer influence and interference in union elections and mandates third party mediation when an employer refuses to negotiate in good faith with a newly certified union. The bill would also prevent employers from using an employee’s immigration status when determining the terms of their employment.

Protecting the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community

  1. H.R.5 — The Equality Act (2021-2022)
    Voted: Against
    2/25/22
    This bill aimed to prevent discrimination based on “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” A 2021 study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law estimated that over 700,000 LGBTQ+ people live in the great New York metropolitan area. Malliotakis chose not to defend their human rights. 

Tackling corruption and patronage

  1. HR 2988 – Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act of 2021
    Voted: Against 9/15/2022

    This bill would expand certain whistleblower protections for federal employees. When given a chance to strengthen protection against possible corruption and patronage, Malliotakis voted against it.
  1. HR 302 – Preventing a Patronage System Act (PPSA Act of 2021)
    Voted: Against
    9/15/2022
    This bill would have eliminated a type of civil-service “schedule” created by the Trump Administration. While seemingly a small technicality, this was what the Trump Administration used to move jobs from the competitive pool to the “excepted” (read: not-competitive) pool. The bill was intended to ensure that when people pay for their government, they’re getting the most talented government workers, not the people most favored by whatever political regime might be in power. When given a chance to strengthen protection against possible corruption and patronage, Malliotakis voted against it.

Other

  1. HR 8873 – Presidential Election Reform Act 
    Voted: Against 9/22/22
    This measure was created to close even the appearance of a loophole by which losers of presidential election (like Trump) could challenge the process of the official electoral vote being counted. More than 18 months after the Capitol was attacked in the January 6 coup attempt, Malliotakis persisted in her assault on the democratic electoral process.
  2. HR 6929 – Susan Muffley Act of 2022
    Voted: Against 7/27/22
    While not making the national headlines as much as some of the other bills on this list, this vote is especially telling. All it did was extend the lost benefits of pension holders of certain plans sponsored by the Delphi Corporation, which went bankrupt in the 2009 General Motors bankruptcy. When given a chance to help aging blue-collar Americans who lost their pensions in The Great Recession, Malliotakis refused.
  3. HR 1319 – American Rescue Plan
    Voted: Against 3/10/21
    This bill represented a multi-billion dollar effort to keep people out of extreme poverty and businesses from closing during the height of the pandemic. It put cash in people’s bank accounts and added vital resources to small businesses (hundreds of which are located in the district Malliotakis represents). Malliotakis voted against helping her own constituents and their businesses survive COVID — yet later promoted the legislation she had voted against.
  4. HR 7688 – Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act
    Voted: Against 5/19/22
    This bill is a straightforward piece of legislation that prevents gas stations from charging exorbitantly high prices during a fuel emergency. While vociferously complaining about the price of gas, Malliotakis voted against protecting people from getting overcharged at the pump.
  5. HR 7790 – Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act
    Voted: Against 5/19/22
    This bill devoted $28 million in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the shortage of baby formula that was ongoing in the United States at the time. Malliotakis, who repeatedly blamed Democrats for the baby formula shortage in the days before the vote, ultimately voted against actually tackling the baby formula shortage.
  6. HR 3807 – Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021  
    Voted: Against 4/7/22
    This bill was designed as a lifeline for restaurants hurting from the impact of lost business at the height of the COVID pandemic. Malliotakis’ district on the Brooklyn side is a hotbed of new, small immigrant businesses, many of them restaurants. On the Staten Island side, there are literally hundreds of restaurants, including more than 100 pizzerias. 
  7. HR 2547 – Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act
    Voted: Against 5/13/21
    This bill extends protections to borrowers from corrupt and shady Debt Collectors. Included in this bill is also a section that prohibits threats against military and security personnel of having their debt history leveraged to lower their rank or security clearance. When it came time to protect her own neighbors (as well as the seniors, soldiers and veterans of the community) from crooked debt collectors, Malliotakis refused.
  8. HR 2668 – Consumer Protection and Recovery Act
    Voted: Against 7/20/21 
    This bill, which passed the House and has been in the hands of the Senate since July 2021, allows the federal government to sue for damages when consumers have been victims of fraud or deceptive practices that violate of laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. Malliotakis voted to shield businesses that scam or deceive customers.
  9. HR6 – The American Dream and Promise Act
    Voted: Against 3/18/21
    Malliotakis voted against this bill that created a path to citizenship for participants in the DREAM act (DREAMers). More than two hundred thousands New Yorkers living in Congressional District 11 (represented by Malliotakis) are immigrants.
  10. HR 963 – FAIR Act of 2022
    Voted: Against 3/17/22
    This bill aims to end the use of arbitration agreements as a corporate get-out-of-jail-free card. Essentially, employers (and others) had been able to force workers into signing agreements that require grievances be arbitrated in an in-house process rather than in courts. The bill, which has so far only passed the house, states that arbitration agreements would no longer be valid or enforceable. Malliotakis voted against ending the practice of forced arbitration and reasserting individuals’ right to access the court system.
  11. HR 3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, As the INVEST In America Act.
    Voted: Against 7/1/21
    One of the most robust infrastructure bills in U.S. modern history, this bill, a version of which ultimately became law, devotes billions to improving and upgrading the country’s roads, bridges and rail system. In combination with the Build Back Better framework, this bill is expected to create 1.5 million jobs according to Moody’s Analytics. 

    There are many other provisions in the bill, including investment in developing an electric-vehicle-charging-station network. It also seeks to achieve fast-speed broadband internet for every person in the United States.

    Billions are allotted for modernizing airports, public transit and school buses. 

    One of the bill’s direct impacts on working-class people is that $45 billion is allotted for cleaning up drinking water in marginalized communities around the country (like Flint, Michigan, where the water out of the tap has been rendered unusable by lead and other impurities since April 2014). Another billion is devoted to filtering lead out of school water.

    At first, Malliotakis voted against safe drinking water, even for kids going to school.

    She did ultimately vote in favor of the concurrence vote to pass a watered-down version of the bill in November 2021.

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