Hearing and then considering opinions different from one’s own in a very divided country is what is needed most among our elected leaders. Where divisiveness has become the norm, U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi has worked hard to reach across the aisle as vice president of the Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress.
For this reason, and many more, the Herald enthusiastically endorses Suozzi, a Democrat from Glen Cove, in the 3rd Congressional District.
Recognizing the devastation that the coronavirus has caused for so many business owners, Suozzi worked tirelessly last spring to pass the Heroes Act, legislation that would provide billions of dollars of direct relief to the live entertainment industry, which is now largely shuttered, as well as the restaurant and hospitality industries, demonstrating that Suozzi has never lost sight of our local needs on Long Island.
Although Senate Republicans have blocked the Heroes Act, Suozzi remains hopeful, saying often that if the lawmakers would just sit down and talk with one another, the act would pass.
Suozzi has pushed to eliminate the federal $10,000 cap on the income-tax deduction for state and local taxes, which President Trump instituted in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Previously, the deduction was unlimited. Many Long Islanders now pay thousands more in federal taxes because of the loss of that single deduction. Suozzi noted that the Democratically led House passed a measure to eliminate the deduction cap as part of the Heroes Act, and his vocal advocacy, in tandem with that of Rep. Peter King, a Republican from Seaford, clearly made a difference in ensuring the measure was included in the House’s proposed coronavirus aid package.
Without elimination of the deduction cap, Suozzi noted, many New Yorkers will continue to flee to states with lower local taxes.
The congressman also worries that the federal government will not provide enough coronavirus aid to school districts to ensure they do not have to cut services. Suozzi is fighting to make sure schools get all the funds they need, but he admits that Democrats like him have been unable to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or President Trump to budge on aid for local municipalities. Suozzi is not giving up, however. There is no doubt that he’s a fighter.
At the same time, Suozzi has fought to protect our local environment. In September, he called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to re-examine permitting for the hydraulic shellfish dredging of clams and oysters in the Oyster Bay Harbor and Mill Neck Creek. Environmental groups, including Citizens Campaign for the Environment and Earthjustice, have joined members of the North Oyster Bay Baymen Association to stop hydraulic dredging.
And Suozzi is one of the original co-sponsors of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, written to increase police accountability across the country, while eliminating chokeholds nationally. The measure passed the House, but is stalled in the Senate.
Suozzi said he believes systemic racism is real across the country, and he is pro-police reform. At the same time, he says that he supports law enforcement officers, noting that the two thoughts are not incompatible.
Although George Santos, who has never run for public office, did offer some interesting ideas, including a plan to incentivize large corporations to invest in a program to help small business owners, he needs more political experience before running for U.S. representative.
Suozzi, who is well known to Nassau voters as a former county executive and City of Glen Cove mayor, is one of the good guys in Congress, and that is why we urge readers to re-elect him this year.