Charles Schumer on Technology
Democratic Sr Senator (NY)
Public-private partnerships allow "Trump tolls" for cronies
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that her department is partnering with private industry to implement innovations like Hyperloop and high-speed rail. The key to these futuristic leaps in transportation and infrastructure, said Chao, is to allow
the private sector to invest and innovate. "Unfortunately, many of our states don't allow the private sector to invest in infrastructure. The reality is that we cannot fund $1.5 trillion in direct federal funding," she said
A number of Democratic
elected officials have fought against partnering with private companies, arguing that this isn't free money. Companies that invest in infrastructure, they say, want something back in return. They have also argued that private partnerships could lead to
a rise in cronyism.
Senator Chuck Schumer said that this kind of partnership would lead to Trump creating "a plan to appease his political allies, not to rebuild the country," and that these companies would levy "Trump tolls" throughout the US.
Source: Newsweek's Nicole Goodkind on 2018 Trump Administration
, Sep 24, 2018
$30B for NYC-NJ Gateway rail tunnel
President Trump is pushing congressional Republicans not to fund a crucial infrastructure project--a long-delayed $30 billion plan to build a new rail tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey.
The motivations behind Trump's opposition are not entirely
clear. It is a direct challenge to a key political rival, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), who has been among the most powerful and vocal backers of federal funding for the project.
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
(D-NY) visited the Oval Office this year with Schumer, a sometimes friend and sometimes foe of the president. After their last Oval Office meeting, officials left saying that Trump was on board with the project.
Some on Capitol Hill think that
Trump is using his opposition to funding the project as a bargaining chip to get Schumer and other congressional Democrats on board with a much larger infrastructure bill that would move through Congress this year.
Source: Washington Post, "NY-NJ Tunnel" on 2018 Trump Administration
, Mar 2, 2018
Cutting $245M from NOAA means worse hurricane forecasting
Sen. Chuck Schumer blamed underfunding of the national weather tracking system for miscalls about the path of Hurricane Joaquin--and warned problems could get worse because of cuts proposed by Congress.
Schumer said inadequate computer systems at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were responsible for tentative forecasts that showed the storm could smack New York and the East Coast. The opposite and more deadly mistake was made in advance of Hurricane Sandy--the first forecasts
missed the fact that it would barrel into NY and NJ with destructive force.
Schumer said $245 million in cuts proposed by Congress could further decimate NOAA's ability to predict powerful storms. "It is just plain dumb to cut hundreds of millions from
our weather satellite system just when catastrophic storms are getting more extreme and more frequent," he said. Schumer warned that without the money, by 2016 NOAA would be left with only one functioning satellite, decimating its forecasting ability.
Source: New York Daily News on 2016 New York Senate race
, Oct 4, 2015
New York's "geek in chief": inspire kids to pursue science
Senator Charles Schumer, introduced as "the state of New York's geek in chief," took the next step in his all-encompassing campaign onto the stage of Google's second annual Geek Fair. Google hosted over 500 children at the tech festival yesterday,
a public event organized to inspire kids to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and enlisted Sen. Schumer to endorse its message.
"Particularly to our young people, we would love you for the good of America,
for the happiness of yourself, to really consider getting involved in STEM," said the senator. "I can tell you this from my experience: you'll find it extremely useful and fun in your life."
Sen. Schumer urged parents and children to explore
STEM fields, arguing society may have reached the "saturation level" for lawyers, but not at all for scientists. Even if science is not a child's calling, the senator believes systemic thinking is an indispensable skill for any career.
Source: N.Y. Observer coverage of 2016 New York Senate race
, May 29, 2015
Protect kids from online sexual predators
Senator Schumer has built a long record on crime-prevention and public safety. From the Brady Bill and assault weapons ban to the Violence Against Women Act, from the Omnibus Crime Bill, which put
100,000 cops on the beat, to the strengthening of the national criminal background check system in response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, Senator Schumer has fought to keep New York streets safe.
He has also succeeded in protecting kids from online sexual predators with the passage of his bill to require convicted sex offenders to register their email addresses
(the KIDS Act) and substantially increased funding for state and local task forces dealing with internet crimes against children (the PROTECT Our Children Act).[Source: www.chuckschumer.com/issues ]
Source: Vote-NY.org profile for 2016 New York Senate race
, Nov 21, 2010
Supports "Fairness Doctrine" requiring balance in talk radio
Liberals plotting to undermine Fox News are itching to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine" to destroy talk radio and invoke campaign finance laws to restrict speech on the Internet. The "Fairness Doctrine" does not apply to TV stations, newspapers,
magazines, or movies. Only on the radio is the government required to enforce "fairness."
By mandating that any political views disseminated over the radio be counterbalanced by the opposing view, the "Fairness Doctrine" not only requires radio
stations to give boring crackpots airtime, it also creates an administrative nightmare. What is fair? There are conservative and liberal views--but there are also libertarian, Green party, and Marxist views. Reimplementation of the "Fairness Doctrine"
spells the end of talk radio.
So naturally Democrats are itching to bring it back! Senators Jeff Bingaman, Richard Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry, and Chuck Schumer--all Democrats--have said they want to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine."
Source: Guilty, by Ann Coulter, p. 18-19
, Nov 10, 2009
Favors building the No. 7 line before a stadium
Q: Do you favor building a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan for the New York Jets?
SCHUMER: Build the No. 7 line first.
MILLS: Yes, I do.
Source: [Xref Mills] 2004 NY Senate Debate, excerpted in NY Times
, Oct 17, 2004
Voted YES on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes.
Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes
on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.
Reference: Marketplace Fairness Act;
; vote number 13-SV113
on May 6, 2013
Voted YES on $23B instead of $4.9B for waterway infrastructure.
Vote on overriding Pres. Bush's veto. The bill reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States. The bill authorizes flood control, navigation, and environmental projects and studies by the Army Corps of Engineers. Also authorizes projects for navigation, ecosystem or environmental restoration, and hurricane, flood, or storm damage reduction in 23 states including Louisiana.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill lacks fiscal discipline. I fully support funding for water resources projects that will yield high economic and environmental returns. Each year my budget has proposed reasonable and responsible funding, including $4.9 billion for 2008, to support the Army Corps of Engineers' main missions. However, this authorization bill costs over $23 billion. This is not fiscally responsible, particularly when local communities have been waiting for funding for projects already in the pipeline. The bill's excessive authorization for over 900 projects and programs exacerbates the massive backlog of ongoing Corps construction projects, which will require an additional $38 billion in future appropriations to complete. This bill does not set priorities. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Reference: Veto override on Water Resources Development Act;
Bill Veto override on H.R. 1495
; vote number 2007-406
on Nov 8, 2007
Voted NO on restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007.
An amendment to provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. Voting YEA would increase Amtrak funding from $900 million to $1.45 billion. Voting NAY would keep Amtrak funding at $900 million.
Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
- [In my state], Philadelphia's 30th Street station is the second busiest train station nationally, with over 3.7 million boarding a year. And 3,000 people are employed by Amtrak in Pennsylvania. Amtrak and the health of Amtrak is important.
- Last year the Senate transportation bill had $1.45 billion for Amtrak, which is obviously more than the $900 million in the current budget proposal. I am offering an amendment to increase that funding from the $900 million which is in the bill right now to the $1.45 billion level and adding $550 million.
- I support funding through the section 920 account [without a tax increase]. We have seen that without raising the cap or without raising taxes, the Senate has been able to
come up with a robust number for Amtrak which I will support within the context of a responsible budget.
- We have spent less money on Amtrak in the last 35 years than we will on highways in this year alone. And highways don't pay for themselves, even with the gas tax. Neither does mass transit, either in this country or anywhere else in the world. But we subsidize them because they improve the quality of our lives.
- We have never provided the kind of commitment to Amtrak that we have for other modes of transportation, and this amendment will be an important step to getting Amtrak off the starvation budgets that it has subsisted on for far too long.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
Reference: Santorum amendment to Transportation funding bill;
Bill S.Amdt.3015 to S.Con.Res.83
; vote number 2006-052
on Mar 15, 2006
- The problem with that is there is no money in the section 920 account. If we want to talk about "funny money" financing, that is it--taking money from an account that has no money. This whole budget takes money we don't have. The result is we keep running up the debt.
Voted YES on disallowing FCC approval of larger media conglomerates.
Vote to pass a joint resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission. The rule would therefore have no force or effect. The rule in question deals with broadcast media ownership and would allow media conglomerates to own more television stations and newspapers.
Reference: FCC Media Ownership bill;
Bill S J Res 17/H.J.RES.72
; vote number 2003-348
on Sep 16, 2003
Promote internet via Congressional Internet Caucus.
Schumer is a member of the Congressional Internet Caucus:
Founded in the spring of 1996, the Congressional Internet Caucus is a bipartisan group of over 150 members of the House and Senate working to educate their colleagues about the promise and potential of the Internet. The Caucus also encourages Members to utilize the Internet in communications with constituents and supports efforts to put more government documents online. The Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the Internet Education Foundation host regular events and forums for policymakers, the press, and the public to discuss important Internet-related policy issues.
Membership in the Congressional Internet Caucus is open to any Member of Congress who pledges support for the following goals:
Source: Congressional Internet Caucus web site, NetCaucus.org 01-CIC1 on Jan 1, 2001
- Promoting growth and advancement of the Internet
- Providing a bicameral, bipartisan forum for Internet concerns to be raised
- Promoting the education of Members of Congress and their staffs about the Internet
- Promoting commerce and free flow of information on the Internet
- Advancing the United States' world leadership in the digital world
- Maximizing the openness of and participation in government by the people.
Require websites to police for copyrighted materials.
Schumer co-sponsored PIPA: PROTECT IP Act
Congressional Summary:Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA (in the House, Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA) :
- Authorizes the Attorney General to seek a court order against an Internet site facilitating online piracy to require the operator to cease and desist further activities constituting copyright infringement, unauthorized trafficking of sound recordings or videos of live musical performances, or trafficking in counterfeit labels.
- Allows an intellectual property right holder harmed by a US-directed website used for infringement, to first provide a written notification identifying the site to related payment network providers and Internet advertising services requiring such entities to suspend their services.
- Requires online service providers, Internet search engines, payment network providers, and
Internet advertising services, upon receiving a court order relating to an AG action, to carry out preventative measures including withholding services from an infringing website or preventing users located in the US from accessing the infringing website.
OnTheIssues Notes: SOPA and PIPA, proponents claim, would better protect electronic copyright ("IP", or Intellectual Property). Opponents argue that SOPA and PIPA would censor the Internet. Internet users and entrepreneurs oppose the two bills; google.com and wikipedia.com held a "blackout" on Jan. 18, 2012 in protest. An alternative bill, the OPEN Act was proposed on Jan. 18 to protect intellectual property without censorship; internet businesses prefer the OPEN Act while the music and movie industries prefer SOPA and PIPA.
Source: HR3261/S968 11-S968 on May 12, 2011
Strengthen infrastructure, including rail, dams, & Internet.
Schumer co-sponsored Rebuild America Act
Expresses the sense of the Senate that Congress should:
Source: S.4 13-S0004 on Jan 22, 2013
- create jobs and support businesses while improving the nation's global competitiveness by modernizing and strengthening our national infrastructure;
- invest resources in transportation corridors that promote commerce and reduce congestion;
- update and enhance the U.S. network of rail, dams, and ports;
- develop innovative financing mechanisms for infrastructure to leverage federal funds with private sector partners;
- invest in critical infrastructure to reduce energy waste and bolster investment in clean energy jobs and industries;
- invest in clean energy technologies that help free the
United States from its dependence on oil;
- eliminate wasteful tax subsidies that promote pollution and fail to reduce our reliance on foreign oil;
- spur innovation by facilitating the development of new cutting-edge broadband internet technology and improving internet access for all Americans;
- modernize, renovate, and repair elementary and secondary school buildings in order to support improved educational outcomes;
- invest in the nation's crumbling water infrastructure to protect public health and reduce pollution;
- upgrade and repair the nation's system of flood protection infrastructure to protect public safety; and
- invest in U.S. infrastructure to address vulnerabilities to natural disasters and the impacts of extreme weather.
Televise proceedings of the Supreme Court.
Schumer signed bill to televise proceedings of the Supreme Court
A bill to permit the televising of Supreme Court proceedings. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that Chapter 45 of title 28, US Code, is amended by inserting at the end the following:
'The Supreme Court shall permit television coverage of all open sessions of the Court unless the Court decides, by a vote of the majority of justices, that allowing such coverage in a particular case would constitute a violation of the due process rights of 1 or more of the parties before the Court.'
Source: S.446&H.R.429 2009-S446 on Feb 13, 2009
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