New Jersey Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ4) and Albio Sires (D-NJ-8) have proposed legislation that would require U.S. airlines and travel agents to issue full refunds for travel cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Airlines or agents who do not comply will be ineligible for federal loans or grants under the CARES Act, the $2 trillion stimulus legislation enacted last month in response to the pandemic inspired economic shutdown.
The Obama Administration is considering holding a contest for areas impacted by disasters other than Superstorm Sandy. The “winners” would get between $1 billion and $2 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion is Sandy relief dollars being doled out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal
The Record reports that New Jersey Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson; Albio Sires, D-West New York; and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch, and Sen. Bob Menendez are urging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan not to divert federal aid to projects in other parts of the country. Members of the New York Congressional Delegation are making similar pleas.
Bookerism of the Day
Where’s Senator Cory Booker? He’s proselytizing on twitter.
Sires told The Record that the entire New Jersey delegation could join together in opposition to a nationwide contest for the money. That would be great! Sires should lead the Democrats in the delegation in ending the partisanship that has been dominating the discourse over Sandy recovery and sign the letter to Donovan and Michael Boots, the Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality that Congressman Chris Smith invited him, and all members of the delegation to sign requesting a meeting to hash out the multitude of issues New Jersey residents are having with the HUD relief process.
NEWARK — Sometimes a handshake isn’t just a handshake. U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8th Dist.), who immigrated to the United States from Cuba as a child, today slammed President Obama for shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela…
Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ-8) told The Star Ledger that Cuban government could be out to smear Senator Bob Menendez’s good name.
“I won’t even be surprised if somehow the Cuban government is involved in this to try to damage Bob Menendez because he’s been so steadfast against the Castro government. He’s been a critic all his political life,” Sires said in a phone interview. “I would not be surprised if they are behind some of this stuff, some of these allegations. The Dominican Republic has a lot of relationships with Cuba.”
Hmmm. I wonder how Castro tricked Menendez into getting onto Salomon Malgen’s private plane. The Cuban spys must have put something in the senator’s cigar to make him forget to report the flights for two years.
As the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere, Sires is in the perfect position to get to the bottom of this and clear his friend Menendez’s name. I’m sure the committee chairman, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), would be very interested in conducting a hearing into how the Cuban government is interfering in the business of the United States Senate.
While they’re at it, they should also investigate Dominican port security.
The New York Times reported yesterday that Malgen, Menendez’s friend and campaign contributor whose Florida office was raided by the FBI this week, is an owner of a DR port security firm. Dominican officials have been resisting honoring their contract with the firm. Menendez has intervened with the State Department to try to get the $50 million contract honored.
Aides acknowledged on Wednesday that Mr. Menendez had spoken to State Department officials about the contract. And at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere last July, he questioned two administration officials — Francisco J. Sánchez, the undersecretary for international trade at the Commerce Department, and Matthew Rooney, the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the State Department — about why the United States government had not been more aggressive on the issue. The senator said more security was needed given the drug trade on the island.
Maybe Cuba is trying to smuggle drugs, rum, sugar,cigars and teen aged girls into the United States through the Dominican Republic and have paid off the DR customs officials to stop the cargo from being screened by Malgen’s company.
Sires should get to the bottom of this. He has the power.