On Sunday, December 15, Congressman Elliot Engel hosted an end-of-year holiday reception for community leaders throughout New York’s 16th congressional district. Representative Engel is also the current chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The annual event was held once again at The Riverview, a catering facility on the Hudson River overlooking the Palisades in New Jersey.
In introducing the host, long-time Chief of Staff Bill Weitz urged everyone to note June 23, 2020, which will be primary day in New York State. Weitz remarked, “We currently have four opponents. Most importantly, we need everybody to be together, to work together and to keep the chairman in office. We have a lot of work to do over the next six months, but we are going to do it and we are going to be successful. And we are going to win!”
Engel began by stating, “It makes me realize how privileged I am to serve as your member of Congress for the 16th district. These are difficult times. Of all the years we go back, I don’t think there was a more difficult time than there is now. And if you watch TV, it is somewhat discouraging, but I know that we are going to do the right thing.”
He assured his guests that he planned to vote for both articles of impeachment of President Trump. “I think win or lose, I think what we are doing is standing up for America, standing up for the Constitution of the United States of America and standing up for our democracy.”
He continued, “I am also fortunate in my district to have so many elected officials who are not only my colleagues but my friends. It is really important that you know, whether it is right here in Westchester or in the Bronx, at a local level, these people are working so hard and we always work together hand in glove. In closing I want to thank each and every one of you, for coming here and for celebrating the holidays with us. These are difficult times for America but we are going to get through them and we are going to keep fighting and we are going to never stop making America not only the land we love but the land we know that is moving forward and the direction that we love.” So thank you for being my partners, thank you for coming. It is a pleasure being your congressman.”
Local leaders present included Westchester County Executive George Latimer; Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins; State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins, the Democratic leader of the New York State Senate; and many other elected officials throughout the 16th district. New York City Councilman Andy Cohen, of Riverdale, attended, as well.
Looking back at 2019, Engel’s office highlighted a productive year in Washington. As chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Engel has introduced and passed legislation to combat climate change (H.R.9), address the root causes driving migration at the southern border and end U.S. involvement in the conflict in Yemen. Engel is one of the strongest supporters of Israel in the House, and as a leader on the House Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Anti-Semitism, he’s been outspoken on the need to address the rise in hate crimes in the United States. Engel’s committee was also a leader in investigating presidential misconduct relating to Ukraine during the impeachment inquiry.
Heading into 2020, Engel’s focus will remain on conducting stringent oversight of the current administration, while working on legislation helping middle-class Americans, including lowering health care costs. He helped pass major legislation in December to lower prescription drug prices and has authored legislation that would guarantee seniors an annual 3% increase in Social Security benefits, which would help address rising medical costs.
Engel prides himself on responsive constituent services. His Capitol Hill office can be contacted at 202-225-2464, his Riverdale office at 718-796-9700 and his Mount Vernon office at 914-699-4100.
By Judy Berger