Human Rights & Equal Opportunity
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Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined a group of 89 members calling on Congressional leadership to include funding for the census in the next COVID-19 relief package, accompanied by a necessary extension to census reporting deadlines. The letter follows a recent announcement by the Census Bureau to suddenly end field data collection by September 30.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved an appropriation package funding various government programs and operations for fiscal year 2021.
“These are challenging times for our nation,” Higgins said. “This legislation invests in our communities and builds a path to a healthier and stronger America.”
Below are highlights of the package with a focus on several aspects important to Western New York:
Transportation-Housing & Urban Development
As the late Honorable John Robert Lewis, who served in the House of Representatives for 33 years, made a final departure from Washington, D.C. on July 29, 2020, his colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee paid tribute to the civil rights legend.
On the House floor Congressman Brian Higgins remarked on John’s childhood visits to the City of Buffalo and hailed his presence of mind and courage to act on inspiration.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allocate funding to address housing discrimination in Western New York through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced passage of H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. The bill, cosponsored by Higgins, advances comprehensive and substantial policies to increase police accountability, add public transparency, re-build trust in our communities and save lives.
“The completely unwarranted use of force by police in front of Buffalo City Hall last night is a call to action for our city and country.
“Videos are exposing unchecked bad actors and the painful truth of what has been happening in our communities for far too long.
“George Floyd’s murder has led to a nationwide outcry for change. This unacceptable incident right here in our community — and others across the country in the wake of this tragedy — shows how widespread and urgent of a change is needed.
In the first virtual hearing in the history of the House of Representatives, members of the House Ways and Means Committee, including Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) held a hearing to discuss racial health disparities and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is calling on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to implement necessary measures to protect the health and safety of employees, including Western New Yorkers who work at the IRS office located in Cheektowaga, New York.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced $204,845 in federal funding for the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition for protection and rehabilitation of the Michigan Street Baptist Church. The funding is provided through the National Park Service’s (NPS) African American Civil Rights Grant Program.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced House passage of H.R.35, Emmett Till Antilynching Act. The bill makes an offense involving lynching a federal hate crime. The legislation was cosponsored by Congressman Higgins and passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 410-4.
“This legislation marks the end of a century long battle to federally outlaw the horrific act of lynching and sends a clear message to our communities that we will continue to fight for equality on every front, for as long as it takes,” said Higgins upon passage of the bill.