Biography on Steve Israel, a U.S. Representative for New York
Steve Israel is a member of the U.S House of Representatives from the Third Congressional District of New York since 2001. Steve is a true leader. He values education. He respects the middle class and the low-income group. Even in the worst situations, Steve always raised his voice and stood up for his people. He has sponsored and co-sponsored numerous bills and voted in favor of several reforms that benefit the public to a great extent. He has been in power since 2001 and never misled his people. He introduced acts and transformed into laws to support the public at all situations. It is a privilege for me to write Steve Israel’s biography.
Steve Israel was born on May 30, 1958 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the Syracuse University from 1978-1979 and graduated from George Washington University in the field of political science in 1983. He also studied Liberal Arts from Nassau Community College in 1978. Steve worked as an assistant for Robert Matsui and Richard Ottinger. During the 1980’s he worked as an assistant to the Suffolk County executive. Steve was elected to the town Council in Huntington in 1993 and then to the Council of North Hempstead, Queens, Oyster Bay, and Smithtown New York.
Steve Israel won to the House of Representatives in 2000 in a hard contest after defeating Joan Johnson, a Republican and four other independent candidates. He was appointed as the Chair person to the Blue Dog Mid-East Task Force and was involved in the arrest of Iranian President Ahmadinejad . Steve played a great role to strengthen the relations between US and Israel. He then joined the Blue Dog Democrats and helped the then President, George W. Bush on the tax cut package and the drug bill. Steve made his best efforts to safeguard the homeless veterans. He is an active member and an advocate of the New York service members and the veterans throughout his tenure in Congress. He secured $7 million in overdue benefits and visited US military troops on various occasions including highly inaccessible bases in Afghanistan (Votesmart, Military Personnel).
Steve Israel is a member of the Climate Change Caucus which is a group of 45 members. He was the founder of Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) with partner representative Jay Inslee of Washington in 2009-2010 in the 111th Congress. Later in 2010-2011 in the 112th Congress, Steve served as the co-chair of SEEC. Steve passed two major environmental bills; The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act and the Green Energy Education Act on April 22, 2009 (Votesmart, Energy). The Green Energy Education Act provides grants for the training of engineers and architects to build and design clean energy . The Electronic Device Recycling Research and Development Act provides funds for the recycling of used electronic devices. The bill also grants funds for research and development projects in this area.
Steve actively participated in the voting favoring the American Clean Energy and Security Act on June 26, 2009 to address the concerns of global warming. This act focuses on the use of renewable energy resources and reduction of carbon emissions into the air. Steve also took major efforts to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska from oil exploration. Steve introduced the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act (Votesmart, Health and health care) which enables the consumers to get the facts about the commodities used at home and work. The Cleaning Product Right to know Act makes it a mandate to list all the ingredients used for domestic, commercial and institutional products on its packing. Steve stated that the people generally assume the products they use for cleaning are good for health without the awareness of the chemicals used in the products and the act would help to make informed decisions about which product to use.
In order to support the country during crisis, on March 18, 2010, Steve supported the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act (Votesmart, Employment and Affirmative Action). According to this act, if any employee has been unemployed for at least 60 days, he would be exempted from the Social Security payroll taxes. The act also provides an additional income tax credit of $1000 for every new employee who has served the company for at least 52 weeks. Steve voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rebuild the economy and infrastructure, invest in technology, and provide enhanced support for workers who have been hurt by recession.
On March 5, 2009, Steve with the House of Representatives passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act (Votesmart, Marriage Family and Children). This act enables the home owners to manage their mortgages and retain their property value and negotiate loan modifications. Steve introduced the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Votesmart, Business and Consumers) to protect the consumers from fraud and provides the authority to prosecute mortgage fraud. This act creates penalties for lenders who do not verify the identity of a borrower’s ability to repay the loan. Steve also favored the Credit Card Holder’s Bill of Rights which protects American families and small businesses owners against high rates of interest on existing credit balance and makes a mandate to notify the customers 45 days prior to making any hike in the interest rates .
In the 112th Congress, Steve introduced the Grow Your Own Teacher Act to improve the public schools in low-income and minority areas. According to this act, a student can be employed as a teacher in the same school from which he has graduated provided he attends a one year mentoring program with a veteran teacher. Steve also gave his contribution to pass the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act which provides grants to upgrade, modernize and renovate the schools and reduce the energy costs in the schools by employing renewable sources of energy and creating awareness among the children regarding the benefits of renewable energy sources. Steve passed the College Student Relief Act in 2007 (Votesmart, unemployed and Low-income) to lower the interest rates education loans offered to students under the Federal Family Education Loan and Direct Loan programs.
Steve voted in favor of the health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama. This law provides improved coverage for residents with health insurance and cuts down the tax to help afford the coverage. Steve is a co-chairperson of the House Cancer Caucus. He has passed two bills the Access to Cancer Clinical Trials Act and the Assuring and Improving Cancer Treatment Education and Cancer Symptom Management Act in 2009 which ensures that the patients are covered under the health coverage. These acts also provide awareness among the patients and their caretakers.
Steve Israel co-founded the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act which asks for verification of an employee in terms of criminal background check and English and civil test requirements. Steve also favored the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act DREAM which earns permanent residency for those students who have entered the Unites States at an age less than sixteen and stayed in the country for at least five years if they choose to enter the military services or attend college. Steve supported the United American Families Act (Votesmart, Marriage Family and Children) which treats same sex partners as married couples for the purpose of immigration.
Steve co-sponsored the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act in the 110th and 111th Congress. This act enables the Americans to invest in the country’s infrastructure to show their loyalty and responsible citizenship towards the country. Steve also supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Votesmart, Transportation) which aims at improving the transport system. The act has brought $1 billion to New York towards the development of roads, highways, bridges and mass transit. Steve introduced the Public Online Information Act which publishes public government information on the internet and makes it available to the people across the country. He served as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee and was always in the quest of transparency. Steve was one of the rarest members who voluntarily disclosed his personal financial details on his website.
Steve has called for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act (Votesmart, Guns) and put his great efforts to extend the bill for another ten years. The act bans the manufacture of any arms that are not detectable by metal detectors and do not give an accurate image when put through an X-ray machine. Steve also spoke about the hazardous consequences as a result of the plastic guns.
Steve supported the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers Act (Votesmart, Business and Consumers). According to this act, the Social Security that the seniors would receive depends on the price of the commodities available in the market. Steve voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which includes a one-time $250 payment to retired employees and disabled veterans. He introduced a new act called the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 that requires the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with the manufacturers of medicinal drug companies to lower the prices of medicines for Medicare recipients.
Steve proposed the Weekend Voting Act (Votesmart, Campaign Finance and Elections) in the 111th congress. According to the act, the polling lines would open on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time and close on Sunday at 6:00 p.m Eastern Time to make it more convenient for the people to vote. Steve passed an amendment to the Small Business Lending Fund Act to increase the assistance offered to veteran-owned businesses .
In a recent speech, Steve spoke about the tragedies caused due to carbon monoxide where he mentioned about an incident in a local mall that sickened 27 people and took the life of the manager at a sea food company. He alerted the people and recommended the use of carbon monoxide detectors to prevent the danger caused by the leakage of the gas. He also made a recent announcement to designate February 4th as National Cancer Prevention Day . Steve signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the issue of neuroscience and Alzheimer's research.
In favor of animal and wildlife, Steve co-authored the Great Ape Protection and Cost to Savings Act to limit the use of chimpanzees to scientific research and send the chimpanzees to wildlife sanctuaries permanently. Steve also wrote a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to classify chimpanzees as endangered species and provide the maximum protection. He voted in favor of the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act to identify and develop the sites with ecological and recreational values. Long Island is a home for a large diversity of birds and wildlife and contributes about $5 billion to the economy through fishing and sports. Steve called for the voluntary contribution of public to safeguard the coastal areas of the island and protect its natural habitat. He requested the local tax payers to contribute their best towards the preservation of wildlife.
Steve Israel passed the Innovation Act that amends the legal procedures regarding patent lawsuits. He voted in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Votesmart, Technology and Communication) that permits the federal agencies to share cyber threat information with private entities for investigation of cyber crimes and to protect the security of the United States. To protect the unity in the country, Steve voted in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Votesmart, Crime) and wrote a letter to the United States Department of Justice Advisory Policy Board to take strong action in protecting the minorities in the country such as the Sikh, Hindu, Arab-American communities from crimes. In his letter, Steve mentioned that the communities are ill-treated and most of the crimes are committed because of their religious identity. He also mentioned about turbaned Sikh boys getting harassed at schools. Steve passed the Tribal Law Enforcement Amendments (Votesmart, Labor unions) that prosecutes and investigates federal crimes in the Indian communities, Indian localities and Indian allotments.
Steve Israel voted in favor of the Science and Technology Funding (Votesmart, Technology and Communication) that authorized $84 billion for science and technology in research and development projects. He supported the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (Votesmart, Technology and Communication) to protect the privacy of the consumers. According to the Act only the owner of the device or a family member of the owner can unlock the device.
He passed the State Children's Health Insurance Program to provide 12 months of continuous insurance for children coming from low income groups. This program covers dental care and health care in rural health centers. Steve also voted in favor of the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (Votesmart, Stem cell Research) that transports a cloned egg into a uterus. The act sets criminal penalties of up to $10 million and imprisonment of up to ten years. Steve passed the Stem Cell Research Act (Votesmart, Stem cell Research) that supports embryonic stem cell research provided the individual voluntarily donates the stem cells to the research team.
Steve Israel voted for the Trade and Globalization Act (Votesmart, Trade) that expands the trade assistance to service sector workers and public sector workers. The act offers incentives for businesses that invest in areas designated as manufacturing development zones. The act also increases the period of notice to be given before closing the manufacturing plant from 60 days to 90 days. Steve also called in favor of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Votesmart, Trade) to cut short the barriers between the United States and Chile. The act reduces the tariffs imposed on certain textile and agricultural products. Steve has played a major role in passing the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Votesmart, Housing and Property) to meet the challenges faced by the public in terms of transportation and urban infrastructure.
Steve was highly appreciated for his role in the Automotive Industry Financing. The bill offers long-term restructuring loans to American automotive companies. In a meeting, Steve stated the importance of extending unemployment insurance benefits and gave an estimated figure of 3.5 million Americans to lose unemployment insurance benefits by 2014. He also expressed his view to reintroduce the Tax Equity Act (Votesmart, Budget Spending and Taxes) for cities with high cost of living. In favor of women, Steve supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Votesmart, Women) treats each paycheck as an offense if the compensation is found discriminatory. Steve voted for the Equal Pay Bill that would not discriminate payment in terms of age, race, sex, nationality or religion.
Steve has been playing a major role in the New York’s third Congressional district. He has given a recent interview in which he mentioned that it is impossible for him to predict the November elections. He says that the 16-day federal shutdown and the health insurance laws have put the Democrats under pressure. He is up for the primary elections in June 2014 and the general elections to be held in November 2014. He is one of those leaders who never saw defeat till date. However, the current situation in the United States is unpredictable. On the whole, Steve Israel is one of the most efficient leaders in the political history of the United States.
Accomplishments. 20 April 2014 <http://www.israelforcongress.com/about/accomplishments>.
Biography. 20 April 2014 <http://israel.house.gov/issues/environment>.
Congress. 20 April 2014 <http://beta.congress.gov/member/steve-israel/1663>.
NRCC. 20 April 2014 <http://www.nrcc.org/2014/02/06/new-nrcc-memo-even-dccc-chair-steve-israel-trouble/>.
Votesmart. 20 April 2014 <https://votesmart.org/candidate/55440/steve-israel?categoryId=47&type#.U1PvyVWSySo>.
WashingtonPost. 20 April 2014 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/steve-israel-d-ny/gIQAt0jCAP_topic.html>.