Readers Write: Suozzi compromised by Problem Solvers Caucus membership

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Robert Pelaez’s piece posted to your website on April 21, “Suozzi sole New York Dem on bipartisan group to reopen nation,” certainly painted incumbent Rep. Tom Suozzi and his Problem Solvers Caucus in a favorable light. 

That may have had something to do with the fact that it was nothing more than a lightly modified version of an official press release issued by Suozzi the previous day.

In addition to pointing out how blatantly unethical it was to try to pass off your top advertiser’s self-aggrandizing press release as original content, I thought it was necessary to offer your readers a less rose-tinted view of Suozzi and the PSC.

 Firstly, Suozzi was not the only New York Democrat selected for Donald Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” advisory group because of his unearned reputation for bipartisanship or because Trump or his cabinet have the slightest interest in any of Suozzi’s suggestions.

 He was the only New York Democrat selected because he has been very friendly with Trump in the past and worked hard to sabotage his fellow Democrats and advance a Republican agenda.

When Democrats clawed the House of Representatives back from Republicans in the 2018 Blue Wave, the first order of business undertaken by Suozzi and his PSC associates was to hold Nancy Pelosi’s confirmation as speaker hostage in exchange for making it easier for the Republican minority to introduce amendments to bills.

When the recent refugee crisis at the southern border reached its zenith and Democrats agreed to allocate more money to federal agencies (such as Customs and Border Protection) to try to improve conditions for detainees, Suozzi and the PSC insisted that they would only vote in favor of an emergency funding bill if explicit protections for those detainees were stripped out.

 While the PSC claimed they did this because they were afraid Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would shelve a bill with explicit protections for detainees and there was no time to negotiate, it was actually because they wanted to advance Trump’s agenda. 

In response to their efforts, progressive Rep. Mark Pocan, who had attempted to work with the PSC in good faith in the past, branded the group the Child Abuse Caucus.

When Suozzi was asked at a town hall if he personally opposed the detainee protections or was merely carrying out the will of the majority of PSC members, Suozzi replied that internal caucus votes were confidential.

 While Suozzi did eventually vote in favor of impeaching Trump, he was one of the last Democratic representatives to announce his intention to do so and later told Newsday that he hoped the Senate trial would be short and no witnesses would be called. 

Suozzi could have told Newsday anything when asked for comment, and he decided to throw out a Republican talking point.

 What about this “back-to-work” PSC checklist that Suozzi was bragging about in his press release?  Assuming this six-page document even makes it to Trump’s desk, he’s sure to ball it up and throw it in the garbage. 

The man who openly encourages his supporters to break quarantine and avail themselves of dangerous, ineffective treatments has no interest in a “multi-prong, data-driven proposal.”

Suozzi has run out of excuses for his complicity. Hopefully, when the Democratic primary for the third congressional district is held on June 23, he’ll also run out of luck. 

Matthew Zeidman

New Hyde Park

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