Gregory Meeks

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Gregory Meeks


Gregory W. Meeks is a Democratic congressman representing the 5th District of New York.

Background

Congressman Meeks earned his bachelor's degree at Adelphi University and he received his law degree from Howard University. He is a member of the Allen AME Church in St. Albans New York and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is married to Simone-Marie Meeks.[1]

Committees

Congressman Meeks is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, and is the former chairman of the Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. He currently serves on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, and Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. A critical committee for the state of New York, the Financial Services Committee oversees all components of the nation's housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. The Committee continually reviews the laws and programs relating to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and international development and finance agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Congressman Meeks serves as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia, and sits on the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Global Environment. At a time when the world is more interconnected than ever before, the Foreign Affairs Committee has an important role to play. The Committee is responsible for oversight and legislation relating to: foreign assistance; the Peace Corps; national security developments affecting foreign policy; strategic planning and agreements; war powers, treaties, executive agreements, and the deployment and use of United States Armed Forces; peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and enforcement of United Nations or other international sanctions; arms control and disarmament issues; the United States Agency for International Development; activities and policies of the State, Commerce and Defense Departments and other agencies related to the Arms Export Control Act, and the Foreign Assistance Act.[2]

Staffer's 2000 trip to Cuba

In February 2000, Faith Blackburne from the office of Congressman Gregory Meeks spent six days in Havana, Cuba, for the purpose of "improving US/Cuba relations". The trip cost $1,778.47 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.[3]

Staffer's 2007 trip to Venezuela

Rep. Meeks sent Sophie Atlee King to Venezuela for 4 days in July 2007. The trip was courtesy of a $1,606.25 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies connected Center for Democracy in the Americas... "To examine U.S. policy toward Venezuela and to better understand how government policies are affecting foreign investment in the energy sector" .[4]

1999 Cuba visit

On February 18 1999, six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and Gregory Meeks from New York and Earl Hilliard of Alabama [Vice Chair, CBC].

Representative Maxine Waters, who headed the delegation, stated that many of the congressional representatives already have some information about Cuba. But she hoped that additional facts would help the Black Caucus take a leading role in introducing legislation to change current U.S. policies toward Cuba.

Jorge Lezcano, President of the International Relations Commission of the Cuban Parliament, received the U.S. congressional representatives upon their arrival in Havana. Lezcano told reporters that the visiting members of the Congressional Black Caucus plan to meet with Cuban lawmakers and other government officials. He added that during their stay on the island, the U.S. delegation will also visit places of cultural and historic interest.[5][6][7]

The legislators' visit was organized by the US based Pastors for Peace, headed by the Rev. Lucius Walker, who accompanied the delegation. They have organized several aid "caravans" in the United States to collect supplies and take them to the island.

On Thursday, February 18th, the group met with Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina and held a question and answer session with him. The Cuban domestic news agency AIN said the encounter covered Washington's "aggressive policy" toward Cuba and the effects of the long-running U.S. economic embargo against the communist-ruled island. Robaina also talked about what he called the "enormous misinformation" about Cuba in the mainstream U.S. media.

Late Friday, February 19th, the group met with President Fidel Castro for 6 hours. There have as yet been no details on the meeting in the Cuban press. Vice President Carlos Lage and Ricardo Alarcon, president of the parliament, were also present.[8]

2000 Cuban visit

The invitation for U.S. students to earn a free medical education in Cuba dates to June 2000, when a group from the Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuban president Fidel Castro. It was presided over by the then Caucus President James Clyburn, from North Carolina, and was made up of Bennie Thompson from Mississippi and Gregory Meeks from New York. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) described huge areas in his district where there were no doctors, and Castro responded with an offer of full scholarships for U.S. citizens to study at ELAM. Later that year, Castro spoke at the Riverside Church in New York, reiterating the offer and committing 500 slots to U.S. students who would pledge to practice in poor U.S. communities. Castro opened the doors of the program to 500 U.S. students who began enrolling two years later.[9]

Castro's version

Writing in Granma April 7 2009, Fidel Castro gave his version of the Clyburn, Thompson, Meeks visit;[10]

In May 2000, another Caucus delegation visited us. It was presided over by the then Caucus President James Clyburn, from North Carolina, and was made up of Bennie Thompson from Mississippi and Gregory Meeks from New York. These congressmen were the first to learn from me of Cuba’s disposition to grant a number of scholarships to low-income youths, to be selected by the Congressional Black Caucus, so that they could come to Cuba and study medicine. We made a similar offer to the "Pastors for Peace" NGO, which is presided over by Reverend Lucius Walker, who sent the first students to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).
When the anti-Cuban pressures and activities of the Bush administration were intensified with respect to travel and the presence in Cuba of persons under U.S. jurisdiction, Black Caucus legislators addressed Secretary of State Colin Powell and managed to secure a license that legally allowed American youths to continue their medical studies – which they had already begun – in Cuba.

Rev. Lucius Walker, executive director of Pastors for Peace, a New York-based nonprofit church organized the lawmakers' visit.[11]

Another Cuba trip

Congressional Delegation meet with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque

From Dec. 15 - Dec. 18, 2006, a Congressional Delegation of ten congressmen and women from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Havana, Cuba. Leading the delegation were Jeff Flake and Bill Delahunt. The other participants were Hilda Solis, Jo Ann Emerson, Jerry Moran, Michael Conaway, Jane Harman, Lincoln Davis, Gregory Meeks and Jim McGovern. The delegation met with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque and other communist officials. The delegation asked to meet with Raul Castro during their weekend visit to Cuba, but there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.[12]

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included Gregory Meeks.[13]

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Democrats.com Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

Gregory Meeks signed the letter.[14][15]

Congressional Black Caucus

Gregory Meeks is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[16]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Gregory Meeks. [17]

Chavez oil

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez switched course January 2009, and revived a program that gives discount heating oil to poor Bronx residents.

The program, which critics call a propaganda ploy designed to embarrass the Bush administration, was suspended just two days earlier because of falling oil prices.

The program was revived largely due to last-minute intervention by Rep. Jose Serrano (D-South Bronx), who was instrumental in creating the subsidy program three years ago. Serrano and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens) "really came through," Joe Kennedy, the chairman of Citizens Energy, told the Daily News.

Kennedy's nonprofit administers the program, which last year provided cheap heat to 200,000 households in 23 states.[18]

Congressional Black Caucus Detroit event

Over 5,000 jobseekers showed up at the Wayne County Community College in Detroit for a jobs fair and town hall meeting yesterday. More than 7,000 attended last week's event in Cleveland, the second stop on the Congressional Black Caucus's "For the People" tour.

Over 1,000 positions were offered at the fair.

The event was hosted by Democratic U.S. Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke. Also present from the caucus were Maxine Waters of California, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Gregory Meeks from New York.

Rep. Maxine Waters, noting the great love and admiration for President Obama in the African American community, called on the audience to "unleash us" to address the president on the jobs issue. "When you tell us it's alright and you unleash us and you tell us you're ready for us to have this conversation, we're ready to have the conversation. The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too. We're supportive of the president but we're getting tired ya'll..." she said.

Rep. John Conyers called for a demonstration in front of the White House, "We should be in front, three to five, six thousand people the day before we open our 40th conference on Tuesday, September the 20th, in front of the White House, demanding jobs," Conyers said.[19]

Chavez's funeral

In March 2013, Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks announced he would officially represent the United States at former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s funeral, a country he’s dealt with in the past as a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“I thought that the trip was very good,” Mr. Meeks said. “I was welcomed there by both members of the opposition as well as people close to President Chávez. As you know, I got to know President Chávez quite well. I think that though controversial–there were many things that I disagreed with–that he did have his heart on the poor. When you look at the thousands upon thousands of people that were in the streets mourning his death, Venezuela is clearly a country that is in mourning.”

Mr. Meeks further said he was impressed by the wide range of international leaders in attendance, leaving him optimistic about the region’s future.

“It was an opportunity to hope that we have a better relationship with Venezuela in the future,” he explained. “There were world leaders from many of our allies–Colombia, all of the Caribbean, and everyone who was there–so it was an opportunity to talk to them also about where we go from here and how we can improve relationships. …The hemisphere is important to us. So it was moving in seeing the hemisphere trying to come together and work in a collective basis. … It showed a significant difference in what’s taken place in Latin America today as [opposed] to what has taken place in Latin America 20, 25 years ago. … Before Chávez was president poor people had no hope. Chavez gave them hope and that someone was on their side.”

“I believe in democracy and the people of Venezuela elect its leaders just like we elect ours,” he said. “So that’s for the people of Venezuela to decide and move together. Chávez was democratically elected three times. So I would never disparage a people’s choice for their president just like I don’t want anyone to disparage the American people’s choice for president. [20]

At Chavez's funeral

In March 2013, the Obama administration has dispatched an official delegation to Caracas to attend the funeral for deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In addition to James Derham, who served as Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in the Venezuelan capital, the State Department said that the delegation to the socialist revolutionary’s funeral would include U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, New York Democrat, and former U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat.[21]

In the funeral hall, more than 30 political leaders including Cuba's Raul Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood at attention before Chavez's flag-draped coffin. Many of them were welcomed by Nicolas Maduro, the vice president who will later be sworn in as interim president. The glass-topped coffin, which has been open since Wednesday, was shut for the funeral.

Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and former Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA) attended the Venezuelan leader's funeral. Hollywood actor Sean Penn and Reverend Jesse Jackson were also at the funeral. "We pray God today that you will heal the breach between the U.S. and Venezuela," Jackson said.[22]

Endorsing Bill Thompson

According to Danny Rubin of the People's World, "Bill Thompson will have the overwhelming vote of the African American and the Afro-Caribbean community, where his roots are. He has strong ties in Brooklyn where both he and his father had long political careers, and has been endorsed by Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano, state Senator Jose Serrano, Jr., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and the Bronx Democratic Party. . As well, Thomson has the endorsements of a growing number of African American elected officials, including Manhattan Democratic Party leader Denny Farrell, State Assemblyman Karim Camara, Congressman Gregory Meeks and the Rev. Floyd Flake.[23]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Melva Jackson was assigned as contact for Rep. Meeks. In June it was Yvonne Sallie.[24][25]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. Meeks.[26]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[27]

Venezuelan connection

According to data the Venezuelan delegation to Washington filed with the Foreign Agents Registration of the US, Venezuelan officials had 82 contacts with personalities in the United States. The list includes meetings with lawmakers, NGOs, and representatives of US actor Danny Glover's office.

The website of the US Government's Foreign Agents Registration published a report by Olivia Goumbri, who identifies herself as the Venezuelan Embassy's Social Outreach Counselor. The document elaborates on the Venezuelan officials' contacts with US political, cultural, and academic leaders.

Pursuant to the US law, foreign government agents in the United States have to report such activities to the NSD.

The document includes a questionnaire in which Goumbri was asked whether her foreign principal (the Embassy of Venezuela) had engaged in any political activity in the US. Goumbri's response was Yes.

Several congressional representatives, a pro-Cuban organization, religious leaders, social organizations, and actor Danny Glover's office are among the 82 registered contacts between Venezuelan diplomats and US-based individuals or organizations. Such activities took place from November 2012 to April 30, 2013.

Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Yvette Clarke, Gregory Meeks, Karen Bass and Jose Serrano - an admirer of late President Hugo Chávez- are some of the members of the House of Representatives who were contacted by the Venezuelan diplomatic mission through their parliamentary offices .[28]

Fourth Cuba trip

Alan Gross press conference in Cuba, May 5, 2014
Delegation meets with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, May 5, 2014 (Sarah Stephens, right)

In early May, 2014 Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Gregory Meeks (CA-), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5), and Rep. Sam Farr (NY-20) traveled to Cuba with Center for Democracy in the Americas, where they met with Alan Gross and Cuban officials, including Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez. [29]

Totalitarian trips

In August 2014, Gregory Meeks traveled to to Russia.

Meeks also planned to visit Northern Iraq, Kazakhstan, and “elsewhere” to participate in “bilateral discussion on nuclear non-proliferation and national security issues,” according to a statement put out by his office.

Aides wouldn’t specify where in war-torn Iraq Meeks would be going, citing security concerns.

All the trips are supposedly funded by nonprofit sponsors or, in some cases, foreign governments.

eeks visited Azerbaijan in 2013 to attend an energy conference. The sponsor was the Council of Turkic-American Associations, but the trip was actually paid for by energy companies.

Along with indicted Rep. Michael Grimm (R-SI), Meeks chaired the House caucus on US-Russia Trade and Economic Relations, an informal group that rarely meets.

Meeks was one of multiple lawmakers to fly to Azerbaijan for the 2013 energy conference.

He didn’t file a disclosure report until a year after the trip occurred — although he was supposed to file it within 15 days.

But as the Houston Chronicle and The Post reported, corporations like British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips were actually footing the bill.

Two weeks after returning home, Meeks and other attendees pushed to exempt an Iranian-backed natural-gas project from US sanctions.

In May, he visited Havana on a trip funded by the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

Meeks also made the pilgrimage to Caracas under Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, and officially represented the United States Chavez’s funeral 2013.

According to his most recent disclosure report, Meeks also traveled to Beijing and Shanghai, cities outside the main jurisdiction of the International Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee, where Meeks has a senior slot.

Meeks listed the trip as paid for by the “government of China.” Such government-funded trips are allowable under the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act, which Meeks cited on his disclosure form.[30]

Colombian meeting

In November 2014, officials from Colombia and the United States met in Bogota on Monday to renew international defense cooperation agreements between the two countries, and discuss ways in which to make it stronger.

According to a brief communique released by the Colombian Ministry of National Defense, the delegates discussed the progress the South American nation has made on security in recent years.

They also discussed the policy of “security through diplomacy,” a program through which Colombia, with U.S. support, offers its security expertise to allies for drug-related crimes, particularly Central America and Caribbean nations.

At the meeting were Republican lower house representatives Ted Yoho (Florida), Jeff Duncan (South Carolina), Matt Salmon (Arizona) and Ed Royce (California), and Democrats Juan Vargas (California), Eliot Engel and Gregory Meeks, all visiting from the U.S.

Colombian Deputy Minister of Defense, Jorge Enrique Bedoya, and Colombia’s ambassador to Washington, Luis Carlos Villegas, and U.S. ambassador to Bogota, Kevin Whitaker also attended the meeting. [31]

New Democrat Coalition, 113th Congress

In the 113th Congress, 50 members of the House of Representatives belonged to the New Democrat Coalition, including:[32]

  • Gregory Meeks

Letter on Iran sanctions

The National Iranian American Council commended Rep. James Moran (D-VA) and "all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama April 4, 2014, supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods are not unintentionally blocked for the Iranian people. NIAC strongly supported the letter and has consistently worked to raise awareness regarding the impact of sanctions on the Iranian people"...

The preliminary nuclear agreement brokered by the P5+1 and Iran included an agreement to establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade; however, medicine shortages have continued in part due to extensive financial sanctions on Iran and the reported unwillingness of banks to facilitate legal, humanitarian transactions.

Signers: James P. Moran (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Andre Carson (D-IN), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ), Mike Honda (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).[33]

White House Summit on Worker Voice

At the White House Summit on Worker Voice October 2015 President Barack Obama declared: "If you're not at the table, you are on the menu."

He was quoting Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of many top union leaders attending the day-long session. Also participating were organizers of low wage workers, researchers, academics, several business leaders, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Al Franken, D.-Minn., and Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, Gregory Meeks, D.-N.Y., and Frederica Wilson, D.-Fla.

Obama acknowledged that workers' rights have been weakened by anti-union laws and policies, but throughout the Summit he repeated his opinion that the main culprit has been "the combination of globalization and automation" that allows corporations "to do more with less." He said what's needed is a "refashioning" of the "social compact so that workers are able to be rewarded properly for the labor that they put in."

Obama suggested that employees and employers work together to create a new "culture" on the job that allows workers to have a voice.

President Obama closed the Summit on Worker Voice by saying, "I see this as the beginning of the conversation, not the end."[34]

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [35]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Praising CAIR

“CAIR-NY has proudly served the Muslim community and New York City for more than thirteen years, advocating on civil rights and youth empowerment issues. Though 2010 brings many challenges, both foreign and domestic, for the United States of America, I believe within my heart that CAIR-NY will continue to strengthen the relationships it has forged with communities across New York City and educate the population about Islam.” - Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) (May 2010). [36]

2016 Cuba trip

Representative Gregory Meeks was part of President Barack Obama's March 2016 delegation to Cuba.[37]

Intelligence scandal

Three brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties, on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.

Brothers Abid Awan, Imran Awan, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday February 2, 2017.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.

Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

“As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.

Jamal Awan also worked for Louisiana Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.

Imran worked for Reps. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, and Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Both are members of the intelligence committee. Imran Awan, also worked for the House office of Wasserman Schultz.

Then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, employed Abid Awan for IT work in 2016. She was a member of House committees dealing with the armed services, oversight, and Benghazi. Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, 2016. Abid Awan has a prior criminal record and a bankruptcy.

Abid Awan also worked for Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat who is member of the foreign affairs committee.

The three men are “shared employees,” meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and use them as needed for IT services. It is up to each member to fire them.

A criminal investigation into five unnamed people began late last year related to serious and potentially illegal violations of House IT policies. Chiefs of staff for the members were briefed Thursday by the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said the investigation was still ongoing, and arrests have not been made but staff were “asked to update their security settings.”

The Sergeant-at-Arms told staff that the subjects were four men who were brothers and one woman. It did not name them. It quoted one of the affected members as saying “they said it was some sort of procurement scam, but now I’m concerned that they may have stolen data from us, emails, who knows.”

The three brothers have all shared a house in Lorton, Virginia, that is owned by Hina Alvi. Alvi is a female House IT employee who works for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus. Alvi has worked for reps Gregory Meeks, Yvette Clarke, Dave Loebsack, and Emanuel Cleaver.

Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

Jack Langer, spokesman for the intelligence committee, said the committee office has its own IT staff and security measures and classified information from the panel is not allowed to be sent to members’ personal offices.[38]

Staff

The following are past and present staff:[39]

References

  1. [ http://www.house.gov/meeks/bio.shtml Official Congressional bio, accessed July 29, 2011]
  2. [ http://www.house.gov/meeks/bio.shtml Official Congressional bio, accessed July 29, 2011]
  3. American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  4. Legistorm: Center for Democracy in the Americas - Sponsor of Congressional Travel (accessed on August 30, 2010)
  5. [ http://www.cubatravelusa.com/history_of_cuban_embargo.htm Cuba travel USA website, accessed dec. 13, 2010]
  6. Reflections of Fidel, The seven Congress members who are visiting us, Havana. April 7, 2009
  7. http://www.afrocubaweb.com/blackcaucus.htm Afro Cuba web. MEMBERS OF U.S. CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS ARRIVE IN HAVANA Radion Havana Cuba]
  8. Afro Cuba web.Black Caucus Delegation visits Cuba, meets with Castro, Robaina La Habana, Feb. 20, 1999 Andy Petit
  9. [http://academic.udayton.edu/health/02organ/providers01.htm Fitzhugh Mullan, M.D Affirmative Action, Cuban Style, New England Journal of Medicine Volume 351:2680-2682 December 23, 2004 Number 26]
  10. Reflections of Fidel, The seven Congress members who are visiting us, Havana. April 7, 2009
  11. Black U.S. Lawmakers Visit Cuba, 5/31 By PAUL SHEPARD, Associated Press Writer
  12. Havana Journal website: Fidel Castro and US Congressional trip to Cuba update, Dec. 17, 2006 (accessed on April 28, 2010)
  13. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  14. War Is A Crime .org, Peace Pledge Coalition
  15. [http://www.democrats.com/peace-pledge Democrats.com. Sign the Pledge for Peace petition. Bob Fertik August 19, 2007
  16. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  17. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  18. Hugo Chavez flips oil aid back on for Bronx poor BY BILL EGBERT , LORE CROGHAN DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS Wednesday, January 7, 2009,
  19. Peoples World, Detroit demands action on jobs, by: Joe Sims, August 17 2011
  20. [Phttp://politicker.com/2013/03/congressman-gregory-meeks-reports-back-after-attending-hugo-chavezs-funeral/oliticker NY Congressman Gregory Meeks Reports Back After Attending Hugo Chávez’s Funeral, By Colin Campbell 3/11]
  21. Obama sending official delegation to Chavez funeral, Guy Taylor - The Washington Times March 7, 2013
  22. Breitbart, U.S. Congressmen Join Sean Penn at Chavez's Funeral, by Kerry Picket 8 Mar 2013
  23. PW, New York mayoral race: look at social forces behind candidates, by: Danny Rubin, June 6 2013
  24. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  25. PDA June 2013 Educate Congress Digest
  26. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  27. The WaPo, Nelson Mandela memorial: Who’s in attendance, By Terri Rupar December 10, 2013
  28. El Universal CARACAS, Friday October 04, 2013 Venezuelan Embassy officials met with US politicians as well
  29. Youtube, Delegation of Members of Congress to Cuba, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, May 6, 2014
  30. NY Post, Globetrotting Meeks set to travel to Russia, Iraq & Kazakhstan By Geoff Earle August 6, 2014
  31. telesur, Colombia, US Discuss Security and Defense DealsPublished 11 November 2014
  32. NDC Member List
  33. [https://www.niacouncil.org/congress-urges-president-to-ensure-sanctions-do-not-block-medicine-for-iranians/NIAC Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jamal Abdi]
  34. PW Workers take seats at the table at White House summit by: Larry Rubin October 13 2015
  35. H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
  36. [https://www.cair.com/images/pdf/What-They-Say-About-CAIR.pdf What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  37. Voice of America, Who's Aboard Air Force One to Cuba? March 20, 2016
  38. The Daily Caller, LUKE ROSIAK11:12 AM 02/04/2017
  39. http://www.legistorm.com/member/372/Rep_Gregory_Meeks_NY.html. Accessed 12/14/2011