Weiner voice made impact in House

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (third from l.) joins police and fire officials in Richmond Hill to urge the U.S. Senate to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
By Howard Koplowitz

The focus on U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) may be on his Twitter traffic, but the congressman has also been a prolific penner of legislation, sponsoring 17 pending bills in the House and co-sponsoring 62 others.

Weiner has drafted legislation ranging in topics from Social Security to anti-corruption bills, prohibiting aid to Saudi Arabia and extending unemployment benefits.

Weiner was a co-founder of the House’s Middle Class Caucus in 2008 and received an “A” on the Drum Major Institute’s 2005 congressional scorecard on middle-class issues.

He is also known as a staunch advocate of Israel and wrote legislation that would have prevented the United States from sending aid to Palestinians as long as Hamas, the militant group, was in charge of the territory.

The congressman has also been a outspoken Democrat who was thrust into the national spotlight when his tirade against Republicans’ refusal to back a bill giving medical care to Sept. 11, 2001, responders went viral on the Internet.

Weiner took aim at Rep. Peter King (R-Massapequa Park), who interrupted him while he was lambasting Republicans.

“The gentleman will sit,” Weiner shouted at King. “The gentleman is correct in sitting.”

In 2007 Weiner conducted a study in early 2007 that cited the dangers of the Internet and led to the passage of a bill requiring offenders to register their e-mail addresses and instant message screen names to the National Sex Offender Registry.

“Sadly, the Internet is the predator’s venue of choice today,” Weiner wrote on a section of his website titled “Delivering for NYC.” “We need to update our strategies and our laws to stop these offenders who are a mere click away from our children.”

Good government groups appeared to be keeping their distance from Weiner.

Calls asking about Weiner’s track record in Washington to Citizens Union, NYPIRG, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause were not returned.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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