This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Michael Grimm (NY-13)
Bay Ridge to Grimm: Hands Off Our Medicare! [Brooklyn Paper, 4/29/11] A Rowdy Reception at Rep. Grimm’s Town Hall [Wall Street Journal, 4/28/11] Ethics watchdog group named Michael Grimm among “most corrupt” [The Brooklyn Politics, 9/20/11] Rep. Michael Grimm On The Perks Of Being A Congressman: Chicks Dig It [NY Daily News, 2/07/11] Business associate of Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm is convicted felon Carlos Luquis [NY Daily News, 8/14/11] How much did a convicted felon help Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign? [Staten Island Sun, 8/23/11] Questions surface over ex-FBI agent, Grimm [Staten Island Advance, 8/21/11] Rabbi’s Followers Cast Doubts on Congressman’s Fund-Raising [New York Times, 1/27/12] Michael Grimm Pushes Pipeline, Pulls Donations [NY Daily News, 2/09/12] Michael Grimm Extolled Hospital Funding Increase From Health Care Bill He Voted to Repeal [Politicker, 2/15/12] Michael Grimm’s Health Care Problem [MSNBC, 2/15/12] Congressman’s Business Ties Are at Odds With Upright Image [New York Times, 2/15/12] Michael Grimm’s ‘checkered business background,’ from scam-artist partner to mystery restaurant [Capital New York, 2/16/12] A string of Grimm headlines [Politico, 2/16/12] Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm Hid Shady Businesses, Poorly Named Companies [New York Magazine, 2/16/12] Grimm Caught in Political Firestorm [National Journal, 2/16/12] After Allegations, Michael Grimm No Longer a Romney Delegate [Politicker, 2/16/12] Michael Grimm’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month [MSNBC, 2/17/12]
Advance: Grimm’s Whistleblower Bill Would Hand Corporate Crooks The Keys To The Getaway Car In May 2011, the Staten Island Advance blasted Grimm’s plan to force corporate whistleblowers to first report misbehavior to their superiors, not government regulators. “It is bad enough that corporate thieves all too often escape punishment for their crimes. Now Rep. Michael Grimm wants to hand those crooks the keys to the getaway car,” the editorial board wrote. “Mr. Grimm suggests that any employees who are aware of corporate misbehavior should simply take that information to their superiors. […] If you see something, say something - but it matters whom you say it to. If you report a burglary to the police, that doesn't automatically ‘open the floodgates to frivolous claims and costly penalties.’ If you report the burglary to the burglar, you have tipped the crook, put yourself at risk and all but assured an undesirable outcome.” [Staten Island Advance, 5/16/11] Advance Criticized Grimm for Sympathizing with Convicted Spy In October 2011, the Staten Island Advance wrote an editorial criticizing Grimm for his support and advocacy on behalf of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The editorial criticized Grimm for visiting Pollard in a North Carolina federal prison. While Grimm said that he was “working with many others in Washington to have justice prevail and have him released from prison,” only one other Republican in Congress shared Grimm’s views about Pollard. The editorial questioned Grimm’s interest in the case when it would matter little to his constituents. Grimm cited his lifelong interest in Pollard’s case and stated that it had nothing to do with politics. [Staten Island Advance,
Voted for REINS Act In December 2011, Grimm voted for the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Federal agencies to submit regulations with an annual economic impact of $100 million or greater to Congress for approval. The bill passed the House by a vote of 241-184. Grimm said, “My vote for the REINS Act represents one of the very reasons I came to Congress: to fight for the return to small government. Our country has become over-burdened with Washington bureaucrats and ‘big-government’ regulations that have killed any opportunity for our economy and businesses to grow. In fact, these job-killing regulations have cost America’s employers roughly $1.75 trillion annually, and that’s unacceptable. The Obama Administration has proposed more than 200 new regulations this year alone, each of which cost our economy $100 million or more. The REINS Act targets these very rules, making them subject to Congressional approval before they can be implemented.” [Grimm ENewsletter, 12/9/11]
Voted for REINS Act
In December 2011, Grimm voted for the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Federal agencies to submit regulations with an annual economic impact of $100 million or greater to Congress for approval. Grimm said, “More government does not create jobs, but by rolling back onerous regulations, we can create a friendly environment for jobs. I urge the Senate to act without delay on the REINS Act and on the 25 other House-passed jobs bills that it has yet to consider.” [Staten Island Advance,
Expressed Support for Success of “Super Committee” In November 2011, Grimm appeared with a bipartisan group of lawmakers expressing support for the work of the “Super Committee”. Grimm said, “We’re all standing here because we want the ‘Super Committee’ to have the confidence that we are there to support them.” [The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, 11/16/11] Voted For Bill To Provide $3.65B in Disaster Relief In September 2011, Grimm voted for a continuing resolution that would provide $3.65 billion for disaster relief. To partially offset the cost of relief, House leadership cut an auto-technology program. Rep. Eric Cantor’s call for dollar-to-dollar cuts put New York Republicans in the tough position of choosing between aid to their communities and party loyalty. Grimm said that spending cuts should be figured out later. The bill failed by a vote of 195-230. [capitalnewyork.com, 09/22/2011] Requested “Straight Aid” For Disaster In 2011, Grimm called for “straight aid” for disaster relief, disassociating himself from Rep. Eric Cantor’s request to tie aid to budget cuts. In a statement, Grim said, "There's no question that the government should play a much more limited role in our lives than it currently does. However, protecting life and property are the fundamental responsibilities of government and providing protection and relief from disaster is a large part of that."
Voted for Final Debt Ceiling Compromise Legislation In August 2011, Grimm voted for the final debt ceiling compromise legislation, the Budget Control Act of 2011. The framework would cut $917 billion in spending over a decade, raise the debt limit initially by $900 billion and assign a special congressional committee, with members from the House and the Senate and appointed by congressional leadership, to find another $1.5 trillion in deficit savings by late November.
If Congress met that deadline and deficit target, or voted to send a balanced budget amendment to the states, the debt ceiling would be raised an additional $1.5 trillion. The plan guaranteed a vote on the balanced budget amendment between October and the end of 2011. If Congress failed to take either step, or debt savings of at least $1.2 trillion were not produced, the plan allows the president to obtain a $1.2 trillion debt ceiling increase. That would trigger automatic spending cuts across the government – including in defense and Medicare – to take effect starting in 2013. The Medicare cuts would only affect Provider reimbursements. The legislation included no revenue increases. The bill was passed by the full House, 269-161. [Bloomberg, 8/01/11; S 356, 8/01/11] Voted Against Reid’s Debt Ceiling Plan In July 2011, Grimm voted against Sen. Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt ceiling. Reid’s plan called for raising the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, requiring no additional debt ceiling vote until after the 2012 election. The plan included $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts over 10 years, mandatory spending cuts of $100 billion, $1 trillion in savings from winding down combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $400 billion in interest savings. The legislation included no revenue increases. The CBO score of Reid’s plan said it would reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion. The bill was rejected by the full House, 173-246. [New York Times, 7/25/11; HR 2693, 7/30/11] Voted in Favor of Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Plan In July 2011, Grimm voted in favor of Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise the debt ceiling. Boehner’s plan called for an immediate debt ceiling raise of $900 billion, spending cuts of $917 billion over 10 years, and an additional debt ceiling vote in six months. The legislation contained no revenue increases. Under Boehner’s plan, the second debt ceiling raise was conditional on the passage of a balanced budget amendment by both Houses of Congress and the creation of a select joint committee on deficit reduction. The CBO score of Boehner’s plan said it would reduce the deficit by $850 billion. The bill was approved by the full house, 218-210. [ABC News, 7/29/11; S 627, 7/29/11] Grimm “Reluctantly” Supportive Boehner Debt Ceiling Plan In July 2011, Grimm said that he would reluctantly go along with Boehner’s debt ceiling plan. Grimm said, “We’ve got to make sure we’re playing chess here, not checkers…We’ve got to think longterm, and we’ve gotta make sure that this is viewed as a move towards a more ultimate goal.”
Disappointed with Those Who Made Debt Ceiling Debate a Partisan Issue In July 2011, Grimm commented on the debt ceiling debate and said he was “disappointed with the president for starting this class warfare, and disappointed with those outside my office who have made this a partisan issue.” [silive.com, 7/27/11] Grimm: House Can’t Do Anything More than Cut, Cap and Balance In July 2011, Grimm said he was unsure what more Republicans could offer in terms after the Senate rejection of Cut, Cap and Balance. Grimm said, “At that point, honestly, I don’t think there’s any more the House can do. If you don’t use something that’s similar to the cut, cap and balance approach, I don’t think anything else exists. So we can’t do anything more.” According to the Post, “Grimm said he hoped the Senate might take up the idea again and that he was open to some alterations, as long as it still promised caps on federal spending for the next few years.”
[Washington Post, 7/25/11]
Voted in Favor of Cut, Cap and Balance Plan In July 2011, Grimm voted in favor of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, legislation requiring deep spending cuts, a federal spending cap and a balanced budget amendment in order to raise the federal debt ceiling. Under Cut, Cap and Balance, discretionary spending in fiscal year 2012 would be reduced below fiscal year 2008 levels except for Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans affairs. The plan provided a universal spending cap after 2012. The legislation contained no revenue increases. The bill was approved by the full House, 234-190. [New York Times, 7/21/11; HR 2560, 7/19/11] Grimm: Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Would Have “Detrimental Consequences,” But Would Be Irresponsible to Raise Ceiling Without Cuts and Balance Budget Amendment In July 2011, Grimm said the GOP would propose $111 billion in cuts for fiscal year 2012, rolling back non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels without cuts to veterans, Medicare or Social Security, while also seeking passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Grimm said, “2008 wasn’t so long ago.” Referring to the balanced budget amendment, he said, “States do it…Why shouldn’t the federal government?” Grimm said, “There’s no question that a failure to raise the debt limit and defaulting on our obligations could have detrimental consequences…However, it would be even more irresponsible to raise the limit on our nation’s maxed-out credit card without also putting an end to the reckless spending.” [Staten Island
Said Special Allowances for Oil and Ethanol Industries Should Be Up for Negotiation
In July 2011, Grimm said he thought closing tax loopholes and getting rid of special allowances for industries like oil and ethanol should be open for negotiation in the debt ceiling debate. [Fox Business,
Said He Could Not Raise Debt Ceiling Without Spending Cuts and Structural Changes In July 2011, Grimm said that he could not raise the debt ceiling unless the debt plan carried substantial spending cuts and structural changes. Grimm said, “I worked on Wall Street. I know what this will mean – interest rates rise, markets could potentially start to spiral. That’s why we have to get this right, and get a full package of meaningful savings and real structural change.” [NY Daily News, 7/13/11] Said Couldn’t “In Good Conscience” Vote for Clean Debt Ceiling Increase In July 2011, Grimm said he couldn’t “in good conscience” vote to raise the debt ceiling without “substantial cuts to wasteful spending,” as well as other reforms, including perhaps a balanced budged amendment and spending caps.[Staten Island Advance, 7/12/11] Grimm: Won’t Blink on Debt Limit Crisis In July 2011, Grimm said he was unshakeable in his position on the debt crisis. He said, “I’ve had a gun to my head, literally…Didn’t blink then, won’t blink now.” [Politico, 7/12/11] Said Debt Limit Negotiations Not About Winning Political Favor In July 2011, in response to a question that lengthening the debt limit negotiation was an opportunity for him as a “Tea Party darling,” Grimm said, “This isn’t about me winning favor with any group or organization…We have a serious problem here. We can talk about all these other esoteric ideas, but if we don’t get our fiscal house in order, raising the debt limit is going to be irrelevant 2, 3, 4 years down the road because we’re going to be in the same fiscal situation that Europe is in.” [CNBC, 7/11/11] Voted Against Clean Debt Ceiling Raise In May 2011, Grimmvoted against HR 1954, a clean federal debt ceiling raise of $2.4 trillion. The bill was rejected by the full House, 97-318. [HR 1954, 5/31/11] Grimm’s Staten Island Town Hall Was “A Spirited Give And Take” “In a spirited give-and-take on issues ranging from the national debt to the environment last night held his first town hall meeting here, four months after he was seated in the Congress. Prior to the town hall meeting, about two dozen demonstrators, including Democrats and union members, protested out front on Manor Road. They carried “Grimm Reaper” signs that accused the congressman of gutting Medicare.” During the meeting, Grimm “came under attack from some present for his support of the budget blueprint of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which would undo the current Medicare payout for those 54 and younger.”
[Staten Island Advance, 4/29/11]
Grimm’s Got “Rowdy Reception” At Brooklyn Town Hall On April 27, 2011, Grimm held a contentious town hall meeting in Brooklyn. Many constituents expressed their disapproval of his vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. “Congressman Grimm voted for the Republican budget that will cut Medicare for folks like my mom, me eventually, my wife,” said one constituent. “The cost of healthcare is skyrocketing and they are transferring the cost of it to regular citizens. Average folk, they can barely pay their rent in this area,” said another. Grimm indicated he would vote for the proposal again if given the chance. [Wall Street Journal, 4/28/11] Grimm Said Raising Debt Limit “Simply Is Not An Option.” In April 2011, The New York Post reported that House freshmen aren’t budging in their opposition to raising the federal debt limit. “It simply is not an option,” said Rep. Mike Grimm (R-SI), warning that crushing debt is just as big an economic threat as a federal credit default from not raising the $14 trillion limit. “I have to hold my ground because otherwise, I really believe…our economy will be destroyed,” Grimm said. “Everyone - every economist in the world -- everyone recognizes that our debt is unsustainable.” Grimm, Buerkle and their freshman colleagues vow not to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama and the Democratic-led Senate agree to severe spending cuts and fundamental budget reforms. [The New York Post, 4/25/11] Grimm: I will Vote For Debt Ceiling Increase If It Comes With Cuts And Reforms. In an April 2011 interview on ABC Upclose, Michael Grimm said of raising the debt ceiling, “I will vote for it only if there is significant real cuts and reform so that we are not just kicking the can down the road for future generation.” [ABC Upclose, 4/17/11] “Liberal Media” Would Make Shutdown Bad for Republicans In 2011, Grimm said that politically, a government shutdown would be bad for Republicans because the media was liberal and would blame Republicans instead of Democrats for failure to pass a budget. “I think the politics of [a shutdown] is bad for the Republican party because the media in general is liberal and is going to help the Democrats and use it to help the Obama administration. The headline will be ‘Republicans Shut the Government Down’ rather than the headline being ‘The President and the Government Have Failed to Put a Budget Together.’” [observer.com, 4/06/11] Ryan Budget Puts America “On the Right Path” In 2011, Grimm offered up his support for Paul Ryan’s budget plan saying that the bill was “real, tangible and it’s a way to get us on the right path.” [observer.com, 4/06/11] Opposed Budget Cuts out of Concern That Cuts Hurt New York
In 2011, Grimm wrote to Speaker Boehner with concerns that proposed budget cuts would disproportionately hurt New York by making cuts to Amtrak, heating assistance to low-income families, as well as additional programs that could affect the New York Metro area. [Bloomberg, 4/05/11] Local Health Clinic to Suffer Under House Budget Proposal In 2011, the Community Health Center in State Island faced looming budget cuts under the House budget proposal. The clinic is one of six federally funded community health centers that could close under the proposed Republican budget. In 2009, the clinic received $1.3 million in stimulus dollars to expand hours and services. Additionally, the PPACA provided $11 billion dollars to support and expand the network of clinics across the country. [wnyc.org, 4/01/11] Supported the Building of a Columbarium in Staten Island In 2011, Grimm advocated for a columbarium to be built in Staten Island. A columbarium is an aboveground structure in which cremated remains are inured. Grimm encouraged the Department of Veterans Affairs to consider Staten Island when looking for land in which to build the memorial. [silive.com, 03/14/11] Supported Funding Cuts to National Public Radio In 2011, Grimm called for the elimination of all future government subsidies for National Public Radio in the wake of inflammatory comments made by Ron Schiller. Schiller suggested NPR could do without government funding during a hidden-camera video exchange. "As Mr. Schiller stated on video, NPR would be better off without federal funding…The least we can do is honor his request." [silive.com, 03/10/11] Voted to Cut Funding for Mortgage Refinance Program In 2011, Grimm supported legislation that would cut funding for a program designed to help seniors refinance their mortgages. [Grimm Floor Remarks on the Motion to Recommit HR 830, 3/10/11] Vowed to Work for Hospital Funding In July 2011, Grimm vowed to take a three-prong approach, including federal grants, other federal aid, and working city and state officials in a collaborative effort, to address deficiencies in hospital funding. Grimm stated, “Quality care is something everyone on Staten Island should have access to…They can keep hospitals afloat with proper funding. It’s about being smart with the money. [Staten Island Advance,
Grimm Criticized by Local Tea Party Leader for Opposition to GOP Budget Cuts
In February 2011, Grimm was criticized by Staten Island Tea Party group organizer Frank Santarpia for his support of a bid that would restore more than $750 million in cuts to the GOP budget bill. Santarpia said Grimm was elected to go to Washington to cut spending, saying that to spare certain programs without identifying others that might be cut instead "is to simply place the burden once again on the backs of the taxpayers." [ SIlive.com, 2/18/2011] Grimm Expressed Displeasure With 2011 GOP House Budget Plan In February 2011, Grimm and Rep. Peter King sent a letter to Speaker Boehner to express displeasure with the 2011 House GOP budget plan. Grimm and King took exception to cutting $400 million in heating assistance (LIHEAP), $150 million for Amtrak, and $200 million in transit security funding. They wrote, “Our region has been and continues to be the top terrorist target in the country and these deep cuts put the lives of our constituents at risk-especially since we know al-Qaeda's history of attacking trains in London and Madrid.” [New York Daily Times, 2/14/11] Grimm Opposed Cutting Aid to Israel In February 2011, Grimm wrote a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging him to vote “no” on Continuing Resolution because it would cut foreign aid, thus directly cut aid to Israel. Grimm said, “Our shared commitment to Israel and its people requires us to support and promote strengthening the necessary bond between the two countries. It is because of this common goal that I ask you to join me and not support any proposed FY2011 Budget that would reduce foreign aid to Israel.” [TheStateColumn.com,
Grimm Voted Against Cuts to UN and NYPD Funding In February 2011, Grimm voted against the GOP attempt to strip $179 million from the UN -- including $100 million in security cash for the NYPD. [The New York Daily News, 2/09/11] Grimm Said He Will Likely Vote To Raise The Debt Ceiling Grimm, meanwhile, says that he will likely vote to raise the debt ceiling when the question comes around the House again soon. “It’s a tough, tough vote, because everyone is saying don’t raise the debt ceiling,” Grimm said after the Rotary meeting. […] But Grimm said that now was the time for the GOP to put safeguards into the system, such as a balanced budget amendment, so the debt ceiling won’t have to be raised again in the future. “It’s an opportunity to once again attack the problem,” he said. [Staten Island
Grimm Said Boehner Understands Gravity Of Debt Limit And Will Work With The Entire Congress To Change The Culture of Washington. In a January interview with Diane Sawyer and nine other GOP freshmen, when asked, “Let's say the Senate, let's say the White House will not budge on what you think is adequate compromise on starting spending cuts. Go right up to the wire. They-- instead of playing chicken, but going right up to the wire. Will you let it all go down?” Grimm responded, “I-- it's well said. And I-- I think that-- Speaker Boehner and our leadership-- gets that. I think that they understand the gravity of the situation, and I do have
faith-- that-- that Speaker Boehner-- and the leadership-- is going to work with us, the freshmen class, and-- and with-- with the entire Congress to finally put-- to really change the culture. It's about changing the culture of Washington. This borrow-and-spend mentality has to be changed. And that will not happen overnight. It's not going to happen overnight.” [ABC News World News, 1/05/11] Grimm: “There’s No Way To Avoid” Raising The Debt Ceiling, American Could Lose It’s Triple A Rating In a January interview with Diane Sawyer and nine other GOP freshmen, when asked about John Boehner’s comment that the debt ceiling vote “is going to be difficult, but serious problems would exist if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. That’s the bottom line.” Michael Grimm said, " There's no way to avoid that. I mean, that's absolutely true. If America defaults on its obligations-- loses our-- you know, triple A rating and so on. There are extreme consequences to that. But again, I think it's a process. This is-- this is not-- we can't just define it as a simple yes/no.” [ABC News World News, 1/05/11]
Business and Consumer Issues
Grimm: NYC Health Department is ‘Extortion’ In January 2012, Grimm blamed the city Health Department for carrying out what he characterized as a policy of “extortion” against restaurants, bars, and other food establishments, and identified the lettergrade system as “a scheme to make money for the city.” Grimm claimed that nine out of 10 times businesses were denied an “A” because of administrative problems, not for lack of cleanliness “A friendly business environment matters if the goal is to keep and expand the number of jobs in the city and country,” said Grimm. “It's not friendly to do business in the U.S. right now.” [silive.com, 1/18/12] Protested Postal Consolidation Plan In 2011, Grimm and other Staten Island officials protested a plan that would have Staten Island mail processed off island and trucked back for delivery, citing a loss of jobs and reduction of quality service. The Staten Island processing center has a 93.9 percent accuracy rating as opposed to Brooklyn’s 68.2% and Manhattan’s 41.2%. Grimm said, “It’s time to say enough. One million pieces of mail going to facilities with failing grades? Why would you close the best — the No. 1 — processing center in the Northeast?” [silive.com, 08/10/2011] Proposed Bill Criticized for Being “Redundant” and an “Effort to Weaken” Reform In 2011, Grimm sponsored the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act . The legislation would exempt a business that uses derivatives for hedging risk from clearing requirements.
The bill was criticized by Barney Frank as either “redundant or an effort to weaken it.” The Dodd-Frank bill already made it clear that they do not intend to upend businesses that use derivatives as part of normal efforts to reduce risk. [National Journal, 03/14/11]
Campaign Finance Issues
Possessed $1 Million Cash on Hand In January 2012, PolitickerNY reported that Grimm had at least $1 million in campaign funds on hand at the end of 2011. [politickerny.com, 1/19/12] Received $1,000 From Citigroup Grimm received $1,000 from Citigroup PAC on September 14, 2011.
Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11] [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October
Received $3,000 From Goldman Sachs Grimm received $3,000 from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. PAC, in two separate contributions of $2,000 on July 25, 2011 and $1,000 on September 30, 2011. These contributions bring Grimm’s total from Goldman Sachs to $9,000 year-to-date. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11] Received $1,000 From NRA Grimm received $1,000 from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund PAC on September 30, 2011. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11] Received $14,000 From John Boehner Grimm received $10,000 from Speaker John Boehner’s PAC, The Freedom Project, in two separate contributions of $5,000 on September 20, 2011. These contributions bring Grimm’s total from The Freedom Project to $15,000 year-to-date, in excess of legal limits. Grimm also received $4,000 from Friends of John Boehner, in two separate contributions of $2,000 each on September 20, 2011. [Michael
Grimm for Congress, 2011 October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11]
Received $2,500 From Paul Ryan Grimm received $2,500 from Rep. Paul Ryan’s Prosperity PAC on September 20, 2011. These contributions bring Grimm’s total from Prosperity PAC to $5,000 year-to-date. [Michael Grimm for Congress,
2011 October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11]
Received $8,983 From Patriot Day II Grimm received $8,983 from Patriot Day II 2011 on September 30, 2011. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011
October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11]
Reimbursed Himself $4,000 for Meals, Painting Supplies
From July to September 2011, Grimm reimbursed himself $4,004 for meals, painting supplies and event catering. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11] Carrying $31,000 in Debts to Individuals, Vendors, Self As of October 2011, Grimm’s campaign is carrying $31,036 in debt to various vendors and individuals, including $1,193.61 to Grimm himself for “Event Site Rental/Travel.” [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October
Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11]
Received $219,850 in PAC Contributions Grimm received $219,850 in contributions from PACs in its October 2011 quarterly filing. These contributions made up 75 percent of the committee’s total receipts. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 October
Quarterly FEC Report, Filed 10/14/11]
Nearly Half of Grimm’s Campaign Contributions Come From Financial Sector In 2011, Grimm, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, raised $540,000 in the first half of the year, with 49 percent of the contributions coming from the financial sector, in particular insurance, commercial banks, and real estate. [American Banker, 08/30/2011] Raised Money from Taylor Swift Concert In August 2011, PolitickerNY reported that Grimm planned to raise money from the Taylor Swift concert in Washington, D.C. on August 2nd, according to a fund-raising invitation posted on Political Party Time.
Received Campaign Contributions from Cantor, Ryan and “President” of “Tanning Bed” In July 2011, Grimm reported that he received $5,000 in campaign contributions from Rep. Eric Cantor’s ERIC PAC and $2,500 from Rep. Paul Ryan’s Prosperity PAC. Grimm also received $500 from Daniel Humiston, the “President” of “Tanning Bed.” [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 July Quarterly FEC Report, Filed
Grimm Carried $65,000 of Debt into First Term According to Federal Election Commission reports, Grimm was carrying $65,000 of debt into January 2011. At the beginning of the year, he had just $29,141 in the bank. [The Hill, 2/1/11]
Crime & Public Safety Issues
Said Entire Justice System At Risk In December 2011, Grimm said that the entire justice system was at risk because of the lack of justice for slain border patrol agent Brian Terry killed with weapons from Operation Fast and Furious.
Grimm said, “his goes to the heart of whether we can have confidence in our government. I mean, attorney general is a very, very significant position — it’s basically your top law enforcement officer. This goes to the heart of our DOJ, our whole system of justice. There’s not many things to me that are more important than that. Obviously, we’re all worried about the massive debt. Absolutely we should be — that should be top priority. But our whole system of justice? To me, that’s just as important.” [Daily
Linked Holder to Fast and Furious Despite Justice Department Claims In December 2011, Grimm on Fox News said Fast and Furious was approved “all the way at the top of the food chain” by Eric Holder despite the fact that the Justice Department said Fast and Furious was a local operation that Holder and senior Justice Department officials were unaware of. Grimm said he did not have confidence in Holder and said, “I think the attorney general has been misleading not only the Congress but the American people. Listen, you don't let guns and drugs walk. That's the general rule of thumb. So if you're going to do something like that, which is very rare, you have to have approvals at the highest level of DOJ… There's no question in my mind that you needed approval all the way to top of the food chain, which leads directly to the attorney general.” [mediamatters.org, 12/13/11] Voted for Synthetic Drug Control Act In December 2011, Grimm voted for the Synthetic Drug Control Act that would control the sale of synthetic drugs that mimicked hallucinogenic or stimulant properties of marijuana, cocaine, crystal meth, LSD, and other drugs. Grimm said, “The synthetic drug problem is of growing concern in Brooklyn and Staten Island, particularly as it grows in popularity among our youth. These substances are not only far too accessible in our communities, but are just as dangerous as the substances they mimic. I applaud the passage of the Synthetic Drug Control Act and urge its swift passage in the Senate, so that we can put an end to the sale of these dangerous substances once and for all.” [Grimm E-Newsletter, 12/09/11] Defended NYPD in Handling of Jose Pimentel Case In November 2011, Grimm defended the NYPD’s handling of the case against terrorism suspect Jose Pimentel after the FBI expressed doubts. The NYPD tracked Pimentel for over a year, but the FBI declined to join the case due to an informant who was a shaky trial witness. The FBI never believed that Pimentel posed a threat. Grimm defended the NYPD and said, “Sometimes, the NYPD is just in a better position to handle a case. Historically, I think they are working together much better now than before 9/11.'' [Wall Street Journal, 11/22/11] Called for Holder’s Resignation Following Operation Fast and Furious In October 2011, Grimm was one of 28 members of Congress calling for Attorney General Holder’s resignation following Operation Fast and Furious.
The Obama administration had recently released over 650 pages of documents to congressional investigators to defend Holder. [dailycaller.com, 10/31/11] Called for Holder’s Resignation Following Operation Fast and Furious In November 2011, Grimm called for Holder’s resignation and said that he found it “unbelievable” that Holder was unaware of the details of Fast and Furious. Grimm said, “Attorney General Holder has a repeated pattern of misleading members of Congress under oath and Fast and Furious appears to be no exception. In this case, his claims don’t add up. As a consequence, I believe he has lost all credibility with Congress and the American people, which is why I am calling for his resignation...As a former federal law enforcement agent, I take the rule of law very seriously, especially when it concerns the death of a federal agent,” said Grimm, who worked as an FBI agent for nine years.” [newsmax.com, 11/01/11] Opposed Homeland Security Budget Cuts In June 2011, Grimm opposed House Republican proposals to cut homeland security grants commenting, “The cost of another successful terrorist attack is exponentially greater than the cost of prevention.” [New
York Daily News, 6/04/2011]
Grimm Hired NYPD Detective In January 2011, Grimm hired an NYPD detective following the shooting of Rep. Giffords. In an interview with MSNBC, Grimm said, “I think there was some misinformation out there in the media. I never hired a bodyguard. I was hiring a retiring member of the NYPD to do a myriad of different things on the staff, including veterans’ affairs – he’ll be a case worker and he’ll also be the security officer so to speak for the entire office, and for the entire staff both here in D.C. and back in the district, so he’s not my bodyguard.” [MSNBC, 1/21/11] Grimm Said Having Detective on Staff Was Always Part of his Plan In January 2011, Grimm said he always planned to hire the detective for his office and for a safety net at public events. In an interview with MSNBC, Grimm said, “whenever we have an event where there’s going to be a large number of volunteers and the general public showing up, I think that you have to have some security because anything can happen in a crowd: someone can get ill, there could be a fire, there could be any type of emergency, so you have to have those there that can control a crowd, so that was always part of the plan prior to this devastating tragedy I was already hiring the NYPD detective that’s retiring.” [MSNBC, 1/21/11] Grimm Hired Bodyguard After Arizona Shootings In the beginning of his 2011 term, Grimm hired a former NYPD detective who would act like his bodyguard during public events. The man would act as a security guard at large events and would help local war vets get available benefits. All other members of Brooklyn’s Congressional delegation were going out sans bodyguard. Grimm also believed that congressmen who want to carry guns should be able to do so. [New York Post, 1/19/11]
Economic and Financial Issues
Opposed “Volcker Rule” to Regulate Banks’ Trading In January 2012, Grimm voiced his discontent with an aspect of President Obama’s financial reform deemed as the “Volcker Rule,” which would restrict banks from trading for their own accounts. Grimm said the regulators who endorsed the reform were “overzealous” bureaucrats who “found creative ways to make a terrible rule even worse.” [Politico, 1/18/12] Disapproved of Obama’s CFPA Appointment In January 2012, Grimm voiced his disapproval of President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. “President Obama’s announcement to make a sham recess appointment for Richard Cordray to head the controversial CFPB shows his complete disregard for the checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution,” Grimm said. “Knowing he lacks the support from Senate Republicans to confirm Corday, he has changed the rules in his favor and sets a dangerous precedent that will give him carte blanche to appoint whomever he pleases, whenever he pleases.” Grimm claimed that Obama’s appointment demonstrated his “refusal to work with Congress” and that it is a “product of his arrogance.” [politickerny.com 1/04/2012] Criticized Dodd-Frank for Vast Scope In December 2011, Grimm criticized Dodd-Frank financial reform for being too vast in its scope. Grimm said, “The worst part of Dodd-Frank was to try to eliminate systemic risk and I would say to you Dodd-Frank will CREATE systemic risk. A lot of the smaller banks who are trying to keep up with the regulations will go under and the big banks will buy them up making these big banks even bigger creating the systemic risk Congress was trying to avoid. We are working in committees now to dial back DoddFrank. This is the 800 pound gorilla on steroids and it will have a tremendous amount of unintended consequences.” [CNBC, 12/14/11] Criticized by POGO for Whistleblower Bill In December 2011, the Project On Government Oversight sent a letter strongly opposing Grimm’s bill, H.R. 2483, that would end protections for whistleblowers. POGO investigator Michael Smallberg said, “Calling this bill a 'Whistleblower Improvement Act' is almost a cruel joke since it will only protect companies that rip off investors and retaliate against whistleblowers. If Congress is serious about giving regulators the tools they need to avert another
financial crisis, they should leave this bill on the cutting room floor.” [Project on Government Oversight,
SEC Chairman Criticized Changes to Whistleblower Program In December 2011, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro criticized Grimm’s whistleblower bill and sad that the whistleblower program provided by Dodd-Frank was already providing “significant benefits”. Schapiro said, “Making significant changes in the program before it has had an opportunity to demonstrate its full value seems premature, particularly in the absence of any evidence of problems with the current program.” She said that Grimm’s bill would have a chilling effect” on whistleblowers and would reduce the amount of tips the SEC received. [marketwatch.com, 12/14/11] Sponsored Bill to Amend Derivatives Provisions in Dodd-Frank In November 2011, Grimm sponsored a bill that would make end users not subject to margin requirements that would force firms to set money aside to reduce risk. Exemption from margin requirements would not apply to financial entities, including banks, a provision that drew criticism from the American Bankers Association. [americanbanker.com, 11/30/11] Bill Passed Through Financial Services Committee In November 2011, Grimm’s bill to exempt “end users” from margin requirements passed through the Financial Services Committee. Grimm said that the legislation would free up “capital to be used for job creation and to help our companies remain competitive in the global economy.” When Grimm ran for office in 2010, securities firms were his third biggest source of funding and he was working hard to increase the share. [salon.com, 12/01/11] Warned Against More Regulation After MF Global Failure In November 2011, Grimm warned against expanding financial regulations after the failure of brokerdealer MF Global Holdings Ltd. Grimm said, “I’d like to caution my Democratic colleagues who may seek to use MF Global as an excuse to expand Dodd-Frank and impose further job-killing restrictions on the financial sector,” Grimm said in a statement. If MF Global did actually steal or illegally comingle funds, they committed a criminal act that all the regulations in the world wouldn’t have stopped.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/03/11] Highlighted Votes in Favor of Free-Trade Agreements In October 2011, Grimm highlighted his votes in favor of the three free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, saying that they were important for American job creation and leveling the playing field between the U.S. and its competitors.
Grimm said that the agreements would create 250,000 jobs, increase U.S. exports by $13 billion, and add $10 billion to the GDP. He said, “It's not enough to buy American, we have to sell American. While I understand some may have concerns with the nations with which we are trading, specifically Colombia, I believe the overall impact on our economy is crucial to creating jobs and turning our country around.” [Staten Island Advance, 10/17/2011] Grimm Opposed Cutting Aid to Israel In February 2011, Grimm wrote a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging him to vote “no” on Continuing Resolution because it would cut foreign aid, thus directly cut aid to Israel. Grimm said, “Our shared commitment to Israel and its people requires us to support and promote strengthening the necessary bond between the two countries. It is because of this common goal that I ask you to join me and not support any proposed FY2011 Budget that would reduce foreign aid to Israel.” [TheStateColumn.com,
Sponsored Legislation Exempting “End Users” From Posting Cash Reserves on Swaps In July 2011, Grimm sponsored legislation exempting commercial “end users,” such as utilities, manufacturers and airlines, from posting cash reserves on swaps that do not go through a clearinghouse. Grimm said, “We have to remove the barriers to job creation imposed on businesses, such as the unnecessary margin posting requirements, if we want to improve the economy and create jobs.” [Reuters,
Advance: Grimm’s Whistleblower Bill Would Hand Corporate Crooks The Keys To The Getaway Car In May 2011, the Staten Island Advance blasted Grimm’s plan to force corporate whistleblowers to first report misbehavior to their superiors, not government regulators. “It is bad enough that corporate thieves all too often escape punishment for their crimes. Now Rep. Michael Grimm wants to hand those crooks the keys to the getaway car,” the editorial board wrote. “Mr. Grimm suggests that any employees who are aware of corporate misbehavior should simply take that information to their superiors. […] If you see something, say something - but it matters whom you say it to. If you report a burglary to the police, that doesn't automatically ‘open the floodgates to frivolous claims and costly penalties.’ If you report the burglary to the burglar, you have tipped the crook, put yourself at risk and all but assured an undesirable outcome.” [Staten Island Advance, 5/16/11] Grimm Said Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Changes Would “Open The Floodgates To Frivolous Claims” In a May 2011 statement in support of his legislation to change whistleblower laws in the financial sector, Grimm said, “For decades, companies have maintained effective internal reporting mechanisms to catch criminal activity early, helping them protect shareholder and company interests. The changes in DoddFrank open the floodgates to frivolous claims and costly penalties by allowing whistleblowers to go directly to the SEC. Companies can't effectively address a problem if they don't know about it. The provisions in Dodd-Frank will certainly keep them in the dark.” [Office of Congressman Grimm, 5/11/11]
Defended Wall Street During a Meeting with Wall Street Executives In 2011, Grimm, during a meeting with executive from ICAP Plc, the world’s largest interdealer broker, supported Wall Street from what he alleged was “demonization.” “When we demonize Wall Street, it’s the people on Main Street who don’t have a job,” said Grimm.
Education Issues Energy Issues
Said Energy Department “Hasn’t Done Its Job” and Needs to Be “Re-Evaluated” In July 2011, Grimm said the Energy Department needs to be “re-evaluated.” He said, “It hasn’t done its job…It’s failed miserably to get us to energy independence.” [Staten Island Advance, 7/12/11] Voted to Stop Government Mandates on Light Bulb Efficiency In July 2011, Grimm voted to kill government mandates on light bulb efficiency because “Americans don’t need a nanny state telling them what to put in their lamps.” Grimm said, “The government should not be picking winners and losers on this issue, especially when it comes at the expense of the taxpayer. In this economy, mandating that consumers buy expensive light bulbs is absurd. We all want to move towards energy efficient options, but it shouldn’t be through a mandate that breaks the banks of America’s hard-working taxpayers.” [PolitickerNY, 7/12/11]
Natural Gas Pipeline Bill Passed House In February 2012, a bipartisan bill introduced by Grimm that would permit construction and operation of a natural gas pipeline in Queens passed the House. Supporters of the bill boasted it would bring clean energy to the city, create 300 local construction jobs and generate millions in revenue. “This bill is a perfect example of how government should work. It allows for the private sector to create local jobs, without any federal spending, while bringing clean, affordable energy to New York City's residents and businesses,” Grimm said. [silive.com, 2/08/12] Criticized for Pipeline Support, Possible Pay-for-Play
In February 2012, Grimm received criticism for his support of the pipeline. Grimm was accused of representing private interests and accepting bribes, because he collected $3,000 in campaign contributions from supporters of the pipeline. Grimm’s bill would allow the Williams Companies and National Grid to run a natural gas pipeline under Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. According to campaign finance records, Grimm received $2,000 from the Williams Companies, in September and December 2011, and $1,000 from National Grid in September 2011. [NY Daily News, 2/09/12] Put Study of Great Kills Park Ballfields on Fast-Track After Radiation Detection In August 2011, Grimm put a study on fast track for the Great Kills Park after radiation was detected 3 years ago. A spokesman for Grimm said that, “Obviously, this is frustrating to the public, but the community can rest assured that we’ll be working closely with NPS to make sure that Great Kills Park is reopened as soon as possible and any threat to public health is eradicated.” The project will cost more than the $500,000 that former Congressman McMahon had secured for the study. [silive.com, 8/18/2011] Said He Would “Massively Cut Back” on EPA In July 2011, Grimm said that he would “massively cut back” the Environmental Protection Agency. Grimm said, “They’ve overrun their mandate, and are often passing rules and regulations outside the scope of their authority…They need to rein it in.” [Staten Island Advance, 7/12/11]
Watchdog Group Asked OCE to Investigate Grimm In February 2012, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Grimm exchanged illegal campaign contributions for his promise to assist a prominent fundraiser in procuring a green card. “Campaign fundraising can sometimes be shady, but Rep. Grimm has sunk to a new low. A former FBI agent meeting in the shadow of the Manhattan FBI office to take an illegal campaign contribution in an unmarked envelope? Sounds like something out of a Grisham novel,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “In addition to the illegal campaign contributions, it also appears Rep. Grimm may have promised to use the powers of Congress to assist a fundraiser in procuring a green card. In other words, Rep. Grimm may have engaged in bribery. These are serious allegations that demand an immediate investigation.” [citizensforethics.org, 2/09/12] Murphy Deflected Questions About Grimm Campaign Accusations
In February 2012, Mark Murphy deflected questions about Grimm’s campaign fraud allegations, instead choosing to focus on his own campaign. “You know, I read the New York Times. I’ve read many of the different articles and I’m focused on my campaign. I’m focused on protecting Social Security and Medicare,” he said. [politicker.com, 2/03/12] Defended by Ulrich In February 2012, Eric Ulrich, New York City Councilmember and Mitt Romney’s NYC campaign chair, defended Grimm and urged that he continue to represent Romney on the campaign trail. “These are just accusations. The last time I checked people are innocent until proven guilty,” Ulrich said.
Grimm Accused of Illegal Fundraising Practices In January 2012, the New York Times reported that Grimm had allegedly engaged in illegal fundraising practices during his 2010 campaign, including taking contributions in excess of federal limits, taking contributions from foreign nationals, and setting up “straw donors.” The charges stem from Grimm’s efforts, with the assistance of an Israeli national named Ofer Biton, to raise money from the followers of prominent Orthodox rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto. The report was based on findings from more than 15 interviews with Pinto followers and close scrutiny of Grimm’s campaign finance records. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Biton Helped Grimm Raise Money, Now Under Investigation by FBI According to the Times’ report, Biton is an Israeli citizen and is currently under investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors “over accusations that he embezzled millions of dollars from [Pinto’s] congregation.” “Grimm and Biton were together all the time during the campaign,” said Yossi Zaga, a Pinto follower who donated $4,800 to Grimm at Biton’s urging. “They would drive around together to the homes and offices and ask for contributions.” [New York Times, 1/27/12] Biton Wanted Green Card Help from Grimm The Pinto followers interviewed by the Times indicated that Biton helped Grimm raise money in hopes that he would help Biton obtain a green card if he was elected. As of January 30, 2012, it had not yet been determined whether Grimm had done anything to benefit Biton’s immigration situation. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Biton Denied Fundraising Allegations Jeffery A. Udell, Biton’s lawyer, denied that Biton ever raised money for Grimm.
“You asked, Did he pick up checks for Grimm’s campaign, and the answer is categorically no,” Udell said. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Grimm Asked for Proxy Donations According to the Times, Grimm indicated that he was willing to set up “straw donors” through which to channel campaign contributions from individuals who could not give legally, including non-citizens. One of Pinto’s followers claimed that Grimm came to his office to solicit a legal contribution. As the follower was handing over the check, Grimm informed him that there were “ways of working around the campaign rules.” “Grimm wanted you to supply the money, and if someone wants to give and cannot give, you have to find a friend to give it through,” the follower said. “Let’s say someone is not legal to give because he’s not American. Grimm wants this guy, Joe A, to give the money to Joe B so Joe B can make the contribution to the campaign.” [New York Times, 1/27/12] Grimm Received Illegal Cash Contributions One follower claimed that Grimm instructed him to meet “near the F.B.I. building” in Lower Manhattan to make a contribution. The individual said he handed over $5,000 in cash in an envelope to Grimm while sitting in Grimm’s car. Campaigns are barred from accepting cash contributions in excess of $100. [New York Times,
Grimm Asked for $20,000 Contribution The same follower claimed that Grimm had pressed him for a $20,000 contribution. The legal contribution limit for the 2010 cycle was $4,800 per individual. [New York Times,
Grimm Raised $500K from Pinto Followers for 2010 Campaign According to the Times, Grimm’s campaign collected more than $500,000 in contributions from Pinto followers, according numerous interviews and analysis of campaign finance records conducted by the paper. That amount is more than half of the total Grimm raised from individuals for the 2010 cycle. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Received Few Donations from Pinto Followers for 2012 Campaign As of January 31, 2012, Grimm had received very few donations from Pinto’s followers for his 2012 re-election campaign. Followers interviewed by the Times said they did not want to donate to the Grimm campaign after federal prosecutors began investigating the embezzlement accusations against Biton. [New York Times, 1/27/12] PR Executive Tied to Grimm and Biton
In January 2012, the Times reported that while it was not clear how Biton and Grimm initially met, Ronn Torossian, a New York public relations executive, was often seen with Grimm and Biton during Grimm’s 2010 campaign. Torossian was also the subject of federal inquiry over the embezzlement of money from members of Rabbi Pinto’s congregation. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Torossian’s Lawyer Denied Fundraising Connections Gerald L. Shargel, Torossian’s lawyer, said Torossian had “absolutely no role” in efforts to raise money from Pinto’s followers on Grimm’s behalf. “He absolutely denies any wrongdoing, and sees himself as a victim in this case,” Shargel said. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Grimm Denied Any Wrongdoing Grimm denied all claims or allegations made in the Times’ report. “Any suggestion that I was involved in any activities that may run afoul of the campaign finance laws is categorically false and belied by my life of public service protecting and enforcing the laws of this country,” Grimm said. [New York Times, 1/27/12] Grimm claimed the story lacked evidence of wrongdoing. “The unsubstantiated accusations made by the Times are completely false, and it's disappointing that such a story was allowed to go forward without evidence,” Grimm said. [Wall Street Journal,
Whistleblower Group Denounced “Grimm Act” In January 2012, the National Whistleblowers Center launched a campaign against the so-called “Grimm Act,” which would steer whistleblowers through companies’ internal systems rather than the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission The National Whistleblowers Center said the proposed legislation “systematically rolls back every whistleblower provision included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.” “It undermines every major whistleblower protection achieved for corporate employees in the past 20 years. Employees witness fraud every single day, and they are going to stay silent if this bill is passed,” Stephen M. Kohn, executive director, said. “It stacks the deck in favor of those who are accused of waste, fraud, and abuse, and it removes the only incentive David has to fight Goliath. This is a green light for corporate fraud. It must be stopped.” [politickerny.com, 1/26/12] Named One of Congress’ Most Corrupt Members
In September 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Grimm to their list of the most corrupt members of Congress. CREW accused Grimm of improperly endorsing a friend’s security company. In an online video testimonial, Grimm praised Manny Gomez, founder of MG Security Services, LLC, as a close friend and reliable professional. “I would call him for advice or for help and I have and would continue to do so,” he said. Grimm is twice identified as a congressman representing New York’s 13th District in the video, which was posted on the company’s website as recently as August 2011.
[Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, accessed 9/22/11]
Pushed Back at Corruption Accusation In September 2011, Grimm landed on the “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” list put out by CREW, after his video endorsement of MG Security, the security company of a friend and former colleague Manny Gomez, surfaced. Gomez says that Grimm contacted him and asked him to take down the video for MG Security’s website. According to Gomez, Grimm was not paid for the video and the video was filmed “a long time” ago. Grimm supporters claimed that the video was filmed before Grimm took office, but only ran after he was elected. When Grimm found out the video could be problematic, he asked for it to be removed. [NY Daily News, 09/21/2011] Received Contribution from Tanning Lobby President After Sponsoring Tanning Tax Repeal In July 2011, the New York Daily News reported that, less than a month after sponsoring legislation to repeal a tanning tax, Grimm received a $500 contribution from the president of a tanning lobby. Grimm said he was proud of his work for the tanning industry, and that he “made a campaign promise to help small businesses by repealing Obamacare, of which the tan tax was a part.” [New York Daily News,
Leadership PAC “Received an Inordinate Amount of Contributions from Financial PACs” In June 2011, The Huffington Post reported that Grimm had set up a leadership PAC that has “received an inordinate amount of contributions from financial PACs.” The House Financial Services Committee of which he is a member is “the most represented committee among GOP freshman with PACs…Republicans, as well as Democrats, place vulnerable members on the committee so they can raise funds from the industry the panel oversees.” [Huffington Post, 6/20/2011] New York City Public Advocate Said Grimm Nightclub Allegations Were “Too Troubling To Be Ignored” In April 2011, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said the Grimm nightclub allegations were “too troubling to be ignored.” De Blasio continued, “Congressman Grimm has an obligation to fully address the allegations by letting the whole truth come out. I urge the congressman to join me in calling on the New York City Police Department and the Justice Department to release all records surrounding this incident in order to provide a full accounting to the public.” [Staten Island Advance, 4/28/11]
Grimm On Biggest Perk of Congress: “It’s All the Ladies.” After a February 2011 speech, an audience member asked Grimm about the “really cool perks” of being a congressman. Grimm answered, “I’m single. It’s all the ladies. I get little notes, so-and-so wants to go out to dinner. That’s it.” [New York Daily News, 2/06/11] Grimm: House Ethics Rules Are “Restrictive” and “Ridiculous” During a February 2011 discussion after a speech, Grimm said the House rules and regulations are “more restrictive than you could ever imagine.” “You can’t take a slice of pizza,” he said. “The rules have almost gotten ridiculous. If someone was once a lobbyist, they can’t buy you a cup of coffee. The ethical rules are so tight that there really are no perks.” [New York Daily News, 2/06/11]
Grimm Joins Moderate Caucus In January 2011, Grimm joined the Republican Main Street Partnership, a moderate group dedicated to promoting and building a fiscally conservative majority. Grimm was supported by the Tea Party in his 2010 campaign but in January seemed to be trying to be more moderate for his reelection by joining the PAC. [The New York Observer, 1/28/11]
Foreign Policy Issues – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea
Criticized U.S. Mission in Afghanistan In June 2011, Grimm criticized the US mission in Afghanistan and said, “We went into Afghanistan with a mission to combat terrorism and take down Al-Qaeda, yet during my visit a few months ago I saw a tremendous amount of nation-building…In our struggling economy, we have our own nation-building to do here on American soil.” Grimm said that the President “absolutely must define our mission moving forward. Only then can we implement an effective withdrawal strategy that brings our troops home safely without threatening our national security.” [Staten Island Advance, 6/24/2011] Questioned Decision to Remove U.S. Troops from Afghanistan In June 2011, Grimm questioned Obama’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan by 2012. “Are we withdrawing our troops because we were successful and the mission is complete? Is that why we are withdrawing our troops? Or are we withdrawing out troops because we accept that we can’t build the nation of Afghanistan? And therefore, we’re going to cut our losses and come home?” [NY1,6/22/2011] Grimm Opposed Cutting Aid to Israel
In February 2011, Grimm wrote a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging him to vote “no” on Continuing Resolution because it would cut foreign aid, thus directly cut aid to Israel. Grimm said, “Our shared commitment to Israel and its people requires us to support and promote strengthening the necessary bond between the two countries. It is because of this common goal that I ask you to join me and not support any proposed FY2011 Budget that would reduce foreign aid to Israel.” [TheStateColumn.com, 2/13/11]
Gay and Lesbian Issues
Grimm: “I Don’t Support Gay Marriage” In June 2011, Grimm stated opposition to New York’s legalization of gay marriage. “I don’t support gay marriage, but the people spoke…They had the votes. The votes speak for themselves.”[The Staten Island
Grimm Called for Colleagues to Reflect on Tucson Tragedy Before Reacting In January 2011, Grimm told MSNBC that he urged colleagues to reflect on Tucson tragedy before reacting. In an interview with Janney & Co., Grimm said, “From the very beginning I really called upon my colleagues to take a step back and reflect, and then there would be time to assess and evaluate. One of the things you learn when you go through a law enforcement academy, and I’ve been through two of them, both for a uniformed position and then as a special agent, they make it very clear that no matter what you do, you will never be fully 100 percent safe. When you avail yourself to the general public, and that’s not just members of Congress, that’s anyone that’s in the spotlight. Anyone that’s going to be involved in large groups, you are heightening the risk that you take in the danger because unfortunately in this world we have crazy people that want to do people harm. It’s a small number, but there are always those that are looking to do something crazy, and that’s what you had here. You had an individual that obviously had mental issues and for whatever reason his focus turned out to be the congresswoman, which ended in a heinous horrible crime with many people shot and killed and that’s just a horrible thing. But, again, I want to emphasize you’re never 100 percent safe when you’re out in the public no matter what you do.” [MSNBC, 1/21/11] Grimm Urged Congress Not To Call For Reactionary Legislation Following Giffords’ Shooting In January 2011, Rep. Michael Grimm criticized Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s proposal to ban high-capacity gun clips. Grimm, the newest member of the New York delegation, told McCarthy and other Dems to back off. “I urge all of my colleagues not to call for reactionary legislation or extreme measures," said Grimm, a former FBI agent. [NY Daily News, 1/10/11]
Health Care Issues
Opposed Schumer’s Medicare Solution In January 2012, Grimm voiced his opposition to Sen. Charles Schumer proposed legislation to help avoid Medicare cuts. Schumer proposed utilizing unused military funds. Grimm called Schumer's solution “disingenuous,” saying the fund has already been scored as savings for debt reduction. “I remain fully committed to ensuring that Staten Island's seniors have uninterrupted access to quality, affordable health care, which is why I will not gamble on 'funny-money' gimmicks or short-term BandAids,” Grimm said. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues to come up with a long-term, common-sense solution.” [silive.com, 1/26/12] Grimm on Medicare: “I Don’t Have All the Answers” But Ryan Plan is a “Starting Point” In July 2011, Grimm said the Medicare system “will be bankrupt” in 9-13 years in part because Americans are living longer than Medicare’s creators anticipated. Grimm called the Ryan plan a “starting point” and said, “I don’t have all the answers to say exactly what specifics, what percentage of this, what percentage of that…What I’m saying is let’s bring in the experts with an overall plan.” [Staten Island Advance, 7/12/11] Introduced Bill to Address “Looming Doctor Shortage” In June 2011, Grimm introduced a “bill to address a looming doctor shortage and improve access to quality, affordable care’” with two Democratic members of New York City’s congressional delegation. “The Improving PATH Act would phase in 1,000 additional residency slots over the course of three years and create a business tax credit for physical practices.” [Staten Island Advance, 6/21/2011] Grimm Introduced Legislation to “Prevent a Looming Doctor Shortage” In June 2011, Grimm introduced the Improving Physician Access in Teaching Hospitals Act (PATH), which “phases in much-needed residency slots to participating teaching hospitals, as well as gives tax incentives to practicing physicians who provide opportunities for resident rotations in their practices.”
[Office of Congressman Grimm, 6/16/2011]
NYT: “The Crowd Lay In Wait” For Grimm At Brooklyn Town Hall In May 2011, New York Times editorial observer columnist David Firestone wrote of Grimm’s April town hall in Brooklyn, “The crowd lay in wait for him with sharpened reports from the Congressional Budget Office, incendiary printouts from liberal blogs, and even a few lethal rolled-up newspapers with articles about the House plan. Mr. Grimm was left standing, but only after 90 minutes of high-decibel debate, during which a school security guard had to threaten to remove several citizens vibrating with anger about Medicare.” [The New York Times, 5/02/11]
Grimm’s Staten Island Town Hall Was “A Spirited Give And Take” “In a spirited give-and-take on issues ranging from the national debt to the environment last night held his first town hall meeting here, four months after he was seated in the Congress. Prior to the town hall meeting, about two dozen demonstrators, including Democrats and union members, protested out front on Manor Road. They carried “Grimm Reaper” signs that accused the congressman of gutting Medicare.” During the meeting, Grimm “came under attack from some present for his support of the budget blueprint of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which would undo the current Medicare payout for those 54 and younger.”
[Staten Island Advance, 4/29/11]
Grimm’s Got “Rowdy Reception” At Brooklyn Town Hall On April 27, 2011, Grimm held a contentious town hall meeting in Brooklyn. Many constituents expressed their disapproval of his vote for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. “Congressman Grimm voted for the Republican budget that will cut Medicare for folks like my mom, me eventually, my wife,” said one constituent. “The cost of healthcare is skyrocketing and they are transferring the cost of it to regular citizens. Average folk, they can barely pay their rent in this area,” said another. Grimm indicated he would vote for the proposal again if given the chance. [Wall Street Journal, 4/28/11] Sponsored Legislation to Create a Universal Prescription Drug Database In 2011, Grimm sponsored legislation to create federal database aimed at stopping would-be prescription drug abusers from shopping for multiple doctors and pharmacies. Grimm’s bill would set up a real-time “Web portal” for physicians and pharmacists across the country to access, requiring them to report any prescriptions electronically. The database, Grimm said, would be run through the Drug Enforcement Administration, and would let pharmacists know immediately if a patient has filled the same prescription from multiple doctors, or at several different pharmacies. [silive.com, 4/05/11] Local Health Clinic to Suffer Under House Budget Proposal In 2011, the Community Health Center in State Island faced looming budget cuts under the House budget proposal. The clinic is one of six federally funded community health centers that could close under the proposed Republican budget. In 2009, the clinic received $1.3 million in stimulus dollars to expand hours and services. Additionally, the PPACA provided $11 billion dollars to support and expand the network of clinics across the country. [wnyc.org, 4/01/11] Proposed a Federal Prescription Drug Database In 2011, Grimm proposed legislation that makes the federal Drug Enforcement Administration set up a "secure Web portal" for physicians and pharmacists across the country to access, requiring them to report any prescriptions electronically. [silive.com, 03/21/11]
Vowed to Work for Hospital Funding In July 2011, Grimm vowed to take a three-prong approach, including federal grants, other federal aid, and working city and state officials in a collaborative effort, to address deficiencies in hospital funding. Grimm stated, “Quality care is something everyone on Staten Island should have access to…They can keep hospitals afloat with proper funding. It’s about being smart with the money. [Staten Island Advance,
Grimm and GOP Wanted to Replace Obamacare During a January 2011 speech, Grimm said the GOP is planning an overhall bill to “replace Obamacare.” He said that if that fails, they want to put forth a number of bills to address certain issues of the law.
Grimm Said He Had Never Met A Doctor Who Liked The Health Care Plan During a January 2011 health care debate, Grimm said, “I have yet to meet a doctor who thinks this is a good plan.” Grimm was one of the proponents of repealing the health care legislation early in 2011. [The
Grimm Singled Out For Accepting Congressional Health Care During the debate over the repeal of the health care law, Grimm was singled out for his acceptance of congressional health care. Cohen quoted Grimm by saying a newly-elected representative justified his acceptance by complaining, “I don’t have health care and, God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation-that can happen to anyone.” Grimm made that statement in a January 2011 interview with the Daily News. [NY Daily News, 1/19/11] Grimm Wanted Health Care For Himself, But Not 32 Million Uninsured Despite supporting the repeal of health care reform that provides care for 32 million previously uninsured Americans, Grimm called rejecting his own government health care impractical. “What am I, not supposed to have health care?” he said. “It’s practicality. I’m not going to become a burden for the state because I don’t have health care, and God forbid I get into an accident and I can’t afford the operation… That can happen to anyone.” [New York Daily News, 1/06/11]
Immigration and Border Issues
Grimm: Deportation Exceptions Should Be Made In Some Cases In January 2012, Grimm advocated on behalf of Ying Lin, an undocumented immigrant, to help her avoid deportation. He said exceptions should be made in some cases.
“This is one of those heartbreaking cases where we have to find a humane and just resolution,” Grimm said. “When someone is taken from her home, even for a better life, under those circumstances, we as Americans have to do all we can, while balancing our immigration policy.” [silive.com, 1/09/12]
Churches in District Showed Support for DREAM Act In October 2011, St. Mary of the Assumption and Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta R.C. churches delivered over 700 postcards to Grimm’s New Dorp office in support of the DREAM Act. [Staten
Island Advance, 10/29/11]
Advance Criticized Grimm for Sympathizing with Convicted Spy In October 2011, the Staten Island Advance wrote an editorial criticizing Grimm for his support and advocacy on behalf of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The editorial criticized Grimm for visiting Pollard in a North Carolina federal prison. While Grimm said that he was “working with many others in Washington to have justice prevail and have him released from prison,” only one other Republican in Congress shared Grimm’s views about Pollard. The editorial questioned Grimm’s interest in the case when it would matter little to his constituents. Grimm cited his lifelong interest in Pollard’s case and stated that it had nothing to do with politics. [Staten Island Advance,
Advocated for Release of Israeli Spy In September 2011, after meeting Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in prison, Grimm called on Obama to commute his life sentence so Pollard can return to Israel. Grimm and Rep. Allen West are the only two House Republicans advocating for Pollards release. Other Republicans were reluctant to support Pollard for fear of “being soft on crime and as being at odds with the defense establishment." Regarding Pollard’s sentence, Grimm said, “ a former FBI agent, as someone who has fought for justice most of my life, we have to acknowledge the fact that the penalty does not necessarily meet the crime. Most would say it is excessive.” [silive.com, 09/28/2011] Advocated For Former Israeli Spy’s Release In August 2011, Grimm, a former FBI agent, advocated for the release of Jonathan Pollard, who is serving a lifetime sentence for spying on behalf of Israel. Grimm stated that his advocacy for Pollard had nothing to do with politics, but with justice. He said that Pollard should be treated in the same way as anyone else who committed a similar crime. [Jerusalem Post,
Met with Israeli PM Netanyahu
In August 2011, Grimm, part of a two-dozen Republican member delegation in a weeklong trip to Israel, had an “intimate meeting” with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu, a former Israeli minister of finance, told [the delegation] he focused on "cuts, entitlement reform and lowering the tax rate" during his nation's financial crisis. Grimm said, "He did a lot of what we Republicans tried to do with cut, cap and balance. Of course, it was not apples to apples; the U.S. is much larger, with a much larger economy." [silive.com, 08/17/2011] Took Trip to Israel Paid For By Special Interest Group In August 2011, Grimm travelled to Israel as part of a group of House members as guests of the American Israel Education Foundation. Regarding the trip, Grimm said, “It’s my responsibility to be able to advocate on pro-Israel issues. Coming here and being able to feel it and touch it to fully understand how daily life is for an Israeli is important. You have to actually see it and realize it is such a profound observation that everything is so close; everything is almost on top of each other.” [New York Times, 08/16/2011] Grimm Criticized Obama’s Proposed Two-State Solution Plan In a May 2011 statement issued after Obama proposed a two-state solution in Israel by returning to the 1967 borders, Grimm said, “Today, I was extremely disappointed that President Obama failed to take a stand for Israel in his speech. He failed to mention Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and failed to explain why the U.S. continues to give aid to a Palestinian Authority now aligned with Hamas. Instead, he called on Israel to jeopardize its safety and security by returning to the 1967 borders. At a time when we need a close ally like Israel to help us stabilize and bring peace to the Middle East, I find it reprehensible to suggest a plan that makes Israel more vulnerable. We all want to see to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict, but pressuring Israel to change its borders is certainly not the way to do it.” [Office of Congressman
Grimm Said Two State Solution Would Be “End Of Israel As We Know It” In April 2011, Grimm told the Jewish Daily Forward that, “I think a two-state solution is the end of Israel as we know it. I think it is not even an option, it’s a nonstarter.” [Jewish Daily Forward, 4/29/11] Grimm Opposed Cutting Aid to Israel In February 2011, Grimm wrote a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urging him to vote “no” on Continuing Resolution because it would cut foreign aid, thus directly cut aid to Israel. Grimm said, “Our shared commitment to Israel and its people requires us to support and promote strengthening the necessary bond between the two countries. It is because of this common goal that I ask you to join me and not support any proposed FY2011 Budget that would reduce foreign aid to Israel.” [TheStateColumn.com,
Grimm Selected as Co-chair for GOP’s Israel Caucus
In January 2011, Grimm landed a spot on the GOP’s Israel Caucus as co-chair. During Grimm’s campaign, some of his greatest supporters came from the conservative Jewish community. [NY Daily News,
First GOP Law Maker to Back Clemency for Convicted Spy In March 2011, Grimm became the first Republican Congressman to back clemency for Jonathan Pollard, a convicted spy for Israel. "As a former FBI agent, someone who has fought for justice most of my life, we have to acknowledge that the penalty does not necessarily meet the crime and most would say that it's excessive," Grimm said.
Labor and Working Family Issues
Grimm Defended Romney’s ‘Fire People’ Comment In January 2012, Grimm defended Mitt Romney’s comments about enjoying having the ability to fire people. "When the governor says he is glad he has the ability to fire someone, I wholeheartedly agree," Grimm said. “That doesn't mean that you want to fire people. It means that in a capitalist society, in a free-market enterprise… if someone is not able to do their job, if they're not performing, they should be replaced.”
Grimm: Toll Hikes are ‘Bad News’ and Kill Jobs In January 2012, Grimm wrote an op-ed in the New York Post discussing his disdain for the Port Authority’s toll hikes. “The Port Authority’s massive toll hikes are bad news for just about everyone — but they’re a job-killing disaster for Staten Island. Changing this situation is my absolute No. 1 local priority. Staten Island has long been the ‘forgotten borough’ when it comes to things like public transportation, road repair, health care and even snow removal,” Grimm wrote. [New York Post, 1/19/12] Received $66,700 in Labor Campaign Contributions In November 2011, Grimm received $66,700 in labor contributions. The Sheet Metal Workers’ PAC gave $50,000 to Republicans in 2011, about 6 percent of total contributions. The PAC donated to Grimm after he cast pro-union votes. [Politico, 11/17/11] Protestors Called on Grimm to Push for Vote on American Jobs Act
In October 2011, a MoveOn.org group protested outside of Grimm’s Brooklyn office to get him to push for a vote on the American Jobs Act. The protestors believed an up-or-down vote on the bill should happen and said there were many Republican ideas in the Bill. Grimm said, “They’re holding this rally in the wrong place. They should be rallying outside Senator [Harry] Reid’s office — since he’s the one who can’t pass President Obama’s bill through his own Democratic-led Senate. I believe that there are pieces of the jobs bill on which we can find common ground, and we should move forward on those, rather than try to push the full package that clearly lacks the support to pass.” [brooklyndaily.com, 10/18/2011] Grimm to OWS Protester: Government Not the Answer to Unemployment In October 2011, Grimm visited Zuccotti Park, site of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests, in order to get a firsthand look at the movement. Grimm exchanged words with a welder who was having difficulty finding a job. Grimm told the man, “The government is not always the answer,” and said the government should be “creating an environment where a prosperous economy can grow.” [Staten Island Advance, 10/25/2011] Grimm Silent on Infrastructure Spending That Could Benefit Staten Island In October 2011, the Advance reported that new funding included in the American Jobs Act could result in several important infrastructure projects on Staten Island being “fast-tracked.” The bill includes nearly $3 billion for New York City infrastructure projects, and would add about 38,000 local jobs. When asked about the legislation, Grimm praised certain provisions and criticized Democratic congressional leaders, but did not offer an opinion on the transportation funding that could benefit Staten Island. [Staten Island Advance, 10/06/11] Not Convinced by American Jobs Act In September 2011, Grimm was not convinced that the American Jobs Act would be successful, citing the last stimulus as a reason for his doubt. Grimm said, “If you analyze the stimulus that failed miserably, it was $270,000, approximately, spent for every job that was created. Is that what they plan on doing here in New York City?" [ny1.com, 09/16/2011] Grimm Op-Ed: Why Fort Hamilton’s Worth Saving In August 2011, Grimm wrote an op-ed opposing the move of Fort Hamilton personnel from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Grimm wrote, “Looking ahead, I envision Fort Hamilton’s importance to our borough and city will continue to grow — bringing new jobs to Brooklyn and serving as a vital hub for the men and women who work every day to protect our great city and nation. There is still a lot of work ahead of us in this
process, but rest assured I will keep fighting for Fort Hamilton and do everything in my power to make this plan a reality.” [The Brooklyn Paper, 8/26/2011]
Other Social Issues
Told OWS to “Pack Up, Buy a Bar of Soap, and Get Out of NYC” In November 2011, Grimm criticized Occupy Wall Street protesters for “overstaying their welcome” and said that they had “cost the city and surrounding businesses millions of dollars”. Grimm praised Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to clean up Zuccotti Park and manage “a potentially violent and destructive situation.” He accused protesters of making life difficult for his constituents, many who work on Wall Street. Grimm said, “The people I represent are the hard-working ‘99%’ who simply want to go to work, do their jobs, and get home to their families without being hassled along the way. They already face one of the longest commutes in the nation without having to deal with this mob. It is reprehensible for these lowlifes to overrun the Staten Island Ferry or the subways to Brooklyn and add further hours to the trip home.”
[politickerny.com, 11/17/11; empire.wnyc.org, 11/17/11; Politico, 11/17/11]
Grimm: OWS “Not Even a Legitimate Cause Anymore” In November 2011, Grimm, who had recently visited Zuccotti Park, site of the Occupy Wall Street protests, criticized the movement and said that liberal groups like ACORN supported the protestors. Grimm said, “The mayor made a mistake by embracing them. It's a ticking time bomb, and it's only a matter of time before it gets violent…It’s not even a legitimate cause anymore.” [Staten Island Advance,
Sponsored Bill to Provide Therapeutic Dogs to Vets In October 2011, Grimm’s Veterans Dog Therapy Training Act passed the House, his first bill to do so. The legislation would provide therapeutic dog training and handling for veterans with PTSD. “This type of program, that allows veterans to help veterans, could have a tremendous impact in New York,” Grimm said. “Ideally, I'd like to see [it] established at the Brooklyn VA Hospital, which provides care for many of the veterans in my district. It's a win-win. It’s common-sense legislation and it couldn't be for a better cause -- our veterans.” [Staten Island Advance, 10/12/2011] Testified Before Subcommittee on the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act In July 2011, Grimm testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health in support of his Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act. The legislation would create a program to place service dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD to help them with their daily activities and permit them to address their disabilities through therapeutic dog
training and handling. The program would be piloted in three to five VA medical centers over a five-year period. [silive.com, 7/27/11]
Stem Cells Tax Issues
Grimm: Obama’s Wasn’t ‘Sincere’ on Payroll Tax Cuts In December 2011, Grimm said he and his fellow House Republicans should have never put confidence in President Obama with regards to the payroll tax cut extension. “Republicans made one big mistake in the payroll tax debate, and that was having any confidence that President Obama’s intentions were sincere,” Grimm said. “When the president told us that he too stood behind a responsible one-year extension of the payroll tax, we foolishly believed him. Why shouldn’t we? No one, including the president, thinks that a two-month band-aid is a better policy than a one-year fix. Sadly, he proved once again that he is incapable of putting partisan politics aside, and flip-flopped on his position.” [politickerny.com, 1/03/12] Opposed 2-Month Payroll Tax Extension In January 2012, Grimm reiterated his belief that the two-month extension on the payroll tax holiday was too short. The only thing the new law did was to insure that the same fierce debate would be revived again in two short months, Grimm said. “Both parties know that the hardworking American people don’t want to see a tax hike on Jan. 1, but I know they don’t want to see one in two months either. No one, including the president, thinks that a two-month Band-aid is a better policy than a one-year fix.” [Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
Grimm: Tax Code is ‘Broken’ In a January 2012 interview with MSNBC, Grimm said he believed the wealthy were being taxed enough. The real problem, according to Grimm, was a “broken” tax code. “Actually, there’s two different questions,” Grimm said. “Number one, the wealthy pay the vast majority of taxes in this country, that we know. Now, is our tax code correct? Absolutely not. I’ve been on the Republicans beating the drum with many others saying ‘we need to change our tax code.’ It’s broken but that’s not because of the wealthy. That because we have a complicated, broken tax code that should be fixed; we should be closing the loopholes. But, that’s a completely different question than whether the wealthy should pay more. They’re already paying the vast majority of taxes in this country. We should fix the tax code so that it is fair.” [MSNBC, 1/24/12] Voted Against Extending Payroll Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits
In December 2011, Grimm, along with the majority of Republicans in the House, voted against a bill that would have extended a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for two months. “Two months is a political joke. It's unacceptable,” Grimm said. “They want to go home and have turkey and ham with their families." Grimm also referred to the two month extension as a “band-aid” solution and claimed, “It won't have any effect on the economy. Let's just do it right.” [silive.com, 12/22/11] Signed Letter to Encourage Leadership to Act on Repatriation In December 2011, Grimm signed a letter to GOP leadership to act on repatriation of overseas capital. The letter said, “Estimates have shown that at least $1.4 trillion in foreign earnings are kept overseas because of the uncompetitive tax policies here in the U.S. Unlocking this capital has the possibility of creating over 2.9 million new jobs, and increasing GDP by nearly $360 billion…As negotiations continue with the White House and Congressional Democrats on a number of expiring tax provisions, appropriation bills and comprehensive tax reform, we strongly urge you to consider repatriation tax policy, this session, to stimulate the economy and get Americans back to work.” [Frank Guinta Press Release,
Signed Letter Saying He Was Open to Tax Increases In November 2011, Grimm was one of 40 Republicans to join 60 Democrats in a letter to the Congressional “Super Committee” that said “all options” should be included in a deficit reduction package, including increasing revenues. The letter stated, “To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. In addition, we know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal well-being.” [thinkprogress.org, 11/02/11] Grimm: “Class Warfare” at OWS is Obama’s Fault Grimm blamed Obama for the tone of “class warfare” seen at ‘Occupy Wall Street.’ “I think the president started with the class warfare,” he said. “Taxing the rich, and [saying] it's the Republicans who want to protect the rich. And that's not true.” Grimm used to work on Wall Street, and said that the protest was “Americans pitting each other against Americans, and against capitalism.” [Staten Island Advance, 10/25/2011] Opposed Toll Hikes in New York In June 2011, Grimm criticized the NY/NJ Port Authority’s proposal to raise tolls at the bridges and tunnels. “The Port Authority’s proposal to raise bridge tolls by 25 percent, from $8 to $10, is completely
reprehensible at a time when we’re all tightening our belts in a recovering economy.” [Staten Island Advance,
Grimm Introduced Legislation Repealing Tan Tax In June 2011, Grimm introduced legislation to “repeal the 10% tax on tanning services. The tax was enacted as part of President Obama’s healthcare reform in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Grimm commented, “The healthcare law unfairly imposes onerous taxes, like the tan tax, on our nation’s business owners and consumers, slowing economic growth and costing jobs.” [Office of Congressman Grimm,
Tea Party Felt Betrayed By Grimm In October 2011, Grimm expressed annoyance at Tea Party critics who said they felt betrayed by his votes. Grimm said that his new found critics were not true Tea Partiers, but rather “libertarians or 9/11 Truthers who have taken extreme positions and have never shared my overall views. Now that they’ve become irrelevant, they’re trying to say they’re part of the Tea Party.” Grimm’s critics stated that he was becoming another professional politician. Grimm, however, was confident that his Tea Party support would stay strong. “We may have our disagreements on tactics, but overall we’re still on the same page,” he said. [NY Post,
Grimm Made Amends With Staten Island Tea Party Over “Extreme” Remark In May 2011, the Staten Island Advance reported that Grimm angered members of the Staten Island Tea Party when he criticized the Tea Party as the “extreme right wing of the Republican Party” during a March battle over a continuing resolution to keep the government going. But Grimm and a number of Tea Party members met for a private town hall recently, at Wagner College's Spiro Hall, and Grimm said the two sides are on the same page. Frank Santarpia, a Staten Island Tea Party organizer said of Grimm after the meeting, “‘The SITP is not monolithic, and it has room in its tent for a wide variety of viewpoints. This was a great opportunity for the congressman to hear our opinions and concerns first-hand and we thank him for accepting our invitation.’” [Staten Island Advance, 5/01/11] Said Listening to Tea Party Groups Would “Shortchange” America In 2011, Grimm expressed his discontent with Tea Party organizations that would like to shutdown government by suggesting that “by listening to these groups we would be shortchanging America.”
Brian Darling, the director of government studies at the Heritage Foundation, said such actions would cause Tea Party organizations to “go after politicians” like Girmm. [Bloomberg, 4/05/11]
Called Tea Party the “Extreme Wing of the Republican Party" In 2011, Grimm criticized Tea Party Republicans for preferring a government shut down over compromise. “The extreme wing of the Republican Party is making a big mistake with their flat-out opposition to a short-term continuing resolution.” Grimm went on to say that the Tea Party had “become like Nancy Pelosi in the last Congress, where it was ‘my way or the highway,’" accusing them of “not looking at the bigger picture.” [nydailynews.com,
Slammed Port Authority for Toll Increase Flip-flop In December 2011, Grimm slammed the Port Authority for its toll increase flip-flop after the agency said that the summer bridge and tunnel hikes would not go to pay for World Trade Center redevelopment as they had once said. The money instead would go to the agency’s Interstate Transportation Network. Grimm said, “In its own press release, dated Aug. 5, the Port Authority cited the World Trade Center project three times as justification for the proposed increases…We perceive this as a clear attempt to dodge our argument that the Port Authority cannot increase tolls in order to fund non-essential activities. The Port Authority needs to provide clear evidence that motorists on Port Authority bridges and tunnels are not being forced to cover their numerous and expensive real estate ventures.” [Staten Island Advance, 12/02/11] Said Cuomo “Sold Out” New York in Port Authority Toll-Hike In December 2011, Grimm said that increased tolls on Port Authority bridges and tunnels would benefit New Jersey at New York’s expense. Grimm said that the toll hike would benefit New Jersey by helping finance a plan to raise the Bayonne Bridge, which would increase the number of ships docked at New Jersey ports. The toll would make it more expensive for trucks to carry cargo from Staten Island’s Howland Hook container port to three Port Authority bridges in New Jersey. Grimm said, “Why our very own Governor Cuomo seems to be fighting harder for New Jersey than Staten Island and New York is a question that I ask daily, and one that he has yet to answer.”
Grimm also said, “If this port goes out of business - a fate that's almost certain with the toll hikes in place - that's a significant loss of NYC taxpayer dollars, not to mention the loss of hundreds of high-paying jobs.” [Staten Island Advance, 12/4/11; nj.com, 12/04/11] Slammed Port Authority “Incompetence and Mismanagement” In December 2011, Grimm slammed the Port Authority after reports that the organization had been billing tenants a reduced amount for utilities for years, which resulted in a $16.9 million loss at the JFK airport. Grimm, whose constituents recently faced Port Authority tax hikes, said, “The Port Authority has been fraught with incompetence and mismanagement for as long as I can remember. I blame all of our former governors for allowing this to happen.” [New York Post, 12/13/11] Blasted Port Authority for Toll Discount Ruling In December 2011, the Port Authority put limited residential toll discounts into place on Staten Island bridges, and the funds would be going to finance non-transportation related capital projects and not World Trade Center redevelopment as initially stated. Grimm filed an amicus brief and said that the Port Authority needed an “integrity check: for its “misleading” assertions. Grimm criticized Gov. Cuomo for “abandoning Staten Island” and for not ending toll hikes. Grimm said, “The governor of New York is at fault, period. He had the sole discretion not to agree to it. Gov. [Chris] Christie did a good job for his New Jersey constituents, but Gov. Cuomo abandoned us. Who is he fighting for? Not us.” [Staten Island Advance, 12/9/11] Introduced Bill to Put Port Authority Under Federal Government Oversight In December 2011, Grimm introduced a bill to return oversight of the Port Authority to the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether toll hikes were fair after he accused the organization for mismanagement and lack of accountability. Grimm said, “This bi-partisan legislation brings oversight of toll rates on our nation's federally funded highway system back into the Department of Transportation where it belongs. The Port Authority has reaped the benefits from nearly unchecked control in deciding how much is 'just and reasonable' for commuters traveling on the federal highway system to pay. The taxpayers of New York and New Jersey shouldn't have to face such a harsh economic burden simply to shovel billions of dollars in toll revenue into the debt-stricken and mismanaged PA. With almost no return on transportation infrastructure or mass transit for commuters, it is as clear as daylight that there is little to no oversight on how or where the money is spent.” [Staten Island Advance, 12/15/11] Supported Commuter Tax Break for Staten Islanders In November 2011, Grimm supported a federal program that saved Staten Island commuters one-third of mass transit costs that was set to be cut in half unless Congress took action.
The program allowed workers to use up to $230 a month of their salaries for mass transit, with that portion being exempt from federal, state, and city income taxes, and Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal unemployment insurance. Grimm said, “I support anything that provides relief to the commuters of Staten Island. Whether someone drives or takes the train, the playing field should be even, so it only makes sense to continue this commuter benefit at its current level.” [Staten Island Advance, 11/07/11] Pressed for Staten Island Residential Discount on New Jersey Crossings In September 2011, Grimm submitted an amicus brief supporting AAA’s lawsuit against hikes for Port Authority bridge crossings. Grimm said, “I will not stand by and allow residents of Staten Island to be used as the bailout for the Port Authority's debt, mismanagement and overspending." He planned to meet with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood regarding the issue. [silive.com, 09/28/2011]
Voiced Opposition to Contraceptive Mandate In February 2012, Grimm expressed his opposition to a mandate in Obama’s health care legislation that would require employers (including those affiliated with religious organizations) that offer health insurance to their employees to cover the costs of contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients. “As a Roman Catholic, I strongly believe in preserving the sanctity of human life, and this mandate completely violates that belief,” Grimm said. “As Americans, we are fortunate to have the right to exercise our religious beliefs, free of government intervention, and this case is no exception.” [silive.com,
Blasted by Murphy on Contraceptive Coverage In February 2012, Democratic challenger Mark Murphy slammed Grimm’s opposition to a mandate in President Obama’s health care legislation that required coverage for contraceptives. “The fundamental issue here is whether women who work in hospitals, schools and other similar institutions that have some affiliation with religious institutions should simply have access to all reasonable medical options,” Murphy said. “There is no requirement that individuals do anything with this coverage that contradicts their personal beliefs. I believe that option should be left to the individual, not her employer.” [politicker.com, 2/07/12] Grimm Labeled “Anti-Woman” by National Organization for Women In 2011, the New York chapter for NOW railed against Grimm’s vote to cut funding for health clinics, and for his co-sponsorship of HR 3, a controversial bill that would further narrow existing federal restrictions on the use of public money to finance abortions. [The Brooklyn Paper, 03/17/11]
Believed Rape Must Be “Forcible” Before Victim Can Receive a Publicly Financed Abortion Grimm also supported a provision in an earlier version of the bill that required rape to be “forcible” before a victim could get a publicly financed abortion. [The Brooklyn Paper, 03/17/11] Voted to Defund Planned Parenthood Grimm also voted in February in favor for the Pence Amendment, which would eliminate federal funding of Planned Parenthood and its 102 affiliates. [The Brooklyn Paper, 03/17/11]
DCCC: Boehner Should Familiarize Himself with Grimm Allegations In February 2012, the DCCC released a statement criticizing Speaker John Boehner’s claim that he was “not familiar” with the details of Grimm’s fundraising allegations. “Hopefully Speaker Boehner can familiarize himself with Congressman Michael Grimm, the latest scandal-plagued Member of the House Republican caucus,” said DCCC spokesperson Jesse Ferguson. “The silence from House Speaker John Boehner is deafening. All he would need to do is read the front page of the paper to learn about Grimm’s campaign finance schemes but maybe Speaker Boehner has too many scandals in his caucus to keep track.” [DCCC Press Release, 2/07/08] Grimm: Iowa Win Will Grant Romney Some Momentum In January 2012, Grimm stated that Romney’s “very strong showing” in Iowa would give Romney the push forward he needs. “To tie with Santorum, who spent so much time on the ground, is a victory for Romney. That's [Iowa] where Romney will start to build the momentum he'll need to beat Barack Obama.” Grimm said.
Grimm: Romney Will Have a ‘Big Day’ in Iowa In January 2012, Grimm said he believed Romney would garner a lot of votes in Iowa. “I think it will be a very big day for Governor Mitt Romney. People are starting to accept the fact that he has the experience and he’s the only one who can beat Barack Obama. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of the wave,” Grimm said. [politickerny.com, 1/03/12] Grimm: I Will Play Lead Role for Romney In January 2012, Grimm said he would continue to support Mitt Romney following the Iowa Republican caucuses. Grimm was not sure where he would go with Romney after Iowa, but was assured that he “will be playing a lead role for Governor Romney.” [capitalnewyork.com, 1/03/12]
Criticized Cuomo’s ‘State of the State’ Address In January 2012, Grimm expressed his disappointment at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s oversight of Staten Island in his “State of the State” address. “I was disappointed to hear that Governor Cuomo once again has snubbed the people I represent in his 'State of the State' address,” Grimm said. “In the governor's 33-page speech there was not a single mention of the Borough of Staten Island. Not a single word about the crushing toll burden Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority imposed on this community last year. Nor did he reference his refusal to meet with Staten Island elected officials and business leaders to discuss the devastation these tolls have inflicted on my constituents and local businesses.” [silive.com, 1/04/12] Record Reviewed by DCCC In January 2012, the DCCC sent out a release reviewing votes that Grimm cast over the last year. “The first year of Representative Michael Grimm’s Republican Congress is marked by extreme partisanship and unbending protection of Big Oil and the ultra wealthy,” a DCCC press secretary said in two releases. “Grimm and House Republicans have spent this first year in chronic chaos — failing to protect the middle class or create jobs — and are now off on vacation rather than putting Americans back to work.” The DCCC disapproved of Grimm’s vote against a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, voting for the Medicare-impacting Ryan Plan, and voting to repeal health care reform. The DCCC also criticized both Representatives for being part of a caucus that “refused to introduce a comprehensive jobs agenda” for the past 365 days. [politickerny.com, 1/05/12] Traveled to New Hampshire for Romney Campaign In January 2012, Grimm traveled to New Hampshire to campaign for Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. [Times Union, 1/09/12] Criticized for Romney Endorsement Grimm took criticism from Tea Party supporters and other conservatives for endorsing Romney, but reaffirmed that Romney is the only Republican who can beat President Barack Obama. "Electability should be at the top of everybody's list. I believe he is the right guy to get this country on track,” Grimm said. “He can mobilize the conservative base, but the conservative base doesn't win elections," he said. “He can't get independent and swing votes,” Grimm said. [silive.com, 1/09/12] Condemned Marine Viral Video
In January 2012, Grimm denounced a viral video of U.S. Marines urinating on Afghan corpses. “This actually hurts me. This is painful,” Grimm said. “It’s unacceptable. There’s no excuse for this ever happening. I want to be respectful for the fact that maybe they had multiple tours and have been through hell and back, but I don't make excuses for Marines. They were trained, and they know better, and they disgraced their country.” [NY Daily News, 1/12/12] Defended Romney on Bain Attacks In January 2012, Grimm said the GOP presidential candidates needed to cease their attacks on Mitt Romney’s business record at Bain Capital. “When GOP candidates, especially those who identify themselves as conservatives, use phrases like ‘vulture capitalism’ or adopt leftist rhetoric, they are jeopardizing the strength and unity of the party,” Grimm said. “Although these remarks can have short-term benefits to individual candidates in a primary, they are certain to have a negative effect on the party as a whole and a detrimental impact on the conservative movement,” he said. [Washington Post, 1/12/12] Blamed Both Parties for ‘Broken’ System In January 2012, Grimm spoke to constituents at the Midland Beach Civic Association's first meeting of 2012. Grimm claimed the system was “broken” and “both parties” were to blame. “The rancor and the rhetoric is so bad – we have to get past it,” Grimm said. “The bureaucracy isn't working, it's almost impossible to get anything done, and we deserve better. At times, I'm embarrassed by what's going on.” [silive.com, 1/18/12] Grimm: Obama Failed In January 2012, Grimm said Obama was a failure. “Our country is worse off as a result of the failed policies and onerous regulations enacted on his watch,” Grimm said. “President Obama has failed to lead our country in the right direction, and the hard-working residents of Staten Island and Brooklyn have paid the price.” [silive.com, 1/20/12] Announced Plans to Take Part in “2012 Freshman Family & Fishing Weekend” Fundraiser In December 2011, Grimm along with 11 other House GOP freshman announced plans to take part in the “2012 Freshman Family & Fishing Weekend” fundraiser as an exclusive club in Key Largo, Florida that had 2 18-hole golf courses, a private airport, and a marina with room for 175 boats. The fundraiser cost $20,000 per PAC or $10,000 for an individual. [Washington Post, 12/14/11] Spent a Day Working as UPS Employee
In November 2011, Grimm donned a brown uniform and spent a day working as a UPS employee and said that the opportunity gave him a chance to talk one-on-one with locals in a casual setting. When asked whether it was true if women liked men in brown, Grimm, who was single and was named to The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful list, responded, “No, brown’s not my color. I don’t even own one brown suit…That really didn’t help me very much.” [The Hill, 11/29/11] Announced K Street Fundraiser for Romney In November 2011, Grimm was scheduled to appear at a pre-party reception for a K-Street fundraiser for Mitt Romney. [Politico, 11/28/11] Sent Joint Letter Opposing Provocative Jesus Crucifix Exhibit In November 2011, Grimm along with other Staten Island lawmakers sent a joint letter to the Brooklyn Museum asking them to pull an exhibit with a film depicting a bloodied, crucified Jesus Christ with ants crawling on his face and into his eyes. The letter said, “This is not art, this is Christianity-bashing. This is an outrageous use of taxpayer money by the nation's second-largest art museum, and an obvious attempt to offend Christians on the eve of one of the holiest times of the Christian faith.” [Staten Island Advance, 11/15/11] Called Ukraine’s Economy One of the Most Promising In November 2011, Grimm called Ukraine one of the world’s five most promising economies when speaking at an investment conference in New York titles “Ukraine: The Best Investment Opportunities”. Grimm said that the US should pay attention to Ukraine and said, “there are benefits to deepening our economic ties. With Europe poised to enact a historic Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine, we don't want to be left behind.” Grimm also talked about how Ukraine’s gas resources could be an opportunity to reduce global oil dependency. [marketwatch.com, 11/09/11] Called on Obama to Apologize Over Hot Mic Netanyahu Remarks In November 2011, Grimm called on Obama to apologize after the French press reported that Sarkozy and Obama were caught criticizing PM Netanyahu over a microphone they didn’t realize was turned on. Grimm said, “I find President Obama’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu highly offensive and call on him to issue a formal apology on behalf of the American people. Whether the microphones are on or off, the message to our allies in Israel should always remain the same: ‘We stand with you.’… President Obama’s comments are disgraceful and inappropriate coming from someone who holds the highest office in the United States. They provide a poor and inaccurate reflection of the American people he was elected to represent, and they must be rescinded.” [politickerny.com, 11/08/11; The Hill, 11/08/11] Called on Obama to Apologize to Netanyahu
In November 2011, Grimm called on Obama to apologize to Netanyahu after criticizing him in a conversation with Sarkozy. Grimm said, “As an American, I understand the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship to our own national security as well as to the peace and security of the Middle East. As a member of Congress, I will do all I can to ensure our alliance remains strong. President Obama’s comments are disgraceful and inappropriate coming from someone who holds the highest office in the United States. They provide a poor and inaccurate reflection of the American people he was elected to represent, and they must be rescinded.” [capitaltonight.com, 11/08/11] Group Protested Colombian Trade Vote Outside New Dorp Office In November 2011, the Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice group protested outside Grimm’s New Dorp office against his Colombia trade vote. The group held a symbolic funeral to mourn victims of human rights abuses in Colombia. Grimm voted for the free trade agreement with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, which he said would create 250,000 jobs. [Staten Island Advance, 11/02/11] Endorsed Romney For 2012 Presidential Race In October 2011, Grimm endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Grimm was the first in New York’s Congressional delegation to endorse a candidate. [Politico, 10/10/2011] Incurred Tea Party Wrath for Romney Endorsement In October 2011, Tea Party supporters planned to protest the endorsement in front of Grimm’s Staten Island office. The protestors felt that Grimm sold out his tea party roots. Protest organizers said, “When there are several authentic Tea Party candidates in the presidential race, including Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry, many Tea Partiers are asking, ‘Has Congressman Grimm sold us out for the GOP establishment? Has he already been co-opted by Washington?’” [Daily Caller, 10/11/2011] Said Republicans Should Back Candidate With Best Chance to Beat Obama In October 2011, Grimm encouraged Republicans to put aside ideological differences and back the candidate with the best chance of beating Obama, which was a major part of his decision to endorse Romney. Grimm said, “Republicans need to understand this is about winning in 2012. Gov. Romney can do it and do it in New York because of this election cycle, because President Obama has failed to lead in so many respects and a lot of people are disgruntled. We can actually flip this state…I think it’s a problem for the Republican Party and I want to caution all Republicans if we splinter then President Obama wins. We need to get down to the basic question: do we or do we not want to beat President Obama in 2012? If the answer is no and we have a different agenda then that’s fine, but that’s bad for the Republican Party.” [ABC News, 10/11/2011]
Criticized by Rush Limbaugh For Saying Republicans Should Put Ideology Aside In October 2011, Rush Limbaugh criticized Grimm for saying that Republicans should put aside ideological differences in the primary nomination process. Limbaugh said, “Now we've got Michael Grimm, a New York congressman, saying let's stop the primary process, put aside our conservatism and pick Romney. That's what he's saying: You conservatives, drop it, check your conservatism at the ballot box when you go in there. I wonder if Michael Grimm is aware the last time a Republican won a landslide in New York. It was Reagan. What was Reagan? He ran as a proud conservative. The last Republican to win a landslide in New York was named Ronald Reagan. A very ideological guy and we were not told to check our ideological at the door there” [rushlimbaugh.com, 10/11/2011] Joined NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition In October 2011, Grimm joined the NYC Parents’ Choice Coalition and called for an abstinence-based curriculum as an alternative to New York City’s required sex-ed program. [NY Daily News, 10/24/2011] Democrats Tell Grimm Challengers Not to Wait For Redistricting In October 2011, the Democratic Party pushed for quicker action by former Rep. Michael McMahon as to his decision to run and encouraged other candidates not to wait for redistricting new before starting their fundraising efforts. The 13th district is expected to grow into Brooklyn, possibly into Midwood, containing many Orthodox Jews, and Brighton Beach, containing many Russians. Bob Turner’s recent victory showed that support for Republicans from Orthodox Jewish voters may be beneficial to Grimm. Democratic Councilman Gentile Could Be Possible Grimm Challenger In October 2011, Democratic City Councilman Vincent Gentile was considering a run against Grimm in 2012. During his time as a state senator, Gentile represented Brooklyn and part of Staten Island. Gentile said, “during those six years I became very familiar with the issues and concerns of Staten Islanders. I love Staten Island and was always honored that they considered me ‘one of them’ and not just someone from across the bridge.” [cityhallnews.com, 10/4/2011] Called Occupy Wall Street Protests “Mob Rule” In October 2011, Grimm spoke out against the “Occupy Wall Street” protests that included 700 arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge. Grimm said, “To me it's very, very dangerous and counterproductive to be encouraging in any way what I consider to be counterproductive and what I consider to be mob rule." [ynn.com, 10/7/2011]
Reimbursed Himself for $1,189.32 in Travel Expenses From July-September 2011, Runyan was reimbursed for $3359.77 in private auto mileage and commercial transportation. [2011 3nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 10/5/11] Spent $436.36 on Bottled Water From July-September 2011, Grimm spent $436.36 on bottled water from Deer Park and Waterworks.
[2011 3nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 10/5/11]
Snubbed By Mayor Bloomberg In September 2011, at a breakfast meeting with new GOP Rep. Bob Turner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it will be useful to have another NYC Republican congressman in the delegation, in addition to Rep. Peter King, to liaise with House leadership. Bloomberg did not mention Grimm, also an NYC Republican, despite his close connections to Rep. Eric Cantor and Speaker John Boehner. In response to the snub, Grimm said, “It wouldn’t be the first time the mayor forgot Staten Island is part of NYC. That’s why I continue to fight every day to make sure we don’t remain the forgotten borough.”
Introduced Bill to make WTC Cross a National Monument In September 2011, Grimm planned to introduce a bill that would make the World Trade Center cross, two intersecting steel beams found in the Ground Zero rubble, a national monument after the group American Atheists sued to block its display. Grimm responded to criticism by saying that the cross is “not about Christianity” and that it “as a symbol of comfort and hope for 9/11 first responders, for families, for all those that were part of this horrific, horrific terrorist attack. And it's part of the healing process. It's part of that closure, and it's part of the history of that situation." [NY Post, 09/05/2011] Made Frequent TV Appearances In 2011, Grimm made the rounds on the cable news circuit, talking about the economy, jobs, taxes, and the deficit. Of his appearances, Grimm said, “I have a big bully pulpit, a platform,” He also said that the TV appearances are “hard work, not fluff” and that he “[does not] use talking points.” [silive.com, 09/03/2011] Had Convicted Felon as Business Associate In 2011, Michael Grimm had a business associate Carlos Luquis, a convicted felon who served jail time for his part in a $2 million scam.
In his campaign for office, Grimm touted his FBI record and was a big supporter of law enforcement. Luquis and Grimm worked together as FBI agents, but Luquis was later indicted on charges of setting up of fake companies to bill ERCOT, where he was head of security, $2 million for jobs never undertaken. On the Luquis hiring, Grimm said, “I contracted Carlos because he was a friend that needed a hand in getting back on his feet and I am not a fair-weather friend: It's called loyalty and for a man that served this country honorably for approx 16 years, he earned a second chance.” [NY Daily News, 08/14/2011] State Senator Lanza Was Main Ally for NY Redistricting In 2011, State Senator Lanza became Grimm’s ally on redistricting even though Lanza provided little support to Grimm during his campaign. In redistricting, Grimm will likely be picking up more territory in Brooklyn due to the carving of Weiner’s old seat. As a rising force in his party, the GOP wants to see Grimm protected in redistricting efforts. [silive.com, 08/14/2011] Praised Effort to Get Staten Island Hospital Generator Upon Arrival of Hurricane Irene In August 2011, Grimm praised outreach from Mayor Bloomberg’s office to secure a back-up generator for the only function hospital in Staten Island during Hurricane Irene. Grimm said, “As Staten Island's only open hospital, this generator is essential to public safety, and I am pleased that it is currently en route and will be in place before the storm hits. This is a perfect example of the type of teamwork needed to put the safety of the public first, as we work together to prepare for the impact of the storm." [silive.com, 08/27/2011] Grimm Spent $233,183 on Personnel Compensation From April-June 2011, Grimm spent $233,183.34 on compensation for his congressional staff. This represented a sizable increase from the 212,000.01 that Grimm spent on personnel from January-March of the same year. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11; 2011 1st Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 5/13/11] Grimm Spent $13,206 on District Office Rent From April-June 2011, Grimm spent $13,206 on rent for two separate district offices. The offices cost $3,950 and $2,653 per month, respectively. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11] Grimm Spent $252.28 on Bottled Water From April-June 2011, Grimm spent $252.28 on bottled water from Waterworks and Deer Park. His disbursement statement includes $442.19 in actual disbursements, but also shows a refund on a purchase of $189.91 from Deer Park. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11] Grimm Spent $233,183 on Personnel Compensation
From April-June 2011, Grimm spent $233,183.34 on compensation for his congressional staff. This represented a sizable increase from the 212,000.01 that Grimm spent on personnel from January-March of the same year. [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement, 7/5/11; 2011 1st Quarter Statements of
Grimm Spent $544 on a “Habitation Expense” From April 14-May 2, 2011, Grimm spent $544.38 on a single “habitation expense” from FastSigns – a sign shop that specializes in “banners, building signs, vehicle graphics, or signs for your windows, walls, doors or floors.” [2011 2nd Quarter Statements of Disbursement,7/5/11; FastSigns website, accessed 8/31/11] Received 44% Score From Heritage Action for America Grimm received 44 percent score from Heritage Action for America in 2011. [Heritage Action for America,
Applauded FairPlayUSA Efforts to Legalize Online Gambling In August 2011, Grimm released a statement endorsing the efforts of FairPlayUSA, an interest group that advocates for the legalization of online gambling. Grimm said, “I applaud the efforts of FairPlayUSA for launching its coalition to combat illegal gambling. As a former FBI agent, I fully support the efforts to create a strong regulatory framework for legal online poker and to crack down on illegal sites, many of whom have ties to organized crime…Together we must fight for the return of quality, good paying jobs to the United States and a regulatory framework for legal poker will contribute to that goal.” [fairplayusa.com, 8/01/11] Sponsored Legislation Condemning Norway Attacks In July 2011, Grimm sponsored a resolution condemning the July 22, 2011 attacks in the Kingdom of Norway. [THOMAS, H.RES.380] Said He Felt Backstabbed After Rangel Called for Donors to Cut Contributions as Retaliation for Hospital Funding Cuts In July 2011, Grimm criticized Democrats after Rep. Charles Rangel’s office mistakenly sent out a memo on his House email calling for city hospitals to push Republican donors to cut off money to GOP candidates as payback for proposed budget cuts to health care. Grimm said he felt back-stabbed because he had been trying to help Democrats to stop the proposed cuts to teaching hospitals. The city’s teaching hospitals produce one in seven of the nation’s doctors. Grimm said, “It is a slap in the face…Rather than solve the problem – in a case where they have Republicans on their side, going against their own Republican leadership, all they want to do is hurt Republicans in 2012. It is what is wrong in Washington today.” [NY Daily News, 7/15/11] Has Ownership Stake in Trucking Company Found to have Safety Violations
In July 2011, the Daily News reported that Grimm has an ownership stake in a trucking company that had been cited for safety violations. The company, Austin Refuel Transport, hauls crude oil across Texas and racked up 11 safety violations in its first two U.S. Department of Transportation inspections. Grimm owns 28 percent of the trucking firm’s parent company, Austin Refuel, which was valued at as much as $250,000 on his financial disclosure forms. Grimm called the violations “minor basic stuff.”
[Staten Island Advance, 7/19/11]
Sponsored Legislation to Help Former Soviet Union Pensioners Receive Payments from Russia In July 2011, Grimm signed a Dear Colleague letter urging Congress members to cosponsor the Former Soviet Union State Pension Fairness Act, prioritizing work on an arrangement with Russia to pay pensions to former Soviet Union employees now living in the United States. [Office of Congressman Grimm,
Protested by Group against Entitlement Cuts, Said they were “Hard-Core Liberal” and “Part of the Problem” In July 2011, a group of activist, labor union and Democratic protesters – including a man dressed as the “Grimm Reaper” and wearing a photo of Grimm – gathered to protest possible cuts to Medicare and Social Security. In response to the protest, Grimm said, “It is very telling that I have such strong support from the people of my district that these left-wing protesters had to be imported from Manhattan.” He said that the protesters were “a hard-core liberal group” that were “part of the problem” because, “They would rather engage in demagoguery and scare tactics than have a serious discussion about the crisis facing our nation.” [silive.com, 7/21/11] Denied that Constituent Placed Protest Call Only to be Hung Up On In July 2011, Grimm’s district office said they hadn’t received one negative call in response to a robo-call encouraging Democrats to call Grimm and voice opposition to any cuts to Social Security or Medicare. Democratic constituent Pete Killen said he did make a protest call, but the call was terminated once he said why he was calling. Grimm’s office said there was no record of the call Killen placed, but Killen said his cell-phone held a record of the call. [silive.com, 7/24/11] Asked for Inquiry into Public School After Student Collapsed Due to Heat In July 2011, Grimm sent a letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott asking for an inquiry into the temperature in P.S. 37 after a special-needs student collapsed and was rushed to the hospital because the air conditioning wasn’t working.
Grimm sent a similar letter on June 17 about poor air conditioning at P.S. 37, urging that the system be updated, if not replaced. Grimm said the letter went unanswered. [silive.com, 7/26/11] Criticized Obama for Vacation Plans In July 2011, Grimm criticized Obama as “hypocritical” for planning a Martha’s Vineyard vacation next month when Obama has told lawmakers to stay in town until negotiations are done. Grimm said, “for him to say that Congress shouldn’t be taking a vacation, while he’s planning his own, and while he’s campaigning all over the country, is about as hypocritical as you can get…I don’t need a vacation. I’m here to work.” [Staten Island Advance, 7/12/11] Grimm: “The Corps will leave Fort Hamilton over My Dead Body” In July 2011, Grimm had language inserted into the Energy and Water Appropriations Act prohibiting the Army Corps from using government funds to relocate. The North Atlantic Division of ACE is looking to move its headquarters from Fort Hamilton to a new office in Manhattan. Grimm said, “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: The corps will leave Fort Hamilton over my dead body…At a time when Americans are tightening their belts, the Army Corps should too, and moving to Manhattan for $1 million a year in rent is simply wasteful.” [Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 7/13/11] Grimm Most Prolific GOP Freshman In July 2011, The Hill reported that Grimm had been the most prolific House GOP freshman, with 14 bills, resolutions and amendments. [The Hill, 7/12/11] Grimm: Federal Government Should Remove Weapons Cache Near Bridge In June 2011, Grimm said the federal government should be responsible for removing the weapons cache lying near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. “Whether it’s the DOD, Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, or the Navy, I don’t care which one has to take the lead on this, but we need leadership that says, ‘Okay, we have a problem. We’ve identified the problem. Now let’s have a solution.’ It’s not rocket science.” [cbslocal.com, 6/30/2011] Held Fundraisers with Boehner and Cantor In June 2011, “Two GOP powerhouses headlined back-to-back fund-raisers…to protect a congressional seat on Staten Island. House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor zipped through New York to raise big bucks for new Rep. Michael Grimm.” Grimm responded to criticism the fund-raisers were a result of him being a reliable Republican vote and said, “The truth is there’s nothing at all extremist about my positions, and the irrefutable proof of that is my voting record, which speaks for itself.” [NY Daily News, 6/27/2011] Press “Kept Far Away” from Boehner Fund-Raiser
In June 2011, The Staten Island Advance editorialized on Grimm’s fund-raiser with Boehner and commented “the press and anybody else who didn’t pony up the steep entrance free were kept far away…What about Republicans who, in these miserable times, can’t spare the $100 required to be in the same room with Mr. Boehner…The last time we checked, the Republican Party was a political party that wants to broaden it’s appeal, not some secret order…John Boehner’s visit to Staten Island was historic, but it says something that he and other planners of this event felt the need to keep it to themselves and keep the press – and by extension, the public at large – at bay.”
[The Staten Island Advance, 6/29/2011]
Held Fundraiser with Cantor In June 2011, Grimm held a fundraised with Eric Cantor. Tickets for the event ran from $2,500 and $5,000. [NY Daily News, 6/23/2011] Grimm “Isn’t Afraid to Let His Sensitive Side Show” In June 2011, Roll Call reported Grimm “may have been an undercover FBI agent for nine years but… isn’t afraid to let his sensitive side show.” While Grimm drank pinot grigio at a recent dinner, “He usually drinks red Italian wine: Chianti is his first choice…So we’ll go ahead and add Italian reds to our ‘whatever makes Grimm happy’ list, along with teacup yorkies named Sebastian and repealing the indoor tanning tax.” [Roll Call, 6/21/2011] Grimm Spoke At A Nursing School Graduation In May 2011, Grimm addressed graduates at the Wagner College School of Nursing. According to the Staten Island Advance, Grimm said, “You made the important decision to serve your community and society by helping those when they need it most: when they're ill, taking their last breath, or taking their first. Our nation would not be able to deliver the highest quality health services in the world without nurses' compassion, professionalism, and capability to address critical issues in high-stress environments.” [Staten Island Advance, 5/20/11]
Received $1,500 from American Bankers Association On December 22, 2011, Grimm received $1,500 from the American Bankers Association. This contribution brings Grimm total from the American Bankers Association to $8,500 year-to-date. [Michael
Grimm for Congress, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Received $1,000 from the Bank of America On December 30, 2011, Grimm received $1,000 from the Bank of America Corporation Federal PAC. This contribution brings Grimm’s total from the Bank of America to $4,500 year-to-date. [Michael Grimm
for Congress, 2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Received $1,000 from Exxon Mobile On December 22, 2011, Grimm received $1,000 from the Exxon Mobile PAC. [Michael Grimm for Congress,
2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Received $1,000 from Goldman Sachs On December 22, 2011, Grimm received $1,000 from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. PAC. This contribution brings Grimm’s total from Goldman Sachs to $10,000 year-to-date. [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011 YearEnd FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Received $3,000 from New York Life Insurance On November 25, 2011, Grimm received $3,000 from New York Life Insurance PAC. This contribution brings Grimm’s total from New York Life Insurance to $10,000 year-to-date. [Michael Grimm for Congress,
2011 Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Carrying $27,057 in Debt to Vendors and Individuals As of January 2012, Grimm’s campaign is carrying $27,057.58 in debt to various vendors and individuals, including $1,899.29 to Grimm himself for “Event Site Rental/Travel.” [Michael Grimm for Congress, 2011
Year-End FEC Report, Filed 1/31/12]
Grimm: I Will Play Lead Role for Romney In January 2012, Grimm said he would continue to support Mitt Romney following the Iowa Republican caucuses. Grimm was not sure where he would go with Romney after Iowa, but was assured that he “will be playing a lead role for Governor Romney.” [capitalnewyork.com, 1/03/12] Grimm: Iowa Win Will Grant Romney Some Momentum In January 2012, Grimm stated that Romney’s “very strong showing” in Iowa would give Romney the push forward he needs. “To tie with Santorum, who spent so much time on the ground, is a victory for Romney. That's [Iowa] where Romney will start to build the momentum he'll need to beat Barack Obama.” Grimm said. [silive.com, 1/04/2012] Challenger Withdrew Against Grimm In January 2012, Alex Borgognone announced that he was withdrawing from the Congressional race against Grimm. “New and unexpected business opportunities have arisen, the timing of which has to be acted upon immediately. Consequently, I cannot pursue these opportunities and devote myself full time to the voters of Staten Island and Brooklyn,” Borgognone said. [silive.com, 1/04/12] Challenger Announced Bid Against Grimm
In January 2012, Mark Murphy officially announced his intention to run against Grimm. Murphy alluded to Grimm’s vote against the extension of middle-class tax cuts and unemployment benefits and his defense of Mitt Romney's “I like to fire people” comment. “My opponent might like to fire people,” he said. “I like hiring people and I want to put America back to work now,” he said. [silive.com, 1/19/12] Attacked by DCCC Over Broadway Fundraisers In December 2011, the DCCC poked fun at Grimm over two Broadway fundraisers he held by releasing fake playbills for “Anything Goes” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. The playbill for “Anything Goes” featured disgraced former FBI friend Carlos Luquis, who Grimm employed at his Texas energy firm. In addition, the DCCC criticized Grimm for operating a trucking company with 11 safety violations and for operating a health food restaurant that went under.
[capitaltonight.com, 12/10/11; NY Daily News, 12/10/11; thebrooklynpolitics.com, 12/10/11; bensonhurstbean.com, 12/12/11; politickerny.com, 12/10/11]
DCCC Launched Calling Campaign Against Grimm In December 2011, the DCCC launched a calling campaign against Grimm for being a part of the “Super Committee” failure by demanding tax breaks for billionaires and insisting on eliminating the Medicare guarantee. Grimm said, “I have no respect for the DCCC as an entity anymore. It’s resorting completely to utter, bald-faced lies. It hurts the DCCC more. They’ve lost credibility. They’re not even twisting [the truth]; they’re outright lying.” Grimm also blamed Obama for the “Super Committee” failure and said, “This time, we don’t have a president who’s willing to lead. There’s enough blame to go around among Republicans and Democrats, but back then, leadership was able to transcend the bickering.” [Staten Island Advance, 12/5/11] Targeted by DCCC Robocalls In November 2011, Grimm was one of 30 vulnerable Republicans targeted by a DCCC robocall campaign. [New York Daily News, 11/30/11] Potential Grimm Challenger, Diamond, E-mailed on Behalf of Obama Campaign In November 2011, Robert Diamond, a veteran and investment banker who was considering a run against Grimm, sent out an e-mail on behalf of Obama’s re-election campaign telling people to urge Congress to support the veterans portion of the American Jobs Act. Diamond was listed as a representative of “Veterans and Military Families for Obama”. [politckerny.com, 11/10/11]