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Friday, July 12, 2024

Here to Serve: LaLota Hits the Ground Running in Congress


It would be an understatement to say that freshman Republican Congressman Nick LaLota (second from right) of New York’s First Congressional District has had a productive first month in Congress.

The now-Congressman defeated Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming (D) in the November 2022 elections, winning by 11 points in an open-seat district that was drawn to be nearly twice as competitive – on paper than its last decade’s predecessor.

One of LaLota’s first votes was a “yea” vote on a bill to prevent the Biden Administration from adding 87,000 new IRS agents, which Republicans believe would be used to harass families and small businesses.

Shortly thereafter, LaLota joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in favor of halting the sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to China and other countries of concern in a vote of 331-97. The vote was seen by many as a major win for energy independence.

LaLota also voted to overturn the COVID-19 public health emergency declared on January 31, 2020, as well as to terminate the Center for Disease Control’s vaccination requirements for non-immigrant travelers to the United States.

LaLota has also already been successful in seeing his initiatives pass the House. Recently, the congressman introduced an amendment to a piece of legislation to ensure that there could be no offshore oil and natural gas drilling in the waters off the coasts of Long Island. The congressman’s amendment passed the House unanimously. Local environmentalist groups and the local fishing industry applauded the decision.

All of these were in line with promises made during his campaign.

LaLota has been appointed to key committees overseeing our military, national security, local economy, cybersecurity, disaster relief, and small businesses:

  • House Armed Services Committee
  • Subcommittee Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation
  • Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
  • House Homeland Security Committee
  • Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology
  • Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security
  • House Small Business Committee
  • Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure (Chair)
  • Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access

LaLota is also part of the bipartisan SALT (State and Local Tax) Caucus, along with fellow Long Island Congressman Andrew Garbarino (South Shore) and Anthony D’Esposito (Nassau), that aims to restore the SALT deduction to support Long Island families – a contentious regional issue.

On February 10, LaLota joined another caucus, this time focusing on his service in the Navy: the For Country Caucus.

LaLota, a Navy Veteran, joined the bipartisan group of military Veterans in the U.S. House. In a press release, the congressman said: “For centuries, Military Veterans have put our country first. Now in Congress, I am pledging to put our country before my party by joining Veterans in Congress who are interested in results more than rhetoric.”

The Co-Chairs of the For Country Caucus Reps. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX-23) and Jason Crow (D-CO-06) said: “We welcome Rep. LaLota to the For Country Caucus and look forward to working with him to build on our accomplishments and support the American people.”

LaLota’s experience in the military, which saw him stationed in the South China Sea, put him in a unique position to discuss the Chinese spy balloon controversy, as three more unidentified aircraft have been shot down after the initial balloon earlier this month. The most recent was shot down over Lake Huron on February 12.

But LaLota’s proactivity doesn’t stop there. After the State of the Union address, the congressman approached the president himself, stating his hope that the infrastructure money Biden mentioned in his speech would make it to Suffolk County. Biden and LaLota apparently had an amicable discussion, which included the president’s connections to Long Island as a young child.

LaLota believes that the federal government’s massive infrastructure investment “proportionally helps New York’s highways, airports and train stations.”

LaLota asserts he is “committed to confronting the Biden Administration on…the border, federal spending, the debt crisis, unleashing American energy mandates, the role and size of government, and more.”

Matt Meduri
Matt Meduri
Matt Meduri has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Messenger Papers since August 2023. He is the author of the America the Beautiful, Civics 101, and This Week Today columns. Matt graduated from St. Joseph's University, Patchogue, in 2022, with a degree in Human Resources and worked for his family's IT business for three years. He's also a musician and composer with his sights set on the film industry. Matt has traveled all around the U.S. and enjoys cooking, photography, and a good cup of coffee.