On the Issues

Protecting Social Security & Medicare

Eliot has consistently opposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare, fighting Republican attempts to weaken these programs. For his dedication to these issues, he has received a 100% for his voting record from the Alliance for Retired Americans.

Eliot has authored legislation to guarantee that every senior receives a cost-of-living adjustment, or “COLA,” of at least 3% annually. He also helped to pass the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, critical legislation to ensure that doctors continue to treat patients on Medicare. In addition, Eliot authored a bill to improve the way Medicare covers infusion therapy, often used to treat cancers, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions. Thanks to his work, Medicare will begin to cover home-based infusion care, finally allowing patients to be treated in the most comfortable setting possible.

Fighting for Women’s Health and Rights

A woman’s right to choose is under attack by Republicans nationwide. Eliot has fought tirelessly against misguided attempts to roll back women’s autonomy and the rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

Eliot has a 100% rating from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and from NARAL Pro-Choice America, and was awarded the inaugural Congressional Defender of Women’s Rights award by the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion – Choice Matters

As the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot has led the fight to protect reproductive health care for women worldwide. He has also cosponsored several bills to improve women’s access to comprehensive care here in the U.S., such as the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, which would overturn abortion-related restrictions on health insurance.

Eliot is also a strong proponent for paid family leave and equal pay for women. He is an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the pay gap once and for all.

Working for Affordable Health Care

Eliot believes that health care is a human right - not a privilege reserved solely for those who can afford it. Throughout his career, he has worked to ensure that no American is denied the care they need.

Eliot played a key role in crafting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In New York’s 16th District, more than 100,000 people have gained health coverage through this life-saving law. While he believes there are improvements needed to build on the ACA’s progress, Eliot strongly opposes repealing the ACA and turning back the clock on those who depend on the ACA’s protections.

Eliot voted against Trumpcare, which would rip health care away from millions, decimate Medicaid, raise costs for working families and seniors, gut protections for Americans with preexisting conditions and more. Eliot will continue fighting to protect Americans from this dangerous legislation.

Leading on Foreign Affairs

Eliot is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the most senior Democrat on the panel. With the great turmoil around the world, his steadying voice and rich experience in foreign and national security is sought by domestic and international policy-makers. He has led the Congress in efforts to strengthen the US-Israel relationship and sanction Russia for intervening in our democracy and its occupation of Ukraine.

Eliot's Syria Accountability Act is the landmark US legislation affecting US policy toward the war-torn country, and he has worked tirelessly to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Eliot has also led Congress on policy toward the Balkans, strongly supporter of Kosovo independence, and has pressed Turkey to end its occupation of Cyprus and restore full democratic rights to its people. Due to his United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act the US government is expanding ties to our friends to the south.

Fighting for Sensible Gun Laws

A member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Eliot has worked to pass sensible gun control laws, including requiring strict background checks on all gun sales to keep guns away from criminals and others who should not have them.

Eliot is a strong supporter of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would prevent people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from passing federal gun background checks. And he recently cosponsored the Disarm Hate Act, legislation designed to keep firearms out of the hands of people who have been convicted of hate crimes.

The Congressman has led the charge for nearly a decade on a federal ban on the sale of armor-piercing handguns through his Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act, recently introduced legislation to restrict the sale of military grade armor-piercing “green-tip” rounds that were designed for use in the M16 assault rifle but also fit into several easily concealed handguns, and has repeatedly called for strong enforcement of the ban on imports of military-style assault weapons.

Eliot has earned a ‘Thumbs Up’ from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and an ‘F’ grade from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund.

Protecting the Environment

Eliot has opposed all attempts to weaken our environmental protection laws or to reduce Federal funding for the environment. The Congressman has spoken out forcefully against recent actions by the current administration to roll back environmental regulations and the decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The Congressman worked to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund that helps acquire land for National, State and local parks, land conservation and recreation. He has also sponsored legislation to protect and restore the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River, and has been fighting the Coast Guard plan for up to 10 anchorage sites along the Hudson River for large barges carrying crude oil and other hazardous materials.

Eliot has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the Sierra Club, with a 92% environmental lifetime score by the LCV for his environmental votes in Congress. In their endorsement of Eliot, the New York LCV stated “Eliot Engel has been a consistent champion in the fight for environmental protection.”

Human Rights & Civil Rights

Eliot believes basic rights and human dignity are at the core of American values, that hate and intolerance have no place in our society, and that we as Americans have a duty to stand up to it in all its forms.

The congressman has earned a 100% rating from the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, as well a 100% rating from The Human Rights Campaign.

A member of the House’s LGBT Caucus, Eliot opposes any attempt to curb the rights of members of our LGBT community. As ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he has spoken out forcefully against brutalities exacted on members of the LGBT community by ISIS, as well as certain foreign governments, including Russia, Brunei, and Uganda.

Supporting Our Veterans

Eliot has fought to ensure that our veterans have the best possible health care and other services, earning praise from veterans’ organizations such as the Disabled American Veterans.

The Congressman worked to pass the Veterans Access, Choice & Accountability Act to end delays in medical care at VA medical facilities. He is also working to improve Veterans health services.

He voted in favor of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which pays for post 9/11 veterans to attend public colleges and universities. He is also a co-sponsor of the Helping Homeless Heroes Act.

Eliot also worked to pass the law that provides tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.