Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York may serve as the Senate majority leader, but the press releases he posts on his official Senate website do not tend to focus on national issues.
They focus instead on spending federal money — in New York.
In September, for example, Schumer posted 19 press releases on his www.schumer.senate.gov website. Fifteen of them specifically cited a way that Schumer had helped funnel federal tax dollars from the U.S. Treasury to the state of New York.
Six of these September press releases celebrated the federal government sending money to New York specifically to plant trees. The first press release Schumer sent out in October also celebrated federal funding for planting trees in New York.
As this column has noted before, the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law last year included a provision giving $1.5 billion to the Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
“The grant funding,” says the Department of Agriculture website, “is available to community-based organizations, tribes, state and municipal governments, nonprofit partners, universities and other eligible groups as they work to increase tree cover in urban spaces and boost equitable access to nature.”
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as this column noted last month, put out a statement celebrating $14 million in grants from this program that went to San Francisco.
Schumer is celebrating a greater amount that is being sent to multiple locations across New York state.
Over the past three weeks, Schumer has posted seven press releases announcing tree-planting grants for organizations in his state. Five of these releases were published on Sept. 14.
One carried a headline that said in part: “Schumer Delivers Huge $11+ Million for Hudson Valley Through Inflation Reduction Act to Plant Thousands of New Trees.”
“U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced $11,459,838 for eight projects across the Hudson Valley to plant thousands of new trees and expand youth education and job training programs to help make the community greener through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program,” it said.
“Schumer,” the release said, “explained that thanks to the historic investments he was able to secure in the Inflation Reduction Act, USDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is awarding more than $1 billion to increase equitable access to trees and the benefits they provide in disadvantaged urban communities.”
“From Yonkers and Mount Vernon, to Kingston and Port Jervis, it is time for the Hudson Valley to put on your work gloves, dust off your shovels and get ready to dig in because over $11 million is on the way to plant thousands of new trees and give our youth good paying jobs to make our communities cleaner and greener for all,” Schumer said.
Then Schumer announced tree-planting projects for Syracuse and Central New York.
“U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced $10,945,000 for three projects in Syracuse, Auburn, and across Central New York to plant thousands of new trees,” said another Sept. 14 release.
Then it was Utica.
“Utica get out your gardening gloves and dust off your shovels because over $2.3 million in federal funding is on the way to plant thousands of new trees across the city and seed a brighter future for the community,” Schumer said in another press release that day.
Then there was a grant for the area around New York’s capital city of Albany.
“Capital Region tree lovers, put on your work gloves, get out your shovels and get ready to dig in because over $7 million is on the way to keep our urban forest healthy and help youth make our communities cleaner and greener for all,” Schumer said in another Sept. 14 release.
Then it was Rochester.
“I promised to help Rochester neighborhoods find their spot in the shade and plant the seeds for a brighter future, and now I am proud to say a promise made is now a promise kept with Rochester as one of the first in the nation to tap the historic funding I secured in the Inflation Reduction Act to plant thousands of new trees across the city,” Schumer said, announcing a $3-million grant to that municipality.
Eleven days later, Schumer announced a $5-million grant to New York City Parks to plant trees in Queens.
“I am proud to announce Queens is amongst the first in the nation to tap the historic funding I secured in the Inflation Reduction Act to expand urban forests,” said Schumer.
This week, the Senate majority leader announced that $597,248 was “on the way to plant 2,500 new trees across the Saint Regis Mohawk territory to seed a brighter future for all.”
At the beginning of fiscal 2023, the federal debt was $30,928,911,613,306.73, according to the U.S. Treasury. When fiscal 2023 ended last week, it was $33,167,334,044,723.16. In just one year, the debt grew by $2,238,422,431,416.43.
It surely is growing faster than Schumer’s — or Pelosi’s — federally funded trees.
Terence P. Jeffrey is an investigative editor for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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