WASHINGTON – Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul’s first bill passed the House this week, about 18 months after she was elected to Congress and less than two months before she leaves.
By voice vote late Tuesday, the House approved Hochul’s measure requiring the federal government to donate lost clothing left behind at airport security checkpoints to agencies that aid homeless veterans. The measure now goes to the Senate.
In her failed bid for re-election, Hochul, D-Hamburg, faced criticism from Chris Collins, the Republican who eventually defeated her, for failing to win passage of legislation she sponsored.
But Hochul’s “Clothe a Homeless Hero Act” is the kind of noncontroversial legislation the House could have taken up, and passed, many weeks ago. Asked if she thought the House Republican leadership should have brought up her veterans bill before the election, she said: “I wouldn’t say that; I’m just very pleased that it passed and hopeful that the Senate will pass it, too.”
Hochul got the idea for the bill after leaving a scarf at an airport checkpoint, only to discover that airports have rooms full of unclaimed clothing.
That, and the fact that there are 75,000 homeless veterans nationwide, make the bill a common-sense measure, she said.