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North Shore Leader Exclusive Interview with Tom Suozzi, Democrat for US Congress

Interview Conducted by Benjamin Frankel and Jacqueline Sweet


The North Shore Leader sat down for an exclusive interview with Thomas Suozzi, the Democratic candidate for US Congress in NY3 – a district that includes the Towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead; Glen Cove; and a portion of northeast Queens.

Tom Suozzi is a former US Congressman, Nassau Conty Executive and Mayor of Glen Cove.  He ran for Governor in 2022 and was defeated in the Democratic primary.

We wanted to hear Suozzi’s take on the pressing national and local issues that voters in NY3 are most concerned about:

Q: What do you think your role will be in Congress to address the current national security threats in the Middle East and Ukraine and how will you address the overall international threats facing America currently?

A: My opponent in this race and I are both very supportive of Israel. But another pro-Israel Republican doesn’t add much to the equation if you believe in the necessity of a bipartisan US-Israel relationship.

It’s much more important right now to have another strong pro-Israel Democrat.

I’ve stood up to Ilhan Omar. I’ve signed onto every letter to not condition aid to Israel. The Republicans right now say they support aid to Israel but they are conditioning it on cuts to the IRS. Why aren’t they just supporting Israel? It’s irresponsible.


Q: The United States has given Israel billions and billions of dollars, on top of the annual nearly $4 billion dollars that the U.S. commits. Israel has a prime minister and coalition who are reluctant to make sufficient concessions to the Palestinians, which in turn prevents the Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states from normalizing relationships with Israel to create a moderate Israel-Sunni coalition to contain Iran. Should the U.S. use pressure on Israel and condition some of the military aid so they accommodate U.S. interests in the region?

A: I have always been unequivocally supportive of Israel and not supported the idea of conditioning aid to Israel. I am very conscious of the fact there is an opportunity for the United States and the western world to help broker a deal with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the rest of the Sunni world to work together for a post-war solution to the Israel-Palestinian issue.

There are parties, mainly proxies to Iran, that are trying to blow that idea up. We have to be very conscious in continuing to negotiate a comprehensive solution.


Q: In 2019, you worked with Republican Peter King on a bipartisan border compromise. Do you think that’s something you could reproduce in this current political climate and with current House leadership?

A: Right now, this is the best opportunity in 35 years to finally address the border. We haven’t had a border fix since Ronald Reagan was president. The Senate is close to a bipartisan deal to fix the border because the Democrats are willing to give a lot of concessions.

And former President Trump came out and said I don’t want to give Biden a win. That’s what people are sick of in politics and government, not fixing the problem.

I was vice-chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus. We met every week to try and find common ground. Let’s bring the problem solvers in to help fix the problem.


Q: You’ve come out with a proposal to build an “Ellis Island-type” complex somewhere near the US-Mexican border. How do you think you could make this happen? Would you vote to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas if you were in the House right now?

A: I would not vote to impeach Secretary Mayorkas. It’s not the cabinet official, it’s the President’s policy that matters. That’s really a political game, and that’s why there hasn’t been a cabinet official impeached in America for 150 years and the last time they tried to do it they failed, 150 years ago.

Do I think there’s a major problem? Absolutely. I’ve said the President has to show more and in January I sent a letter to the President saying you have to make a deal. The key to solving the problem of the border is bipartisanship.

No one is going to get my way or the highway on either side and that’s what’s killing our country on so many issues. You cannot solve complicated problems in an environment of anger where everyone is just attacking each other. We’ve seen that doesn’t work, which is why nothing is getting done right now.


Q: Do you think the change in media, technology, social communication has broken the system? Is there a policy situation to ameliorate the crisis in disinformation and extremism that we see in social media and the current media landscape?

A: That’s a very big part of it and we have to figure it out. We have to reform Section 230: Social media companies have to be held liable for publishing misinformation.

Russia, China, Iran and others are using our social media and infiltrating our airwaves regularly just to get us pissed off at each other. They pick both sides of an extreme point and they are trying to destabilize our democracy by using our diversity and our freedom of speech to try and undercut us so we can’t get anything done.

In the House of Representatives there are 485 seats, 380 of the seats are safe seats - you can’t lose. 190 Republicans, 190 Democrats will win those seats, because of gerrymandering, incumbency, the money, and when you’re in a safe seat, you have no incentive to listen to the people because you’re going to win anyway.

The only way you can lose is to lose a primary but very few people vote in the primaries and they are often more extreme. So the politicians in the safe seats pander to the base and they don’t listen to the general public, and that’s why you’re seeing all this crazy stuff.


Q: So what do you do?

A: I [stick to] a consistent message of working across party lines to get things done to serve the people. Fortunately, I believe it’s going to win the day. Congress has never been more unpopular. Wake up, both sides, and stop with the extremism.


Q: What’s the pathway to getting the cap on SALT deductions raised, including passed through the Senate?

A: You’ve got to make a deal. I made a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. That’s how I passed it three times in the House. The Long Island Republicans haven’t gotten it through the House yet. Let’s see if they do.

You have to build a coalition, across the country, of those affected by this, and if there’s one thing I know how to do, I’ve built a lot of relationships not just in my party, but with Republicans, along with mayors and governors.




This Interview was conducted for the North Shore Leader by Benjamin Frankel and Jacqueline Sweet.  Frankel is the Editor of the daily Homeland Security Newswire and former Editor of the international affairs journals Security Studies and the National Interest.  Sweet is a former Editor of the Patch and a contributing writer to the journals Politico and Business Insider.  The Interview was conducted at the offices of the North Shore Leader. 


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