By Joye Brown
Updated April 25, 2020 3:28 PM
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, after voting for the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act last Thursday, found time to talk as he made his way north, from Washington back to Long Island.
Zeldin, a Republican representing the 1st Congressional District in Suffolk County, was nearing Baltimore when conversation turned to County Executive Steve Bellone’s quest to bend U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s ear for changes to a new federal program.
The changes would allow Suffolk to borrow more easily, and without overly high interest.
Zeldin said he was confident that he would hear from the secretary, a Republican who has a home in Suffolk.
“And I want to be ready,” Zeldin said as he drove, “so that Steve can be part of the call, that he can make his case as well.”
That was at 7:30 p.m. or so.
At 9:05 p.m., the call Bellone was waiting and hoping for came through.
“I want to thank Congressman Zeldin,” Bellone would say Friday, early on in his COVID-19 daily update, “because he was able to arrange a phone call … which we were able to have last night.”
Bellone described the exchange with Mnuchin and Zeldin as “a very positive phone call … a very positive conversation.”
Bellone said he was hopeful “that coming out of that will be something positive.”