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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190212

Feb 11, 2019 9:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck). The Fivethirtyeight.com website reports that, so far, Delgado votes with Donald Trump's positions zero percent of the time. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (6:46).

• Delgado voted with mostly other Democrats on a measure Jan. 30, "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Government shutdowns are detrimental to the Nation and should not occur" that passed 249 to 163. Delgado also voted Jan. 30 for the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act that would give federal employees a 2.6 percent pay increase to match the raise given to the military for 2019. It passed 259 to 161. And on Jan. 28 he voted for the Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act, which passed 412 to 3.

Jack Howland reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal that Rep. Antonio Delgado, the Democrat from Rhinebeck representing New York's 19th Congressional District, said the budget deal to end the longest shutdown in United States history is only a “temporary fix.” Delgado, in Pine Plains holding his second town hall meeting since taking office, said he will call for hearings to see if there were any “lapses or delays that affected people’s lives,” from the shutdown. President Trump had agreed to a budget deal with Congressional Republicans and Democrats, then pulled out of that deal in December, demanding $5.7 million for a border wall he once claimed Mexico would pay for. Trump on Jan. 25, agreed to re-open the government for a few weeks, without any wall funding. "We certainly need to work on border security,” Delgado said. “We should be able to have that debate without putting us through what we just had to go through for 35 days.” At the town meeting Delgado also said he wanted to bring Chatham Police Chief Peter Volkmann to Washington D.C. to testify about the the Chatham Cares 4 U Outreach Initiative drug addiction program. WGXC has an audio recording to the complete town hall meeting in the WGXC audio archives online at wgxc.org. Read the full story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) announced Jan. 29 that he is joining the bipartisan Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus. “The prevalence of Lyme disease in Upstate New York requires significant, bipartisan action, and I’m proud to be joining the Lyme Disease Caucus,” the Democrat representing the 19th Congressional District said. “I look forward to working with leaders on this issue in Upstate New York—as well as my fellow Members of Congress—to advance federal support for how doctors treat it and how we decrease environmental risks. Indeed, the National Science Foundation has declared Lyme Disease an emerging global pandemic due to climate change.”

Annie Snider is reporting for Politico the Trump administration will not set a drinking water limit for PFOA and PFOS, toxic chemicals that are contaminating millions of Americans' tap water. The chemicals have been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, hypertension and other ailments. In response to the decision, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado said in a statement, “I have seen personally the damaging effects of PFOA in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, and talked to families who lost loved ones from cancer caused by contaminated drinking water. In light of the emerging evidence on the danger and devastation PFOA causes, it would be unconscionable for the EPA to not limit levels of these chemicals in our communities. The EPA must take the issue of water contamination seriously, and I will do everything in my power to step up efforts to address this growing crisis.” The decision comes less than a year after the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency faced criticism for delaying the publication of a health study on the chemicals. The EPA's decision means the chemicals will remain unregulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act and utilities will face no federal requirements for testing for and removing the chemicals from drinking water supplies. However, several states have pursued or are pursuing their own limits on the chemicals. EPA-mandated testing has found PFOA and PFOS at unsafe levels in at least 16 million Americans' tap water, but activists say the problem is even more widespread. While EPA has decided against a drinking water limit on PFOA and PFOS, the draft chemical plan includes a decision to list the contaminants as hazardous under the Superfund law, a move that would help force polluters to pay for the cleanup. At present, the agency's action plan is undergoing an interagency review, according to an EPA spokesperson. Read the full story at Politico [dot] com.

On Jan. 30 Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) revealed a campaign finance reform bill requiring additional publicly available disclosures for lobbyists funding political ads or other political activities. Delgado's second legislative effort will be tucked in the H.R. 1 government reform bill. “We must take power away from special interests and put it into the hands of the people — and we can do that through shining a light on dark money and reducing the grip that lobbyists hold over elected officials,” Delgado said in a press release. “Linking lobbyist disclosures with campaign finance reports allows people to know who is influencing their elected officials and should help ensure that our elected officials are only beholden to their constituents.” Delgado's Clear Act would require election reports filed by political committees to clearly indicate when a contributor is a registered lobbyist; make registered lobbyists contributions clear in election reports; and require lobbyist disclosure reports to be linked on one website easily accessible to the public.

• On Jan. 29 Delgado spoke on the House floor, against another government shutdown.

• Delgado holds his third town hall meeting at 3 p.m. Feb. 2 in Sullivan County, and opens his Delhi office at noon Feb. 4.
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