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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190701

Jul 01, 2019 12:01 am
This is WGXC's Congressional Report, tracking the votes, words, and actions of Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck representing the 19th Congressional District, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam from the 20th Congressional District. The Fivethirtyeight.com website reports that, so far, the first-term Congressperson Delgado votes with Donald Trump's positions zero percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions zero percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:54).

Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado June 25, put forward legislation that would lift the debt ceiling for farmers seeking Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection. The Rhinebeck Democrat proffered the measure as a tool for allowing farmers to rebuild their finances in what he called "a down farm economy." The Family Farmer Relief Act would raise the debt ceiling from $3.2 million to $10 million, thereby allowing farmers to retain assets and continue operations. “This story is not unique to NY-19, or upstate New York. This is an urgent, national issue for our farmers,” Delgado said in testimony before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee. The first-term Congressman has made support of family farms a centerpiece of his legislative agenda. During his testimony, Delgado quoted a 2018 study as saying that “net farm income is expected to remain flat over the next 10 years and, when accounting for inflation, to fall in real terms.” The USDA found that the number of farms in New York dropped by 2,100, or 6 percent, between 2012 and 2017. The Family Farmer Relief Act has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union; it is opposed by the American Bankers Association. The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural in the nation and the third most rural represented by a Democrat, with more than 5,000 farms and 8,000 farm operators. Read the full story in the Times Union.

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck, and Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam, are both in favor of a $4.5 billion emergency spending bill for humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. Both Tonko and Delgado voted for the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act on June 25. The House voted for the bill 230-195, on party lines, and the Senate declined to act on it. Republicans in the Senate prefer a $4.6 billion measure. Legislation to take care of thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children runs out at the end of the week. “I am horrified by the reported conditions at Customs and Border Patrol facilities operating at our southern border,” Delgado said in a prepared statement. “The [Trump] administration's argument that holding our fellow human beings in overcrowded cells, forcing them to try and sleep on concrete floors without soap or toothbrushes, and denying children their most basic needs amounts to 'safe and sanitary' facilities, as required by our own laws, is unconscionable.” Eventually, the House bill was scrapped, and Delgado voted for the Senate version of the bill. Tonko voted against the Senate version of the bill. The funding passed 305-to-102, with almost all Republicans in favor, and Democrats split on the matter. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Chris McKenna reports at The Fray that Delgado and Tonko both voted June 27 for the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act. The bill would authorize $600 million in federal grants for states to upgrade their voting systems to try to prevent overseas hacking of American elections. The bill passed 225-to-184 with every Republican except one voting against. So it has little chance to even reach a vote in the U.S. Senate.

Melanie Lekocevic reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. Antonio Delgado was the commencement speaker June 28 for Hudson High's graduating class. “Today, I want to talk to you about how important this journey is, and how much value there is in the journey itself, even if you don’t make it to the destination you initially intended,” Delgado said. “Remember that the moment before you take a risk is always filled with a mix of trepidation and anxiety over whether you’re making the right decision,” Delgado told the graduates. “But making yourself vulnerable, trusting in the goodness of others and leading with our heart are all key to self-discovery — to figuring out the mark you want to make on this world while recognizing the power each of you have to change it in a meaningful way.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

• Tonko does not list any local events on his websites next week. Tonko never lists any events. This week Delgado's website says he will be at holiday parades this week, at 5:30 p.m. July 3 at the Fort Plain 4th on the 3rd Celebration, and at 11 a.m. July 4 at the Kiwanis Ice Arena in Saugerties. Delgado also announced mobile office hours from 4 to 6 p.m. July 8 at the Mountain Top Library, 6093 Main St., Tannersville; 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 15 at the Wallkill Library, 7 Bona Ventura Ave., Wallkill; 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 22 at the Tivoli Free Library, 86 Broadway, Tivoli.; and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 29 at the Starr Library, 68 West Market St., Rhinebeck.