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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20181204

Dec 01, 2018 9:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the current District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area, and Antonio Delgado, the Congressperson-elect. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 89.2 percent of the time, the same as before the election. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:59).

Dan Freedman reports in the Albany Times Union that Antonio Delgado for his Jan. 3 swearing-in, when the 41-year-old Democrat takes over representing New York's 19th Congressional District from Republican John Faso. "I'm ready to go," he said last week. He attended an orientation in Washington D.C. last week, and is renting an apartment there for weeks Congress is in session. "I fully realize that many Delgado supporters don't like Trump, and many Trump voters didn't support Delgado," said Chris Gibson, who represented the 19th District from 2012 to 2016, and slept in his office on an Army cot. "But I hope for the good of the district and the nation that these two leaders find a way to put aside differences and work together on the many pressing issues of our time." Delgado realizes he is going into a House controlled by Democrats, but with a Senate and executive branch run by Republicans. "I have to look at things I can control," Delgado said. "And what I can control is my level of engagement with constituents, so they can feel like they can reach out and touch me." Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.

Dan Freedman reports for the Albany Times Union that Rep. John Faso says that what President Donald Trump said about the murder of an American journalist was "better left unsaid.” “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said Nov. 20 about whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Faso says the president “unnecessarily downplays the likely involvement of Saudi leadership in this appalling crime. As such, much of his statement would have been better left unsaid.” But, Faso, a Republican from Kinderhook, said, the United States, “has strategic reasons to stay involved diplomatically and militarily with Saudi Arabia. The murder of Mr. Khashoggi has, however, altered our relationship for the foreseeable future.” Representative-elect Antonio Delgado had a much stronger assessment. "Remaining a moral leader on the world stage and true to our commitment to advancing democracy requires a foreign policy grounded in our values," Delgado wrote on Twitter. "The current approach appears purely transactional and devoid of respect for basic human rights. Simply put, it is un-American." Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.

David Lombardo is reporting for Capitol Confidential outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. John Faso is telling the federal government he does not want federal funds to be "wasted" on projects where he believes the state’s Scaffold Law is driving up costs. In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Faso says that federal funds should be awarded only with a requirement that the parties “agree to utilize a comparative negligence standard” for injuries on a project. New York's 133-year-old law imposes an “absolute liability” standard for workplace injuries caused by falls, and it is the only state in the country that imposes that standard in gravity-related injury cases. Faso estimates the Scaffold Law accounted for $200 million of the final bill to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. His argument is based on the idea that the federal government can preempt state law with conditional contracts, which he believes will prove more economical. “I firmly believe that this action would lead to reduced construction costs within New York and result in significant savings to federal taxpayers,” Faso wrote. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.

The Daily Freeman reports that Representative-elect Antonio Delgado voted Nov. 28 for Nancy Pelosi to become speaker of the House of Representatives when Democrats take control of the chamber in January. In a secret caucus vote Nov. 28, 203 Democrats, including Delgado, backed Pelosi, with 32 no votes, and three blank ballots. For Pelosi to become speaker, she'll need 218 votes on Jan. 3. Delgado only committed to the former speaker as the vote neared. "I've recently met with Leader Nancy Pelosi and discussed crucial issues facing upstate New York and how they can be addressed in the 116th Congress. During the discussion, she committed to help me lead the effort within the House to bring broadband access to our rural communities and help places like Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh which have been forced to endure a crisis of contaminated water. We also agreed on the need to prioritize legislation from the bipartisan heroin task force that will help family members cover treatment costs and better fund prevention in rural communities and we discussed me taking a leadership role on this task force. I also expressed that I will work tirelessly to ensure that the people of upstate New York have access to quality affordable healthcare that is accessible to everyone. Based on our conversations and her commitment to prioritize issues critically important to the district, I have decided to support Leader Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House," Delgado wrote just before the first vote. The Democrat from Rhinebeck takes over for Kinderhook Republican John Faso, after a Nov. 6 election victory in New York's 19th Congressional District. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.
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