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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180626

Jun 22, 2018 10:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 89.2 percent of the time, up slightly from last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (10:18).

Chris McKenna is reporting for The Fray U.S. Reps. John Faso and Sean Patrick Maloney each saw proposals they backed included in a bill combating the opioid crisis approved by House on a vote of 353 to 52, June 14. Republican Faso sponsored a measure intended to restrict the mailing of synthetic opioids like fentanyl from China and other countries by enabling postal authorities to track and to intercept packages from known sources before they are sent to the U.S. Democrat Maloney’s contribution was a new requirement that the federal government publish an annual report on internet opioid sales and the covert websites that peddle the drugs. “The fact that we don’t even know the extent of this problem is just crazy to me,” Maloney said. Faso said in a statement, “I’m encouraged that we came together to craft a real solution to this problem that is realistic, implementable, and effective. This is a big step in our fight to rid our communities of deadly synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl.” Read the full story at The Fray, Politics in the Hudson Valley and Catskills.

• The U.S. House passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, June 21, by a vote of 213-211. Twenty Republicans joined all Democrats voting against it, but Rep. John Faso was in the yes column. Republicans added more work requirements for recipients of food stamps in the bill, which means thousands of veterans and others will lose the benefits. The Senate must now pass the bill, which needs the president's signature.

• Local politicians and political groups are weighing in on the children being separated from parents by immigration officials in the United States. Local activists affiliated with the MoveOn.org group have a rally at 11 a.m. Sat., June 30 in the Public Square in Hudson, at the corner of Warren St. and 7th St. That's the same day that many other protests will happen around the country, with the largest in Washington D.C. The Mid-Hudson News reports that the Dutchess Commission on Human Rights have condemned the separation of children from their parents, saying, "governmental intervention that breaches this relationship (between parent and child) without adjudication, for anyone, but especially asylum seekers and others escaping brutal economic, social, and political conditions, is not only unwarranted, but cruel." Dutchess Human Rights Commissioner Jodi Miller said, "For all the concerns about big government and costs effectiveness, this is a moral abomination; this not what we are about as a country.” New York's senators also weighed in on the issue, with Kirsten Gillibrand tweeting on June 19, "The Department of Homeland Security is tearing young children away from their parents. It is abhorrent. It is immoral. And the administration could stop this today. But since they won’t, Congress needs to step up." Chuck Schumer tweeted on June 18, "As everyone who has looked at this agrees, this was done by the president, not Democrats. He can fix it tomorrow if he wants to, and if he doesn’t want to, he should own up to the fact that he’s doing it." Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat who represents all of Albany County, and parts of Rensselaer County, tweeted June 19, "I am cosponsoring the Keep Families Together Act, a bill that would prohibit DHS from separating children from their parents except in extraordinary cases, allow parents to reunite with their kids if separated, and shine a light on any future abuses under this Trump Admin policy." Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement saying he wouldn't send New York National Guard troops to the border, although asked to clarify, his office says they were never asked to send troops to the border. Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) has not released any public statement on the issue, but on Father's Day he tweeted, "Being a father is my proudest role. I have always cherished being a father for my children, Nicholas and Margaret. Happy Father’s Day to each and every dad in Upstate New York."

• After most other New York politicians and activists criticized the president's policy of separating migrant children from their parents, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) finally released a statement on the issue June 19. "This is a humanitarian issue, and the policy of separating children from their parents is wrong and needs to be addressed immediately. For too many years and administrations, Washington has failed to address how to secure our borders while also ensuring our immigration policies are humane and address the real challenges our border enforcement officers face every day," he wrote on Twitter. "Congress should address this issue quickly, and the compromise legislation I support will do so. In addition, this legislation improves border security, resolves the status of the DACA population, and contains other reforms such as the end of the diversity lottery. The legislation would be the most significant reform to our broken immigration system in many decades, and it represents a good-faith compromise that will forever put an end to this disruptive practice."

William J. Kemble reports in The Daily Freeman that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) spoke both in favor of President Donald Trump's policy of separating migrant children from their parents, and released a statement applauding the end of that policy June 20. He also did not address the child that's being held in his district in Kingston. “He’s talking about a law that exists on the books that says if someone is arrested, they have to be put in a facility and that facility can’t have children. So, in that sense, he’s correct,” said Faso on CNN. “But in the overall context of this situation, he’s not correct because, right now, we should act, Democrats and Republicans, to change the law, and he should act to end this policy.” Later in the day, Faso released a statement that said, “I am pleased the president reversed his decision on enforcing the law in this manner. The next immediate step we must take is reconnecting separated parents and children as quickly as possible, and I will be working to ensure that is taking place.” National reports indicated that the thousands of parents and children already separated won't be reunited, and that only families arrested after the order was signed will be kept together in custody. Reports this week indicate that eight-year-old migrant Abel Alexander Orantes-Lopez is being held in Kingston at the Kingston Children’s Home while his mother is in Seattle. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

• Congressperson John Faso (R-Kinderhook) answered questions from callers on a telephone conference call June 21. Click here to download or play the recording.
The topics discussed in the call (in order):
Immigration -- in general, but also the separating families question
Privatization of the Post Office (denied knowing anything about that)
Sanctuary cities
The SNAP program and the proposed accompanying training program -- who pays?
The wall -- why build one on the Mexican border and not the Canadian?
The infrastructure bill -- what will be done for locations without access to natural gas?
Net neutrality
VA services
Will the immigration bill pass? (@28:35) His answer includes details of the bill and his position.
Tariffs (with focus on agriculture). (@34 +/-)
Farm Bill
Medical transport and Medicaid
Immigration, separating families, again.
Amtrak fence (Kevin from Germantown @49:40).
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