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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180320

Mar 16, 2018 11:43 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 87 percent of the time, a slight increase from last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (7:10).

William J. Kemble is reporting in the Daily Freeman U.S. Rep. John Faso says he supports special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but notes that congressional investigations are mostly political posturing on both sides of the aisle. Faso sat down for an interview with the Daily Freeman on March 9. “Obviously, it’s borne some fruit,” Faso said of Mueller's probe. “Not necessarily on the main topic of this Russian collusion. All of these indictments and guilty pleas have been on matters unrelated to that, but I think that he’s got an active investigation and let the chips fall where they may.” Faso said members of the Republican-led House of Representatives should not press to end that investigation. The Kinderhook Republican, who is seeking election to a second term, was asked if he believes the Mueller team is closing in on Trump. “I really don’t know,” he said. Asked if subpoenas should be issued to witnesses who fail to answer questions from congressional Democrats during hearings, Faso said the investigation should be left in Mueller’s hands. “It’s unlikely you’ll get much in way of fruitful investigation from folks that have a political axe to grind in this regard,” he said. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

The Daily Freeman is reporting a seventh person has entered the field of candidates contending for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. John Faso in November. Democrat Erin Collier, an agricultural economist and resident of Cooperstown, kicked off her campaign March 12, with a video entitled, "I'm Not Gonna Let Those Boys Beat Me." Collier describes herself as a progressive and the latest in a line of five generations of farmers to work the land of the 19th Congressional District. “Donald Trump and Republicans like John Faso are destroying working-class families like mine with their wildly irresponsible actions and policies,” she said. “Women make up less than 20 percent of Congress. Our voices are drastically underrepresented. We need to do better. We need change. That is why I am running for Congress.” If elected, Collier said, she will “stand up for women’s rights, fight for health care for all Americans, focus on progressive economic policies for growth for the 19th District, and protect our environment from the devastating impacts of climate change.” Collier was educated at Cornell University and has a master's degree in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. She worked for the United Nations in Thailand and served as an agricultural economist under the Obama administration. Collier is a nationally ranked triathlete. She joins a field of six men in the Democratic primary on June 26. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman U.S. Rep. John Faso could be headed to South Korea next month. The Kinderhook Republican has been invited to join a trip being organized by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress. “I just received an invitation last week to visit Korea as part of a congressional delegation, and I’m considering whether or not it can fit into the schedule to go,” Faso said March12. Faso said the trip is supposed to take place in late April. The first-term congressman said he expects the delegation to be bipartisan and consist of less than 10 representatives. “Given everything that’s going on, I would like to go and see first hand and discuss with officials [about] their perspective,” he said. Faso received the invitation on the heels of news that President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in May. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

William J. Kemble in The Daily Freeman reports that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) thinks mental health is a problem with firearms, even though he voted differently in December. This week he told the newspaper, “As we’ve seen around the country, there’s certain people who should never get access to firearms.... We’ve got to make sure that we’ve got our mental health and our background checks so that we keep people who are dangerous to themselves and to others away from firearms.” Last December Faso voted to overturn a policy that stopped people who have mental health conditions that make working and managing their own affairs difficult from purchasing guns. Faso also is in favor of making schools more like fortresses. “We want to make some federal dollars available to help school districts harden their facilities, make them more safe for students and staff, and make it more difficult for intruders to come in,” the congressperson said. On March 14, the U.S. House may vote vote on the Stop School Violence Bill of 2018, which would provide $50 million in funding for the “placement and use of metal detectors and other deterrent measures,” and for “evidence-based training and technical assistance to prevent violence.” Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Richard Moody reports in Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) now wants more funding for mental health services. He sent a letter to the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee March 14 asking to prioritize mental health funding. Currently, the Appropriations Committee has not authorized funding for several mental health program under the 21st Century Cures Act. “Being someone who has mental illnesses I know it affects a lot of things,” said Lance Fongemie, of Hudson. “I think Congress needs to do more.... I know budgeting is tough. A lot of people fall through the cracks who could be helped. I have insurance, but some people do not have financial means to get help.” Faso echoed those comments. “Strengthening mental health programs is of vital significance and Congress made substantial progress in this area in the 21st Century Cures Act,” Faso said. “Unfortunately, due to the constant short-term budget measures, not every improvement made has been implemented. This letter demonstrates a strong bipartisan desire to prioritize these programs in the next must-pass government spending bill.” Last December Faso voted to overturn a policy that stopped people who have mental health conditions that make working and managing their own affairs difficult from purchasing guns. Read the full story at HudsonValley360.com.

Casey Seiler reports in Capitol Confidential that Faso fanned the flames of his ongoing feud with Andrew Cuomo this week, writing a letter to the governor saying that Cuomo is not "a man of principle and honor." Cuomo has been criticizing Faso and fellow New York Republicans for voting for the federal tax plan that will raise taxes on many New Yorkers. Faso voted against the GOP tax bill three times, but did vote for it once. “Those that did not actually vote for the bill had a moral and ethical obligation to demand that their leadership at least remove the New York penalty,” Cuomo wrote in an open letter this week. “New Yorkers will not accept your impotence as a defense. You are all part the New York Republican delegation and can act together. We all know that in a legislative body, certain members are ‘let off’ the vote so they can claim impunity. That tactic fools no one and does not excuse the damage done to New York. You are responsible for the actions of your conference.” So Faso wrote back to Cuomo, “While Mario Cuomo certainly was a vigorous political combatant, he always conducted himself in a way which was compatible with his office.... Although I had many disagreements with him, Mario Cuomo was at his core, a man of principle and honor. You, on the other hand, sir, are no such man.”Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

Law360.com reports that Faso voted for both the Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act and the Regulation At Improvement Act of 2017 on March 15. Both bills would regulate banks less, not more, and both passed with Republican majorities. "House Financial Services Committee chair Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said that regulatory agencies had gone too far in pushing beyond the limits of the law, and can be reined in by legislation like the financial institutions examination bill," in the Law360.com story. Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver said the bill would “put financial institutions’ profits before the protection of consumers and the best interest of the American public,” and "it will give messy megabanks and predatory lenders, payday lenders an additional avenue to avoid oversight.” Read the full story at Law360.com.
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