AnnouncementsHappy Birthday WGXC! Lucky 13!
AnnouncementsHappy Birthday WGXC! Lucky 13!
Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report
Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.
Mid-Hudson News reports that the Cook Political Report is forecasting that the Congressional elections in New York's 17th and 19th Congressional Districts as "toss-ups." Republicans Mike Lawler and Marc Molinaro unseated incumbent Democrats in 2022 in those districts, helping to give the GOP a five-seat majority. The Cook Political Report is also saying that Democrat Pat Ryan's 18th Congressional District “leans Democrat.” So far each of the three incumbent candidates has at least one opponent. Attorney Josh Riley, a Democrat, is running again after losing to Molinaro in 2022. Democrat Mondaire Jones is challenging Lawler, and Republican Alison Esposito wants to unseat Ryan. Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.
Phillip Pantuso and Joshua Solomon report for the Times Union that Rep. Marc Molinaro has become a key player in deciding who will be the next Speaker of the House. For three weeks, Republicans in Congress have been unable to determine who should be their speaker, effectively shutting down the government. The House of Representatives cannot take any action without a speaker. Molinaro said, “I’ll be very, very candid: These have been distressing, disappointing weeks.... The temperature has been turned up, emotions and harbored ill will remain, and we are surrounded by individuals and groups of members who are more interested in seeing someone or something lose than making sure the people we represent win.” Molinaro voted two times for Rep. Jim Jordan, an ultra-conservative member who worked to undermine the legal and fair results of the 2020 presidential election. Then Molinaro said he was backing the speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, but instead voted for Republican Lee Zeldin, who is not in Congress and lost New York's governor election last year. Molinaro only won his 19th Congressional District election in 2022 by about 1 ½ percent. A court will rule next month whether the District will remain drawn to favor Republicans or altered to favor Democrats. So Molinaro has little room for error in next year's election. He said, “There is animosity, there’s anger, and there’s bitterness.... I want to be clear: I’m a red-blooded Italian; I’ve got a lot of emotions. But I did not come to Congress to express my feelings to my colleagues. And so I don’t necessarily embrace this as a governing philosophy.” For now, though, dysfunction is the governing philosophy of House Republicans. Read more about this story in the Times Union.
Republicans in the House of Representatives on Oct. 25 finally elected a new Speaker of the House, after failing several times to agree on a leader. Louisiana-based Rep. Mike Johnson was elected 220-to-209, with local Reps. Marc Molinaro and Elise Stefanik voting with the other Republicans. Stefanik even introduced Johnson, though she did the same with past nominees who failed, such as Rep. Jim Jordan. Click here to download or play a short excerpt of Stefanik's speech. Stefanik backed the party's nominee in each of the previous Speaker votes, whil Molinaro voted two times for Rep. Jim Jordan, an ultra-conservative member who worked to undermine the legal and fair results of the 2020 presidential election. Then Molinaro said he was backing the speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, but instead voted for Republican Lee Zeldin, who is not in Congress and lost New York's governor election last year. Johnson, the nominee the Republicans finally agreed on, also voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results which were free and fair.
Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that Rep. Pat Ryan has written to the U.S. Coast Guard asking for more information about why the military branch, which regulates Hudson River navigation, changed its rules, allowing large ships and barges to anchor in spots closed because of local complaints and environmental concerns. Ryan said, “Indefinitely parking dangerous oil barges on the Hudson is a threat to the health and safety of our kids, the more than 100,000 people who rely on the river for their drinking water, and our entire ecosystem. I’m demanding the Coast Guard uphold the anchoring ban on the Hudson." Three years ago, local activists and environmental groups successfully lobbied to block large ships and barges from parking in the Hudson River locally. Over the summer, the Coast Guard changed the boundaries of the Port of New York, allowing large barges and ships to anchor north of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. In August Ryan wrote to Capt. Zeita Merchant, sector commander for the Coast Guard, saying, “As a member of Congress representing the Hudson River, I am concerned with the impact that this change would have on my constituents, the natural resources of the region, and the importance of the Hudson River in facilitating commerce.” The Coast Guard, in its reply, said that they were looking to clarify boundaries and regulations regarding the Port of New York, but Ryan said that answer was inadequate. Read more about this story in the Times Union.
Kayla Epstein reports for BBC News that Rep. Marc Molinaro was among four New York Republicans introducing a measure on Oct. 26 for a vote of expulsion next week for fellow New York Republican George Santos. The Long Island representative is known as the most prominent liar in all of Washington D.C., no mean feat. Santos is also facing 23 criminal charges. Santos denies the charges of wire fraud, identity theft, lying to Congress, money laundering, and credit card fraud, and insists he will not resign. Santos wrote on social media on Oct. 26, "1. I have not cleared out my office. 2. I'm not resigning. 3. I'm entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking." Molinaro and Reps. Anthony D'Esposito, Nick LaLota, and Mike Lawler introduced the bill to force Santos out of the House Representatives. The quartet of New York representatives all come from districts Joe Biden won in 2020. Molinaro said, "George Santos is a liar and a fraud who should not be a member of Congress. Since he won't resign and with the House Ethics Committee not moving at the pace we had hoped, we're adjusting our approach and pushing forward a resolution to expel him." If Santos is forced out, the Republicans majority in the chamber would be reduced to four. Read more about this story at the BBC News website.