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Audio Feature: This week in news for Rep. John Faso

Dec 09, 2017 7:43 pm
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. Faso returned to Washington D.C. this week where Fivethirtyeight.com currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 85.7 percent of his votes. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (8:37).

Chris McKenna is reporting at The Fray U.S. Rep. John Faso and other members of the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus sent a letter to the Congressional leadership last week to urge them to reach a long-term budget deal instead of a stopgap solution before the Dec. 8 deadline for a government shutdown. The 39 House members who signed the letter on November 29, suggested lifting the spending caps Congress imposed on itself in 2011 for at least two years to help the government fulfill its commitments on both domestic and military expenses. Faso, a Republican from Kinderhook, released the letter afterward, saying in a press release, “It will be impossible to get our nation’s spending under control until we have a budget that is crafted with long-term goals in mind and not just short-term fixes....” Read the full story at The Fray a HudsonValley [dot] com blog.

• While last month Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted against the Republican tax plan, on Dec. 4 Faso voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Faso voted with the majority, 222-192, moving the tax bill to a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions. There are major differences between the two bills: The Senate bill repeals the health care mandate, while the House version punishes states such as New York with large state and local taxes.

Matthew Hamilton reports in Capitol Confidential that housing and real estate officials in New York are not optimistic about the tax bill currently moving through Congress. The National Association of Realtors guesses home values in New York could fall 10-to-15 percent if the bill becomes law. “As goes the housing market, so goes the economy,” said Lewis Dubuque, executive vice president of the New York State Home Builders Association. “When the housing bubble burst in 2008, the economy went in the tank, so it’s not a coincidence. We fear this is going to have the same detrimental effect in New York.” Currently, representatives in Washington, D.C. are negotiating differences between two tax proposals. The House bill caps the mortgage-interest deduction for new home loans at $500,000, while the Senate bill keeps the current $1-million level. But both bills eliminate deductions for state income tax payments, and cap the deduction for property taxes at $10,000, which is sure to cause a tax increase for many New Yorkers. “States like California and New York will still experience an exodus of taxpayers, draining local resources and impacting services,” New York Senator Schumer said on the Senate floor Dec. 5. Local Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), says he will vote against the bill, even though he voted for it Dec. 4, in a procedural vote to move it to a conference committee. While he says he is going to vote against the bill, his comments to Capitol Confidential sound as if he likes it. “Most homeowners in the 19th District would see a tax decrease because they would take advantage of doubling the standard deduct and lower rates,” he said in an interview. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

On Dec. 6, Rep. John Faso voted to table a resolution to impeach the president. Rep. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas introduced articles of impeachment under special House rules requiring a floor vote. Then House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, offered a motion to table the resolution. That passed 364-58, with Faso voting in the majority. No Republicans voted against tabling the impeachment resolution.

Rep. John Faso voted Dec. 6 to rip up New York's concealed carry gun laws. The House voted 231-198 in favor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bill makes permits to carry a concealed weapon issued in one state valid in most other states as well. That takes away the right of individual states such as New York to determine what qualifications a person must meet before being allowed to carry a concealed firearm in its borders. Instead, the state with the least regulation makes policy for all other states, since its concealed carry rules would be law everywhere if the bill passes the Senate and is signed by the president.

• Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) tweeted on Dec. 6, "I fully support the Administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocation of our embassy as we continue to work towards peace in that region. The six-month delay will allow this process to continue as we assess security and other considerations."

Jimmy Vielkind reports at Politico that Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican, is publicly denouncing the GOP tax plan currently be discussed in Washington D.C.. The bill would “punish” New York taxpayers, Molinaro said. But he also criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo who has called New York Republicans voting for the bill “Benedict Arnolds,” because the bill would “rape and pillage” the state. He also said Republicans such as John Faso should not just vote against the bill, but resign in protest. “It’s counterproductive and it’s inappropriate. It’s not becoming from a president or a governor,” said Molinaro. The Dutchess County Republican may challenge Cuomo in next year’s gubernatorial election. “To say to people that your political position is akin to treason if, in fact, you hope to have those people work [doesn’t] provide real leadership to resolve a problem.” Cuomo, Molinaro, and Faso all oppose the end of tax deductions for state and local taxes in the proposal. “Why would a Republican congressman from a state that you are dismembering take part in it?” Cuomo asked. Read the full story at Politico.

Rep. John Faso voted Dec. 7 for a budget resolution that keeps the government operating for two weeks. The resolution passed 235-193, largely on party lines, averting a government shutdown, at least until just before Christmas. Senators voted for the measure later 81-14. New York's Chuck Schumer voted for the bill; Kirsten Gillibrand voted against it.
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