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WGXC Congressional Report: 20190925

Sep 23, 2019 12:01 am
This is WGXC's Congressional Report, tracking the votes, words, and actions of Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck representing the 19th Congressional District, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam from the 20th Congressional District. The Fivethirtyeight.com website reports that, so far, the first-term Congressperson Delgado votes with Donald Trump's positions 4.3 percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions 2.2 percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Tonko has announced he is in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, Delgado has not. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:51).

David Lombardo reports at Capitol Confidential that both Antonio Delgado, a Democrat, and Elise Stefanik, a Republican, signed on to a letter Sept. 6 condemning a New York City plan to ban flavored milk in New York City schools. “We strongly urge you to continue offering children the choice of flavored milk each and every day in New York City schools,” the federal lawmakers wrote. They also say there are bipartisan bills in Congress currently meant to expand flavored milk options in school cafeterias. Read more about this story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.

Emilie Munson reports in the Albany Times Union that David Ross, the assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Water, refused to name a federal maximum contaminant level for PFAS and PFOAS at a U.S. House of Representative committee meeting Sept. 18. "You're suggesting that you could go through this whole process and ultimately not land on an MCL," said Rep. Antonio Delgado at the hearing. "You want folks all across this country to continue to wait and wait and wait on the off chance that maybe we'll get a point where you just might have enough information to issue an MCL. Is that what you're telling me?" Delgado's 19th Congressional District includes Hoosick Falls in Rensselaer County where PFOA contamination has poisoned the drinking water. Delgado and Rep. Paul Tonko, who represents the 20th District including Albany County, are working together on legislation regarding PFAs and PFOAs, and Tonko gets a seat soon at negotiations with the U.S. Senate over the National Defense Authorization Act, that includes PFAs provisions. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is also working on legislation that would put PFAS chemicals, including GenX, on the Toxic Release Inventory list. "We are moving forward with the regulatory determination process for PFOA and PFAS," Ross said. "We are committed to getting that done by the end of the year and we're still on schedule." Read more about this story in the Albany Times Union.

• On Sept. 19 both Tonko and Delgado voted for the latest budget authorization, which passed on party lines, 228-to-197. “Today, I voted for a bipartisan continuing resolution that keeps our government open and ensures that our community health centers, teaching hospitals, and higher education and critical safety net programs remain operational while Congress continues its work toward agreement on a budget," Delgado said in a statement. "While this bill avoids another costly and harmful shutdown in the short-term, let me be clear—this is no way to govern.” Delgado and Tonko also voted for the "Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act", which passed 225-to-186, with two Democrats and two Republicans switching sides on a vote that otherwise followed party lines.

• Paul Tonko does list any public events this week on his website. Antonio Delgado lists one future event on his website this week. He's bringing FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks for a "Congressional Field Hearing on Rural Broadband" at 1 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Columbia-Greene Community College Arts Center.
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