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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Mar 06, 2023 5:03 am

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.

Raga Justin reports in the Times Union that in Rensselaer County recently, Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik said New York Republicans are starting a congressional caucus to focus on security concerns at the northern border. They aren't proposing building a wall yet, but they want something done as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency says outposts in Vermont and New York have reported a sharp uptick of crossings there. The Vermont outpost recorded 367 encounters with migrants in January. That's more than the total number of encounters during the month of January for the last 12 years combined. Stefanik has been fairly quiet on the subject, just Tweeting vague sentiments such as "Border security is national security" on Feb. 25. Stefanik also claims her office has been in touch with families who have documented migrant activity on their properties. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

Nick Reisman reports in New York State of Politics that New York House Republicans on Feb. 27 proposed a measure to stop Gov. Kathy Hochul's budget proposal to use money from Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funds in the state budget that are usually sent to county governments in New York. Republican Marc Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District, was one of those introducing the bill, saying, "Congress intended federal Medicaid dollars to go directly to local governments for services that children, seniors, working moms, and our most vulnerable neighbors rely on." Hochul and state legislators have until the end of March to pass a budget for next year. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

WNYT reports that Rep. Paul Tonko, who represents Albany County and the rest of the 20th Congressional District, is crowing about funding for two local fire departments. The Burnt Hills Fire Department gets more than $121,000, and the South Glens Falls Fire Company will receive about $35,000. The departments will use the money for radios, equipment maintenance, and other safety equipment. Read more about this story at WNYT.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Rep. Marc Molinaro, a Republican who represents the 19th Congressional District, wants to track the rural inflation rate. Molinaro has introduced a bill with a Colorado Democrat to monitor the consumer price index rate specifically in rural communities. Currently, the federal government tracks inflation overall, not specifically for urban or rural areas. Molinaro said, "Rural New Yorkers should never be the afterthought. My bill creates a rural inflation metric so cost of living increases in rural communities are thoroughly accounted for and considered.” Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Congressperson Pat Ryan sent a letter to CSX President & CEO Joseph Hinrichs demanding the company adopt more safety standards to stop a major train accident locally. Ryan says CSX trains carrying toxic materials have derailed repeatedly over the past several years, including in the Hudson Valley. Ryan, a Democrat who represents the 18th Congressional District and a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, also wants a congressional hearing on rail safety. Ryan said, “We’ve seen a disturbing pattern of CSX consistently putting profit over safety, creating serious risk that what happened in Ohio could repeat itself right here in the Hudson Valley.... Just like Norfolk Southern, CSX and other big rail corporations spent millions lobbying the last President to deregulate the railways, resulting in the administration withdrawing a proposal to require faster brakes on trains carrying highly flammable materials and ending regular rail safety audits of railroads." In 2017, there was a CSX derailment in Newburgh that spilled 4,600 tons of diesel fuel. There are 131 miles of CSX tracks along the Hudson River and into New Jersey. Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

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