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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190708

Jul 08, 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 zero percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions zero percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (6:15).

This week Congress was out of session, and Tonko and Delgado were back in their districts. Delgado heard protests from both his right and his left locally this week.

U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado was in Cairo, July 1, to meet with members of his Health Care Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of 30 patients, providers, and health care advocates from every county in the 19th Congressional District. According to a statement released by Delgado's office, the group discussed health care needs, ways to address skyrocketing health care costs and health care legislation currently before the House. "Ensuring Upstate New Yorkers can afford quality coverage has been a top priority for me in Congress. That's why I have supported legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs and introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act, which would create a public option and drive down health care costs by introducing competition. I am very grateful to the members of the committee who joined us today in Greene County and shared their insights and expertise,” Delgado said. Monday was the first meeting of the Health Care Advisory Committee. Delgado also formed local advisory committees on issues related to veterans, small business, and agriculture. Read the full press release at Delgado [dot] House [dot] gov.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that about 100 people protested outside the Kingston office of Rep. Antonio Delgado on July 2, calling on closure of U.S. detention camps where migrant children are held near the U.S. and Mexican border. Similar "Close the Camps" protests were held all over the country July 2. New Paltz resident Steve Greenfield, at the Kingston protest, said he plans to wear the skullcap that is a symbol of his Jewish faith, and a yellow star like the ones Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, until the United States closes the immigrant camps. "There are people being held in concentration camps in this country," Greenfield said. "I am a Jew, and I was raised by my culture to believe that I bear a special burden in life, for as long as I'm on this Earth, to make sure that there are no concentration camps anywhere in this world." Protesters wanted four specific things from Delgado: a visit to a detention center this week, work to close the centers, rejecting any additional federal funding for family detention and deportation, and help reuniting families. In a statement, Delgado condemned the camps, but did not promise any specific action, including the requests of protesters. His statement also applauded, "the impassioned civic engagement in response to what’s happening to migrant families within our borders." Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Albany News10 reports that Rep. Paul Tonko donated 32 surplus books from the Library of Congress to the RED Bookshelf in Albany. The RED Bookshelf has 19 stationary bookshelves and a mobile bookshelf in the Capital Region. The group says that so far this year it has delivered 50,000 children’s books to community locations. “A group of volunteers repairs the books, makes certain that they’re well-mended; that they’re cleaned and made available to our children,” Tonko said. “Studies show that if there’s books in the home, children are more likely to be at their reading level.” Read more about this story at the Albany News10 website.

William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado was confronted during the Saugerties Independence Day Parade by supporters of President Donald Trump in an "unnecessarily aggressive" way, according to an Ulster County official. “They were just mocking him, and I thought it was not in the spirit of what today’s parade was,” said Ulster County Assistant County Executive Daniel Torres. “And I thought it was an unnecessarily aggressive thing to have done to a representative, no matter what your party is,” he said. Torres said there were four or five Trump supporters who seemed to be harassing Delgado, and there was definitely a racial component to the harassment. Torres said Delgado handled the incident in a “very professional” manner. When asked about what happened, Delgado did not specifically confirm that he had been surrounded. Asked if there was any aggression involved, the Rhinebeck Democrat quickly replied, "Not at all ... not even a little bit." A vendor said Trump 2020 banners were popular during the parade. She added that people in Saugerties did not give her as much grief about them as in other communities. “I sell a lot here,” she said. “It’s different from town to town. But this happens to be a Trump town, I think.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• Tonko does not list any local events on his website next week. Tonko never lists any events on his website. This week Delgado's website says he does not have any public events. Delgado's website rarely lists his many local events, generally only town hall meetings his staff organizes, or parades he marches in.