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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Aug 13, 2023 7:03 pm

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 Republican Congressperson Marc Molinaro is choosing his words very carefully when talking about a three-time indicted former president leading his primary field in attempt to regain the White House. About the strongest words he would use after Donald Trump was indicted for a third time last week that it is “very troubling to me.” Trump has been indicted for illegally taking classified documents, making illegal business decisions while paying a porn star hush money, and illegally trying to stay in power after he lost an election. Molinaro does not denounce Trump, who remains very popular with Republicans, and comes close to repeating Republican talking points about the so-called weaponization of the Justice Department. Molinaro said, “We ought to be very careful that we don’t allow government to act in a way that is punitive against political opponents, it doesn’t treat people with lack of equity – and that’s true whether it’s the DOJ or a local police department – there needs to be equitable enforcement of law.... And I believe that Congress’ rightful role is to provide the appropriate oversight of the administration. That includes ensuring oversight and transparency of the enforce entities within the executive branch.” Molinaro also pointed out that there are many other capable candidates in the Republican election. Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

The Troy Record reports that New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Paul Tonko recently announced a rule change that will bring increased payments to Upstate New York hospitals from the federal government. Schumer said, “This is one of the biggest shots in the arm for federal funding Upstate NY hospitals have seen in decades. This will be a monumental boost to healthcare for our families and to help our healthcare providers fix budget shortfalls, address doctor and nurse shortages and so much more. For years, our hardworking healthcare providers have faced unfairly low Medicare payments, receiving cents on the dollar for the care they provide, but now after over a decade of fighting I am proud to announce I have secured the rules change which will bring nearly $1 billion every single year to hospitals across Upstate NY.” Tonko explained, "that CMS has at last heeded our call to fix the long-broken Medicare Wage Index formula. This fix to the formula means an influx of hundreds of millions to our local hospitals — long burdened by the added strain from the COVID-19 pandemic — to address staff pay and retention, update medical equipment and technology, and further invest in patient care. In short, this MWI adjustment means improved, quality care for our region." Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson receives $8,228,068 annually from this program. Read more about this story in the Troy Record.

Lana Bellamy reports in the Times Union that New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says a Wappingers Falls park can reopen after it was temporarily closed amid reports and environmental tests for lead in nearby telecommunications cables could pose public health risks. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said tests showed “no evidence of elevated or widespread lead contamination in the area sampled” and that lead levels in the Dutchess County park met state and federal safety standards for children’s play areas. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC continues to work closely with the Departments of Health and Public Service and local partners to fully assess potential risks from lead cables and take necessary actions to protect communities and the environment.” Rep. Pat Ryan has been demanding Congressional hearings and saying the telecommunications companies should be removing wires with lead after the initial Wall Street Journal report. But tests showed none of the areas “potentially influenced by lead in the telecommunications cables” showed results that differed markedly from background area readings. Temple Park was temporarily closed out of “an abundance of caution” after the initial report, but it now reopen. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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