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WGXC Congressional Report: 20191215

Dec 15, 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 3.5 percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions 1.8 percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Click here to play or download an audio version of this report.

• Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck, voted for the National Defense Authorization Act, while Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam, voted against on Dec. 11. The bill passed 377-to-48. Both Delgado and Tonko were on the conference tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA and complained about the lack of transparency in the discussions, writing an op-Ed in the Times Union. They both were stymied in attempts to add additional provisions addressing PFAS contamination. “While the process to get here is far from what I would have hoped, I welcome the inclusion of my PFAS Right-to-Know Act to finally require polluters to report to the EPA and reveal where this contamination exists. This is an important step to help our communities, and shows that had this been a more transparent process, we could have included additional measures.” Tonko explained his no vote: "I am disappointed that the NDAA is not addressing PFAS pollutants with the urgency needed to safeguard our communities and the American people,” Tonko said. “For years, these ‘forever chemicals’ have been entering our air and water, putting countless families at risk of exposure to these dangerous and potentially deadly pollutants. Democrats in the House have long pushed for Congress to take the necessary steps to protect our drinking water systems and work to restore the many towns, cities and military bases that have already been contaminated."

Axios reported on Dec. 13 that Rep. Antonio Delgado was one of six House Democrats who attended the White House Congressional Ball Dec. 12 while the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the articles of impeachment against the president. Delgado's staff did not respond to requests for comment. Just after that story came out, the Times Union reported that Delgado will vote for both articles of impeachment. “The President pressured a foreign government for personal political gain while withholding congressionally approved foreign aid, and in doing so, both abused his power and put our national security at risk," Delgado said in a Dec. 15 statement. "The President also obstructed Congress by blanketly refusing to cooperate with the body’s constitutional right to investigate the matter." The U.S. House is expected to vote to impeach the president this week. Rep. Paul Tonko already announced he will vote for the articles of impeachment. "The facts are clear: President Trump has abused his power to get dirt on his political opponents," Tonko said in a statement. "His administration refused to hand over lawfully requested documents throughout impeachment proceedings. The articles of impeachment reflect these facts. It is our solemn and responsible duty, as an equal branch of government, to proceed with this constitutional check on presidential power."

• Paul Tonko does list any public events this week on his website. Antonio Delgado lists public appearances on his website only if his staff organizes the events. He has none listed this week.
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