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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Mar 21, 2023 8:03 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.

Brian Hubert reports for the Daily Freeman that Rep. Marc Molinaro discussed potential cuts or changes to Social Security and Medicare and the debt ceiling at a town hall-style forum March 15 in Saugerties. Two dozen people held signs of protest at the meeting at the Cedar Grove Firehouse on state Route 32, with messages such as, “Keep Medicare and Social Security Corporate Free, no Reach,” “I want my traditional government-run Medicare and Social Security” and “Tax the Rich, Save Social Security.” Molinaro said that “Medicare and Social Security should be removed from budget conversations.... I do not believe, nor could I support Congress nickeling and diming our way to diminish the value of the programs.” Molinaro said he supports a bipartisan bicameral commission to assure the long-term solvency of Social Security. Molinaro would not say directly if he would vote for raising the country's debt limit, but said, “I want to make sure America doesn’t default on its debt.... I don’t want to devastate services that our most vulnerable rely on. I don’t want to undermine those sacred trusts, Medicare and Social Security, that we rely on.” The possibility of a Hudson Valley train derailment with hazardous material was raised by one citizen after the Ohio train accident in February, and Molinaro said, “We’ve demanded Norfolk has to identify all the failings that may or may have not led to this and that the EPA and the Federal Department of Transportation need to identify lack of enforcement, meaning there are regulations that should’ve been enforced but weren’t that resulted in this.... Let’s understand the disease so we can determine the medicine.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Mid-Hudson News reports of some New York reaction to former President Donald Trump claiming on March 18 that he would be arrested on March 21. Trump says he will be arrested for the alleged $130,000 "hush money" payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election. Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik seemed to say that Trump was leaking the news, which she called "illegal." But then she went on to attack the independent investigation of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. On March 18 New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox released a statement misspelling “Manhattan” twice, and saying, “This is a blatant political scheme by Alvin Bragg to play to his liberal Manhatten base by smearing, tearing down, and demeaning former President Trump." Michael Dupree, the Chair of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee responded, saying, “Ed Cox should know that no one is above the law, and he should know how to spell, too.” Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

Paul Kirby in the Daily Freeman reports that Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro have little to say about former President Donald Trump’s claim that he will be arrested March 21 in connection with hush-money payments made to adult film actor Stormy Daniels. Only the former president has said that he will be arrested, there is no confirmation from any official source. Molinaro’s communications director, Dan Kranz, would only say in an email that, “A charge has not been brought yet and Congressman Molinaro is not speculating about what could be in it,” and, “Regarding the call for protest, Congressman Molinaro always thinks protests need to be peaceful.” All Ryan would say in a brief statement is that, “No one is above the law.... Anyone who breaks the law or seeks to undermine the rule of law must be held fully accountable.” Ryan represents the 18th Congressional District, and Molinaro the 19th Congressional District. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Jammel Cutler reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. Marc Molinaro spoke in front of a local conservative audience at the 60th annual Lincoln Award Dinner at Kozel’s Restaurant in Ghent on March 16. Molinaro was asked about a Texas court possibly blocking access to Mifepristone, an abortion drug, and he said, “I supported accessing contraception as a member of the state Assembly.... I voted to have that drug approved for over-the-counter use and, so, from my perspective, we certainly want to ensure that women and families have access to both the contraception and care that they desperately want.” In an interview with the newspaper, Molinaro also said he has no interest in increasing the tax rate on the wealthy, who pay a historically low share of taxes. Molinaro said, "I don’t think America and the federal government have a revenue problem. They have a spending problem.... While there are so many that want us to confront the issues of America financial conditions, first by talking about taxes, I’d like us to talk about responsibility for taxpayers’ money and not taking it from taxpayers to begin with." Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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