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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Aug 06, 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 Rep. Pat Ryan wants Congressional hearings about the potential risks posed by the network of lead-sheathed telecom cables across the country. A recent Wall Street Journal story said hundreds of communities across the country including Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County have lead telecommunications cables leaching into the ground. In Wappingers Falls one lead cable runs along the perimeter of a children’s playground and basketball court. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that children avoid soil containing more than 400 parts of lead per million, but samples taken on the local playground tested at 850 parts per million. Ryan says Verizon, AT&T, and US Telecom are avoiding answering questions about the lead cables’ location and remediation plans. Ryan said, “This week, Verizon and AT&T reported billions in profits, yet when it comes to answering questions about toxic lead cables, they’re silent. If they won’t be honest with the American people and take accountability, we will compel them to.... In particular, it’s outrageous that these companies denied the public health impacts of their negligence, which flies in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that even trace amounts of lead can pose serious health risks for children. I’ll keep fighting until the last lead cable is safely removed.” Read the full story at Mid-Hudson News.

Kevin Frey at New York State of Politics reports that Reps. Marc Molinaro and Elise Stefanik, the Republicans representing local Congressional distritcs, are considering voting to impeach President Joe Biden. Stefanik, who chairs the House GOP Conference, talked about wanting to impeach the Democrat president on Fox Business last week, saying, “I’m in conversations with Speaker McCarthy and all of our members." Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District said, "Having served every day of my adult life in New York state politics, I can smell corruption. And frankly, the administration would be well served to answer the questions, be transparent and provide their response to the committees that are inquiring.” Republicans have not exactly said why they would impeach Biden, but it seems to have something to do with financial issues with his son Hunter. Another Hudson Valley Republican Congressperson, Mike Lawler, who represents the 17th District, said, “Are the [investigations] producing enough facts and evidence that warrant taking it to the next step? I don’t think it’s there at the moment.” Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Steve Benen at MSNBC reports about Rep. Elise Stefanik's reaction to the news that former President Donald Trump is being indicted on a third matter. This time Trump is being indicted for his role in the attempted coup on Jan. 6, 2021. But Stefanik, now representing Rensselaer County, did not mention that. Instead she accused President Joe Biden of trying to “weaponize his corrupt Department of Justice against his leading political opponent,” even though Biden did not have anything to do with the Trump indictment. Last week, after more charges were added to a previous Trump indictment, The New Republic said Stefanik had the “stupidest” reaction in the classified documents case. Stefanik had said, “Our Republic is in peril, our justice system is broken.... The American people understand that Joe Biden and his administration are engulfed in one of the biggest political corruption scandals of all time." What scandal, exactly, Stefanik is referencing is unclear, but the legal peril the former president faces is becoming clearer every day. Read more about this story at MSNBC.

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