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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190514

May 14, 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 (4:10).

Pete DeMola reports in the Daily Gazette that Republican Liz Joy has lined up to take on Paul Tonko in 2020. The Schenectady-based real estate agent and author announced in April she will seek the Republican nomination for the Congressional District that includes Albany County. “I am running for New York's 20th Congressional District, 2020!” wrote Joy on Facebook. “Our nation and state is worth fighting for! Now is the time to stand up for our state and put integrity back into the House of Representatives 20th Congressional Seat. This seat belongs to ‘We the People’ and not a socialist agenda.” Tonko is a six-term representative, beating Republican Joe Vittolo 63.4 percent to 33.6 percent last November. Tonko's district includes Albany and Schenectady counties and parts of Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Montgomery counties, and the city of Albany votes means it is a safe district for Democrats.

• On May 9 both Delgado and Tonko voted for the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act, which passed 230-183 with only four Republican votes. It was largely a show vote for the next election, as Republicans in the Senate will not bring the measure to a vote, and the President would not sign the bill. On May 9 Representatives Tonko and Delgado both voted for H.R. 1328, the ACCESS BROADBAND Act, which passed by a unanimous voice vote. Tonko introduced the bill with Susan Brooks, a Republican from Indiana. The House of Representatives took no other major action last week.

Stephen Williams reports in the Daily Gazette that it took several weeks, but Rep. Paul Tonko finally made some comment about the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the President's campaign involvement and/or cover-up of their involvement. "The special counsel's team found ample evidence of troubling and possibly illegal activity by the Trump campaign, including numerous actions that could amount to obstruction of justice," Tonko said in a news release May 9.

• On May 13 Delgado joined the House Task Force on Rural Broadband. On May 10 Delgado formed a committee of over 30 patients, providers, and health care advocates to advise him on health care issues. Delgado's Health Care Advisory Committee includes several folks from the WGXC listening area including Catskill resident Andrea Mitchell. She was featured in Delgado campaign ads last fall because Mitchell has several health issues, and confronted Rep. John Faso, asking him not to vote to eliminate allowing pre-existing conditions in the nation's healthcare plan. The new advisory committee also includes Beth Schuster, of Twin County Recovery Services; Kimberly Kaplan, the Director of Greene County Public Health Department; Claire Parde, the Executive Director of the Columbia County Health Care Consortium; Jack Mabb, the Director of Columbia County Health Department; and Jay P. Cahalan, the President and CEO of Columbia Memorial Health. And on May 9 Delgado introduced H.R. 2577, legislation that would require per-and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, PFAS, to be listed on the Toxic Release Inventory at the Environmental Protection Agency.

• Neither Tonko nor Delgado listed any local events on their website last week or next week. Tonko never lists any events, and Delgado only lists events his staff organizes, not just events he attends.
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