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Audio Feature: This week in news for Rep. John Faso: 20171010

Oct 07, 2017 8:56 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. Faso returned to Washington D.C. this week where Fivethirtyeight.com currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 89.4 percent of his votes. This week, much of the news around Faso involved his possible Democratic opponents in 2018. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (8:55).

U.S. Rep. John Faso, Republican of Kinderhook, announced last week that he has introduced the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act, in partnership with U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan, a New Mexico Democrat. Faso said, “Fraudulent ‘organic’ grain" is deceptive to consumers, but artificially drives down the price of real organics, hurting legitimate organic farmers, Faso said. News of the legislation was greeted by farmers and industry leaders alike. Tim Joseph, Founding Farmer, Maple Hill Creamery in Kinderhook, said, "We fully support the bill and are grateful to Congressman John Faso for introducing this important legislation.” Read the full press release at Faso [dot] House [dot] gov.

Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) released this statement on Twitter after the automatic weapon-massacre in Las Vegas Oct. 1. "This senseless shooting in Las Vegas is absolutely heart breaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families," his tweet read. OpenSecrets.org reports the National Rifle Association donated $5,950 to Faso in the 2016 election cycle.

Pat Doxsey is reporting in the Daily Freeman U.S. Rep. John Faso is taking heat on Facebook for accepting NRA money in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 59 people and left hundreds injured. The Kinderhook Republican Tue., Oct. 3, called for better mental health screening of people looking to buy guns and said “it is worth” taking a look at how the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre got the device that enabled him to convert a semiautomatic weapon to a fully automatic one. Before considering any new legislation, though, Faso said he wants to know more about the man who is responsible for the massacre. On his Facebook page Monday, Faso called the shooting an “evil and senseless act” and said his “thoughts and prayers are with the people of Las Vegas and all of the victims and their families in this trying time.” His post prompted a deluge of responses, most criticizing the congressman for taking campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association and calling on him to support gun control. In a telephone conversation with the Daily Freeman Tuesday, Faso said he was aware of the comments posted to his Facebook page and that he pays attention “to all my constituents.” He also said he has yet to take a position on proposed legislation that would allow the use of silencers on guns. Following the Las Vegas shootings, the so-called Hearing Protection Act was pulled from the House agenda indefinitely. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

The Mid-Hudson News Network reports that Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents New York's 18th District, will be back in the 19th District of John Faso later this month. Earlier this year Maloney, a Democrat, held a traditional town hall meeting in Faso's district because the Republican has failed to host any traditional town hall meetings without certain restrictions. Maloney will speak at the annual fall dinner of the Ulster County Democratic Party Oct. 29 at The Chateau in Kingston. Read the full story at the Mid-Hudson News Network website.

• On Oct. 3 Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion for women after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill passed 237-189, with only two Republicans voting against, and three Democrats voting for the legislation. Vox reports, "The House bill makes a number of claims that contradict scientific consensus." Cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother are exempt from the ban, which now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it will need 60 votes.

• Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) announced Oct. 4 that John Billings will now serve as his Chief of Staff. Dain Pascocello was in that role previously. Faso brags that Billings is from nearby New Milford, Connecticut in his press release, and cites his previous Chief of Staff experience for representatives in New Hampshire and Michigan. A 2014 story in Roll Call credited him with turning around the office of Michigan Rep. Dan Benishek, who came in with the tea party in 2010. "Multiple sources chalked up Benishek improvements to his chief of staff, John Billings, who joined the office in 2013. Sources said Billings was able to focus the office and make time for campaigning and official duties," the Roll Call story says. When Benishek retired last year, Billings went to work for the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, "as a senior director for federal affairs, heading up the trade group’s House lobbying team," according to a Politico story from earlier this year. Billings was also previously a "public policy advocate," another title for a lobbyist, for the Food Marketing Institute, according to a 2010 Slate story.