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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180529

May 26, 2018 10:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 88.3 percent of the time, slightly higher than last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:30).

Rep. John Faso voted for the Farm Bill May 18, but not enough of his fellow Republicans joined him, and it failed in the U.S. House, 198-213. Conservative Republicans wanted an immediate vote on a stringent immigration bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan promised a June vote on that bill, but that was not enough for 30 Republicans voting against the Farm Bill. No Democrats voted for the bill, because Republicans added more work requirements for recipients of food stamps. That led to a May 3 pray-in outside Faso's Kingston office. “Seventy-five percent of the people [in the program] who can work are working; the other people mostly have some kind of disability, some kind of mental illness.” Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat who represents Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County, tweeted, "This terrible #GOPFarmBill would have hurt millions of American farmers and families. Thanks to more than 200 of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, today those farmers and families prevailed."

Chris McKenna reports in the Times Herald-Record that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) blames the Farm Bill's failure May 18 in the U.S. House to “unrelated issues” and says that those will pass. Conservative Republicans shot the bill down, refusing to vote for it unless a strict immigration bill got a vote. “Unfortunately, the Farm Bill was unable to pass today as a small group delayed passage of the bill over unrelated issues,” Faso said. “I am confident that these unrelated issues will be addressed and the House will pass the Farm Bill in the near future.” The $868 billion Farm Bill needed Republican votes because no Democrats supported it, after the GOP added regulations that would have kicked many needy citizens off the food stamp program. “This thing was a raw deal all around, and there’s just no way I could have supported it,” he said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat who represents the southern Hudson Valley. Read the full story in the Times Herald-Record.

CNN reports that ten people were killed and others were injured in a school shooting May 18 at a high school near Houston in Texas. The shooter, who was caputured, had an AR-15-style rifle, a pistol, a shotgun, and pipe bombs. It was the 22nd school shooting in 2018. New York Senator Chuck Schumer tweeted, "I’m so saddened to hear of yet another school day upended by a horrific act violence. I pray for the families of the victims and all those affected." Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted, "Heartbreaking, unbearable news out of Santa Fe, TX, the latest community to be torn apart by a horrific school shooting. How many more families and communities must grieve? Enough is enough." At press time, neither Representatives John Faso – a Republican who represents Greene, Columbia, Ulster, and other counties – and Democrat Paul Tonko – who represents Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County – had released any statement about the shooting. Read the full story at CNN.

• Two local representatives in Congress representing the WGXC listening area joined others May 22 introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the School-Based Health Centers program. H.R. 5899 would bring back the program, that provides health, dental screenings and, sometimes, mental health services, that expired in 2014. Reps. John Faso, who represents Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Delaware counties and parts of Dutchess and Rensselaer counties, and Paul Tonko, who represents Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County, were among the sponsors of the ill. “New York has the largest statewide network of SBHCs in the country and they are increasingly important in rural upstate communities,” said Faso. “These health providers fill geographic service gaps and ensure that students are receiving necessary care, such as preventative check-ups, dental services, and mental health services. I am glad we have a bipartisan coalition that recognizes the importance of SBHCs. This reauthorization is long overdue.” Tonko agreed saying, “School-based health centers are a critical source of healthcare for students including those struggling with mental health challenges or substance use disorders.... In the midst of our nation’s opioid epidemic, these centers have become even more important, especially in communities where there is limited access to substance use and mental health care. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in a bipartisan basis to support this important measure that serves students and families across Upstate New York.”

Nick Reisman at New York State of Politics reports the Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) is fundraising in New York City May 29 with House Speaker Paul Ryan. Tickets are $1,000 per person, or $2,700 for a sponsor, for the closed-to-the-press event. It is being held at an unannounced "midtown Manhattan" location and attendees must RSVP with their date of birth "for security purposes."

On May 22, Faso was interviewed on C-Span.
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