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

Dec 22, 2017 11:43 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 84.7 percent of his votes. Public Policy Polling tweeted this week that in a November poll Faso trails a "generic Democrat" 46-40. Faso won the election in 2016 against actual Democrat Zephyr Teachout 54-46. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (13:03).

Dan Freedman and Matthew Hamilton report in the Albany Times Union that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) continues to lean toward voting 'no' on the Republican tax plan on Dec. 19. "I’m not worried about the politics surrounding this vote," Faso said Dec. 15. "I will make a final decision after reviewing the bill over the weekend and will vote the way I think is right." Faso first voted against the tax bill in November, then voted for it Dec. 4, in a procedural vote to move it to a conference committee. "Actions speak louder than words _ and Faso’s vote to keep this bill alive proves yet again that he won't hesitate to choose Paul Ryan and party elites over working people in NY-19," Gareth Rhodes, one of the Democrats lined up to challenge Faso in 2018, said in a statement earlier this month. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.

• More than a dozen constituents of the 19th Congressional District participated in a protest action both inside and outside of U.S. Rep. John Faso's Kinderhook Office December 18, according to a press release distributed by the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement. Those participating included members of the local sanctuary movement, United We Dream, New York Immigration Coalition and other allied organizations. The group pressed Faso to support a clean Dream Act and urged him to withhold his vote on the federal budget until the act was included in the proposal. Participants inside the office read a statement of their purpose and demands, and also delivered a petition calling on Faso support the act, bearing more than 600 signatures, 13 organizational co-sponsors, 2 congregational co-sponsors, and at least 13 business co-sponsors. In addition to the petition, the group delivered letters and drawings about immigration from children living in Faso’s district. Read the full press release at sanctuarycolumbiacounty [dot] org.

• Several members of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement reported several arrests of protesters at a sit-in at Rep. John Faso's Kinderhook office Dec. 18. Facebook Live video on the activist group's website shows police taking away at least one of the protesters gathered to advocate for Faso's support of the Clean DREAM Act. The proposed law would allow children of immigrants in the country illegally to stay in the United States. Faso supports two versions of the bill, but activists prefer the stronger Clean DREAM Act. In April, Faso co-sponsored the BRIDGE Act. About a dozen activists took over the meeting room in Faso's Kinderhook office Dec. 18, chanting and playing music. WGXC's partner station in Troy, WOOC-LP, interviewed Gloria Martinez, a young organizer with the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement who called in from Faso's office during the protest. Click here to play a brief excerpt of Martinez talking about four arrests at Faso's office.

Steve Hughes in the Albany Times Union reports that five protesters who refused to leave Congressman John Faso’s District Office in Kinderhook on Dec. 18 were arrested and charged with trespass. Four Columbia County residents, and one from Kingston, were issued appearance tickets to Kinderhook village court. “Deputies spoke with protestors to try and avoid any arrests by just encouraging them to leave the office on their own,” Sheriff David P. Bartlett said. Protesters, some from the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, gathered to advocate for Faso's support of the Clean DREAM Act. Faso has said he will vote for other bills that allow some children of immigrants to stay in the country, but not the Clean DREAM Act. Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.

The Daily Freeman is reporting U.S. Rep. John Faso will vote “no” on the tax reform bill, the first-term Kinderhook Republican announced on his website, December 18. He cited the bill’s negative impact on New York state residents to support his intention, the same reason he gave for voting against the original version of the bill a little more than a month ago. However, he did vote to move the bill to a conference committee in a procedural vote December 4. “From the beginning, I wanted to support a tax reform plan that would increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off. Unfortunately, this plan does not meet all of those criteria,...,” Faso said Monday. In the original House vote, Faso was one of 13 Republicans who voted "no" because that version of the bill called for the elimination of deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, and limited property tax deductions to $10,000. The final version of the bill keeps the $10,000 cap, but some of the deductions for state and local taxes have been revived. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted against the Republican tax plan Dec. 19, which passed 227-203. Other Hudson Valley representatives also voted against the bill. Elise Stefanik, a Republican who represents the district north of Faso's, also voted against the bill. So did Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democrat who represents the area south of Faso's district. Five New York Republicans in all voted against the bill.

Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted against the GOP's tax plan again Dec. 20. Because of an error they made during a Dec. 19 vote, the House of Representatives voted on the bill two days in a row. The bill passed 224-201. Faso voted no both times this week. Earlier, he voted yes on the bill, moving it to a conference committee, and no on the first vote on the bill in November. The bill is expected to raise taxes on many New Yorkers, as there is now a cap on deductions for state and local taxes. “It really was a tough decision,” Faso said, “but I didn’t come down here just to be a trumpet for a political party.” The bill passed the Senate Dec. 19, and is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump. New York Senator Chuck Schumer said from the Senate floor Dec. 20, that Republicans would “rue the day” they passed the bill.

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