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Audio Feature: This week in news for Rep. John Faso: 20171031

Oct 28, 2017 9:56 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 88 percent of his votes. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (8:38).

• Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Senator Chuck Schumer spoke on Oct. 23 in Albany County against the current tax proposal in Washington that would eliminate state and local tax deductions. In Albany County, they said, the proposal would, raise taxes on one in three taxpayers by an average of $3,438. Cuomo and Schumer will tour the state's congressional districts to urge representatives to vote against the bill. Locally, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) signed on to a letter in June with many other Republican representatives opposing this part of the larger tax proposal being discussed in Congress. Cuomo said, "Now they put a proposed compromise on the table, on the theory that New Yorkers are stupid. We are not stupid. This is like the old three-card Monte trick on the corner. What they now say is, 'well we will only raise taxes on the wealthier New Yorkers.' They'll have an income cutoff. 'And we'll only eliminate the deductibility above that income.' Yeah. And what happens when those people who see their taxes skyrocket? Say, 'you know what, I'm going to move out of the county. You know what, I'm going to move out of the state. It's too much.' That tax burden falls on everybody else."

Zachary Warmbrodt reports for Politico that the Senate voted late Oct. 24 to end a rule that allowed Americans to file class-action suits against banks instead of being forced in many cases into private arbitration. New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand voted against the measure, which tied 50-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding voted. On July 25, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted in favor of the measure. The bill weakens the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Trump is expected to sign the bill. Read the full story in Politico.

On Oct. 25, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted for H.R. 732, the “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.” The bill would prohibit federal agencies from entering into or enforcing any settlement agreements that involve payments other than to the federal government, direct restitution to victims, or to remedy harms directly and proximately caused by the defendant. Vanita Gupta, the President and CEO at CivilRights.org, said the bill, "was motivated largely by two settlements between the Department of Justice and a few of the nation’s largest banks stemming from conduct that led to the 2008 financial crisis, settlements that included contributions to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and legal aid organizations." Gupta is unclear about why the bill is needed, and wrote, "it appears to us that the sponsors of H.R. 732 are more troubled with who the banks chose to support than with any broader legal or policy principle." Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) claims President Barack Obama's Justice Department prevented settlement payouts from going to conservative-leaning organizations.

Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted against the Republican tax cut framework Oct. 26 that passed narrowly. Faso voted against the plan with several other New York Republicans who have voiced disapproval for the proposal to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes. That would mean a large tax increase for New Yorkers. The proposal would also create large tax cuts for the very rich. The vote, which needed 215 votes and got 216, means the tax cut proposal only needs 51 votes in the Senate, rather than 60, making it much easier to pass. The only New York Republicans to vote in favor of the budget resolution were Reps. Chris Collins of western New York and Tom Reed of the Southern Tier. No Democrats voted for the bill.

Jimmy Vielkind reports for Politico that the vote Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) cast Oct. 26 against the Republican tax cut framework may not have been such an independent stand against his own party. From Politico: "Several New York Democrats questioned the opposition of Faso, [Elise] Stefanik, [Claudia] Tenney, and [John] Katko. Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Queens) said he saw the four huddling in the back of the House floor, waiting to cast their negative votes until the resolution’s passage was secured. 'They had to talk to one another to decide that they would have voted yes if their vote was needed, so they’re not serious about protecting the hard-working men and women of New York State,' Meeks said on a conference call with reporters. 'They were missing in action, actually, at the tie of critical mass and just came aboard once they knew they didn’t have to because the Republicans had votes elsewhere. That’s a political game. That’s not standing up for New York.'" According to the report, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan) also saw the four huddling in the rear of the chamber, and came to the same conclusion as Meeks. On an interview on the Fox Business Channel hours after the vote, Faso said, "the entire reason" he voted against the framework budget was because of the bill's elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes. PLAY EXCERPT OF INTERVIEW Read the full story in Politico.