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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Oct 22, 2022 3:00 am

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Current Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko, from the 20th District, votes with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik, currently representing the 21st District, votes with Biden's positions 19.3 percent of the time. Democrat Pat Ryan just began representing the 19th District, and has yet to be included in the rankings. Click here to listen to this report.

Vaughn Golden reports for WSKG that Democrat Josh Riley began October with just over $1.3 million while his Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro, began the month with $404,000. Riley raised just over $1.3 million in the third quarter of 2022, while Molinaro only raised around $46,000 during the same time period in their election for the new 19th Congressional District. Outside groups, and political action committees, have spent $1.6 million opposing Riley, and $2.2 million against Molinaro. The website fivethirtyeight.com predicts that Riley would beat Molinaro 58 out of 100 times. A Spectrum News/Siena College poll released October 6 gave Riley a five point advantage over Molinaro in the 19th Congressional District race, within the poll's margin of error. Voting begins Oct. 29 and ends Nov. 8. Read more about this story at the WSKG website.

Nancy Vu reports for Politico that while Republican North Country Congressperson Elise Stefanik voted against President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package last year, she is touting the benefits the bill she voted against is bringing to her district. “This significant investment will help bolster rural hospitals in Upstate New York and the North Country after lost revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic, help address the physician shortage, and ensure these hospitals can continue to meet our community’s healthcare needs," Stefanik said in a press release last week. At the time she voted against the American Rescue Plan, she called it a "far-left wish list." In August Stefanik crowed about the $1 million coming to her district from Rural Development Grant, which she also voted against. A Stefanik spokesperson admitted the 21st Congressional District representative voted against the bills, but then still trys to claim credit for the bill's Stefanik voted against. "She voted no against Pelosi’s radical spending bills because of far left provisions. But she will always effectively deliver solutions and funds for her constituents and then she will announce and promote them when they are delivered," the spokesperson said. White House assistant press secretary Robyn Patterson pushed back. “After trying to sell middle class families out to big pharma and fighting to raise insurance premiums for working families, it’s no surprise that Rep. Stefanik and House Republicans are trying to take credit for President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ work to protect rural hospitals," said Patterson. Read more about this story at Politico.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that Republican Marc Molinaro reiterated his opposition to abortions after 17 weeks in an interview with the newspaper this week. He also said he was “pro-life” but believes the procedure should be “rare, safe, and legal.” Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive, is running against Josh Riley, a Democrat from the Ithaca area, to be Congressional representative of the new 19th district, which now stretches from the Hudson Valley and Catskills to Tompkins County in western New York. The abortion issue was credited by many for Molinaro's loss to Democrat Pat Ryan in a special election in August for the old 19th Congressional district. Now Molinaro is saying, “I will not support Congress taking action to ban abortion nationwide." Fellow Republican Lindsey Graham, a Senator from South Carolina, has proposed a nationwide ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and Molinaro has not commented on how he would vote on a 15-week ban. Molinaro claims Riley has been intentionally distorting his position on abortion to, “frighten women into thinking that I don’t care deeply. I do,” Molinaro said. “I want us to have a sensitive conversation about what we think the limits (on abortion) ought to be and what the consequences of those decisions are.” Molinaro says of his possible future votes to limit womens' medical conditions that, “I know that we’re not going to necessarily come to an absolute agreement, but I do believe there’s some commonality.... I think there is some common ground.” Voting begins Oct. 29 and ends Nov. 8. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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