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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180424

Apr 21, 2018 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. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 87.3 percent of the time, the same as last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (8:59).

* Reuters reports that Republicans in Congress this week unveiled changes to the Farm Bill, mostly to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, what is generally known as the Food Stamp program. The proposals include raising the age from 49 to 59 for work requirements in order to receive food stamps. “This bill attempts to change SNAP from a feeding program to a work program,” said Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Locally, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) is on the Agriculture Committee. A proposal to allow states to put in a drug testing program for certain food stamp recipients is not in the first draft, but is being discussed by Republicans. "It's not in the bill base text, but we have some members on the committee who are keenly interested in that," said Michael Conaway, the chairman of the Agriculture Committee. Read the full story at the Reuters website.

• Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) is again busy with Albany, delving into state politics. He has sent a second letter the to the Department of Treasury asking about recent changes to New York State tax law. Just over a month ago Faso wrote to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy asking whether Cuomo’s proposal to make certain state and local tax payments eligible for charitable tax deductions is legal. That was before the state budget was adopted. Now Faso’s follow up letter requests the Treasury Department review the recently enacted state legislation that would convert some state and local tax payments to payments that might be eligible for the charitable tax deduction under federal law. He is asking the Treasury Department if Albany legislators passed a legal budget.

Ariél Zangla is reporting for the Daily Freeman Democrat Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck continues to be the fundraising leader among the candidates in the June 26, 19th Congressional District Democratic primary. The winner of that contest will go on to challenge incumbent John Faso in November. As of March 31, Delgado had raised nearly $2 million, including nearly $462,000 in the most recent quarter alone, according to filings posted by the Federal Election Commission. After expenses, Delgado reported having more just under $1.2 million in the bank. Republican Faso during that same period raised a total of $1.66 million to support his re-election bid, according to his campaign filings. After expenses, he was left with $990,000 on hand as of March 31. Brian Flynn of Elka Park had raised more than $1.4 million as of March 31; Patrick Ryan of Gardiner raised $1.33 million; and Gareth Rhodes of Kerhonkson raised $685,000. David Clegg of Woodstock raised nearly $650,000 as of March 31, with $418,000 of that total coming from loans by the candidate and candidate contributions. Jeffrey Beals of Woodstock raised more than $261,000, and $56,000 of that total was in the form of a loan by the candidate. Erin Collier of Cooperstown raised nearly $100,000 as of March 31, according to her campaign; her financial filings were not available on the Federal Election Commission website. Collier did not announce her candidacy until March 12. Financial filings were not available for Green Party candidate Steven Greenfield of New Paltz [PAUL-tz], or independent candidates Diane Neal of Hurley or Luisa Parker of Callicoon. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• Rep John Faso (R-Kinderhook) co-authors a story in The Hill with Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski brag about their Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018. The bill, H.R. 5031, "direct[s] the Secretary of Energy to provide for prize competitions relating to climate and energy." The bill does not itself address climate change, but directs former Texas Governor Rick Perry to create prize competitions around carbon capture, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate adaptation and resiliency, and data analytics "to better understand or communicate about climate."

• Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) released a statement on the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush that read, in part: "By all accounts, Barbara Bush is one of the most humble, decent, and kind-hearted people to ever serve our country. Her service as First Lady during and after President George H.W. Bush’s term serves as a beacon of decency in a political world that is often nasty and unrelenting. Nearly thirty years ago, I was in Maine and by chance had the opportunity to visit with the Bush Family. Without hesitation, Barbara welcomed us into her family’s home and gave my son, at the time three or four years old, the same toys to play with that her family’s children played with. My heart goes out to the Bush family as they mourn the loss of Barbara Bush. An entire nation is with them."

Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. John Faso is leading the effort by House Republicans to strengthen the work requirement for American citizens receiving food stamps. Currently, 44 million people receive food stamps nationwide, including 2.8 million New Yorkers, many living in impoverished upstate rural communities. The Kinderhook Republican said he believes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is “an essential program for many families,” but he insists the recipients of the federal nutrition program should be working and they are not. “The best path to economic independence is a job,” Faso said in an interview. “This isn’t rocket science.” According to USDA data, 10.2 percent of those in the 19th Congressional District receives SNAP, compared to 15 percent statewide and 12.7 percent nationwide. Among SNAP families, 31.9 percent had no workers, 40.5 percent had one worker and 27.6 percent had two workers. Faso is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, which is considering SNAP provisions as part of broader deliberation on the Farm Bill. Democrats including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, denounce the GOP job requirement. The GOP House plan “is only going to increase hunger in our communities” and “could kick millions of households off of the program,” Gillibrand said on a conference call with reporters April 17. “I believe no New Yorker, no American, should ever have to suffer from hunger — especially a child.” Under the Faso-backed measure, anyone receiving benefits between the ages of 18 and 59 without children under 6 would be required to work or be in job training (or a combination) for 20 hours a week. The GOP approach also would intensify the punishment for those who fail to abide by the work requirements. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

John Herath at Farm Journal reports that Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee, including Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted April 18 to advance a Farm Bill that makes it more difficult to receive food stamps. The bill passed 26-20 with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. Democrats did not complain about just what was in the bill, but how the bill was made. "Mr. Chairman, this is a flawed bill,” Collin Peterson from Minnesota said. said. “This is the fault of a bad and non-transparent process. When I was chairman, we marked the bill up in subcommittee. We didn't do that this time. I oppose it and I urge my colleagues on my committee to oppose it as well." Democrats opposed the work requirements added for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Faso tweeted, "The Farm Bill makes significant investments and improvements in education and training programs. With millions of jobs open, we should strive to provide job seekers with the skills needed to take advantage of employment opportunities and on the path toward economic independence." The Senate Agriculture Committee has not introduced their version of a farm bill yet, so while this version moves to the House for a vote next month, the final version could be much different. Read the full story at the Farm Journal website AgWeb.
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