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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Feb 13, 2023 6:03 pm

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. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.

Patrick Hauf reports at Fox News that House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik was incensed on Feb. 3 about China’s "violation of the United States’s airspace" in response to the communist country’s spy balloon flying over the country. Stefanik was quiet, though, about reports of three similar balloons from China that violated United States airspace during the reign of President Donald Trump. "The Chinese Communist Party’s violation of the United States’ airspace and growing military aggression is a threat to our national security," Stefanik said. "This should be a wakeup call for Joe Biden’s weakness on the world stage. He can no longer allow China, our greatest geopolitical challenge, to undermine us." Stefanik did not comment on Trump's weakness on the world stage. A senior U.S. defense official said over the weekend that balloons from China similar to the one that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina this weekend flew over the U.S. at least three times during the Trump administration. Stefanik represents New York's 21st Congressional District, which includes Rensselaer County. Read more about this story at Fox News.

Porcupine Soup reports that Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro, who now represents NY-19, announced Feb. 6 the opening of local offices including one in Greene County, in Leeds. The others are in Binghamton, Liberty, Hancock, and Oneonta. Molinaro said, “Constituent services and accessibility is our top priority. These offices will provide Upstate New Yorkers with an important access point to our constituent service team who can help with a variety of federal issues. I encourage Upstate New Yorkers to use our office as a resource. We are here to help.” The Leeds office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Leeds office is at 49 Gilfeather Park Road, off of Main Street in Unit 1. The office can be reached at 585-625-2100. Read more about this story in Porcupine Soup.

The Troy Record reports that Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat who represents Albany County and the rest of the 20th Congressional District, recently introduced bipartisan legislation for research on Alzheimer’s disease and supporting scientists in the development of treatments and potential cures. H.R. 619 and 620 are the National Alzheimer’s Project Act Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act. Tonko and Republican Chris Smith from New Jersey hope to get the non-controversial bills passed. Both bills have passed previously, and expire in 2025, so extending them could be bipartisan. Read the full story in the Troy Record.

News10 in Albany reports that Gov. Kathy Hochul met with her state’s congressional delegation on Feb. 8, but.Rep. George Santos was not a part of the group. “No one noticed George Santos was not here,” Rep. Marc Molinaro, the Republican who represents the 19th Congressional District said. Democrat, Rep. Ritchie Torres said the discussion was productive, “partly because we had no charlatans like George Santos in the meeting.” Both Molinaro, and Democrat Pat Ryan, commented how they agreed with Republican Mitt Romney, who reportedly told Santos at the State of the Union speech that he did not belong in Congress. “And I’m glad he said directly to Congressman Santos what many of us have been saying and thinking,” Molinaro said, and Ryan agreed, saying, “I’m glad Sen. Romney joined what myself and my New York colleagues, Democrat and Republican, have been saying for weeks.” Read the full story on the News10 website.

Nick Reisman reports for Spectrum News that Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro is telling reporters that on Feb. 9 he will go on the House floor to complain about New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's $227 billion budget plan, which Congress does not vote on. Molinaro is upset that Hochul's proposal could shift Medicaid money away from county governments. Molinaro says he will say, "Governor Hochul’s budget puts these programs and the people served at risk. Her budget steals one billion in federal Medicaid dollars from the most vulnerable to subsidize a bloated and broken state bureaucracy.... Gov. Hochul is stealing from programs that help children, seniors, and those living in poverty – and putting Albany bureaucracy in control of another billion in taxpayer dollars." Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, though he lives in the 18th Congressional District. Last week, Pat Ryan, who represents the 18th District, went on the House floor to call for the CEO of Central Hudson to resign, because of controversial billing practices. Read the full story at Spectrum News.

Both Roll Call and Mid-Hudson News report that Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro are part of the SALT Caucus for the 118th Congress. They want restore the State and Local Tax deduction that Republicans took out in a 2017 tax law. New York, New Jersey, and some other states claim their citizens now pay double the tax. Ryan said, “The SALT deduction cap is blatant double taxation and unjustly punishes hard working families across the Hudson Valley. I’m proud to stand and fight with colleagues from both parties to reinstate this deduction and put dollars back in the pockets of Hudson Valley families.” The 2017 tax law put a $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction for taxpayers, and New York representatives so far have different plans for changing that. Read more about this story at Roll Call and Mid-Hudson News.

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