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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190306

Mar 04, 2019 9:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck). The Fivethirtyeight.com website reports that, so far, Delgado votes with Donald Trump's positions zero percent of the time. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:52).

• The biggest news of the week for Delgado was his vote on an amendment to a firearms background check bill that was criticized by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Delgado voted with Republicans and two dozen moderate Democrats to add an amendment that would notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if a person in the country illegally tries to buy a gun. “Mind you, the same small splinter group of Dems that tried to deny Pelosi the speakership, fund the wall during the shutdown when the public didn’t want it, and are now voting in surprise ICE amendments to gun safety legislation are being called the ‘moderate wing’ of the party,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted March 2. Delgado did support Pelosi, but voted against Democrats on this measure. Nancy Pelosi also criticized Delgado and the other Democrats voting with Republicans. “Vote 'no.' Just vote 'no,' because the fact is a vote 'yes' is to give leverage to the other side, to surrender the leverage on the floor of the House,” Pelosi told reporters. Ocasio-Cortez sent out a second Tweet on the issue: "If you’re mad that I think people should know when Dems vote to expand ICE powers, then be mad. ICE is a dangerous agency with zero accountability, widespread reporting of rape, abuse of power, and children dying in DHS custody. Having a D next to your name doesn’t make that right.”

• Reps. Antonio Delgado and Paul Tonko, with almost all Democrats and more than a dozen Republicans, voted Feb. 26 to block President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency because he was denied funding from Congress for a wall along the Mexican border. The measure now goes to the Senate where three Republicans have already announced they will vote against the President's wishes. A fourth Republican voted would be needed to pass the measure, which Trump has promised to veto. A supermajority, or more than two-thirds of the House and Senate, would be needed to override a presidential veto.

Inside Radio reports that the U.S. House voted Feb. 25 to raise fines on unlicensed radio station broadcasts to as much as $2 million. The Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement or PIRATE Act, H.R. 583, passed by a voice vote, so the public cannot tell how specific representatives voted. Locally, Rep. Paul Tonko is a co-sponsor of the bill. Tonko received $7,000 during the 2016 campaign from the National Association of Broadcasters. There has not been a major report of any pirate radio stations in the Hudson Valley in many years. The Federal Communication Commission recently cut back its enforcement office, and the bill does not address enforcement funding at the FCC. A representative for Rep. Antonio Delgado did not get back to WGXC in time for this story about his vote on the bill. Delgado did not take any campaign contributions from the National Association of Broadcasters in 2018. Delgado's predecessor John Faso received a $1,000 political donation during the 2018 campaign from the National Association of Broadcasters and supported a similar version of the PIRATE Act. Faso also got $500 from the NAB during the 2016 campaign.

Rep. Antonio Delgado voted with a Democratic majority in the U.S. House Feb. 27 to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a gun-control measure, 240-190. The bill would require federal criminal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions. “The gun lobby has too long had a stronghold over Congress; today’s vote is a big step forward in breaking that status quo and keeping our communities safe,” Delgado said. But the vote was just political theatre, as there is little chance of the measure passing the Senate, and none of it being approved by the President, who has said he will not sign the bill.

• Rep. Antonio Delgado announced a bill he is co-sponsoring Feb. 28 to address water contamination issues that have plagued the country and two communities in the 19th Congressional District. Residents of Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh in Rensselaer County have their drinking water contaminated by PFAS and PFOA chemicals. Hoosick Falls water activist Michael Hickey was alongside Delgado at a press conference announcing the bill in Washington D.C. CLICK HERE TO PLAY EXCERPT OF DELGADO PRESS CONFERENCE.

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