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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Jul 16, 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.

Nancy Kern reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. Marc Molinaro listened to farmers worried about climate change, concerned about milk prices and nervous over reductions in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at a listening session at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. Molinaro said of the progress on the bill, “The work we’re doing is being done in a bipartisan fashion.” Molinaro, a Republican who represents the 19th Congressional District, said that he was raised by a single mother who got Food Stamps, and that he has no plans to make cuts in SNAP in the Farm Bill. But that doesn't mean he doesn't want to add work limits to benefits. “We want the government agencies to return to prioritizing helping people get to independence and not merely having the state process the check,” Molinaro said. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

New York State of Politics reports that Rep. Pat Ryan says it will take some time to clean up all the damage from storms this week that left one woman dead. The lower Hudson Valley, including much of Ryan's 18th Congressional District, were hit hard by the storms on July 9 and 10. He said, “West Point, where I went to school, and the surrounding areas, were the epicenter of the entire storm.... In just a few hours, they had over eight inches of rain, which normally takes an entire season or summer to fall. The area was absolutely overwhelmed.... There are several larger senior apartment complexes, one in particular, where almost all the seniors are without a home – many for potentially months....That’s the thing. This is not going to be a quick clean up. We are in it for the long haul.” And while West Point is asking the Army Corps of Engineers for help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help others, and Ryan says he's “marshalling the full force and power of the federal government to get recovery dollars.... We are assessing the damage now. It’s going to be significant, tens of millions of dollars if not more in damage to bridges, roads, homes and businesses." Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Kevin Frey at New York State of Politics reports that New York Democrats say they will attempt to coordinate their elections in 2024, after losing several seats in the House of Representatives in 2022. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said of the cooperation, “It lifts up the entire Democratic brand. It helps the first time candidates with how to get your message out.” Republicans flipped the 19th Congressional District in 2022, and almost won in the 18th District too in the Hudson Valley. Democrats lost six seats in 2022 in the House in districts won by President Joe Biden. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries claims they are focused on reversing that, saying, “I have never seen this level of cooperation and coordination in my time in electoral office." And about cooperation from Gov. Kathy Hochul, Jeffries said, “I’ve never seen this sort of outreach when anyone was governor, even though they always indicated a willingness to be helpful to the congressional delegation.” The House Majority PAC announced in February a $45 million fund to elect Democrats in New York’s congressional contests. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Nick Reisman reports for New York State of Politics that an appeallate court on July 13 sided with Democrats and said congressional lines should be redrawn in New York. In 2022 Republicans flipped several New York Congressional districts their way, helping them regain a majority. Political observers believe if Democrats get the districts redrawn the way they want, they could hold the 18th Congressional District, and flip the 19th District, in 2024 voting. Republican John Faso, who used to represent the 19th District in Congress, said of the Democrats, "They're trying to eliminate a state redistricting plan that has the most competitive districts in the United States of America." Now the case goes to New York's top court, now lead by Gov. Kathy Hochul's recent appointment, Chief Judge Rowan Wilson. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

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