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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

May 08, 2021 12:07 am

This is WGXC's Congressional Report, tracking the votes, words, and actions of Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck representing the 19th Congressional District, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam from the 20th Congressional District. The website fivethirtyeight.com reports that Delgado, Tonko, and Sean Maloney, all Hudson Valley Democrats, vote with President Joe Biden's positions 100 percent of the time so far, while Republican Elise Stefanik votes with Biden just 18.8 percent of the time. Click here to play or download an audio version of this report. Last week Congress was on a recess, and the U.S. House of Representatives returns

to session May 11.

Brian Lee reports in the Daily Gazette that local Congressional representatives Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Elise Stefanik are all crowing about the direct relief available from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Republican Stefanik is attempting to take credit for the bill, even though she voted against the measure that was included in the American Rescue Plan. Stefanik's Tweet about the program received more than 5,600 responses online, most pointing out that she did not vote for the program. Delgado and Tonko promoted the fact that as of May 3, restaurants hurt by the pandemic can apply for the $28.6 billion included in the plan. “Upstate New York’s independent restaurants are cornerstones of our community, where we gather with friends and family and mark special occasions in our lives,” Delgado said in a statement. “I’m proud that we passed direct relief for our small businesses and the people they employ as part of the American Rescue Plan. The comeback of our restaurant and hospitality businesses is an important key to a full recovery.” Tonko echoed that statement, saying, “Our Capital Region’s independent restaurants are cornerstones of our communities, yet they are among the businesses hit hardest by this pandemic and most in need of financial help." The funding available does not have to be repaid, provided that the funds are put toward eligible uses by March 11, 2023. Restaurants can apply through the U.S. Small Business Administration at https://restaurants.sba.gov/requests/borrower/login/, a link available on the WGXC Newsroom. Read more about this story in the Daily Gazette.

Emilie Munson reports in the Times Union that on May 4 the National Republican Campaign Committee added Rep. Paul Tonko to its list of Democratic Congressional representatives it is targeting to flip in the 2022 elections. Tonko, who represents Albany County and other Capital Region areas, was first elected to the 20th Congressional District in 2009. Republican Liz Joy, who lost to Tonko in 2020, has already announced she will attempt to unseat him again in 2022. Joy attended the protest at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, but says she stayed "like three football fields away" from the riotous attempted coup. “I think what happened yesterday at the Capitol has taken away from the hopes of people who came out (to Washington) to express their honest concerns about election integrity,” Joy said in January. “Those were extremists. Ninety-nine percent of the hundreds of thousands there were there out of true concern for election integrity.” There were not nearly "hundreds of thousands" of people at the protest or the riot Jan. 6, as Joy claims. Besides Tonko, the National Republican Campaign Committee already announced it is targeting Hudson Valley Reps. Antonio Delgado and Sean Maloney in 2022. Redistricting will change the make up of all those districts, so until the new boundaries are announced it will be difficult to gauge if Republicans can take back any of the Hudson Valley districts. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

While Congress was out last week, both Delgado and Tonko crowed about what they've done while in session. In the Daily Gazette

Tonko boasted about the local programs for Schenectady, Montgomery, Saratoga, and Albany counties he has put forward to the House Appropriation Committee for funding consideration. Spectrum News reported that Delgado on May 6 said he and Tonko will make a renewed push to bolster stretch limousine safety after a crash in 2018 that killed 20 people. “Last Congress, the End the Limo Loophole Act received overwhelming bipartisan support and was passed by the House of Representatives. This Congress, Representative Tonko and I will keep fighting to enact this long-overdue reform and save lives," Delgado said in a press release.