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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso: 20170708

Jul 08, 2017 9:30 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressman for the WGXC listening area. Fivethirtyeight.com currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 91.9 percent of his votes. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report.

Kimberly Kindy reported in the Washington Post a medical malpractice bill limiting attorney fees and some patient damages for poor medical treatment was passed by the House last week on a vote of 218 to 210. While 19 Republicans voted against the bill, U.S. Rep. John Faso voted with the majority. Some conservative press outlets touted the so-called Protecting Access to Care Act, as Phase 3 of the GOP's effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. HR 1215 would limit medical malpractice damages for emotional suffering to $250,000 and implement a three-year statute of limitations on an individual's right to sue. Republicans who voted against the tort reform measure called it a massive expansion of federal authority.

Chris McKenna reports in The Fray that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) sent a letter June 26 asking the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten its oversight over the chemicals that have contaminated drinking water supplies in in Newburgh and Hoosick Falls. Faso, with Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to, “play a central role in developing the science around perfluorinated compounds and properly regulating them.” They want the EPA to set national drinking water regulations for PFOA and PFOS chemicals. The water in Hoosick Falls, in Rensselaer County, is polluted with PFOA, and water in Newburgh, farther south, has PFOS. Read the full story in The Fray.

• On July 5, less than three hours before WAMC said he will take questions on the air, the website of Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) still did not list the appearance. At 11 a.m. his website said that on July 5, there will be a "Watervliet Arsenal Meet and Greet, Watervliet, NY," but did not list time or any other details. On July 4, for much of the day Faso's website did not list any public events at all. Then, just before the event, he listed an appearance at the Saugerties July 4 parade. Later in the day, Faso's web page was updated to say he would also be at the Windham July 4 parade. In years past, local Congressional representatives Scott Murphy, a Democrat, and Chris Gibson, a Republican, listed their July 4 appearances, and other public events, in advance on their websites. Congress is on a break this week, and Faso does not list any public appearances at all. The Catskill Mountain News reports that Faso was at the Roxbury Arts Center in Roxbury July 7.

Greg Klein reports in The Daily Star that on July 5 the Otsego County Board of Representatives shelved a resolution backing Rep. John Faso's amendment in the American Health Care Act that shifts Medicaid costs from counties to the state. A standing-room-only crowd spoke for an hour against the non-binding resolution, eventually causing the bill sponsor, administrative committee chair Craig Gelbsman, a Republican, to pull the resolution. In the current version of the Republican tax cut plan that cuts health care coverage in Washington D.C., Faso, from Kinderhook, and other New York Republicans have successfully attached an amendment that would essentially raise taxes on renters, as homeowners get a tax break, and everyone else gets a tax hike when the state has to cover the cost of the shift in Medicaid costs. Edwin J. Frazier Jr., another Republican on the board, objected to pulling the resolution. Read the full story in The Daily Star.

• The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan group that analyzes elections, on July 7 moved the 19th Congressional District from a "Lean Republican" to a "Toss Up." The report says of incumbent John Faso (R-Kinderhook): "Despite his long tenure in Upstate politics, Faso was one of just 15 Republicans to win by single digits in 2016 - and he did so against a very liberal, carpetbagging Democrat. Now he's facing a deluge of opponents. Democrats are perhaps most high on West Point graduate and Iraq veteran Pat Ryan, but the dynamic could change if 2016 nominee Zephyr Teachout or Ulster County Executive Mike Hein get in."
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