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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20190521

May 21, 2019 12:01 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 Fivethirtyeight.com website reports that, so far, the first-term Congressperson Delgado votes with Donald Trump's positions zero percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions zero percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (5:15).

The Albany Times Union reports that former Rep. John Faso, a Republican from Kinderhook, will not attempt a rematch with Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck. Faso said he was not entering the 2020 election with a statement to the Albany bureau of the USA Today Network. "Family and professional obligations will make it impossible for me to wage another campaign, especially since such efforts would have to begin almost immediately," Faso said. Delgado beat Faso 51 percent to 46 percent in 2018, after Faso beat Democrat Zephyr Teachout in 2016.

• On May 16 both Delgado and Tonko voted for the "Lowering prescription drug costs and reversing changes to the Affordable Care Act, which passed on party lines, 234-183, and has little chance of seeing a vote in the Senate. Likewise, on May 15 both Tonko and Delgado voted for "Reaffirming the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reservation in Massachusetts," which passed 275-146.

Dan Freedman in the Albany Times Union reports that on May 15 Emily Marpe spoke before a Congressional committee May 15, about moving to Petersburgh in Rensselaer County, and soon after hearing from the health department that poison in the form of the chemical PFOA had been found in the local drinking water. “You guys better stop brushing your teeth” with tap water, Marpe says a health department official told her. Marpe met with both Tonko and Delgado before speaking at the hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change, which is chaired by Tonko. “We cannot wait for EPA to act,” Tonko said. “Congress needs to be actively involved to ensure the protection of Americans’ health.” Last week, Delgado also sponsored a bill requiring public reporting on PFAS releases via the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory.

• Delgado spoke on the House floor last week about infrastructure spending. Click here to download or play audio of his floor speech.

• Delgado gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Colgate University, May 19. He discussed attack advertisements used against him in his Congressional campaign last fall. "There was this belief, by the authors of those attacks, that my time as a hip hop artist could be used to turn me into a thug with anti-American views. The line of attack played on ugly stereotypes and degrading notions of black masculinity. Participants in the ads would say things like, my voice could not be their voice, or, I wasn’t like the people of upstate New York. And yet, I’m as upstate as anyone can be — born and raised in Schenectady," Delgado said.

Last week Delgado announced that the winner of the Congressional Art Competition from New York's 19th Congressional District is Ichabod Crane High School's Greyson VanVorst.

• Neither Tonko nor Delgado listed any local events on their website last week or next week. Tonko never lists any events, and Delgado only lists events his staff organizes, not just events he attends.
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