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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

May 14, 2023 6:03 am

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.

New York State of Politics reports that the first of a potential wave of migrants arrived in the Hudson Valley on May 11, after waves of migrants arrived in North America for the past several centuries. This time, though, they are being shipped around as political pawns from the southern border of the United States, to New York City, and then to the Hudson Valley. About 300 migrants are being bussed to the Hudson Valley so far. Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro says the area is not ready for them. Molinaro, the 19th Congressional District representative said, “The concern is a lack of coordination. A lack of transparency. A lack of infrastructure and support that exists in upstate counties.” And while the Republican governors of Texas and Florida have been shipping the migrants around the country as political pawns, now the Democrat mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is moving them to the Hudson Valley. Molinaro said that Adams has no authority to override state and local regulations and to “impose” on counties the responsibility of caring for migrants. “It’s not humane or compassionate,” he said. “It just isn’t.... The right approach is for the city and the state to confront that challenge in the city.” On May 12, pandemic-related asylum restrictions known as Title 42 expired, with many migrants at the southern border of the United States waiting to enter the country, so there could be many more arrivals in the Hudson Valley in the weeks to come. Both Molinaro and Pat Ryan, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District, said the federal government should declare a state of emergency in New York because of the migrant arrivals. Ryan said, “From New York City, where they have more than 60,000 asylum seekers, to the Hudson Valley communities who were given no notice and no assistance to house asylum seekers, to the migrants themselves, simply here in search of a better life, this process has been a mess. The federal government must step in and declare a state of emergency for New York.... This declaration would allow the federal government to identify, mobilize and provide the resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the migrant surge in New York. We will continue to work in close contact with our partners in local and state government to address the situation.” Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who represents the 21st Congressional District in New York, stood next to Majority Leader Steve Scalise at a May 10 press conference to react to the news that Republican New York Rep. George Santos was arrested and charged with wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress. They said that Santos voluntarily stepped down from his committee assignments, and that he has the presumption of innocence while the legal process plays itself out. Here is what Stefanik said at the press conference that was aired on C-Span: Click here to download or play Stefanik's statement.

Maury Thompson reports in the Glens Falls Post Star that Jill Lochner, who is challenging Rep. Elise Stefanik next year in a Republican primary, denounced Stefanik's vote on the debt limit bill that passed the House last week. Locally, Stefanik and Republican Marc Molinaro voted for the bill, while Democrats Paul Tonko and Pat Ryan voted against. Lochner complained that the legislation would cut Department of Veterans Affairs programs, and that she would have insisted that the legislation include repealing a $10,000 limit of the federal income tax deduction for state income taxes. “The act is killing clean energy initiatives. It promotes coal and disincentivizes nuclear energy. … Nuclear energy is America’s workhorse,” Lochner said. “If I were a member of Congress, I would be working with my party to get these changes made so that I’d be able to vote ‘yes.’” Lochner said she now has volunteer campaign coordinators in six of the 16 counties in the 21st Congressional District, and held her first public forum this weekend in Canton. Read more about this story in the Glens Falls Post Star.

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Democrat Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro are championing different ways to slow fentanyl trafficking at the country's southern border. Ryan has proposed an amendment to the current immigration bill to add $800 million for the Department of Homeland Security to lessen the fentanyl flow. Ryan's office released a statement that said, “This includes funding for additional illicit-drug inspection equipment, additional intelligence analysts and canine units to increase the percentage of incoming passenger vehicles searched at the border, new operating labs at ports of entry to accelerate the identification of narcotics seized, and expanding a program to seize currency, weapons and contraband that is flowing to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico.” Democrat Ryan represents the 18th Congressional District, Republican Molinaro lives in that district, but represents the 19th Congressional District. He said his vote this week for the Secure the Border Act of 2023 will combat drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic in New York. “The Secure the Border Act of 2023 will combat the opioid epidemic by strengthening efforts to curb the spike in fentanyl and drug trafficking along the border,” Molinaro’s office said in a statement. “It forces the Biden Administration to restart construction of the border wall, deploy innovative technology to the southern and northern borders, and increase the number of border patrol agents.” Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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