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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180710

Jul 07, 2018 10:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 89.4 percent of the time, the same as last week, since Congress was not in session. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (7:03).

Erin Kelly in USA Today reports that on June 28 Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted for a resolution "insisting" that the Justice Department turn over many documents by July 6 about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the president's campaign and the Russians. All Republicans voted for the resolution; all Democrats voted against. Republicans made clear this is part of an attempt to end the investigation into the president's campaign. "When we get these documents, we believe that it will do away with this whole fiasco of what they call the Russian-Trump collusion because there wasn't any," Mark Meadows, a South Carolina-based Republican, said. Republicans said would impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if he doesn't comply with the request, or hold him in contempt of Congress. Democrats believe the bipartisan investigation should be allowed to complete its work. Rep. Adam Schiff of California said, "This is collaboration with the president masquerading as oversight." And New York's Rep. Jerrold Nadler said, "If they somehow bully the Department of Justice into turning over materials that go to the core of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, that information...probably would be shared with the subjects of the investigation, mainly President Trump." Read the full story in USA Today.

Ellyn Ferguson reports in Roll Call that the Senate passed its Farm Bill June 28, without the cuts to food stamps championed by Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook). The bill passed 86-11, with both New York Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, voting in favor. Next there will be a Senate-House conference committee after Congress returns from its weeklong Fourth of July recess to work out the differences. Chief among them is the House insistence to add more work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. The Senate bill would also, unlike the House version, legalize industrial hemp production, encourage exports to Cuba, extend the flood insurance program, and allow grazing on some conservation lands. Read the full story in Roll Call.

• On June 29 Congress began a July 4 holiday, when most legislators go back to their districts to meet with constituents. But Rep. John Faso does not have anything at all listed on the Public Schedule on his website. The Kinderhook-based Republican has not listed any public events on his website for over six months. The Delaware County SCOPE group, however, has publicized a July 21 Faso appearance. That is a "Rally for the Second Amendment" pro-gun rights event at 11 a.m. at the Courthouse Square in Delhi. Chris Tague, the Republican State Assemblyperson from the 102nd District is also listed in attendance at the event.

Chris McKenna reports at The Fray that two days after Antonio Delgado became the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 19th Congressional District, the House Democrats’ campaign group added Delgado to a list of 55 challengers they will help fund in the fall campaign. Delgado is taking on freshman Representative John Faso from Kinderhook in November. “Antonio Delgado has the strength, integrity and dedication to give this community the voice it deserves,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján said June 28. Delgado led his six rivals in fundraising in the primary campaign, and will now get more money from the national Democrats. Read the full story at The Fray.

• On July 2 local Congressperson John Faso's campaign manager Tom Szymanski demanded Faso's opponent state his position on whether the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency should be closed. "Antonio Delgado's silence on this issue is disturbing. Mr. Delgado must immediately inform the voters of the 19th Congressional District if he stands with Mayor de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and other fellow-Progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE. Voters deserve to know whether Mr. Delgado will work to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement." But WGXC could not find any statements about not disbanding ICE on Faso's campaign website or on his Congressional website, so voters may be unsure about Faso's position on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Delgado, a Democrat, is now on the record, as he replied on Twitter July 3, saying he does not support abolishing ICE. "Congressman Faso should feel free to contact me directly with his inquiries about my positions -- I would be happy to exchange cell phone numbers so that he does not need his staffer to send out statements written by Paul Ryan," Delgado's Twitter account said. New York Senator Gillibrand has said she would like to "reimagine" the agency with a "very different mission.... I don't think ICE today is working as intended. ... I believe that it has become a deportation force, and I think you should separate the criminal justice from the immigration issues." New York's other senator, Chuck Schumer, has a slightly different opinion. “ICE does some functions that are very much needed,” Schumer said. “Reform ICE — yes. That’s what I think we should do.” A Harvard-Harris poll from June 24-25 found that about half of self-identified liberals said ICE should be disbanded; 41 percent of Democrats agreed, and 22 percent of Republicans also said the agency should be eliminated.

• Labor Day was once said to be the beginning of campaign season, but with a heated political environment, the election between freshman representative John Faso, a Republican, and Democrat Antonio Delgado is already under way. Neither candidate lists local appearances in advance on their websites, but there were reports that they were marching in local parades on the fourth of July. Delgado showed photos on his Twitter feed of him in several parades, starting the day at the Hyde Park Independence Day parade, where he marched with Assembly candidate Karen Smythe and others. Then he went to Oneonta's Hometown 4th Festival, and ended the day at Windham's parade in Greene County marching with Assembly candidate Aidan O'Connor and others. Faso spent the morning marching in the Saugerties parade July 4 parade, according to his social media accounts.
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