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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180703

Jun 29, 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, up slightly from last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (8:53).

Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union on the SNAP work requirement contained in the federal Farm Bill that U.S. Rep. John Faso voted for last week. The measure passed the House June 21, on a narrow 213 to 211 vote. As approved, the measure would expand the already existing work requirement for able-bodied recipients under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 59, would be mandated to work or to participate in job-training for at least 20 hours a week. The new bill raises the previous age limit by 10 years, from 49 to 59. A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill found it would result in trimming $9 billion nationwide from the program over a decade. Other estimates say it would result in one million people losing the benefit. The House version of the bill, Freedman writes, "is likely to get roughed up in the Senate," where Democratic votes will be required to win approval. Agriculture Committee member Kirsten Gillibrand said she would fight to keep the House SNAP measure out of the Senate bill. “I am disturbed that House Republicans, including some from our own state, want to make it even harder for struggling families to put food on the table, and I think this plan is a blatant example of how out-of-touch Congress is about poverty in our country,” she said. In response to the criticism, Faso said, “This doesn’t reduce eligibility for SNAP; it simply says you should be in training or at work to receive benefits (if able-bodied). This is not ‘Grapes of Wrath.’” With 2.8 million recipients, New York has the fourth-largest SNAP population in the nation. About 60 percent of New York’s SNAP recipients live in New York City. In Faso's 19th Congressional District, 10 percent of the population receives SNAP, compared to 15 percent statewide. Read the full story in the Times Union.

The Mid-Hudson News Network reports reports that after House Republicans, including Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), voted last week to pass a Farm Bill that cuts food stamp benefits, the Senate is taking up their own version of the bill this week. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has offered an amendment to the bill for a new grant program investing in efforts to launch local companies and create new jobs. “It would promote investment in our rural communities,” Gillibrand said. “It would make it much easier for entrepreneurs in our rural areas to get the capital that they need to start up and grow and it would finally stop the trend of jobs leaving rural New York.” The House barely passed the Farm Bill last week, 213 to 211. The Senate is expected to vote on their version this week before the July 4 holiday. Read the full story at the Mid-Hudson News Network.

Chris McKenna reports at The Fray that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted against a hard-line immigration bill June 21 that was defeated 231-193, with Democrats and 40 other Republicans voting against. House leaders then delayed a vote on a less conservative immigration proposal until next week. “For too many years and administrations, Washington has failed to address how to secure our borders while also ensuring our immigration policies are humane and address the real challenges our border enforcement officers face every day,” Faso said in a statement. “We need to improve border security, resolve the status of the DACA population and enact other reforms such as ending the diversity lottery and unlimited chain migration.” The president wondered why the Congresspeople were even bothering to vote. "Republicans should stop wasting their time on immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November," Donald Trump tweeted June 21. Read the full story at The Fray.

Steve Maugeri reports at WRGB that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) thinks lawmakers in Washington D.C. can pass an immigration bill by July 4. "I'm hopeful we can move this through the house so we can get action in the senate. Kicking the can down the road is what happens in Washington and that's not what I want to do,” Faso said. Faso may be alone in his assessment that Congress will act before it leaves town for vacation June 28. Almost 3,000 children have been separated from their parents, and Congressional observers do not believe this Congress can get anything done on the issue. Last week Faso voted against a hard-line immigration bill that was defeated 231-193, with Democrats and 40 other Republicans voting against. A more moderate bill may be voted on this week in the House, but the Senate and the president will probably not rush into action on the issue. "After days of watching these children in anguish, living in just about cages, is such a black mark on our image as a nation,” said Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko, who represents all of Albany County, and parts of Rensselaer County. Read the full story at the WRGB website.

• On June 27, Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) voted for a Republican immigration bill that 112 Republicans voted against. The bill failed with 301 votes against, including all Democrats. Last week Faso voted against a hard-line immigration bill that was defeated 231-193, with Democrats and 40 Republicans voting against. Paul Tonko, the Democrat who represents Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County, voting against both bill. The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018, which failed this week, was said to be a compromise measure, although it received fewer votes. "Our immigration system is broken, and today the House failed to take meaningful steps to fix it by rejecting the compromise bill. This bill would have ensured parents and children stay together, strengthened border security, and resolved DACA," Faso tweeted. There was discussion of quickly voting on a narrow bill to end the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border before Congress takes a July 4 holiday break, but now that seems unlikely.

• Antonio Delgado won the 19th Congressional District Democratic primary election June 26, with 22 percent of the vote over six other candidates, according to unofficial results. Brian Flynn beat Delgado in Greene County with 25 percent of the vote, and Gareth Rhodes won Columbia County by more than 300 votes over Delgado. More than twice as many Democrats turned out for this vote, compared to 2016 when Zephyr Teachout beat Will Yandik. Delgado now faces Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) in November. The complete results are on the WGXC Newsroom below.

Brian Flynn DEM . 13.18 % 4,608
Erin Collier DEM . 4.86 % 1,700
Gareth Rhodes DEM . 17.86 % 6,242
Pat Ryan DEM . 17.72 % 6,194
Antonio Delgado DEM . 22.00 % 7,690
Jeff Beals DEM . 13.18 % 4,608
Dave Clegg DEM . 11.08 % 3,873
Blank 0.04 % 13
Void 0.03 % 11
Write-in 0.05 % 19
Total Votes 34,958

• Antonio Delgado won the Democratic Congressional primary in New York's 19th District June 26, and he and his opponent in November, John Faso, both released statements after results were announced. Delgado said, in part, "We have taken the first step toward restoring dignity and integrity to our representation in New York 19. The people have spoken loudly and clearly. More than ideology, more than identity, more than class or background, we can all stand tall behind unifying principles that our country was founded upon: freedom, justice, equality, and opportunity for all." Faso quickly went on the attack, writing, in part, "Delgado will cast his first ever general election vote for Congress in our district after just moving here from New Jersey. He will soon learn, as the last two Democrat candidates for Congress before him, that our neighbors do not look kindly upon candidates who have just moved into our district and presume to represent us."

Faso released this campaign video this week.
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