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WGXC Congressional Report: 20200113

Jan 13, 2020 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 4.8 percent of the time. Since Democrats took over the House of Representatives Tonko also votes with Trump's positions 1.6 percent of the time. In the previous Congressional session, Tonko voted with Trump 22.6 percent of the time. Click here to play or download an audio version of this report.

• Both Reps. Antonio Delgado and Paul Tonko, Hudson Valley-based Democrats, voted to end military action against Iran on Jan. 9. They both voted for, "Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran," which passed 224-to-194, with eight Democrats voting against and three Republicans voting for. The bill will probably be stopped by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell without getting a vote there. “Today I voted for the War Powers Resolution to end United States Armed Forces’ engagement in hostilities with Iran. Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and the Constitution dictates that we have the sole power to declare war," Delgado said in a statement after the vote. The American people and Congress must have a clear understanding from the Administration of its plans to de-escalate tensions with this hostile power and ensure our nation is not once again staring down a costly and unending war. We cannot send American servicemembers and diplomats into harm's way without a thorough grasp of the mission and objectives.”

Chris McKenna is reporting for The Fray U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado is one of 17 House Democrats featured in new TV ads focused on health care paid for by a Democratic group called House Majority Forward. The group announced it was spending $2.2 million on ads that denounce Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for blocking legislation and to promote the 17 House members in their districts. The commercials are tailored for each district and tout the recent House passage of a bill intended to lower prescription drug costs. The spot produced for Delgado focuses on the 33 town hall meetings the Rhinebeck Democrat held last year in the 11 counties that make up the 19th Congressional District. President Donald Trump won the district by seven points in 2016 and is a Republican target, but Delgado has money behind him and no prominent Republicans have emerged to challenge him. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who ran for governor in 2018, recently ruled out a congressional run. Read the full story at The Fray.

Emilie Munson reports for the Times Union that the Clean Future Act introduced into the House of Representatives last week takes parts of proposals already under way in New York. “New York, California have been great leaders, so a lot of our thought process has been driven by the excellent work done at the state level," said Rep. Paul Tonko, a lead drafter of the federal proposal. The Clean Future Act would require all retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100 percent clean energy by 2050 or purchase carbon offsets. The bill would also revise national building codes and require construction projects using federal dollars to cut emissions. It may pass the House, may never receive a vote in the Senate, and is unlikely to ever be signed by this president. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

• The House passed H.R. 535, or the PFAS Action Act, on Jan. 11. Reps. Delgado and Tonko both voted for the bill, which passed 247-to-159, with 24 Republicans joining the Democratic majority. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency to designate all perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances as hazardous substances. The Trump administration has threatened to veto the PFAS legislation last week after failing to meet its promise to set a drinking water standard for the toxic fluorinated chemicals by the end of 2019.

• Paul Tonko does list any public events this week on his website. Antonio Delgado lists public appearances on his website only if his staff organizes the events. He has none listed this week.
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