Work Week with Congressman Faso
November 3, 2017

Table of contents

Talking Taxes

House Begins Consideration of Tax Proposal, Faso Weighs In

Every worker, family, and small business owner knows our tax code does not work, is too complicated, and forces them to send more of their money to Albany and Washington, D.C. than they should.  My goal for tax reform is to get our economy moving again, increase worker paychecks,  incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off.  The plan released today begins that process by lowering the tax rates and expanding the tax brackets, doubling the standard deduction to $24,000 for married couples, maintaining the ability to deduction charity donations, mortgage interest and up to $10,000 of your property taxes.  I remain concerned about the elimination of the deduction for state income taxes and will continue to advocate for such a policy and ensure this plan works for New York middle class families. ...

Read my full statement on the House tax proposal here.

Concerned About How New Tax Laws May Effect You?

What Tax Reform Means for You and Your Family

As I have noted in the past, a major concern of mine is the ability for Upstate New York individuals and families to deduct state income taxes, and I will continue to advocate for that policy. But there are a lof of positives to be found in this legisaliont. Here are some facts:
  • The proposal reduces the tax rates for low- and middle-income Americans, and roughly doubles the standard deduction – protecting up to $24,000 of your family’s take-home pay each year from taxes.
  • It also eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax.
  • The Proposal establishes a new Family Credit, which includes expanding the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 to help parents with the cost of raising children, and providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses.
  • Preserves the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families care for their children and older dependents such as a disabled grandparent who may need additional support.
  • It ends the expensive and time-consuming nightmare that comes with tax-filing season so the vast majority of individuals and families will be able to file their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act lowers tax rates on businesses of all sizes so job creators can focus more on hiring workers, increasing paychecks, and investing in our local communities.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces the tax rate on the hard-earned “pass-through” business income to no higher than 25% for Main Street job creators – the lowest tax rate on small business income since World War II.
  • The proposal will lower the corporate tax rate to 20% – the largest reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate in our nation’s history.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes no changes to the popular retirement savings options that Americans have today – including 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs. Americans will be able to continue making both traditional, pre-tax contributions and “Roth” contributions in the way that works best for them.
  • It also preserves lower rates on capital gains, dividends, and interest income so Americans can invest more in their local economies and build toward a more financially secure future for their families.

Washington Post Slams Democrats False Claims About Tax Reform, Gives Them Four "Pinocchios"

Senate Democrats falsely claim GOP tax plan will raise taxes for most working-class families

Faso Joins Alex Witt to Discuss Tax Reform on MSNBC

On August 29, I joined host Alex Witt on MSNBC to discuss tax proposals, and their impact on Upstate New Yorkers.

Watch the video here, or by clicking the image above.

Legislative Corner

Faso Votes to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

On Friday, the House passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), H.R. 3922, the Community Health And Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation (CHAMPION) Act.

It was critical that the House pass legislation to reauthorize CHIP before the funding runs out in the coming months, and this legislation not only does that, but makes other important improvements. Notably, the legislation authorizes robust support for community health centers, which provide critical medical services throughout Upstate New York. I have long supported the CHIP program and community health centers so I’m pleased that the House has acted to extend these important programs.

This legislation also delays cuts to the critically important Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program for two years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) contained cuts in DSH payments to local hospitals throughout the 19th District and across the nation. DSH payments are intended to compensate hospitals for providing services to uninsured individuals and the ACA presumed such payments would no longer be needed. Unfortunately, this assumption proved incorrect as hospitals continued to provide uncompensated care. Failure to reverse these ACA cuts would have adversely affected local hospitals and I was pleased to support continued funding at the request of our local healthcare institutions.

On September 28, 2017, I along with more than 200 Democrats and Republicans, sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting a two-year delay to cuts to DSH payments.

Highlights of the legislation:
  • The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Health Center Program, which provides grants to community health centers that offer care to underserved and vulnerable populations, receives the fiscal 2017 amount of $3.6 billion annually through fiscal 2019.
  • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which helps address the primary health care shortage in underserved communities by helping them recruit and retain health practitioners, is also extended for two more years at $310 million per year.
  • Extends the funding for two years the Special Diabetes Program for Type 1 Diabetes and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians at $150 million a year each.
  • Extends funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program for two years, at $126.5 million a year.
  • The legislation extends the Family-to-Family Health Information Center program for two years at $6 million a year. The Family-to-Family Health Information Centers are family-staffed and family-run centers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia that provide information, education, technical assistance, and peer support to families of children with special health care needs and health professionals who serve those families.
  • Under current law, subsidized patients with exchange plans have a three-month grace period when they do not pay their health insurance premiums. During these three months, their plan cannot discontinue coverage for nonpayment of premiums. This means that patients receiving the advance premium tax credits (APTCs) and cost sharing reductions (CSRs) can pay for only nine months of health insurance, but receive a full year’s coverage. The legislation allows states to define their grace period, or move to a default of one month.
For more information on the legislation, click here.

Faso Votes to Repeal Controversial IPAB, Protecting Seniors Healthcare Choices

On Thursday the House passed bipartisan legislation to repeal the Independent Patient Advisory Board (IPAB).

Ushered in with the Affordable Care Act, IPAB is a misguided concept that would ultimately serve to ration healthcare to our seniors. Handing over seniors’ healthcare options to a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in a closed off room is unacceptable, and 19th District seniors deserve better than that. In addition to overwhelming bipartisan support, close to 800 organizations representing healthcare stakeholders came out in support of this commonsense legislation, and I was proud to vote in favor of the IPAB repeal.

H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act, passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 307-111.

For more information on the legislation, click here.

Connecting with Constituents

Over the weekend, I joined Rebuilding Together Dutchess County for its "Make a Difference Day" in Hyde Park. A couple of the homeowners we were able to help out were an elderly couple, and a Marine Corps veteran, who have lived in their home in Hyde Park for 45 years. The planned modifications on the home are focused on creating a safer environment and increased independence for the disabled veteran. This includes making the bathroom accessible with a walk-in shower, grab bars, and sink modifications, as well as, widening doorways, replacing lights and installing handrails throughout the home.

Another Rebuilding Together Dutchess County event took place in Red Hook. The home of a 69 year old veteran was in critical need of repairs. Some of these repairs included replacing of the roof, new bathroom flooring, new gutter system and new basement windows and new entryway doors.

I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity for some delicious roast beef in Youngsville in Sullivan. Youngsville Fire Department hosted its Roast Beef Dinner, and among the attendees was Town Supervisor Tom Bose.

In New Paltz, Ulster County, I had the opportunity to connect with some Second Amendment advocates at the Friends of the NRA Dinner. 

We had a tremendous turnout at the security preparedness program in Esopus Monday morning, with around 50 local faith leaders and members of the law enforcement community, including local and state police, in attendance. Acts of terror happen without warning, and the importance of being as prepared as possible in case of this type of an emergency cannot be overstated. I want to thank FBI special agent Vadim Thomas, Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, and all who participated in this event.

Check out a great story from Spectrum News on the event, here.

On Monday I had the privilege of paying an impromptu visit to a Participation in Government Class at The Mount Academy in Esopus in Ulster County.

Over the weekend I had the privilege of speaking with farmers at the Ulster County Farm Bureau. Thanks to Ulster County Farm Bureau President Ray Cullen.

On Monday, I had the chance to tour Kingston Ulster Airport. It was a very productive and informative visit, and I want to thank Fred Zinn for leading the tour and the meeting.

Fighting Lyme

A Bipartisan Coalition Lays Out Lyme Disease Strategy

Upstate individuals and families are unfortunately very familiar with the perils of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. This is why I have made it a priority in Congress to advance efforts to improve research and awareness to ultimately prevent future cases and mitigate the harmful effects of the disease. There is concern, however, that it can be difficult to enumerate the progress we are making through some of these efforts.

I recently organized a bipartisan letter to Acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Eric Hargan, that outlines specific objectives and indicators to track our progress, and make informed decisions when considering funding for certain programs in the CDC. The letter is a follow up on report language for Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations regarding Lyme disease, to improve the measurement and tracking of the progress of federal efforts to combat the disease.

The letter outlines the performance measures for Lyme disease as Congress considers funding levels to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC).

Performance Indicators:
  • Decrease the incidence of Lyme disease in the United States.
  • Reduce the average time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis of Lyme disease.
  • Increase the number of tests performed for Lyme disease that can confirm the presence of infection.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Increase collaboration between HHS agencies and state and local health departments to prevent and control tick-borne diseases.
  • Promote the development of innovative diagnostics and treatments for tick-borne diseases and co-infections.
  • Increase research aimed at controlling or reducing the population of ticks and reducing their ability to transmit disease.
  • Increase research on methods of prevention for stopping the transmission of tick-borne diseases to host reservoir animals and humans.
  • Promote personal protection methods to prevent tick-borne diseases.

I was joined by fellow signers: Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Rep. William Keating (D-MA), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).

To view the letter, click here.

Bipartisan Climate Change Solutions

Delivering Remarks Highlighting Work of Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus

On November 1, I discussed bipartisan climate change solutions, and the work of the Climate Solutions Caucus on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Watch the video here, or by clicking the image above.

Medicare Open Enrollment

To all of the 19th District's seniors, a friendly reminder: Medicare open enrollment began on Sunday, October 15 and ends on December 7. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our offices if we can be of assistance through this process.

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