District Work Week with Congressman Faso
August 18, 2017

Table of contents

Traveling the District

Speaking to Business Leaders at the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

On Wednesday I had the privilege of delivering the keynote address before an audience of 220 at the Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Contact Breakfast. My presentation was an update on my work on issues such as infrastructure, healthcare, and tax reform followed by a question-and-answer session. I also spoke about my Property Tax Reduction Act and the $224 million in savings its passage would mean for the 11 counties of the 19th Congressional District.  Property taxpayers in New York’s 57 counties pay more in local Medicaid property taxes than local taxpayers in the other 49 states combined.  I’m going to continue to press this issue in Washington.

Huge Success Hosting our First Veterans Assistance Fair at SUNY Sullivan

I want to thank all of the organizations involved with making our Veterans Assistance Fair in Sullivan County such a great success yesterday. I particularly want to thank Sullivan County Veterans’ Service Officer John Crotty for his tremendous help in organizing the event. We are planning additional Veteran assistance fairs throughout our 11-county district.

Meeting with Volunteers for the Alzheimer’s Association in Sullivan County

On Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of Sullivan County advocates for Alzheimer’s Disease awareness. The scourge of Alzheimer’s disease devastates countless families throughout our state and nation. It is always important to hear the first-hand stories of how this dreaded disease has impacted families, and I cannot thank these volunteers enough for their selfless service for this meaningful cause.

Spending Time with Some Real Folks at the Delaware County Fair

I had a great time mingling with folks at the Delaware County Fair on Thursday. The Delaware County Fair is a tremendous event which is focused on the fine agricultural traditions in the county. I truly enjoy the opportunity to visit county fairs around the district – and sample the food! I also observed the precision horse show put on by the 4H drill team and their coach Karlene DuMond. Thanks again to Fair President Ed Rossley for his hospitality.

Return from my Educational Trip to Israel

On Sunday I returned from a seven-day fact-finding trip to Israel. Our bipartisan delegation of House members met with senior Israeli defense and economic officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In addition, we met with experts on military and foreign policy issues, as well as the opposition leader in the Israeli Knesset. We also had an opportunity to meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah.  All discussions were off the record and, as such, I am not at liberty to discuss the substance of points made during our respective meetings. However, these discussions were both cordial and frank as members of Congress, including me, had an opportunity to ask questions on various policy positions and their perspective as to the position of the US government.

The delegation also met with Israeli entrepreneurs involved in their nation’s thriving high-tech industrial sector as well as with young Israelis serving in the military. Military service is mandatory for young men and women with limited exceptions. I was struck by how the opportunities presented by national service have better prepared young people for responsible positions in the private and non-profit sectors. It does raise a question in my mind as to whether similar opportunities could be more broadly offered to young people in the United States.

The trip also afforded me an opportunity to visit strategic areas such as the Golan Heights. The disintegration of the Syrian nation-state has reinforced my belief that it is critical that Israel maintain control of this important region. Given Iranian and Hezbollah influence in significant parts of Syria it is all the more important that forces hostile to Israel never again have control of the Golan Heights’ strategic high ground. Our delegation also discussed the West Bank settlement issue and as a result have a greater understanding of how settlements impact prospects for peace in the region.

We all desire peace in the Middle East. Recent political developments in the region cast doubt on the ability of the Palestinian Authority to enter into any sustainable peace treaty with Israel, especially given the malign influence of Iran and its proxies in the region. It is critical that the United States maintain its long-standing political, military and economic ties to Israel, the only democracy in the region. In Congress, I will continue to support efforts to strengthen our relationship with Israel, especially in areas such as missile defense, technology and agriculture.

Interview with Fred Dicker

It was a pleasure to join Fred Dicker on his show, “State of the Capitol,” to discuss my recent trip to Israel.

Listen to the interview here, or click the image above.

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