Work Week with Congressman John Faso Friday, July 21, 2017
Table of contents

Week in Review

Rebuilding Together Dutchess County

It was a great honor and privilege this week to join Rebuilding Together Dutchess County in their volunteer repair work on the home of an 89-year-old World War II veteran and his wife. Hyde Park resident Vito served in the Army from 1945 to 1947 and lives with his wife, Frances, who is 90.

Stewart Airport Grant

This week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced $230 million in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants for 104 airports across the United States, including Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York – an airport that serves many in the 19th District. Stewart Airport itself was awarded $1.6 million grant funding to make much-needed updates to the airport. This grant program funds airport infrastructure projects such as runways, taxiways, airport signage, lighting, and markings. In addition, these impending infrastructure projects will create an economic boon for our region.

Delaware River Basin Restoration Program Victory

This week I was proud to announce that our efforts to support the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program paid off, as it was announced that the House Appropriations Committee cleared the way for the $5 million in funding needed for the program. If approved, this critical funding will improve water quality and directly benefit all those who depend on this natural resource.

An Unexpected Visitor Stops By

Eleven-year-old Rhinebeck resident Tyler Hanson stopped by our office on Wednesday, and we talked about how he is enjoying school and his interest in computer coding. Shortly after our meeting, Tyler and I made our way to the House floor so he could experience the legislative process personally (and oversee his Congressman’s votes!).

Legislative Corner

House Budget Committee Passes 2018 Budget Resolution

Working late into the night on Wednesday, my colleagues and I on the House Budget Committee completed markup and passage of the fiscal year 2018 budget, “Building A Better America.”

This budget proposal aims to get Washington spending under control while providing the necessary support for critical domestic programs. It addresses the need for updates to much of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, boosts our military, and rejects proposed drastic cuts to critical agencies like the EPA, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control.

This proposal also promotes economic growth by rolling back federal regulations, saves over $200 billion in reforms to mandatory spending programs, and balances the budget within 10 years. As it stands, the national debt is almost $20 trillion – larger than the entire U.S. economy. Without action that number will climb to $29 trillion in the next 10 years. As mandatory spending accounts for close to 70 percent of the current budget the need for reform could not be more clear. We need serious reforms to get our country back on the right fiscal path, and I believe that is the spirit of this budget proposal.

Faso Anchorages Language Included in Homeland Security Bill

This week the House approved the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act of 2017, legislation that authorizes the critical programs that help keep our homeland safe from foreign and domestic threats. Notable for Hudson Valley residents was the inclusion of U.S. Coast Guard authorization language suspending its current process to establish 10 permanent anchorages for barges traveling up and down the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston.

This was welcome news, as I fought hard in my role on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that all necessary steps would be taken to enhance the health and public safety of our river-town communities and that your local concerns were heard. Specifically, I successfully advocated for a local study to be conducted to analyze safety, environmental impacts, and any other potential pitfalls of the plan before additional actions could be taken. I was also pleased to see that the USCG directed a formal risk identification and evaluation of the Hudson River, known as a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA).

Charlie Gard Letter

This week I signed a letter authored by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler in support of legislation to bring 11-month-old Charlie Gard and his parents to the U.S. so he can receive treatment. Charlie suffers from the rare genetic condition infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS), which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. UK hospitals plan to remove Charlie from life support and the British government has denied Charlie’s parents’ request to seek experimental treatment in the U.S. I am proud to support legislation that would grant lawful permanent resident status to Charlie Gard and his parents so he can receive this potentially lifesaving treatment. Read the letter here.

Fox News Interview with Eric Shawn

On Sunday I had a great conversation with Eric Shawn on Fox News in which we discussed the healthcare proposals in Congress and the fiscal sustainability of the current system.

Watch the interview here or click the image above.

House Committee on Agriculture Hearing

On Tuesday I questioned witnesses at the House Agriculture Committee’s Nutrition Subcommittee hearing, “The Next Farm Bill: Pathways to Success for SNAP Households.”

Watch the exchange here or click the image above.

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing

Also on Tuesday, I questioned witnesses at the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s hearing, “FAST Act Implementation: Improving the Safety of the Nation’s Roads.”

Watch the exchange here or click the image above.

Honoring NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia

On Thursday I took some time on the floor of the House of Representatives to pay tribute to slain NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia.

Watch the remarks here or click the image above.

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