Work Week with Congressman John Faso
Friday, April 7, 2017
Table of contents

Week in Review

This week I met with Major General Tony German and Brigadier General Ray Shields of the New York National Guard to discuss their 2017 priorities. 

Faso Issues Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

The US attack on the Syrian air base associated with the chemical weapons attack was the correct response. The civilized world must respond to the horrific use of chemical weapons, especially against innocent civilians, or else we risk normalizing such behavior which has been outlawed since the end of World War I.

Faso Responds to Hudson River Barge Accident

I am relieved to see that there were no major injuries or spillage resulting from the incident on the Hudson River involving a gasoline barge. I received updates and accident assessments from law enforcement officials on the ground such as Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley and his office. I intend to make a request for a formal investigation into the cause of the accident through the U.S. Coast Guard and, if circumstances warrant, the Office of Marine Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). I have also called on Congress and President Trump to adequately fund the NTSB in order to determine the causes of marine accidents and protect public safety.

Legislative Corner

Faso Protects Veterans Choice Program

This week S. 544 passed unanimously on the House floor. S. 544 extends the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to obtain treatment for their service-connected conditions and other health benefits through community providers when VA care is not readily accessible. Learn more about the bill here.

Faso Supports Purple Heart Commemorative Coin Honor

I recently cosponsored H.R. 1683, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act. H.R. 1683 is a bipartisan effort to recognize service members who were killed or wounded in action by the enemy. This legislation would authorize the Treasury to mint $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar commemorative coins at the United States Mint in West Point. Proceeds from the coins will go to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in the Hudson Valley. Learn more about the bill here.

Faso, Stefanik Support Our Military Caregivers

I joined Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s efforts to support military caregivers by cosponsoring her recent legislation, the Support Our Military Caregivers Act. The Family Caregiver Program was established by Congress in 2010 to aid family members caring for seriously wounded veterans. Unfortunately, the program is facing a major backlog and benefit approvals are being delayed. This is simply unacceptable. Congresswoman Stefanik’s bill would reform the system and ensure a veterans-first process by handling applications in a fair and timely manner and ending the backlog. Learn more about the bill here.

Property Tax Reduction Act

I recently introduced H.R. 1871, the Property Tax Reduction Act, which will eliminate New York State’s ability to mandate Medicaid costs on local county property taxpayers.

For 51 years, Albany has been unfairly mandating counties to pay for a significant share of state Medicaid costs. I think we can all agree that property taxes in New York are out of control. These exorbitant taxes are forcing seniors and others out of their homes, and young people are leaving due to a lack of economic opportunity. My legislation forces Albany to finally pay for its share of Medicaid costs and cuts property taxes by an average of nearly $360 annually for every homeowner and commercial property owner.

Read more about the Property Tax Reduction Act here.

Committee Update

At an Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit hearing, I discussed with panelists how important it is for family farms and small producers to have the certainty of credit programs during economic downturns. Together with a robust farm safety net, credit and loan programs help keep family farmers producing the food we eat in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and beyond. Watch the discussion here or click the image above.

This week I participated in an Agriculture Committee hearing and spoke with panelists about how a simpler, fairer tax code would benefit our family farms and producers. Watch the discussion here or click the image above.

Calling All High School Artists!

This year marks the 35th annual Congressional Art Competition. The nationwide high school art contest encourages students from across America to showcase their artistic talents. Our district is rich in art history and culture, and this competition is a fantastic opportunity for budding young artists to showcase their talents and perfect their craft.

Interested 19th District participants must submit their artwork to one of Congressman Faso’s district offices no later than Friday, May 5, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Students may only submit one original entry no larger than 26 by 26 by 4 inches, including the frame. Paintings, drawings, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, collages, photography or prints may be submitted.

For additional information about the Congressional Art Competition and to receive a 19th District participation form, click here.

REMINDER: Tune into WMHT public television for a LIVE Town Hall on Thursday, April 13

I will be participating in a live, televised town hall on WMHT Thursday, April 13 from 8 to 9 p.m. The town hall will also be livestreamed on, and WMHT’s Facebook page. Questions will be taken from the live audience and online. If you’d like to ask a question during the event, use #FasoTownHall on Facebook or Twitter.

For a complete channel listing for WMHT, click here.

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