Work Week with Congressman John Faso
Friday, July 28, 2017
Table of contents

Week in Review

Columbia County Honor a Vet

On Monday I had the honor to join Charlene LaPorta and her family, as well as Copake Town Supervisor Jeffrey Nayer, to pay tribute to the life and service of veteran Joseph LaPorta in Columbia County in the latest Honor a Veteran ceremony recognizing the achievements of our heroes.

Local Head Start Programs Secure Funding

This week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two grant awards to Head Start schools in the 19th District. Astor Services for Children and Families in Rhinebeck received over $1 million to support the agency’s Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Sullivan County Head Start also received a grant award of $1.6 million from HHS to support its Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

In the spring I wrote a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee in support of our local Head Start programs. You can read the letter here.

Legislative Corner

Supporting a 21st Century GI Bill

This week the House passed a series of bills focused on improving services for veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and their families. H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, increases and expands access to educational support as provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Thanks to this measure, college education is now a lifetime benefit for our veterans.

H.R. 282, the Military Choice Residency Act, enables spouses of active military men and women to use the address of their military spouse – something that is important for reasons of voting and taxation. Lastly, H.R. 1690, the Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act, turns a spotlight on senior officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify those who may have acted nefariously to secure bonus pay.

Protecting America

On Tuesday the House voted to strengthen sanctions against Russia in response to the Kremlin’s efforts to undermine the 2016 U.S. presidential election. H.R. 3364, the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act, also increases economic and political pressure on the rogue regimes of Iran and North Korea. The bipartisan measure passed the House by an overwhelming vote of 419 to 3. Additionally, the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act requires a vote from Congress before the president can ease or lift sanctions on Russia.

Fighting for Clean Water and Stronger Infrastructure

As part of H.R. 3219, the combined Defense, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development National Security Appropriations Act, this week the House passed report language that clarifies years-old authorization for federal funding for the Whaley Lake Dam in Pawling, Dutchess County. This report language states that now the Town of Pawling may seek funds from the Army Corps of Engineers to make critical repairs to its dam, which was originally built in the mid-1800s.

I spoke on the floor of the House this week in support of this legislation. You can watch my remarks here or by clicking the image above.

Standing Up for Dairy Farmers

Our dairy farmers are experiencing some of the lowest milk prices in years, consumption is down and Washington’s risk-management tools are failing them. The Margin Protection Program (MPP) was designed to act as a safeguard for farmers to pay into and protect them from low milk prices, but the program has paid out virtually nothing.

Instead of standing by while farmers suffer, I reached out to my fellow Upstate New Yorkers and was able to bring almost everyone to a consensus that our farmers need immediate relief and cannot wait until the next Farm Bill arrives. Our bipartisan coalition of Upstate dairy districts banded together to urge the USDA to use its existing authority to make milk an agricultural commodity eligible under the Federal Crop Insurance Program. This administratively small but impactful change can help dairy farmers manage their risk more effectively and better protect New York’s $2.5 billion-plus dairy economy.

I am proud to have been joined by both Republicans and Democrats on this important bipartisan letter. The letter can be read here.

Congressman Faso Questions Witnesses at House Agriculture Committee Hearing

On Wednesday I questioned witnesses and stood up for dairy farmers at the House Committee on Agriculture hearing entitled “Renegotiating NAFTA: Opportunities for Agriculture.”

Watch the exchange here or click the image above.

Congressman Faso Commemorates Andrew Brucher VFW Post 5499 50th Anniversary

On Wednesday I spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sergeant Andrew Brucher Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5499 located in Kauneonga Lake, Sullivan County.

Watch the remarks here or click the image above.

Congressman Faso Honors WWII Veteran Ralph P. Avery

On Thursday I delivered remarks to honor and congratulate Ralph P. Avery of Claverack, Columbia County, who is set to receive the French Legion of Honor Medal for his valiant service during World War II.

Watch the remarks here or click the image above.

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