Work Week with Congressman Faso November 17, 2017
Table of contents

Protecting Upstate Taxpayers

On Tuesday I hosted a live constituent meeting on tax reform. This live event gave me the opportunity to directly engage with residents of New York’s 19th Congressional District on this consequential issue. Later in the week I voted "No" on the bill, and I appreciate all of the input I received from my constituents as it helped me determine the best course of action for Upstate New York. Thousands of NY19 residents participated from every county in the district.

Working for Tax Reform that is Good of New York Taxpayers

On Wednesday I released a statement leading up to the vote on tax reform to let my constituents know my reasoning for voting against the bill.

"There is no question that the federal tax code – with more than 70,000 pages of regulations - is broken.  It is unfair to hardworking taxpayers, contains too many loopholes for special interests and is hampering the growth of our economy and ability of American workers to compete in the global economy.  I have consistently stated that my goals for tax reform are to increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off.  Unfortunately, I do not believe the current tax bill being considered by the House meets all of these goals.  As such, I will vote no when the bill is considered in the House of Representatives tomorrow. ...

Read my full statement on why I voted "No," here.

On Thursday I joined some my New York colleagues, Reps. King, Zeldin, and Donovan, for a press conference to discuss why we just couldn't support the tax reform proposal in its current form. Here's a small sample of what I had to say:

"Every single county among the 11 counties I represent in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, and Central New York, every single one has lost population over the last five years. And they’re leaving because of taxes, and they’re leaving because of lack of jobs. And this legislation will accelerate the trend of people leaving New York State, which will then place a greater burden on the people of my district and every district in New York State. So, I cannot allow the people of New York and the people of my district to become collateral damage in a federal tax reform bill for the failure of Albany to control its taxing and regulatory policies."

Watch the entire press conference on Facebook here, or by clicking the image above. While you're at it, make sure to follow me on Facebook!

Also on Thursday, I joined WNYT NBC 13, and host Jim Kambrich to discuss my vote against the tax reform bill.

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

Later that evening, I joined host Charles Payne on Fox Business Network to continue the conversation about tax reform, and why protecting my constituents is my top priority in Congress.

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

Connecting with Constituents

Last Friday, I had the honor of celebrating the 242nd birthday of the US Marine Corps in Hyde Park in Dutchess County with Roger Rekow - dressed in his Marine Corps Dress Blues.

On Friday at the Veterans Resource Center at Dutchess Community College we commemorated the designation of the resource center as a “Battle Buddy Center” from the New York State Industries for the Disabled. Thanks to Dutchess Community College President Pamela Edington for the college's warm hospitality.

What an honor it was to participate in a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for a true American hero, Frank Doolittle. Frank Doolittle is a decorated WWII veteran, and in Sidney on Saturday many came to pay their respects and honor him as he received a Congressional Gold Medal. Mr. Doolittle is from Bainbridge, and is represented by Claudia Tenney in Congress. Congresswoman Tenney also took part in the ceremony.

On Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Park in Stephentown, Rensselaer County, I had the privilege of delivering remarks at the Stephentown Veterans Day Ceremony. My predecessor, former Rep. Chris Gibson, was the keynote speaker at the event. Special thanks to John DeFreest, President of the Veterans of Stephentown, and all of the Stephentown area veterans who were in attendance.

Hosting Secretary Perdue

It was a pleasure to join U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Claudia Tenney, in Upstate New York on Monday for a "Future of Family Farming" roundtable.

Agriculture is vital to New York’s economy.  With over 36,000 farms throughout the state, the agriculture industry has an annual economic impact of $42 billion.  As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I am working to promote our farmers and all the workers that help feed our nation.

This roundtable discussion was incredibly productive, and allowed Upstate New Yorkers to directly engage their congressional representatives and Secretary Perdue. Topics of discussion included the Farm Bill and prospective tax reform, and what it will mean for their families and businesses.

Special thanks to Jeff and Jan King of King Brother's Dairy, and Jim Czub and his family for hosting the events!

Expanding Access to Education

The Go to High School, Go to College Act of 2017

This week I introduced the bipartisan Go to High School, Go to College Act of 2017 which would allow Pell grant funding for eligible students to be used for transferable college credits that students complete in an early college program offered by an accredited Institution of Higher Education. I introduced the legislation with Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH-11).

As a society we should be doing whatever we can to ensure our talented young people have the tools and resources they need to be successful. That starts with a quality education. I am proud to introduce the Go to High School, Go to College Act with my colleague Congresswoman Fudge, as it will allow ambitious High School students to save money on costly tuition while also getting a jump-start on their postsecondary education. This legislation will most directly benefit low-income students who might otherwise not have an opportunity to further their education because of the costs.

For more information on the legislation, click here.

Here’s what some of our nation’s leading educators had to say about the Go to High School, Go to College Act:

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson: “We believe strongly in the mission of Early College High Schools, which provide traditionally underrepresented students a head start on college and have proven to better prepare them for success. The State University of New York currently partners with more than 60 Early College High Schools across New York State. We are proud to support this new bill, which would further expand access and affordability for our students and their peers throughout the country. My thanks as always to Congressman Faso, a true champion of public higher education and the students we serve.”

Leon Botstein, President, Bard College: “Bard College is deeply grateful to Representative Faso and Representative Fudge for their leadership in promoting this innovative approach to supporting early college high schools nationwide. The opportunity to earn free college credits up to an Associate's degree alongside a high school diploma is transformative for students, and the Go to High School, Go to College Act provides an important vehicle for sustaining and expanding these programs for low-income students across the country, so they can access, afford, and complete higher education.”

LeAnn Wilson, Executive Director of the Association for Career and Technical Education: “Early College High Schools are an important resource for CTE students who wish to pursue postsecondary credentials, a 2-year degree, or beyond. By expanding Federal Pell Grant eligibility to high school students, this bill helps break down barriers for youth who may have otherwise been unable to pursue postsecondary education while still in high school. ACTE applauds Representatives Faso and Fudge for their leadership in introducing this bill.”

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

November 16 marked World Pancreatic Cancer Day. I wore a purple tie today to bring attention to this scourge that claims close to 300,000 new victims each year. With roughly a 3-6% survival rate, Pancreatic Cancer is among the most deadly diseases, and in Congress we are doing what we can to provide the necessary research funding to find a cure.

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