Statement on Manchester Terror Attack
Twenty-two people, including an eight-year-old girl and an off-duty police officer, were killed this week following a terrorist bombing at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The bomber appears to have intentionally targeted girls and young women attending a concert performance by singer Ariana Grande.
This heinous act is another tragic reminder that our country and its allies remain locked in a multigenerational struggle against the forces of radical Islamic terrorism. It is one we must win. On this battle depends the survival of Western civilization, its freedoms and culture of liberty. We send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing and their families. And we stand, as always, with our allies in Britain in their time of need.
Columbia County Honor a Vet
This week I was privileged to participate in an important recognition ceremony for World War II US Army veteran Francis LaCasse. Technician Fifth Class LaCasse saw action as part of the Allied operations in North Africa, eventually participating in the Italian campaign that helped topple the Fascist government. Fighting in Salerno, Campania, Mr. LaCasse and his fellow soldiers were pinned down under withering fire. Risking his life, LaCasse administered first aid to a wounded comrade, even though two others had been killed and wounded. For his conspicuous bravery and service, Technician Fifth Class LaCasse was awarded the Silver Star, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with two Bronze Arrowheads, as well as the American Defense Service Medal and Expert Tank Gunner Badge. A dairy farmer and member of American Legion Post 1160 in Copake Falls, Francis passed away in September 2016 at the age of 97. It was my honor to be joined by Ancram Supervisor Art Bassin and Deputy Supervisor Hugh Clark to present his son Stephen with an American flag flown over the US Capitol. We extend our gratitude to our hometown hero and Greatest Generation patriot, Mr. Francis LaCasse.
Greene County Honor a Vet
GL "Johnny" Lyles served his country with honor during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart after sustaining injuries resulting from a landmine. Like so many others of that generation, Johnny returned home to an indifferent if not openly hostile country. Sadly, Johnny succumbed to lung cancer and passed away in September 2016. This week I was privileged to join Johnny's family as well as Greene County veterans' organizations, Senator George Amedore, Assemblyman Pete Lopez and numerous local officials for the annual "Honor a Vet" ceremony. I presented his wife Joan with a flag that was flown over the US Capitol as a gesture of our appreciation for Specialist Lyles' service. Thank you to this brave hometown hero. May he rest in peace.
Honoring Veteran and Former Congressman Chris Gibson
This week I spoke to the House of Representatives about my Kinderhook neighbor and friend, former Congressman Chris Gibson. Chris has repeatedly answered the call to serve, first as an officer in the US Army with 24 years of experience and later as the representative for the 19th Congressional District. His leadership and dedication to public service will continue to stand as a model of statesmanship. You can read my full remarks entered into the Congressional Record here.
Click here or the image above to watch.
Organic Trade Association Policy Conference
The Hudson Valley is the (organic) breadbasket of our state. Here in the 19th
District, we’re blessed with 216 organic producers and a thriving farmers market culture. As a member of the Congressional Organic Caucus, I was pleased to speak to farmers and advocates at the Organic Week DC event on the importance of organic agriculture. Special thanks to Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals left fielder and organic farmer, for his impassioned remarks on behalf of organic food.
Jewish American Heritage Month Celebration 2017
May is Jewish American Heritage Month. Jewish Americans have contributed greatly to the tapestry of American culture through their many achievements in the arts, government, business, science, sports, medicine, and more. This week I was privileged to speak before a gathering of Jewish organizations and advocates at the US Senate where I delivered remarks noting the outstanding contributions of our honorees, including Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, a leading proponent of religious freedom worldwide whose International Fellowship of Christians and Jews builds interconfessional bridges and provides humanitarian assistance to Jews in need.
Faso Visits Canada to Assess Air-Traffic Control Operations
This week I joined my colleagues from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a bipartisan trip to Ottawa, Canada, to assess the progress of air-traffic-control operations in the country, where its private Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) has been serving the safety needs of air traffic there since 1996, efficiently and safely moving 12 million aircraft every year. We also met with senior Canadian officials and executives from private operators of Canada's modern air-traffic-control system.