Work Week with Congressman John Faso Friday, June 23, 2017
Table of contents

Week in Review

Standing Up for the 19th District

This week I was back in the district to meet with folks across our communities. These visits included Columbia Opportunities, Inc., in Hudson, where I met with the not-for-profit’s staff and board members to discuss anti-poverty initiatives. I also met with the residents and staff of Camphill Village USA in Copake, where a community of special needs individuals and short- and long-term volunteers live together atop more than 600 acres. I had the opportunity to tour the Hudson Youth Center and observe some of its summer activities and programs, where kids have a clean and safe place to learn and play. In addition, I attended COARC’s Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Reception in Mellenville, which included a tour of its manufacturing services.

Donating Blood for Majority Whip Scalise and Alexandria Shooting Victims

This week I paid a visit to the American Red Cross blood drive to show my support for my injured colleague and friend Congressman Steve Scalise, and all of the victims of this month’s shooting at a Congressional baseball practice. The victims and their families have been in our prayers, and our spirits have been buoyed by reports that Congressman Scalise’s condition has been improving.

Every two seconds there is someone in need of blood in America. Times like these remind us how fragile life is, and that we can make a difference through simple acts of selflessness like giving blood.

 Spencertown Fire Company 100th Anniversary

I delivered remarks this week on the House floor to commemorate the Spencertown Fire Company’s 100th anniversary. It is always a profound honor when I get a chance to recognize the brave first responders who put their lives at risk to keep our communities safe. In addition to their daily heroics, Spencertown Fire Company has awarded a $1,000 college scholarship to a local high school senior for each of the past 31 years.

I want to thank Spencertown Fire Company’s President Alan Silvernale, Austerlitz District Fire Chief Eric Pilkington, and the entire Spencertown Fire Company for their bravery and commitment to service.

Watch my remarks commemorating Spencertown Fire Company's 100th anniversary here, or by clicking the image above.

 Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

I was proud to “go purple” this week in a show of support for the millions living with and impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

We mark every June as a time to recognize the scourge of Alzheimer’s and the devastating impact it has on families across our district and the country. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are currently five million people living with Alzheimer’s in the United States, and worse yet, there is no cure. But this disease doesn’t only wreak havoc on people’s lives – it puts an enormous financial strain on the country. It is estimated that Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost the U.S. $259 billion in 2017, and could cost us as much as $1.1 trillion by 2050. It’s time we find a cure.

Legislative Corner

Faso-Collins Amendment to Cut Property Taxes in Senate Bill

This week we learned that the language based on my bill, the Property Tax Reduction Act (PTRA), which was included as part of the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), was also included in the Senate’s draft healthcare legislation released on Thursday.

For decades, Albany’s Medicaid mandate and resulting property taxes have burdened New Yorkers unlike in any other state. We have seen people fleeing our Upstate region in droves, businesses relocating, and crushing and often unpayable bills for those who stay behind. The language in the Senate bill will fulfill the objective of the Property Tax Reduction Act and give New Yorkers some long overdue property tax relief.

Specifically, the Property Tax Reduction Act amends federal law to require New York State to take over the county portion of Medicaid by 2020. Federal law currently permits states to share some of their costs with local governments, but only New York State among the 50 states has imposed this level of burden on property taxpayers. Since Albany will not alleviate middle-class property taxpayers of this unfair burden, I have stepped up to take action to stop the bleeding that Albany caused and keeps choosing to ignore. If enacted, this will be one of the biggest ever pieces of mandate relief for Upstate taxpayers.

I am proud that my fellow Upstate and downstate New York colleagues joined me in supporting this language. I am proud that county legislatures and county executives from across New York passed resolutions in support of my language. And most importantly, I am proud to stand alongside my neighbors and fellow New Yorkers in rejecting the business-as-usual attitude out of Albany.

Watch my floor remarks in support of the Property Tax Reduction Act here, or by clicking the image above.

Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act Passes

This week the House passed my bill, H.R. 2847, the Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act. This legislation would make limited but much-needed changes to the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. The Chafee Program is designed to help ease the transition of foster youth into society by providing essential services and training to youth who “age out” of the system.

Of those who “age out” of foster care nationally, one in five are homeless; just 50 percent will be employed by age 24; fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree; and 71 percent of women will be pregnant by 21. My legislation seeks to improve these outcomes by extending essential services to those former foster care recipients up to the age of 23 and raising the eligibility age for education and training vouchers up to 26. I am pleased that members of both parties from across the country were willing to cosponsor and support these necessary changes. My bipartisan legislation passed by a vote of 391 to 8.

Getting Answers from Amtrak

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee hearing this week. This hearing specifically focused on developing a 21st century infrastructure for America, and the challenges and opportunities related to intercity passenger rail service. During this hearing I had the opportunity to pose questions to both Charles “Wick” Moorman, President and CEO of Amtrak, and John Porcari, Interim Executive Director of the Gateway Program Development Corporation, about New York rail services critical to our travelers and commuters.

Watch the full video of our exchange here or by clicking the image above.

Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act

This week the House considered H.R. 2842, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act, sponsored by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). This measure seeks to connect low-income Americans with employers by focusing on on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. The bill also provides $100 million in federal funding under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program’s contingency fund during fiscal year 2018 for states to help subsidize up to 50 percent of a recipient’s wage, with the employer covering the remainder. Far too many working-age Americans are unable to find work, and even more are underemployed. H.R. 2842 will help to put Americans back to work in job-training programs, and will help these same individuals maintain long-term employment. I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 377 to 34.

Capital Tonight Interview

This week I appeared again on “Capital Tonight” to discuss the healthcare initiatives currently being debated in Congress, and more.

Watch the program here or click the image above.

Sunday in America with Tom Basile

I joined “Sunday in America” with host Tom Basile this week to discuss infrastructure, the federal budget, and the aftermath of the recent attack on Republican lawmakers.

Listen to the program here or click the image above.

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