Work Week with Congressman Faso
Table of contents

My Takeaway from the Government Shutdown and Moving Forward

The shutdown of our government over a single issue was unacceptable – especially as bipartisan negotiations for a solution to DACA are ongoing. Funding for vital programs that support our troops and help veterans and the disabled should never be used as a political bargaining chip.

With this unnecessary shutdown over, Congress must move forward and work together on a long-term spending bill that responsibly funds the military and the rest of the federal government. The basis for consensus and compromise is there. A proposal that includes a fix for DACA along with border security measures has the potential to earn the support of an overwhelming majority of my colleagues.

I spoke about this topic and many more at the Ulster Co. Chamber of Commerce breakfast. See some of the media coverage from the event here and here

Rebuilding New York’s Infrastructure

Anyone that drives in Upstate knows that our roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair. As Congress and the administration begin to discuss infrastructure investment, we also need to consider how to pay for it.

I developed a concept that would create a national infrastructure bank to finance worthy projects in New York and across the country. The bank would be immune from political influence and would only finance projects recommended through a competitive process.

I submitted an op-ed to the Washington Examiner about the importance of investing significant resources into rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, while also doing so in a long-term sustainable way.

Read more on the idea and why it is critically important here:

Preparing for Federal Investment, Fixing the Scaffold Law

New York’s Scaffold Law is a regulation for the sake of regulation. It provides no measurable safety improvements and costs our state dearly. By passing my legislation, every dollar of federal funding going towards repairing roads, bridges, airports, and building affordable housing will go further. With infrastructure investment upcoming, there is no time like now to fix this burdensome regulation.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on the Judiciary will hold a markup on my legislation, H.R. 3808, the Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017. A committee markup is a big step toward having this bill voted on in the House of Representatives.

H.R. 3808 would allow any project financed with federal taxpayer dollars to utilize the same liability standard as every other state. Currently, New York state is the only state in the country to apply absolute liability to construction companies and contractors in the event of a gravity-related accident. 

Read more on this latest development.

Visiting a Pillar in the Monticello Community

St. John’s Episcopal Church is an integral part of the Monticello community. The church runs a weekly full-choice food pantry that served over 5,000 adults and 2,500 children in 2016.

Just recently, St. John’s received an Environmental Protection Fund Grant to improve the facility, which will allow St. John’s to continue to serve the community for the foreseeable future. I was happy to support their grant application and congratulations to everyone in the St. John’s community for your great work and accomplishments.

Taking your Calls on Vox Pop

This week, I joined WAMC Northeast Public Radio Vox Pop to take your calls. I answered questions on DACA, the recent government shutdown, Scaffold Law, the upcoming Farm Bill, and more.

The replay is posted on WAMC Northeast Public Radio's website. Be sure to take a listen:

ShopRite's Impact on the Liberty Community

I took a tour of ShopRite Grocery Store in Liberty to learn more about their business and community involvement. Every aisle in your local grocery store is impacted by the government in one form or another. Issues like food safety, nutrition labeling, SNAP benefits, and even the fees paid by grocery stores to credit card companies are impacted by decisions made in Congress.

As we begin to consider the Farm Bill in the House Agriculture Committee, I will keep their thoughts and perspective in mind so that ShopRite and others can continue to feed our local communities.


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