Only 25 More Weeks with Congressman Faso
Welcome to the response to John Faso’s weekly newsletter “Work Week With Congressman Faso.”
Each week we will highlight what the Congressman is neglecting to tell his constituents, point out his inconsistencies and hypocrisies and show how he damages NY-19 with his devotion to Trump and the Republican Agenda.
Week ending June 15
John Faso’s statements from his weekly newsletter are in red:
House-Passed STOP Act is Critical Tool in Fighting Opioid Crisis
As I travel around our district, I often hear stories from individuals about their friends or family members who are addicted to or have overdosed on heroin or synthetic opioids. The opioid crisis is crippling our communities, wrecking families and destroying hope for many.
This week, the House has continued its fight against this epidemic by passing over two dozen bills aimed at curbing this crisis. The bills attack the crisis from different perspectives, including targeting deadly synthetic drugs, modifying prescription practices and encouraging non-addictive alternatives, as well as establishing more recovery centers and resources throughout the country. A vital piece included in this effort was the STOP Act. The STOP Act cracks down on synthetic opioids entering the country through international mail by requiring advanced tracking data that provides clues to illicit packages. This data will help customs agents target and confiscate packages containing deadly synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl.
I was proud to help lead the effort on this bill and am encouraged that the House and Senate came to an agreement that can not only be signed into law, but also will be effective in cracking down on synthetic drugs. The bill passed the House floor by an overwhelming vote of 353—52.
Faso pretends to be leading fight on opioid crisis
Faso is trying to impress us with his supposed leadership in fighting against the opioid epidemic. But look at how partial and small-minded his measures are. He’s not talking about, and hoping we know nothing about, the big picture on opioids and the effect of the Republican measures recently passed—
1. The Republicans’ Trumpcare health care plan is sabotaging health care, cutting funding for Medicare and Medicaid, causing health care and prescription drug rates to go up, and actively taking away coverage for pre-existing conditions. Those families suffering from the opioid epidemic depend on Medicare and Medicaid for treatment, as do seniors and veterans. Faso voted for Trumpcare.
2. Where are the funds for supporting your STOP Act and establishing recovery centers for the opioid epidemic? The 2018 Annual Report of the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds tells us that the Medicare program is projected to run out of money eight years from now, including the part of Medicare that reimburses hospitals for caring for seniors and the disabled.
3. Your emphasis on the STOP Act, cracking down on the drug traffic, shows you’re avoiding the real, central remedies to the opioid crisis—We need funding for research to improve treatment and prevention, for monitoring the results of such efforts, and for working with healthcare communities. This need is trivial compared to the massive tax cut you and the Republicans have given to the richest Americans.
Protecting the Local Newspaper Industry Against Tariffs
This week, I joined Representatives Higgins (D-NY), Stefanik (R-NY), Katko (R-NY), & Maloney (D-NY) in urging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and International Trade Commission (ITC) Chairman Rhonda Schmidtlein to reconsider tariffs on Canadian uncoated groundwood paper, commonly used for newsprint.
Local newspapers are vital sources of information in communities across Upstate New York. Increased costs for materials combined with the news industry shifting to digital delivery has pushed countless newspapers to the brink of closing.
When will you and your feckless colleagues stand up to an executive branch that is out of control? Donald Trump, using non-existent executive powers, has started a worldwide trade war which will hurt NY-19 and every district. You, John Faso, have the power to stop this. When will the Republican leadership and Representatives take action? The time has long since past for you to take action.
Economic Numbers Indicate Economy is Growing
Although there are still parts of our economy that need to improve, such as our local dairy industry, we are seeing strong growth elsewhere. The New York Times carried an article about the state of the national economy that indicates the economy is in good shape. The economy is growing at a steady pace, and the expanded definition of unemployment that includes those who have given up looking for work due to frustration has dropped. Additionally, the unemployment rate for African-Americans has fallen to the lowest on record.
Read more from the New York Times on the state of the economy: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/upshot/we-ran-out-of-words-to-describe-how-good-the-jobs-numbers-are.html
I’m a little tired of hearing from Trump and his surrogates about how the unemployment rate for African-Americans is the lowest on record. What’s more important is whether employed people–whether African-American or other ethnicities–are earning enough money to support themselves and their families. If they’re making minimum wage, they’re not–even if they’re working two or three jobs. And minorities are definitely poorer than whites in the U.S. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that, across the country, 9% of whites, 22% of blacks and 20% of Hispanics are classified as poor. In New York State, the percentages are 8% of whites, 17% of blacks and 19% of Hispanics.
Moreover, the affordability of housing has declined for those on the lower end of the income scale. From 2001 to 2011, median rental housing costs rose 5%, while median renter incomes dropped 15%. In 2016, nearly 21 million people struggled to pay their rent. For those in the bottom income quartile, that left them with a whopping $488 a month to spend on other needs. So when Faso and Trump talk about how great the economy is doing, remember, it’s mainly helping those who are already doing well. For those at the bottom of the heap, the economy is a nightmare they can’t escape.
That’s it for this week’s rebuttal.
To be continued next week….
Catskills Freedom Network is a federally registered political committee. Prepared by CFN PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. catskillsfreedom.org
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