Only 29 More Weeks with Congressman John 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 May 18

John Faso’s statements from his weekly newsletter are in red:

Farm Bill Fails to Pass House

Unfortunately, the Farm Bill did not pass the House today as a small group delayed passage of the bill over unrelated issues. I remain hopeful that these unrelated issues will be addressed and the House will pass the Farm Bill in the near future. The Senate is likely to take up their version of the Farm legislation in coming weeks.

Faso hiding the real reason for collapse of House Farm Bill

Really, Faso, is “unrelated issues” the most honest explanation you can give for the
failure of your fellow Republicans in the House to pass their Farm Bill?  Why not tell the whole truth: As reported in the NY Times, “The factional rancor threatening Republicans heading into the midterm elections this fall erupted into the open on Friday when a slugfest among moderates, hard-line conservatives and House leaders over immigration and welfare policy sank the party’s multiyear farm bill.”

The goal of your Republican Party, which you vote with almost 90% of the time, is to serve the Trump agenda, so betraying the voters of your district.  This failed farm bill would have imposed strict new and, for many, impossible work requirements on millions of food stamp users, while maintaining farm subsidies important to rural lawmakers.  In
reality, the farm bill, which has huge implications for low-income families and
the agricultural industry, became a bargaining chip in the heated intraparty
battle over immigration, President Trump’s core cultural and political issue.  The farm bill and immigration issues are intimately related, and a window into the real goals of the Republicans in Congress, including you, John Faso.

Mainstream Republicans from rural areas want to preserve backbone agricultural supports while fighting back challenges from the right to reduce subsidies. But they also want to accommodate the White House and outside conservative groups, which demand new initiatives to reduce the rolls of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which Mr. Trump regards contemptuously, along with Medicaid and housing aid, as  “welfare.” Why should we keep sending Republicans to Congress when they aren’t protecting our rights and our interests?

Below are just some of the highlights of the Farm Bill.

Fighting Invasive Species in New York

New York has historically been deeply impacted by invasive species that damage our crops, forests, and other wooded areas. I successfully fought to include an amendment in the Farm Bill to strengthen efforts to fight these tree and wood pests.

The government can do a better job to intercept tree and wood pests through increased cooperation between agencies. We must ensure that we know where these pests are coming from and that U.S. Department of Agriculture can respond efficiently. Read more on the need for action from Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Historic Investment in Education and Training

The Farm Bill makes a historic investment of $1 billion per year in education and training. Each participant in the SNAP program is guaranteed a spot in education and training programs that will arm them with the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. This investment is triple the investment per recipient than what is currently offered.

Modernizing SNAP Asset Tests to Help Beneficiaries

SNAP asset tests have not been updated since the 1970s. The Farm Bill raises asset limits so SNAP participants can put away more in a savings account without it affecting eligibility. The more flexible eligibility also allows for participants to own a safer, higher value car before it counts against eligibility.

These are common-sense improvements to the SNAP program that will put participants in a better position to succeed.

NOT SO FAST FASO:

As we’ve pointed out before, the real purpose of this provision of the Farm Bill is to save money on food stamps–$17 billion, to be precise. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that because of the work requirements, a million people will lose access to food stamps. These include many thousands of tipped workers such as waitresses who don’t earn enough to feed themselves and their children. Shame, Faso.

Incentivize Healthy Choices through Seniors Farmers’ Market Program

SNAP is a vitally important program that helps people in meaningful ways. However, that should not prevent us from continuing to look for ways to improve the program. The Farm Bill includes measures to promote healthy choices and provisions to help people get access to those options.

I ensured the Farm Bill included the Senior Farmers’ Market Program, which provides coupons to low-income seniors that can be exchanged at local farmers’ markets. This program requires that no more than 10% of grant money can be used for administrative costs so money is going towards healthy and quality food options, not bureaucracy.

HEALTHY CHOICES ARE FINE,

but cutting the amount of government support for the SNAP program won’t allow some people to make any choices, because they won’t be able to afford dinner. This shouldn’t be happening in the wealthiest country on earth.

Ensuring our Veterans Receive the Health Care they have Earned

This week, the House overwhelmingly passed with my support, a bill to further overhaul veterans’ health care services within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This is an important step in restoring trust in the VA and improving care for our veterans. Our veterans have earned quality healthcare and access to robust benefits to help them succeed after leaving the military.  

We need to continue addressing the VA’s shortfalls, gaps in health services, and backlogs. This bill is just one more step in overhauling the VA and fixing deep rooted problems.

More information on the bill is available here.

Honoring our Military

May is Military Appreciation Month. This month, we honor all those who serve our country in the military, along with the families of those who serve. The month of May also includes several other military appreciation days that honor spouses and children of service members.

Join me in taking a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who served on the battlefield and by their family members.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED:

Everyone should honor our military and our veterans for the sacrifices they have made for our country. But a large part of the country was revolted recently by the remarks a Trump aide made about Sen. John McCain, an American hero who has served the U.S. nobly  in war and in peace. Still, Trump refused to apologize to Sen.McCain or to fire the aide over her disgusting comments. This is not surprising, since Trump insulted McCain several times, during the campaign and afterwards, for not falling in line with the President’s un-American agenda. But it is equally abhorrent that Republican Congressmen–including Rep. Faso–have not stood up to demand an apology from a man who never served and doesn’t know the meaning of sacrifice.

Discussing Climate Change and Our Economy

This week, I participated in a bipartisan dialogue hosted by the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the National Audubon Society. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and I discussed climate issues and how we can improve the economy through sustainable economic efforts. It is critically important that we are creating a future that not only preserves our beautiful natural resources and keeps the environment clean, but also creates a better economic future for Upstate New York. Having to pick between the environment and the economy is a false choice, and I will continue to support efforts to accomplish both.  For instance, I recently introduced legislation with my colleague Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to spur innovation in industry areas critical to combating climate change. The legislation uses federal prize authority to encourage public-private partnerships that accelerate development of technology. We should do all we can to incentivize progress and assist the private sector in innovating and inspiring technological changes which will reduce the impact of climate change.

Earth to John Faso (again):

You belong to a party that denies the existence of climate change and actively works to undermine any efforts to combat it.

 

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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