Only 33 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 April 22

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

New York Priorities in the Farm Bill

I am glad to see numerous New York priorities included in the Farm Bill that will help seniors, dairy farmers, and veterans. Passing a new Farm Bill is crucial for Upstate New York families and agriculture producers in the region.

Legislation that I introduced to reauthorize the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program was included in the Farm Bill and is critical to support both low-income seniors and our local farmer’s markets. Changes to dairy policy will be an improvement over the Margin Protection Program authorized in 2014. Finally, the Farm Bill includes a proposal I’ve championed to provide grants to help veterans and younger people entering the agricultural industry.

These are issues that were developed based on input and working with our local farmers and producers. I will continue to push these issues and others during floor debate and look forward to continuing to fight for New York priorities with advisement from farmers in the region.

Significant Investments in Job Training

The Farm Bill makes significant investments and improvements in education and training programs. With millions of jobs open, we should strive to provide job seekers with the skills needed to take advantage of employment opportunities and on the path toward economic independence.

Learn more about the changes to SNAP that will strengthen the program and put beneficiaries in a better position to succeed in the long-term:

Modernizing SNAP for Families

Some SNAP asset tests haven’t been updated since the 1970s, and that has significantly limited the ability of beneficiaries to put money into savings or own a car to get from point A to point B. The Farm Bill modernizes the asset tests and raises thresholds so not every nickel of every asset counts against eligibility.


Not so Fast, Faso:

As we mentioned in response to last week’s SNAP item, the farm bill that just cleared the House Agriculture Committee would make it harder for people to qualify for food stamps and increase the penalty for not getting work or job training within the first three months of receiving food stamps. It would also replace a standard credit for utility costs in determining eligibility with a requirement to show what was actually paid for heat and electricity. So this is not a favor to poor families; it’s another Republican effort to throw them out of the safety net.

Combating the Opioid Epidemic at the Local Level

Opioid abuse is a genuine epidemic and a national crisis. Community efforts have shown to the most effective way of stemming this crisis. USDA Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett, local officials, and I met with local substance abuse officials from Otsego, Schoharie, and Delaware counties at the offices of LEAF Inc. to discuss ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Again, The opioid crisis is a healthcare issue.  You voted to take away healthcare from your constituents.  SEE BELOW.

Fighting Climate Change with Breakthrough Technologies

We cannot afford to allow the changing climate to go unaddressed and that is why I joined the Climate Solutions Caucus. We can find meaningful solutions to address climate change while strengthening our economy and also promoting low energy costs for consumers.

Read an op-ed that Congressman Dan Lipinski and I wrote for The Hill on our membership in the Climate Solutions Caucus and the legislation we crafted that will spur private sector innovations to combat climate change:

Not so Fast, Faso:

You can have all the meetings you want, but your Republican Party is the Party of CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL, and neither you nor your congressional colleagues have done anything to mitigate CO2 build-up in the atmosphere. In fact, you’ve done everything possible to INCREASE it … while your EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has done more to increase air and water pollution than anyone else who has ever held that job … AND YOU HAVE SAID AND DONE NOTHING.

New York Receives $25 million in Grant Funding to Combat Opioids

Opioid abuse is a genuine epidemic and a national crisis. At home, I’ve spoken to far too many people who have had friends, family, or co-workers succumb to opioid addiction.

I have also met with local authorities, treatment specialists, and law enforcement officials that are on the front lines of fighting this epidemic to facilitate their input on how to address this crisis. Their message to me is that they need support and funds to operate the programs that are making a difference.

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services released its latest round of grant funding to states to combat the opioid crisis. The State of New York is slated to receive $25 million as a part of this round. The grant money addresses the opioid crisis by increasing access to treatments, reducing outstanding treatment needs, and reducing overdoses deaths through increased education, treatment, and recovery efforts. This round of grant funding is just one more tool to utilize in our efforts to help New York families, heal our communities, and stem this crisis.

All of these efforts to combat the opioid epidemic are good, but $25 million to fund the fight in New York State is just a drop in the bucket of what’s needed. President Trump, in his 2019 budget, proposed spending $13 billion to address the opioid crisis over the next two years. Since Congress already agreed to $3 billion per year, that’s an extra $7 billion. But Trump is also proposing severe cutbacks in funding for Obamacare and Medicaid, which would undercut the proposed spending on opioid addiction. One study found that the Affordable Care Act helped 2.8 million people get treatment for opioid addiction; an Obamacare rollback and reduced Medicaid funding would result in millions of addicts no longer being able to afford treatment. And let’s not forget, Faso voted for the GOP bill that would have achieved the same result!

Whaley Lake Dam Needs More Investment, Action

I sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Whaley Lake Dam in Pawling, NY. The Whaley Lake Dam is eligible for Corps funding as a result of language I advocated for that was included in the Omnibus funding package.

The Whaley Lake Dam was originally built in the mid-1800s and is in critical need of repair. The outlet of the dam feeds a stream necessary to the movement of treated wastewater from multiple municipal water treatment facilities. The town of Pawling is home to 9,000 residents, with 500 homes located on Whaley Lake.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter: “I write to express my strong support for the ongoing work at the Whaley Lake Dam in Pawling, NY, to remind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that this project remains eligible for Corps funding, and to ask the Corps to review the project’s competitiveness for its fiscal year 2018 work plan.”

Is this the fabled “infrastructure week” promised by the President – the promised week that keeps getting delayed because of the constant and breaking scandals engulfing this administration?

Tax Filing Season Brings Fraud Attempts

Please be aware of crooks that are looking to profit after Tax Day by posing as IRS agents. Remember, neither the IRS, nor any federal agency, will ever call you to demand payment or request financial information over the phone.

Read more information from the IRS on tax scams that happen after filing day.

Not so Fast, Faso:

The real scam here is the Republican Party’s tax bill, which prevents New Yorkers from deducting state and local taxes in 2018, while increasing income and wealth inequality throughout the nation. Sure, you voted against it, but once again you did NOTHING to stop it or mitigate its impact on your constituents.

Looking Ahead to Next Year’s Tax Day

Looking ahead to Tax Day next year, the Empire Center has put together data that shows the effect the new tax code will have on New Yorkers in two income ranges.

Since the new tax code has been implemented and today is the deadline for 2017 returns, it is never too early to start preparations for next April’s Tax Day.

Take a look to see what will happen to your tax bill as a result of the new code.


April is National Social Security Month

April is National Social Security Month. The Social Security Administration has a variety of resources and services online that can make your interactions with the administration easier, more efficient, and quicker.

Some of the things you can do online include replacing your Social Security card, applying for benefits, and appealing a decision. Find out more on the Social Security Administration website.

See what you can do online.

Not so Fast, Faso:

Now that your Republican Party has passed its dream tax bill, which gave the wealthy huge permanent tax breaks while offering temporary crumbs to the rest of us, it’s pledged to come after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to pay for it. Nice work, Mr. Faso.

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.