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News stories tagged with "congress"

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens

Owens seeks compromise on farm bill

This week the Senate passed a five-year, nearly $500 billion farm bill. About three-quarters of that pays for the food stamp program, which would be cut by $400 million a year. Direct farm subsidies are largely replaced by subsidies for crop insurance. And there are a barrelfull of other items from land conservation to support for young farmers.

This is pretty much where things stood a year ago. But House Speaker John Boehner refused to let his chamber's version of the farm bill come to the floor for a vote. Conservative Republicans believed the bill contained too much government spending.  Go to full article
US Treasury building. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/geetarchurchy/5069177460/">Matt Churchill</a>, Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved
US Treasury building. Photo: Matt Churchill, Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved

Why US Rep. Bill Owens is returning $75,000 to US Treasury

North Country congressman Bill Owens says he's returning roughly $75,000 of his congressional office budget to the US treasury.

Owens has made the gesture toward austerity four years in a row -- with the amount left unspent by his office now totaling around $400,000.  Go to full article
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. One of the bills US Rep. Owens is introducing would make it easier for producers to tape trees on some state and conservation lands in the Adirondacks. Photo: Todd Moe
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. One of the bills US Rep. Owens is introducing would make it easier for producers to tape trees on some state and conservation lands in the Adirondacks. Photo: Todd Moe

Owens gets ahead of curve on farm bill

Washington failed to pass a Farm Bill last year. Congressman Bill Owens says he's "cautiously optimistic" one will pass this year. But he's not sure exactly what will be in the massive $100 billion a year legislation that funds everything from farm programs to food stamps.

So the North Country Democrat is introducing three bills early that would help New York farmers.  Go to full article
Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Gillibrand: minimum wage should be even higher

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making the case that New York's proposed minimum wage increase to $9 an hour is actually not enough. She is co-sponsoring a bill to raise the minimum wage nationwide to $10.10 an hour.  Go to full article
St. Regis Mohawk tribal government building in Akwesasne. Photo: David Sommerstein.
St. Regis Mohawk tribal government building in Akwesasne. Photo: David Sommerstein.

How the sequester could affect Mohawk health care

The effects of across the board federal spending cuts - known as the sequester - are still being sorted out. Mohawks in Akwesasne are bracing for cuts to health care and law enforcement.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo furious about Sandy aid

A new Congress will be sworn in today in Washingon, D.C., and one of the first pieces of legislation the House plans to vote on tomorrow is aid for Superstorm Sandy victims. House Speaker John Boehner had scrapped the vote earlier this week, but lawmakers from states where the superstorm struck blasted him for his decision.

Tomorrow's vote covers only 15 percent of the rescue package. The rest is set for a vote on Jan. 15. In Albany, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lashed out at the Congress Wednesday for reneging on a promise to pass the Superstorm relief package late Tuesday night.  Go to full article
US Rep. Bill Owens.
US Rep. Bill Owens.

North Country House delegation votes yes on"fiscal cliff" deal

North Country congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, voted in favor of a zero-hour spending bill late last night that averted the so-called "fiscal cliff".

Owens was joined by Republicans Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna, who also currently represent parts of the North Country.

They helped lift the measure past opposition from conservative Republicans. The bill passed on a vote of 257 to 167.

The controversial bipartisan deal came just in time to spare the country broad tax hikes and deep cuts to Federal spending, which Owens called "dangerous."  Go to full article
Photo of the Day archive: Whit Haynes
Photo of the Day archive: Whit Haynes

Owens a reluctant "yes" on Farm Bill extension

Tucked into the fiscal package passed by Congress last night is a nine-month extension of the farm bill. The massive five-year farm bill expired last fall when the House wouldn't vote on a new version passed by the Senate.

This extension includes a safety net for dairy farmers. But it axes many popular programs.  Go to full article
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Dairy farmers fear own "fiscal cliff"

One big item caught up in gridlock created by the current budget debate, with its "fiscal cliff" threat, is the federal farm bill.

Most farmers are still covered by crop insurance and other programs until next planting season, but that's not true of dairy.

Dairy farmers now have no safety net if milk prices fall. And with feed prices soaring, many feel they're falling off a cliff of their own.  Go to full article
Governor Cuomo meets with New York's congressional delegation and county executives to discuss the financial impacts of Hurricane Sandy. Photo: Governor's office via <a href = "http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/">Flickr</a>
Governor Cuomo meets with New York's congressional delegation and county executives to discuss the financial impacts of Hurricane Sandy. Photo: Governor's office via Flickr

Cuomo seeks $41 billion from US gov for Sandy rebuilding

Governor Cuomo says Hurricane Sandy caused more damage than Hurricane Katrina, and is now asking for $41 billion from the federal government. Cuomo says New York's congressional delegation has promised the help.  Go to full article

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