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News stories tagged with "congress"

As a mother, as a lawmaker, watching a child go hungry is something I will not stand for.

Gillibrand fights for food stamps in Farm Bill

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is fighting to stop cuts to the food stamp program. The Senate is currently debating a version of the 2012 Farm Bill that would cut food stamps by $4.5 billion over 10 years. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
The NY Farm Bureau expects more insurance assistance in the Farm Bill.
The NY Farm Bureau expects more insurance assistance in the Farm Bill.

2012 Farm Bill expected to help insure more NY farms

The 2012 Farm Bill passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee last week, much more quickly than insiders had expected. The bill cuts agriculture spending by $23 billion, by getting rid of program that pays some farmers simply for growing commodities, things like corn, wheat, and soy. Instead of sending farmers a direct payment, it will spend more money subsidizing their crop insurance. Some New York farm leaders say the shift will be good for New York farmers. But critics say the crop insurance is just another handout to big corporate farms.
Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
I feel really, very, very honored that the committee has selected the 23rd district for this type of event.

Saranac Lake to host 1 of 4 hearings on the U.S. Farm Bill

U.S. Representative Bill Owens says it's a big deal that Saranac Lake was chosen to host a Congressional hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill. Owens says it's a chance for farmers and others to influence re-authorization of federal agriculture policy, which hasn't been done since 2008.

"I feel really, very, very honored that the committee has selected the 23rd district for this type of event. There's only going to be four or so of them around the country. So this is very significant. This is an opportunity for us to talk about the issues that affect the north country."

The Saranac Lake hearing is Friday morning at North Country Community College. The others are scheduled in Illinois, Arkansas, and Kansas in the coming weeks.

Owens says there are good reasons for Congress to choose this location for the northeast meeting:

"That was picked because they were trying to get to a location that was part of a large agricultural district, the 23rd. But also because it is the northeast hearing, you're covering really New Jersey, New York, portions of Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. This is a very significant geographic area, and they tried to pick somewhere that was relatively speaking, centrally located."

The hearing will give Members of the House Agriculture Committee the opportunity to hear firsthand how U.S. farm policy is working for farmers and ranchers in advance of writing the Farm Bill.  Go to full article
Rep. Bill Owens at the legislative luncheon in Saranac Lake. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Rep. Bill Owens at the legislative luncheon in Saranac Lake. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Owens gives Obama points, considering the political climate

Democratic Representative Bill Owens says President Barack Obama is doing a "very reasonable job." Owens, who represents New York's 23rd Congressional District, spoke about Obama's job performance during a legislative luncheon at the Downhill Grill in Saranac Lake on Friday.

The event was hosted by the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and drew a crowd of about 25 local business owners and officials. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article
Mark Barie (left) and family
Mark Barie (left) and family

UNYTEA president recovers health, prepares for election season

As the country buckles down for a lengthy and volatile presidential campaign, voters in the North Country are preparing for another election in New York's 23rd Congressional District.

Two years ago, the Upstate New York Tea Party was right in the thick of things. The group's chairman, Mark Barie, became a major player in the congressional battle between incumbent Representative Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh; Matt Doheny, a former Wall Street financier who now lives in Watertown; and Doug Hoffman, an accountant and businessman from Lake Placid.

In March 2011, Barie suffered a brain aneurism and three strokes. Today, in part one of a two-part series, Chris Morris looks at Barie's road to recovery as he prepares to re-enter what's sure to be a big political fight in the 23rd District.  Go to full article
They don't want to leave - it's their community.

Flood recovery work continues in hard hit towns in the Adirondacks

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he's amazed at the resiliency of flood victims who say their property devastated by Tropical Storm Irene. The Democrat from New York's 23rd Congressional District stopped in the Town of Jay this week to hear from local officials about ongoing infrastructure issues and view firsthand some of the problems the community still faces.  Go to full article
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS
Will NY's tough ballast water rules shut down commerce? Photo: USGS

New York's tough ballast water rules attacked in Congress

New York state is facing new pressure to scrap tough ballast water regulations that are set to go into effect next year. The rules are designed to stop invasive species from reaching the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

But as Brian Mann reports, Republicans in Congress say New York should be stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal EPA funding if the regulations aren't scrapped.  Go to full article

Owens calls GOP bill "purely messaging'

President Barack Obama says congressional leaders will start talking turkey as soon as today on a deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt limit.

The Republican-controlled House voted last night to slice federal spending by $6 trillion and require a constitutional balanced budget amendment in exchange for raising the debt limit. Senate Democrats and Obama have said that plan is a no-go.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat, voted against the bill.
Owens spoke with Chris Morris yesterday as lawmakers were voting on the measure.  Go to full article
Any downsizing of the congressional representation in upstate New York should at the very least begin in western New York

Redistricting task force hears regional concerns

The state task force that will draw up new electoral maps in New York State was in Syracuse yesterday to begin a string of public hearings.

New York's losing two congressional seats because of population losses reported in the last Census.

As WRVO's Ellen Abbott reports, the task force, known as "Latfor", heard all about why neither of those seats should come from the districts that span central and northern New York.  Go to full article

Congressman Bill Owens: "Cut, Cap and Balance" a "waste of time"

Lawmakers are voting today on a Republican measure to increase the government's borrowing limit and maintain America's "Triple A" credit rating. The House's GOP majority is backing a "cut, cap and balance" plan that would allow the U.S. to borrow some $2.4 trillion.

But first, politicians must agree to big spending cuts that will go into effect almost immediately. Republicans also want a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. North Country Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat, says he won't support the plan. He spoke with Chris Morris.  Go to full article

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