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News stories tagged with "owens"

Rep. Bill Owens was a key vote for Obamacare and calls efforts to dismantle the law "irresponsible." NCPR file photo
Rep. Bill Owens was a key vote for Obamacare and calls efforts to dismantle the law "irresponsible." NCPR file photo

Owens a key vote for Obamacare, still supports it

Congressman Bill Owens, the Democrat from Plattsburgh, was elected in a special election in 2009, riding the wave of Democratic momentum sparked by Barack Obama's election a year earlier.

Owens was one of the key votes helping to push the Affordable Care Act through Congress.

And while he's pushed for major changes to the law, Owens says he still thinks "Obamacare" is a good starting place for needed reforms to America's healthcare system.  Go to full article
A missile interceptor site in Alaska. Photo: U.S. Army. Some rights reserved.
A missile interceptor site in Alaska. Photo: U.S. Army. Some rights reserved.

Ft. Drum shortlisted for missile site that may never be built

The Department of Defense is including Fort Drum near Watertown as one of five sites to be studied for a new East Coast missile defense program. Local officials hailed the decision. But as David Sommerstein reports, the Pentagon itself says it has no money to build the site.  Go to full article
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What Owens still needs to know before Syria vote

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he needs more information before deciding whether to vote for or against military action against Syria.

The Democrat says he believes President Obama has demonstrated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last month.

Owens praises President Obama for seeking Congressional approval before authorizing military action against Syria. "There's been a fair amount of criticism against the executive branch over the last, probably, 30 or 40 years," says Owens, "for usurping Congress' prerogative relative to the declaration of war, so I thought this was a good move."

But how Owens will vote is another matter. He's still undecided. And he says he recognizes that Americans are weary of war.  Go to full article
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/">Army Medicine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Owens: Sequester cuts could directly affect Drum soldiers

Furloughs for civilian workers begin this week at Fort Drum, as part of the congressional budget cuts known as sequestration.

North Country congressman Bill Owens, who sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee, says the automatic budget reductions could directly affect men and women in uniform as well.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)

Owens: rural America losing clout in farm policy

Lawmakers and agricultural leaders are searching for a way forward after the Farm Bill went down in flames in the House last week.

Many Republicans bristled at the nearly $100 billion a year price tag. About 80 percent of that is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP -- better known as Food Stamps. Some Democrats voted no to protest of cuts to that program. In the end, the farm bill went down by a significant margin, even though GOP House Speaker John Boehner voted for it.

It's unclear if the House will take up the Senate's version - which passed earlier this month - or seek to extend the 2008 farm bill for another year.  Go to full article
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
Chicago Transit Authority #6731, a Nova LFS bus. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zolk/4749440584/">Kevin Zolkiewicz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Chicago Transit Authority #6731, a Nova LFS bus. Photo: Kevin Zolkiewicz, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Plattsburgh's Nova Bus plant wins $148m contract

Nova Bus in Plattsburgh has won another big contract to assemble 300 new vehicles for Chicago's Transit Authority. That's according to an announcement yesterday from Congressman Bill Owens.

The deal will bring the Canadian company roughly $148 million in new business.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens

Owens upset by inaction on background check bill

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he's disappointed that an effort to expand background checks for gun buyers was voted down in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Plattsburgh Democrat says he's frustrated that House Republicans are blocking a repeal of the medical device tax contained in 2010's Affordable Care Act.  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
The bridge from Cornwall, ON into Massena, NY. Photo: Lucy Martin
The bridge from Cornwall, ON into Massena, NY. Photo: Lucy Martin

North Country, VT reps: Canada to US entrance fee "bad idea"

Members of Congress from the North Country and Vermont are urging the Homeland Security Department to drop a proposal that could add new fees for travelers entering the US from Canada.

In a letter sent to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napoitano, Vermont Representative Peter Welch and the North Country's Bill Owens described the concept as "a bad idea."  Go to full article

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