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News stories tagged with "owens"

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

Owens: most people will feel pain of sequester

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says the impact of cuts at the federal prison in Ray Brook is on his mind. He says officials there will have some discretion as far as where to cut. "I'm counting on management in those circumstances," says Owens, "to make sure that they do their furloughing in such a way that they do manage this for the safety of the officers and obviously the prisoners."

Owens held a telephone press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss the impacts of the across-the-board federal cuts known as the sequester. The Democrat says the standoff in Washington may only change if the public feels some pain.  Go to full article
The Ticonderoga, NY Post Office. Many rural post offices across the North Country may reduce their hours to save money, and Saturday home delivery is also likely to be eliminated. Photo: Linda Osborne via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/">Jimmy Emerson</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The Ticonderoga, NY Post Office. Many rural post offices across the North Country may reduce their hours to save money, and Saturday home delivery is also likely to be eliminated. Photo: Linda Osborne via Jimmy Emerson, CC some rights reserved

Heard Up North: Tough times at the post office

The US Postal Service lost another $1.3 billion in the last few months of 2012.

As a result, many rural post offices across the North Country are expected to see their hours cut back to half a day, opening from 8 am until noon.

It's also likely that Saturday home delivery will be ended nationwide as part of cost-cutting measures.

In all, the Postal Service plans to cut hours at more than 9,000 rural post office nationwide -- a move that is expected to phase out roughly 21,000 jobs.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens has blasted he move, arguing that families in small towns "depend on" the post office more than residents in urban areas.

In today's Heard Up North, reporter Jon Alexander set out to talk with people about how the cuts in service might affect them.  Go to full article
NY-21's Democratic Congressman Bill Owens (2nd from left) with other members of the NY Congressional delegation. Photo: Rep. Owens' office
NY-21's Democratic Congressman Bill Owens (2nd from left) with other members of the NY Congressional delegation. Photo: Rep. Owens' office

Owens cautious on Obama's agenda

Democratic congressman Bill Owens reacted cautiously to much of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address last night.

Speaking with North Country Public Radio, Owens questioned whether Obama's approach to gun control could make communities safer without violating 2nd amendment rights.

Owens also expressed reservations about the idea of raising the Federal minimum wage, because of objections from small business owners.

But Owens told Brian Mann that he does think some kind of bipartisan accord is possible on the thorny issue of illegal immigration.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens.
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens.

Owens wants incremental approach to gun control

As gun control talks continue in Washington, the North Country's representative in the House thinks Congress should tread carefully on a matter he says has far-reaching constitutional implications.

Congressman Bill Owens said recently that gun control efforts should start by focusing on areas of common interest, like expanded background checks for gun buyers. The Democrat from Plattsburgh believes that some of the other issues being discussed on the national level, like tighter restrictions on assault weapons, are too volatile, and it makes sense to move forward with less controversial issues.  Go to full article
Bill Owens faces an extended ethics review following his controversial 2011 trip to Taiwan. NCPR file photo
Bill Owens faces an extended ethics review following his controversial 2011 trip to Taiwan. NCPR file photo

Owens faces further ethics probe for Taiwan junket

The House Ethics Committee announced yesterday that it is extending its review of Congressman Bill Owens' controversial trip to Taiwan in 2011. The panel also released a preliminary report from investigators.

That probe found that the Democrat from Plattsburgh may have violated congressional guidelines by making a trip paid for by a foreign government.

Investigators are also calling for subpoenas to be issued in the next phase of the probe.  Go to full article
Chris Erickson, right, owner and head brewer at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, discusses health care challenges he deals with as a small business owner during a roundtable with Congressman Bill Owens in Lake Placid on Friday. Lake Placid village Trustee Peter Holderied listens. <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em> photo: Chris Morris
Chris Erickson, right, owner and head brewer at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, discusses health care challenges he deals with as a small business owner during a roundtable with Congressman Bill Owens in Lake Placid on Friday. Lake Placid village Trustee Peter Holderied listens. Adirondack Daily Enterprise photo: Chris Morris

Owens hears North Country concerns on listening tour

Congressman Bill Owens has been getting an earful from North Country community leaders this month, leaving the Plattsburgh Democrat with even more work to do as Congress prepares to tackle big, time-consuming issues like proposals to strengthen gun laws and solving the country's debt problems.

Owens has been meeting with business, government, education and nonprofit officials from across the 21st Congressional District to hear about their concerns.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens learns about Pioneer Windows at the company's manufacturing plant in Johnstown. Owens will have to give up his seat on the House Small Business Committee to take one on the Appropriations Committee. Photo courtesy Jon Boughtin, communications director for Bill Owens
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens learns about Pioneer Windows at the company's manufacturing plant in Johnstown. Owens will have to give up his seat on the House Small Business Committee to take one on the Appropriations Committee. Photo courtesy Jon Boughtin, communications director for Bill Owens

A closer look at Bill Owens' big committee assignment

Bill Owens has only been in Congress for three years, but he recently rose to a point his predecessor, eight-term Congressman John McHugh, never reached: membership on the House's influential Appropriations Committee which oversees virtually all federal spending. It's considered to be one of the House's most powerful committees.

Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, will be a minority member, but he's likely to be heavily courted by lobbyists from all corners of the country. He represents New York's 21st Congressional District, a vast region which includes most of the North Country.  Go to full article

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