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News stories tagged with "washington"

Congressman Owens: Debt ceiling vote "imperfect", but better than default

Congress passed legislation this week allowing the U.S. to raise its debt ceiling, avoiding an unprecedented default. The bill quickly passed the Senate, and President Obama signed it into law Tuesday afternoon.

North Country Representative Bill Owens voted in favor of the bill, but called the process "unnecessarily ugly."

The last-minute measure passed both the House and the Senate with healthy bipartisan support. In addition to raising the federal debt limit, the legislation promises some $2 trillion in budget cuts over the next 10 years. Chris Morris spoke with Owens, who says the bill protects Social Security and Medicare.  Go to full article
High-speed Internet in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, according to New York state
High-speed Internet in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, according to New York state

U.S. House cuts could stop expansion of rural broadband Internet

The annual Agriculture Appropriations Act passed by the U.S. House last week made sweeping cuts to programs ranging from infant nutrition to genetically engineered salmon.

Thanks to an amendment sponsored by Rep. Bill Owens, it still includes some funding for expansion of broadband Internet to rural areas. The Owens amendment saved $6 million.

That's still a significant cut from the original $22 million and even the reduced allocation is subject to approval by the U.S. Senate.

Either way, many rural residents will be left with the much slower dial-up Internet.

Slic Network Solutions is a Potsdam-based Internet provider. The Company has been using funding from last year's appropriations bill to expand high-speed access along dozens of rural North Country roads. That money isn't affected by the latest cuts.

Slic's President, Phil Wagschal, told Steve Knight that's OK for now, but in the long-term, more government help is vital.  Go to full article

Owens attacks Medicare privatization

North Country Congressman Bill Owens lashed out at Republicans' plan to reduce the federal deficit while backing President Obama's. Speaking in a telephone town hall meeting Thursday, the Democrat from Plattsburgh attacked House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's deficit reduction plan. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls)
Rep. Scott Murphy (D-Glens Falls)

After meeting with Obama, Rep. Murphy still on fence over health bill

The Washington Post says North Country congressman Scott Murphy is one of the five lawmakers in the country receiving the most pressure on this week's landmark healthcare vote. The Democrat from Glens Falls met one-one-one with President Barack Obama to talk about the bill. The liberal group MoveOn.org is running ads in his district, urging the Glens Falls Democrat to vote Yes. The conservative US Chamber of Commerce is also buying TV spots, urging Murphy to vote no. Health care expected to be a central issue in this year's election in the 20th district. Murphy spoke yesterday with Brian Mann about the landmark decision and explained why he's still on the fence, despite months of debate.  Go to full article

McHugh attaches strings to Iraq funding

The Bush Administration has asked Congress for more than $90 billion to continue fighting the war in Iraq this year. North Country Congressman John McHugh says he's not willing to give it without strings attached. McHugh has introduced a bill that would authorize half of the President's request, and then assess how well the Iraqi government and U.S. military are using the money. The Iraqi Government Accountability Act establishes six benchmarks, which include securing Baghdad, disarming militias, and providing for economic development. McHugh spoke with David Sommerstein yesterday.  Go to full article

Bush to nominate new Seaway chief

President Bush will nominate a college roommate and political ally to run the St. Lawrence Seaway. The White House announced Tuesday that Collister Johnson, Jr. will be nominated to serve a seven-year term. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Clinton slams Rumsfeld on Iraq

New York Senator Hillary Clinton confronted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a hearing in Washington yesterday, and afterwards called for his resignation. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
There are only fifty...
There are only fifty...

McHugh, you look mahhhvelous!

Some big news for the North Country from the fashion meisters of our nation's capital. One of our Congressmen, John McHugh of Pierrepont Manor, is one of the 50 most beautiful people in Washington. That's according to The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress. McHugh's entry reads that he's a "snappy dresser, often coming to work in crisp clothing and snazzy ties by top designers." David Sommerstein asked McHugh how it feels to be beautiful...  Go to full article

Watertown to Maine Corridor in Highway Bill

A four-lane highway between Watertown and Plattsburgh is a part of a grand plan in Congress to connect northern New York with northern Maine. As David Sommerstein reports, the so-called "rooftop highway" is included in the federal transportation bill.  Go to full article

Clinton Hosts NY Farm Day

New York farmers took the spotlight in Washington, DC yesterday with Senator Hillary Clinton's 3rd Annual New York Farm Day. In a telephone conference with reporters to preview the event, Clinton and co-organizer Jim Tresize gave a nod to North Country products.  Go to full article

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