News from our representatives

Editor’s note: Items are published in the order received.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris issues statement before State of the Union

For the past two years under this Administration, the people in power have tried to convince us that the villain in the American story is each other.

That is not our story. That is not who we are. I’m calling on you to join me in the fight for a different American story.

I believe in an America where the economy works for working people. An America where health care is a fundamental right – not a privilege for those who can afford it. An America where every parent can send their children to school without being haunted by the awful specter of another killing spree.

I believe in an America where our daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers are respected. Where reproductive rights are guaranteed in every state in this land.

I believe in an America where our democracy and its institutions are protected against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Where we are focused on making it easier for all eligible voters to cast a ballot, not harder.

You won’t hear Trump talk about this America, but that’s the America we believe in; the America I’m ready to fight for.

We have a long road ahead of us, but I know there’s nothing we can’t do if we work together and fight for what’s right.

Brindisi looking for ways to bring parties together, get things done for Upstate New York

Congressman Anthony Brindisi welcomed Chief Master Sergeant John A. Jones as his guest to the State of the Union. Chief Jones is the Superintendent of the 174th Maintenance Operations Flight, 174th Maintenance Group in Syracuse and a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard.

As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Brindisi is committed to supporting servicemembers and ensuring they have the support and resources they need when they return home from service.

“Our most important duty as Americans is supporting the men and women who wear our country’s uniform,” said Brindisi. “Chief Jones has dedicated his life to serving and protecting our country, and I’m proud to have him as my guest at the State of the Union. I look forward to working with him to find ways to support our servicemembers and veterans and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.”

Brindisi also announced he will sit with Congressman John Katko (NY-24) during the State of the Union address. Brindisi and Katko are both part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of members committed to forming relationships across the aisle and finding common ground on issues before Congress.

“Too often, conversations in Washington are about who’s right and who’s wrong instead of how we can work together to solve problems,” said Brindisi. “I came to Washington with a different approach. I’m sitting with Congressman Katko during tonight’s State of the Union address and will be listening for areas where we can find common ground and work together to solve problems.”

“Tonight, I hope the president provides real solutions to the issues I hear most from Upstate New Yorkers: fixing our broken health care system and protecting those with pre-existing conditions, creating good-paying jobs, improving schools and technical training programs, and ensuring our veterans have the highest-quality care.

“There is so much work to do for our veterans, families, students and hardworking Upstate New Yorkers. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get the job done.”

During his first month in Congress, Brindisi has built a reputation as someone who reaches across the aisle to solve problems and hold Congress accountable. The first bill he co-sponsored was the No Budget No Pay Act to stop members of Congress from being paid if they don’t pass a budget and appropriations bills on time.

Brindisi is also following through on his commitment to communicate directly with his constituents, holding his first congressional town hall last month in Binghamton. He will hold one town hall each month in 2019, visiting all eight counties in NY-22.

Brindisi statement on State of the Union

Congressman Anthony Brindisi

Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) released the following statement after the State of the Union address:

“I promised Upstate New Yorkers I would work with anyone to solve problems and get things done for our state and our country. Tonight, the president highlighted some areas where I hope we can find common ground. Working together is the only way we can create good-paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs, fix our crumbling infrastructure, and take care of our veterans. I will be the first one at the table, ready and willing, to work with anyone serious about getting things done.”

Gillibrand issues statement on State of the Union Address

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following statement in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address:  

“President Trump has had years to bring this country together, but instead he has chosen to divide the country across every single line he can imagine. If President Trump wants to convince the country that he actually cares about bringing us together, then he can start by no longer using government workers as political pawns, reuniting the families that his Administration ripped apart at the border and stopping with political wedge issues like telling women they can’t make their own health decisions in consultation with their doctor.”

Miller: NYers cannot afford single-payer health care

Assemblyman Brian Miller

Assemblyman Brian Miller (R,I,C,Ref-New Hartford) expressed his concerns over a potential single-payer health care system proposal that was heavily debated at the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Health. He said the $226 billion proposal would be paid for by imposing two new taxes on already overburdened working New Yorkers.

“The governor and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli this week announced that the state budget is going to be short by more than $2 billion already; how on earth can the state afford to implement a single-payer health care system that could cost as much as $226 billion more? The hardworking people of our state are already struggling to pay the highest taxes in the nation. It is unacceptable to ask them for more.”

Though the exact cost of implementing a single-payer health care program in New York remains unknown, studies on the issue have estimated it could cost anywhere between $225.1 billion (The Economic Analysis of the New York Health Act) to $389.6 billion or more (The Price of Single Payer Health Care in New York). The legislation (A.4738 of 2017-18; awaiting 2019-20 bill number) creates two new taxes to pay for the program, including a payroll tax on all working New Yorkers (including those who are self-employed). This tax would increase based on an individual’s salary, and individual employees would be required to pay up to 20 percent of the tax themselves, with their employer paying the remaining 80 percent (self-employed persons would pay 100 percent of the tax themselves). The second new tax would be an additional income tax on interests, dividends and capital gains. The second tax would also apply to New Yorkers who are employed out-of-state or by out-of-state employers.

“This is an issue that every New Yorker should be concerned about because not only would it dramatically increase your tax burden, but it could also compromise the quality of health care you would receive,” Miller said. “This plan would replace existing federal options for New Yorkers on Medicare or those getting their health coverage through the Veterans Administration with an unknown program. With the governor now proposing to create a commission on the topic, this is something the people of our state need to be aware of.”

Assemblyman Miller represents the 101st District consisting of parts of Delaware, Herkimer, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Sullivan and Ulster counties. For more information, visit Assemblyman Miller’s Official Website.

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