CONGRESS

AOC criticizes Trump's Bronx rally as fundraising attempt

BY Spectrum News NY1 The Bronx

Former President Donald Trump's planned rally in the Bronx on Thursday has sparked sharp criticism from local politicians, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Trump is expected to rail against President Joe Biden, inflation and the surge of asylum seekers in New York when he takes the stage in Crotona Park, located in an area where he won just 16% of the vote in 2020.

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House Farm Bill expands big programs, but sets up fight over SNAP and climate change

BY Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY

The House Committee on Agriculture released a nearly 1,000-page document drafting the long-awaited 2024 Farm Bill totaling $1.5 trillion – the first trillion-dollar farm bill in history.

“The Farm, Food and National Security Act of 2024 is the product of extensive feedback from stakeholders and all members of the House and is responsive to the needs of farm country through the incorporation of hundreds of bipartisan policies,” House committee chair Glenn Thompson, a Republican, said in a press release.

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Molinaro holds housing discussion in Hudson Valley

BY John Camera Hudson

Rep. Marc Molinaro hosted a roundtable discussion Monday to address the ongoing housing crisis facing Hudson Valley residents.

Officials and decision makers from all aspects of housing met to discuss the challenges they’re facing, including the price of building materials, keeping projects in line with highway, water and sewer standards and battling opposition to affordable and transitional housing opportunities.

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Rep. Goldman proposes additional funding for federal office investigating antisemitism on campuses

BY Kevin Frey Manhattan

Rep. Dan Goldman has introduced legislation aimed at enhancing the federal government’s ability to investigate potential cases of antisemitism and discrimination on college campuses.

His bill would allocate an additional $280 million to the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, which Goldman, a Jewish Democrat representing lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn, says currently “does not have sufficient funding to conduct the number of investigations that are now necessary with the rise of antisemitism on campus.”

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House and Senate agriculture committees signal expansions of key programs in anticipated Farm Bill

BY Emily Kenny, Report for America corps member Central NY

As farmers and advocates continue to wait for Republicans and Democrats to come to an agreement on a new version of the Farm Bill, the House and Senate agriculture committee chairs have released their overviews.

The 2018 Farm Bill expired in December but was extended through the rest of 2024 because lawmakers could not agree on an updated version. However, with costs rising, particularly since 2018, farmers have pushed lawmakers to renew the bill quickly.

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Schumer announces $400 million in federal funds for security at places of worship

BY Associated Press and Justine Re New York City
UPDATED 6:00 PM ET May. 05, 2024

A $400 million increase in federal funding is available for security in places of worship, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Sunday.

The boost in money comes as concerns rise over threats against Jewish and Muslim communities, fueled in part by the Israel-Hamas war.

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Hakeem Jeffries isn't speaker, but the Democrat may be the most powerful person in Congress

BY Associated Press New York State

Without wielding the gavel or holding a formal job laid out in the Constitution, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries might very well be the most powerful person in Congress right now.

The minority leader of the House Democrats, it was Jeffries who provided the votes needed to keep the government running despite opposition from House Republicans to prevent a federal shutdown.

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Molinaro, Riley head for bitter rematch in New York's 19th Congressional District

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A brewing rematch in a congressional district that could determine which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives is quickly turning bitter and personal.

In New York’s expansive 19th Congressional District, which stretches from Tompkins County in the west to Rensselaer County in the east, Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro is trying for a repeat of 2022, when he beat Democrat Josh Riley.

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Congressman Ritchie Torres introduces bill for an antisemitism monitor at universities

BY Annika Pergament New York City

Congressman Ritchie Torres introduced a bill that would allow the Department of Education to impose a “third-party antisemitism monitor” for any institution of higher education that receives federal funding.

Torres coined the legislation the COLUMBIA act — Columbia being an acronym for College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability Act.

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Families of Flight 3407 applaud new bipartisan FAA re-authorization bill

BY Spectrum News Staff Buffalo

The families of Flight 3407 are applauding members of the U.S. House and Senate on presenting a new bipartisan FAA re-authorization bill.

The flight crashed on Feb. 12, 2009, in Clarence Center, just outside of Buffalo. All 49 people on the plane were killed. There was one casualty on the ground.

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Democrat Tim Kennedy is projected winner of NY-26 special election

BY Breanna Fuss and Associated Press City of Buffalo
UPDATED 6:30 AM ET May. 01, 2024

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Democratic state Sen. Timothy Kennedy won a special election Tuesday for the New York congressional seat vacated by Democrat Brian Higgins.

Kennedy easily defeated Republican Gary Dickson for the upstate New York seat, helped by a 2-to-1 Democratic registration advantage in the district, which includes Buffalo, Niagara Falls and several suburbs.

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Polls closed for the NY-26 special election

BY Breanna Fuss and Keegan Trunick Western New York
UPDATED 9:01 PM ET Apr. 30, 2024

Tuesday is the special election for the seat representing New York's 26th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It includes parts of Erie and Niagara counties and the cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Niagara Falls, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.

The early voting period ended on Sunday. Nearly 11,000 votes were cast from April 20-28.

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2 viewpoints on the special election for NY-26

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Votes were being cast Tuesday in a special election to fill New York’s open 26th Congressional District in and around Buffalo. The seat had been held by Brian Higgins for 19 years until he stepped down in February to become president and CEO of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo.

Democratic state Sen. Tim Kennedy and Republican Gary Dickson are running in Tuesday's special election, which is not considered competitive by the Cook Political Report, which rates the seat a "Solid D" district with a Cook partisan voting index of D+10.

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Calls grow for lawmakers to pass bill to combat antisemitism

BY Justin Tasolides Washington, D.C.

In a letter, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., urged his counterpart in the chamber’s Republican majority, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to put a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting antisemitism up for a vote.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers — Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and James Lankford, R-Okla., and Reps. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. — introduced the Bipartisan Countering Antisemitism Act, a bill that would establish a National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism within the White House.

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Bipartisan N.Y. lawmakers introduce bill to require antisemitism monitors on college campuses

BY Susan Carpenter Washington, D.C.

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers from New York introduced legislation Friday to impose antisemitism monitors on college and university campuses that receive federal funding.

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., and Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., introduced the bill as demonstrations by thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters disrupt college campuses across the country.

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Utica University professor Clemmie Harris ends bid for Congress

BY Luke Parsnow Central NY

Utica University professor Clemmie Harris is ending his campaign for the Democratic nomination in the race for New York's 22nd Congressional District.

Harris wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, said the move was a result of a dispute over ballot signature requirements with another candidate, DeWitt Town Councilor Sarah Klee Hood.

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Malliotakis leads new effort to stop NYC congestion pricing

BY Spectrum News NY1 New York City

Staten Island Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis has joined forces with New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer in a renewed effort against congestion pricing.

Malliotakis, whose previous attempts to stop congestion pricing were unsuccessful, and Gottheimer are now aiming to amend a broader piece of federal legislation dealing with toll road and express lane programs nationwide.

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Former Rep. George Santos says he is suspending run for Congress

BY David Lazar New York City

Former Rep. George Santos has ended his short-lived run to get back into the U.S. House of Representatives, he announced on social media Tuesday evening.

Santos, who was expelled from the House in December, wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he is dropping out of the race because he does not want to “be responsible for handing the house” to the Democrats.

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Early voting for NY-26 special election begins Saturday

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo
UPDATED 10:37 AM ET Apr. 19, 2024

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York's 26th Congressional District has been without a representative for more than two months.

When Democrat Brian Higgins stepped down in February to take over as president of Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, he said it was in fact Congress that had become more about dramatics then results. Both candidates who are vying to finish his term agree.

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Rep. Torres calls for reforms at HHS after mpox outbreak

BY Kevin Frey New York City
UPDATED 8:39 PM ET Apr. 18, 2024

New York Rep. Ritchie Torres is introducing legislation aimed at improving the federal government’s response to public health emergencies, citing shortcomings in how the feds handled an mpox outbreak two years ago.

Torres’s bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a department-wide strategy for after-action reviews of major health events, incorporating analysis from across the department’s various agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The review should include people from outside the department.

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Rep. Claudia Tenney sponsors bipartisan bill to close sex abuse legal loophole

BY Tim Williams and Marisa Jacques New York State

Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney is teaming up with North Carolina Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross on a bill that aims to close a loophole in federal bankruptcy laws that impacts survivors of sexual abuse.

Tenney joined Capital Tonight on Thursday from Washington to discuss how the bill works and its chances of getting through the closely divided House of Representatives.

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Democrats quickly end Homeland Security Sec. Mayorkas' impeachment trial on day 1

BY Joseph Konig Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 6:15 PM ET Apr. 17, 2024

Senate Democrats quickly dismissed impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, voting to rule each of the two impeachment charges unconstitutional on the trial's first day.

All Republicans voted no on the questions of dismissal, bar Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate who voted present on the first charge and voted against the second charge.

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Tim Kennedy asks judge to take Nate McMurray off NY-26 primary ballot

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray submitted more than 1,400 designating petitions to the state Board of Elections as he pushes for ballot access in New York's 26th Congressional District primary in June, which would take place after the special election this month.

However, a lawsuit brought by his potential opponent, state Sen. Tim Kennedy, and a voter claimed, at best, 382 of the signatures McMurray submitted are valid. That would put the candidate well below the minimum of 1,250 needed.

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U.S. Senate passes resolution calling for release of Rochester-area man from Taliban custody

BY Dana Damiani Washington, D.C.

After 609 days since he was detained by the Taliban, a resolution calling for Ryan Corbett’s immediate release was passed Thursday after both Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell introduced the bipartisan resolution.

Corbett had a business in Afghanistan and was going there to do some work when he was detained.

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Dem PAC reserves $21M in ads across N.Y. in bid to win back control of House

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

The Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC is reserving roughly $21 million worth of TV ad buys across New York ahead of the November elections.

The move comes as the Empire State could be make or break for Democrats in their push to win back control of the U.S. House. Losses in congressional districts across New York in 2022 helped cost the party the majority.

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Clarke pushes for Congress to extend program helping 1.8M N.Y. households afford internet access

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A federal program helping tens of millions of Americans afford internet service — including roughly 1.8 million households across New York — is scheduled to run out of money later this month.

On Capitol Hill, Brooklyn Rep. Yvette Clarke is leading a bipartisan push aimed at saving the program, warning if it lapses, the digital divide between the haves and have nots stands to grow. Again.

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Gillibrand pushes to codify Biden's student loan repayment program

BY Spectrum News Staff New York State

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is now pushing to codify President Joe Biden’s income-driven student loan repayment program.

Currently, more than 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers are enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan, including nearly 300,000 New Yorkers.

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A push to address opioid epidemic in N.Y.'s communities

BY Shalon Stevens Syracuse

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been calling on the House of Representatives to pass the “FEND Off Fentanyl Act.” The legislation would target cartels who are bringing in drugs to the United States and help fight the opioid epidemic.

The chief program officer for ACR Health, Michelle McElroy, says the legislation is great for targeting people at the top of the supply chain but not for those at the local level.

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What earmarks did New York lawmakers secure in this year's federal spending bills?

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

The new federal budget finalized over the weekend — nearly six months late — contains more than $500 million for roughly 450 so-called “community projects” across New York state, according to an analysis by Spectrum News NY1.

The funding, requested by members of the New York delegation, is designated for everything from food banks and community centers to infrastructure and public housing developments.

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George Santos slams GOP, says he's mounting third-party Congressional run

BY David Mendez Long Island

Former New York Rep. George Santos has announced that he will leave the Republican party — which he said "continues to lie and swindle its voter base" its voter base — and run for Congress as an independent.

Santos, who in December was expelled from the House of Representatives after a House committee reported fraud and misused campaign funds, made his announcement on Friday on X, formerly Twitter.

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Reps. AOC, Bowman introduce Green New Deal for Public Housing

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

New York lawmakers are leading a push to overhaul public housing across the country, proposing legislation that would repair units and make them energy efficient, creating jobs in the process.

The legislation, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing, has been introduced before — but its rollout this year comes as rising housing prices and rents are helping to drive inflation, which is a central issue in this year’s elections.

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New York U.S. Reps. Morelle and Molinaro support IVF protections through Access to Family Building Act

BY Jack Arpey New York State

Lawmakers at the federal level are taking steps to protect in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

Alabama's Supreme Court ruled last month those embryos are children with rights, leading many providers to stop services over liability concerns. The state's lawmakers quickly passed a law to try and restore protections and allow some clinics to reopen.

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Schumer calls for new Israeli elections, says Netanyahu has 'lost his way' amid war in Gaza

BY Ryan Chatelain Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 4:59 PM ET Mar. 14, 2024

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday called for the removal of major obstacles to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, which he said include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in American history, recommended Israel hold new elections.

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Seven NYC House Democrats vote against bill that could lead to TikTok ban

BY Patrick Adcroft and Spectrum News Staff New York City
UPDATED 5:33 PM ET Mar. 13, 2024

Although a bill that would ban TikTok from U.S. app stores unless Chinese company ByteDance divests itself from the company passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday with broad bipartisan support, seven of the votes against it came from New York City Democrats.

Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Adriano Espaillat, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Jerrold Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nydia Velázquez were among the 65 total lawmakers – 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats – who voted against the bill.

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George Santos on latest run for Congress: 'I have an uphill battle to climb'

BY Ayana Harry New York City
UPDATED 8:45 PM ET Mar. 12, 2024

George Santos went from a Republican rising star — a congressman-elect for parts of Queens and Long Island — to a punch line on Saturday Night Live skits, as he faces a 23-count federal indictment.

For his next act, Santos is hoping eastern Long Island voters will send him back to Congress.

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Amtrak spared 'draconian' cuts that N.Y. freshmen Republicans opposed

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

After hurtling toward a potential fiscal disaster, Amtrak has been spared dramatic cuts that the railroad previously warned could have led to service reductions or suspensions.

New York Republicans were among the most outspoken lawmakers pushing back on the potential spending reductions, which were proposed by their own GOP colleagues.

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Analysis of Biden's State of the Union with Jack O’Donnell

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

President Biden delivered his third State of the Union address on Thursday, which served as an unofficial general election kick-off that will likely pit the incumbent with his immediate predecessor.

For analysis of the speech and the state of the race, Capital Tonight spoke with Jack O’Donnell, managing partner of O’Donnell and Associates.

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N.Y. lawmakers back bipartisan bill that could lead to TikTok ban

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

The U.S. House is moving full steam ahead on a bill aimed at forcing TikTok’s Chinese parent company to divest the social media app — or face a ban in America.

The full House is expected to vote on the legislation next week, after the measure was unanimously approved by a House committee on Thursday.

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N.Y. Democrat proposes rule change to revoke House floor privileges for expelled members after George Santos' appearance at State of the Union

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Democrat representing New York's 15th Congressional District, said Friday he would introduce a resolution to revoke House floor privileges for expelled members of Congress after former Republican Rep. George Santos made an appearance Thursday night at President Biden’s State of the Union address.

“Expelled Congressman George Santos disgraced the United States Congress with his presence at the State of the Union last night,” Torres said in a statement Friday. “Santos was thrown out of the House on a bipartisan basis after a litany of lies, alleged crimes, sideshows, and embarrassments on the national stage. We have to be better than this, and that’s why I will be introducing a rule to bar expelled members from maintaining the high privilege of sitting on the House Floor.”

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George Santos says he's running for Congress in N.Y.'s 1st District

BY Deanna Garcia and Spectrum News Staff New York State
UPDATED 1:43 PM ET Mar. 08, 2024

Former Rep. George Santos on Thursday posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will challenge incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota in the race for New York’s 1st Congressional District.

“New York hasn’t had a real conservative represent them since I left office arbitrarily, thanks to RINO, empty suits like @nicklalota. He is a willing to risk the future of our majority and the future of this country for his own political gain,” Santos wrote.

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N.Y. congressman praises Biden’s State of the Union as 'electric'

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

Congressman Adriano Espaillat on Friday hailed President Joe Biden's State of the Union address as "electric," expressing optimism about its historical significance.

"I think it will go down in history as one of the best State of the Unions," Espaillat, a Democrat whose district includes Washington Heights and Inwood, said during an appearance on “Mornings On 1.”

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Rep. Molinaro discusses the border issue, argues Biden has authority to close it

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

President Joe Biden had urged Congress to pass a bipartisan Senate deal on immigration, saying it would give him new emergency authority to “shut down” the border.

But after Donald Trump called the bill “a gift to the Democrats,” and that the Democrats “want this for the presidential election so they can now blame the Republicans for the worst border in history,” the bill failed to move in Congress.

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Schumer, Gillibrand secure $16.4 million for North Country local projects

BY Luke Parsnow Northern NY

New York's North Country would receive nearly $17 million in funding for local projects in water infrastructure, child care and emergency response times should the biparisan spending package for Fiscal Year 2024 pass the U.S. Senate as expected, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Thursday.

The package passed the House of Representatives 339-85 on Wednesday evening.

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Texas man arrested, accused of trying to scam former Rep. George Santos

BY Ayana Harry New York City

Federal prosecutors say a Texas man tried to defraud former New York Rep. George Santos out of $900,000 by claiming he could get the criminal charges against Santos dropped.

Authorities say 39-year-old Hector Medina, of El Paso, was taken into custody Wednesday morning and charged with wire fraud after an investigation run by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

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Now a part of NY-22, Cayuga County Democrats endorse John Mannion for Congress

BY Luke Parsnow Cayuga County

The Cayuga County Democratic Committee has endorsed state Sen. John Mannion for the Democratic nomination in the race for New York's 22nd Congressional District.

Following new congressional maps drafted by and passed by the state Legislature last week, the 22nd District now includes southern Cayuga County, including the city of Auburn.

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House subcommittee subpoenas former New York Gov. Cuomo over handling of nursing homes during COVID

BY Kevin Frey and Luke Parsnow New York State

The U.S. House of Representatives select subcommittee investigating the COVID-19 pandemic subpoenaed former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to provide testimony related to his administration’s handling of nursing homes during the outbreak, according to a letter obtained by Spectrum News 1.

The Republican-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic specifically wants to question Cuomo’s controversial March 25, 2020, state order that required nursing homes to take in COVID-19 positive patients if they were able to. The Associated Press reported a year later that, as a result, more than 9,000 COVID-19 patients were transferred into nursing homes between March and May 2020.

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Family of Rochester-area Taliban detainee Ryan Corbett to attend Biden's State of the Union

BY Dana Damiani Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union Address this Thursday. When he does, U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney will be watching with the family of a Western New York man, Ryan Corbett, who's been held captive by the Taliban for 19 months.

Tenney invited Anna Corbett and her children as her honorary guests, hoping to place more pressure on the government to advocate for his safe return home to his family.

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Nancy Goroff, John Avlon compete for Democratic nomination in N.Y.'s 1st Congressional District

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 9:27 PM ET Mar. 04, 2024

The map is finalized. And the race to take on Republican Rep. Nick LaLota in Suffolk County is coming into focus.

Democrats are vying to flip New York’s 1st Congressional District, which has been in GOP hands for nearly a decade. The two leading Democrats - Nancy Goroff and John Avlon - insist that although the map has gotten slightly redder after redistricting, it is still a swing seat.

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Rep. Nick Langworthy expresses concern about airplane security

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- Standing at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport before heading back to Washington, Republican U.S. Rep. Nick Langworthy said most Americans are familiar with the strict security procedures to fly major airlines.

However, he said those protocols are not always as stringent when taking charter flights. Langworthy sent a letter last week to the Transportation Security Administration outlining his concerns.

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$50 million could incentivize grocery stores to come to food deserts

BY Vince Briga Binghamton
UPDATED 1:10 PM ET Mar. 01, 2024

New legislation is introduced by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is aiming to end food deserts across the state.

Fifty million dollars in federal funding would work to incentivize grocery stores to build new locations in underserved communities. It also helps those in food deserts better serve the public.

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Rep. Adriano Espaillat discusses Biden, Trump visiting U.S.-Mexico border

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

President Joe Biden and Donald Trump made dueling trips Thursday to the U.S.-Mexico border, looking to gain an edge on immigration ahead of their likely rematch in the race for president.

Biden met with border officials and called out Republicans in Congress for sinking a deal that would have bolstered border security.

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Hochul signs New York Legislature's own set of new congressional maps into law

BY Jack Arpey and Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 8:05 PM ET Feb. 28, 2024

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed into law a new set of congressional maps approved Wednesday by the state Legislature after Democratic lawmakers on Monday rejected the newest proposed boundaries drawn by the state's Independent Redistricting Commission.

Legislation introduced earlier this week that would make some changes to the maps the commission approved last week passed the state Senate and Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

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N.Y. Rep. Suozzi sworn back into Congress

BY Spectrum News Staff and Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 8:02 PM ET Feb. 28, 2024

Rep. Tom Suozzi was sworn in Wednesday evening on Capitol Hill, filling the seat once occupied by George Santos and further reducing the House GOP’s already razor-thin majority.

"Speaker, I never thought I'd be back here, but the Lord works in mysterious ways and God made a way when there was no way," he said.

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Schumer says he and McConnell 'came together' at critical moments

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged he and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, had their political differences but is proud they came together at crucial moments. McConnell announced Wednesday he would step down as the Senate Republican leader in November after nearly two decades running his conference in the Capitol’s upper chamber.

“During my years in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and I rarely saw eye to eye when it came to our politics or our policy preferences,” Schumer said in a statement. “But I am very proud that we both came together in the last few years to lead the Senate forward at critical moments when our country needed us, like passing the CARES Act in the early days of the COVID pandemic, finishing our work to certify the election on January 6th, and more recently working together to fund the fight for Ukraine.”

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New York state Sen. Mike Gianaris discusses Legislature's proposed congressional maps

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The New York state Legislature’s newly introduced congressional maps don’t appear to be the blatant power grab that Republicans have been fearing, but they could serve to put an additional Democratic seat in the win column for New York.

According to redistricting expert Jeff Wice, an adjunct professor of law and senior fellow at the New York Census and Redistricting Institute, the new lines may put first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, of the 19th District, in jeopardy.

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New York Democrats introduce new congressional maps after rejecting redistricting commission's latest proposal

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New York Democrats are wasting no time presenting a new set of congressional maps after the state Legislature on Monday rejected the newest proposed boundaries drawn by the state's Independent Redistricting Commission.

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski have introduced legislation in their respective chambers that would make some changes to the maps the commission approved last week.

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What happens next after lawmakers reject Congressional map approved by independent panel

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City

After a Democrat-controlled state legislature rejected the new Congressional maps that were approved in a 9-1 vote earlier this month by an independent redistricting commission, the stage is set for a new political fight.

Candidates are set to begin collecting petition signatures Feb. 27, but without approved maps that process is muddy at best. Democrats now need to come up with their own map and then vote on it, but with a June primary looming, the clock is ticking.

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Yearslong redistricting drama takes another turn

BY Bobby Cuza New York City

For the second time in three years, Albany Democrats are poised to draw new Congressional maps, having once again rejected those drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission — the latest twist in a drawn-out political saga.

“This is just unprecedented, unscripted, unpredictable,” said Jeffrey Wice, a professor at New York Law School and an expert on the state’s redistricting process.

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Schumer visits Ukraine, urges House to pass aid to repel Russia’s invasion

BY Justin Tasolides Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 12:44 PM ET Feb. 23, 2024

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Friday led a delegation of lawmakers to Ukraine to mark the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

The New York Democratic leader’s visit comes as the U.S. levied a massive tranche of new sanctions on Russia to mark the anniversary of its incursion into Ukraine and in the wake of the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny — and as a Senate-passed bill providing billions in aid to Ukraine is stalled in the Republican-controlled House.

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SALT reform hits another dead-end on Capitol Hill: A look inside the recent attempt by N.Y. GOP lawmakers

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A bipartisan priority for New Yorkers in Congress — increasing the federal deduction for state and local tax payments, or SALT — has once again reached a dead-end on Capitol Hill.

The latest effort was led by House Republicans from competitive districts in New York. Increasing the deduction would have given them a big victory on a pocketbook issue to campaign on this fall.

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New York Republicans back ex-NYPD detective, businessman Mike Sapraicone as candidate for U.S. Senate

BY Kate Lisa and Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 8:15 PM ET Feb. 22, 2024

State Republicans have spoken.

New York Republicans on Thursday designated former NYPD detective and business owner Mike Sapraicone as their preferred candidate to run against U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this fall. Gillibrand is running her fourth campaign and seeking her third full six-year term.

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Democratic U.S. Reps. demand Gaza cease-fire in letter to Biden

BY Susan Carpenter Washington, D.C.

Democratic U.S. Representatives from 12 states sent a letter to President Joe Biden Thursday calling for a cease-fire in Gaza and the immediate return of 134 hostages that have been held by Hamas militants since their Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel.

The letter comes hours after Israeli strikes killed at least 48 people in southern and central Gaza, adding to more than 29,400 civilian casualties since the war began. It also comes amid pressure from within the president's own party to take a harder line against Israel as the death toll continues to rise.

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Hochul won't weigh in on new N.Y. congressional maps proposal

BY Luke Parsnow and Bernadette Hogan New York State

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will take a hands-off approach to the state’s newly proposed congressional maps whose fate currently sits with the state Legislature.

The Independent Redistricting Commission last week approved new boundaries for the state’s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which now would have to be approved by state lawmakers in Albany before taking effect.

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Suozzi to be sworn into Congress on Feb. 28, further shrinking GOP majority

BY Spectrum News Staff Washington, D.C.

Democrat Tom Suozzi will be sworn into Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 28, the first day that lawmakers return from Presidents Day recess, according to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries' office.

When Suozzi is sworn in to replace ousted Republican Rep. George Santos, the makeup of the chamber will shrink to 219-213, meaning Republicans in the majority can only lose two votes on major legislation.

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Republicans nominate West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson for special election for Higgins' House seat

BY Luke Parsnow Western New York

The Republican committees of Erie and Niagara counties have designated West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson as their candidate for the special election in New York's 26th Congressional District to replace former Rep. Brian Higgins.

“The residents of the 26th Congressional District deserve a leader with a proven record of service to their country, and their community. Supervisor Gary Dickson is a veteran, a retired law enforcement official, and a Town Supervisor who has lowered taxes and kept his promises to his constituents," Erie County GOP Chairman Michael Kracker said in a statement Wednesday. "Democrats feel entitled to this seat. But residents don't need another career politician, whose greatest political accomplishment is the size of his campaign war chest." They need someone who understands the challenges our communities are facing. Gary Dickson has a record of working across party lines to deliver solutions for residents, and I know he will do the same in Washington."

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Common Cause New York director on state's ongoing redistricting process

BY Casey Bortnick and Capital Tonight Staff New York State

Viewers of a certain age may remember the movie the "Never Ending Story."

Well, all New Yorkers are familiar with the state's own never-ending story — redistricting. For reaction to the latest addition to this saga, Capital Tonight was joined Tuesday by Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York.

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Poll: Sen. Gillibrand's favorability ratings relatively steady amid 2024 reelection bid

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's favorability rating has remained steady over the last few months as she mounts another reelection campaign this year, according to a Siena College poll released Tuesday.

The poll found the Democratic New York junior senator had a 40-32% favorability rating among registered voters. About 38% of respondents had no opinion or didn't know.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson to travel to Binghamton for event with Rep. Molinaro

BY Seamus Lyman Binghamton

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will travel to Binghamton Thursday for an event with Republican U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro focused on law enforcement funding and public safety.

The Thursday meeting will be at the Broome County Sheriff's Office and is said to feature sheriff's deputies, neighboring law enforcement, other first responders and families.

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Oneida County Democrats hold off endorsing candidate for Congress amid redistricting process

BY Luke Parsnow Oneida County

The Oneida County Democratic Committee chose not to endorse a candidate for the 22nd Congressional District due to the state's ongoing redistricting process, the organization decided Friday.

"As it stands, the redistricting situation is very fluid, and the committee wants more information before making an endorsement," the committee said in a statement. "There are several great candidates vying for this crucial congressional seat. What matters most to the committee is ensuring that Democrats reclaim these seats and that we regain strong majorities in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. The Oneida County Democratic Committee will work as hard as possible to win these seats."

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Biden admin., Schumer announce proposed $1.5B grant for chip production in N.Y. and Vermont

BY Joseph Konig New York State

The White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will announce on Monday a proposed $1.5 billion grant to a semiconductor manufacturer for facilities in New York and Vermont.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Schumer said that the projects the grant will help fund are expected to create more than 10,000 jobs.

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House Democratic Leader Jeffries: New N.Y. congressional maps 'should be meticulously scrutinized' by state Legislature

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, raising constitutional issues with proposed New York congressional maps approved Thursday by the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission, said they “should be meticulously scrutinized” by the state Legislature who still has to approve them.

A spokesperson for Jeffries, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives who represents New York's 8th Congressional District, in Brooklyn, said there is reason to be concerned with the “failure of the IRC to address many of the flaws” in the current map drawn by a special master after the state Legislature’s maps were rejected by the state’s top court in 2022.

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A consequential week for New York's House members

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

It’s been a consequential week for New York’s delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives: Wins, losses and potential race-altering changes — all with another national election looming on the horizon.

For New York Democrats, they finally got some good news. Following congressional election losses in 2020 and 2022, former Rep. Tom Suozzi cruised to victory in a special election Tuesday to replace former Rep. George Santos, who was ousted from Congress in December.

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House lawmakers unveil bipartisan counter-proposal on Ukraine and Israel aid, border

BY Justin Tasolides Washington, D.C.

A group of moderate House lawmakers in both parties on Friday unveiled their proposal to provide aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, a narrower counter-proposal to the $95 billion Senate-passed foreign assistance bill passed earlier this week.

The bill, known as the Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act, would provide $66 billion in military aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan while also implementing some border security provisions sought by House Republicans, including reviving the “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy for one year and requiring the Homeland Security secretary to “suspend the entry of inadmissible aliens” if they determine that it’s necessary to regain operational control of the border.

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New N.Y. congressional maps proposal would keep district lines largely the same, with some changes upstate

BY Luke Parsnow New York State
UPDATED 8:00 PM ET Feb. 15, 2024

The New York Independent Redistricting Commission voted 9-1 Thursday on submitting new congressional maps to the state Legislature that would make substantial changes to some upstate House district boundaries while leaving most of the current lines in other parts of the state largely in place.

It’s the latest move in a battle over redistricting that began shortly after the 2020 Census was completed, and could be decisive in the elections this fall for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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House blocks effort from New York Republicans to boost 'SALT' tax deduction

BY Associated Press Washington, D.C.

A longshot bid to temporarily double a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions for most married couples went down to defeat Wednesday in the House.

The limit was put in place as part of the sweeping tax cuts that a Republican-led Congress passed during then-President Donald Trump's administration. The so-called SALT cap has led to bigger tax bills for many residents of New York, New Jersey, California and other high-cost, high-tax states, and is an important campaign issue in those states.

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NY-3 constituents react to Tom Suozzi special election win

BY Bernadette Hogan New York State

Democrat Tom Suozzi came out on top in Tuesday’s special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District.

On the Long Island Railroad, voters told Spectrum News NY1 they’re relieved by the results in the wake of George Santos.

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Tom Suozzi’s win shrinks the House GOP majority further. Here’s what could be at stake

BY Corina Cappabianca and Justin Tasolides Washington, D.C.
UPDATED 4:45 PM ET Feb. 14, 2024

At a press conference on Wednesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., sought to downplay Democrat Tom Suozzi flipping the New York district once held by ousted Republican lawmaker George Santos.

Democrats, Johnson said, “spent about $15 million to win a seat President Biden won by 8 points, they won it by less than 8 points."

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Democrat Tom Suozzi flips N.Y. congressional district held by George Santos

BY Justin Tasolides and Deanna Garcia New York State
UPDATED 11:16 AM ET Feb. 14, 2024

Democrat Tom Suozzi has won the special election in the 3rd Congressional District in New York, the Associated Press projects, flipping the seat held by the ousted Republican Rep. George Santos and further narrowing the House GOP's already razor-thin margins.

The race was widely viewed as an early barometer for November's likely rematch between President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, a Republican, and was expected to be a close race, according to recent polling. But 93% of the vote in as of Wednesday morning, Suozzi had nearly 54% of the vote, leading Republican Mazi Pilip (46.1%), a relative newcomer to politics, by more than 13,000 votes.

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