Restoring Economic Opportunity.
In June, with my support the House passed H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. This bill rolls back a range of burdensome Dodd-Frank regulations that have restrained growth, hampered innovation, and raised costs for consumers all while boosting profits for big banks. I am also introducing legislation to ease the chartering process for new banks so that rural communities have greater access to capital and banking services. Since 2008, only three new banks have been chartered and, on average, we loose one community bank each day. This has put rural communities at a serious disadvantage.
To increase growth locally, I introduced H.R. 3293, the Support Procurement of our Nation’s Stainless Steel Act. This bill would create new opportunities for domestic manufacturers like Sherrill Manufacturing, that produce American made flatware. I am also an original cosponsor of H.R. 2264, the Make it in America Manufacturing Communities Act. This bipartisan bill codifies the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, which supports regionally-driven approaches to increase manufacturing.
Reforming Our Tax Code.
Simplifying our tax code is key to creating jobs and a level playing field for American businesses. Today, our tax code is riddled with special interest loopholes that benefit the well-off at the expense of hardworking New Yorkers. We must reduce corporate tax rates to bring jobs back to America and simplify our tax code so that all taxpayers have a fair shot.
I will continue to advocate for provisions of our tax code that benefit Upstate families, small businesses, and municipalities while pushing to overhaul those that are simply broken. In addition to protecting the mortgage interest and charitable deductions, it is my priority to preserve the federal deduction for state and local taxes, which saves New York taxpayers thousands each year. I also strongly support tax-exempt municipal bonds, which provide local municipalities a reliable and efficient way of financing local infrastructure projects. I am also an original cosponsor and champion of H.R. 1871, the Property Tax Reduction Act. This bill will correct an oversight in federal law that has allowed Albany to pass along the costs of its soaring Medicaid
program onto local counties, burdening our local governments with increased tax liabilities and driving up our property taxes.
Revitalizing The Agricultural Sector.
Agriculture is among upstate New York’s most important industries and has for decades been a vital part of our region’s heritage. In recent years, unfair trade agreements, rising regulatory costs, and distortions in the labor market have made it more difficult for family farms to grow and thrive in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier.
I am working to protect Upstate agriculture, push back against bad trade deals, and fight federal overreach. I am a cosponsor of H.R. 281, the Family Farm Relief Act. This bill streamlines the H-2A Agricultural Visa program so that it works better for farmers who lack access to a stable and reliable labor pool. I also supported passage of H.R. 26, the REINS Act. This bill would require Congressional approval of significant agency regulations that have the potential to impact agriculture. I am also leading the charge to change and reform the Dairy Margin Protection Program so that it actually works for farmers who are paying into it.
Reinvesting In Our Infrastructure.
Due to a lack of strong and sustained investments, America’s infrastructure is lagging behind the rest of the developed world. In upstate New York, too many of our roads and bridges are in dire need of repair and both Albany and Congress have shirked their responsibilities for too long. As our infrastructure ages and no new investments are made, local municipalities face a growing backlog of projects and our country risks losing its competitive advantage.
With an infrastructure proposal on the horizon, I am committed to making sure upstate New York gets its fair share and that funding is spent in a fiscally responsible way that targets those projects most in need of support. First, Congress must fully fund the highway and transit programs already authorized under the FAST Act and ensure that funding is sustained over time so that states and municipalities have the resources to actually follow through on projects. Second, Congress must act to modernize America’s air travel infrastructure by passing a proposal to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. Third, Congress must provide for the maintenance of our nation’s ports, such as the Port of Oswego, by funding existing dredging projects.
Rebuilding Our Communities.
Opioid and heroin addiction has reached crisis levels in upstate New York, requiring immediate attention. Stunted economic growth and acute job loss have no doubt contributed to the drug crisis, as a lack of opportunity has led to hopelessness and despair for too many New Yorkers. As a member of the Congressional Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I am committed to pushing forward bold policies that aggressively address the problems of drug addiction. I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 2938, the Road to Recovery Act, which will help states increase drug treatment options for Medicaid enrollees. I am also a cosponsor of H.R. 1781, the Comprehensive Fentanyl Control Act, which increases penalties related to the distribution of Fentanyl. In addition, I continue to call on House and Senate leaders to fully fund provisions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was passed last year to address the growing drug crisis. I will also fight to protect and preserve Social Security, which remains a vitally important lifeline for Upstate seniors.