John Faso’s record of bipartisan accomplishment speaks for itself. He was rated the 18th most bipartisan member of the House of Representatives out of 438 voting members in 2017. As part of the Problem Solvers Caucus, John has worked across the aisle to tackle some of our nation’s biggest challenges. The caucus released a comprehensive outline to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, offered a bipartisan healthcare plan to fix the parts of Obamacare failing New Yorkers, and developed a solution to fix the broken immigration system. Additionally, John is an active member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, which is a group of lawmakers evenly divided by party that crafts solutions to combat climate change. Most of the legislation that John introduces is done in partnership with Democrats, which not only help the proposal to be considered and passed by the House, but also encourages across the aisle problem solving among committee colleagues.
Championing Efforts to Enhance Research for Lyme and Other Tickborne Diseases
Lyme and other tick-borne diseases (TBD) are a crisis in our Upstate communities. As long as Lyme disease remains a threat to our children playing in the park or to a loved one gardening in the yard, John is on the front lines supporting federal research and public awareness of this epidemic.
He has introduced bipartisan bills to raise research funding through the sale of a USPS postage stamp (H.R. 4333) and establish May as Lyme Awareness Month (H.Res.887) to enhance education efforts. In addition, he has helped secure more than $50 million in new and increased funding for Lyme and TBD research programs and worked to improve coordination among various federal agencies to directly address Lyme disease. John is also working closely with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) new Tick-Borne Disease Working Group which is tasked with improving federal efforts related to prevention, treatment and research. Two of the individuals serving on this working group are experts nominated by John based on their background and achievements – Dr. Richard Horowitz, M.D., a resident of Hyde Park in Dutchess County, and Ms. Patricia V. Smith.
While there is no silver bullet to solving the Lyme and tick crisis, John will continue pushing federal efforts to end this growing disaster which has taken a toll on countless families in our region.
Combating the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid epidemic is hurting families and devastating our communities. John is a member on the Bipartisan Heroin Task force and is working to develop comprehensive solutions to the heroin and opioid abuse epidemics by focusing on improving education, prevention, treatment and enforcement. He is a lead House sponsor of H.R. 5788, Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act, which passed the House and was based on his bill, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act). This solution will help law enforcement identify and block the shipment of fatal synthetic drugs that are currently being sent through the US Postal System from China into our communities. John has also supported increased funding for grant programs that states and local communities can access to help in their efforts to educate, treat and combat opioid abuse.
Protecting our environment and shared natural resources is vital for Upstate and our way of life. Countless small businesses across our district rely on the environment to grow and thrive. Outdoor recreation contributes nearly $42 billion to New York’s economy each year and we must continue to ensure our air and water is clean and open spaces are protected. John has led efforts and secured funding for commonsense programs like the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program which will fund conservation projects across the basin. He has also worked side by side with our local conservation leaders to alleviate federal funding delays and ensure that our local officials have the tools necessary to implement environmental initiatives. Additionally, he has cosponsored legislation to support programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund which has benefited dozens of communities across our district by providing funding to support outdoor recreational opportunities and protect environmentally sensitive areas.
Specific local efforts include John successfully adding the contaminated Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in Hoosick Falls to the EPA National Priorities Lists also known as the “Superfund”. This critical designation allows the site to be permanently eligible for federal funding so residents of Hoosick Falls and surrounding communities have access to federal funds to help clean up PFOA contamination that is impacting the groundwater. Faso has also been a steadfast advocate for developing a better understanding of the long term health impacts of PFOA and PFOS. He has publicly challenged the EPA for delaying the release of a Department of Health and Human Services report on the impacts of these contaminants on public health and is working to ensure families are protected.
As a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, John is committed to working with his colleagues from both parties to reduce pollution and emissions from all sources. With Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL), he introduced H.R. 5031 to help spur cutting-edge technological development in the private sector to address climate change. He is also dedicated to ensuring that the Clean Air Act is properly enforced so New Yorkers are not negatively impacted like they have been in the past by acid rain.
Fulfilling Our Commitment to Upstate Veterans
Our nation’s veterans answered the call to serve and protect our freedoms, and it is our duty to provide them and their families with the care, benefits, and respect they’ve earned through their sacrifice to our nation. Serving our veterans is one of John’s top priorities as he works closely with his Veterans Advisory Committee and has hosted Veterans Resource Fairs throughout the 19th District. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been engulfed with a culture of bureaucratic incompetence with no accountability among its leadership, and has failed too many of our veterans.
In Congress, John has supported bringing more accountability to the VA and ensure our veterans are getting better care and service. With his help and advocacy, laws have been enacted that give veterans even more choices on where to obtain their health care that may not be directly administered at a VA facility (VA MISSION Act – S. 2372), reform the appeals process to help veterans get their disability claims resolved quickly (Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act – H.R. 2288), and hold VA employees accountable by streamlining the process to fire, demote or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or wrongdoing (Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act – S. 1094).
John is committed to building on this work to ensure we meet our nation’s obligations to our veterans.
Protecting our Borders and Fixing Immigration
John understands that our immigration system is broken and that we must do more to secure our borders while also ensuring our legal immigration system is more efficient and meets the needs of our employers and local farmers. He supported President Trump’s State of the Union agenda to reform our immigration system by opposing amnesty efforts and voting for nearly $25 billion to support construction of a physical and electronic border wall system, the use of the National Guard along the southern border, and the hiring of an additional 10,000 border patrol agents and custom officers. He also voted to replace the diversity visa lottery program and unlimited chain migration with a merit-based visa program.
In addition, John supported a real and permanent solution for those brought into the country as children, the so-called DACA population, and he voted to reform the misguided policies that allowed families entering the country illegally to be separated at the border. Together with reforms to the agricultural guest worker system, these changes would enhance border security, while still providing reasonable and permanent solutions to our immigration system. Our offices deal with many immigration issues on behalf of constituents and John is convinced that legal reforms are necessary to create a better system for all.
Supporting our Military, Troops and Protecting our National Security
John understands that we must support the men and women that are protecting our way of life here at home by ensuring that they have the resources and support they need to succeed. Effectively rebuilding our military and improving readiness has been one of John’s top priorities. In the past year, more than 80 members of the Armed Forces died in non-combat training-related accidents which was almost four times greater than loss of troops in combat. The Air Force has said that at any given time, over a quarter of their planes are not mission capable. This is unacceptable.
John voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5155) and National Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 6157) which provided the largest increase in defense spending since 2011, and the biggest pay raise for our troops in 9 years. These resources will be used to acquire new equipment, improve training resources and create new cyberwarfare units. In addition, we continue our commitment to our strong ally Israel by allowing for the co-development and co-production of missile defense systems which are vital for protecting both our countries.
Also, with an increase in orders for Black Hawk helicopters and F-35 fighters, employees at businesses like Duocomm AeroStructures in Coxsackie and Amphenol Aerospace in Sydney will benefit as they manufacture key components for these vital pieces of equipment.
We must be prepared to address any threat to our nation – from our ongoing wars against terrorism to the growing threats of China, Russia and North Korea. John will always ensure that our nation is prepared, our troops and their families are supported and we continue to be a world leader.
Supporting the 2nd Amendment
John is a strong supporter of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment. In Congress, he has fought to protect the rights of law abiding gun owners, and against political posturing and ineffective laws such as Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act. He supports H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows law-abiding permit holders to carry across state lines and have that permit recognized just as a drivers license in one state is recognized in another. Contrary to the false claims made by critics of this legislation, H.R. 38 requires compliance with firearm laws and regulations in the host state. Moreover, John has defended law-abiding gun owners against the charges that they often commit crimes with firearms as public studies show that is not true.
As a husband and father, he also recognizes the need to keep our families safe, and the way to do that is to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should never have them in the first place. He voted for commonsense improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and successfully fought for increased school safety and mental health funding.
Supporting Upstate Families and the Economy
John is committed to supporting Upstate New York families and local business by working to alleviate some of the burdens they face every day. His focus on finding solutions and getting things done earned him the ranking of the 18th most bipartisan Member of Congress out of 435 House members by the non-partisan Lugar Center. As an active member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, an organization of 50 members equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, he is focused on standing up for his principles while working to advance constructive policy solutions to issues facing New York and our nation.
Working to grow our local economies, he recognizes that New York’s high tax burden and byzantine regulations are causing families and businesses to flee the state and set down roots elsewhere. To help combat this dangerous trend, John introduced H.R. 1871, the Property Tax Reduction Act, a bill that would prevent New York State from pushing the financial burden of the state’s Medicaid program onto county property taxpayers, providing relief for many Upstate families. He is advocating for continued tax reform that will incentivize investment and improve on the positive impact of families and small businesses are experiencing by being able to keep and invest more of their hard earned money instead of giving it to Washington.
He is fighting against burdensome and unnecessary regulations that are hurting businesses and taxpayers. He introduced legislation to preempt New York’s outdated Scaffold Law that arbitrarily increases construction costs by 7% in our state. New York is the only state in the country with such a law. The Faso proposal would eliminate this provision on federally funded projects, saving hundreds of millions each year on road, bridge, housing, FEMA and other federally-funded projects. In addition, he voted to help local community banks with reforms of the onerous Dodd-Frank legislation. Community banks were not the cause of the 2007/2008 fiscal meltdown, yet they have borne the brunt of ill-advised federal laws and regulations which have harmed their balance sheets and made it more difficult for local banks to lend to families and small businesses.
John believes we must increase education and workforce training opportunities. He voted to improve the SNAP program by requiring enrolled able-bodied adults without children under six or any disability to either work 20 hours a week or obtain career training. Additionally, John believes that we must make educational opportunities more affordable for families and give our young people the opportunities they need to thrive. For example, he introduced H.R. 4435, the Go to High School, Go to College Act. This legislation would allow eligible students to use Pell Grant funding to complete certain transferable college credits at an accredited high school, significantly reducing the time and cost of a college education.
Working Against a Government Takeover of Health Care
John is working to reform our healthcare system with commonsense solutions that will improve the quality of the care we receive, lower costs, increase transparency and allow families, not the government, to make decisions about their care. He has voted to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions from ever being denied healthcare coverage. In addition, he voted for the longest reauthorization in the history of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), supported $7 billion in funding for Community Health Centers, and worked to support our local hospitals by delaying cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital payment program and helped to secure funding for rural hospitals.
To help further improve access, John introduced H.R. 5899, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and make improvements to school-based health centers. These centers are vitally important in rural and underserved communities providing primary care and mental health services. New York currently has the largest statewide network of school-based health centers (SBHCs) in the country with over 250 centers serving 185,000 students.
John is opposed to schemes such as “Medicare for All”, single payer health care which would cost over $32 trillion and result in the highest tax increase in history, while undermining the existing Medicare system for seniors. These plans would end employer provided healthcare and force everyone into a government run healthcare system.
Working for Upstate Farmers and the Agriculture Community
With over 5,000 farms and 8,000 farmers in our district, agriculture is at the core of our economy and identity. Unfortunately, our farmers are struggling due to a 5 year, nearly 50 percent collapse in the farm economy. Unfair trade practices, decreasing demand, and the high cost of doing business have left many with nowhere to turn.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, John has been fighting since day one for the interests of our local farmers and working to address the challenges they face such as burdensome regulations and labor shortages. Together with his Agriculture Advisory Committee and local farmers across the district, John has worked to address broken dairy policies, and introduced several pieces of legislation which have since been incorporated into the 2018 Farm Bill. These proposals include H.R. 3871 to combat fraudulent organic imports from abroad, H.R. 5316 to provide low-income seniors with financial resources to use at local farmer’s markets, and H.R. 3667 to assist transitioning veterans in entering the agricultural sector.
For our local dairy farmers, he helped secure improvements to the Dairy Risk Management Program and supported the ability of dairy farmers to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy insurance program. Understanding that we not only need to improve the government programs that impact milk prices, but also work to increase the demand for milk, John successfully advocated for the inclusion of low-fat chocolate milk in the school lunch program and is advocating for the inclusion of whole milk in the federal school lunch program through his cosponsorship of H.R. 5640 – the WHOLE Milk Act.
Recognizing the role guest workers play in ensuring our local farms can operate, John is a cosponsor of H.R. 6417, the Ag and Legal Workforce Act, which will create a new agricultural guest worker program (H-2C) to ensure Upstate farmers have the ability to maintain a reliable workforce, while also requiring the use of the E-Verify system to ensure workers eligibility.
Working for Upstate Seniors
Our vibrant communities in Upstate New York are a result of the many contributions our seniors have made and continue to make every day. From introducing H.R. 5685, the Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act, legislation that would improve the opioid education for Medicare Part D beneficiaries, to cosponsoring H.R. 1825, the Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act, a bill that increases home care access for seniors, John has been a tireless advocate for New York seniors, fighting to ensure they have access to reliable and high-quality care and services they need to live wholesome and independent lives.
John will also always protect Medicare and Social Security and will always vote to ensure these programs do not change for today’s seniors and are available to future generations. He understands that most New York seniors rely on these vital programs in their retirement years. These are programs that seniors paid into throughout their careers and we must keep our promise of those earned benefits. Going forward, both of these programs are faced with serious financial challenges and we must find solutions. To help combat this trend, John cosponsored H.R. 3423, the Social Security Commission Act of 2017, legislation to create a committee to advise Congress on guaranteeing the strength and stability of Social Security for the next 75 years. He also worked to successfully abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board that had the ability to cut Medicare funding and limit seniors’ access to doctors and care. John remains committed to supporting these vitally important programs and working with other Members in Congress from both sides of the aisle to keep promises to current and future beneficiaries.