House votes on Sept. 29, 2022

Today the House voted on these bills:

BillRollVoteSempolinskiStefanikTenneyZeldin
473296-127NYNNot Voting
H.R. 8463472334-87NYYNot Voting
H.R. 8446471331-95NYYNot Voting
H.R. 2794470425-0YYYNot Voting
H.R. 8888469376-49YYYNot Voting
H.R. 3662468381-42NYYNot Voting
H.R. 7321467374-52YYNNot Voting
H.R. 6965466325-93NYNNot Voting
H.R. 958465414-7YYYNot Voting
H.R. 2551464393-29YYYNot Voting
H.R. 3470463423-0YYYNot Voting
H.R. 8466462351-73YYYNot Voting
H.R. 4900461415-9YYYNot Voting
H.R. 3843460242-184NNNNot Voting
H.R. 7780459220-205NNNNot Voting

All of these bills were agreed to. No votes: Joe Sempolinski 6, Elise Stefanik 2, Claudia Tenney 5.

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What does Nick Langworthy say about himself?

Max Della Pia, Nick’s opponent for office

What if the Trump coup succeeds? It’s still going on you should know, backed by some of those who swore to protect The Constitution.

What does Nick Langworthy say about himself?

What does Nick Langworthy say about himself? It isn’t easy to tell. His web page only asks for donations; his facebook posts are mostly complaints about others. Here are some excerpts from his facebook posts:

Sept. 15th — “This is great news for the people of Cattaraugus County who suffered a huge blow when Dresser-Rand closed its doors. Under the right policies, the Southern Tier has the capacity for an economic revival and as your Congressman, I will fight to bring good-paying jobs to our region.

There is more to this story; reading the headline doesn’t tell all:

The deal isn’t quite there yet, as the companies are asking the Cattaraugus County IDA for a package of tax incentives that include $400,000 in sales tax breaks, $125,000 in mortgage-recording tax breaks and a 20-year enhanced manufacturing facility property tax break that would have them paying no property taxes for the first 15 years.

Tom Reed once vowed to keep the former Dresser-Rand plant open. When that didn’t happen, he shut up about it. If Republican politicians are good for us, one wonders why there is still so much poverty here after nearly twelve years of Tom Reed.

September 16th — Coming soon to New York if we don’t deliver big change this November. They want you to sell your gas car to buy an electric car, but then you can only charge it when they say you can because the grid can’t handle the burden. Insanity!

There is no they who say, or will say, you can’t sell your car or that you can’t charge your electric car when you like. Nick, like Tom Reed, in spite of having no relevant education or experience with the electric power industry, poses as an expert; that’s the politics of fear; that’s insanity.

September 16th — There is a sad pattern of lies coming out of the White House that are designed to make you believe that everyone is doing just fine, but the truth is that people are struggling under Biden’s harmful economic policies. Wages are not keeping up with inflation and things will only get worse the deeper we get into the recession. We have to put the brakes on this runaway train.

Information from the White House informs us of facts. Politicians like Nick tell us what to believe; I think most resent being told what to think. Nick proposes no alternative economic policy. The runaway train platitude is an appeal to you know who.

September 16th — We were told inflation was just “temporary” but here we are a year later and we are still facing 40-year records. The only way to stop inflation is to stop printing money for Biden & Pelosi’s reckless spending.

Nick, like Tom Reed, in spite of having no relevant education in economics (he has a BA in political science) poses as an expert. Again, that’s insanity. A leader would tell us that our government is doing, and will continue to do, what it can to slow inflation and mitigate the harm it causes the vulnerable. A demagogue would offer a vague, naive solution to an intractable problem.

There is much more; read it for yourself.

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Election Reform Bill

Senate Minority Leader McConnell

“The substance of this bill is common sense,” said Mr. McConnell, a member of the Rules Committee, about the legislation negotiated in recent months by a bipartisan group led by Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia. — Reported by Carl Hulse in The New York Times on Sept. 27th

Rep. Sempolinski (R-NY-23) (not a candidate for reelecton in NY-23)

“I had major concerns with the Presidential Election Reform Act. This bill raised too many red flags that I could not in good conscience vote for it. I question the constitutionality of the bill based on how it interferes with states running elections. It should also be noted that this bill opens the door for endless legal challenges and even extended voting for already completed elections. The integrity of our elections is vital, but this bill was too fundamentally flawed to be the answer.” — ERIE NEWS NOW–Friday, September 23rd 

Rep. Tenney (R-NY-22) (Now running for election in NY-24)

The partisan Presidential Election Reform Act is the latest attempt from House Democrats to stack the democratic process in their favor. House Democrats rushed this bill through the House of Representatives in a highly partisan manner without any legitimate input from Republicans. The bill text was introduced only days before tonight’s vote, and the bill never received a bipartisan hearing or markup in the committee of jurisdiction.

The reason this bill did not go through the legislative process is because it is not a serious attempt to legislate. It is nothing more than a partisan messaging bill intended to score cheap political points weeks before an election. Not only was this bill drafted with bad intentions, but it is also poor policy. The bill broadly defines a ‘catastrophic event,’ which could be used to extend balloting for up to five days after the polls close in a presidential election. It also tramples on the core principle of state sovereignty and directly contradicts the United States Constitution. The legislation also creates broad private rights of action in a backdoor effort to empower Democrat election lawyers and partisan operatives. 

If the Democrat majority in the House was serious about election integrity, it would take a cue from the House Election Integrity Caucus and focus on priorities that actually enhance the security and transparency of our elections. We should take up my bill to ban Zuckerbucks, hold states accountable for their failure to retain records under the Civil Rights Act of 1960, stop President Biden from implementing an overreaching Executive Order turning federal agencies into partisan voting operations, and provide states with tools and resources to boost election security. — https://tenney.house.gov/about/my-votes-explained

If election reform passes House and Senate, I wonder if our representatives will change their tunes.

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Rep. Sempolinski addresses the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 

The quote is from the Ordinance of 1787, commonly known as the Northwest Ordinance, drafted originally by Thomas Jefferson and passed by the Continental Congress in that year.

WRFA reported on Joe’s speech.

“On the topic of what the federal government can do to help students who are two to three years behind after the Pandemic, Sempolinski said it’s something all of society needs to on work together:”

“Whether it’s the federal government setting broad policy. Obviously, much of what happens in education is a state and local issue which is where it should be, frankly, constitutionally. That should be in the province of the state of New York and the other states and, most importantly, with the parents, and with the local officials on the ground. Those are who should be taking the lead on education but it’s something we all need to work on together to make sure we don’t leave behind an entire generation.”

I approve when Joe Sempolinski talks about working together rather than fighting with each other.

“Sempolinski said when it comes to child care, that the federal government should do things within its purview that have a good return on investment:”

“What we’re talking about here is people trying to do the right thing, right? They’re trying to go work. They’re trying to come into one of your businesses and be a productive employee and maybe what’s holding them back is that they have some sort of childcare issue or other issue at home. All right, maybe that’s something where we can, as the government, as the society, help those folks out because then they’re going to be working. They’re going to be paying taxes. They’re going to be a productive member of society.”

I think we might better address the affordability of childcare because it is the right thing to do.

“Sempolinski said more emphasis needs to be put on the skilled trades when it comes to addressing workforce development issues.”

I find it dishonest when Joe Sempolinski, who was a graduate student at Yale, suggests that others skip college. When Thomas Jefferson wrote about the importance of “religion, morality, and knowledge,” I doubt he was thinking of trade school.

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Tom Reed’s staff got remarkably lucky

Tom Reed’s staff got remarkably lucky during his last years in office:

Staff Member2019 SalaryIncrease2020 SalaryIncrease2021 Salary
Joe Rizzo$105.10865%$173,900
Sharon Murphy$45,32215%$51,43820%$61,568
Tom Hyland$38,45035%$49,50022%$60,972
Annual Salaries

Tom Reed once claimed to be conservative with legislative pay; he seems to have changed his mind in later years. When did readers last get a raise of 10% or more?

Source: Legistorm

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Hero-worship of police is failing us

Isabelle Leyva and Simon McCormack, authors of an article for The New York Civil Liberties Union, ask “Does adding more police deliver results?”

They write:

In our shows, movies, and novels, they are our heroes in blue. To elected officials, they are the go-to response to complex, unmet social needs, from mental health care, housing, and supportive schools, to safe neighborhoods and more. Police will save the day. 

Or will they? The authors note:

  • An analysis published in the journal, Criminal Justice and Behavior discovered that 66 percent of the crimes focused on in three popular police shows were murder or attempted murder. But a 2019 Vera Institute of Justice report found that fewer than five percent of arrests are related to serious violent crimes. 
  • Police kill more than 1,000 people in America every year — disproportionately Black and Brown people. Between January and March of this year, there were just four days when police did not kill someone. 
  • In New York, police often violently confront and stifle peaceful protesters. Officers too often target racial justice protesters while allowing white supremacist and far-right demonstrators to protest without interference.
  • In New York City, the NYPD is central to the effort to destroy homeless encampments. This cruel initiative provides no long-term solutions for unhoused New Yorkers. Instead, it funnels people into notoriously violent and inhumane shelter systems, and makes their lives on the street even more difficult.
  • Police also play a key role in reinforcing gentrification. Studies have documented heightened police enforcement in gentrifying neighborhoods. 

The article concludes:

It’s time we stopped asking police to be the simple catchall solution to so many complicated problems. We all want safe communities. But we know that adding even more police has a negligible impact on crime rates, and that there is no evidence that criminal system reforms or progressive prosecutors have fueled increases in crime. New York needs proven and effective public safety solutions, including better jobsschoolshomes, and health care — all of which would do more to lower crime rates than further relying on police. 

Isabelle Leyva is a Field Organizer,
Simon McCormack is a Senior Writer

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Rep. Tenney fails to defend The Constitution

Colonel Vindman once believed an American could tell the truth without being punished. We showed him he was wrong about that.

On Sept. 15, the House voted on two bills to protect and defend The Constitution. Rep. Tenney voted against both of them. H.R. 8326 would prevent a future rogue president from interfering with the census for political purpose. H.R. 2988 would protect whistleblowers from political revenge. Here are Rep. Tenney’s explanations:

September 15, 2022

H.R.8326 – Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act


I voted “No” on H.R. 8326, the Unaccountable Census Bureau Act. Our last census was a complete fiasco with multiple leadership and administrative challenges. However, the Democrats’ response with this legislation is to make Census Bureau leadership less accountable. This bill will prevent the President from easily replacing the Census Director and make the Census Director solely responsible for the operational, statistical, or technical decisions about the decennial census. Finally, it will limit the ability of the census to ask new questions, such as the commonsense citizenship question.  This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 220-208.

H.R.2988 – Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act of 2021

I voted “No” on H.R. 2988, the more accurately named Limitless Whistleblower Protection Act. It is essential we protect good-faith whistleblowers who report abuses and waste in the federal government. However, this legislation will only empower bad actors to abuse the system by shielding employees from accountability or scrutiny of their claims. It will do this by shielding federal bureaucrats even if they are defying the lawful direction of the President and elected officials. This change will undermine oversight of the federal bureaucracy and our ability to ensure our government is meeting the needs of the American people. We must protect our self-governance and the rule of the people. This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 221-203.

Both bills passed on party-line votes. Republican opposition to protecting The Constitution against future threats, which we might expect from experience with past threats, gives a clear view of what we might expect if Republicans gain control of the House–fewer protections for our constitutional government.

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Rep. Tenney (R-NY-22) spreads fear

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. — FDR

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22) tells New Yorkers what to think spreading fear with insinuations. Here are some examples from September 2022:

Lowering the farm worker OT threshold will hurt farmers, the agricultural workforce, and consumers.–facebook, Sept. 15

Anti-Second Amendment Elites are pressuring credit card companies to monitor your firearm & ammunition purchases.s.–facebook, Sept. 14

Lowering NY’s farm worker overtime threshold would be a nightmare for our family farms.–facebook, Sept. 13

New York was just ranked LAST on The Heritage Foundation‘s Education Freedom Report Cards.–facebook, Sept. 13

Experts just urged Georgia to replace the state’s voting machines with hand-marked paper ballots b/c voting machines in Coffee County may have been breached.–facebook, Sept. 9

Big Tech censored the Hunter Biden laptop story, which could have influenced the 2020 election.–facebook, Sept. 7

NEW BOMBSHELL REPORT: America First Policy Institute just released a new report, which uncovered pervasive & problematic practices: jurisdictions are not preserving records from federal elections, leaving serious questions and discrepancies.–facebook, Sept. 7

This week, state AGs obtained emails showing that the Biden admin coordinated regularly with Facebook to censor dissenting viewpoints.–facebook, Sept. 3

Next week, the NY Farm Wage Board will submit a recommendation to lower the farm labor overtime threshold to 40 hours. Family farms across NY would be devastated by this change. Say NO to reducing the threshold!.–facebook, Sept. 2

Today, most provisions of NY’s grossly unconstitutional “Concealed Carry Improvement” Act take effect..–facebook, Sept. 1

Rep. Tenney’s posts consistently spread fear of government, Democrats, and fellow Americans with unsupported allegations. September isn’t even over yet.

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Rep. Joe Sempolinski Republican NY-23

Some handy links:

Rep. Sempolinski’s web site

Rep. Sempolinski’s official facebook page

Rep. Sempolinski’s sponsored legislation

Rep. Sempolinski’s cosponsored legislation

Rep. Sempolinski’s votes. It would be better if he would explain them.

Note: The votes page includes procedural votes normally voted on party lines. This explains why some bills are listed more than once. Usually, the latest vote would be on passage.

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Twenty-two Republican Governors Oppose Student Loan Relief

Everyone knows someone that’s struggling post pandemic. And, you know, if we help folks in the communities so that they – reduce the chances of them going into default, everybody wins. It helps the economy.–Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona

Twenty-two Republican Governors Oppose Student Loan Relief.

From the governor’s letter:

As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few…

Those eligible for relief are not “an elite few.” The idea that individual American taxpayers will “pay off student loan debt” is false. If the governors have a plan for making higher education affordable, the letter doesn’t mention it.

“College may not be the right decision for every American, but for the students who took out loans, it was their decision: able adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and consented to taking on debt in exchange for taking classes,” the letter states. “A high-cost degree is not the key to unlocking the American Dream—hard work and personal responsibility is.”

The governor’s answer may be to skip college, if you can’t afford it.

Ayana Archie writes:

It (the letter) further argues that it is unfair to those who previously already paid off their student loans.

This is a silly argument: Helping those in need isn’t unfair to those lucky enough to not need help.

The governors also expressed concern that the forgiveness plan could encourage higher education institutions to drive up their costs, and therefore worsen inflation.

These Republican governors spread fear of inflation, but give no evidence that loan forgiveness would have any undesirable consequences. Some Republican governors didn’t sign the letter.

Posted in Economics, Education, Political | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments