Tom is Tom. I am me. There are things we agree on, but there are also a lot of things we disagree on. — Joe Sempolinski
Tom Reed: Agriculture is the backbone of our local economy. Our region features a wide variety of agricultural products, from specialty crops to dairy and livestock. I have had the privilege of visiting countless farms across our region and speak with local growers about the issues they face every day. I have used this valuable input to make informed decisions and enact policies that support our local agricultural industries. I have advocated for local farmers as a leader of the Congressional Wine Caucus, the Northeast Agriculture Caucus, and the Congressional Dairy Caucus. These caucus’ allow Members from across the country and political spectrum to come together and develop practical solutions to the issues that impact farmers, including trade, taxes, research, and crop insurance. One issue that is critically important to local producers is the ability to access a reliable and stable workforce. I am working with my colleagues to improve the H-2A guest worker visa program by modernizing and streamlining the application process. In addition, I cosponsored HR 281, the Family Farm Relief Act. This bill would allow visa applicants to file H-2A applications online, require the Department of Agriculture to create a user-friendly online system, and end burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.
Joe Sempolinski: The Southern Tier and Finger Lakes are some of the most beautiful agricultural regions in America. Wine, dairy, fruit and many other agricultural industries form the bedrock of the local economy. Joe will work to support our local farmers and make sure that the federal government works with them to ensure their businesses are viable. Too often the federal government can be a hindrance to agricultural industries instead of a partner.
There does seem to be a difference: Tom would enact policies that support our local agricultural industries including some immigration reforms. Joe would make sure the federal government works with them (agricultural industries) to ensure their businesses are viable.
Talk is cheap; it is unlikely that any member of Congress could do much to help local farmers and agricultural industries, unless that help extended to many other parts of the country. H. R. 281, for example, died in Committee.
Joe and Tom are typical Republicans. They oppose taxes and “big” government, until it comes to their supporters. They want free enterprise, except they want plenty of government aid for “certain people”. They oppose federal aid yet take those photo ops when the aid comes to localities. Tom is the photo op king of government aid,while voting against most of it. The word “hypocrites” comes to mind. In a true”free enterprise”system farmers would not be taking all those perks they have and beg for more. Corporations would not be given massive tax breaks while recording massive profits. But that is also typical of the “self-made man” fantasy that the GOP indulges in. When the rest of us pay our taxes and support the system that makes success possible.
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Newly elected members of Congress get a rude awakening — one of hundreds, no one cares much what they think. They can’t balance the budget, they can’t cut taxes, they can’t create jobs in their district as they promised. They are urged to spend most of their time on fundraising. It must come as a shock.
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