Reed Latest GOP Congressman To Sign On To Climate Change Resolution

Republican Rep. Tom Reed became the latest lawmaker to sign on to a resolution backed by Rep. Chris Gibson that acknowledges climate change as a problem that needs to be addressed.

Reed’s signing of the resolution was highlighted in an essay released by Brian Webb, the sustainability coordinator for Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts school in Allegany County.

“This resolution recognizes the impacts of climate change and calls for action to reduce further risk by working constructively to create and support economically viable solutions,” Webb wrote in the commentary. “With a focus on American ingenuity and innovation, the resolution seeks to reframe climate change as a commitment to conservative environmental stewardship.”

Reed, who represents a heavily Republican district in western New York along the Pennsylvania border, received a stronger-than-expected challenge in 2012 from Democrat Nate Shinagawa, but handily turned back a challenge in 2014 from Martha Robertson.

In addition to Gibson, Rep. Elise Stefanik, a GOP freshman who represents the North Country House district, has signed onto the climate change resolution All told, 11 House Republicans are backing the Gibson climate change resolution, which calls for the issue to be addressed.

Espaillat Launches Third Bid For Congress

Democratic state Sen. Adriano Espaillat became the latest candidate on Wednesday to enter the crowded primary field for the 13th Congressional district.

The campaign launched by Espaillat is the third time the lawmaker has sought the seat held by Rep. Charlie Rangel, who is retiring at the end of the current term.

“During my career in public service, I’ve made it my mission to fight for Northern Manhattan and the Bronx,” Espaillat said in a statement. “I’ve served our community as a tenant organizer; police precinct council president; assemblyman; and state senator. I have worked tirelessly to confront a lack of economic opportunities, to provide access to affordable housing and quality education, and keep our neighborhoods safe.”

He came within a hair’s breath of defeating Rangel in 2012, but handily was defeated in 2014 for the same seat in a rematch.

Espaillat, along with Sen. Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith Wright and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares are running for Harlem-based district, which also covers Inwood in upper Manhattan and a portion of the Bronx.

“In Washington I will continue to fight for our families by getting to work on day one to fix our NYCHA buildings, protect tenants, and invest in job creation and high quality schools,” Espaillat said. “The neighborhoods of the 13th Congressional District have witnessed historic changes and need a strong voice that will put working families first. Together, we can ensure our children inherit a better city than the one we inhabit.”

Tonko: Natural Gas Boom To Blame For FitzPatrick Closure

fitzpatrickDemocratic Rep. Paul Tonko in a radio interview on Tuesday pointed to the recent boom in natural gas development as one of the factors for the closure of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County.

“The cost of energy has caused disruption in the market,” Tonko said in an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom. “With natural gas coming down in cost that has caused the unfortunate news for the Oswego plant.”

The comment is largely in line with what FitzPatrick’s owner, Entergy Corp., cited as one of the reasons for shuttering the facility by 2017, which must still be reviewed by the Public Service Commission.

Still, Tonko, a former Assembly Energy chairman and CEO of New York State Energy and Research and Development Authority, said there was a still a chance the plant could remain open as state and federal government officials fight the planned closure of the facility, which was announced by Entergy Corp. on Monday.

The plant in Scriba employs more than 600 workers. More >

Katko, Hanna Urge State, Entergy To Continue FitzPatrick Talks

As Entergy Corp. moves to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County, the area’s two House members are urging the state to reconvene negotiations to keep the facility open.

“Over the course of the past month, Entergy has been in talks with State of New York about the future of FitzPatrick,” said Republican Reps. John Katko and Richard Hanna. “We hope the company will detail these conversations and inform the community as to what efforts were made to prevent the closure of the plant. We also urge the company and the State to continue their dialogue in the hopes of reversing the decision. Absent a solution, our hope is that the company and the State will do everything possible to mitigate the challenges faced by the community.”

Entergy on Monday announced plans to close the plant, which employees around 600 people, by the start of 2017.

New York state officials and Entergy had been in weeks-long talks to keep the plant open, which the company is says will close due to financial concerns and rising competition in the energy market.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had previously warned the company not to hold jobs at the facility “hostage” by holding out for a package of incentives from the state in order to stay open.

Reed: Ryan Would Make An ‘Excellent’ House Speaker

County Republican Rep. Tom Reed on board with Speaker Paul Ryan.

Reed in a statement released on Wednesday backed the potential speakership of the Wisconsin Republican, who indicated this week he will seek the post only if the fractious GOP conference lines up in support.m

Reed, a Republican from Corning, said Ryan would make “an excellent speaker” for the House of Representatives.

“Paul has repeatedly shown his commitment to unifying our Party, the House of Representatives and our nation, with a rare courage for leadership,” Reed said. “I’m encouraged by the recent announcement that he will dutifully consider running for the position and am hopeful that we will see a positive outcome from our conference in the near future.”

Only a few election cycles ago was Ryan’s name a liability for some New York Republicans, especially those running in battleground congressional districts across the state as Democrats pushed them on whether they would support Ryan’s budget proposals that took controversial aim at social service programs.

Tenney: Hanna Statement Provides An Opening For A Primary

Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney indicated in a radio interview the recent statements from GOP Rep. Richard Hanna on the House investigation into the Benghazi attack in Libya make it “more likely” she will launch a second primary bid against him.

“It certainly has caused a groundswell of support on social media,” she told Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show. “People have commented and emailed me.”

Asked if the comments made by Hanna — in which he suggested the investigation into the attack was a way of targeting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Tenney said it did, but she was still wrestling with the decision.

“Yeah, I would say it makes it more likely,” Tenney said. “I still have to weigh all the pros and cons.”

Hanna reignited a firestorm over the investigation when he said in a public radio interview the probe was a way of attacking Clinton, now a presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination.

“I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton,” he said. More >

Tenney Blasts Hanna’s Benghazi Comments

hannaThe Republican who challenged Rep. Richard Hanna in a GOP primary last year blasted his comments made in a radio interview that suggested the House investigation into the Benghazi attack was done to target Hillary Clinton, a leading Democratic presidential contender.

“Hanna’s comments on the Benghazi Committee’s investigation are insensitive and offensive to the four Americans who lost their lives in this brutal attack,” said Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, a central New York-area lawmaker. “Hanna is jumping to the defense of Hillary Clinton, now under federal investigation, who deceived the American people while Secretary of State by issuing false statements about the attack.”

Hanna, broadly considered to be a moderate Republican on key issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, defeated Tenney last year in a costly primary campaign. He did not have a Democratic challenger in November.

Hanna’s comments made on Wednesday to WIBX 950 instantly reignited a firestorm over the controversial investigation in Congress and potentially provides the Clinton campaign with more ammunition to rebut GOP criticism of her handling of the incident while secretary of state. More >

Sweeney Games Out Ryan For Speaker

If Republican Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan continues to hold off on announcing a run for speaker of the House of Representatives in the coming days, he’s unlikely to do so at all, former Rep. John Sweeney said in a radio interview on Monday.

“If you don’t hear from Paul Ryan in the next couple of days that he’s in, then he’s not in,” Sweeney told Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 radio show.

Sweeney, a Clifton Park Republican who was unseated in 2006 by now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, has some insight into Ryan.

Both men were elected to the House the same year, 1998, and Ryan served as a vote whip for Sweeney’s bid to the influential House Steering Committee. Sweeney in the interview said he was present when Ryan first met his wife.

Sweeney cast doubt on whether Ryan wanted the job at all, saying the 2012 vice presidential nominee “legitimately has higher ambitions” such as running for president one day.

The Ryan-for-speaker push came as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stunned Washington by announcing he would not seek the position after all, a move that came after the California Republican failed to draw enough votes from the right-wing House Freedom Caucus in order to capture the speakership in a floor vote.

“The problem with Kevin (McCarthy) at this time is you have to be for something,” Sweeney said.

Ryan, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that he is not interested in the job, an all-consuming post that could hamper his future as a White House contender.

Sweeney added Ryan prefers to return home on the weekends to spend time with his young family in Wisconsin and may not want to keep up a break-neck fundraising schedule around the country like outgoing Speaker John Boehner did, especially in New York battleground districts.

Should Ryan not enter the race, Sweeney said potential compromise candidates could include Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam.

Farrell Endorses Wright’s Bid To Replace Rangel

Manhattan Democratic Assemblyman Denny Farrell on Friday endorsed congressional hopeful and fellow Assembly lawmaker Keith Wright, who is seeking to replace longtime Rep. Charlie Rangel in a crowded Democratic primary.

“Keith Wright has been an essential voice for central Harlem for decades. His dogged advocacy and leadership is palpable throughout the community, and his partnership here in upper Manhattan and in the New York State Assembly has been invaluable,” Farrell said in a statement. “It is with great confidence and excitement that I support my friend, neighbor and long-time colleague to continue the legacy of inclusion and representation for Harlem residents in US Congress.”

Farrell’s endorsement of Wright coincides a day before state Sen. Bill Perkins announces his House campaign for the Harlem-based district on Saturday. Farrell is also a former top lieutenant to ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Both Farrell and Wright were potential replacements for Silver, who stepped down from post last year after he was arrested on corruption charges.

Instead, Wright quickly endorsed Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie — then the county Democratic chairman — virtually the same day he announced his run for speaker.

The endorsement roll out of Farrell, the chairman of the Assembly’s powerful Ways and Means Committee, was coupled with the backing of Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Harlem clergy members and the support from former Gov. David Paterson.

“Many pursue elected office as a life’s work, but few embrace public service as a life’s passion,” said Paterson, who is stepping down from the Democratic Committee’s chairmanship at the end of the month. “My dear friend Keith Wright is one of those few. I’ve served this community in many capacities, and I am fully confident that Keith has the expertise and compassion necessary to govern the tough issues. Keith’s candidacy for Congress is the correct next step in what has been a long life of selfless and exemplary commitment to serving others.”

Stefanik, Katko Sign On To Letter Urging Against Government Shutdown

stefanikprofileTwo Republican members of New York’s congressional delegation have signed on to a letter urging the GOP conference in the House avoid a government shutdown through at a the very least a temporary resolution.

The letter, signed by nine freshman House members from around the country, was backed by Reps. Elise Stefanik and John Katko — two lawmakers who were elected last year and represent battleground districts in upstate New York.

“With less than two weeks until the September 30 deadline to fund federal government operations, we are writing today to express our strong support for a funding resolution that will avoid another unnecessary and harmful government shutdown,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “We believe Congress should complete its work and provide funding for the federal government through September 30, 2016, but we are willing to support a short-term resolution that will give both the House and the Senate the additional time necessary to negotiate final spending numbers.”

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