Maffei, Owens talk about upcoming Syria vote

Sep 5, 2013
Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

While Congress prepares to vote on whether or not to take military action against Syria, two local members of Congress are still considering all the facts. Syracuse-area Democrat Dan Maffei says he is looking at the big picture, but says he still has questions that need to be answered, including how it will impact American service members.

Maffei discusses upcoming presidential visit

Aug 15, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

President Obama will be in Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton next week to discuss his plan for reducing college costs, but Rep. Dan Maffei hopes the president makes a stop in Auburn, too.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Local fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations are learning how to apply and qualify for federal grants at a series of grant writing workshops held by Rep. Dan Maffei. Those funds can be used to pay for needed equipment, recruiting or vehicles.

Heather L / via Flickr

More than 100 people walked an Auburn street this weekend to help unveil a highway sign commemorating the work of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The walk is part of an effort to put Tubman’s home one step closer to becoming a national park.

Harriet Tubman’s great-grandniece Geraldine Copes-Daniels of Auburn believe her ancestor is long overdue for national recognition.

“Tonight we’re trying to do what she did, but hers was a longer way…People of today don’t realize what she’s done,” said Copes-Daniels.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she voted against a recent compromise on student loans because the interest rates shouldn’t be tied to market rates.

Congress let interest rates on government subsidized student loans double on July first to nearly seven percent. Last week lawmakers worked out a deal to allow rates to be tied to 10 year Treasury notes. That temporarily lowered the rates again.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's senior U.S. senator says the compromise on student loans Congress is scheduled to take up on Tuesday is a good one, even if it's not exactly what he wanted.

Interest rates on government issued subsidized student loans doubled on July 1, after Congress failed to renew the program. But late last week, several lawmakers announced a compromise that will bring rates back down, at least for now.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

When Mahlon Irish became a Homer volunteer firefighter in 1974, it was common for 60 people to head out to a fire. Now, it can be difficult to get the 12 firefighters national standards call for to a working blaze. The decline in the number of volunteers through the years is blamed on many things -- from extensive training required to changing family dynamics. But the expense of being a volunteer is also an issue, says Irish, using the cost of gasoline as an example.

Courtesy Greater Syracuse Tenants Network

The automatic federal budget cuts that are slated to go into effect in March would have a big impact on programs that help the poor and elderly in Syracuse.  Advocates for these programs are urging Congress to do something to prevent the across-the-board spending cuts knows as sequestration.

Maffei answers questions on immigration, gun control

Feb 1, 2013

At a news conference in Auburn, central New York Cong. Dan Maffei commented on a couple of hot-button issues facing Congress currently.

Richard Hanna for Congress

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, is taking a bit of a wait-and-see approach to new gun control legislation, but he has gotten the opinion of at least one high school class in his district.

Fiscal Cliff deal is good news for small business

Jan 7, 2013

While the Fiscal Cliff deal passed by Congress at the turn of the New Year raised taxes on some of the wealthiest people in America, it left many tax breaks in place that benefit small businesses. That is, along as they take advantage of them.

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle recently ended her term the way she first ran for the office—standing up for conservative principles. She voted against the fiscal cliff compromise, on the grounds that it did not address the deficit and government over-spending.  But she was defeated last November by Dan Maffei, the man she unseated in 2010.

Sarah Harris / NCPR

With several tax credits and incentives for the wind industry extended by Congress for at least another year, wind projects in upstate New York can move forward with a little more confidence.

Deal reached to stop the $6 gallon of milk

Dec 31, 2012
wander.lust / via Flickr

Congress seems to have reached a deal to stop milk prices from rising to a warned about $6 a gallon in the New Year, but it's unclear if it will be voted on before the end of 2012.

Third Way / Flickr

Members of the 113th Congress will be sworn in January 3 -- and part of the new Congress will be a familiar face returning to Washington to represent the Syracuse area in a redistricted seat.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

He won't be sworn in until January, but congressman-elect Dan Maffei is carefully watching the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.

New legislation would allow 55,000 thousand green cards to be earmarked for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math has made it through the House of Representatives. But the bill still has an uphill battle ahead.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says Hurricane Sandy caused more damage than Hurricane Katrina, and is now asking for $41 billion from the federal government. Cuomo says New York’s congressional delegation has promised the help.

Schumer: compromise is key to avoiding fiscal cliff

Nov 13, 2012

The focus in Washington, D.C. is now on the so-called "fiscal cliff," which describes the automatic budget cuts and tax hikes that are scheduled to go into effect at the end of the year if Congress and the president don't come to an agreement to reduce the deficit.  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is among those saying that the election was a mandate for compromise.

Central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is concerned that the House of Representatives has not yet passed a farm bill. The current one is scheduled to expire September 30, but Congress is scheduled to finish its work this week and passage of a farm bill does not look likely.

Tuesday's federal primary in New York state was marked by low turnout.  New York's primaries were split into three dates this year, with a presidential primary in April, Tuesday's Congressional primary and a September primary for state Senate and Assembly candidates. Experts believe having a primary in June, which is not traditional for New York, contributed to the low turnout. But, it is now known who will be on the ballot for Congress in November.

June 26 is Congressional primary day in New York. Congressman Richard Hanna was elected in 2010 and is running for re-election in the newly redrawn 22nd district.  Hanna spoke with WRVO's Catherine Loper.

June 26 is Congressional primary day in New York. In the newly redrawn 21st district in Northern New York,  Republican Kellie Greene is running against Matt Doheny. The winner of that race will face incumbent Democrat Congressman Bill Owens in November. Doheny lost a close race to Owens two years ago. This year Greene hopes to get the chance to take on Owens.  Greene spoke with WRVO's Catherine Loper.

June 26  is Congressional primary day in New York.  In the newly redrawn 21st district in northern New York.  Republican Matt Doheny is running against Kellie Greene. The winner of that race will face incumbent Democrat Bill Owens in November. Doheny lost a close race to Owens two years ago, and he's back for another run this year. Doheny recently he spoke with WRVO's Catherine Loper.

Ryan Delane / WRVO file photo

The lawn signs started popping up a few weeks ago, but Dan Maffei didn't officially launch his campaign for Congress until this weekend.

In fact, Maffei said, the signs are from his previous campaigns. He hasn't printed the new ones yet.

Maffei met with several dozen supporters at his newly opened campaign headquarters on East Washington Street in downtown Syracuse Saturday afternoon.

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling.

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

Most people do not have a positive view of Congress. A recent Gallup Poll shows Congress with just an 11% approval rating.

As 2011 comes to a close, WRVO spoke with central and northern New York's Congressional representatives.