House of Representatives

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A bill introduced this week in Congress tackles student privacy online. It would limit how educational technology companies can use the data they collect. In New York, similar rules are already in place, and they’re at work every day at one upstate school where technology is everywhere.

Sarah Latimer directs technology at Chenango Valley schools, and she thinks about privacy a lot.

“We’ve kind of had that conversation ongoing in New York for a little while now,” she says. “It’s been a very hot topic.”

Katko named to chair a House subcommittee

Jan 5, 2015
Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Rep.-elect John Katko has been appointed to become chairman of a subcommittee in the House of Representatives.

The Syracuse-area Republican will officially be sworn in tomorrow along with the rest of the freshman class of lawmakers. But not every newcomer to Congress gets to become a chairman.

Katko was already named to the House Homeland Security Committee, and now has been named the head of its Subcommittee on Transportation Security. The committee focuses on safety of passenger and baggage screening, surface transportation and transportation security regulations.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna will start his third term in Congress in January. But the 114th Congress will be a different dynamic for the 22nd Congressional District Republican.

First, Hanna will have two new congressional representatives in neighboring districts. Gone are Democrats Rep. Dan Maffei  and Rep. Bill Owens. In their place are freshman Republicans John Katko in the Syracuse-centric 24th Congressional District, and Elise Stefanik in the North Country's  21st District.

Hanna says he already given some advice to the newcomers.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Congressman-elect John Katko is finding out more about what his responsibilities will be when he is sworn in to the House of Representatives in January.

It won't become official until next week, but preliminarily it appears that Katko will serve on two committees, Homeland Security and the Transportation and Infrastructure committees. The first plays to the Republican's experience as a former federal prosecutor, as Katko dealt with border issues while working in El Paso.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Syracuse-area Congressman-elect John Katko is heading to Washington, D.C. today to begin a week-long orientation session for freshman lawmakers.

The Republican has named a 12-member transition team, which includes former GOP Rep. Jim Walsh.

The team will hire staff and create an agenda for Katko’s first 100 days in office. The transition committee draws from the public and private sector, including Ryan McMahon, chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, former House of Representatives staff members and a personnel recruiter.

Doug Kerr / via Flickr

Despite a bipartisan bill making its way through Congress to keep road and bridge projects funded, there’s still concerns about the long-term health of the highway fund. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives has passed short-term funding that was based on a budget gimmick. The Senate is expected to take it up soon. But several lawmakers in the region say Congress is failing voters by avoiding a long-term solution.

While more fuel-efficient cars and trucks may be good for your wallet and the environment, they may not be so good for roads.

Money for port and canal upgrades passes House

Oct 24, 2013
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

More federal dollars being available to make upgrades to ports and waterways in upstate New York is closer to reality as the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or WRRDA, passed the House of Representatives last night.

The bill frees up $8.2 billion in funds for water infrastructure upgrades. It also defunds never-implemented projects worth $12 billion and streamlines applications and approvals of funding.

International Joint Commission

A federal program dedicated to environmental restoration and cleaning up of the Great Lakes has escaped a massive budget cut. A committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to amend a bill that looked to slash the program’s funding, partially restoring it to $210 million for fiscal year 2014.

The House bill originally aimed to cut 80 percent of the program’s budget, from nearly $300 million to just $60 million for next year.

A House committee has since revised that figure from $60 million to $210 million.

Great Lakes funding threatened by Congress

Jul 24, 2013
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After investing more than $1.3 billion to restore the Great Lakes, one Environmental Protection Agency program may be facing major budget cuts. Republicans in the House of Representatives are pushing a budget that reduces funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $285 million down to $60 million.

Todd Ambs, with the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, says he was shocked by the House's nearly 80 percent cut proposed.

Maffei's bill for Tubman national park moves along

May 31, 2013
Heather L / via Flickr

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s Auburn home is one step closer to becoming a national park and it could mean a makeover for the property.

The bill to designate Tubman’s home a national park will get a hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources June 6. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei sponsored the bill to recognize the leader of the anti-slavery network known as the Underground Railroad.

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.

Cuomo skeptical about House vote on Sandy aid

Jan 3, 2013

After facing intense pressure from both parties for failing to pass a $60 billion federal relief package for Hurricane Sandy victims, Republicans in the House of Representatives now say they will vote on part of the flood insurance program Friday. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo still has doubts they will follow through.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate will impact New York’s competitive House races. But whether the effect will be good or bad depends on who you talk to.

Central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives that she hopes will close a tax loophole that benefits federal employees. The bill would make sure that retirement plans of federal workers are not taxed differently than those of private sector employees.  

Richard Hanna on being a "moderate"

Aug 10, 2012

Central New York Representative Richard Hanna knows he comes down on the moderate side of his Republican colleagues in Congress.

Speaking this week during a visit to Central Square, which sits in the newly drawn 22nd congressional district he is running for re-election in, the first-term congressman talked about influences from his more conservative colleagues.

Congress took up more than one controversial measure this week before it goes on August recess today. One is the debate over extending the Bush-era tax rates. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with central New York Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle about the controversial policy.