House of Representatives

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

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.

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
Some rights reserved by **Mary** / Flickr

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.  

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.