John Katko

John Katko/Facebook

Syracuse-area Rep. John Katko has his work cut out for him as co-chair of the Task Force on Terrorist, Foreign Fighter Threat. The Republican just returned from a trip to several countries in the Middle East to get a sense of where problems might lie.

Katko, as part of an eight-member congressional delegation, visited Israel, Iraq, Turkey and some European countries to get a better idea of the dangers posed by foreign fighters -- those Westerners recruited and trained by terrorist organizations.

Matt Churchill / Flickr

Earlier this month, the 114th Congress passed its first 100 days of Republican rule in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Rep. John Katko, the freshman Republican from central New York’s 24th Congressional District, admits things didn’t get off to a good start, with GOP leadership missteps on votes involving abortion and immigration.

"There were some bumps in the road starting out, but I think we’re starting to find our groove a bit,” Katko says.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse-area Republican Rep. John Katko says his first 100 days in office have been a whirlwind. But, the freshman believes he’s already established an identity in Washington.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The three Republican members of Congress that now represent northern and central New York have been presenting a united front when it comes to issues important to the region like Fort Drum and border control. And, they say they are not afraid to stand up to their party at a time when Washington often is paralyzed because of inflexibility from extreme elements in the Republican and Democratic parties.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The three members of Congress that represent upstate New York From the North Country, through central New York, to the Southern Tier, are making a case for a regional defense symmetry. Reps. John Katko, Richard Hanna and Elise Stefanik toured upstate military facilities together Tuesday, to put the focus on potential federal budget cuts that could hurt bases in their districts.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A federal judge this week blocked two executive actions by President Obama, that would have protected as many as 4 million immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority. 

Central New York Congressman John Katko agrees with the judge's ruling. 

Katko lays out priorities for first term in Congress

Feb 18, 2015
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. John Katko will focus this term in office on mental health, security and poverty.

The first-term Syracuse area congressman told reporters what he wants to spend his time on. Those points range from promoting tourism to protecting the area’s agricultural sector.

Katko, R-Camillus, spoke in depth about improving Syracuse’s high poverty rate. He says in his position, he’ll look to be an advocate for decreasing unemployment and school dropout rates. "And there’s no easy answers, but raising the awareness is a start of trying to get a solution to the problem," he said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep. John Katko is jumping into the discussion on the future of Interstate 81.  The Republican is calling on the New York state and federal governments to include all options for the future of I-81 when a scoping report is released to the public in the coming weeks.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) was one of three House of Representative Republicans who voted this week against a bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Katko has said all along that he wouldn't vote for a full-scale repeal, unless there is an alternative to the sweeping health care law.

The congressman says Republican leadership was aware of how he would vote. In a statement following the vote, Katko said he was disappointed that the bill didn't provide a real solution to the rising costs of health care.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Freshman Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) takes the gavel to chair his first congressional subcommittee meeting Tuesday.  

The 24th District congressman is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation Security.

The hearing comes following an apparent gun smuggling ring that started in Atlanta. With the alleged help of an airport employee, a passenger last December got through security with several guns in carry-on luggage and on to a plane headed to New York.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

As Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is finishing up his first month representing the residents of the 24th Congressional District, he says he’s getting used to the pace and the politics of the nation’s capital.

Katko, joins a Congress that has the largest Republican majority since the 1930s.  And he admits that getting all the factions of the GOP to work together as one can be a challenge.

Obama's State of the Union: New York politicians share their thoughts

Jan 21, 2015
Office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Many upstate New York representatives shared their thoughts after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) applauded Obama for focusing on the middle class and economic opportunity in a statement.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Freshman Republican Rep. John Katko isn’t backing the president’s plan for free community college, but he says it’s a discussion worth having.

President Barack Obama proposed a free Associates Degree for community college students in his State of the Union address last night.

"Can we afford that? I don’t know. But should we talk about the affordability of college for people on a general matter? Absolutely. And I think there’s something there we can work with," said Katko, the congressman for central New York, afterward.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

How does Congressman John Katko suggest improving the productivity rate of the House of Representatives? By trying really hard.

Rep. Katko (R-Camillus) sees his role as a congressman to both write laws and assist residents of his central New York district. Katko begins his job as the representative of New York’s 24th Congressional District at a time when Washington has enacted a historically low number of laws.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Local activists took to the streets of Syracuse on Tuesday to urge President Barack Obama to veto legislation to construct the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The dozen or so protesters made their statement in front of newly-elected Rep. John Katko's office in Syracuse.

Katko, a Republican, was a target of protestors because he was among 238 Republicans and 28 Democrats in the House of Representatives to support construction of the pipeline.

Connectologist / via Flickr

Newly sworn-in Rep. John Katko has already attached his name to an effort to repeal the medical device tax.

The tax on medical equipment manufactured in the United States was tacked on to the Affordable Care Act as a way to pay for the health care overhaul. But it’s angered device makers, like Welch Allyn in Skaneateles. The company attributed recent layoffs to the tax’s impact.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

The orientations are over, the office space has been rented and the staff hired.  And now the real work begins for the 58 freshmen who will join the 114th session of the House of Representatives.

Among those being sworn in today, are North Country Republican Elise Stefanik, who is the youngest women ever elected to Congress and Syracuse-area Republican, John Katko. The Camillus Republican says he and Stefanik are already working together.

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.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

On January 6, John Katko takes the Oath of Office as the 24th district's Congressional representative.  On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with the Congressman-elect about his learning curve during the orientation, the transition from Dan Maffei, his legislative priorities and his committee assignments, the continuing problem of political polarization in Washington, and the racial tensions surrounding law enforcement.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep.-elect John Katko’s congressional committee assignments will put him in a place to see a lot of action as the 114th Congress opens in January.

Katko got the assignments he wanted on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Homeland Security Committee. There will be a lot going on in the area of transportation, as the highway bill and the Federal Aviation Administration bill will expire soon. He will also be involved in discussions over the reconstruction of Interstate 81 through Syracuse.

Katko prepares for first term in Congress

Dec 29, 2014
John Katko/Facebook

There won’t be much change going from candidate John Katko to Rep. Katko after the Republican takes the oath of office in Washington, D.C. next month. The representative-elect expects the campaign style that led him to a 20-point win over incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei in November will be the model for his congressional career.

For former federal prosecutor Katko, that means plenty of town hall meetings, tele-town halls, social media, and just plain getting around.

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

Once Republican John Katko begins representing central New York's 24th Congressional District next month, he says he plans to take time to praise police in an era when police-community relations have become strained.

When Katko was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse, he worked a great deal with police officers and came across some of the bad apples.

Republican John Katko, who beat incumbent Dan Maffei to represent the 24th Congressional District, has picked for his senior staff a mixture of familiar central New York faces, an experienced Capitol Hill staffer, and colleagues he has worked with before.

Familiar to many in Syracuse is Tom Connellan, who has worked for the Syracuse Police Department for 25 years. Connellan will become Katko's district director, leading the local staff here in central New York. Connellan has most recently been the press spokesman for the Syracuse police.

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.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

How does a political newcomer take on a two-term congressman and win a seat in Congress? That’s what happened in central New York this week, as Republican John Katko defeated Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei by 20 points.

Katko analyzed his winning campaign during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters yesterday.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A year ago, John Katko of Camillus was a federal prosecutor, putting criminals behind bars. Today he is congressman-elect for central New York’s 24th Congressional District.

The Republican's first foray into politics has led to a stunning victory over two-term Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat.      

“Anybody want to know why I’m wearing a purple tie?" Katko asked, opening his victory speech. "It’s a combination of red and blue because we all got to get together." 

He vowed to keep the promise he made on the campaign trail to work with Democrats in Washington.

Ryan Delaney | John Katko for Congress

Dan Maffei has conceded in the race for the 24th Congressional District. Republican John Katko wins.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The candidates for central New York’s hotly contested seat in Congress spent their final day of the campaign rallying voter turnout.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has a slight edge in registered Democrats over Republicans in the 24th Congressional District, but he’s struggled to get them to the polls in midterm elections during his previous campaigns. So Monday afternoon he visited his campaign phone bank.

"Now it’s all up to the grassroots and getting out the vote," he said. "That is going to deliver this race; that’s going to deliver a lot more races nationwide." 

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