In a marked departure from routine, Rep. John Faso reserved two-thirds of his time for questions from the audience on Wednesday at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Kingston. Typically, speakers use 30 minutes of the 45-minute segment for remarks. Some don’t take questions at all.
The first-term Republican from Kinderhook talked in some detail about health care, transportation, federal debt, immigration and the recent shutdown of the government for 15 minutes before turning to the crowd of 250 at the Best Western conference center.
Calling the shutdown “a monumental farce,” Faso said, “We should never allow non-financial issues to shut down the government.”
Speaking of gridlock over the so-called “Dreamers,” Faso said, “the far left wants the issue, the far right is not interested in changes.” He sees a 12- to 14-year path to full citizenship for children brought to this country as children by their undocumented immigrant parents.
Faso received no critical questions and there were only a few protestors at the entrance of the hotel off Washington Avenue, compared to dozens a year ago.
Gibson said he belongs to an informal bipartisan group of 24 “problem solvers” in the House that seeks compromise on major issues. The House has 435 members.
“We’re not at each other’s throats 24 hours a day, just some of the time,” he said.
Faso dismissed the notion of a European-style “value added tax” (sales tax) to pay down the national debt as “a long way off politically.”
Faso voted against the tax reform bill because of some of its negative impacts on New York, but said he believed it would fuel economic recovery.