Week in Review | February 16, 2018 Click here if you have trouble viewing this email
U.S. Congressman John Katko
Week in Review

Urging a Bipartisan Dialogue on Mental Health Following Florida Shooting

As the father of high school aged children, I am heartbroken and devastated by the tragic shooting in Florida this week.
When a parent drops his or her children off at school in the morning, their safety should not be in question.

Gun violence has decreased dramatically nationwide, yet, the number of mass shootings continues to rise at an alarming rate. The common thread in most, if not all, of these instances is mental illness. During my time as Central New York’s Representative in Congress, I have become increasingly frustrated by the level of discourse that has unfolded in the wake of these horrific shootings and the failure of Republicans and Democrats alike to produce meaningful, bipartisan reforms.

We need to have conversations that may make both sides of the aisle a little uncomfortable, and I’m willing to lead that effort. To start, I’m working alongside my colleague Rep. Grace Napolitano and the Mental Health Caucus to examine, in a bipartisan fashion, the correlation or non-correlation between mental health issues and mass shootings so that we can keep our communities safe.

Before coming to Congress, I spent a 20-year career vigorously and routinely enforcing our nation’s gun laws and keeping firearms out of the hands of the wrong people. Now, I’m making it my priority to continue that fight in Congress. We have laws on the books to ensure guns do not get into the hands of criminals, but it is far past time that we do more to keep guns out of the hands of individuals suffering with mental illness.

The inaction in Congress to date is unacceptable. I’m hopeful that our efforts will begin a productive and bipartisan dialogue that will yield real reforms.

Honoring Powerful Acts of Kindness

I had the honor of presenting two LaFayette women, Kelli Maher and Jackie Bush Roorda, with copies of a Statement for the Congressional Record that I submitted in their honor. 
Kelli and Jackie both donated their kidneys to complete strangers after learning that they were unable to donate to a close friend in need.  Jackie’s donation gave her recipient, Gary Schmidt, a second chance to live after a lung transplant.  Kelli’s donation helped save 8-year old Cecilia Brown of Ilion. The kindness of these two women made a real difference, and changed their recipients’ lives forever.  It was my honor to thank them for their selfless acts.

Meeting with Deputy Consul General of Israel, CNY Leaders

I recently joined with Central New York leaders in a meeting with Israel’s Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie for a discussion on the state of US-Israeli relations
. The Deputy Consul General was also able to learn more issues important to Central New Yorkers, including improving higher education, helping our non-profits, promoting interfaith dialogues, and creating jobs through our local business community. 


Bipartisan Budget Act Contains Significant Wins for CNY

Recently, to avoid a harmful and costly government shutdown, the House and Senate voted on, and the President signed into law, the Bipartisan Budget Act.
  I supported the this legislation because this measure prioritizes our national defense, bolsters ongoing efforts to combat opioid addiction, and contains several important victories for Central New York.

This bipartisan legislation prioritizes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delays cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, provides funding for community health centers, extends CHIP for 10 years, and will allow mental health providers to deliver greater levels of care in underserved communities by funding the National Health Service Corps. It addresses the pension crisis affecting a fair number of my constituents by creating a bicameral, bipartisan congressional commission on pension reform.  This agreement will give our local farmers and producers relief by modifying the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy producers and providing more risk management options for famers in obtaining Federal Crop Insurance.

Importantly, this budget agreement provides $1.4 million to Oswego Health so that this organization can continue to serve those in need. Rural hospitals like Oswego Health face significant, unique challenges in providing care. Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve worked alongside Oswego Health to ensure they are able to deliver the best quality care and was proud to support this budget, which provides significant support and funding certainty to Oswego Health and other rural providers.

House Homeland Security Panel Addresses U.S. Safety

With ISIS, and other terrorist organizations, dedicated to taking innocent lives by any means necessary, the importance of having a strong national security has never been more important
. We must continue work with our international allies and our intelligence community in order to stay ahead of the evolving and persistent threats to the United States of America.

As part of this effort, I had the opportunity to join Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, and some of my Homeland Security colleagues to discuss what Congress can do to combat domestic and international threats, improve our cyber security against hackers, and enhance our aviation security.

Around Central New York

I was able to visit Ichor Therapeutics, Inc. with LaFayette Town Supervisor Danny Fitzpatrick
. Ichor Therapeutics is a biotech startup that that specializes in stem cell research, lifespan studies, and drug discovery services. CEO Kelsey Moody and Quality Assurance Director Scott Campbell talked to us about how tech, research, and startup businesses can thrive in small towns throughout NY-24. 

Great talking with Dan Sieburg about what we can do to help those who live in poverty. Last November, Dan was named the new CEO of the Rescue Mission of Syracuse, and is leading their continued efforts to fight hunger and homelessness in Syracuse and throughout Central New York. I look forward to working together! 

I am deeply humbled by the sacrifices that our veterans, and their families, have made both on and off the battlefield. They have served our country honorably, and put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we hold dear. I recently hosted a meeting with my Veterans Advisory Committee where we discussed what we can do to help our homeless veteran population, increase healthcare benefits for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and improve VA hospitals and medical facilities within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Check out my Facebook Live interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard. We talked about creating jobs, lowering taxes, and my bipartisan proposal to rebuild our country’s crumbling infrastructure. 

As always, thank you for subscribing to my e-newsletter!

John Katko (NY-24)
Member of Congress

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John Katko: Congress' inaction on mass shootings is unacceptable

Rep. John Katko proposes $1 billion to upgrade water infrastructure systems

Katko: Oswego Health to receive $1.4 million from congressional budget deal

Katko backs bill to improve coordination between feds, rural areas

Upstate to build eight-bed adolescent psychiatric unit 

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Syracuse, NY
District Office

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Syracuse, NY 13202
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Auburn, NY
Regional Office

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Auburn, NY 13021
P: (315) 253-4068
F: (315) 253-2435
Lyons, NY
Regional Office

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Lyons, NY 14489
Oswego, NY
Regional Office

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Second Floor
Oswego, NY 13126
Washington, DC
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