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Katko: No to House Tax Package, Thumbs Up to Trump's Public Health Declaration

John Smith/WAER News

Central New York Congressmember John Katko says he voted no to the House Budget this week because he stressed the elimination of the State and Local Tax deduction would have adversely affected property tax payers in the state.  However, he’s optimistic that House Republicans will work it out. 

“I think we’ve got the attention of leadership now and I think they know we’re serious and that we’re going to stand as a block to try and make sure the middle class doesn’t get screwed in this deal.  We gotta make sure that whatever tax reform happens is gonna be a tax reform that is good for the middleclass.”

The Congressmember anticipates that more details about the new tax reform package will be available within two weeks.  He was also at the White House when President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency for the opioid crisis.  Even though the declaration doesn’t direct additional funding to combat the problem, Katko seems closely aligned with the President on the issue.

“He (Trump) got it right yesterday because he took a major epidemic    that’s going on in this country.  The previous President (Obama) didn’t do anything like this and brought the Whitehouse focus to it.  It’s much more than just money, it’s about shifting priorities, shifting where we’re gonna go to law enforcement, shifting where we’re going to go to programs.  And there’s plenty of money to do what he wants to do.  And I applaud him for standing up and doing it.  You know, people can disagree with him… on this one you have to give it to him because he got it right.”

Meals on Wheels in North Syracuse where Congressmember John Katko visited on Friday.

He recently authored more legislation even before it was declared a Public Health Emergency.

“I’ve got a bill from the law enforcement side, it might get passed in a few weeks.  If it does, that’s gonna change the way law enforcement operates with respect to this issue.  We’re attacking it from all sides… treatment, prevent and law enforcement.”

Katko made his remarks outside Meals on Wheels in North Syracuse where he also stressed the importance of the delivery program that he says allows Seniors to remain living at home.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.