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GOP Congressional Candidate John Katko Targets Gas Taxes, Infrastructure Plan

John Smith

Most Central New Yorkers are probably keeping an eye on the price at the gas pumps as we head into the holiday weekend.  The Republican Candidate for the 24th Congressional District is partially blaming his opponent for not allowing prices to go down.  John Katko claims that Democratic Congressmember Dan Maffei voted against a bill last week that would have lowered the Federal gas tax.  

  He stood near a gas station on 7th North Street in Liverpool.

“This bill would have reopened offshore drilling that was closed and forbidden by Obama. This bill would have eliminated some red tape on gas and oil production in the United States.  It would have accessed national petroleum reserves; all with the idea to lower the burden on Americans with gas prices.” 

Katko is also critical of Maffei’sinfrastructure plan unveiled last week.  Like Maffei, he also wants necessary roads and bridges, as well as the best possible solution for the I-81 viaduct through Syracuse.  However, he feels Maffei’s high speed rail proposal is a bad idea.

“It all sounds good and sounds exciting, but do we really know how well it’s going to perform and much it’s going to really reduce costs, travel time between here and Buffalo or here in Albany.  And is there really a demand for it or is this something they hope will create a demand?”  

Katko says Maffei failed to explain how to pay for his infrastructure plan.  Maffei told WAER  last week that he wanted to develop an Infrastructure Development Bank with public participation at the local and national levels.  Maffei’s Campaign Manager calls Katko’s attacks "desperate and dishonest."  He also tells us that Representative Maffei voted against increasing the gas tax last week because it would actually burden working families and small businesses…while rewarding big oil companies that already receive billions in yearly tax breaks.

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.
Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at