Bill Owens

Bill Owens: Flat Wages?

Sep 8, 2015

Recent jobs data demonstrates that while employment continues to grow, wages have remained flat. There is speculation about the reasons with many economists offering different, but inconclusive analysis.

Bill Owens: President Donald?

Sep 3, 2015

Donald Trump, after what most commentators and observers concluded was an outrageous debate performance, has gyrated but clearly gained in the polls. The Republican establishment appears astonished, and the other candidates look lost.

Bill Owens: The Defense Budget And ISIS

Sep 1, 2015

The House and Senate Appropriations Committee are advancing defense spending bills after the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by each House. Neither appropriations nor NDAA legislation is likely to make it to the President’s desk in the form they exist today. In both instances, the legislation will require a Conference and intra caucus negotiations likely being be the most intense.

Bill Owens: Chinese Currency Manipulation

Aug 29, 2015

The recent Chinese government devaluation of its currency by approximately 4.4 percent is a cogent reminder of how the Chinese manipulate their economy, and the world economy. There is no doubt that what the Chinese are doing is an effort to make these exports less expensive, which has been blatantly confirmed by senior leaders. These actions continue a decades-long attack on US manufacturing with little or no negative consequences.

The cities of Plattsburgh, Ogdensburg, Watertown, Saranac Lake, Malone, Potsdam, and Glens Falls in the North Country have all recently received accolades as places where people want to live as well as start and grow their businesses, all located in my old Congressional District.

The Ticonderoga Mill of International Paper recently invested $13 million to enable the use of compressed natural gas (“CNG”). The project has been completed and is in operation as of June 1, 2015. There had been discussions for several years about bringing natural gas to the Mill through a pipeline under Lake Champlain from Vermont which was not brought to fruition for a number of reasons.

Bill Owens: An Angel Fund In The North Country?

Jun 30, 2015

In the nearly thirty-five years that I have been involved as an attorney, bank director, member of Congress and volunteer in economic development, one of the most pressing issues by business consistently is the lack of startup capital.

Bill Owens: Graduation Speeches

Jun 23, 2015

This is the season for graduation speeches. Looking at clips on TV of some of those speeches, I saw humor, guitar playing, famous people giving speeches, not so famous people giving speeches, inappropriate statements being made by a certain actor, in my view, all of which brought a question to mind. Having given a few commencement speeches during my term in Congress, and most recently giving the commencement speech at SUNY Canton in early May, I wonder what the graduates and parents are thinking as they listen to these speeches. Are they entertained? Did they learn anything? More importantly, do they even remember? Having attended my undergraduate and graduate commencement programs, and multiple graduation ceremonies for my children, I have no recollection who any of the speakers were except when John Lewis, a Congressional colleague spoke at my son’s graduation from Law School. I wonder if my children do? That is not to say that the speakers weren’t interesting and entertaining people, but most of us had other things on our mind. Relief, exhilaration, a bank account that was going to be replenished, the ability to enjoy August and January again (that’s when tuition bills come).

Bill Owens: 2nd Circuit Gets It Right

May 14, 2015

The Decision last week by the 2 nd Circuit finding that the interpretation of the Patriot Act by NSA and the FISA Court was without the statutory basis with regard to mega data collection is the right outcome for our fundamental freedoms.

Bill Owens: Drought Versus Abundance

Apr 30, 2015

News stories over the past several weeks have raised awareness of extremely serious drought over the southwestern United States; with particularly dire forecasts for California. NASA scientists and other experts predict that the condition will persist over decades, and that larger sections of the country will be affected. The northeast, however, will also likely experience more moisture. Hopefully, it won’t all fall as snow along the northeast coast!

Bill Owens: The Wealth Gap - Solutions

Mar 27, 2015

There has been much chatter out of Washington about the wealth gap with both Democrats and Republicans promoting wildly different perspectives, but not offering much in the way of solutions.

Bill Owens: Those Oil Cars

Feb 28, 2015

I was traveling through Albany the other day and passed over the railroad tracks in downtown Albany, and as I did so, below me was an endless stream of oil tank cars. I couldn’t tell if they were the famous DT111s, or the “safer 1232s.” The recent accidents in Mount Carbon West Virginia and a remote area north of Timmons, Ontario, both resulted in substantial derailments and oil spills. If you are stopped at any railroad crossing in northern New York, you will see endless streams of oil tank cars, as I observed in Albany.

Bill Owens: A DHS Shutdown

Feb 25, 2015

The recent threat to shut down the Department of Homeland Security for those of us in the North Country, given our proximity to the US/Canadian border and our dependence upon it, is truly troubling.

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First-time officeholder New York Democrat Bill Owens entered Congress after winning a special election in November 2009 when his predecessor, Republican John McHugh, was appointed Secretary of the Army. The 65-year old Owens was the first Democrat to represent the 16,000-square mile district since the Civil War era. Last January, he announced he would retire from his seat. In this first part of a two-part series, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley talks with Owens about his House experience and future plans.

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In January, Congressman Bill Owens of New York’s 21st district announced he would retire. That set off a scramble to find a Democratic candidate. District chairs eventually chose filmmaker Aaron Woolf to run against Republican Elise Stefanik. But the Democratic campaign has been bumpy with polls showing Woolf 10 points behind and the House Majority Political Action Committee pulling nearly $300,000 in ads. Bill Owens has supported Woolf’s campaign, making joint appearances and calls to gain support. Owens, the first Democrat to represent the district since Reconstruction, tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that he’s not concerned about the challenges facing the Democratic candidate.

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New York’s 21st Congressional district includes the Fort Drum military installation, and because there once was a large air force facility in Plattsburgh, many veterans live across the region. So any military moves made by the federal government — such as the current bombing in Syria and Iraq —pique the interest of constituents. Democratic Representative Bill Owens voted in favor of the resolution that authorized the training of the Syrian opposition. He says representatives recognized that in voting in favor of that, they were actually authorizing the air strikes in Syria and Iraq.

New York Congressman Bill Owens represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, which stretches from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Champlain and Syracuse to the Canadian border. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke with the retiring Democrat this morning on several national and international issues.

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Glens Falls has a new hockey team coming to town. In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Bill Owens tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the small city is thrilled to host the Calgary affiliate.

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In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Bill Owens and WAMC’s Alan Chartock discuss Secretary Robert Gates’ recent memoir.

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NY 21st District Congressman Bill Owens announced last week that he would retire after five years in the House of Representatives. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke to the North Country’s representative about his future plans.

The abrupt announcement Tuesday that Congressman Bill Owens will retire from his seat in Congress means the sprawling 21st district is an open race.

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New York 21st District Congressman Democrat Bill Owens announced today that he will not seek re-election.

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New York Congressman Bill Owens announced this afternoon that he will not run for re-election. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley joined a conference call as the Democrat explained his decision.

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The 113th Congress has returned to work following a holiday recess and several issues are expected to dominate the agenda. Before he left for Washington, New York’s 21st District Representative Democrat Bill Owens discussed some of the key issues representatives must address.

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Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from New York’s 21st district, met with his constituents through a telephone town hall Tuesday evening.

Bill Owens Shares Concerns About Future Shutdown

Oct 17, 2013

Although the government shutdowns over, North Country New York Democratic Congressman Bill Owens says having a deal that addresses getting the federal deficit under control is essential to avoiding another congressional deadlock in Washington come January. The primary focus from my perspective is making sure we do not have this kind of an issue on either January 15 or February 7 again. The only way we can get there is by having a deal that addresses a lot of legitimate concerns about how we...


The government shutdown is garnering fierce criticism from Democrats, including Congressman Bill Owens. The Democrat from New Yorks 21st district held a conference call with reporters from the region Tuesday afternoon to talk about the potential repercussions.

Democratic Congressman Bill Owens held a telephone town hall with constituents across his sprawling northern New York district Thursday evening.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York Congressman Bill Owens was at a local car dealership in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning to present a signed copy of a new law eliminating an federal mandate affecting car dealerships.

Welch, Owens to offer dairy farmworker protections

Apr 9, 2013
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Congressmen Peter Welch of Vermont and Bill Owens of New York plan to announce legislation that they say will help ensure a stable workforce for Vermont and New York dairy farmers. Dairy farmers are ineligible for a federal agriculture visa program so many rely on immigrant farm workers who are in the country illegally. Welch says with Congress set to start debating comprehensive immigrant reform, he and Owens will fight to get their bill or similar protections in any final reform package....