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.
Although the government shutdown’s 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 get the deficit under control and then ultimately the debt,” Owens said.
The government shutdown is garnering fierce criticism from Democrats, including Congressman Bill Owens. The Democrat from New York’s 21st district held a conference call with reporters from the region Tuesday afternoon to talk about the potential repercussions.
Last August the Ethics Committee of the 112th Congress began reviewing a trip to Taiwan that New York Congressman Bill Owens took in 2010. Last week, the committee announced that it is continuing that review.
The Ethics Committee is investigating whether Congressman Owens’ travel expenses were originally paid by improper sources. In announcing its extension of the review of the Taiwan trip, the release from the Chair and Ranking Member of the Ethics Committee states that it “...does not...indicate that any violation has occurred....” Their release says the extension is to gather additional information. Democrat Bill Owens did pay for the trip after questions of impropriety were raised. He maintains that he did everything according to the rules.
The U.S. Senate’s so-called “Gang of Eight” released their immigration reform plan on Monday, and the President is outlining his plan Tuesday.
Northern New York’s Democratic Congressman Bill Owens was in Plattsburgh Monday afternoon just prior to the release of the immigration reform package. He said there are specific items he wants in any immigration measure.