Tag Archives: Bill Owens


Farm bill left behind by Congress

by Carol Thompson

An effort to provide emergency aid for American ranchers and farmers reeling from a year of calamities collapsed Thursday as members of Congress departed for their five-week August recess, leaving behind a pile of unfinished legislation as they go home to campaign for re-election.

For Rep. Bill Owens, the exit from Washington is not satisfactory.

Friday Owens urged House Speaker John Boehner to call the House of Representatives back to Washington to vote on the 2012 Farm Bill.

The bill would provide the first major overhaul of the nation’s nutrition and farm program. Owens voted against a measure Thursday that would allow the House to adjourn for more than five weeks until September 10th. The motion to adjourn failed by a bipartisan vote of 150-265. Due to this vote, the House must meet in regular pro forma sessions periodically for the next five weeks, but no major legislative issues are expected to be addressed until September, Owens said Friday.

“I voted against adjournment because we have a limited amount of time to finish our work on the Farm Bill,” Owens said. “Federal agriculture programs critical to New York farmers will expire at the end of September. It is unacceptable for the House to leave Washington without approving its version of the bill so that negotiations may begin between the House and Senate on a final version to send to the President. I urge Speaker Boehner to call the full House back to work, and both parties to work together to get this done.”

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Funding for homeless veterans

by Carol Thompson

Rep. Bill Owens announced Tuesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a total of $1,976,402 in homeless prevention grants to two non-profit community agencies to help serve homeless veterans and their families.

United Veterans of America, Inc. (Soldier On) will receive $976,402 to serve approximately 400 participant households in 18 counties in the state, including Oswego County.

“As American service members return from overseas, it is critical that we make good on our promise to support them in their return to civilian life,” Owens said upon announcing the funding. “Veterans today are returning from service and it is incumbent upon us to ensure there are quality jobs waiting for them and that they have full access to the benefits they earned overseas.

“This funding will help non-profit organizations prevent at-risk veterans and their families from falling through the cracks or ending up without a home,” he added.

The United Veterans of America was founded by Dr. Barry Allen Krupkin as the original worldwide veterans organization in January of 1980.

As a veteran himself, Dr. Krupkin saw a great need for a veteran’s organization that would offer membership to veterans and allied veterans of the United States, including their families.

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Congressman Owens continues fight to save rural post offices

by Carol Thompson

Rep. Bill Owens has joined with approximately 100 colleagues to encourage the restructuring of the U.S. Postal Service without the closure of 3,600 or more rural post offices nationwide.

Oswego County’s rural setting leaves many residents to rely on their local post office to avoid the drive to the cities of Fulton or Oswego.

Postal officials announced a plan in February to proceed with closing or consolidating at least 223 processing centers in the coming years in hopes of saving billions of dollars.

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Congressman Bill Owens speaks out against Paul Ryan’s budget plan

by Carol Thompson

Congressman Bill Owens held a conference call with the media Friday to discuss the budget plan proposed by the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin.

“I’m against the Ryan tax plan for a host of reasons but mainly because it attempts to balance the budget on the backs of veterans, cops and first responders,” Owens said.

Ryan’s proposal would slash the debt by $5 trillion over the next decade; more than President Barack Obama’s budget proposes.  Ryan’s plan would cut domestic programs and restructure Medicare and the supplemental nutrition program (food stamps).

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