WASHINGTON – The candidates for the US-NY 23rd Congressional District are in disagreement over how much progress the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus has accomplished when negotiating a second COVID-19 stimulus package.
Incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) and challenger Tracy Mitrano (D-Penn Yan) both held media teleconferences Thursday morning discussing the Caucus and other district issues. Reed says that, even though the Caucus couldn’t get a deal struck, the members were able to achieve more this week than in the last few months.
“We are very optimistic that this is working,” Reed said, noting that members of the U.S. Senate and governors throughout the country are expressing support for the work of the Problem Solvers Caucus. “We are definitely going to continue to push this as hard as we possible can to say to folks, ‘It’s time for us to put the American people first. Get them the relief that’s needed from unemployment to stimulus checks….'”. Reed said. “This was a long term project, and we were able to deliver a game changing product that jump started the conversation here in DC.”
Mitrano, however, says that the Problem Solvers Caucus has failed to accomplish anything that would help the people of the United States. In fact, she says that the Caucus is nothing but a “public relations” committee.
“The actual operation of the Problem Solvers Caucus is public relations. It is political theater at both its best and worse,” Mitrano said. “Because it sounds good to ring the bipartisan bell, but when all you really do is put out press statements or get on press calls and talk about how bipartisan one is, and when nothing comes as a result, it further confuses people about what in the heck is really going on here because all I know is I’m being kicked out of my house, I don’t have enough money for groceries any more, I have to close my business, that’s what people really know.”
Democrat leadership in the House Wednesday said that they won’t move forward with the Caucus’ package as of yet, but a spokesperson for Reed’s office tells WNYNewsNow that the bill isn’t dead.
WNYNewsNow’s Justin Gould contributed to this report.