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Local reps break stride with GOP as shutdown enters third week

Amid shutdown, Rep. Tom Reed criticizes focus on border wall

A partial government shutdown entered its 13th day Thursday, prompting two of the region’s three House members — including Republican Rep. Tom Reed — to call for solutions that don’t exactly comport with President Trump’s insistence on a wall at the Mexican border.

Reed, the co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, suggested ending the government shutdown by combining increased funding for border security with broader immigration legislation. That bill would include a solution for the “Dreamers” — undocumented young people brought to America illegally by their parents — as well as provisions addressing farm labor and other immigration issues.

“I ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put aside the partisanship and the divide that the border wall has created, and really focus on what we can come together on and agree on what needs to be done in terms of border security as well as fixing the broken immigration policies that got us here,” Reed said.

Meantime, Rep. Brian Higgins said the new Democratic House, which took office Thursday, should simply pass a funding measure that the Republican-led Senate passed late last year in an effort to end the shutdown. That measure, which passed by a 241-190 margin late Thursday night, would fund government agencies through Sept. 30.

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John Katko among first House members in 18 years to break ranks on rules vote

U.S. Rep. John Katko was among three House Republicans who made history Thursday night when they broke ranks to support changes to House rules proposed by Democrats.

No House member had supported an opposing party’s rules at the start of a new Congress in 18 years.

Katko and fellow Republicans Tom Reed, R-Corning, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., voted for the new rules along with 231 Democrats. Only three Democrats opposed the measure, which passed 234 to 197.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had touted the 60-page resolution as a historic change because it will make it easier for bills to reach the House floor, and allow for more votes on bipartisan bills.

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