Rep. Tom Reed fears New Yorkers will have less influence on public policy if the state loses a congressional seat after the 2020 census.
“The core result is demonstrated by having fewer and fewer voices to represent us,” Reed said in a media call with reporters Wednesday.
New York State has lost close to 1.4 million residents since 2010, according to a Census Bureau update issued at the end of 2019. Additionally, 180,649 more residents have moved out of the state than have moved in over the past year.
The number of congressional seats a state has is based on population, approximately 747,000 people per seat.
Reed, who represents the Greater Olean area in Congress, blames the loss of population on the state’s Democratic lawmakers.
"People are being drawn out of New York, which is directly attributable to big government mentality in Albany,” Reed said. “They can't handle the tax load. We need to change this course of action.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo painted a different picture of state taxes when he delivered his 2020 State of the State address Wednesday.
"We didn't raise taxes, and in fact, we have cut tax rates for every New Yorker, reduced middle class taxes to the lowest level since 1947, the lowest corporate rate since 1968, managed the government to a 2% growth rate - lower than past Republican administrations - and brought NY the strongest economy in history," Cuomo said.
Reed, a Republican who said he has been approached by multiple people asking him to run for governor, said he is not ruling out the idea of running for the state's highest office. He added his style of governing would be much like that of Republican governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland.
However, Reed is inclined to rely on what the people he represents want him to do before he decides to start a campaign for governor.
“I will always trust the wisdom of the people,” he said.
Other topics covered during the call were President Donald J. Trump’s address earlier that day, Reed's opinion on the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani and climate change.
Regarding Trump’s address, Reed said he supports the “punishing economic sanctions” toward Iran, which are being “drawn up as we speak.”
The U.S. will aim to collaborate with other countries to cut off oil and weapon sales with Iran, Reed said.
As for the death of Soleimani: “I appreciate the president taking the action that he did,” Reed said. “The taking out of Soleimani was the right call.”
Lastly, Reed looked to the technology of the future to help with climate change.
“I’ve always said climate change is real and man has contributed to it,” Reed said. “A better way to go about this is with next-generation technology.”
Reed specified he was talking about clean energy technology and that he hopes that making it available and affordable to countries such as China and various African nations will make them more likely to invest in it, reducing climate change as a result.
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