Josh Riley vows to push for abortion rights protections as one of his first acts if elected to Congress

Gun Rights

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Democrat Josh Riley said one of his first acts if elected to Congress would be to push for federal legislation ensuring a women’s right to abortion.

Riley, who is running against Republican Marc Molinaro in the race for the 19th Congressional District seat, said he is “pro-choice” and believes decisions about whether to have an abortion, like other women’s health care decisions, should be made by the woman and her doctor.

Riley sat down with the Freeman virtually on Wednesday to discuss his position on a wide range of issues facing the nation and the 19th Congressional District. Molinaro met with the Freeman in an identical format on Oct. 17. The campaigns and the Freeman were unable to agree on a date for a debate.

You Might Like

During that video interview, Riley said he disagrees with Molinaro’s position that abortion rights should be left to states, saying he doesn’t trust politicians to make decisions for women.

I don’t really trust politicians, but especially when it comes to the most intimate and difficult decisions a woman has to make,” he said.

He said he supports the right to abortion access being codified in federal law and said if elected one of his first actions would be to sign on to the Women’s Health Protection Act, which is federal legislation that would provide legal protection for the right to provide and access abortion care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions and bans on abortion, including forced waiting periods, biased counseling, and pre-viability bans.

Additionally, he said, he would work to ensure access to FDA-approved abortion medications, noting that after the Dobbs ruling, he called on the Justice Department to file lawsuits against states that try to ban those medications.

I believe that abortion is health care and I believe women’s health care decisions are women’s health care decisions, nobody else’s,” Riley said.

I don’t think a politician …, and the state and the government, has any place in the OB/GYN’s office,” he added.

Guns

Riley said the federal government needs to do more to keep what he called “weapons of war” off the streets and said that while working as a lawyer with the Senate Judiciary Committee following the Sandy Hook school shooting, he helped draft legislation that would have enacted what he said were common-sense laws to keep communities safe.

He said that although the measures included in the legislation had broad support among the American people, it failed to garner enough support in Congress to pass because National Rifle Association is spending “millions of dollars, buying politicians, bribing politicians, lobbying politicians and shutting down proposals that 80 to 90% of Americans supported.”

Chief among the efforts Congress needs to take, he said, is to crack down on gun runners by strengthening laws against illegal arms sales across state lines that enable gun smugglers to move weapons from southern states where gun laws are lax into northern states which tend to have stricter gun control laws.

What we found … is that a ton of the weapons that are used in … crimes (in cities like Chicago) are actually being trafficked up the Mississippi River from other states,” Riley said.

Riley also said the current background check system is “totally broken” and said the federal government needs to revamp the system to make sure that all pertinent records are entered into the system.

He also said he would support legislation to keep guns out of the hands of anyone convicted of domestic violence.

Studies show that women are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm and so I don’t think people who have been convicted of domestic violence should have guns,” he said.

Immigration

In what he said is a “break from his party,” Riley called for increased border security to stop the flow of both drugs and people illegally entering the country.

I do not think we are doing enough to secure the borders and we need to,” he said.

Riley said that securing the border means increased physical and technological barriers as well as increasing funding for more border patrol officers. He also said the federal government has to increase its funding to the Department of Homeland Security to increase the capacity of its administrative and judicial systems so that folks can be processed through the system more quickly.

He also said the government has to revamp the visa system so that people looking to come into the country for work necessary to support the nation’s agricultural industry have an easier pathway to do so.

Drugs

Riley said that among the steps the federal government should take to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country would be to invest more in new technologies that would make it easier for border patrol agents to track down shipments coming into the country.

He also called for “cracking down hard” on drug dealers and those trying to import drugs into the country and said there needs to be more support and funding for law enforcement.

He said he supports the federal decriminalization of marijuana and could support its legalization but would first want to have more discussions with law enforcement and those who deal with addiction services to make sure legalization is done in a “deliberate and thoughtful way.”

Mental health

Calling the mental health crisis “the second wave of COVID,” Riley said the federal government needs to provide increased funding for mental health services.

He said the federal government needs to do more to ensure that there is parity between mental health and physical health services.

He also called for more support for law enforcement agencies who are frequently called to respond to incidences involving someone having a mental health crisis and said there needs to be more federal funding made available for crisis intervention training.

The 19th Congressional District comprises all or parts of 11 counties stretching from the Massachusetts border to western New York including the northern portion of Ulster County and all of Green and Columbia counties.

You Might Like

Articles You May Like

Snugpak Patrol Poncho and Poncho Liner- Outdoor Gift Ideas
The Perfect Camping Food “Hunter’s Stew”
Next Level Hobo Stove w/ Siege Cross Bars!!
Upgrades for your Worksharp Precision Adjust Knife Sharpener
Survival Skills Primitive: Technology Make A Comb Primitive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *