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House Speaker McCarthy visits Syracuse, tours JMA Wireless with Rep. Williams

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy held a press conference with Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett) on August 23.
Ava Pukatch
U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy held a press conference with Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett) on August 23.

U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was in Syracuse Wednesday touring the JMA Wireless campus with central New York Republican Congressman Brandon Williams.

McCarthy voted against the 2021 Infrastructure Act, which JMA Wireless says would benefit business. The Republican also voted against the CHIPS and Science Act — which Micron says was crucial for its investment of $100 billion in central New York. McCarthy says he supports investing in technology into the future but says his opposition stemmed from his belief that there was a different way to fund it.

"I don't want government controlling and picking the winners and losers," McCarthy said. "I actually like the private sector exactly what JMA is doing. They're enhancing it by governments putting some grants and others. That's capability, but it's their investment of their first $50 million that they decided themselves. They created something that now government can be a part of."

McCarthy, scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Williams' reelection, says the House turns to Williams, saying he knows technology thanks to his background as a nuclear engineer for the U.S. Navy.

"He's able to lay out when it comes to policy," McCarthy said. "When we're going through the NDAA of how to set up the structure that America is in a stronger place, especially with this technology going, I look a lot to him."

When asked if the GOP thought the New York 22nd Congressional District seat was threatened, McCarthy said he didn't think it was and that he was proud of the work the first-year Congressman is doing.

"It's amazing already his capabilities," McCarthy said. "The positions that he's in on the committees itself from science, which would care greatly about what's happening here in the investments in the future and his knowledge there, from transportation, from education. Those are issues that people care most about when you're looking at here and the job that he's doing there."

During his press conference, McCarthy also called for a secure border amid the influx of asylum seekers in the country — especially in places like New York City. He shared he is open to passing a short extension to avoid a potential government shutdown at the end of next month. He also pointed to a provision in the debt ceiling bill where if not all 12 spending bills are passed, there would be a 1% cut across the board.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.