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kathy hochul

June 7, 2012 - 6:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Last week, Rep. Kathy Hochul marked her first year in office, and it's been a busy year for the freshman Democrat who won a special election over Republican Jane Corwin.

Genesee County political observers estimate that Hochul has spent more time locally than her predecessors, Tom Reynolds and Chris Lee, combined.

"That's where the people are," Hochul said, explaining why she makes so many public appearances in the district. "That's where I can listen, find out their concerns. My title is U.S. Representative and the best way I can execute my duties is to listen to people.

"Every time I’m out out in the community I learn something new and I find another way I can serve my district," she added.

Upon taking office, Hochul said she found a backlog of constituent issues and immediately hired staff that would focus on constituent issues.

So far, she said, her staff has helped constituents garner $800,000 in benefits owed to them by the federal government for one reason or another but had been held up by red tape.

Listening to constituents, she said, is why she continues to oppose the Ryan budget plan and its cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Genesee County, already with a heavy Medicaid burden, would see it increase under the Ryan plan, Hochul said.

"The Ryan budget plan would convert Medicaid into a block grant program, and that's one of the many reasons I'm against it," Hochul said. "It would make for higher costs for county taxpayers and taxpayers across Western New York. It would limit how much counties get and the localities would have to pick up the cost."

But listening to constituents, she said, is also why she was one of only 24 Democrats, and the only one from New York, to support the balanced budget amendment.

Democrats in Washington, she said, haven't put pressure on her to conform with their agenda.

"My title is representative and I represent a Republican, conservative-leaning district," Hochul said. "I am free to look at every issue that comes before me and vote in the best way to represent my district."

In Washington, Hochul said, Republicans have shown a willingness to work with her. On the Homeland Security Committee, she was the only Democrat during the session to get unanimous bipartisan support for her amendments to bills. That included an amendment to ensure Transportation Security Administration uniforms are made in the United States and that unclaimed clothing from airport screenings are donated to homeless veterans.

Representing the people of WNY in Congress is an amazing honor, Hochul said.

"I come back to the district often because what occurs here is very much more meaningful and where the decisions we make effect lives directly," Hochul said.

Top Photo: File photo, Hochul at the parade in Bergen on Memorial Day this year.

June 6, 2012 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kathy hochul.

Statement from Rep. Kathy Hochul:

“I was pleased the United States Department of Agriculture has agreed with our request to declare all seven counties of the 26th District disaster areas following this spring’s devastating frost, freezes, and unseasonably warm temperatures that dealt a considerable blow to agriculture in the region. Farmers in these counties are now eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency to help them recover. Western New York is home to more than 3,000 locally owned farms and produces more than $700 million in goods every year, and I encourage farmers in my district to contact their local FSA offices for more information on the available assistance to keep their businesses viable.”

May 21, 2012 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in USDA, kathy hochul.

Press release:

Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul (NY-26) hosted a call with Dallas Tonsager, the under secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA) to discuss major upcoming projects in rural communities across the 26th District. 

“It is vital that Western New York receive the support necessary to continue the agricultural and rural development that helps keep us healthy and competitive,” Hochul said. “USDA Rural Development recognizes the importance of investing in our region, and they see the assets of our rural communities. I spoke with Under Secretary Tonsager today to encourage further investments, such as the urgent need for rural broadband access for our small towns and farmers. I am confident the USDA will continue to direct resources into our local communities."

"This is an exciting time for rural America and USDA Rural Development is assisting communities across the country," said Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager. "We look forward to continuing our work with Congresswoman Hochul to create jobs and economic development for the people of Western New York."

Tonsager was appointed as under secretary for Rural Development and sworn into office in May of 2009. Tonsager has more than 35 years of agricultural, business, cooperative, and financial experience through his work as a farmer, businessman, and community, state and national leader.

May 11, 2012 - 2:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, kathy hochul, art, Batavia HS.

Rep. Kathy Hochul was in Batavia today, making three stops, including one at Batavia High School, where she presented an award to Siena Pullinzi, winner of the annual NY-26 Congressional Art Competition.

Hochul noted that Siena beat out students from five other counties in the district.

Siena's artwork is to be displayed in the halls of the Capitol for the next year. She will also now have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., to participate in a ceremony for Congressional Art Competition winners.

While at the school, Hochul stopped by both art classes that were in session and stopped to talk with several students, noting their good work and encouraging them to continue on with art.

At one point she stopped and said, "I can just feel the creativity in this room."

Besides BHS, Hochul spoke at a luncheon at Terry Hills for Independent Living of Genesee Region and this afternoon will visit Arctic Refrigeration, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Business of the Year.

April 12, 2012 - 9:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, kathy hochul.

Besides her meeting with the Alabama Fire Department this afternoon, Rep. Kathy Hochul made five stops in Genesee County today.

One of her visits included a tour of Batavia with City Manager Jason Molino and other city officials. The tour ended with a visit to Batavia's landmark sewage treatment plant.

Hochul told city officials she was very impressed with the progress Batavia is making, from the Masse Gateway Project to downtown redevelopment.

"It's a city that's moving forward," she said.

Other stops by Hochul included making a donation of books from the Library of Congress to the Byron-Bergen Public Library, a tour of the trans-load warehouse on Mill Street and a talk with seniors at 400 Towers.

Below, a completely gratuitous picture of one of the treatment ponds, covered by clouds.

April 12, 2012 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alabama, Tonawanda Indian Reservation, kathy hochul.

When there is an emergency call on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, the Alabama Volunteer Fire Department never shirks its duty -- the volunteers suit up, jump on their trucks and head out to whatever emergency is toned out.

Even though, for a number of years, there's been no money coming in to support the department from residents of the reservation.

For years, the department has lobbied the Bureau of Indian Affairs for some reimbursement of its expenses -- something not uncommon across the nation, and even in Western New York.

Today, Rep. Kathy Hochul announced that after some efforts on the part of her staff, the bureau has agreed to reimburse the department for its calls on the reservation up to $69,000 a year.

"There are a lot of people over there who need our services," said Past Chief Bill Schutt. "This was never about not providing those services, but getting funding for those services. They are part of our town and they're our neighbors. We've never considered not going there."

Hochul announced the agreement during a brief visit with the Alabama firefighters at their fire hall today.

The department has a budget of $180,000, mostly funded by a fire district tax levied against town landowners, but since the reservation is sovereign land, residents there don't pay the tax.

Schutt said exactly how the new pot of money will be allocated in the department hasn't been decided yet, but there's always equipment to replace or repair.

The department has about 50 volunteers, two of whom live on the reservation, according to Schutt.

March 28, 2012 - 4:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, kathy hochul.

Press release from the campaign office of Kathy Hochul:

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today called on her opponents – Republican Chris Collins and Tea Party candidate David Bellavia – to join her in rejecting Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) 2013 budget proposal. Like last year, the budget would end Medicare as we know it by increasing out-of-pocket expenses for seniors by thousands of dollars, while simultaneously giving $150,000 in tax breaks to multi-millionaires.

“Over the last 10 months, I have made cutting federal spending and putting our fiscal house in order one of my top priorities,” Congresswoman Hochul said. “However, just as it did last year, the 2013 House Republican budget aims to pay our nation’s bills on the backs of our seniors, while at the same time giving massive tax breaks to multi-millionaires and billionaires.

“Representative Ryan’s plan also makes across the board cuts in medical research, high-tech research, and education – making it more difficult for businesses to innovate, create jobs, and compete in the global market. Instead of investing in the American economy, the House budget gives taxpayer giveaways to the nation’s wealthiest, Big Oil, and companies who want to ship American jobs overseas.

“Western New Yorkers want a Representative in Congress who will cut our nation’s spending the right way. That is why I supported a bi-partisan proposal to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion, as well as the bi-partisan Balanced Budget Amendment, which would require Congress to manage its finances in the same way Western New York families do every day.

“Congress is scheduled to vote on this proposal this week, and I urge Mr. Collins and Mr. Bellavia to join me in rejecting this budget, which will decimate Medicare. The voters of the 27th District deserve to know where the candidates stand."

February 6, 2012 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kathy hochul.

Press release:

During a visit to Zuber Farms in Churchville today to discuss her opposition to burdensome government regulations for farmers --like the recently lifted ban on the wintertime application of manure -- Congresswoman Kathy Hochul announced she has joined the bipartisan House Dairy Caucus to better represent the farmers in New York’s 26th Congressional District.

“Dairy farms play an important role to the New York State economy, making up nearly half of our state’s $4.5 billion agriculture industry and yielding more than 12 billion pounds of milk annually,” said Congresswoman Hochul.

“Fighting against burdensome regulations, like the ban on the wintertime application of manure, and fighting to give them the workforce they need by supporting an expansion of a temporary guest worker program, are some of the reasons why I joined the House Dairy Caucus.

"We must continue to support commonsense initiatives that provide our farmers with the proper resources and right opportunities to grow and continue to be driving factors in the Western New York economy.”

With nearly 35,000 farms, most family owned, New York’s agriculture industry is one of the state’s largest small-business industries. New York currently ranks fourth in the nation in milk production and Wyoming County, in the middle of New York’s 26th District, leads the state with almost 200 dairy operations.

Congresswoman Hochul, along with Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-21) and Richard Hanna (NY-24), today sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack commending him for removing the ban of the wintertime application of manure.

In October, representatives Hochul and Hanna introduced a bill that would allow dairy farmers to bring in temporary guest workers through the H-2A visa program to address their labor shortages. Currently, dairy farmers are unable to apply for H-2A visas due to the year-round production of dairy. 

Joining Congresswoman Hochul on the tour today at Zuber Farms were Kim and Eric Zuber, co-managers of Zuber Farms, Scott Page, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau, and seven other local dairy farmers from throughout Western New York.

Kim is also the former president for the Monroe County Farm Bureau and a member of the Executive Committee for the New York Farm Bureau's Western New York Regional Advisory Committee. Eric is currently a member of the New York Farm Bureau.

Zuber Farms is a dairy in Monroe County, home to 1,000 head of young stock. The 10 farmers present today represented more than 10,000 head of cattle.

February 4, 2012 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, kathy hochul, Lehigh Derailment Site.

After the press conference and meeting in Le Roy this morning, I decided to swing by the Lehigh Derailment Site on Gulf Road.

When I arrived, a group of workers were leaving, helped by a staff member in a hazardous waste suit (bottom photo).

A local resident came by and we chatted for awhile, and then a deputy stopped and we said hello, and about the time I was ready to leave, Rep. Kathy Hochul showed up with local officials.

All of that to say -- I didn't know Hochul would be there and she didn't know I would be there. This wasn't an arranged media event, and Hochul expressed some sensitivity to leaving that impression.

Hochul said she was passing through Le Roy, had stopped at D&R Depot for a meal, and decided she should visit the Superfund site.

"I'm committed to working with local officials and seeing what we can do to help," Hochul said. "I want them to know they have a partner and come to us when they want answers."

Without naming either Erie or Niagara counties, Hochul said any speculation about where the drums of material stored at the site are to be relocated is "premature."

"The EPA hasn't made that decision yet," Hochul said.

Evidence of stepped-up work at the site: In the top photo, there is a red Dumpster inside the fenced area on the left that wasn't there a week ago. There are three new drums at the front of the fenced-in area. In the bottom picture, there is a trailer for heavy equipment on the left side frame that wasn't there a week ago.

Officials continue to keep members of the media as far from the site as possible.

A story is coming about this morning's meeting in Le Roy.

January 24, 2012 - 11:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barack Obama, politics, kathy hochul.

Press release:

“Tonight, President Obama reported on the state of the nation and laid out his plan to move our economy forward. While we’ve seen some progress, we need to continue to invest in America, ensuring Americans have good jobs to go to every day.

“The President’s proposal to revitalize our manufacturing community, invest in American infrastructure, and focus on job training at community colleges, like ECC, NCCC, GCC, and MCC, will keep America competitive and bring jobs back to the United States. It’s time we stop rewarding those companies that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America.

“I, however, would have liked to hear more about the President’s plan to cut the deficit and reduce our national debt. This is why I supported the Balanced Budget Amendment that requires Congress to balance its finances in the same way Western New York families do every day; and why I support efforts to streamline government, eliminate waste, and be more responsive to the needs of American businesses.

“Right now is the time for us to come together and work with one another to strengthen our nation and give Americans the chance to get back to work. We have the best ideas, the finest universities, and the hardest working people in the world – now we must create an economy that benefits the working families of America.

“Like the President said, every American just wants a fair shot at achieving the basic American promise; having a good paying job, buying a home, and raising a family. Our country is strongest when every American is contributing their fair share, but this can only happen when we’re all given that fair shot.”

January 16, 2012 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul.

Press release:

In an effort to streamline services for local businesses, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner pushing him to develop and execute a plan to consolidate duplicative economic development agencies and programs in the federal government.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve met with over 50 businesses and Chambers of Commerce, and all of them agree that we must cut the red tape in our federal government, eliminate the redundancy, and make it easier for our businesses to get the support they need,” said Congresswoman Hochul. “Today, I sent a letter to Speaker Boehner, asking him to work with the President and Congress, in an effort to eliminate waste and provide more efficient services to the businesses that drive our economy.

Last week, President Obama identified an opportunity to innovate government and eliminate waste by combining six trade and commerce agencies – the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency – into one new agency.

At a press conference today at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Representative Hochul and Chamber President Colleen DiPirro called for a reduction in government agencies that overlap and cause a confusing maze of federal bureaucracy for business owners.

“I’ve been dealing with businesses, small and large, for 32 years and the challenge that they face day-in and day-out is getting through government regulations,” said DiPirro. “Having one-stop for business will not only save them money, but it will also save them a great deal of time. And as we all know, in business, time is money.”

Hochul added, “Just like businesses must cut wasteful spending, innovate and streamline services to better serve their customers, the federal government must do the same.”

December 23, 2011 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in kathy hochul, congress on your corners.

Press release:

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today announced she will host four “Congress On Your Corners” in January, where she will meet with constituents to discuss issues that affect New York’s 26th Congressional District. One will be held in Genesee County, as follows:

Corfu
Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m.
Pembroke Community Center
116 E. Main St. (Route 33)

“These forums give me and my staff the opportunity to hear directly from my constituents and hear their concerns,” Hochul said. “Meeting with Western New Yorkers allows me to take their views back to Washington and find solutions to the problems facing our region.”

At each of these “Congress On Your Corner” events, constituents will have the opportunity to talk with Congresswoman Hochul and her staff about a wide array of federal matters, as well as any constituent's casework, including Medicare, Social Security, veterans' benefits, and other issues.

 

November 26, 2011 - 6:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Le Roy, kathy hochul.

When Rep. Kathy Hochul stopped into Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles this afternoon, a constituent asked her what could be done to create more jobs. "Shop in local stores so they can expand and hire more people," Hochul said.

That was the theme of Hochul's visit to Batavia and Le Roy on Saturday.

While Saturday was dubbed as a "shop local" day by a group of national conglomerates, Hochul said it didn't really matter who was behind the push. The important thing was that this holiday season it's important for consumers to remember to spend at least some of their gift-giving dollars in locally owned stores, which provides more benefit to local communities than big box retailers.

Hochul stopped in at Adam Miller, Charles Men's Shop and the Enchanted Florist in Batavia, and then went out to Le Roy where she did some Christmas shopping at Vintage and Vogue and then visted the Jello Museum, where she also found a couple of gifts.

November 24, 2011 - 1:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, kathy hochul.

Congresswoman Kathy Hochul will be in Genesee County on Saturday as part of "Small Business Saturday," a national effort to encourage consumers to shop locally this holiday season.

Small businesses are the backbone of any community and Hochul made supporting locally owned businesses part of her campaign platform.

On Saturday, Hochul will be at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles on Center Street at 1:15 p.m. Hochul will also stop at Vintage and Vogue in Le Roy at 2:15 p.m.

October 24, 2011 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

After a report stating nearly 1,100 bridges in New York State were deemed "fracture-critical," a high percentage of which exist in New York’s 26th Congressional District, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today called on Congress to immediately pass the American Jobs Act.

"Let's finally pass a comprehensive jobs bill that will not only get Americans back to work, but fix the bridges millions of commuters rely on each year," Congresswoman Hochul said. "These 'fracture-critical' bridges are a threat to the safety of New York residents, especially the residents of New York's 26th District, which had scores of bridges on the list. This report only underscores the need for quick passage of the Job Act.”

New York State currently has double the number of fracture-critical bridges on the list than reported nationwide, while Orleans County, in the center of the 26th District, was reported to have nearly seven times the national average. Over 20 percent of Orleans County's 138 bridges were found to be fracture-critical. Bridges from all other six counties in the 26th District – Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, and Wyoming counties – were also on the list.

Fracture-critical bridges lack redundant supporting elements, which means if one key support function of the bridge fails, the safety and use of the entire bridge could fail, potentially causing a collapse.

Hochul added, "While structurally sound under normal circumstances, there is no reason why these bridges cannot get the necessary repairs to ensure the safety of the driving public. As the former county clerk responsible for putting vehicles on the road, I feel compelled to fight for the money we need from Washington to bring our bridges and roads up to par. Once again, I call for the House leadership to bring forward the American Jobs Act and allow us to vote on infrastructure funding for our districts, while creating much needed job opportunities for our workers."

All seven of the counties Representative Hochul represents have vulnerable bridges that could benefit from passage of the American Jobs Act.

October 11, 2011 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in free trade, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Kathy Hochul today spoke on the House Floor against the U.S.-Panama, U.S.-Colombia, and U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreements.

In her speech, Representative Hochul referenced a worker at the Buffalo Airport who had lost her job at a textile factory.

Below are Congresswoman Hochul’s prepared remarks:

“I’m here to stand up for the working men and women of the 26th District of New York. People like the woman at the Buffalo Airport who made my energy drink this morning. She told me she works there now after she lost her job of 23 years at a textile factory in downtown Buffalo. First, the jobs went South…and then overseas. As I left for my flight, she called after me, ‘keep fighting for our jobs…don’t forget us.’ Well, I won't forget her.

“If I thought any of these Free Trade Agreements would help people like the woman at the airport, I would be all in favor. But in Western New York, we know better. We were promised prosperity with earlier trade agreements; and while companies became more prosperous, the jobs were sucked away from our community, gone forever…to foreign shores.

“As they say in the immortal song made famous by The Who, we ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’

“I urge my colleagues to oppose these trade agreements.

“Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.”

September 15, 2011 - 5:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jack Davis, NY-26, free trade, kathy hochul.

Rep. Kathy Hochul will tour I Squared R Element in Akron at 11 a.m., tomorrow and meet with Jack Davis, the Tea Party candidate she defeated in May's special election to fill the NY-26 seat.

After the tour, according to a press release from Hochul's office, Hochul and Davis will "discuss America’s manufacturing strategy and the need to stop supporting companies that ship jobs overseas, as well as how to replicate Davis’s American success story throughout Western New York."

August 31, 2011 - 8:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in economy, jobs, NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release: 

STATEMENT FROM CONGRESSWOMAN KATHY HOCHUL ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMENTS ON JOB CREATION 

“The message I have heard, loud and clear, during my seven ‘Congress On Your Corner’ meetings this month, is that our constituents expect us to work towards real job proposals that will help get our people back to work. I was sent to Washington to work with anybody and everybody willing to help create opportunities in Western New York. 

“Now is the time for us to come up with a critical infrastructure plan that will not only help our local governments build roads, bridges and airports, but also get our economy moving once again.

“When we return to Washington next week, our top priority must be cutting the exorbitantly high unemployment rate and revitalizing our economy. I intend to work quickly to renew the FAA Reauthorization and Surface Transportation Bill and ensure we don’t leave nearly one million workers on the sidelines, as was done to 4,000 FAA employees earlier this summer. As these pieces of legislation progress, I plan to work with my local municipalities to ensure they can apply for their proper funds.

“Congress cannot continue to act in the same hyper-partisan manner it did throughout the summer with the FAA Reauthorization and debt-ceiling negotiations, which is why I plan to continue to work with President Obama, as well as all Republicans, Democrats and anyone else willing to ensure we are creating opportunities for hard-working, middle-class families.”

July 29, 2011 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-26, kathy hochul.

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul offered the Democrats’ final argument against Speaker John Boehner’s plan that only aims to postpone a U.S. default by six months, while drastically cutting discretionary spending.

“Never in our history has there been an intentional disaster, perpetrated by the very people who were elected to be the caretakers of this country,” said Congresswoman Hochul.  “That is exactly what will happen if we refuse to take action to prevent default and pay our nation’s bills now."

Congresswoman Hochul introduced her own amendment that would prioritize where spending cuts come from: cutting subsidies to Big Oil and corporate jets owners, before cutting education funding.

“Tell me why at a time when we all agree that the deficit must be reduced, we don’t ask Big Oil and companies with corporate jets to help out the country that helped them.

“Seaman’s Hardware Store in Genesee County pays more in federal taxes than many companies that are enjoying off the chart profits, while some of my constituents can barely afford to fill a gas tank so they can get to their minimum wage jobs at the dollar discount store.

[PART OF PREPARED REMARKS]

“There is one value we all share and that is fairness. Two things that are fundamentally unfair about this plan: It is unfair to put this country through this disgraceful, political gamesmanship again in another 6 months. 

“It is also unfair to cut money from education.  Education is the one chance for economic equality among our young people, and the one shot for them to reach their full potential.

“By making tax loopholes and tax breaks for Big Oil and corporate jets a priority over education, we are harming the economic engines across the country, and particularly in my district: our colleges and universities.  University at Buffalo, Geneseo, SUNY Brockport, Erie and Genesee Community Colleges – each is critical to our local economy and to the future of our students.”

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