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July 19, 2016 - 5:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Tonight, Rep. Chris Collins will address the Republican National Convention and will “second” Donald Trump’s Republican Party nomination for President. Pinnacle Manufacturing CEO Diana Kastenbaum, Collins’s Democratic Party opponent for Congress, issued the following statement:

“At the RNC Convention tonight, Rep. Chris Collins, the first Congressman to endorse Donald Trump, will address millions of Americans with more empty political rhetoric. I can guarantee that Collins won’t speak about his vote to underfund Veterans Affairs by $1.4 billion or his pledge to have a 100% pro-life voting record. I’m offended that Collins does not support our Vets, and I’m equally offended that Collins has not stood up to Trump for his outlandish remarks against women made over the course of the Republican Party Primary. We can do better.”

July 14, 2016 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after being announced as a speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to carry Western New York’s message on behalf of Donald Trump. We need a Chief Executive who will put America first, defend our nation's security, secure our borders and put an end to the devastating trade deals that have sent American jobs overseas for far too long. Now is the time for our party to unite and focus our efforts on defeating Hillary Clinton and making America great again for all Americans.”

Congressman Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump. He is Co-Chair of Donald Trump’s Congressional Leadership Committee, Honorary Co-Chair of Trump New York, and has made countless media appearances as a surrogate for Donald Trump.

July 9, 2016 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pok-A-Dot, batavia, chris collins, NY-27, news.

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Rep. Chris Collins was in town today for a meeting at the VFW and we caught up with him afterward at the Pok-A-Dot. Collins often stops at the Dot for breakfast, but hadn't tried the Dot's famous beef-on-weck before today*.

We asked Collins for his thoughts on the tragic events of the past week and what Congress might be able to do about events like these.

He said these are complex issues that, unfortunately, too many people want to politicize or try to solve with simplistic suggestions.

"If you’re going to talk about tragedies, the shootings, the murders, what we need to do is come together as a nation, address the root cause of our problems and hope people can come together," Collins said. "That doesn’t mean it's solved overnight, but that’s the direction we go, with a conversation together, identifying root causes, finding the solutions."

Collins, who is supporting Donald Trump for president, doesn't think the present administration is up to the task.

"The biggest problem we have is we have is a president who isn’t interested in that (finding common ground)," Collins said. "He politicizes every tragedy. He tries to make political points out of every tragedy, and in doing so he’s divided our country like it’s never been divided before."

Collins hopes the next administration will do better.

“The next president, whoever that is, has to bring our nation together," Collins said.

As for root causes, there are many, Collins said, such as mental health, terrorism and racism.

"Unfortunately, the country is just not working together," Collins said. "We’re finger pointing. We’re pointing fingers where maybe they don’t belong and very simplistically and very shamefully, suggesting simplistic insulting solutions as if that’s the solution when it’s not. This is tough stuff, whether it’s mental health, whether there are racial issues or not in that police department or not or this individual situation or another. It’s not simplistic, broad-brush stuff. It’s hard work."

CORRECTION: An aide says I'm wrong about the beef-on-weck. All three of us, he said, had a beef-on-weck together on the day of the primary election in 2012 and they've been "hooked" ever since. 

Photos: Local businessman Louis Andolora snaps a picture of Collins to add to his "Cyber Pok-A-Dot" page and then poses for a picture with the congressman.

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April 25, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement recognizing United States Navy Veteran, Kenneth A. Dehm, of Batavia, as New York 27th Congressional District’s April "Veteran of the Month." The "Veteran of the Month" is a new program established by Congressman Collins’ office to recognize the dedication and service of NY-27’s veterans.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to meet with Ken and his family and hear him share memories of his time in the service,” Congressman Collins said. “To have so many of Ken’s family members and friends in attendance to see Ken receive this honor was truly special.

"We are all very grateful for his service. My office will continue to recognize a local ‘Veteran of the Month’ as a small thank you to the thousands of Western New York veterans who have selflessly served our country.”

Kenneth Dehm served in the United States Navy from 1942-1946. During his years of service, Kenneth served aboard the U.S.S. Barnegat. Congressman Collins joined Ken’s children, grandchildren and other family and friends at a ceremony where he presented Kenneth with a Congressional Certificate of Commendation and a flag flown over the United States Capitol Building.

Mr. Dehm was presented this recognition at a ceremony at the Glenn S. Loomis VFW Post 332 on Saturday, April 23rd. A certificate from Assemblyman Steve Hawley was also presented at the ceremony.

Each month, Congressman Chris Collins will recognize a local "Veteran of the Month" with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and a Congressional Commendation Certificate.

April 21, 2016 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing H.R. 5021, the Better Accounting for Medicaid Costs Act. The legislation will focus on reducing costs associated with Medicaid information requirements.

“States and the federal government currently spend over $500 billion a year on Medicaid,”Congressman Collins said. “If we are serious about tackling our nation’s budgetary challenges, we must confront this massive and out-of-control expense.

“Through common-sense measures, we can easily save taxpayer dollars, while improving transparency and accountability within the Administration. This legislation will protect states and the federal governments from unknowingly footing the bill for overly expensive Medicaid policy clarifications. Requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide notice and comment rulemaking on sub-regulatory guidance that will cost states over $50 million or the federal government over $100 million in one year is simply smart policy.”

Lately, CMS has issued expensive Medicaid policy clarifications and interpretations through informal guidance such as letters to State Medicaid Directors, Informational Bulletins, and Frequently Asked Questions. Sub-regulatory guidance makes sense for certain updates and changes, given the Federal-State nature of the Medicaid program. However, some of these “clarifications” can actually present states and the federal government with high and unexpected costs.

This legislation requires CMS to go through notice and comment rulemaking if the Secretary of HHS determines that Medicaid sub-regulatory guidance will cost states more than $50 million or the federal government more than $100 million in one year, increasing transparency and accountability within the entitlement program.

April 10, 2016 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Donald Trump, chris collins.

Three weeks ago, it could be argued, it looked like Donald Trump had the GOP nomination for president all but locked up.  

If he could come across as a bit more presidential, he would likely seal the deal.

Then came a flap about candidates' wives and pictures posted to Twitter, and a statement about punishing women who have illegal abortions, and the campaign started to unravel some.

Even Trump admits he made mistakes.

Trump lost to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin and the fight to secure the nomination has gotten more intense.

The key  thing, said Rep. Chris Collins said yesterday at Genesee Community College after handing awards to local high school artists, is that Trump is learning from his mistakes.

Collins is one of only two members of Congress to openly support Trump and is, along with Carl Paladino, Trump's campaign co-chair in New York.

"I can't sugarcoat the last couple of weeks," Collins said. "The fact is, he's laying low right now. He's going to have a big win in New York. That momentum will propel him forward. He's putting together a little more depth on his team. 

"I think, perhaps, two weeks ago, the bad week, may have set the stage for him to realize that people are hanging on his every word, every nuance. As a private-sector guy, on the golf course with your buddies, you can say anything you want to say, but not in front of 80 million Americans. I'm proud to support him for all the reasons we stated earlier, and I'm confident he is going to grow from the missteps."

Collins supports Trump because he likes his private-sector background, his business leadership experience, his positions on trade, immigration and foreign policy, but also said some of those positions need some finessing.

"As a guy coming out of our private sector, what are we used to?" Collins said. "Ask me a question and I answer it directly without any other thought. He's had some missteps and I don't agree with him on every issue.

"I certainly would not ban all Muslims, but I would certainly, and have said, we need to make that those who we don't know who they are, whether Syrian refugees or not, we don't know their background, they're not coming here until the director of the FBI can certify who they are. So I'll nuance, perhaps, Mr. Trump's statements in that regard.

"On the immigration issue, I certainly don't think we would ever put 12 million people on a bus and take them back across the border, but we can process the illegal immigrants in a way that (at) the end of the processing it's 'you come in this door, go out that door,' you have legal work papers, a Social Security number. We know you're a law abiding citizen, now you don't have to hide in the shadows. There are nuances to what he's said that I would take the edge off a little."

A recent column in the Chicago Tribune criticized Trump and Bernie Sanders on trade because they seemingly don't understand that a trade deficit in goods makes America stronger because it generates foreign investment and the U.S. benefits from an export surplus in services. A trade war or a trade surplus in goods could be economically disastrous.

Even so, Collins said he thinks Trump understands well the issues around trade and that America needs a trade policy that is fair and levels the playing field.

"If a manufacturer in China or India or Mexico has a 30, 40, 50 percent advantage, we're going to lose all our manufacturing jobs, and every manufacturing job creates five or six other jobs, so what happens with a tariff is we level the playing field and a lot of jobs are going to come back," Collins said.

"We're going to see some inflation," Collins added. "The good news about inflation at a reasonable rate, the debt we have is paid back in cheaper dollars down the road. We do have a goods / trade imbalance. We're going to have a lot more manufacturing.

"The thought that someone else might retaliate...the fact is, we're 25 percent the world's economy and less than 4 percent of the world's population. They want us to be 4 and 4, not 4 and 25. We're going to have to fight to keep 4 and 25. And I would also suggest many of the services and many of the high-tech goods we export are provided because the other countries don't have the ability (to make them) themselves. So they may not like that we're going to make underwear and socks and radios again here, because they want  to make it in China and Mexico, but when they need our jet engines and they need our aircraft and they need some of our other service, they're still going to buy them from us because they have no choice.

"To me, that's called a win-win. I hope it's not a trade war. I would say it's leveled the playing field and I would hope through it all, you would have other countries paying better attention to the environment, paying better attention to worker safety, paying better attention to what we would call wages and currency, because if their currency floats, if they're paying higher wages, if they're respecting the environment, if they're respecting workers' safety, then we don't have to (impose) a tariff.

"We're not going to have a tariff with Germany. We're not going to have a tariff with the European countries we are playing with on a level playing field. But if we don't stop the theft of our jobs through unfair trade with Mexico, Vietnam, China and the like, we're going to lose all our jobs."

Trump would be the closest thing the United States has had to a noninterventionist president in any of our lifetimes, and Collins fully supports that vision of foreign policy, he said.

"He is spot on when he says our country, which is broke, $20 trillion in debt, is running deficits and we can't take care of our infrastructure. The thought that we are protecting and watching out for the rest of the world, and they are not paying a fair share, not that we're going to turn a blind eye to atrocities, but let's face it, there are countries taking advantage of America and it's not that we have surpluses," Collins said, "We're running deficits. So I'm 100 percent in line with what he's saying. It is time for them pay their fair share. If we're going to defend them, they're going to pay for it. We can't get involved in every regional conflict. The rest of the world doesn't want us to. It's not our role to play, so I'm 100 percent with Trump on that."    

After his recent blunders, Trump has revamped his campaign staff with an eye toward being more strategic about securing delegates. He's put Paul Manafort into a key campaign role to take on that task.

Collins said, as a private-sector guy himself, he understands the need to learn on the job and adjust. Judging how Collins mingled with the high school students and their parents Saturday at GCC, he's grown into the job of Congressman himself. Compared to a couple of years ago, he's much more relaxed and he deftly displayed an individual interest in every student he spoke with.

Trump, Collins said, is learning, will learn and will make sure he's surrounded by nothing but the highest-caliber talent if he occupies the West Wing.

"I come back to the need to have a chief executive in office and there's only one left standing, and that's Donald Trump," Collins said. "Private-sector guy, 40 years experience making tough decisions knowing how to manage people, hiring the best and brightest. I'm convinced he will have the best cabinet that's ever been assembled by a president. There are no hangers-on. There are no retreads. He is going to hire the best people he can hire because they're the best people. He's not going to say are 'You're a Republican, a Democrat. What is your party affiliation? How much money did you give to the party?' That's not Donald Trump.

"It harkens back when I was county executive (in Erie County). When I had to hire my commissioners, all I wanted was the best and brightest who believed in serving the taxpayers, who understood the need for efficiency and the like. After the fact, it turned out, my deputy county executive was a Democrat. It turned out my head of economic development was a Democrat. I didn't ask those questions and neither will Mr. Trump. When it comes back to the president with his cabinet, I think you will have the best ever.

"What does the president do? He sets the 30,000-foot vision, not unlike Ronald Reagan, and this vision is clear. We're going to take our jobs back that were stolen by Mexico and China. We're going to stand tall against foreign adversaries whether it's Russia, North Korea or Iran. We're going to defeat ISIS. We're going to make sure we deal with immigration; keep our borders secure. That's his top-level focus. He's going to have advisors who make all that happen, with him as the conductor and the leader. He's a born leader and that's what we haven't had for seven and a half years."

Whoever becomes president will have a lot of power. If that's Trump, well, Trump has displayed his ego and controlling personality, but Cruz, Clinton and Sanders all might be tempted by the lure of easy executive orders. Asked if Congress should take action before the end of the year to curb the use of executive orders, Collins said he didn't think so.

"Executive orders have always been part and parcel of the executive powers of the president," Collins said. "There are lawsuits and judicial remedies for overstepping, which this president (Obama) has been slapped down on on more than one occasion. I don't really think there is a role for Congress to play other than for the public to understand executive orders are the lay of the land and Hilary Clinton is saying 'If you think Obama did a lot of executive orders, wait until I'm president.' It's a concern, but it's part of history and I think the court system will hold people in check."

NOTE: Chris Collins' views on the issues related to his support of Trump are consistant with what he said to us during his campaign in 2012.

April 9, 2016 - 5:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in congressional art competition, NY-27, chris collins, art, batavia, news.

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Angelina Miconi, a Batavia High School student, was announced this morning as winner of the annual Congressional Art Contest for New York's 27th District, represented by Chris Collins.

Miconi was tops among 85 entrants (more than 30 attended today) from high schools throughout the district.

While each district in the United States has 750,000 residents, Collins said the NY-27th has one of the highest participation rates in the contest. Some districts get as few as 10 entries, he said.

The winning pictures will be displayed in the halls of Congress for the next 12 months and Miconi and a parent will be flown to Washington, D.C., for an art show opening.

The reception today was held at Genesee Community College.

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March 3, 2016 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

U.S. Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Paul Tonko (NY-20) today released the following statements after H.R. 3716, the Ensuring Removal of Terminated Providers from Medicaid and CHIP Act,was unanimously approved by the House. This legislation included H.R. 3821, the Medicaid Directory of Caregivers Act (Medicaid DOC Act), legislation Representatives Collins and Tonko introduced to improve access to doctors for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“Ensuring Medicaid beneficiaries can quickly and easily find out what doctors they can visit is a commonsense and simple fix,” Congressman Collins said. “This legislation will increase health care access and efficiency for the most vulnerable, while reducing emergency room care. It’s a win-win. I want to thank Congressman Tonko for his steadfast efforts in helping to pass this vital reform through the House and look forward to this legislation being signed into law.”

“Ensuring Medicaid beneficiaries have the all the information they need when seeking care is a commonsense safeguard in our system,” Congressman Tonko said. “This bill will make it easier for patients to know their options and find a doctor. I have enjoyed working with Congressman Collins on this legislation, and I thank him for his work to improve care for Medicaid patients.”

The Medicaid DOC Act makes it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries to find doctors that accept their coverage by requiring states that operate a fee-for-service or primary care case management program to include a directory of physicians who served Medicaid patients in the prior year on the Medicaid program’s Web site. The listing on the state’s Medicaid website will include the physician’s name, address, telephone number, and specialty. This will help Medicaid beneficiaries easily identify doctors who can serve them.

March 1, 2016 - 6:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

U.S. Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Jerry McNerney (CA-09) today released the following comments after introducing H.R. 4642, the Diabetic Eye Disease Prevention Act. The legislation works to prevent blindness and eye diseases associated with diabetes.

“Among the debilitating side effects associated with diabetes, early vision loss is particularly devastating,” Congressman Collins said. “To combat this significant health issue, I am proud to introduce the Diabetic Eye Disease Prevention Act. This commonsense and budget neutral legislation improves early detection for Medicare beneficiaries so those suffering can access the care they need to prevent long-term vision loss.”

“The millions of people who suffer from diabetes are at risk for early vision loss and impairment. These problems can be mitigated with early detection and proper treatment, and that’s why I’m proud to co-author the Diabetic Eye Disease Prevention Act,” Congressman McNerney said. “This bill would make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from diabetes to get comprehensive eye exams from local doctors and diagnose any symptoms before they become significant visual complications. Early diagnosis will also promote savings in Medicare as costs often increase when treatment is delayed.”

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults. H.R. 4642 will help doctors catch eye diseases before they become debilitating to the patient. The legislation, which is endorsed by the American Optometric Association, establishes a five-year pilot program that incentivizes primary care providers to refer Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with diabetes to local eye doctors for comprehensive dilated eye exams. The cost of the pilot program is offset with funds from traditional diabetic eye care payments, keeping the legislation budget neutral.

“With the prevalence of diabetes among America’s seniors growing at an alarming rate and roughly one out of every three Medicare dollars currently being spent on treatments for those with diabetes, the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Collins and McNerney and their determination to reduce unnecessary Medicare costs and improve seniors’ lives through increased access to preventive eye health care is needed now more than ever,” said American Optometric Association President Steven A. Loomis, O.D.

“By encouraging better coordination and communication among key members of the diabetes care team – including America’s doctors of optometry -- and ensuring that a growing number of seniors with diabetes receive the comprehensive dilated eye exams that they need and deserve, together we can make even greater strides toward reducing seniors’ potential for significant vision loss and blindness while saving Medicare from avoidable costs associated with delayed diagnosis and treatment of a range of diabetes-related eye and vision conditions.”

February 25, 2016 - 8:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Today, Democrat Diana Kastenbaum announced her candidacy for New York’s 27th Congressional District.  \Kastenbaum is the CEO of Pinnacle Manufacturing Company, Inc., in Batavia, N.Y.

“As a small business owner from Batavia, I am well aware of the realities that face middle-class families. Using my years of experience as a businesswoman, I will bring new ideas and solutions to the problems we face in Western NY,” said Kastenbaum. “We need a member of Congress who will fight for Western NY on the issues that matter most; good paying jobs, ending income inequality, making college more affordable, and providing access to affordable healthcare. Where Congress has failed us, I will lead.”

Kastenbaum’s family has owned and operated Pinnacle, a zinc and aluminum dye casting manufacturing company, since 1972. She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Kastenbaum is heavily involved in many community organizations in Western NY.

Diana is married to actor and comedian Hiram Kasten. Their daughter, Millicent, is a senior Government major at Cornell University.

New York’s 27th Congressional District includes all of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties and parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario counties.

February 24, 2016 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Calling for an “end to business as usual” in Washington, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced that he is endorsing Donald Trump to become America’s next President.

“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Congressman Collins said. “That is why I am proud to endorse him as the next President of the United States.”

“The results of Barack Obama’s failed presidency have been devastating. America is no longer seen as the world’s leader. Our jobs are gone. Our middle class is struggling. And, the federal government has grown too large and wastes too much of our hard earned money,” added Collins. “The last thing we need is a third Obama term, which we would get with either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.”

“We need a president willing to make the tough decisions necessary to restore our country to greatness. I believe Donald Trump is the man for the job, and I am proud to provide him with my support.”

Both Trump and Collins share a strong private-sector background. Before entering public service, Congressman Collins was in the private sector for over 35 years where he built a successful career as a businessman and entrepreneur.

Both as an Erie Country Executive (New York) and a Member of Congress, Collins has advocated running government like a business.

“If we want to get our nation’s economy growing again and deal with the daunting fiscal issues threatening America’s future, it’s time to say no to professional politicians and yes to someone who has created jobs and grown a business,” Collins said.

“America has the potential to once again become the land of opportunity. Donald Trump understands the importance of American exceptionalism, and has the unique qualifications to make America great again,” concluded Collins.

February 10, 2016 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama released his budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

“President Obama has proposed a liberal wish list instead of a budget,” Congressman Collins said. “The president’s spending proposal shows how out of touch he is with fiscal reality and the priorities our country needs to address. His proposal fails to enact meaningful entitlement reforms while raising taxes on hardworking families, increasing our nation’s deficit, and never balancing.

“The president’s proposed oil tax will increase the cost of gasoline by 24 cents a gallon and cripple already struggling families and businesses. Western New Yorkers need pro-growth policies that will jump-start stagnant wages and increase economic opportunities for the middle class. Unfortunately, President Obama still harbors the flawed belief that we can spend our way to economic growth. House Republicans are working on a budget that balances and provides the pro-growth solutions Western New York needs to get back on track.”

January 21, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing legislation to rename the currently unnamed post office located at 15 Rochester St., Bergen, New York in honor of Bergen resident Barry Miller. If passed, the legislation would rename the post office the “Barry G. Miller Post Office.”

“Barry Miller was beloved by all who were lucky enough to meet him,” Congressman Collins said. “In order to honor his passion for his community and his commitment to helping others, I am glad to introduce legislation renaming the post office in Bergen after Mr. Miller.”

“Barry enjoyed nothing more than serving his community and he dedicated his life to helping the people of Bergen,” stated Tracy and Loretta Miller, Barry’s parents. “This is a fitting tribute to his service, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Collins to make this a reality.”

Barry Miller was a lifelong Bergen resident, graduating from Byron-Bergen High School in 1983 and serving as a member of the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years, including 10 as assistant EMS Chief, before he was tragically killed in the line of duty. In addition to working at the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department, Barry was the Genesee County Coroner, a member of the Bergen Town Board, and owner of Miller's Millworks in Bergen and the Beaver River Lodge in the Adirondacks.

January 12, 2016 - 10:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“I had hoped President Obama would use tonight’s address to apologize to the American people for his failed policies, which have weakened America’s standing abroad, failed to stop the expansion of ISIS, dramatically increased our national debt, and caused poverty rates across the nation to skyrocket,” said Congressman Collins. “But instead, what I heard was a refusal to own up to any mistakes, and a call to continue on a path that fails to find the solutions working families deserve.

“Americans are demanding a new direction. On the global stage, we need to stand up to our enemies and lead by example. Instead of befriending countries like Iran, who detained U.S. sailors and whose leaders still chant ‘Death to America’ and Cuba, which is holding onto one of our Hellfire missiles, we need to protect allies like Israel.

“When it comes to here at home, the president’s policies have failed to create an economy that can support the middle class. As a result, thousands of Western New Yorkers are still struggling to make ends meet. To get the millions of middle class workers on the sidelines back to work, we need to encourage an environment friendly to job creation through comprehensive tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and a patient-centered health care system.

“Unfortunately, the president has stuck his head in the sand, again. Instead of real solutions to the challenges we face, he chose to give us more of his failed rhetoric. America is the greatest country in the world, but if we are to stay the best, we need a leader who will make tough decisions, instead of trying to embellish his legacy.”

January 5, 2016 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama issued executive actions which circumvent the Constitution and deny Western New Yorkers their Second Amendment rights.

“A new year and the same dictatorial actions from President Obama,” Congressman Collins said. “President Obama has made it clear that he will not let legal documents like the Constitution stand in his way. Only this president would circumvent the Constitution to punish tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners across Western New York and millions more throughout the country.

"The president needs to be reminded that it is Congress’s job to write laws. His proposed executive actions will significantly increase burdensome government regulations and infringe on the Second Amendment rights Americans have fought to protect. I have strongly signaled my opposition to these measures and have signed onto legislation to stop these actions in their tracks.”

December 3, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, infrastructure, NY-27.

Press release:

“Investing in America’s infrastructure will help grow our economy and improve the day-to-day lives of Western New Yorkers,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “This bipartisan legislation makes tremendous strides in modernizing America’s transportation policy, supports good-paying jobs, and implements vital reforms to jumpstart infrastructure projects in our region.”

Several key provisions of the legislation will benefit Western New York. The bill:

· Provides certainty to states and local governments by funding highway projects for five years;

· Exempts dairy trucks from certain federal trucking weight limits, allowing them to efficiently transport their products;

· Streamlines existing regulatory requirements for transportation projects, increasing efficiency and expediting the process;

· Funds the 5340 High Density States program, which guarantees New York’s mass transit agencies access to the funding they need;

· Reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, protecting more than 3,700 jobs in Western New York and 25 exporting small businesses in New York’s 27th District; and

· Converts the current Surface Transportation Program (STP) to a block grant program, which will provide states and local governments more flexibility in their transportation spending. Fifty percent of the program’s funding is specifically targeted toward local governments and that grows by 5 percent over the five-year span of the bill.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

November 6, 2015 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama formally rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.

“President Obama once again put politics ahead of American job opportunities and the energy security interests of our country,” Congressman Collins said. “Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline wastes an opportunity for America to achieve energy independence and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

July 31, 2015 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3327, the Kids Before Cons Act, which will block the Obama administration’s plans to use Pell grants to fund college programs for prisoners.

“The Obama administration’s plan to put the cost of a free college education for criminals on the backs of the taxpayers is consistent with their policy of rewarding lawbreakers while penalizing hardworking Americans,” Congressman Collins said. “The Kids Before Cons Act closes the loophole the Obama administration is trying to exploit, and protects taxpayers from footing the bill for criminals’ educations. This legislation ensures that Pell grants will be used for their intended purpose of assisting financially disadvantaged students struggling to attain a college education.”

H.R. 3327 does the following:

·         Upholds the 1994 law that prohibits prisoners from receiving federal Pell grants by forbidding the Department of Education from using its experimental authority to provide funding for higher education for prisoners;

·         Instructs the Department of Education to conduct a study on whether students enrolled in a charter school or in private schools as a result of participation in a voucher program run a higher or lower risk of incarceration than students who attend public school.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

May 27, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EPA, agriculture, farm bureau, chris collins, NY-27.

From Rep. Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama Administration finalized its Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule.

“The Obama Administration's ruling today is a continuation of their regulatory assault on our nation's farmers," Congressman Collins said. "The EPA’s overreach is causing real harm for local farmers and stalling business development. When I visit with local farmers, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. I will continue to do all I can to fight this burdensome and business crushing ruling."

Last May, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter, signed by a majority of Congress, to the EPA Administrator asking for the Waters of the United States Rule to be withdrawn. Full text of the letter can be read here. This Congress, Congressman Collins co-sponsored H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the Administration to withdraw its Waters of the United States Rule. H.R. 1732 passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

From Dean Norton, Elba farmer and president of the NYS Farm Bureau:

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency released the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. New York Farm Bureau members have been strongly opposed to the changes proposed by the EPA because of the potential regulatory overreach that will allow for federal control over land that is typically dry. Clean water has always been a priority and necessity for farmers, but we are concerned that the rule will strip property owners of long-held land rights.

New York Farm Bureau has serious concerns that the EPA has failed to take into consideration the thousands of comments from farmers, business owners, and property owners, who feel this rule would add unnecessary burdens on their land. EPA would have accomplished much more working with farmers than just brushing their legitimate concerns aside. We will be carefully reviewing the final rule, but based on comments from EPA, we remain concerned that the agency did not listen to our nation’s farmers or made significant changes to the rule,” NYSFB President Norton said.

April 29, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Flight, NY-27, chris collins, Mercy EMS.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $103,637 in federal funding for Mercy EMS in Batavia. The grant was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

“Providing the necessary funding for our first responders is an excellent and prudent use of federal money,” Congressman Collins said. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. Many small fire companies and emergency medical service providers are unable to purchase necessary equipment upgrades due to financial limitations. This funding will help create more efficient and effective first responders, and I am proud I was able to help Mercy EMS secure this money.”

“Mercy EMS is extremely pleased to be awarded a grant through the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program,” said Bill Schutt, general manager for Mercy EMS. “The grant will allow Mercy EMS to equip all our first-line ambulances with power-lift stretchers and tracked stair-chairs. These two devices will have multiple impacts on our operations. The power stretcher allows a crew to lift a patient with the touch of a button, eliminating manual lifting and the associated risk of injury to crews. Likewise the tracked stair-chair allows a patient to be moved down a flight of stairs with no lifting involved, again reducing the risk of injuries from lifting. The additional impact of the equipment involves increased patient safety and when dealing with larger patients the ability to move them with an increased level of dignity. As a nonprofit agency Mercy EMS could not afford these upgrades without grant assistance.”

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