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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.”

March 19, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after joining Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and others in introducing the bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act.

“As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers,” Congressman Collins said. “To expand manufacturing in Western New York, we need to have a workforce capable of filling these skilled jobs. I am proud to join Rep. Esty in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will provide partnering colleges and universities the resources necessary to equip their students with the skills needed to succeed in manufacturing.”

“I’m proud to join my friend and colleague Rep. Collins in introducing our bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act,” Congresswoman Esty said. “Manufacturers provide good-paying jobs for our hard-working families, but manufacturers often struggle to find workers with the right skill sets. By providing additional support for manufacturing in engineering programs at colleges and universities, we can prepare the next generation of engineers for exciting — and in-demand — manufacturing jobs.”

“SUNY proudly supports the Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015 as it helps pave the way for the advancement of manufacturing efforts across the country,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said. “We thank Representative Collins and Representative Etsy for their leadership recognizing the valuable role public universities play in educating and training students for the 21st Century workforce.”

The bill would establish a Manufacturing Universities program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Colleges and universities with existing engineering programs would be eligible to apply for the Manufacturing University designation, which would: include up to $5 million annually for four years to improve engineering programs with an emphasis on manufacturing; increase the number of joint projects with manufacturing firms; and support students who participate in cooperative education and apprenticeships with manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Universities Act has been referred to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill is bipartisan and bicameral. The other House cosponsors are Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Mike Thompson (D-CA). The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

March 3, 2015 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after voting to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

“It is my responsibility to Western New Yorkers to ensure the funding needed to guarantee their security is provided,” Congressman Collins said. “Political theatrics should never endanger Americans’ safety. Today I voted to make sure that did not occur.

“Lurching from one crisis to the next might make for lucrative political fund-raising, but it does not make for good government. It is time we end the political ‘Groundhog Day’ and fulfill the jobs we were elected to do; creating an environment conducive to job creation and addressing the needs of the people who elected us.”

February 26, 2015 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify the Internet as a Title II utility.

“FCC actions to reclassify the Internet under Title II pose a direct threat to Internet freedom,” Congressman Collins said. “Today’s vote threatens the innovative culture that makes the Internet one of the world’s greatest technologies. I am disturbed by the lack of transparency involved in this decision process, and am afraid it is a foreshadowing of the big government overregulation that will stem from Title II classification. These actions will add further uncertainty to the net neutrality debate chilling vital private sector investment.

“Here in Congress, under Chairmen Thune and Walden, we have proposed draft legislation that would achieve the goal of protecting Internet consumers through the bright-line rules that net neutrality proponents are calling for in a way that limits burdensome regulations from crushing innovation. This fight is far from over and I will be steadfast in my commitment to keeping the Internet free from debilitating government intervention.”

February 19, 2015 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement regarding his opposition to President Obama’s request for fast-track trade promotion authority.

“I am a firm believer in free trade, but it must also be fair trade,” Congressman Collins said. “The secret executive branch negotiations on massive trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt American workers and businesses by excluding important provisions to combat currency manipulation. It is because of the hardworking Western New Yorkers struggling for a fair chance at the American Dream that I will oppose granting the president fast-track authority to negotiate free trade agreements.”

February 4, 2015 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released plans to vote on net neutrality rules Feb. 26th.

“Plans to reclassify the Internet under Title II pose a direct threat to Internet freedom,” Congressman Collins said. “The FCC’s actions threaten the innovative culture that makes the Internet one of the world’s greatest technologies. Additionally, these actions will add further uncertainty to the net neutrality debate.

"Here in Congress, under chairmen Thune and Walden, we have proposed draft legislation that would achieve the goal of protecting Internet consumers through the bright-line rules that net neutrality proponents are calling for in a way that limits burdensome regulations from crushing innovation.”

January 29, 2015 - 6:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) today issued the following statement after reintroducing the bipartisan Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation (CIDER) Act. The Act, HR 600, would amend the section of the tax code that deals with wine and related beverages, 26 USC § 5041, to support the growing number of craft and entrepreneurial cider makers, and tailor IRS rules to reflect variations in craft ciders across the country.

“I am proud to introduce legislation that will support our nation’s apple growers and cider makers,” Congressman Collins said. “The CIDER Act will help spur growth in these industries by restructuring taxes to fairer rates that take into account the natural variations in the cider-making process. I thank Representative Blumenauer for joining me in this goal to reduce burdens on small businesses and simplify our tax code.”

“Cider making is sometimes closer to an art than a science,” Congressman Blumenauer said. “As the American apple and pear hard cider industry becomes more prominent on the world stage, and cider becomes a beverage choice for more Americans’ developing palettes, we need to ensure that cideries have every opportunity to expand and meet the needs of this growing market without an unfair tax burden.”

During the fermentation process, a variety of factors can lead to small changes in the composition of a cider’s alcohol content and carbonation. Because of the narrow way that hard cider is currently defined in the tax code, these small variations can lead to cider being taxed at a rate 15 times higher than what the statute clearly intended. The Collins-Blumenauer bill would update the tax definitions to greatly reduce the chance that improper taxation could occur. The bill would also broaden the definition to include both pear and apple ciders.

The changes proposed by congressmen Blumenauer and Collins will update the existing federal definition of cider to better reflect the industry and keep American cider competitive in the international marketplace. Production nationally has been robust, more than tripling from 9.4 million gallons in 2011 to 32 million gallons in 2013. Cider revenues in the U.S. have been just as impressive, tripling from $178 million in 2007 to $601 million in 2012.

January 20, 2015 - 10:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Once again, President Obama used his annual national address to double down on divisive political rhetoric and unrealistic ideas. Rather than focus on policies that brighten the future of the middle class in a sustainable manner, the President has instead, sabotaged success and pitted Americans against one another. The President continues to advocate class warfare, and divide our country. He has repeatedly demonstrated that his idea of a bipartisan solution is his way or the highway.

“What the President failed to address was that this past election, the country spoke loud and clear about the direction we need to take. The result was the strongest Republican House majority since the 1920s, a Republican Senate majority, and Republican control of 68 out of 98 state legislative chambers. Americans recognize that Republicans are focused on creating an environment friendly to job creation through comprehensive tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and a patient centered health care system. The President needs to accept this new reality, and find a way to unify the country as we move forward.”

December 17, 2014 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking.

“Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far-left environmentalists for his own political gain,” Congressman Collins said. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. This is a sad day for the future of the economy in Upstate New York.”

December 11, 2014 - 9:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for FY 2015.

“This legislation is a tremendous win for Western New York,” Congressman Collins said. “It holds the line on discretionary spending, ensuring continued deficit reduction, while fully funding vital government programs. In politics it is crucial not to let perfect be the enemy of good, and although people on both sides have their concerns, I'm proud of what this accomplishes for Western New York.”

Here are highlights from the bill that directly affect Western New Yorkers.

· Provides $122 million for the improvement and expansion of the VA Medical Facility in Canandaigua;

· Provides $68 million for OMEGA at the University of Rochester to expand its nuclear fusion laser lab facility;

· Increases funding for the National Institutes of Health grant programs that help fund research centers like the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo;

· Eliminates funding for the Race to the Top Initiative, reducing the incentive for States to continue the implementation of the Common Core Standards;

· Blocks the EPA from applying the Clean Water Act to certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches;

· Allows more flexibility to school districts implementing new whole grain nutrition standards in school lunches;

· Cuts EPA funding for the fifth consecutive year and brings staffing to the lowest level since 1989;

· Cuts IRS funding by $345.6 million and bans the agency from targeting organizations seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideological beliefs;

· Provides $300 million to improve and restore the Great Lakes;

· Increases funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund by $100 million.

November 14, 2014 - 1:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Statement from Rep. Chris Collins:

“Achieving energy independence is vital for our nation’s economic growth and national security,” Congressman Collins said. “For the past six years, the President’s Administration has hidden behind political motives to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. While the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats have delayed, the American people have missed out on the thousands of jobs and lower energy costs that would be created by approval of the pipeline.

“As November’s elections results prove, Americans want economic growth and jobs now, and House Republicans are taking a major step towards those goals. It is time for the President and Senate Democrats to put aside their punitive political agenda and harness our nation’s energy potential.”

November 4, 2014 - 11:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in election, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins tonight released the following statement announcing his successful reelection as New York’s 27th District Congressional Representative.

“I am honored and humbled to again be elected by the hardworking people of New York’s 27th District,” Congressman Collins said.

“Voters across America made a clear choice today about the direction in which they want our country to move. Here in the 27th District of New York, like many places across our country, people have chosen to be represented by individuals who believe that job creation and economic growth should be spurred by the private sector, that big government is not good government, and that elected leaders should stand behind the principles they campaign on.

“I look forward to building on this nationwide momentum. My focus will remain on the issues that my constituents care about such as ensuring our veterans have the resources they deserve, fighting to reduce burdensome government regulations that negatively impact our farmers and small business owners, protecting Medicare benefits for our seniors, and reducing taxes to keep more money in individual’s pockets.

“I want to thank our hundreds of volunteers, our donors and most of all the voters. I would not be here without their strong support. Additionally, I want to thank my opponent, Jim O’Donnell for his service to our community and wish him the best going forward.”

October 21, 2014 - 5:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, EPA, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins was honored today by the American Farm Bureau for his efforts on behalf of the agriculture community, not only in Genesee County and New York, but throughout the United States.

Collins spearheaded an effort to get the EPA to back off waterway rule changes that farmers -- and others -- say will drive up the cost of business, if not put them out of business.

It's a top legislative priority of the Farm Bureau, said New York bureau President Dean Norton, to convince the EPA to "ditch the rule," which he says would change the definition of navigable waterways to include small ditches and puddles, which are common on farms.

Norton presented Collins with an award from the Farm Bureau at a gathering at Post Farms in Elba.

Jeff Post thanked Collins for taking up the cause.

"If you look across the back of our farm, which we've been farming for 100 years, we have a lot of ground that would fall into the rule to be permitted," Post said. "It would have a large impact on a small producer like us."

At the urging of Norton, Collins took up the cause with the goal of getting 100 members of Congress to sign a letter urging the EPA to ditch the rule. Collins had 100 signers in a week. In another week, Norton said, he had 200. Eventually, 240 members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats signed the letter.

"This goes to show you just how flawed the rule is," Norton said. "Then when you have other organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming out and saying, 'ditch the rule,' and when you have the small business administration telling their partner agency, 'you need to rewrite this thing, it's really flawed,' it tells you it is flawed."

Collins also said the fact the letter would garner such bipartisan support shows how seriously off track the EPA has gotten on the proposed rule change.

"I was able to get majority of Congress, which is very hard to do today, Republicans and Democrats alike, over 240 members, to send a letter to the administrator to the EPA asking, demanding, that they withdraw the rule and start over," Collins said. "There was too much ambiguity, too much worry in a rule that was out for comment."

In a hearing, Collins said, a deputy at the EPA "effectively admitted" that the proposed rule is flawed. The official said the comment period, which has been extended again, to Nov. 15, is designed to give the EPA information to fix any flaws in the rule.

"They said, we can fix it after the comments are done," Collins said. "My comment to them was, 'we don't trust you. No one trusts you. The public doesn't trust you. Farmers don't trust you. Congress doesn't trust you not to overreach yet again.' "

Collins, left, Post and Norton.

September 19, 2014 - 1:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $675,699 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for three local airports. Akron Airport received $222,402 for runway repairs. Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport received $150,726 for removal of existing on-airport obstructions to a runway. And Le Roy Airport received $302,571 to upgrade its lighting and beacon systems.

“Supporting local governments by maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is a beneficial use of federal tax dollars,” Congressman Collins said. “Providing these local airports the necessary funding for a variety of improvements will allow for more efficient and safer airport operations. Continued investment in local infrastructure is necessary to ensure that valuable economic assets like local airports can continue to grow and successfully operate.”

“Le Roy Airport is a ‘state-of-the-art’ ‘reliever airport’ for the Greater Rochester International Airport,” said Raymond Detor Jr., president of Le Roy Aviation Services, Inc. “Le Roy Airport will be accepting a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and New York State Department of Transportation to upgrade taxiway lighting, wind direction indicators, Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPIP), and various other lighting upgrades.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

September 10, 2014 - 10:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after the President’s address laying out his strategy to eliminate the ISIS threat.

“It is clear, we cannot allow for the same mistakes that have gotten us into this situation,” Congressman Collins said. “The current events in Iraq and Syria prove the absence of American leadership enables and emboldens our enemies, and puts our country and citizens at risk. I fully support actions to eliminate the threat posed by ISIS and protect our citizens at home and abroad.”

September 9, 2014 - 5:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement today on the passage of H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which would prevent the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers from implementing the proposed rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

“Redefining the scope of ‘waters of the United States’ is a dangerous expansion of government authority,” Congressman Collins said. “I have heard from many farmers and small business owners in my district who believe the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers rule will have a devastating effect on their productivity and ability to stay in business. In May, I led a bipartisan letter with Rep. Schrader of Oregon, signed by a majority of the House, asking the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw this overreaching rule. The passage of today’s legislation will ensure that this rule is withdrawn and our farmers and small business owners will be protected.”

August 28, 2014 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, NY-27, graham corp., chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY-27) visited Graham Corporation in Batavia to see firsthand the skilled jobs and business that the production of Navy aircraft carriers brings to the region. Graham Corporation builds and supplies main condensers and air ejectors for Navy aircraft carriers.

Graham Corporation is part of a vital defense industrial base consisting of more than 2,000 small, mid-sized, and large businesses from 43 states that provides parts and services for Navy aircraft carriers.

During his tour, Congressman Collins met with the employees at Graham Corporation to discuss the unique skills they contribute to the industrial base that supplies parts to the Navy aircraft carrier program.

“It was an honor meeting the employees at Graham and learning about their vital work constructing components for our Navy’s aircraft carriers,” Congressman Collins said. “Local businesses like Graham are essential to maintaining economic growth and good-paying job opportunities here in Western New York, while ensuring our nation’s national security. It was great to see firsthand how the skilled work happening here in Batavia contributes to our Navy’s strength around the world.”

“Building new carriers every five years and undertaking maintenance on a regular schedule preserves the fleet at its required operational level of 11 carriers and keeps the industrial base sustainable and strong. Today we got the opportunity to talk with Congressman Collins about why it is so critical to our local jobs and businesses and our national security,” said Ken Salphine, manager of Marine & Nuclear Products at Graham Corporation.

August 15, 2014 - 4:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, genesee county airport.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $135,000 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Genesee County Airport. Specifically, the grant will fund the design phase to remove obstructions in a portion of the airport’s runway.

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Congressman Collins said. “Local taxpayers send too much of their hard-earned money to Washington, and it is only proper that we get a share of it back to assist with projects that are important to our local communities.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local governments pursuing a federal grant.

August 8, 2014 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $118,137 in federal funding for three local fire companies. The local fire companies are the Depew Fire Department, the Bergen Fire Department, and the Upper Mountain Fire Company. The grants were 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 use of federal resources,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. Many small fire companies are unable to purchase necessary equipment upgrades due to financial limitations. This funding will provide new breathing apparatus, nozzles and hoses, equipment to prepare for chemical fires and hydraulic rescue tools creating more efficient and effective first responders. I am proud I was able to help secure this money.”

Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase a new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) filling station for Bergen Fire Department. Depew Fire Company will use the funds to replace aging hoses and nozzles, some of which have not been upgraded since the 1960s, and purchase foam educators to better prepare for chemical fires. Upper Mountain Fire Company will purchase hydraulic rescue tools.

July 9, 2014 - 4:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, environment, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today questioned Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Deputy Administrator, Honorable Robert W. Perciasepe, at a Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on the EPA’s overreaching rule proposal entitled “Definition of the ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.”

“The problem is the public doesn't trust the EPA, farmers don't trust the EPA not to overreach, Congress doesn't trust the EPA,” said Congressman Collins during today’s hearing.

“Deputy Administrator Perciasepe and the EPA fail to recognize that their agency’s overreach is causing real harm for farmers and stalling business development across our country,” Congressman Collins said. “When I visit with farmers in my district, 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. The fact that the EPA and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are now looking to formally broaden the definition of ‘navigable waters’ is an insult to hard working farmers all across this country.”

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