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chris collins

October 17, 2013 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Tonight (last night), the House voted to increase our national debt by over $300 billion without achieving a single spending cut. I could not, in good faith, vote in favor of this legislation which only adds billions to the credit card bill our children will be left to pay.

America has a significant and dangerous spending problem that most of Washington is content to ignore. On behalf of my constituents, I will not ignore this fact. Kicking the can down the road is what caused this problem and Washington has to muster the political courage to deal with it for the future of our country.”

October 3, 2013 - 6:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Tonight (last night - ed.), the House continued to work and offer reasonable and commonsense solutions to the partial government shutdown by passing bills to fully fund the National Institute of Health for critical research and open all national parks and museums.

The American people should not be shortchanged because Washington can’t get its act together.

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats continue to slam the door on our efforts to reopen the government by refusing to talk to House Republicans and negotiate a responsible budget solution.

Congress must stop putting itself ahead of the American people. I continue to encourage my colleagues to voluntarily suspend or donate their pay, as I have, during a shutdown and refuse the special Obamacare exemptions for Congress, its staff and the White House.”

October 1, 2013 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has asked House leadership to suspend his own pay during the duration of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Late last night, Collins sent a letter to House administration requesting that his pay be withheld for the length of the shutdown.

This comes after Collins announced growing support for his bill that would suspend pay for all Members of Congress during a government shutdown. Eighteen members of the House have signed onto the Government Shutdown Fairness Act.

“The American people sent us to Washington to do a job,” Congressman Collins said. “If we cannot live up to that obligation, we should not be taking a pay check, a paycheck that is funded by the taxes paid by our fellow hardworking Americans. If the federal government is shut down Members of Congress should not get paid, and we should not be held to a different standard when it comes to Obamacare, either.”

Last night, Collins voted for a measure that fully funds the government and eliminates any special treatment and exemptions from Obamacare for Congress and its staff, as well as the President and his appointees. The Senate refused to act on the proposal.

“The American people deserve more from their Congress and it is time, as Members of Congress, that we put ourselves at the back of the line and put our constituents first,” Congressman Collins said.

September 25, 2013 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has introduced the Government Shutdown Fairness Act (H.R. 3160). This legislation would stop members of Congress from receiving a salary in the event of a government shutdown.

“As members of Congress, it is our job to keep the government running, and if the government shuts down, I don’t believe we should collect a salary during that time,” Congressman Collins said. “It is wrong that members of Congress should continue to get paid while programs for veterans, seniors and many others are adversely impacted.”

This type of legislation has proven effective in the past. Earlier this year, the House passed the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (H.R. 325), which said members of Congress would not be paid unless they passed a budget. Following the passage of No Budget, No Pay, the Senate adopted a budget resolution for the first time in four years.

The Government Shutdown Fairness Act is consistent with the 27th Amendment in holding salaries in escrow until the end of this Congress.

“Salary and job performance should be tied together, and if members of Congress aren’t doing their job, that should be reflected in their salary. The American people deserve more from their Congress and it is time, as members of Congress, that we put ourselves at the back of the line and put our constituents first in a government shutdown,” said Congressman Collins.

September 14, 2013 - 10:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced today additional grant funding for the Genesee County Airport and a separate grant for the Le Roy Airport.

The Genesee County Airport is receiving a $200,000 federal grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to build a new terminal building. According to the FAA, the existing terminal has "exceeded its useful life" and needs to be replaced. Earlier this week, Collins announced additional FAA grants for the Genesee County Airport totaling more than $1 million. That money will allow the County to relocate the airport’s apron and design a new taxiway.

Collins also announced $137,773 in federal funding for the Le Roy Airport (Le Roy Aviation Services). The money will allow the airport to remove trees and other obstructions near the Runway 10 approach to ensure clear navigation and enhance safety.

September 13, 2013 - 4:09pm
posted by Don Lovelace in steve hawley, GCEDA, chris collins, Bonduelle, Steve Hyde.

'A Complete 180': France-based Bonduelle Brings Stable Presence to Genesee County Food Processing -WBTA

"He (Daniel Vielfaure, CEO of Bonduelle Americas) said the company did not seek tax breaks from the county to complete the acquisition because simply, assistance wasn’t needed. They used a “hurry-up offense” – a football analogy Vielfaure used – to get the seeds in the ground by April to start the process as soon as possible and knew this was the best opportunity to jump right in."


But.... Steve Hyde is quoted a couple of times in the article, like he had something to do with this, as well as various government types all jumping in to take credit for some one else's success!

September 10, 2013 - 10:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

"After carefully considering the matter and waiting for President Obama to make his best case to the American people, I have decided that I will vote no to authorize U.S. military action in Syria, if and when the vote comes to the House. While I understand that this situation is very fluid, and the administration has agreed to diplomatic efforts through the United Nations, I am unconvinced that a U.S. military strike in Syria would be in the best interest of America and its allies in the region. The emergence of a non-military solution to this crisis -- as we have seen in just the last 24 hours -- demonstrates how ill-conceived and poorly thought out the President's plan has been since its inception. 

Proposing military action is one of the most serious decisions a President can make, and therefore requires a clear set of objectives and a clear exit strategy. This administration has satisfied neither, leaving us with serious questions about whether a U.S military strike in Syria will be indirectly assisting anti-American jihadist forces inside of the country and will not guarantee that Assad is unable to launch future chemical weapons attacks. 

Since the President proposed military action in Syria, and more recently since he decided to seek Congressional authorization for such action, I have received a tremendous amount of feedback from my constituents. I appreciate the more than 4,000 New York-27 residents who took time to let me know how they view this important national decision. My constituents are overwhelmingly opposed to any U.S. military involvement in Syria and after thoroughly deliberating on the matter; I believe they are justified in their opposition."

September 10, 2013 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins held a telephone press conference today at 2:30 p.m. Because of the accident in Elba, I was unable to participate, but I figured other media would have it covered.

WBTA: Rep. Collins says he'll keep an open mind as Pres. Obama addresses Syria situation tonight

Rep. Chris Collins says he’s still undecided about U.S. action in Syria, but for him to approve, he says President Obama has a hard task of convincing ahead because there are still many questions.

“Tonight I will be listening very closely to hear justification and it will be a tough sell, let’s put it that way, I think to the American people as well as myself, and I’m going to keep an open mind," he said.

Collins' questions include: “What’s our response if three days after the strike (Assad) did another chemical weapons attack? What would we do if Russia shot down our missiles? What would we do if Iran attacked Israel?”

OrleansHub: Collins says district 95 percent against Syrian military action

“The American public is tired of wars,” Collins said this afternoon on a conference call with reporters. “The president will have to work very hard to convince me and the American public the wisdom of a military strike.”

The congressman has conducted an online poll and he said 95 percent of the respondents reported they oppose U.S. military action in Syria.

Collins is critical of the president’s foreign policy, which the congressman said is in “disarray.” Obama has vacillated on how to handle Syria, Collins said, ultimately allowing Russia to step in and offer to take Syria’s chemical weapons so they could be turned over to international control. Collins said he is “disappointed in the president as the commander in chief.”

The D&C: Collins says Putin's Syria proposal diminishes U.S. stature

“What I am saying is, right now the country that’s driving the solution is Russia,” Collins told reporters in a conference call. “It is Russia that has stepped forward with a proposal to eliminate the chemical weapons in Syria.”

The freshman congressman said President Barack Obama “frankly has no real solutions” and “has vacillated all over the place.”

September 9, 2013 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Airport, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced today that the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia, will receive two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) totaling more than $1 million. The first grant, for $973,800, will fund the construction necessary to relocate the airport’s apron. An apron is the area of the airport where planes are parked, unloaded, refueled and boarded. This project includes 77,500 square feet of new pavement and the reconstruction of 44,000 square feet of existing pavement.

The second grant, for $63,000, will provide funding for the design of a new taxiway leading to the T-hangar at the airport. 

“Supporting local governments with the cost of maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure is an appropriate use of federal tax dollars,” Collins said. “Local taxpayers send a lot 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 government pursuing a federal grant.

September 6, 2013 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Earlier today, we asked the office of Rep. Chris Collins to provide us with an update on his thinking regarding the Obama Administration's request for congressional authorization to bomb Syria.

Here's a statement from Collins:

“I remain undecided on how I will vote on the authorization of U.S. military force in Syria. As I have said before, the situation in Syria is very troubling and increasingly complex. I continue to have serious questions that remain unanswered as to what the objectives of a military strike would be, which countries would stand with America militarily, and what the administration's plan would be if the strike failed to meet its objectives. My constituents continue to contact my offices voicing their opinions, the vast majority of which are against U.S. involvement, and I encourage them to continue to do so.”

August 31, 2013 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“I am pleased President Obama has made the decision to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria. This situation is extremely complex and it is appropriate for all the representatives of the American people to vote on this critical decision.

Speaker Boehner has called House Members to Washington tomorrow to participate in a classified, interagency briefing. I will be traveling to Washington to be a part of this important meeting.

As I said earlier this week, the situation in Syria is deeply troubling and any military response by the United States could have ramifications far beyond the Syrian border. 

Before deciding how I will vote when Congress returns to session, I will thoroughly review all of the available intelligence and learn all I can about the limited military action in Syria proposed by President Obama.”

August 28, 2013 - 11:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Oliver's Candies, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins stopped in Oliver's Candies today, but it wasn't for the famed Molly Pops. He was making one of his regular visits to small local businesses in his district.

Oliver's is also famed for -- among other things -- sponge candy, which Collins discussed at some length with Deborah Palmer, left, and Jeremy Liles. Sponge candy is another of WNY's unique foods that is little known in other parts of the country. Liles said it's probably a candy that was brought to WNY by Polish immigrants.

Anita Strollo submitted this photo of Collins at the lunch at the Senior Center today. Her mother, Serena Strollo, celebrated her 91st birthday today and Collins presented her with a Congressional certificate.

August 28, 2013 - 9:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement today on potential military action in Syria:

“Today I signed a letter from Representative Scott Rigell (VA-2) to President Obama urging the President to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.

The images coming out of Syria are deeply troubling. There is also no question that the circumstances on the ground are complex and any military response by the United States will not only impact the ongoing civil war within Syria but possibly have ramifications throughout the region. For those reasons alone, I believe the President has an obligation to consult Congress and communicate with the American people about what our response should be.

President Obama himself wrote that 'the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation' in a 2007 response to a Boston Globe questionnaire.

It is my hope that President Obama will remember these words and call for Congress to reconvene for discussion should he deem military action in Syria necessary.”

August 8, 2013 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins met with a few Batavia business owners today to discuss issues small business. Collins said meetings such as this help keep him grounded and focused on issues that will help grow the economy.

The clear message from today's meeting, he said, was that small business owners are uncertain about the direction of the country, worried about tax codes, health care, availability of capital and finding a well-trained work force.

He noted economic growth has been floundering at 1.6 percent for years.

"There was a confirmation here today that uncertainty plays a big role and that uncertainty is tied directly to Washington," Collins said.

He said the message for small business owners who couldn't attend the meeting is that he's trying to do his part to get the country moving forward in a commonsense way.

That means tax reform that lowers the marginal tax rate for all small business owners to maximum of 25 percent," he said. "(It means) making sure the government doesn't shut down but that we deal with the deficits and debts of our country; bringing a level of certainty to unleash the investment that's waiting to be made if people were confident the government wasn't going to shut down, and I will continue to fight for the repeal of ObamaCare."

July 29, 2013 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and families affected by juvenile diabetes came together today to support the Kids First Research Act (H.R. 2019). Collins is a cosponsor of the legislation that would eliminate federal funding for presidential campaigns and party conventions and re-allocate the funding to expand pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Instead of using federal taxpayer dollars to fund political activities every four years, our priority should be to support medical breakthroughs that would help children diagnosed with a range of diseases and disorders,” Congressman Collins said. “Instead of asking taxpayers for more of their hard-earned money, this nation has to reprioritize its spending. The Kids First Research Act will put the health and well-being of our children ahead of presidential politics.

“The millions of federal taxpayer dollars we currently spend on these party activities would help the NIH make huge strides in research and clinical trials aimed at curing and preventing juvenile (type 1) diabetes, childhood cancers, autism, and Down Syndrome, to name a few."

Specifically, the Kids First Research Act would eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (mainly used to finance party conventions) and re-allocate $130 million, over 10 years, to the NIH. 

“JDRF’s mission is to cure, treat and prevent diabetes,” said Patrick Marks, president of the WNY Chapter of JDRF, and a type 1 diabetic himself. “Passage of this legislation will help better equip the NIH to fund research that directly impacts the future of our children living with type 1 diabetes. Children with type 1 diabetes grow up to become adults with type 1 diabetes, and we need to cure this disease.”

This bill has the support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Autism Speaks, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Coalition of Pediatric Medical Research, the National Down Syndrome Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, among others.

July 26, 2013 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

An amendment to a defense bill that would have ended the NSA's spying on American citizens was defeated in the House earlier this week, and Rep. Chris Collins was among the members who voted against the amendment.

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Justin Amash, from Battle Creek, Mich., and would have de-funded the NSA program, which gathers data from phone companies on phone calls by U.S. citizens in the hope of uncovering terrorist plots.

The Batavian sent an e-mail to Grant Loomis, spokesman for Collins, and asked for a statement on the vote. Loomis said we could attribute the following statement to him:

“Congressman Collins voted to keep in place the same program that for nearly the last decade has saved countless American lives and thwarted terrorists at every turn.”

There is no evidence publicly available that a single terrorist plot has been prevented by the program, known as PRISM.

We asked Loomis what evidence the Congressman had that the program has prevented a terrorist attack, and he responded:

"He has participated in Congressional briefings on the matter. Chris believes the NSA program is in the best interest of our country’s national security and his vote on the matter reflects his position."

The vote was largely symbolic because even if the amendment would have passed in the House, according to a Washington Post story, it certainly would have been stripped from the bill in conference committee with the Senate, but if it didn't, it would have been vetoed by President Obama.

June 23, 2013 - 11:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, oakfield-alabama, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins told graduating Oakfield-Alabama students Sunday: slow down.

Collins recounted all that might be taken for granted today that didn't exist when today's seniors were born: DVRs, GPS, iPhones, Google, Twitter, text messaging, satellite radio. The pace of life has quickened, but students can navigate the fast pace of 21st Century life if they have core values and take time to weigh their decisions against those values.

"With all of these advances in your lifetime, can you imagine what the next 18 years are going to bring?" Collins said. "Now that I've spent the past several minutes preparing you to think about the speed of life, I'm going to give you some advice that may seem counterintuitive: slow down."

The young men and women of the 2013 graduating class should take time to write a personal vision statement to guide them as they go forward in life, Collins said.

"As everything around us moves faster, or at least it appears to, I think it is all the more important that you take time for what really counts," Collins said.

Graduates should take time, he said, to ask themselves, "What do you stand for?"

"Life is all about choices," Collins said. "What you do, what you say, how you make people feel are all choices."

Collins closed with a quote from Elbert Hubbard, the WNY writer and thinker from the 19th Century.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Today's graduates should take action, get involved and make a difference, Collins said.

O-A's top 10 graduates: Paige Chatt, Jessica Cherry, Chelsea Cleveland, Jennifer Crossen, Brittany Denton, Kerry Mills, Teresa Natalizia, Alyse Shamp, Katie Spence and Morgan Zakes.

Valedictorian Jennifer Crossen

Salutatorian Brittany Denton

June 20, 2013 - 2:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Today’s unfortunate defeat of the House Farm Bill speaks to the dysfunction in Washington that continues to stand in the way of solving real problems for real Americans.

Agriculture is a critical industry in New York’s 27th Congressional District, impacting our local residents far beyond those directly doing the hard work of farming. Our farmers and growers deserve a Congress that can come together and pass a long-term Farm Bill. It is essential to help our agricultural industry plan and prepare.

As  a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I remain committed to the work ahead to see a Farm Bill become law.” 

June 17, 2013 - 4:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

To mark National Small Business Week, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) is asking small business owners in his district to complete an online survey about the economy and other issues impacting the small business sector. Starting today, Collins will be e-mailing the survey to small business owners across the eight counties of New York’s 27th Congressional District. Small business owners not a part of the Congressman’s e-mail list are encouraged to complete the survey on the Congressman’s Web site.

The survey asks local small business owners to weigh in on such topics as federal regulations, taxes, and the new employer mandate which is part of the President’s healthcare law. Collins is also asking small business owners to report on recent hiring activity, reasons why owners are or are not hiring, and what programs they would like to see the federal government pursue to spur small business growth and development.

“As a small business owner myself, I understand firsthand the challenges and hurdles business owners face on a day-to-day basis,” Collins said. “As a member of Congress, one of my top goals is to continue to push hard for common-sense polices that create the right kind of economic environment for small business entrepreneurs to expand their company or start a new business, and hire more people. While I will continue to visit directly with small business owners all across NY-27, this survey is a great opportunity to hear from a wide array of small business owners so I can best represent their interests in Washington.”

Collins is a member of the House Small Business Committee and chairman of its Subcommittee on Health and Technology. National Small Business Week runs from June 17 through June 21. On June 21, Collins will host a roundtable meeting, talking with small business owners directly about the issues addressed in the survey.

The survey can be found online at chriscollins.house.gov

June 7, 2013 - 10:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, farm bureau, immigration, NY-27, chris collins.

House Republicans are staunchly opposed to one element of an immigration reform bill -- a path to citizenship -- that some supporters think is critical to its passage, Rep. Chris Collins said today during an event at Post Farms in Elba.

"As a country that was founded on the rule of law, the first action that these adults took in coming into this country was to break the law, so a pathway to citizenship will not come out the House Republicans," Collins said.

The immigration reform bill is the result of hundreds of hours of negotiations between farmers and the farm labor community, which wants to see people who have been working the the United States for years, although illegally, have a chance to become citizens.

While Collins doesn't support allowing such individuals to become citizens, he said he doesn't see a problem with allowing them to obtain permanent work status.

"Call it a blue card," Collins said. "We're fine with making it so that workers who are now here illegally are stay here legally. Make it so that they can go home and visit their families and come back and we know who they are and where they are and that they pay taxes."

Dean Norton (left in photo), said that if the House Republicans can't be brought into the fold, we could wind up with two versions of immigration bills that will go to conference committee. Losing the path to citizenship will be a disappointment to some members of the coalition who worked on the bill, but he thinks when it comes down to it, both sides need some sort of reform to pass.

"I've got to believe in my heart that once we get people sitting down at the table, they won't do anything to scuttle reform," Norton said. "It's too important to the country and to our food supply."

Collins did say he supports citizenship for the children of workers here illegally.

"This is the country they know and love," Collins said.

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