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Chris Jacobs

April 15, 2021 - 9:59am
posted by Press Release in scaffold law, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) testified this afternoon in front of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in support of his legislation the Infrastructure Expansion Act. 

A transcript of Rep. Jacobs’ testimony as prepared for delivery:

“As we move forward with efforts to expand our nation’s infrastructure, I want to bring to your attention an important issue in my home state of New York. New York is currently the only state in the union to impose absolute liability on employers and property owners for gravity-related injuries. This archaic standard is enshrined in New York’s Labor Law 240/241, otherwise known as the “Scaffold Law.”

Absolute liability under the Scaffold Law means employers and property owners are fully liable for worksite accidents, regardless of the contributing fault of the worker. To understand the injustice of this law, take for example that courts have ruled repeatedly that the intoxication of an employee is not a defense for an employer under the statute. Contrast this with the liability standard of comparative negligence – the standard in every other state – which allows for a reasonable determination of fault between two parties.

Studies have indicated the Scaffold Law adds approximately 8-10 percent to the cost of construction in New York State. Due in part to the extreme standard set by the Scaffold Law, the cost of construction in New York is higher than anywhere else in the nation, resulting in unnecessary taxpayer spending across all levels of government.

According to one study, the Scaffold Law is expected to add an additional $180 to $300 million to the Gateway Program. The Tappan Zee Bridge is estimated to have incurred up to $400 million in additional costs due to the Scaffold Law. In a recent amicus brief, the New York City Transit Authority stated it is in an existential financial crisis. Its public liability burden in 2019 was $150 million dollars, much of that due to the Scaffold Law.

These costs represent hundreds of millions of dollars that could have gone toward improving our schools, repairing the New York City subway, or fixing our roads.

Defenders of the Scaffold Law say that it improves worksite safety, but data shows the opposite. A study deemed “practice-ready” by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering concluded that the law actually increases both fatal and nonfatal injuries by 670 each year.

The challenges presented by the Scaffold Law are why I have championed the Infrastructure Expansion Act (H.R. 1300), which would exempt federally funded projects from the Scaffold Law and instead place them on a standard of comparative negligence.

Mr. Chairman I would like entered into the record a letter of support from over 65 organizations throughout New York State supporting my bill.

The Scaffold Law is particularly challenging for minority and women-owned businesses, as the inflated premiums they must pay for liability insurance puts them at a competitive disadvantage when bidding for projects against larger firms.

That is why groups such as the Minority & Women Contractors & Developers Association and the National Association of Minority Contractors have been vocal supporters of Scaffold Law reform. I am proud to have their support for my bill.

Other supporters of Scaffold Law reform and my bill include the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. The Scaffold Law is estimated to add $10,000 to the cost of a single-family home in New York State. Anyone interested in making New York State more affordable for families should support the inclusion of my legislation in any infrastructure package.

Another supporter I am proud to have is Habitat for Humanity. Like the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, Habitat for Humanity appreciates efforts to make housing in New York more affordable. However, they have an additional issue with the Scaffold Law. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Habitat and its volunteer partners rushed to help Long Island recover, however they struggled to find insurance because of the Scaffold Law.

For the sake of our roads, our bridges, our schools, our railroads, our homes, and all New Yorkers, the Scaffold Law must be reformed. I urge the Committee to include my legislation in the infrastructure package. With that, I yield back.”

New York’s Scaffold Law imposes an absolute liability standard for all gravity-related injuries on construction projects. New York is the only state with such a law.

In February, Jacobs reintroduced his legislation, the Infrastructure Expansion Act (H.R. 1300), that would protect New Yorkers from high construction costs by pre-empting the Scaffold Law on any project receiving federal funding – instead of implementing a standard of comparative negligence for these projects.

April 14, 2021 - 3:17pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27, wny stamp.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined a bipartisan group of representatives and senators to call on President Biden to prioritize funding and policies in his FY2022 budget proposal that bolster domestic semiconductor manufacturing and supply chains.

“Domestic production of semiconductors is an economic and national security priority,” Jacobs said. “China is investing billions of dollars into developing this technology and mass manufacturing. We cannot afford to rely on them or other foreign manufacturers.

"We saw this year the devastation when foreign supply chains break down, and given the sensitive, classified, and consumer technologies powered using semiconductors, we must ensure a robust domestic manufacturing program is developed to protect security.”

Specifically, the letter calls for prioritized investment into initiatives outlined in the CHIPS for America Act that was enacted into law as part of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation creates incentives to support semiconductor research and development and the domestic manufacturing of semiconductors.

“Nationally, these investments are critical to our economic development, global competitiveness, and national security," Jacobs said. "Locally, these investments also have the potential to aid in the economic development of Western New York by supporting assets such as the STAMP plant in Genesee County that are readily available to host high-technology manufacturers.

“I am encouraged the President has recognized the importance of secure supply chains and domestic manufacturing; I urge him to prioritize these needed investments.”

To read the letter to President Biden, click here (pdf).

April 7, 2021 - 2:24pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) will be traveling to Texas this afternoon for a three-day trip to the Southern border to tour immigration facilities and receive briefings from Border Patrol and local law enforcement.

“We are seeing a growing humanitarian crisis and a surge in criminal activity at our Southern border that is a direct result of President Biden’s reckless policies,” Jacobs said. “The reports we have heard are deeply troubling, so I am traveling with my colleagues to the Southern border to observe the situation firsthand and hear directly from our law enforcement on the ground.”

Jacobs is traveling to the Southern border with seven other members of the House of Representatives, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (IN-03) and Representatives Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Victoria Spartz (IN-05), Kevin Hern (OK-01), and Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL).

The members will tour Eagle Pass Detention Center and Laughlin Air Force Base as well as the border in both Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Texas. The representatives will also receive briefings from Border Patrol leadership and local law enforcement on current border operations and conditions.

April 6, 2021 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Andrew Cuomo, Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) led a letter with congressmembers Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) in calling on Governor Cuomo to release billions in rental assistance funding allocated to New York State by Congress in December.

“Tenants and landlords across New York State have suffered enormous economic hardship during the pandemic," reps. Jacobs, Tenney, Garbarino, Zeldin and Malliotakis wrote. “Congress recognizes this reality, and it is why we allocated funds to assist New Yorkers in need.

"We are concerned that more than half of the money provided under the CARES Act remains unspent, while none of the $1.3 billion provided in December has been spent. Numerous other states have already distributed this funding. It is imperative these funds reach their intended recipients promptly.”

Specifically, the representatives are asking the Governor to provide a timetable for the creation of the application portal the state government said it would be using for distribution. The representatives are also asking that the Governor disclose if he intends to add additional eligibility requirements to receive the funding above what is required by the federal government.

New York received $1.3 billion in federal funding for residential rental assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress in December and will be receiving another $1.4 billion under the American Rescue Plan. In addition, $100 million was provided under the CARES Act.

Full text of the letter is below:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We write to request information on New York State’s implementation of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. As you know, New York received $1.3 billion in federal funding for residential rental assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by Congress in December and will be receiving another $1.4 billion under the American Rescue Plan. In addition, $100 million was provided under the CARES Act. We are concerned that more than half of the money provided under the CARES Act remains unspent, while none of the $1.3 billion provided in December has been spent.

We respectfully request your reply within 14 days of receipt of this letter with answers to the following questions:

  • Your administration indicated it will be setting up a universal application portal for all applicants across the state. Is that portal ready? If not, when will it be?
  • Will the state be adding additional eligibility criteria to receive funds above what is set by federal law?

As you know, tenants and landlords across New York State have suffered enormous economic hardship during the pandemic. Congress recognizes this reality, and it is why we allocated funds to assist New Yorkers in need. Numerous other states have already distributed this funding. It is imperative these funds reach their intended recipients promptly.

March 30, 2021 - 4:23pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) held the first official meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee on Saturday, March 27th.

"In order for me to craft effective policy and ensure the long-term prosperity of our region's farmers and agribusinesses, it is critical to make sure they have a seat at the table," Jacobs said. "We had a productive introductory meeting and discussed many of the pressing issues facing Western New York agriculture. I look forward to continuing our work together."

"We are very pleased that Congressman Jacobs asked to be appointed to the House Agriculture Committee, and the agricultural community lauds Congressman Jacobs' in recognizing the diverse agriculture businesses in his district," said Maureen Torrey, of Torrey Farms Inc.

"His first meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee was a major success as all facets of agriculture from dairy, vegetables, apples, grapes, peaches, poultry, flowers, grain, greenhouse, family farms small and large, and agribusinesses had a chance to share trends and concerns about this major economic driver in his district with him."

"The Agriculture Advisory Committee gives all categories of agriculture a voice and representation in matters that directly impact our lives and our family's lives," said Stacie Rogers, of Rogers Dairy. "We appreciate Congressman Chris Jacobs for caring what that voice is and following through with what he says, I can't wait to continue that partnership and collaboration."

"As a farmer in Western New York, I am honored to be part of Congressman Jacobs' Agriculture Advisory Committee," said Jim Bittner, of Bittner Singer Orchards. "His willingness to serve on the House Agriculture Committee demonstrates his commitment to Western New York and the businesses that are its economic engine. Most recently, he supported the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which will benefit every employee on my farm and those around us.

"Congressman Jacobs has also introduced a bill to allow dairy farms to participate in the H-2A Visa Program. This will have long-term benefits which will preserve our industry. As discussions continue, I appreciate his willingness to learn what is important to those who feed our citizens and how to support it through legislation."

"I believe the first meeting went very well, and I hope that the topics discussed give Rep. Jacobs a better understanding as to how crucial these issues are to agriculture," said Bruce Naas, of Naas Farms LLC. "Labor and infrastructure are just two of many ongoing concerns that affect how we can be competitive in today's global environment. I look forward to our next meeting."

“The Agriculture Advisory Committee is very promising, with participants from every aspect of the ag industry represented across NY-27," said John King, president – Niagara County Farm Bureau. "Congressman Jacobs will have a wealth of knowledge to pull from and very active members of the farming community to look to as a resource.

I look forward to providing the Congressman with updates and concerns that NY-27 farmer members have. I think committee’s like this are critical in regard to connecting our needs with Congress to ensure our family farms are represented appropriately going forward.”

The first meeting of the NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee was held virtually, and members discussed a wide range of topics and issues facing Western New York agriculture, including dairy and farm labor needs, trade enforcement, infrastructure and rural broadband development, and vaccine eligibility for farm workforces. Each member also provided a brief overview of their business and the commodities they represent.

The NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee is comprised of members from across the eight counties of the New York 27th District and includes stakeholders affiliated with farms, agribusiness, academia, and advocacy organizations. Its members produce a large variety of commodities including dairy, cash crops, vegetables, fruits, maple, and poultry.

March 25, 2021 - 9:42am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) was joined by Congressmembers Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02) in calling on New York State Assembly Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins to eliminate proposals to raise state taxes for the new fiscal year.  

“Our state has suffered from decades of irresponsible and self-serving public policies, laws and regulations that have made living, working and running a business in New York incredibly expensive. The exodus from our state due to these flawed policies has only been exacerbated during the COVID crisis. Many of those individuals and businesses that are being taxed at high rates have a greater ability than ever before to move from New York and are doing so. Increasing taxes in the midst of our recovery from the pandemic would only accelerate that trend,” representatives Jacobs, Stefanik, Tenney, Zeldin and Garbarino wrote. 

Last week, both the NYS Senate and Assembly passed budget proposals that would increase taxes in New York State by roughly $6.5 billion – this through raising income and corporate franchise tax rates, as well as a new surcharge on income derived from capital gains.  

In addition to the $12 billion New York State received from the recently passed American Rescue Plan, New York has also received more than $7.5 billion in direct funding to the state and certain local governments, more than $50 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to New York small businesses, and $8 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from previous COVID-19 packages, among other additional funds. 

“Congress recently provided over $12 billion to New York State to relieve the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, along with other provisions, should be more than enough to balance the state’s budget without burdening New Yorkers with more tax increases,” the representatives wrote. “Instead of increasing taxes, New York State can improve its fiscal standing by undertaking meaningful reforms to improve the functioning of the state government and our economy.”  

Yesterday, 250 New York business executives also sent a letter regarding this proposal, stating that such increases would harm our economic recovery and force companies and residents out of the state in search of a lower cost of operating and living.

Full text of the letter can be found here:

Dear Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins 

We write to urge you to resist increasing taxes on New Yorkers in the upcoming fiscal year. As you know, Congress recently provided over $12 billion to New York State to relieve the financial burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, along with other provisions, should be more than enough to balance the State’s budget without burdening New Yorkers with more tax increases. 

While some of us were not members of the U.S. House of Representatives during the last Congress, Congress appropriated billions of dollars to New York last year through the passage of five bipartisan bills. Those laws included over $7.5 billion in direct funding to the state and certain local governments in New York, over $50 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to New York small businesses, and $8 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, among other important executive and legislative assistance from the federal government.  

Though we opposed the passage of the American Rescue Plan, many of us are on record supporting measured and targeted relief funding for New York State and local governments. We believe such funding is necessary given the challenges of the pandemic. We must also acknowledge, however, that our state has suffered from decades of irresponsible and self-serving public policies, laws, and regulations that have made living, working, and running a business in New York incredibly expensive. The exodus from our state due to these flawed policies has only been exacerbated during the COVID crisis. Many of those individuals and businesses that are being taxed at high rates have a greater ability than ever before to move from New York and are doing so. Increasing taxes in the midst of our recovery from the pandemic would only accelerate that trend.

Instead of increasing taxes, New York State can improve its fiscal standing by undertaking meaningful reforms to improve the functioning of the state government and our economy. This would be far more preferable than punishing New Yorkers for the state’s mismanagement.  

We appreciate your leadership and are always willing to work with you on the many challenges facing our state.

March 18, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, agriculture.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined with colleagues to ask the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to uphold agricultural purchase commitments made by China under the Phase One trade deal. 

“American farmers and businesses have been cheated for decades by China’s malign trade practices and efforts to artificially bolster their state-run entities,” Jacobs said. “The Phase One trade deal was critical to supporting American farmers and increasing American exports.”

The Phase One trade deal, signed in January 2020, required China to purchase $200 billion worth of American products, goods, and services. In part, China agreed to purchase $12.5 billion in additional agricultural products above the 2017 trade level in 2020.

Current data shows that the Chinese government failed to meet those 2020 purchasing commitments. If needed, the Phase One trade deal has built-in mechanisms that can be used by the United States government to enforce those commitments.  

“Ensuring China adheres to purchasing agreements is critical to supporting American farmers, especially as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jacobs said. “I urge the Secretary to work with the U.S. Trade Representative to review the Phase One trade deal and implement necessary enforcement measures to hold China accountable.”

March 17, 2021 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, covid-19, coronavirus, business, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) cosponsored and helped pass H.R. 1799, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act.

“Small business owners are still facing major challenges as a result of COVID-19. As we work to rebuild our economy and get people back to work, it is important to ensure businesses have access to every resource possible,” Jacobs said.

“This legislation extends the application deadline for this successful program so more businesses can receive benefits and reopen.”

The Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act extends the deadline for a small business to apply for a PPP loan by two months. The application deadline was previously set at March 31st, 2021. For more information on how to apply, click here

March 12, 2021 - 1:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release: 

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement calling for the resignation of Governor Cuomo. 

“As I’ve said from the beginning, the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo are deeply troubling. I continue to support the Attorney General’s investigation and believe it is imperative. And while I strongly believe in due process, the revelations that the Governor and his staff worked to conceal the truth and undermine his accusers are unconscionable and disqualifying. 

"It is clear to me that this crisis of his own making is a distraction from the very important work that needs to be done right now to move our state forward. The Governor is incapable of leading our state and can no longer effectively carry out the duties of his office. The investigations must continue, and he must be held accountable for his actions, but for the good of our state, he must resign.”

March 9, 2021 - 3:54pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced legislation that would make the dairy industry eligible for H-2A temporary agricultural visas.

“As I have traveled throughout NY-27 and met with farmers, one thing that has become clear is the need for dairy producers to have access to a steady and legal workforce," Jacobs said. "Currently, dairy workers are not eligible for H-2A status because of the way the current law is interpreted by federal agencies. This simple legislation would fix an urgent need while Congress works on broader reforms to the H-2A program.”

The Dairy H-2A Eligibility Act would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to include “dairy workers” as eligible candidates for H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa status. Employers are currently only eligible for H-2A nonimmigrant classification if they offer a temporary or seasonal position. Though H-2A workers are themselves temporary, dairy production has been interpreted to not qualify for these visas because it occurs year-round.

“Dairy’s workforce crisis is especially severe because dairy farms, which operate year-round, can’t use the H-2A program, which is seasonal," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. "NMPF has fought for decades for H-2A access for dairy. "We thank Congressman Jacobs for stepping up and making ag labor reform a priority issue, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Jacobs to address the workforce needs of dairy farmers in New York and across the country.” 

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president, said: "Agricultural labor reform has long been a New York Farm Bureau priority. We must address the seasonal and long-term needs of agriculture, including for the state's dairy farms that currently do not have access to a year-round federal guest worker program. We thank Rep. Jacobs for his efforts to fix a broken system and moving the conversation forward for the betterment of our farms and food system."

“The bottom line is that we need a migrant worker program that respects and enforces our immigration laws while providing farmers with the workforce that they need,” Jacobs said.

March 6, 2021 - 10:05am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, covid-19, coronavirus, schools, education.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after joining Assemblyman DiPietro to call for New York schools to reopen for 100-percent in-person learning five days a week. 

“The impact school closures have had on our children is devastating," Jacobs said. "A new report shows an estimated 3,000,000 children have gone missing from classes. Grades and test scores are slipping, and mental health problems are rising drastically.

"Our teachers have worked hard, but they cannot overcome the inherent constraints of virtual learning, especially in rural areas with limited internet access. Kids need in-person education, social interaction, and full access to school resources and support systems.”

“The Biden administration has flip-flopped on this issue, and just last week, Democrats refused to help us advance policies that would fund an expedited return to school for our students. Republicans introduced over half a dozen amendments to the COVID relief package to open schools. Democrats rejected them unanimously.

"In addition, we offered a motion to redirect $140 million away from subway construction to needed mental health services for at-risk students; once again, Democrats rejected this effort. We need to get politics out of the classroom and get kids back in. We know how to do this safely; let’s follow the science and open our schools.”

March 4, 2021 - 10:36am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after voting against H.R. 1 – the “For the Politicians Act.”*

"This week, Speaker Pelosi has continued her track record of partisan policies that benefit her party but hurt the American people. H.R. 1 would direct public money toward politicians' reelection campaigns, not COVID response, infrastructure, or schools. Given the many challenges our nation faces and the substantial debt we have already amassed this year alone, there are infinite better uses for this funding than Democrats' reelection efforts.

"This legislation is also a threat to secure and timely elections. H.R. 1 would federalize our elections to throw out voter ID laws, legalize ballot harvesting, irresponsibly expand mail-in voting, and make the Federal Election Commission a partisan entity. These changes will not improve our elections. Instead, they will cause massive delays, limit voter verification, and an unconstitutional attack on First Amendment political speech and state-run elections.

"Many Americans have concerns about the integrity of our elections, but this legislation does not ease those concerns in the slightest. Only legal, verifiable, and registered American voters should be allowed to vote. This legislation erodes safeguards in our election processes to the benefit of the Democrat party.

*Here's the bill, H.R. 1“For the People Act," which was introduced in January.

March 4, 2021 - 10:32am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27, police reform.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after voting against the Democrat’s policing reform package. 

"This legislation will not protect our communities – it will undermine police officers who are forced to make life or death decisions in service of the public. The bill will make it easier to sue officers for reasonable mistakes and creates a public registry of complaints against them before those allegations can be properly investigated. 

"In addition, this legislation further strains our police with unfunded mandates and by limiting their access to lifesaving surplus equipment, such as bulletproof vests. It further hinders officers' ability to effectively respond to dangerous situations by limiting the tools and resources at their disposal.

"There are challenges in local law enforcement that we need to address. We need to ensure those entrusted to protect our communities are highly trained and act responsibly, and we must hold those accountable who commit crimes and break public trust.

"However, it is critically important that we support the brave men and women of our law enforcement and ensure they have every resource needed to continue to protect our communities – this legislation focuses more on partisan politics than effective policy."

February 27, 2021 - 5:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, notify.

The House of Representatives Friday passed a $1.9 triillion stimulus bill but NY-27's Rep. Chris Jacobs was not among those who voted in support of the package.

Jacobs called the bill a "partisan package" that did not meet the needs of all Americans. The Republican congressman accused Democrats of rejecting efforts to reach a bipartisan compromise.

Here's his statement:

“Today, we didn’t vote on a focused, fiscally responsible, or targeted COVID-19 relief bill. The bill before the House today was a partisan package designed to advance an agenda, not the needs of the American people. Sadly, Democrats have rejected over 200 attempts at bipartisan consensus to cut costs and improve this legislation.

“More support is needed to defeat COVID-19, and I would have supported a targeted measure that bolstered vaccine distribution, aided struggling local governments, and reopened schools. Yet only 9 percent of the total funding of this package goes to public health measures to defeat COVID-19, and only 5 percent of the $130 billion in school funding will be used this year. In fact, $670 billion of this total package will not even be spent in 2021.

“This bill should have focused on the immediate needs to protect Americans and reopen our country. However, with over $1 trillion still left unspent from previous aid packages and no bipartisan input to craft this legislation – the result can only be described as a disservice to the American people. While there are provisions in this bill I support, it contained numerous provisions that I could not in good faith support or justify.”

The bill passed without a single Republican House member supporting it and two Democrats joining in with the opposition.

If the bill passes the Senate -- which is by no means certain -- it would mean a third round of pandemic-related stimulus checks for Americans, this time for $1,400 per taxpayer.

The bill also includes $350 billion for state and local governments, a proposal generally opposed by Republicans in the Senate. The GOP opposition is based on a belief that Democratic-controlled states have bungled their own finances and shouldn't be bailed out by the Federal government. But even some Republican governors have said their states need the aid.

Jacobs has repeatedly said he supports providing financial support to local governments. He issued statements in October and November calling for more pandemic-related aid to local governments.

A spokesman for Jacobs noted that the congressman supported the CARES act, which allocated funding to local governments, with larger cities getting a direct distribution while it was up to the state to distribute the funds to smaller municipalities and counties. The spokesman said that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dragged his feet in this regard.

"Furthermore, the CARES Act had a provision that required funding given to governments could only be used for COVID-19 related expenses, not to cover deficits or lost revenues," the spokesman said. "This was done to ensure mismanaged state governments, such as New York that had a $6 billion budget deficit prior to COVID, could not use the relief funding to cover their own prior expenses."

Jacobs is a cosponsor of the SMART Act, which would provide $500 billion to state and local governments, with one-third, or $161 billion, going directly to local governments. The aid would be distributed on proportional need, and county governments could use this funding to cover revenue losses, COVID-19 expenses, and other costs.

The bill has been stalled in a House committee since the fall.

But Jacobs continues to support the need to provide more relief to local governments, the spokesman said, even if he couldn't support the current stimulus package.

"The Congressman understands the impact that COVID-19 has had on budgets, especially at the local level," he said. "He recognizes these localities need this aid urgently, given they provide essential services ranging from EMS to public safety to education, and they also employ thousands of individuals across NY-27."

February 23, 2021 - 9:57am
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, U.S. - Canada border.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement ahead of the virtual summit between President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Last week, Western New Yorkers were once again left with more uncertainty as the Department of Homeland Security announced an additional monthlong extension of the non-essential travel ban across the northern border. In one of his early executive orders, President Biden signaled that reopening the U.S. – Canada border in a safe and cooperative manner was a priority.

"As a member of the Northern Border Caucus and a representative of a district with a vast amount of New York’s northern border, I urge the administration to uphold that commitment and work with Prime Minister Trudeau on a plan to reopen the border. Western New York families, small businesses, and property owners are relying upon it."

February 20, 2021 - 2:26pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, coronavirus, covid-19.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) has cosponsored legislation to require the President to provide a complete account of enacted but unspent COVID-19 funds.

“As Democrats move forward with their unilateral approach to force through a massive $1.9 trillion relief package, I believe it is imperative to know how much funding has already been enacted but remains unspent. That figure could be as high as $1 trillion.

“I agree that more federal assistance is needed to overcome COVID-19, especially for bolstering vaccine distribution, reopening schools, and supporting struggling local governments. However, we need to be targeted and fiscally responsible with our approach to avoid unnecessary spending and costly programs that do not address urgent problems.

“Since such a large amount of funding remains unused, it would be prudent to know what we have or have not spent before enacting additional legislation.

H.Res.127 was introduced by Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (MO-08) and would require President Biden to provide documents relating to unspent COVID-19 relief funding to Congress within 14 days of its adoption. To date, Congress has enacted over $4 trillion in stimulus funds through several relief packages.

February 19, 2021 - 12:22pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) has reintroduced the No Small Business Aid for China Act (H.R. 1138).

“China’s growing malign activities – including intellectual property theft, corporate espionage, and cyber-warfare – directly threaten Americans and our small businesses," Jacobs said.

"The authoritarian Chinese government asserts its influence over major Chinese businesses and executives with the intent of destroying U.S. competitors. As such, they should not be able to access funds specifically designed to support American small businesses."

Rep. Jacobs originally introduced the No Small Business Aid for China Act during the 116th Congress. The legislation would bar any company that is headquartered in the People’s Republic of China, has more than 25 percent of voting stock controlled by Chinese citizens, or is affiliated with human rights abuses in Xinjiang Province from accessing aid from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Since taking office, I have advocated for a stronger position to confront China," Jacobs said. "American small business aid should only support American small businesses – that has become even more clear during the COVID-19 pandemic when a third of New York small businesses have closed and more are on the verge of bankruptcy.

“I am committed to supporting our small businesses and ensuring that China cannot take advantage of the American economy at our expense.”

February 18, 2021 - 5:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, Andrew Cuomo, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after it was reported last night that the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office have opened an investigation into Governor Cuomo and senior members of his COVID-19 Task Force.

“For weeks, I have called for a full federal investigation into Governor Cuomo and his staff for their actions to cover up the disastrous impacts of the Governor’s directive forcing COVID positive patients back into nursing homes.

This investigation is long overdue but necessary to the grieving families who have been cast aside, smeared, and talked down to by this Governor for simply seeking answers surrounding the death of a loved one.

“I will keep working tirelessly until we have these answers. This investigation should leave no stone unturned and thoroughly examine the deliberate and willful action to withhold information from federal prosecutors and the public. The Governor’s actions represent one of the greatest betrayals of public trust during this pandemic. He must be held accountable."

February 17, 2021 - 11:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Chris Jacobs, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) is releasing the following statement after Governor Cuomo’s press conference yesterday and New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt’s calls for NY Attorney General James to expand the scope of her investigation into Governor Cuomo’s nursing home death cover-up.

“I commend Senate Minority Leader Ortt and the entire minority conference for their tireless pursuit of the truth and their repeated calls for a full investigation. Attorney General James showed courage by releasing the report that has finally gotten grieving New York families closer to closure, but her work is not done yet.

"With the admission from the Governor’s top aide that the administration purposefully withheld information about nursing home deaths from federal officials, Attorney General James should continue her efforts and expand the scope of her investigation.

“The Governor once again tried to shift blame and avoid responsibility in his press conference yesterday, only to be met with a loud and public rebuke from members of his own party. He has proven he is not able to tell the truth or govern responsibly – as such, I am also reaffirming my calls for the Department of Justice to conduct a full criminal investigation into obstruction of justice. The Governor and his staff must be held accountable.

Jacobs has sent two letters, with the entire New York Republican congressional delegation, to the Department of Justice asking for a full and independent federal investigation into Governor Cuomo, (Health) Commissioner (Howard) Zucker, and administration staff.

February 12, 2021 - 5:59pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, news, NY-27, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined Reps. Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), Andrew Garbarino (R, NY-2), Nicole Malliotakis (R, NY-11), Elise Stefanik (R, NY-21), Claudia Tenney (R, NY-22), Tom Reed (R, NY-23), John Katko (R, NY-24) in calling on Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson to open a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration following bombshell reports that a top aide to Governor Cuomo just admitted that their office, in an effort to block a DOJ investigation, hid from federal authorities information on nursing home deaths caused by the Governor’s nursing home mandate.

“The Governor and his staff made a calculated and potentially criminal decision to withhold information of his reckless order forcing COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes, "Congressman Jacobs said. "Grieving New York families and elected officials have tried for months to get answers, only to be brushed aside by the Governor while he shamelessly accepted book deals and awards for his handling of the pandemic.

"This is now not only an investigation into the true toll of his disastrous directive but a criminal investigation into obstruction of justice. This new reporting details willful corruption of the highest degree and represents one of the greatest betrayals of public trust we have seen during this pandemic – the Department of Justice must launch a federal investigation immediately, and Governor Cuomo and his staff must face justice.” 

“The Department of Justice needs to immediately open an Obstruction of Justice investigation into Governor Cuomo and his administration. It's now being reported there has been a direct admission of their nursing home cover-up with the intent of blocking a DOJ investigation.

Congressman Zeldin said: "The families of thousands of dead New York seniors deserve accountability and justice for the true consequences of Governor Cuomo’s fatally flawed nursing home policy and the continued attempts to cover it up. It’s clear what's happening here is criminal.” 

Congressman Garbarino said: “It is clearer now more than ever that the Department of Justice needs to conduct a full investigation into the Cuomo Administration’s handling of nursing homes and COVID-19. Gov. Cuomo not only recklessly put New York seniors in harms’ way, he and his Administration admittedly hid the facts from the Department of Justice.

"This, along with the refusal to respect the several Freedom of Information Law requests, turned a misjudgment in policy into what very well may be one of the largest criminal cover-ups in New York’s history. On behalf of every New Yorker who lost a family member or loved one in one of these nursing home facilities, I am demanding answers and justice.” 

Congresswoman Malliotakis said: "This admission of a coverup proves what we’ve known all along; Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) made a calculated political decision to avoid answering questions and being the subject of legal investigations. The Governor should immediately resign, and the Department of Justice should hold Governor Cuomo and his administration accountable so justice can be served for the thousands of families who lost loved ones.” 

Congresswoman Stefanik said: "After yesterday’s bombshell report, there is absolutely no question that an immediate independent investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice is warranted. If there is no Department of Justice investigation into the Secretary to Governor Cuomo's public admission of federal crimes, a stain will remain on the entirety of the Biden Administration. I also call for a full transcript to be released of President Biden's meeting with Governor Cuomo at the White House, so the American people can be assured that President Biden is not complicit in this apparent criminal cover-up and admitted obstruction of justice.” 

Congresswoman Tenney said: "The latest revelation that Governor Cuomo’s administration deliberately concealed data related to nursing home deaths is unconscionable. I have been raising the alarm around this issue for more than a year and am proud to now stand with my New York colleagues in Congress to call for an immediate federal investigation into this matter. New York families need the truth and they deserve justice.”

Congressman Reed said: “The mountain of evidence, lies, and criminal conduct cannot be ignored any longer. The Biden Department of Justice must conduct an independent and thorough investigation into Governor Cuomo, Secretary DeRosa, and New York State. Regardless of our party affiliation, we should all be able to agree such an investigation is an essential step if we are going to achieve justice for the thousands of grieving New York families.”

Congressman Katko said. “The revelations being reported regarding New York State’s handling of nursing home deaths represent a massive breach in public trust. Hundreds of families across New York State lost loved ones as a direct result of the State’s disastrous nursing home policy. Reporting now shows the Cuomo Administration deliberately withheld this critical information from federal authorities. The individuals responsible for perpetuating this cover-up must be held accountable.” 

This report came after it was revealed more than 9,000 coronavirus patients were sent into New York nursing homes. In addition, New York Attorney General James released a report two weeks (ago) revealing the state had underreported nursing home deaths.

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