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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Collins supports Obama on ISIS plans

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27

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.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Collins releases statement on passage of bill limiting EPA on water regulation changes

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chris collins, NY-27

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 The passage of today’s legislation will ensure that this rule is withdrawn and our farmers and small business owners will be protected.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Collins tours Graham Corp. in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, chris collins, graham corp., NY-27

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.

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Collins secures $135K in funding for Genesee County Airport

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, genesee county airport, NY-27

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.

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Collins announces funding for volunteer fire departments, including Bergen

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, chris collins, NY-27

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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Rep. Collins calls proposed EPA rules on waterways 'overreach,' a burden on agriculture

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chris collins, environment, NY-27

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.”

Monday, June 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

Collins hails Hobby Lobby ruling

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Obamacare

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.).

“The Supreme Court’s ruling today is a victory for our First Amendment rights and the free exercise of religious beliefs,” Congressman Collins said. “Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate is an intrusion on the religious freedoms of private employers, and was decided to be what many of us expected: unconstitutional. The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., case is another example of this Administration’s hubris and extreme overreach into every corner of our lives.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Collins says FDA's proposed new cheese rules stink

post by Howard B. Owens in business, chris collins, NY-27

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today is blasting a proposal by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will significantly hurt the local cheese industry. The FDA is contemplating banning cheese makers from the centuries-old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards. This process is commonplace among artisan cheese makers operating across New York’s 27th Congressional District.

“This is just the latest example of a federal government hell-bent on regulating everything it can get its hands on,” Congressman Collins said. “The process of aging cheese on wood boards is older than the federal government itself. Once again, the bureaucrats in Washington who are totally out of touch with the real world are arbitrarily introducing new rules and regulations that will hurt local economies, cost people their jobs, and stall business growth.”

Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the cheese made by Yancey's Fancy in Pembroke, NY, (Genesee County) is aged on wooden boards. The company recently announced a major expansion aimed at increasing production of the very cheeses aged through the process targeted by the FDA. The company currently employs 120 people.

“The proposal that FDA has made to ban the use of wood for curing cheese will negatively impact our plans to grow the natural side of our specialty cheese business,” said Brian Bailey, VP of Operations for Yancey's Fancy. “My understanding is that the rule was going forward without any discussion with the cheese industry, and apparently without any consideration to the impact that such a ruling would have.

"There is a far greater tonnage of cheese imported into the United States that is cured on wood than what is made in the United States, yet I haven’t heard of any ruling to address that issue either. There is plenty of science that supports wood as a safe material for curing cheese but I’ve seen no evidence to date that science has been considered...Producing safe, quality food is as much our mission and goal as it is FDA’s. Our existence depends on it.”

Congressman Collins is sending a letter to the FDA encouraging them to abandon this proposal immediately. A significant amount of cheese imported from abroad is aged on wood boards and currently not subject to FDA’s scrutiny of this particular aging process. In reacting to the proposal, American cheese makers said the FDA was not acting on sound science or law.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Collins lauds selection of Pembroke for location of new veterans cemetery

post by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, pembroke, veterans

Press release:

"For too long, Western New York's veterans have been denied the honor of being laid to rest among their fellow heroes right here in our community," Congressman Chris Collins said. "Today's announcement of a veterans’ cemetery in Pembroke finally rights that wrong. This location will allow veterans from all around our region to be properly and locally honored for their service to this country."

Background: The VA has selected a 132-acre parcel on Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke (Genesee County) as home for the long-anticipated Western New York Veterans’ Cemetery. Currently, the closest veterans’ cemetery is located in Bath, approximately 100 miles away.  

Press release from Sen. Charles Schumer's office after the jump:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Collins assists Cornell extension in getting tax exempt status back

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) helped the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Genesee County regain its tax-exempt status, something it should have never had revoked in the first place. The CCE of Genesee County contacted Congressman Collins’ office after it was notified by the IRS that its tax-exempt status was being revoked without an explanation.

After months of back and forth, Collins’ office determined that the IRS mistakenly placed CCE of Genesee County on an "Auto-Revocation" list. The issue has now been resolved and the agency’s tax-exempt status has been restored.

“On behalf of CCE Genesee, I am extremely thankful and grateful for the persistent and timely support, and active intervention with the IRS in resolving the erroneous revocation of our tax-exempt status,” said Beverly Mancuso, executive director of CCE Genesee. “Attempts to resolve this were unsuccessful until I reached out to Congressman Collins’ office. I am extremely relieved to have this matter successfully addressed and behind us, hopefully once and for all. I cannot even imagine how much time and effort was required on the part of the Congressman’s office, but our association is more than thankful.”

“Unfortunately, the IRS is an example of big government bureaucracy at its worst, and I am grateful my office was able to help Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County get out of a mess it never should have been in,” Collins said. “Our office is always available to constituents and local agencies who are having a trouble navigating the federal government to get an answer or resolve a problem.”

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