Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement announcing this year’s Congressional Art Competition and encouraging local high school students in New York’s 27th district to participate.
“It is a tremendous experience for Members of Congress and the hundreds of thousands of Capitol visitors to view the artwork submitted by high school students from around the country as a result of this competition,” said Congressman Collins. “I always look forward to seeing the artwork submitted by the talented students of NY-27 and the opportunity to welcome our winning artist to Washington.”
Last year there were over 85 submissions. The winning artist will receive a round trip flight to Washington, D.C. to see their artwork in the U.S. Capitol, where it will be on display for one year.
Now in its 34th year, the Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in New York’s 27th Congressional District. Submissions are due to either of Congressman Collins two district offices by Monday, April 4th, 2016. A reception and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 9th, 2016 at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY. Local high schools have been notified regarding contest rules and submission guidelines.
Interested students should see their art teacher for details or contact Chris Catt from Congressman Collins’ office at (585) 519-4002.
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama released his budget for Fiscal Year 2017.
“President Obama has proposed a liberal wish list instead of a budget,” said Congressman Collins. “The president’s spending proposal shows how out of touch he is with fiscal reality and the priorities our country needs to address. His proposal fails to enact meaningful entitlement reforms while raising taxes on hardworking families, increasing our nation’s deficit, and never balancing.
“The president’s proposed oil tax will increase the cost of gasoline by 24 cents a gallon and cripple struggling families and businesses. Western New Yorkers need pro-growth policies that will jump-start stagnant wages and increase economic opportunities for the middle-class. Unfortunately, President Obama still harbors the flawed belief that we can spend our way to economic growth. House Republicans are working on a budget that balances and provides the pro-growth solutions Western New York needs to get back on track.”
U.S. Representatives Chris Collins (NY-27) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) today released the following comments after receiving news that eight KC-135 refueling tankers will be arriving at Niagara Air Falls Reserve Station to replace the base’s aging fleet of cargo planes. The news will be made official in the President’s budget which will be released on February 9, 2016.
“Being awarded these tankers is vital to ensuring the jobs and long-term success of this base,” said Congressman Collins. “I want to thank my colleague Congressman Higgins and the local community who have been invaluable advocates for the base throughout this process. Today’s news is a significant step towards modernizing the base’s mission, ensuring the base’s long-term success, and making Niagara Falls Air Station BRAC-proof.”
“The KC-135 is a refueling tanker that would provide an enduring mission, protecting the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station from closure for years to come,” said Congressman Higgins. “This is a great victory for the dedicated team at the Niagara Falls base and the Western New York economy.”
Rep. Chris Collins and Rep. Brian Higgins have worked in a bipartisan fashion to spearhead efforts to return the KC-135 tanker mission to Western New York. The two Congressmen have engaged community leaders, sent multiple letters to Pentagon officials, which can be read here and here, and held a recent press conference urging President Obama to give the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station the KC-135 tanker mission.
The Air Force Reserve Wing at NFARS currently flies C-130 aircraft, which are aged and vulnerable to retirement, which would have left the Niagara Falls base vulnerable when the next Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) is established.
The refueling fleet is currently being upgraded, and as newer aircraft come online, the KC-135s are being sent to other bases. Niagara Falls has been chosen by the Air Force as one of the locations to serve in this mission. Refueling capability is critical for power projection and sustaining operations; it allows combat aircraft to fly longer missions, and allows resupply aircraft and humanitarian relief to reach their destinations.
According to a 2012 report, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station supports close to 3,300 jobs and has a total economic impact of more than $200 million annually.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing legislation to rename the currently unnamed post office located at 15 Rochester Street, Bergen, New York in honor of Bergen resident Barry Miller. If passed, the legislation would rename the post office the “Barry G. Miller Post Office.”
“Barry Miller was beloved by all who were lucky enough to meet him,” said Congressman Collins. “In order to honor his passion for his community and his commitment to helping others, I am glad to introduce legislation renaming the post office in Bergen after Mr. Miller.”
“Barry enjoyed nothing more than serving his community and he dedicated his life to helping the people of Bergen,” said Tracy and Loretta Miller, Barry’s parents. “This is a fitting tribute to his service, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Collins to make this a reality.”
Barry Miller was a lifelong Bergen resident, graduating from Byron-Bergen High in 1983 and serving as a member of the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years, including 10 as assistant EMS Chief, before he was tragically killed in the line of duty. In addition to working at the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department, Barry was the Genesee County Coroner, a member of the Bergen Town Board, and owner of Miller's Millworks in Bergen and the Beaver River Lodge in the Adirondacks.
Full text of the legislation can be read here.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“I had hoped President Obama would use tonight’s address to apologize to the American people for his failed policies, which have weakened America’s standing abroad, failed to stop the expansion of ISIS, dramatically increased our national debt, and caused poverty rates across the nation to skyrocket,” said Congressman Collins. “But instead, what I heard was a refusal to own up to any mistakes, and a call to continue on a path that fails to find the solutions working families deserve.
“Americans are demanding a new direction. On the global stage, we need to stand up to our enemies and lead by example. Instead of befriending countries like Iran, who detained U.S. sailors and whose leaders still chant ‘Death to America’ and Cuba, which is holding onto one of our Hellfire missiles, we need to protect allies like Israel.
“When it comes to here at home, the president’s policies have failed to create an economy that can support the middle class. As a result, thousands of Western New Yorkers are still struggling to make ends meet. To get the millions of middle class workers on the sidelines back to work, we need to encourage an environment friendly to job creation through comprehensive tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and a patient-centered health care system.
“Unfortunately, the president has stuck his head in the sand, again. Instead of real solutions to the challenges we face, he chose to give us more of his failed rhetoric. America is the greatest country in the world, but if we are to stay the best, we need a leader who will make tough decisions, instead of trying to embellish his legacy.”
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) is reminding local fire departments and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers to apply for federal Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) before the Friday, January 15, 2016 deadline. AFG funds assist fire departments and other first responders in procuring the critical equipment and protective gear necessary to best serve their local communities. The funding can also be utilized to acquire training and additional resources that are necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel.
FEMA is accepting applications from eligible departments until Friday, January 15, 2016 at 5 PM EST.
“It is important that our local fire companies have the tools and resources they need to keep their members safe and effectively protect our community,” said Congressman Collins. “With FEMA’s AFG Program application deadline quickly approaching, I encourage all of NY27’s first responders to utilize this significant funding opportunity.”
More information on this year’s AFG program can be found at: http://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program. Applicants with further questions or those seeking letters of support from Congressman Collins should call the Geneseo District Office at (585) 519-4002.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama issued executive actions which circumvent the Constitution and deny Western New Yorkers their Second Amendment rights.
“A new year and the same dictatorial actions from President Obama,” said Congressman Collins. “President Obama has made it clear that he will not let legal documents like the Constitution stand in his way. Only this president would circumvent the Constitution to punish tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners across Western New York and millions more throughout the country. The president needs to be reminded that it is Congress’s job to write laws. His proposed executive actions will significantly increase burdensome government regulations and infringe on the Second Amendment rights Americans have fought to protect. I have strongly signaled my opposition to these measures and have signed onto legislation to stop these actions in their tracks.”
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement expressing his disappointment in the New York Supreme Court granting injunctions banning FanDuel and DraftKings from operating in the state until a final decision is made.
“The decision to temporarily deny more than 600,000 New Yorkers access to daily fantasy sports is extremely disappointing,” said Congressman Collins. “The hypocrisy of New York State banning this game of skill, while promoting their state lottery as ‘mak[ing] more New Yorkers rich than any other game,’ embodies the backwards and special interest driven priorities of our Attorney General.”Read More
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after writing a letter to Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration officials expressing concern over a proposed wind turbine project along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
“Protecting the military missions and jobs supported by the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) is my main priority,” said Congressman Collins. “The proposed wind turbine project along the Lake Ontario shoreline has the potential to jeopardize the base’s operations and viability. Any project that puts the base’s future at risk is unacceptable. NFARS has survived a number of closure attempts, and I will continue to do everything in my power to guarantee its doors remain open.”
Full text of the letter is below.
December 8, 2015
Mr. John Conger Ms. Elizabeth Ray
Deputy Under Secretary Vice President
Department of Defense Mission Support Services
Installations and Environment Federal Aviation Administration
3400 Defense Pentagon 800 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20303 Washington, D.C. 20591
Dear Mr. Conger & Ms. Ray,
I am writing you to share my concerns with a proposed project in my district. I recently received a letter from the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC) regarding a proposal by APEX Clean Energy to construct wind turbines along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. I have included the letter for your reference. This letter raises serious concerns with the potential project and its proximity to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) military operating area.
NFARS was established in 1955 and is home to the Air Force Reserve Command’s 914th Airlift wing, the 328th Airlift Squadron, and the New York Air National Guard’s 107th Airlift Wing. Currently, the Air Force Reserves flies the C-130 mission and the Air National Guard has taken on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft mission. NFARS employs nearly 3,000 service members and civilians and provides economic growth and stability to the Niagara County and its surrounding communities.
If approved, the APEX Clean Energy proposal would put 70 wind turbines that stand 600 feet tall along the shores of Lake Ontario, in close proximity to the base. Encroachment is one of many key factors the military uses when determining the future of a base. Currently, NFARS is ranked favorably in that area and we cannot afford to allow any project to move forward that would jeopardize its future.
We have serious concerns that these wind turbines will impede the current airspace, making the base less viable for future missions. In 1995, the base was reviewed for closure during a Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). It was again reviewed for closure in a 2005 BRAC, and again in 2012 during the US Air Force Structure Adjustment. With an ever-present BRAC threat to the base and talks of another round in the next few years, we cannot risk these wind turbines jeopardizing the future of the Base and all those who are supported by it.
We must ensure that the future of the base remains viable and that any proposed projects do not interfere with its radar and flight operations. I am asking that before any decision is made, both the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense complete a thorough study of any potential impacts these structures would have on current and future operations at NFARS.
Member of Congress
Cc: The Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
A signed copy of the letter can be read here.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after passage of H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
“Investing in America’s infrastructure will help grow our economy and improve the day-to-day lives of Western New Yorkers,” said Congressman Collins. “This bipartisan legislation makes tremendous strides in modernizing America’s transportation policy, supports good-paying jobs, and implements vital reforms to jumpstart infrastructure projects in our region.”
Several key provisions of the legislation will benefit Western New York. The bill:
Full text of the legislation can be read here.
1117 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Chris Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. The 27th District of New York includes 105 towns spread out over eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. The residents of NY-27 elected Mr. Collins to Congress in November of 2012.
Congressman Collins serves as a member of the House Small Business, Agriculture and Science, Space and Technology committees. He is also the Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, which is charged with examining how the cost of healthcare is impacting American small businesses.
Congressman Collins comes to Capitol Hill with both private and public sector experience. Before being elected to Congress, Chris served as Erie County Executive and built a career as a business owner and entrepreneur, creating and saving hundreds of American jobs in Western New York.
A mechanical engineer, the Congressman began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric in 1972. Chris lives in Clarence, NY with his wife Mary. He has three children and three grandchildren and remains active with the Greater Niagara Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America.
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