Chris Collins

Chris Collins


Republican Majority Votes to Create Jobs and Expedite American Energy Independence


Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 5682, To Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. “Achieving energy independence is vital for our nation’s economic growth and national security,” said Congressman Collins. “For the past six years, the President’s Administration has hidden behind political motives to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. While the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats have delayed, the American people have missed out on the thousands of jobs and lower energy costs that would be created by approval of the pipeline. “As November’s elections results prove, Americans want economic growth and jobs now, and House Republicans are taking a major step towards those goals. It is time for the President and Senate Democrats to put aside their punitive political agenda and harness our nation’s energy potential.” Read More

Collins Responds to President’s Plans to Treat the Internet as a Utility


Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) responds to the President urging the FCC to regulate the Internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. “The Internet has revolutionized the way we live and obtain information largely because it has been readily accessible and free from unnecessary government regulation,” said Congressman Collins. “The President’s statement today urging the FCC to regulate the Internet as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act is extremely concerning.” “The Internet’s success is directly connected to the freedom in which it can be accessed and the lack of restrictive government regulations impinging its innovation. I will fight hard against this dangerous classification and work to ensure the Internet remains free and open.” Read More

GOP wave alters D.C. calculus for N.Y. delegation


The Republican wave that swept the nation Tuesday pushed New York’s two senators into the minority and dislodged Democrats from three House seats in the state. And that’s likely just the beginning of change – and uncertainty – for New York’s leading federal politicians in the wake of the Republican sweep of Congress. Sources in both parties said Wednesday the change is clearly a bad one for Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, both New York Democrats – and for the two people Schumer selected this year to be federal judges in Buffalo. In the meantime, political pros expect Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, to benefit, while Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, will not. Statewide, lawmakers from both parties will have to confront the fact that they could be vulnerable in future elections. Yet down in Chappaqua, one of the most prominent Democratic politicians – Hillary Rodham Clinton – might be facing an oddly comforting reality: Now that there’s a Republican-led Congress, she has a ready adversary to campaign against if she runs for president in 2016. Here’s a closer look: Schumer and Gillibrand are each Senate powers, with Schumer playing a leadership role in crafting his party’s message and Gillibrand cutting her own path as a strong advocate on progressive causes. What they lost Tuesday, though, is control. An almost inseparable ally of outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., Schumer is expected to remain third in the Democratic Senate leadership, but the agenda will probably fall to Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the likely GOP majority leader. It’s too soon to know exactly what that will mean, but congressional sources said the new majority will likely revive House-passed bills that Reid had buried, such as measures tweaking the Affordable Care Act and mandating construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Gillibrand will likely suffer, too, even though McConnell has sided with her in her signature fight againt sexual harassment in the military. With Reid in charge, Gillibrand could at least get floor votes on her legislation, such as her successful attempt to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. Now that’s far less certain. Aides to both senators stress that both have a history of working with Republicans, which is true. But to witness their loss of control, look no further than Buffalo’s federal courthouse. Schumer selected former U.S. Attorney Denise E. O’Donnell and Buffalo lawyer Lawrence J. Vilardo to serve as new federal judges in Buffalo, but the Senate has not yet confirmed them. And with Republicans wary of most Democratic judicial nominees, it’s highly uncertain when Buffalo’s vacancies will be filled. Collins will begin his second term in Washington in a larger Republican majority, and that very well might mean that he will leave the comparatively low-profile committees he’s sitting on – Agriculture, Small Business and Science, Space and Technology – for one of the House’s “A-list” committees. The longtime businessman and former Erie County executive has his eye on a spot on the Energy and Commerce Committee, a powerful panel with purview over much of the U.S. economy. Given that there are no New York Republicans on the panel now, Collins’ odds of winning a seat there increased substantially Tuesday. “I don’t take anything for granted, but nothing that happened Tuesday will have hurt my chances,” Collins said. Higgins is seeking a spot on an A-list panel, too: the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, where he served briefly back when Democrats had a House majority. The panel has Democratic openings, and Higgins said he hopes to fill one, but the problem is that the larger GOP majority will likely mean fewer Democratic seats on all House committees. It’s also unclear whether a budget-conscious Republican Congress will have any interest in the kind of huge investment in infrastructure that has been one of Higgins’ top federal priorities. But Higgins insisted that the GOP might just want to get something done about America’s deteriorating roads and bridges because now the party has the responsibility to govern. “If Republicans want to be effective, they’ll have to work with the Democratic president” on such issues, Higgins said. Tuesday’s election also proved that, for upstate and Long Island at least, the days of a stable and largely Democratic delegation are gone. For proof, just look at the numbers. As as recently as 2011, Republicans controlled only three House seats in New York. Next year, they will control at least nine – and maybe 10, if Republican Mark W. Assini pulls a major upset and erases the 605-vote lead of Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, in a too-close-to-call race. The sudden vulnerability of Slaughter, who represented parts of the Buffalo area between 2003 and 2012, says a lot about how bad a night Democrats had Tuesday, as well as a lot about the new political realities of the state. While the president’s party almost always fares poorly in off-year elections, even historically popular Democratic lawmakers such as Slaughter suffered this year for a stark reason. Because of President Obama’s unpopularity, “a lot of Democrats could not work up enough enthusiasm to vote,” said James E. Campbell, a University at Buffalo political scientist who is a Republican. But sources within the two parties and Campbell said there was another reason for Slaughter’s close call and the defeat of two Democratic incumbents, Reps. Daniel B. Maffei of Syracuse and Timothy H. Bishop of Long Island. A judge, rather than a gerrymandering State Legislature, drew up New York’s congressional lines after the 2010 census. That created a number of swing districts upstate and on Long Island. Political pros said that means even someone such a Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican who beat his Democratic opponent by nearly 20 points this year, could be vulnerable in a presidential year when there is higher Democratic turnout. Democrats, of course, are hoping for a high turnout in the state if Clinton, who once represented New York in the Senate, gains the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, as expected. And while Democrats are distressed over Tuesday’s results, political insiders said Clinton has reason to be upbeat. If the status quo had continued, with a split Congress battling a Democratic president, Clinton would likely have found it difficult to step away from the unpopular Obama, whom she served as secretary of state. But with this year’s elections, everything changes. Political pros said Clinton now can just ignore Obama and portray herself as an agent of change. Read More

NY Delegation to the House Gains Control


The nine Republicans who will represent New York in the House of Representatives next year likely will play an important role helping Speaker John Boehner marginalize Tea Party dissidents. "Leadership will be very happy to have New York Republicans there taking votes sometimes that people in other parts of the country would find it difficult to vote 'yes' on," said Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence. And Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said he sees "a lot of problem-solvers" in New York's GOP House delegation next year. Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook, ranked by the nonpartisan National Journal as the House's most liberal Republican, wants to play a role developing bipartisan consensus. "I was able to tie together the idea you could lower energy costs while protecting the environment," Gibson said. He hoped to sell that idea to members of his caucus. The Environmental Defense Fund ran a TV ad backing Gibson in this year's campaign. "It was one of those moments when I felt understood," he said. In the Senate, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand will be in the minority next year but the chamber's new Republican majority will need some Democratic support to avoid filibusters and move legislation. "We're going to try to find common ground, and that's something I have done in the past," Gillibrand said Wednesday on Comedy Central's "Colbert Report." She cited her work building bipartisan support for pending legislation that would refinance interest rates on student loans and help reduce sexual assaults on college campuses. "I think what the election was really about is, people are angry," she said. "They are frustrated. They look at Washington and they know it's broken. And they want us to listen to them and do our job." Schumer, who served in the Senate during its previous Republican majority, recalled that he still was "able to pass some of the pieces of legislation I'm proudest of." He cited a federal $2,500 tax break for college expenses as well as legislation he authored to make generic drugs more widely available. Schumer spoke Thursday at a news conference announcing new federal emergency aid for rebuilding New York City hospitals after Superstorm Sandy. The announcement served as a reminder that Democrats in the New York congressional delegation will continue to have political leverage with the Obama administration. New York's House delegation next year will have 17 or 18 Democrats, depending on the race in the Rochester-based 25th Congressional District, which is still too close to call. Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter is 528 votes ahead of Republican Mark Assini, with a recount set for Wednesday. House Republicans overall will have at least 244 seats, 26 more than the 218 needed for a majority, USA Today's latest count shows. The three newest delegation members appear to fit the "Main Street Republican" image of the others: • John Katko of the Syracuse suburb of Camillus is a former U.S. attorney. • Elise Stefanik from the North Country/Adirondacks is a former staffer on President George W. Bush's domestic policy council who will be the youngest woman to serve in the House. • Lee Zeldin from eastern Long Island is a state senator who served as legal adviser to Gibson when Gibson was an Army battalion commander. "As a delegation, I think we're the kind of members that leadership can count on for good government," Collins said. "The far-right group that in some cases does look for perfect and will let perfect be the enemy of the good, their voice will be not quite as loud in the next Congress, and I think that's good for America." Collins was among 28 House Republicans who joined with most Democrats in voting to raise the debt ceiling this year. Three of the other Republicans also were New Yorkers: Richard Hanna of Oneida County, Peter King of Long Island and Michael Grimm of Staten Island. Collins also was among the 87 Republicans who voted last year for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He predicted House GOP leaders will reward New York Republicans for their loyalty by giving them favorable committee assignments. Collins hopes for a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which already has two New York Democrats: Eliot Engel of the Bronx and Paul Tonko of Amsterdam. If Collins gets that assignment, he would lose his seat on the Agriculture Committee, opening a seat there for one of the new New York Republicans to lobby for. Katko said his priorities are the Judiciary Committee and Financial Services Committee. Both have Democratic members from New York. Hanna, the former owner of a construction company, has told the GOP leadership he is interested in chairing the House Small Business Committee. "I certainly would like to do it but I don't hold a whole lot of hope," he said, citing his lack of seniority. He starts his third term in January. Read More

American Farm Bureau Honors Congressman Collins


Congressman Chris Collins today announced being named a Friend of the Farm Bureau for the 113th Congress by The American Farm Bureau Federation. “Supporting Western New York's farmers is one of my highest priorities,” said Congressman Collins. “I am honored to have been selected as a Friend of the Farm Bureau for the 113th Congress by The American Farm Bureau Federation. Here in Western New York, farmers form the foundation of our local community and economy. I take a tremendous amount of pride in doing all I can to ensure that the farming community’s needs are met. Recently, I have led the fight against the EPA and the crippling overregulation the agency is attempting to impose on farmers due to changes in the Clean Water Act.” “I recognize the struggles farmers face. The last thing they need is unnecessary and excessive government regulations, which is why I will continue to provide farmers the necessary support and protection needed to grow their businesses.” The Friend of the Farm Bureau is given to individuals who have supported Farm Bureau issues, as demonstrated by their voting records, and who were nominated by their respective state's Farm Bureau. “The Friend of Farm Bureau honor recognizes Rep. Chris Collins’ voting record on American Farm Bureau Federation's priority issues in Congress,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President. “His support for the Farm Bill and his outstanding efforts to protect family farms from the overregulation of the Clean Water Act are much appreciated. New York Farm Bureau would like to congratulate Rep. Collins for receiving this award and thank him for his hard work on behalf of the state’s family farms.” Read More

New York post office dedicated to fallen soldier


ALDEN, N.Y. (AP) — A western New York post office has been dedicated to a hometown soldier killed in Afghanistan. A plaque honoring Army Sgt. Brett Gornewicz was unveiled Friday in the town of Alden, east of Buffalo. It will be permanently installed at the U.S. Post Office there. Gornewicz was on his second deployment with the Army Reserves in November 2012 when he was fatally injured by an improvised explosive device that struck his vehicle. Before his death, Gornewicz had been awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for risking his life to save a fellow soldier during a firefight. Rep. Chris Collins and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sponsored the post office dedication legislation, which was signed by President Barack Obama in August. Read More

Collins Holds Alden Post Office Dedication Honoring Sergeant Brett Gornewicz


Congressman Chris Collins and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following remarks after the dedication of the U.S. Post Office in Alden, New York in honor of Army Sergeant Brett E. Gornewicz, an Alden native who died while courageously serving in Afghanistan in 2012. “It is an honor to dedicate a post office in New York’s 27th Congressional District after a hometown hero,” said Congressman Collins. “Sergeant Gornewicz courageously served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. This post office will honor the memory of Sergeant Gornewicz, and ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice lives on.” “Sergeant Gornewicz was a brave soldier who represented Alden, New York, and the country with pride,” said Senator Gillibrand. “He put his life on the line for a higher cause, and he made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can continue to live our lives safely and freely. The renamed Alden Post Office will honor Sergeant Gornewicz and help us always remember and admire his life and his service.”  The United States Postal Service unveiled the dedication plaque for Sergeant Gornewicz this morning at his memorial in Alden Evergreen Cemetery. The plaque will be installed permanently at the U.S. postal facility located at 13127 Broadway in Alden, New York. A graduate of Alden High School, Sergeant Gornewicz enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq, where he served from 2007 to 2008. After returning stateside, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Buffalo State College. He was working as a computer-aided designer and mechanical designer for a Tonawanda company when he was assigned to a second deployment to Afghanistan. During his second deployment, Sergeant Gornewicz displayed profound courage and selflessness when he risked his life to save a fellow soldier during a firefight. For his bravery, he was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor.  Tragically, Sergeant Gornewicz died in November of 2012 from wounds he sustained when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan.   Legislation dedicating the Alden Post Office in honor of Sergeant Gornewicz was championed in the House of Representatives by Congressman Collins and passed on June 17, 2014.  The companion Senate bill, championed by Senator Gillibrand passed on August 1, 2014.  President Obama signed the bill into law on August 8, 2014.   Read More

National Association of Manufacturers Honors Congressman Collins


Congressman Chris Collins today announced the National Association of Manufacturers named him as one of their Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Recipients for the 113th Congress. Congressman Collins received a grade of 100% from the organization. “As a small business owner in the manufacturing industry, I understand the important role manufacturing plays in our country’s economy and the issues that impact American manufacturers,” said Congressman Collins. “Receiving this award is a great honor, and I look forward to helping the manufacturing industry expand and continue to provide hundreds of thousands of good-paying job opportunities for hard-working Americans.”   Read More

Congressman Chris Collins Helps Secure $675,699 in Grants for Three Local Airports


Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $675,699 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for three local airports. Akron Airport received $222,402 for runway repairs, Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport received $150,726 for removal of existing on-airport obstructions to a runway, and Le Roy Airport received $302,571 to upgrade its lighting and beacon systems. “Supporting local governments by maintaining, repairing, and building critical infrastructure is a beneficial use of federal tax dollars,” said Congressman Collins.  “Providing these local airports the necessary funding for a variety of improvements will allow for more efficient and safer airport operations. Continued investment in local infrastructure is necessary to ensure that valuable economic assets like local airports can continue to grow and successfully operate.” Tom Geles, President of the Buffalo-Lancaster Regional Airport, made the following comment about the grant, “The safety project will permit removal of existing on-airport obstructions to the approaches of Runway 8-26 at Buffalo-Lancaster Airport. Removing the obstructions will also enable future implementation of safer instrument approach procedures for all users at the public use airport.”  “Le Roy Airport is a ‘state-of-the-art’ ‘reliever airport’ for the Greater Rochester International Airport,” said Raymond Detor, Jr., President of Le Roy Aviation Services, Inc. “Le Roy Airport will be accepting a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration and New York State Department of Transportation to upgrade taxiway lighting, wind direction indicators, Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPIP), and various other lighting upgrades.” The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.   Read More

Republicans bemoan lack of O-Care SHOP data


Republicans are slamming the Obama administration for failing to release enrollment data for ObamaCare's small-business health insurance exchanges despite repeated inquiries. An official from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said again Thursday that she could not provide the numbers during a House Small Business subcommittee hearing  The comment drew a rebuke from GOP members of the panel, including Chairman Chris Collins (R-N.Y.). "It's shocking that, after the billions of taxpayer money that has been spent on ObamaCare, there was no process created for recording and measuring the Small Business Health Options Program [SHOP] enrollment data on a regular basis," he said in a statement. Though it has published figures for ObamaCare's individual exchanges, the administration has not disclosed sign-up numbers for SHOP, which are likely quite low around the country. "We are not the source of information" on SHOP participation, Mayra Alvarez, director of the state exchange group at the CMS's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said Thursday. Alvarez told lawmakers that the government does not have the data because small businesses signed up for the program offline in its first year, working directly with insurers or brokers. The situation varies by state, she said. "We are working with [plan] issuers to get that information, and as soon as we get it, we will share it with you and with the American public," Alvarez said. The hearing was held by the Small Business subcommittee on health Read More

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Contact Information

1117 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5265
Fax 202-225-5910

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.

Serving With

Peter King


Michael Grimm


Chris Gibson


Richard Hanna


Tom Reed


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