WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has added Monroe County to the Presidential declaration that made low-interest rate disaster loans available for certain Private Nonprofit Organizations (PNPs) as a result of damages caused by Lake Ontario flooding. Eligible PNPs include organizations such as food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.
“Monroe County needed this important federal assistance and I worked closely with the Trump administration to make sure the declaration was amended,” said Collins. “These loans will go a long way to make sure nonprofit organizations crucial to the community can get back on their feet after such devastating damage.”
The loans, authorized through a Presidential disaster declaration for public assistance in November, may cover these organizations up to $2 million for repairs or replacement of real estate and other business assets damaged or destroyed by the destructive flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
The flooding was a direct result of Plan 2014, implemented by the International Joint Commission (IJC), which increases the frequency by which Lake Ontario’s water levels are raised and lowered. Collins has met with both President Trump and Vice President Pence and urged for the replacement of all IJC commissioners to find a solution that addresses the failed Plan 2014.
Although the deadline to apply for a disaster loan for physical damages was January 16, 2018, PNPs in Monroe County may still submit an application after the deadline and should include an explanation that they were not previously aware of their eligibility for the SBA disaster loan program due to their county being added after the deadline.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 14, 2018. Applicants may apply via the Small Business Administration website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement on the Senate Democrats' decision to block government funding legislation:
"Chuck Schumer and the liberal left have just shut down the government and voted against extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), taking away important benefits from millions of low-income children. The House of Representatives did our job, and I am outraged that the Senate has used such a costly and unnecessary tactic for purely political purposes. Senate Democrats need to take responsibility for withholding pay from our troops, wasting taxpayer money, and harming Western New York families. House Republicans did our job and we will work tirelessly to clean up this mess."
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) commended the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for approving an amended disaster declaration to include assistance for flooding in Monroe County along the Lake Ontario shoreline. This flooding has been attributable to the failed Plan 2014 that leaves the south shore of Lake Ontario in danger of historic erosion. After a disaster declaration was issued on November 14, 2017 for six other New York counties, Collins has been working closely with the Trump Administration to make sure Monroe would be included.
“My constituent in Monroe County desperately needed this assistance, and I immediately made the Trump Administration aware of how important it was to amend the declaration from November,” said Collins. “I thank President Trump for his support and prompt approval of this assistance.”
Federal funding is available to the State and to tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding.
Collins added: “I’m continuing to work with the Trump Administration to replace the International Joint Commission (IJC) commissioners with individuals from Western New York that represent our needs. I hope this is the last time such funding needs to be secured.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) introduced legislation today that would create a national federal registry of communications infrastructure to help address the lack of high-speed internet access in rural areas. This registry will help determine which assets are available for lease to better expand access and will facilitate coordination between federal, state, and local governments, as well as between carriers.
“It is almost unbelievable to think that approximately 65% of my district is underserved by broadband technology and about 3% is completely unserved,” said Collins. “Broadband access is important to our rural communities as our reliance on the internet continues to grow for education, starting and administrating a business, receiving care from a doctor, or just plain shopping.”
Broadband companies have found it time-consuming, expensive, and complicated to reach the communities that currently lack access. This inventory would be available to communications providers, and include a description of assets, their locations, and a point of contact from each agency for more information on a given asset.
Collins sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which will be holding a series of hearings in the coming weeks to address removing barriers to infrastructure buildout, supporting innovation, and strengthening the public safety benefits that come with access to broadband internet.
Collins added: “We need to think about things like public safety, making sure law enforcement has the ability to receive notification of an emergency and quickly respond. Our communities need broadband internet access to stay connected, and I am confident we are taking steps in the right direction.”
For more information about the Inventory of Assets for Communications Facilities Act of 2018, click here.
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) thanked the United States Air Force for approving a request for a flyover on December 29, 2017 at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) game between the United States and Canada at New Era Field. This game is the only outdoor game planned as part of the World Junior Championship Tournament being hosted in Buffalo. This tournament is one of the most highly anticipated hockey events each year, which brings together hockey players from 10 nations around the world.
“Western New York is honored to once again host the World Junior Championship, putting a positive spotlight on our community,” said Collins. “It is an honor to have the United States Air Force participate in this important event. We look forward to showing players and fans from around the world warm hospitality in the City of Good Neighbors.”
“Teams and fans from around the world, here for the games, will have the opportunity to explore Western New York,” said Higgins. “In addition to showcasing the pride we have in our community, this provides an opportunity to highlight, with pride to an international audience, the great men and women who serve this country.”
Not only is this the first time that a city has been selected twice to host the World Junior Championship game, but Buffalo is also hosting the first ever outdoor International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) championship game.
The 12-day tournament will be an opportunity for tourists to visit new developments across the city, like Canalside. The Sabres and Visit Buffalo Niagara hosted the 2010-2011 series that saw more than 330,000 people attend the games and leave behind a $6 million economic impact. This year, the economic impact is expected to exceed $7 million.
In a letter to the United States Air Force, Collins and Higgins said: “While Western New York is certainly proud of its cold weather, hockey-loving heritage, it is extremely proud of our serving men and women stationed in the region and abroad. Again, we send our sincerest thanks to the Air Force for granting us the opportunity to show off our regional assets in a celebration that many across the world will share with Western New York.”
For a copy of the letter, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today voted to dramatically reform the nation’s tax code. H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will provide tax relief to families across Western New York and spark business investment, hiring, and wage growth. Based upon census data, the average family in the 27th Congressional District will pay $1,875 less in taxes allowing them to keep more than $150 each month.
“While the liberal left has relied on fake news and deceptive studies in a failed attempt to derail tax reform, I’m proud to have joined House Republicans in fighting for working families in New York and across the country,” said Collins. “This tax reform bill means lower taxes, more jobs, and higher wages for the hard-working families in Western New York.”
Currently the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world driving jobs and profits overseas instead of keeping them in America. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, which will be the largest reduction of this rate in our nation’s history. Additionally, the legislation lowers the tax rate on small businesses and provides incentives for these businesses to grow and hire more workers.
For individuals and families, the legislation lowers tax rates so people can keep more of their paychecks. The plan doubles the standard deduction, which means many families will no longer itemize their taxes. For those that choose to itemize, they will be able to write off the cost of state and local taxes up to $10,000, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and expensive medical bills.
Republicans in Congress have doubled the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. The legislation preserves dependent care credits for children and adults that need additional support. By repealing the individual mandate tax penalty, families gain the flexibility to buy the health insurance plan that is right for them.
Collins added: “This is a historic moment for workers, families, and job creators in Western New York. House Republicans have passed a once-in-a-generation tax reform bill that will ease the tax burden on Americans from all walks of life. This legislation will revitalize the American economy, allowing us to compete with other industrialized nations and win.”
The Senate is expected to pass the Conference Report to H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, tonight and it will be sent to President Trump’s desk. For more information, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today released its beta test of its online Pilot Records Database (PRD). The PRD will expedite the sharing of pilot records to help commercial airlines and operators make informed hiring decisions.
As a result of a number of airline tragedies, including the 2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 was passed and signed into law. This legislation put the flying public’s safety first by enhancing pilot training hours and establishing a pilot record database. Buffalo area families who lost loved ones during the 2009 Colgan crash became vocal advocates for flight safety reform and were instrumental in the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 being passed into law. The FAA has developed the PRD to meet requirements put in place through this legislation.
“This is a common-sense resource that will allow airlines to quickly and easily check the qualifications and background of pilots before they are hired,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “The families of Flight 3407 have worked tirelessly to make sure important reforms are put in place to keep our skies safe. The launch of the beta test is a reflection of the significant progress that has been made to make sure all pilots are well-trained and fit to fly so that we can keep preventing senseless tragedies.”
"The release of the FAA's online Pilot Records Database is an important step forward in making our skies safer for travelers. This is a direct result of the tireless advocacy of the Flight 3407 families, who have never stopped courageously turning their tragedy into meaningful action, often at great personal expense. It is because of their advocacy that we passed into law new pilot safety standards and we haven’t seen another fatal regional airline crash since. I'm proud to have worked alongside them to make air travel safer for passengers nationwide," said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.
“This new system will be a useful tool in the recruitment of qualified pilots and is the latest airline safety measure made possible thanks to the tireless efforts of the families whose lives have been forever changed by the crash of Flight 3407,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.
Through the PRD, a commercial airline will be able to see information regarding employment history, training, certifications, and status of national driver registry records. The beta release is open to any commercial airlines interested in participating. For more information, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today made the following statement after the United States Senate passed tax reform legislation:
“Now that the Senate has passed tax reform, we are one step closer to delivering on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace our outdated and complicated tax code. By doubling the standard deduction, lowering tax rates, and enhancing the family tax credit, families in Western New York will be able to keep more of what they earn. Tax reform will unleash America’s competitiveness and bring jobs and profits back home, where they belong. While there are differences in the House and Senate versions of the legislation, we will find common ground in conference and get this important bill to President Trump’s desk.”
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has made low-interest rate disaster loans available for certain Private Nonprofit Organizations (PNPs) in Niagara and Orleans counties as a result of damages caused by Lake Ontario flooding. Eligible PNPs include organizations such as food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.
“We have witnessed awful devastation along the shoreline and have stayed persistent in our fight to secure federal assistance,” said Collins. “My constituents desperately need this support and these loans will go a long way to help these important nonprofit organizations.”
The loans, authorized through a Presidential disaster declaration for public assistance, may cover these organizations up to $2 million for repairs or replacement of real estate and other business assets damaged or destroyed by the destructive flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Collins added: “I thank the Trump administration for its commitment to Western New York, with both federal assistance and in our push to replace the International Joint Commission (IJC) with individuals that will repeal the disastrous Plan 2014 that got us into this mess. These loans are an important step in getting our communities back on their feet, but we will not rest until Plan 2014 is history.”
The deadlines to submit loan applications are January 16, 2018 for physical property damage, and August 14, 2018 for economic injury. Applicants may apply via the Small Business Administration website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) yesterday recognized U.S. Army Veteran, Jeffrey Rase of Warsaw, NY as his office’s “Veteran of the Month.”
“Mr. Rase is a brave and humble man with a fascinating story,” said Collins. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to him for his honorable service to our country.”
Coming from a family with a strong military background, Jeffery Rase knew what he was getting into when he entered the United States Army in November of 1967, or so he thought. Rather than waiting to be drafted, Mr. Rase chose to enlist after earning a mechanical engineering degree at Alfred State College. Upon completion of his training, Mr. Rase was unexpectedly reassigned and later discovered that he would not be going to Vietnam. Instead, he would spend the duration of his deployment working with military intelligence in various countries throughout Europe.
“It is an absolute privilege to honor Mr. Rase,” Congressman Collins added. “It is veterans like Jeff who are great assets to our communities and it is imperative to recognize him, along with the numerous patriotic veterans in New York’s 27th District who continue to serve our country.”
Mr. Rase was honored with the Good Conduct Medal, Rifle Expert, as well as the National Defense Service Medal, and was honorably discharged in 1969. His desire and willingness to serve others continued into his civilian life. Mr. Rase has been dedicated to his community in Wyoming County throughout his entire life. As a member of the Perry Rotary Club, Mr. Rase received the Paul Harris Award and has been a member of Rotary International for 28 years; additionally, Mr. Rase has been a high school girls basketball official for 43 years. Mr. Rase participates in Veterans Day activities each year, and as a member of the American Legion, Mr. Rase marches in all military funerals and parades.
Amongst friends and family, Mr. Rase was presented with an American Flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and a Congressional Certificate of Commendation.
1117 Longworth HOB
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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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