Chris Collins

Chris Collins

NEW YORK's 27th DISTRICT

Another Voice: Obama, Cuomo blocking action to reduce energy bills

2014/08/20

By Rep. Chris Collins Energy costs on everything from gasoline to standard utilities remain too high, and Western New York families are struggling to protect their wallets. They need and deserve immediate solutions to reduce energy costs and unleash our country’s energy potential. The need for energy independence and development has driven our country to technological breakthroughs in the energy industry, which has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Places like Williston, N.D.; Cumberland Township, Pa.; and Port Arthur, Texas, have transformed from dusty towns to booming economic powerhouses. New York has similar energy resources, but for reasons varying from overregulation to missed opportunities, we have yet to tap into our energy potential. My House colleagues and I have taken action to help alleviate the financial burden high energy costs inflict on families. This summer, we passed a variety of pro-energy legislation to reduce our country’s energy costs and help grow the energy sector. Legislation such as H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, increases exports of U.S. natural gas. This will protect America’s geopolitical standing, create thousands of jobs and stimulate economic growth. Legislation like this is part of a comprehensive energy plan focusing on harnessing the natural resources America possesses. Implementation of energy innovations like the Keystone Pipeline XL and hydraulic fracking and protection of coal plants like Somerset in my district are vital to America’s energy independence and innovation. Unfortunately, President Obama has repeatedly refused to endorse energy solutions that utilize America’s resources out of fear of upsetting politically vital environmentalists. But, the president is not the only one shutting the door on the economic benefits available from promising energy initiatives. In our own backyard, Governor Cuomo and downstate politicians have deprived New Yorkers of the opportunities made available to a number of states, including our neighbors to the south, Pennsylvania. Those states have utilized hydraulic fracturing to create thousands of jobs and lucrative revenue streams, subsequently becoming several of the most economically successful areas in the country. Rep. Chris Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional District. Read More

Congressman Collins Addresses Need for Expanded Energy Technologies at Press Conference

2014/08/19

LANCASTER, NY- Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following remarks after holding a press conference addressing current energy policies. “As New Yorkers struggle with some of the highest energy rates in the country, it is clear they deserve significantly better when it comes to our energy policies,” said Congressman Collins. “Due to burdensome regulations by the Cuomo Administration, Western New York has had to sit on the sidelines and watch as states with similar resources have been able to capitalize on technologies like hydraulic fracking to provide thousands of jobs and new revenue streams. It is time for Governor Cuomo to stop hiding behind continuously delayed studies and provide a definitive answer on when the people of New York can expect a decision on fracking. “It is essential that going forward we pursue the many energy opportunities available. These include exploring hydraulic fracking, protecting of our state's coal industry, and utilizing a variety of other energy production methods. I will continue to ensure that when it comes to energy, Western New Yorkers will have every opportunity available to benefit from our state's resources."   Read More

Congressman Chris Collins Helps Secure $176,703 in Grants for Two Local Fire Companies

2014/08/14

Congressman Chris Collins today announced $176,703 in federal funding for two local fire companies. The local fire companies are Naples Fire Department in Ontario County and Rapids Fire Company in the Town of Lockport. The grants were allocated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help fire 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,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “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 turnout gear and portable radios creating more efficient and effective first responders. I am proud I was able to help them secure this money.” Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase new and additional turnout gear for Rapids Fire Company after its membership increased dramatically. Naples Fire Department will use the funding to purchase additional portable radios enhancing on-scene communication amongst its first responders.   Read More

Office of Congressman Chris Collins to Host Assistance to Firefighters Grant Workshop

2014/08/08

The office of Congressman Chris Collins will host an informational workshop where staff members with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide an overview of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Representatives from the Fire Program Specialist Office of FEMA will be giving a presentation on new and previously existing policies, guidelines, and requirements for the AFG. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. What: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Workshop When: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 6:00 PM Where: Newstead Fire Department, 5691 Cummings Road, Akron, NY, 14001 “First responders are an integral part of the safety of any community,” said Congressman Collins. “The selfless service local fire departments provide is immeasurable.  It is vital these local fire companies have the tools and resources they need to keep their members safe and effectively protect our community. Federal grants play a critical role in accomplishing those goals.” To register, local departments should call the Lancaster office at 716-634-2324.     Read More

Congressman Chris Collins Helps Secure $118,137 in Grants for Three Local Fire Companies

2014/08/08

Congressman Chris Collins 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,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “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 1960’s, and purchase foam educators to better prepare for chemical fires. Upper Mountain Fire Company will purchase hydraulic rescue tools. Read More

Besieged Ex-Im Bank has helped local companies

2014/08/06

WASHINGTON – Supporters of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States say some New York businesses will have a tougher time growing sales overseas if Congress doesn't vote to let the bank make new loans after Sept. 30. The bank, the federal government's export credit financing agency, has helped 126 New York companies finance $2 billion in exports since 2012. Rochester-based Industrial Furnace Co. has used $329,889 in Export-Import Bank financing since 2012 for its initial entry into the export market selling steel-cast parts for high-temperature furnaces in the Czech Republic, Israel and Brazil. Commodore Technology in the Ontario County community of Bloomfield began using Export-Import Bank financing during the Clinton administration, when it sold food packaging equipment in Ghana. The bank also has helped the company complete deals in Paraguay, El Salvador and Bulgaria. "Would these projects have happened without it? I doubt it," Commodore CEO George "Brad" Braddon said. "A lot of times what happens in these places, the local in-country banks are not lending." Commodore's most active current export market is Russia, but the company has not needed Export-Import Bank financing for those deals, Braddon said. According to the bank, Commodore has used $2.7 million of its financing since 2012 to support $14.9 million in export sales. Other companies in the region that have used the bank since 2012 include electronics manufacturer Harris Corporation in Rochester ($25.58 million in financing for $32.4 million in exports), Image Sensor Technologies in Rochester ($54 million in financing for $70 million in exports), Chapman Instruments of Rochester ($1.28 million in financing for the same dollar value of exports) and the O-at-ka Milk Cooperative in Batavia ($9.5 million in financing for the same dollar value in exports). House Republicans who are blocking a vote on reauthorization — led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas — say taxpayers shouldn't be underwriting risky deals that commercial banks won't. They argue that the Ex-Im Bank is rife with "crony capitalism," and the free market will operate more efficiently if its charter expires. All six House Republicans in the New York congressional delegation, however, back reauthorization, along with all delegation Democrats. "I have been very outspoken and I have found other members very receptive to my firsthand experience with it," Republican Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence said of the Ex-Im Bank. "I know it works. And it's all about jobs and the economy and reducing our trade deficit for all the right reasons. This isn't a government handout. People pay a fee. It returned $1 billion to the government last year in fee income." Collins, who owns several small businesses in the Buffalo area, initiated a pro-reauthorization letter to House Republican leaders in June that was signed by 42 GOP lawmakers. Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter of Fairport, who describes herself as a "very strong supporter" of the bank, has a dim view of its critics. "I don't see a lot of brain power in a lot my colleagues," Slaughter said. "I'm not sure they have any sense of what it is or what it does. Because why in the world would you not like a company that pays for itself, puts $1 billion back in the Treasury and helps American business?" The Export-Import Bank, which provides loan guarantees, working capital and insurance for commercial bank loans, returned $1 billion to the Treasury last year from its profits. Its supporters note that 59 other countries — including China, Germany, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, France and the United Kingdom — have their own export credit financing agencies helping manufacturers win new contracts. "Our trading partners have larger export credit agencies and are growing them to boost their exports much more than the United States," Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the Nation Association of Manufacturers recently told reporters. "To win in the global marketplace, we simply can't let a political purity test trump pragmatic competitiveness and policies. The fact is, businesses need export credit assistance in the 21st century economy." Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said the Ex-Im Bank most benefits small businesses just getting off the ground as exporters. "If your local community bank isn't familiar with companies in Italy or cross-border transactions, they aren't going to loan you money," she said. "But Ex-Im is going to loan you money. It's just another source of capital that's helpful." Gillibrand, who did an April "fly around" to several upstate communities with Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg, said some small-business owners they met with were unaware of the opportunities for export assistance. "If Ex-Im went out of business and wasn't reauthorized, what I think it would mean is there would be less opportunity for New York businesses," she said. "And some might not ever get off the ground. Because it's usually that early stage financing to start increasing exports, to introduce our great products to new markets." Gillibrand expects the reauthorization to pass the Senate in September. "Most of the Senate Republicans that I've talked to think it's a great business model," she said. "It made $1 billion last year. It's not only good for our government, it's good for the bottom line." Collins expects the House Republican leadership to allow a September floor vote on a three- to six-month reauthorization of the bank while "the loan program can be looked at and possibly tweaked in a way that satisfies some of the more conservative members who right now are out there saying terminate it." A major target of the GOP critics has been loans to airlines owned by foreign governments to help them purchase commercial passenger planes from Boeing. The critics, however, overlooked the Export-Import Bank's assistance to small businesses, Collins said. "I think I can safely say the two small-business programs — the working capital loan guarantee program ... and the accounts receivable insurance — were somewhat ignored by those who were really upset by direct loans to countries," he said. Congress has mandated that 20 percent of the dollar amount of loans backed by the Ex-Im Bank go to small businesses, but critics note that the bank fell short of that mark last year. Conservative Republicans also point to corruption among the bank's staff. The bank's defenders note that only four staffers have been accused of wrongdoing — including accepting inappropriate gifts and kickbacks — and all four were reported by whistle-blowing co-workers. Three have been fired. Forty of the bank's deals are under investigation, but all involve efforts by outside groups to defraud the bank. The Senate is expected to approve a five-year reauthorization after the August congressional recess. The Senate legislation may be paired with another must-pass bill that will be sent to the House, such as a stopgap budget bill to keep government agencies running after the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. If the House approves a short-term reauthorization, as Collins predicts, the two chambers will have to negotiate a compromise. Read More

Congressman Collins Secures Buffalo Zoo as Home for Two Injured Bald Eagles

2014/08/05

The Buffalo Zoo is the new permanent home to two bald eagles, Carson and Stripe, after Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) convinced the federal government to keep the birds in Western New York.  Late last year while the eagles recovered from serious injuries that left them unable to return to the wild, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service fought to move the birds to a facility in Massachusetts despite the Buffalo Zoo having already pledged to welcome the eagles as part of its anticipated Arctic Edge exhibit.  After the Buffalo Zoo and wildlife rehabilitator Wendi Pencille were unable to convince Fish & Wildlife to back down from its plan to move the eagles out of state, Congressman Collins’ office stepped in and helped facilitate the permanent placement of Carson and Stripe at the zoo. While its state-of-the art Arctic Edge exhibit nears completion, the Buffalo Zoo officially welcomed the bald eagles earlier than expected this past February. “Common sense does not always pervade the federal government,” said Congressman Chris Collins.  “There was no good reason to move these bald eagles to Massachusetts when they were already in Western New York being nursed back to health and the Buffalo Zoo was willing to give them a new, first-class home.  I am glad my office could step in and convince the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to abandon its plan in place of common sense.  I want to thank Donna Fernandes and her staff at the Buffalo Zoo for continuing to do such a great job, and Wendi Pencille for caring for these injured eagles and bringing this matter to our attention in the first place.” "The Buffalo Zoo is grateful to Congressman Collins for advocating on our behalf, and helping to secure these majestic birds to be enjoyed by Western New York families for years to come,” said Donna Fernandes, President/CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “In my nearly 30 years as a wildlife rehabilitator, this was the most difficult thing I have ever faced,” said Wendi Pencille, who cared for the eagles after their injuries at her Orleans County facility.  “Caring for the thousands of animals over the years was easy compared to convincing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to change a decision on the birds' permanent placement.” Buffalo Zoo staff says Carson and Stripe are adapting well to their new lives and adjusting exactly as they expected given the eagles’ particular injuries.  Carson and Stripe can now help the zoo share the conservation success story of bald eagles in North America and the importance of protecting these majestic birds.  The eagles are expected to move into their permanent home in Arctic Edge next year.  Construction of the new exhibit continues in full force. Underground utility work is nearly complete, foundations are being poured, and support walls are starting to appear above ground. For any additional information from the Buffalo Zoo please contact Rachel Gottlieb at 716-837-3900.   Read More

Congressman Chris Collins Helps Secure $41,325 Grant for Jamison Road Fire Company

2014/07/31

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $41,325 in federal funding for the Jamison Road Fire Company in Elma, NY. The grant was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help fire responders, like those at Jamison Road Fire Company, improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types. “Providing the necessary funding for our first responders is the least we can do,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. This funding will provide new breathing apparatus creating more efficient and effective first responders, and I am proud I was able to help them secure this money.” Specifically, the funding will be used to purchase a new cascade system, which is used to fill Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for the company’s firemen. Read More

EPA Blasted Over Overreach by Congressman Collins

2014/07/30

Congressman Chris Collins today blasted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during a Committee on Small Business hearing entitled “Regulatory Overreach: Is EPA Meeting Its Small Business Obligations?” Congressman Collins opened his questions by stating, “It’s hard to defend the indefensible,” when referencing Deputy Administrator’s Perciasepe’s attempts to explain why the EPA had not withdrawn their controversial waters of the U.S. ruling. The Congressman went on to tell Deputy Administrator Perciasepe that “farmers don’t trust you, landowners don’t trust you, and the public doesn’t trust you.” Congressman Collins full line of questioning can be seen below: Click to Watch Read More

Congress Prioritizes Veterans Care with Passage of Legislation

2014/07/30

Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement after House passage of the Conference Committee Report for H.R. 3230, Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. "The bipartisan compromise reflected in this legislation is an important step toward fixing the ongoing problems veterans face in accessing healthcare from the VA,” said Congressman Collins. “I am pleased Congress united to find a solution to ensure our veterans receive the care they need, when they need it. Congress must continue to hold the Administration accountable for fixing the systemic problems that plague the VA’s bloated bureaucracy at the expense of our nation’s heroes.” Read More

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Contact Information

1117 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5265
Fax 202-225-5910
chriscollins.house.gov

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

NEW YORK's 2nd DISTRICT

Michael Grimm

NEW YORK's 11th DISTRICT

Chris Gibson

NEW YORK's 19th DISTRICT

Richard Hanna

NEW YORK's 22nd DISTRICT

Tom Reed

NEW YORK's 23rd DISTRICT

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