Chris Collins

Chris Collins

NEW YORK's 27th DISTRICT

Governor Cuomo’s Fracking Decision Eliminates Job Opportunities and Crushes Economic Growth

2014/12/17

Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking. “Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far left environmentalists for his own political gain,” said Congressman Collins. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania.  This is a sad day for the future of the economy in Upstate New York.” Read More

Collins Votes to Keep Government Funded Through September 2015

2014/12/12

Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement after passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for FY 2015. “This legislation is a tremendous win for Western New York,” said Congressman Collins. “It holds the line on discretionary spending ensuring continued deficit reduction, while fully funding vital government programs. In politics it is crucial not to let perfect be the enemy of good, and although people on both sides have their concerns, I'm proud of what this accomplishes for Western New York.” Here are highlights from the bill that directly affect Western New Yorkers. · Provides $122 Million for the improvement and expansion of the VA Medical Facility in Canandaigua, N.Y. · Provides $68 Million for OMEGA at the University of Rochester to expand their nuclear fusion laser lab facility. · Increases funding for the National Institutes of Health grant programs that help fund research centers like the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. · Eliminates funding for the Race to the Top Initiative, reducing the incentive for States to continue the implementation of the Common Core Standards. · Blocks the EPA from applying the Clean Water Act to certain farm ponds and irrigation ditches. · Allows more flexibility to school districts implementing new whole grain nutrition standards in school lunches. · Cuts EPA funding for the fifth consecutive year and brings staffing to the lowest level since 1989. · Cuts IRS funding by $345.6 Million and bans the agency from targeting organizations seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideological beliefs. · Provides $300 Million to improve and restore the Great Lakes. ·Increases funding for the Harbor Maintenance Trust fund by $100 Million.     Read More

Jim Kelly and Chris Collins Lead the Way on Legislation to Enhance Newborn Screening

2014/12/11

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after H.R. 1281, Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act, passed the House and was sent to the President’s desk to sign into law. “Simply put, this legislation will save lives,” said Congressman Collins.  “This bipartisan effort answers the need for enhanced newborn screenings to give every baby born in this country the best chance at a healthy life.  I want to thank Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly - a leading advocate for newborn screening – for fighting so hard for the reauthorization of this legislation on behalf of his late son Hunter and children all across this country.” "My wife Jill and I understand firsthand the devastation of learning that your child has a fatal disease after it’s too late for lifesaving treatment,” shared NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame Quarterback, Jim Kelly.  “Today, newborn screening for diseases like Krabbe gives children like my son, Hunter, the chance for the healthy life they deserve.”  “It’s clear that Congressman Collins is committed to making our children’s health a priority from the very start,” Kelly stated.  “It takes a team to really make a difference and we’re so thankful for the Congressman’s help in getting this important bill all the way to the President’s desk.” H.R. 1281 will continue to ensure infants receive comprehensive and effective screening by: Reauthorizing Health Resources and Services Administration grants to assist states’ efforts to improve their screening programs, educate parents and health care providers, and improve follow-up care for infants with conditions detected through newborn screening; Renewing the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, which maintains and updates the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel that states adopt and implement; Authorizing a grant program to provide technical assistance to state newborn screening programs to track outcomes of infants identified through newborn screening and reauthorizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program, and; Reauthorizing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Hunter Kelly Newborn Screening program, which funds research aimed at identifying new treatments and new screening technologies. Read More

Collins to join influential House Energy and Commerce Committee

2014/12/04

Rep. Chris Collins’ brief congressional career will take a big step forward next year when he joins the House committee that churns out more legislation than any other. And the Clarence Republican said Wednesday that he will use his new perch on the Energy and Commerce Committee to focus on issues that he thinks matter most to Western New York: promoting fracking, ensuring that the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus gets the proper federal funding and pushing for expanded broadband Internet service in rural areas. “The primary job of a member of Congress is to represent their constituents, which are individuals with their issues, but also businesses and their issues,” said Collins, who won a second term in Congress in November’s election. “So being a member of Energy and Commerce, which is arguably the most influential there is, will allow me to better yet represent business constituents as well as individuals on issues that are timely and important.” Collins’ ascension to Energy and Commerce means that Western New York will have a voice on a panel that originates laws that touch virtually the entire American economy, from the energy sector to manufacturing to health care to telecommunications. He’s the first Western New Yorker on the panel since Rep. Bill Paxon, R-Amherst, who left office in 1999. In addition, the Energy and Commerce panel has jurisdiction over environmental legislation, and it also has an active Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. It’s on that panel where Collins hopes to turn congressional attention to fracking. “I’m going to do what I can on Oversight to make sure we have testimony that is factual and data-driven to say that there is no reason not to hydrofrack in New York,” Collins said. Of course, Collins will be a junior member of that subcommittee and every other panel he serves on, so there’s no guarantee it will take up his priorities. Besides, the federal government’s role in overseeing or promoting fracking on private property pales in comparison to the role states have – and in New York, a moratorium continues on the controversial natural gas drilling practice, which some environmentalists say can contaminate ground water. Collins made clear, though, that he thinks one of his top priorities on the panel should be to promote American energy independence. “Green energy is certainly a component of that effort and Buffalo is becoming home to key players in the sector,” he said. “However, harnessing the full potential of North American petroleum, natural gas and clean coal remains the fastest way to achieve independence.” Collins will also serve on the panel’s Health subcommittee, where he hopes to help make sure that companies at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are receiving a fair amount of funding in the competitive grants offered by the National Institutes of Health. He said he also hopes to focus on the importance of telemedicine in rural areas as well as oversight of the government’s approval for new drugs and medical treatments. And on the Telecommunications subcommittee, Collins hopes to promote the spread of broadband Internet service in rural areas. He noted that the government currently overestimates how broadly that service is offered, saying he hopes to correct that problem. That subcommittee also will look at refreshing the 1996 communications law that set the stage for the Internet boom of recent decades. “I want to make sure that smaller areas, like my rural district, are not disadvantaged” as that legislation is drawn up, he said. Collins’ local focus stands in contrast to the 2012 campaign that first brought him to Congress, in which he concentrated largely on bashing Obamacare. While the committee may take a fresh look at the health care law, “my laser-like focus is on things that can help Western New York,” said Collins, who will leave the low-profile Small Business, Agriculture and Science, Space and Technology committees when he joins Energy and Commerce. That approach is not unlike the one followed for a decade by Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo. While the Republican gains in November’s elections helped Collins win a seat on the Energy and Commerce panel, the Democratic losses doomed Higgins’ chance of returning to the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, where he served briefly when Democrats controlled the House between 2007 and 2010. Because they lost seats in November, Democrats did not get any new slots on that tax-writing panel, where Higgins is first in line to return when an opening appears. As a result, Higgins will continue to serve on the Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees. Read More

Collins to Serve on Three Subcommittees for Energy and Commerce Committee

2014/12/03

Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement on his Energy and Commerce subcommittee assignments for the 114th Congress. “As someone with more than 35 years of private sector experience, including with healthcare companies creating cutting-edge technologies, I am going to fight every day to make sure Washington is advancing commonsense policies that encourage growth and investment in the healthcare, telecomm and energy sectors,” said Congressman Collins.  “These industries are vital to our overall economy and we cannot allow higher taxes and job-killing regulations to stomp out development and prosperity.  We have a lot to achieve in the 114th Congress, and I look forward to being the conservative voice on energy and commerce related issues for all New Yorkers.” Congressman Collins was assigned to the Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the 114th Congress.   Read More

New York: Site of America’s Next Energy Boom?

2014/12/01

Voters across America made a clear choice in this month’s election about the direction in which they want the country to move. Here in Western New York and across the nation, voters chose to be represented on the local, state and federal levels by individuals who believe that job creation and economic growth should be spurred by the private sector, that big government is not good government and that elected leaders should stand behind the principles upon which they campaign Republican lawmakers are now in a prime position to channel this nationwide momentum and execute our vision for leading the nation on a path to prosperity. One of the central tenets of this path is achieving energy independence. Over the last decade, our country has undergone an energy transformation powered by the expanded implementation of hydraulic fracturing, which is better known as fracking. Fracking involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals deep into geological formations in the earth to release oil and natural gas. The process allows oil and gas companies to access valuable and previously unreachable oil and gas reserves. Fracking is not new, but recent technological advances have greatly increased its effectiveness. These technological breakthroughs are revolutionizing the American energy industry and allowing our nation to speed toward complete energy independence. The United States is now the world’s leading national gas producer, reducing our reliance on foreign powers such as Russia and Middle Eastern countries. The effect is bolstered national security and lowered domestic energy prices. Not only has fracking improved America’s chances for energy independence but it has also provided an economic boon to a country struggling to escape the lingering effects of a recession. Millions of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue have been created from the fracking revolution. According to a 2012 study by the research company IHS Global Insight, fracking supports an estimated 1.7 million U.S. jobs and will reach 3.5 million jobs by 2035. The Energy Information Administration notes that in the last year alone, Texas added over 19,000 private sector jobs related to oil and natural gas production. Additionally, a Purdue University study noted that fracking-related energy production has the potential to contribute an additional $473 billion a year to the U.S. economy. Fracking has already transformed places like Williston, N.D., Cumberland Township, Pa., and Port Arthur, Texas, from dusty towns to booming economic powerhouses. Unfortunately, no New York towns can say the same. New York has similar energy resources, as it sits atop two large shale formations. However, for reasons varying from overregulation to political calculations, we have yet to tap in to our energy potential. Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to uphold a moratorium on fracking that has been in place in New York since 2008. The time has come for Gov. Cuomo to open New York to fracking. As with any practice that harnesses our natural resources, environmental concerns need to be evaluated. But so far, Gov. Cuomo has refused to discuss the future of the moratorium as he hides behind flawed evidence and the continuous and politically motivated delays of his health department tasked with issuing a safety review. Numerous scientific studies have shown that fracking is safe when done correctly and with the proper oversight. While Gov. Cuomo and downstate New York bureaucrats delay, New York residents, especially Western New Yorkers, lose out on job opportunities, lower energy prices, and lucrative revenue streams. I will continue to pressure Gov. Cuomo to lift the fracking moratorium in New York, and look forward to New York becoming the next state to lead America’s energy resurgence. Read More

Collins Reacts to Obama Administration’s Newest Job Destroying Regulation

2014/11/26

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama administration officially proposed tightening its rules for smog-causing ozone. “At least left-wing environmentalists have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving as President Obama proposes the costliest regulation in American history.  Too bad, so many middle-class Americans still waiting for the economic recovery this President promised six years ago cannot say the same.  President Obama's proposed regulation will –without a doubt – kill jobs and obstruct economic growth when we can at least afford it.” Read More

Schumer, Gillibrand, Collins and Higgins Urge SBA to Prepare to Swiftly Offer Assistance to Western New Yorkers

2014/11/24

Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman Brian Higgins today wrote to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Contreras-Sweet urging the SBA to prepare to swiftly administer disaster assistance to the Western New York region. County officials have said they expect the cost of this disaster to meet the criteria needed for federal support, and, if it does, Schumer, Gillibrand, Collins, and Higgins have said that small business owners who incurred losses due to the storm should be able to seek SBA disaster assistance. For small business owners, many of whom have had to shut down for the past week, this federal assistance will be necessary to start the rebuilding process as soon as possible. The lawmakers said that up to $2 million in SBA loan assistance is available to small businesses that are not fully covered by private insurance policies. The SBA will also be able to provide low interest loans of up to $40,000 to qualified renters and homeowners to replace personal property, and up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace damaged homes. Schumer, Gillibrand, Collins, and Higgins are urging the SBA to be ready to quickly assess the damage so that small business owners, renters and homeowners may be quickly approved for any disaster funding in the impacted counties, including Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Genesee & Wyoming if they qualify. In their letter, Schumer, Gillibrand, Collins and Higgins write: “As the total snow and flooding damage is assessed by state and federal officials, we fully anticipate a Presidential-level disaster declaration facilitating Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) support.  It is imperative that the SBA act now to ensure loans and disaster response procedures are prepared and also that the SBA be ready to make its own agency-level disaster declaration, should the need arise.” “It is critical that we get federal resources and agencies, like the Small Business Administration, on the ground as soon as possible, so that Erie County and the other impacted Western New York counties can recover and rebuild after this severe weather,” said Senator Schumer. “The SBA must stand ready to approve a federal disaster declaration and provide all forms of available aid for impacted homeowners and businesses, including low-interest loans to help small businesses that have lost inventory and customers get back on their feet.”  "Western New York homeowners and businesses that weathered this storm should not have to bear the burden of cleanup costs on their own,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As small businesses in areas hit hardest by the storm assess the damages, and with the potential for severe flooding, it is critical that all federal resources are made available. SBA disaster loans will go a long way in helping families and businesses get back on their feet, and begin to recover. I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that all possible resources are accessible to communities impacted by this snow storm.” “With hundreds of small businesses in Western New York being unable to operate over the past week due to this historic weather disaster, federal resources need to be made available immediately upon a disaster declaration,” said Congressman Collins. “As a small business owner myself, I understand the catastrophic impact an unforeseen weather event like this can have on a business. The additional damages expected to impact businesses operations as a result of flooding have only exacerbated the need for this critical federal assistance.” “Local business is an integral part of the Western New York community and economy,” said Congressman Higgins. “It is nearly impossible for owners to prepare for the lost business and potential property damage caused by this recent storm. I encourage swift federal assistance to help small business owners recover from this natural disaster.”   Dear Administrator Contreras-Sweet: We write to you regarding the recent severe snow storms in Western New York and ask for your assistance in aiding the affected communities. On November 18, 2014, New York State declared a state of emergency for several Western New York counties in response to one of the worst snow storms the region has ever experienced.  Areas around the city of Buffalo are still covered in snow, trapping some people in their homes.  Many small businesses have been shut down for nearly a week and recently the weight of the over 6 feet of snow in some locations is caving in roofs, destroying personal property, and endangering lives.  Soon, the inevitable warming of the area is almost certain to cause flooding of historic proportions, causing further damage and harm to a shocked community. It is for these reasons, in the most dire of circumstances, that we ask for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to prepare to aid this community in the near future by offering low-rate loans to persons who are not fully covered by private insurance policies.  As the total snow and flooding damage is assessed by state and federal officials, we fully anticipate a Presidential-level disaster declaration facilitating Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) support.  It is imperative that the SBA act now to ensure loans and disaster response procedures are prepared and also that the SBA be ready to make its own agency-level disaster declaration, should the need arise.  We anticipate that damages from the storm will hit the level needed for the state to request an SBA physical disaster declaration, which is triggered when the physical damage to 25 homes or businesses is in excess of 40% of the uninsured value of the property.  If this threshold is reached, SBA will be able to provide qualified recipients with low interest loans of up to $40,000 to renters and homeowners to replace personal property; up to $200,000 to homeowners to repair or replace damaged homes; and up to $2 million to business owners to repair damaged businesses. Thank you for your immediate consideration.  The people of Western New York cannot wait to begin applying for low-rate direct loans from the SBA as they begin the rebuilding process before this holiday season. Sincerely, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Representative Chris Collins Representative Brian Higgins   Read More

Government officials vow to press for FEMA funds

2014/11/24

The snow is still being plowed and expected floodwaters have yet to crest, but fast-track preparations are underway to seek the federal dollars needed for the massive response to last week’s storm. Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Chris Collins both toured the snow-struck area on Saturday, promising to marshal all their forces in an effort to obtain Federal Emergency Management Agency money. With snow removal, building damage and flood response expected to push costs into the millions, Schumer and Collins – as well as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo – all said Saturday they expect to successfully make their case. “I will do everything I can to make sure FEMA grants it,” Schumer said during a press conference at the county Emergency Operations Center in Cheektowaga. Agency representatives will arrive in the area on Tuesday to begin assessing the situation, he said. The senator, who earlier toured storm-affected Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo as well as homes and businesses along Seneca Street, said he expects costs to exceed the FEMA thresholds of $27 million for New York State and $3.2 million for Erie County. He said he has put the White House “on notice” that the request for federal aid will be vigorously encouraged to assist homeowners, farmers, small business owners and municipalities including Erie County and the City of Buffalo. Schumer said federal money is available to provide temporary housing, fix roofs and heating systems, as well as for livestock loss or effects on businesses caused by the storm. He said 75 percent of costs are reimbursable, but that experience with Hurricanes Sandy and Irene have resulted in 90 percent payments. Loans of up to $40,000 are available for small business owners, he said, while homeowners can seek aid to replace clothing, furniture, cars and appliances. Appearing with County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Mayor Byron W. Brown, Schumer noted previous difficulties in receiving FEMA money, such as following the October Surprise of 2006. The agency attempted to take back reimbursement money from the storm several years later. “I said not this time,” Schumer said regarding his preliminary discussions. “I want people on the ground here the minute a disaster is declared. I will be there every step of the way to make sure the federal government holds up its end of the bargain.” Cuomo, meanwhile, has said throughout the emergency that he will support seeking federal funds but prefers to wait until any potential flooding occurs. He maintains the state and local governments stand a better chance of success if the snow and resulting floods are viewed as the same event. On Saturday, during his fourth consecutive day of overseeing storm operations in Western New York, Cuomo said he will also pursue the FEMA designation and urged all those affected to maintain detailed records for better chances of success in meeting all federal standards for reimbursement. Collins also toured hard-hit areas in the Town of Boston on Saturday with Supervisor Marty Ballow and two councilmen. He said the idea of FEMA aid is to relieve local taxpayers of the extraordinary costs of reacting to natural disasters, and that he will work with the entire New York congressional delegation to make the case with the federal government. Collins noted that 18 Mile Creek and Back Creek in Boston have significant flooding histories, and that it is expected again in coming days. He joined Cuomo in urging an approach to Washington based on the costs of both snow removal and flood control. “It will be good for us not to jump too quickly relative to snow,” he said. “I clearly look at any flooding as resulting directly from the snow.” The region’s congressional delegation has already written to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, asking that the federal government quickly approve any aid request, and Schumer has called senior White House officials with the same plea. Read More

Congressman Chris Collins Assesses District Storm Damage

2014/11/23

Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement after touring the town of Boston with Town Supervisor Martin Ballowe to assess damage from this week's deadly winter storm. “As a former Erie County Executive, I have seen first-hand how difficult these types of situations are,” said Congressman Collins. “We are blessed to have such dedicated emergency personnel and first responders helping our community. Right now, the most important issue is keeping people safe.” “The unbroken spirit and selfless actions of Western New Yorkers are showing the nation what makes us such a strong community. While we have valiantly battled the initial impact of this storm, our efforts and work is not yet done. I am coordinating with local, state, and federal officials to do all we can to help alleviate the continuing fallout from this historic weather disaster.” 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

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