Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) released a letter today to the Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao calling for a temporary grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft.
Faulty software on the aircraft is the focus of investigations after two fatal airline crashes in the past six months. In October 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers. And, this past Sunday, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after take-off, killing 157 passengers.
“We must be certain that these aircraft are safe for flight” said Congressman Collins. “It has been more than a decade since the last fatal airline crash in the United States and we cannot take any chances when it comes to the safety of Americans.”
As the Erie County Executive (New York), Collins was one of the first on the scene at the crash site of Colgan Air Flight 3407. Working with Congress and the Transportation Department, the families of the Flight 3407 victims have worked tirelessly to promote air safety. Their efforts have paid-off, as the United States has not witnessed a commercial airline crash since.
“We owe it to the American public to ensure the safest skies possible,” added Collins. “Until all questions are answered about this specific aircraft, it should be grounded until we are one hundred percent certain it is safe to fly.”
More than a dozen countries across the world including, the European Union, China, and Indonesia have grounded the jets following reports of faulty software on the aircraft. Leaving the United States and Canada as the only two nations still flying the aircraft. In the United States American Airlines and Southwest say they will continue to fly the aircraft.
The letter urges Secretary Chao to move quickly to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft until the investigations have concluded and Boeing can take action to ensure these aircraft are safe to fly.
The full text of the letter can be read here.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) has led a letter calling on the U.S. Senate to finally approve President Trump's nominees to the International Joint Commission (IJC) which oversee all waters between the United States and Canada. Currently, the IJC is in limbo because it only has two of its six Commissioners in office when a quorum of four is necessary to conduct business.
With the harsh winter and current high lake levels in the great lakes, concern is growing about the potential damage to the Lake Ontario shore this Spring when levels are likely to be even higher if action is not taken.
“We are again seeing an increase in water levels within Lake Ontario, which is a concern for myself, local governments, homeowners, and businesses,” said Congressman Collins. “ We cannot wait until our community is impacted by another flooding disaster to take action, and the IJC cannot act without these nominations moving forward in the Senate.”
Joining Collins on the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman James E. Risch and Ranking Member Bob Menendez, were United States Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rep. John Katko (NY-24), Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6), Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16), Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-8), and Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-2). The letter requests an expeditious review and approval for the three of International Joint Commission (IJC) Commissioner U.S. nominees as the Lake Ontario water levels are raising at a dangerously high rate.
Last year President Trump nominated Jane Corwin to serve as U.S. Chair alongside Robert C. Sisson and Lance V. Yohe as U.S. Commissioners at the IJC. These appointments expired at the end of the last Congress, but were re-nominated by the President and are awaiting passage through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and confirmation by the Senate.
Additionally, the Canadian government is withholding their IJC appointments until the United States has filled its appointments.
"Great Lake communities, especially Lake Ontario, are now facing detrimental impacts if commissioners are not in place at the IJC to take action, added Collins. “We cannot afford to have a repeat of 2017 when Lake Ontario reached water levels that had not been seen in decades.”
The 2017 flooding damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Due to the more than a hundred miles of coastline damage, Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency for eight counties on the Lake Ontario shore.
The text of the letter can be found hereRead More
Clarence, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced today the beginning of the 2019 Congressional Art Competition. Initiated by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, the event is a nationwide annual art competition that allows high school students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to showcase their artistic ability.
Now in its 37th year, the Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students who reside in New York’s 27th Congressional District. The winning artwork from will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol and the winning artist will be invited to attend a reception in Washington D.C., as well as a private tour of the U.S. Capitol.
“The Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity for students to showcase their artwork to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the Capitol each year,” said Congressman Collins. “I always look forward to seeing the artwork submitted by the talented students of NY-27 and the opportunity to welcome our winning artist to Washington.”
Submissions are due to either of Congressman Collins’ two district offices no later than 5:00PM on Tuesday, April 9th. A reception and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 13th at the Roz Steiner Art Gallery, located on the Genesee Community College campus in Batavia, NY. Local high schools have been notified regarding the contest rules and submission guidelines.
Interested students should see their art teacher for details or contact Alexis Ogra at (585) 519-4002.
Clarence, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today recognized U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Laura Norwood of Pendleton, NY as his office’s “Veteran on the Month.”
“It was an honor to present Laura with a small gesture of gratitude for her service,” said Congressman Collins. “Laura has spent her entire life devoted to taking care of those who need it the most, and she represents the veterans here in NY-27 who have served their country with honor. My office will continue to recognize a local ‘Veteran of the Month’ to ensure our communities never forget these patriotic men and women who have selflessly served our country.”
Laura Norwood joined the United States Army Reserve as a registered nurse and served from November 6, 1980 to July 5, 2005. After accepting a position as a Nurse Administrator at the Gowanda Psychiatric Center, her unit was called for active duty to serve in both Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. When Laura returned home from Desert Storm, she transferred to the AMEDD Augmentation Detachment, a program that places certain medical personnel with army units where they are needed. Laura participated in monthly drills for the Buffalo Veteran Administration Hospital Operating Room, while serving on active duty which relocated her to other medical facilities throughout the country. Laura retired from the United States Army Reserve with 23 years of creditable service and earned the Armed Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, and 2 Bronze Service Stars.
Amongst friends and family, Laura was presented with an American Flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. and a Congressional Certificate of Commendation.
To nominate a NY-27 ‘Veteran of the Month’ please submit an inquiry to NY27Veteran@mail.house.gov, or contact our district office at (716) 634-2324.
Clarence, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $40,000 in federal funding for The Genesee County Office For the Aging. This grant was awarded through the Senior Corps RSVP from The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a program that leverages the skills and experience of seniors from across the country to serve in a variety of volunteering activities.
The Senior Corps RSVP is one of the largest volunteering networks in the nation that engages Americans 55 or older in citizen service to address problems that our country faces. These services can range from fighting the opioid epidemic, connecting veterans to jobs and benefits, and ensuring seniors age dependently and with dignity.
“ As we get older it is important we keep ourselves active,” said Congressman Collins. “The Senior Corps program is a great way to get involved in our community while helping others.”
The Genesee County Office for the Aging offers a variety of programs and services to all county residents who are the age of 60 and over. Their mission is to provide information, support, and advocacy to their residents while promoting independence to improve the quality of life.
The Senior Corps engages approximately 220,000 Americans at 25,000 locations across the nation through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs.
Clarence, NY - Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced the application period for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program FY18. Administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the SAFER Grant Program is designed to help local fire departments and Emergency Management Service (EMS) providers to increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.
“The SAFER Grant Program provides funding assistance to our local fire departments and EMS providers in order to help recruit new members and ensure that current members are up to date on their training,” said Congressman Collins. “ I encourage all NY-27 fire departments and EMS providers to apply for this program.”
FEMA will begin accepting applications from eligible departments beginning from Friday, February 15, 2019 at 8:00 am EST and will close on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST.
Interested applicants with further questions or those seeking letters of support from Congressman Chris Collins are asked to call his Geneseo District Office at (585)-519-4002.Read More
Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27), Rep. Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26), Rep. Tom Reed (NY-23) released the following statements after sending a letter to the Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao urging the Pilot Records Database (PRD) be taken out of beta testing and implemented as a requirement for all pilots to input data so that it may be used by all commercial airlines.
Section 203 of P.L. 111-216 of the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 requires the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) to create a database that would provide air carriers with information regarding the pilots’ training, certifications, qualifications, and other information relating to employment history. This database is important for commercial airliners to make informed hiring decisions. In December 2017, the FAA released its PRD beta test online, 7 years after they were supposed to.
“Ten years later, the crash of Flight 3407 still weighs heavily on our community,” said Congressman Collins. “The families have worked tirelessly to make our skies safe. The Pilot Record Database is one of the last pieces of the puzzle and it is time for it to be fully implemented.”
“On the 10th anniversary of the Flight 3407 tragedy, the best way to honor the memories of the innocent lives lost is to ensure we make permanent these critical and essential aviation safety standards,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I join my colleagues, and the Families of Flight 3407, in urging Secretary Chao to put the safety and well-being of passengers first by implementing the Pilot Records Database to ensure only qualified, responsible pilots are navigating our skies.”
“The National Transportation Safety Board’s study of the crash of Flight 3407 provided direction for how to improve flight safety based on the lessons learned from this tragedy,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “A number of changes have led to safer skies for the travelling public but we aren’t done. Creation of a Pilot Records Database was one of the measures driven by the Families of Flight 3407 and implemented by Congress years ago. Finalization of this component that brings transparency to who’s flying our plane is long overdue.”
“As we honor those whole tragically lost their lives on Flight 3407, we continue to look for ways that we can work together to ensure the safety of the American people,” said Tom Reed. “The creation of the PRD was an encouraging step. Today we sincerely ask that it be implemented as a requirement to be used by all commercial airlines throughout the United States.”
This provision was included in the legislation after an investigation revealed that Colgan Air hired the captain of Flight 3407, without full knowledge of his complete training record which showed that he failed three “check rides” prior to operating the aircraft.
The bi-partisan letter signed by the four members of Congress adds pressure to Secretary Chao to implement the PRD, which is vital for commercial airliners to determine the qualifications of a pilot prior to hiring. Since August of 2017, the implementation of this provision has been pushed back four times and currently slated for May of this year.
The full text of the letter can be read here.
Williamsville, NY – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $2,800,426 in federal funding for the Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, Inc. The grant was awarded through the Head Start Projects Program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which promotes school readiness of children under five from low-income families.
The Head Start program supports children in growth and development through a variety of services depending on the needs of the local community. Their programs are based in centers and schools, but also in child care centers and family care homes. Children gain the access to early learning for school readiness, healthcare needs, and family well-being.
“Children are our future and this program ensures that the children of low-income families can get a jumpstart on their education before kindergarten.” said Congressman Chris Collins. “This funding solidifies this program in our community for years to come.”
The Community Action of Orleans and Genesee is a nonprofit organization that has served Western New York for over 40 years. This organization empowers and provides opportunity for those who are not yet self-sufficient. They work with programs, like Head Start, to provide short and long term goals for children and their parents in the community.
The Head Start program has serviced over a million children in every U.S. State and territory, and continues to support 1,700 public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies that provide Head Start services.
WASHINGTON, DC – By reintroducing the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), Congressman Collins continues his effort to protect the Second Amendment rights of all New Yorkers by limiting a state's authority when it comes to regulating rifles and shotguns. The Collins’ bill would prevent states from implementing any regulations on weapons that are more restrictive than what is required by federal law. Passage of this bill would void most of the language included in New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
“Governor Cuomo unjustly took away the Second Amendment rights from law abiding New Yorkers with his so-called SAFE Act,” said Collins. “ I have and always will be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and my legislation will guarantee that New Yorkers have the rights guaranteed to them in the Constitution.”
The Cuomo SAFE Act violates federal regulations because it imposed rifle and shotgun bans that possess certain features. It also banned the capacity of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and limiting magazines to 7 rounds at any time.
Any current or future laws enacted by a state that exceeds federal law for rifles and shotguns would be voided under the Collins' legislation. Should a state violate this law and a plaintiff goes to court, the court will award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) re-introduced the Denying Chinese Investors Access to U.S. Small Business Aid, a bill that would prevent citizens of the People’s Republic of China, who own a business, from accessing assistance offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) re-introduced the Senate companion bill late last week.
“SBA programs should be focusing on helping small business owners in communities like Western New York, and not aid companies whose profits go to China,” said Collins. “ I am proud to join Senator Rubio to advance this important legislation once again to encourage job growth and support small businesses here in the United States.”
“Amidst rapid technological advances, shifting global economic trends, and rising foreign adversaries, we must fight to protect America’s small businesses,” Rubio said. “Our bill will protect small businesses from Chinese interference and encourage American entrepreneurs to innovate, thrive, and grow so that we can keep our economy competitive on the global stage.”
Current law permits SBA to provide assistance towards Chinese-owned business who legally operate in the United States and qualify as a small business. These businesses are allowed to obtain a federally guaranteed loan, surety bonds, research and development grants, or disaster loans.
The Denying Chinese Investors Access to U.S. Small Business Aid would prohibit SBA benefits from being given to businesses headquartered in China. Under this bill, China based businesses who operate in the United States or businesses with at least 25 percent of their voting stock owned by Chinese investors will no longer be able to benefit.Read More
2243 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Chris Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. The 27th District of New York includes 105 towns spread out over eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. The residents of NY-27 first elected Mr. Collins to Congress in November of 2012 and he won reelection in November of 2016 and November of 2018.
Previously, Congressman Collins served on the House Small Business, Agriculture and Science, Space and Technology committees, and The House Energy and Commerce Comittee.
Chris comes to Capitol Hill with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. Before serving as Erie County Executive, Chris built a career as a business owner and entrepreneur, creating and saving hundreds of American jobs.
Private Sector Businessman
Chris Collins is a successful small businessman with 36 years in the private sector, saving and creating hundreds of good-paying jobs in Erie, Niagara, and Monroe counties. His current companies include:
The key to success at all of these companies is the implementation of Lean Six Sigma, which drives efficiency and quality.
The Congressman began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric in 1972, spending eleven years with the company in various positions of increasing responsibility including Manager of the Westinghouse Gear Division. When Westinghouse announced it was closing its Buffalo facility, Collins purchased the assets of the Gear Division and founded Niagara Falls based industrial gear manufacturer Nutall Gear Corporation in 1983.
Erie County Executive
In 2007, Chris Collins was elected Erie County Executive despite a voter enrollment of almost two Democrats for every one Republican. He took over the largest county in Upstate New York with a $1.2 billion budget and 5,000+ employees. At the time, Erie County was effectively bankrupt; having a state imposed control board, no cash surplus, runaway debt, and many roads, bridges, parks, and beaches inoperative. Remarkably, Collins’ business mentality and implementation of Lean Six Sigma resulted in a staggering turnaround for Erie County. In 4 years, Erie was transformed from a county in the worst financial shape of any county in New York State to one with financial prospects and upward trajectory. During his tenure, Collins’ accomplishments included:
In Erie County, Collins articulated 6 core values that formed the basis for his decision-making. Now, he carries these core values to Washington as the Congressman for New York’s 27th Congressional District.
Leadership in times of emergency
In February 2008, Erie County experienced a Hepatitis A emergency when an infected employee handled produce at a popular supermarket. Over the course of several days, the County vaccinated and inoculated 10,000 people to protect the public. The event was one of the largest vaccination events in the history of the United States.
One year later, tragedy struck Erie County when Continental Flight 3407 crashed in a residential neighborhood, killing all 49 passengers and crew on board, and one person on the ground in Clarence Center. Collins was one of the first public officials on the ground and immediately declared the situation a State of Emergency. Throughout the night and over the next several days, Collins worked to ensure the cooperation of Erie County departments and other government agencies in the recovery, investigation and family support efforts.
In the summer of 2009, flooding devastated Southern regions of Erie County. Dozens of homeowners lost the contents of their basements and first floors. Collins mobilized the County’s Emergency Services and Public Works departments to assist local governments in their recovery efforts. Erie County also successfully lobbied the Federal government to provide FEMA aid dollars to both local governments and individual homeowners.
Chris lives in Clarence, NY with his wife Mary. He has 3 children and 4 grandchildren. He has a BS Mechanical Engineering from NC State and an MBA in Finance from University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a life-long member of Boy Scouts, an Assistant Scoutmaster, an Eagle Scout, a member of the Executive Board – Greater Niagara Frontier Council (GNFC) and chairman of the GNFC National Jamboree for 2001, 2005, 2010, 2013, and 2017 as well as the World Jamboree for 2007. Chris is the recipient of the prestigious Silver Beaver Award for service to scouting and named 2005 Horizon Citizen of the Year.
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Recently I met with 75 students from high schools all across NY-27. It was great answering questions and talking wi… https://t.co/yx19lpy9ud
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Representatives from MAPPS met with me to discuss funding for NAIP and 3DEP. It was a pleasure meeting with you. https://t.co/677JWGrXDI