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.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today voted for H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will provide historic tax relief to families across America and spur economic growth.
“With today’s vote, President Trump and House Republicans have seized this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform our nation’s tax code,” said Collins. “Since this plan was introduced, I have crunched the numbers and know that this bill will allow families in Western New York and the Finger Lakes to keep more of what they earn, while unleashing America’s competitiveness to bring jobs and profits back home, where they belong.”
The legislation passed by the House today lowers tax rates, collapses tax brackets, increases the child tax credit and doubles the standard deduction, which will allow families to keep more of their paychecks. Most families are likely to use the new standard deduction, no longer needing to itemize deductions. For those that still choose to itemize, House Republicans have maintained important deductions for mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and state and local property taxes up to $10,000.
“Families that are struggling to make ends meet will see more cash in their pockets to help with everyday expenses,” said Collins. “This tax reform will also have an overwhelming impact on our nation’s economy that will create jobs and increase wages.”
Currently, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. H.R. 1 will lower this rate to be competitive with other industrialized nations. Additionally, the plan lowers the tax rate on small businesses to the lowest it has been since WWII.
Collins added: “Unfortunately, career politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer have not been truthful over the past few weeks as they look out for New York City millionaires and try to keep more of my constituents’ hard earned money for their wasteful spending. I am only looking out for the people of Western New York and the Finger Lakes, and their wallets. The tax reform package ultimately sent to President Trump’s desk will improve the lives of my constituents and will truly Make America Great Again.”
Based upon average family household income, average home value, an estimated mortgage interest of 4%, and respective state and property taxes, a family of four in the follow counties under the House Republican tax plan would save an average of:
For more information on H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) commended the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for approving the disaster declaration for flooding 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. Collins has been working closely with the Trump Administration to make sure this declaration was a priority amongst requests for other devastating disasters across the country.
“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 I thank the Trump Administration for its commitment to Western New York.”
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 in the counties of Jefferson, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
“Today’s news means that those impacted will have access to the wide ranging disaster assistance FEMA can provide, but we will continue working with the Administration to make sure new IJC commissioners will be appointed to put an end to Plan 2014,” added Collins.
Collins has met with both President Trump and Vice President Pence, sharing his concerns about Lake Ontario’s shoreline flooding, the IJC and Plan 2014. Staff from the Collins office and the White House have been working closely since the request for a disaster declaration was issued to make sure this funding was secured. Monroe County remains under review and Collins will continue to work toward a resolution. Collins has received support from state and local leaders in highlighting these needs.
“This is great news for Niagara County and it's Lakeshore residents that have sustained serious property damage along our shoreline,” said William Keith McNall, Chairman, Niagara County Legislature. “Niagara County sincerely thanks Congressman Collins for his several trips to view lakeshore conditions and property damage through the last several months. Niagara County recognizes and appreciates Congressman Collins’ persistent and unending efforts in trying to attain this funding that is so important to lakefront communities, for which Niagara County is very grateful.”
"Congressman Collins has once again proven his ability to serve his constituents to the highest degree by steadfastly pleading our region's case to his colleagues on Capitol Hill. We greatly appreciate his efforts and recognize we couldn't do it without him,” said John Syracuse, Niagara County Legislator.
“We are very pleased with the FEMA declaration being made. Hopefully, this will be the last time we need a declaration for these reasons,” said E. John DeFilipps, Chairman, Orleans County Legislature.
"I know I speak for lake-shore residents, small businesses, and local governments when I thank Congressman Collins for his hard work to ensure New York gets the federal resources it desperately needs for flood recovery. As lake levels recede, we're still fully assessing the damage. FEMA aid will be a critical step as we help devastated home and business owners and as we rebuild our communities," said State Senator Robert Ortt.
“FEMA’s decision today is a monumental step for our communities who have been living with the damage done by Lake Ontario’s flooding since last winter. While the damage was certainly unparalleled, this funding will undoubtedly help NY State continue helping those in need. I commend FEMA for its decision and I thank Congressman Collins for all of his hard work during this time and in making this funding a reality,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley.
“FEMA's approval of the disaster declaration for flooding is very welcome news to the residents and businesses that have endured the devastation of the extreme high water levels of Lake Ontario's south shores. I applaud President Trump for his action and Congressman Chris Collins for his tireless advocacy on behalf of these communities. I will continue to work hard fighting for the necessary funding and resources to make our shoreline communities whole,” said Assemblyman Mike Norris.
“Congressman Collins has led our NORA (Niagara Orleans Regional Alliance) fight from day one for our Lakeshores, to Washington, and back through Albany. These monies are desperately needed to offset the horrendous expense incurred by this man-made disaster created by the IJC. We thank you Congressman Collins.” said David E. Godfrey, Niagara County Legislator and Lynne M. Johnson, Orleans County Legislator in a joint statement.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on the launch of the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program, or “RAMP.” This program aims to provide Veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA’s decision on their benefit claims.
“This program gives VA the ability to be more efficient and better serve those that have so bravely served our nation,” said Collins. “Our nation’s Veterans deserve nothing but the best, and shouldn’t be forced to jump through hoops or face lengthy delays when it comes to appeals on their benefit claims.”
RAMP was outlined in the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Trump in August. VA began its 18-month implementation of the new process immediately after the bill became law. By February 2019, all requests for review of VA decisions will be processed under the new procedure.
“I’ve heard frustration from Veterans in my district about the time consuming appeals process at VA,” said Collins. “President Trump and Secretary Schulkin are making significant progress to turn the VA around and put Veterans first.”
For more information about RAMP, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded legislation to update our nation’s tax code that was released today by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. Collins cited the fact that this legislation will provide tax relief to hardworking families across America, create jobs, and grow our nation’s economy.
“Passing comprehensive tax reform will be one of the most important accomplishments we will see under President Trump,” said Collins. “Making America more competitive on the world stage will truly make America Great Again and allow more Americans to achieve the American Dream. Our nation is struggling and we need to fix the broken, outdated tax system that has burdened hard-working individuals and has crushed our economy.”
The plan outlined by House Republicans will strengthen the American middle class by doubling the standard deduction, and for those who want to itemize deductions to continue to write off property taxes, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions. The legislation also reduces rates for middle class Americans, eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and enhances the Child Tax Credit.
“Tax reform is essential in order to grow our economy for our children and grandchildren’s generations,” said Collins. “I am confident that we will get this bill to President Trump’s desk and will see explosive economic growth.”
The framework puts America’s corporate tax rate below the average of other industrialized countries and promotes greater investment in American manufacturing. Collins supports reducing the minimum tax rate for small businesses and corporations in order to increase American competitiveness, create jobs and grow the nation’s economy.
For more information on H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, click here.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement applauding Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s decision to include a state and local property tax deduction in the House Republican tax reform bill.
"I am pleased that Chairman Brady has agreed to keep the SALT property tax deduction in the new tax reform legislation. It goes to show you that leadership does listen to the concerns we as members point out. Now, New York taxpayers are poised for a big victory when federal tax reform provides them with more money in their pockets and better economic opportunity. It’s time for Andrew Cuomo to follow our lead and deliver comprehensive tax reform when it comes to the state income and property taxes New Yorkers pay."
The Ways and Means Committee is expected to release its tax reform legislation on Wednesday. For more information on the unified framework for fixing our broken tax code, click here.
Today Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after voting in support of the Senate-passed budget that paves the way for tax reform:
“Passing the budget was essential to getting tax reform completed without the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. We have set the stage to pass a tax reform bill that will drop corporate tax rates, put the United States on an equal playing field with the rest of the world, and lower the tax burden on small businesses. My colleagues and I are committed to sending President Trump a tax reform package in the coming weeks that will lead to explosive economic growth, create jobs and put money back in the pockets of working families.”
For more information about H. Con. Res. 71, click here.
1117 Longworth 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 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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A big thank you to Commander Todd Peters and the crew of the USS Little Rock for having me on board today for a tou… https://t.co/TXkN81rlMN
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On the 76th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor, we remember the 2,403 American lives lost https://t.co/rDr82KH6gU
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Today the House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This is a huge victory for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.