As I reflect on my final day as a member of the 112th Congress, I am again filled with gratitude to you for providing critically important support to allow me to serve my community and my country. Whenever I needed help you were there for me, and your investment in my race made all the difference.
My 18 months in Congress and the countless people I encountered on this amazing journey only deepened my love for this great country. Know that I dedicated every day to bettering the lives of middle class families, farmers, small business owners, seniors and veterans. In fact, one of the very final acts of this Congress (right after the fiscal cliff vote) was the passage of a bill I introduced to help clothe homeless veterans.
Together we made a difference. That’s the true purpose and joy of public service…the betterment of people’s lives. I thank you with all my heart for your belief in me.
For too long, Washington has had a spending problem. We can all agree that we need to balance our budget and get spending under control, but we must do it the right way—by protecting middle class families, seniors, and veterans, while asking millionaires and corporations to pay their fair share.
Balancing the budget requires tough choices and cooperation, Democrats and Republicans working together. That is why I was the only Democrat in New York to vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment, which would require the federal government to balance its budget in the same way Western New York families do, and why I supported a bi-partisan effort to cut $2.4 trillion in deficit spending.
There is no single solution to balancing the budget. That is why I have called on the Administration to eliminate and consolidate wasteful and duplicative government agencies, and I have led the fight to cut foreign aid to countries, like Pakistan, that do not share our best interests. It is also important that we ask everyone to pay their fair share, which is why I support proposals to close tax loopholes that reward corporations for shipping jobs overseas, as well as allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for people making more than $500,000 a year.
We all know that we have more work to do, but I believe that by working together to implement common sense reforms, we can put our country back on the right track.read more
Coming from a business family, I understand that government doesn’t create jobs—businesses do. However, government can help to create the conditions for economic growth by ensuring a level playing field and creating incentives to encourage private enterprise in a changing global economy.
In Congress, I have introduced a plan to renew Western New York’s economy through targeted investments in infrastructure, energy, education, and small business, and I have worked to create fair tax policies that encourage companies to stay and grow in the United States, not overseas.
To that end, I have crossed party lines to pass small business tax cuts, and I voted for a bi-partisan plan to extend the payroll tax cut for middle class Americans. Furthermore, I have introduced legislation to encourage partnerships between local employers and educational institutions to ensure that our graduates have the marketable skills needed to find work right here in Western New York.
I also recognize that sometimes government’s role is simply to get out of the way. That is why I have worked to promote a common sense regulatory structure that protects our health and safety without creating unnecessary burdens for our innovators, famers, and small business owners.
On a level playing field, Western New York businesses can compete with anyone in the world. That is why I am a strong supporter of the Make It in America agenda, which supports smart growth among American businesses and manufacturers, and have opposed budget proposals that give unneeded tax breaks corporations that ship jobs overseas.
From leading colleges and universities and low-cost power to international airports and an ideal location to connect domestic and international markets, Western New York is well positioned to emerge as a leader in the 21st Century economy. I am confident that if we make smart investments today—in infrastructure, energy development, education, and small businesses—we will lay a strong foundation for economic growth in Western New York.read more
Seniors work their entire lives and pay into the Medicare system to promise that they will have quality medical care when they retire. Before Medicare, nearly half of American seniors lived without health care and nearly one-third of seniors lived in poverty. Today, for more than 460,000 beneficiaries in Western New York, Medicare means affordable prescription medications and preventative care, as well as lower out-of-pocket expenses.
I have always fought to ensure that seniors receive the benefits they were promised, while protecting and strengthening the program for future generations. That is why I have fought against efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare, which would end these program as we know them, and why I have introduced legislation to strengthen Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse.
I have also worked to leverage the purchasing power of prescription drugs to negotiate lower prices for Medicare recipients and have supported reforms to close the prescription drug donut-hole, which will save our seniors billions of dollars each year.
Furthermore, I believe that we must continue to innovate to ensure that our seniors receive the best, most cost-effective care, which is why I have worked to promote tele-heath services that save time and money, especially in the rural communities of Western New York.
When Democrats and Republicans work together, we can keep our promises to our seniors and ensure that they retire with the dignity and respect they deserve, as well as strengthen these critical programs for generations to come.read more