(Jan. 8, 2015) U.S. Representative Richard Hanna was sworn in Jan. 6 to serve a third term in Congress. He issued a year-end report as part of his ongoing commitment to transparency and accessibility to the citizens of upstate New York.
“We are making good progress both in the hall of Congress and across upstate New York to support families, businesses, farmers and veterans in the 22nd Congressional District,” Hanna said. “I look forward to continuing to be the most responsive office on Capitol Hill in 2015 and to serving each person in the district to improve their lives as best we can.”
Among some of Rep. Hanna’s accomplishments in 2014:
- Won one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s six unmanned aircraft system national test sites, which is headquartered at the Griffiss Airport in Rome.
- Secured approval of a wetland permit for the site being developed by Mohawk Valley Economic Development Growth Enterprises (EDGE) to attract the chip fabrication industry to Marcy.
- Prohibited a base realignment or closure (BRAC) round from being carried out, acquired full funding for Rome Lab and led efforts to protect the DFAS workforce.
- Supported contracts awards for Lockheed Martin’s Owego facility this year to help build a new fleet of Presidential helicopters and a new generation of combat rescue helicopters.
- Announced a $15 million contract for Remington Arms to provide 16,000 R4 carbine rifles made in Ilion to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
- Expanded the U.S. Department of Agriculture pilot program to serve New York-based Chobani Greek yogurt in school lunches in seven states.
- Blocked new onerous “Hours of Service” rules for truck that had a negative impact on the trucking industry, small businesses and consumers in upstate New York. Rep. Hanna had introduced legislation to roll back the new hours of service rules shortly after they took effect.
The yearlong look back provides an update and sampling of Hanna’s work on issues important to a broad cross section of constituents in the 22nd Congressional District. The report covers constituent services, legislative work, local successes and district outreach, among other areas of interest.
By the Numbers
Rep. Hanna responded to more than 41,000 constituent letters, emails and faxes in 2014. Rep. Hanna places a priority on answering constituents’ questions and concerns about pending federal legislation and policies. Since taking office in 2011, Rep. Hanna has answered more than 186,500 pieces of correspondence.
Notable Constituent Service Successes
Veterans Affairs Assistance – Rep. Hanna helped 124 constituents with Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense issues. Success stories include helping an Afghanistan war veteran, who had received the Bronze Star Medal with ‘V’ device and the Purple Heart Medal, to receive more than $22,000 in benefits that he was owed.
Social Security – Rep. Hanna helped more than 109 constituents work through Social Security benefits difficulties. Success stories include helping a constituent receive approximately $12,000 that he was owed by Social Security and helping a family obtain SSI benefits for their infant child who has a rare disease and was in need of medical coverage.
Medicare – Rep. Hanna aided dozens of constituents in their quests to resolve Medicare claims in 2014. Notable successes include helping a constituent receive coverage of $8,000 in medical bills and helping a business be reinstated by Medicare to receive reimbursement payments. The business had been unable to treat patients with Medicare for three months due to a problem with the agency.
Around the District
In 2014, Hanna supported 101 competitive grant and loan applications by local governments and organizations. Many of these applications were successful and below are just a few highlights:
Hanna helped the Greater Binghamton Airport receive more than $1 million to improve its facility. The Tri-Cities Airport in Broome County received $1.4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to rehabilitate its runway.
Cortland County’s Chase Field received $225,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration to purchase important snow removal equipment.
Evans Farmhouse Creamery in Chenango County received a $46,977 grant from the USDA Rural Development office to assist with business needs for its organic dairy product line.
The Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida counties won $3 million from the Department of Labor to offer high-tech training to job seekers and assistance finding employment.
Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency in Oneida County received a $6.9 million grant from Health and Human Services for an Early Head Start Program.
Northern Oswego County Health Services was awarded $254,945 in funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to expand staffing to better serve its residents.
The Upper Susquehanna Coalition and Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $300,000 from the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund to continue its watershed implementation plan that reduces nutrient and sediment loads into streams.
Military Medal Awards
Rep. Hanna was able to provide 81 military medals to deserving veterans in the 22nd District.
33 Army medals
23 Navy medals
14 Marine Corps medals
11 Air Force/Army Air Corps medals
Of these medals, there were:
3 Purple Hearts
1 Silver Star Medal
The Purple Heart recipients were: Sergeant Ernest Weeks III, of New Hartford, an Army veteran of Afghanistan; Corporal DuBois Vandewater, Jr., of Marcy, an Army veteran of Korea; Staff Sergeant Ernest Love, of Endicott, an Army veteran of World War II. Staff Sergeant Love also earned the Silver Star Medal, one of the highest honors a service member can earn.