On April 3, 2014 Rep. Brian Higgens of New York asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for one minute regarding the Social Security Administrations decision to close some regional offices:
“Madam Speaker, across the Nation, Social Security offices are experiencing increased backlog, longer wait times, and insufficient staff levels. Despite this, the Social Security Administration has proposed the closing of four New York regional offices, including the Amherst office in my western New York community.
Since 2010, 96 field offices have been consolidated into 46 without a uniform closure process. In response, I have introduced H.R. 3997, the Social Security Administration Accountability Act, which brings transparency to the Social Security field office closure process.
This legislation requires the Social Security Administration to consult with local officials and the public before deciding to relocate or merge offices. In my own community, after the notice of proposed closure of the Amherst field office, we learned from the Buffalo Fire Department that the new office has insufficient capacity and would be a fire hazard. If this bill were already law, this would have been discovered before a proposed closure was announced. Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in protecting our communities from hastily planned and ill-conceived Social Security field office closures”, said Rep. Higgens (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov/).
Congressman Brian Higgins is a fifth term member of the United States House of Representatives serving New York’s 26th congressional district, which includes portions of Erie and Niagara Counties.