Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) was sworn in today as part of the 113th Congress and will represent North Georgia’s new ninth district. Previously, Collins served three terms as a state representative from the 27th district. Collins won a hard-fought primary in July against Martha Zoller, Robert Fitzpatrick, Hunter Bicknell, and Clifton McDuffie. He then went on to win November’s election handily against Democrat Jody Cooley. The Congressman ran on a platform of small government, fiscal responsibility and pro-life, despite heated debates over the validity of his stances during the campaign cycle. But, the freshman, who ran on a conservative platform, will now face a House weak in conservative principles, where congressmen once deemed conservative strongholds, such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), voted for the recent fiscal cliff deal, a deal seen as counter to conservative principles. Passed earlier this week, the “fiscal cliff” legislation includes over $600 billion in tax hikes and scant spending cuts. To the angst of conservatives, the bill is also laden with “pork” spending, including $59 million for algae growers for bio fuel research; $4 million in green energy tax credits and $12.1 billion in wind energy tax credits.
Also, early this afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was re-elected as Speaker of the House despite rumblings of dissatisfaction for the Speaker’s recent performance in the fiscal cliff negotiations. As such, Collins will be under Boehner’s leadership for conceivably the next two years. Previously, Collins said that our country’s problem is spending. He also said in a recent comment that he would not have voted for the fiscal cliff deal. As such, Collins faces a House leadership lacking his principles and a House majority willing too easily to yield to Boehner. The Speaker’s management tactics have also drawn recent criticism. Last month, it was reported that several conservative congressman were removed from key committees at Boehner’s behest weeks before this week’s fiscal cliff vote, which seems yet another obstacle facing conservative representatives.
Further, as Collins heads to Washington voters show concern new congressmen entering the fray of politics at the Capitol will shed the conservative principals they ran on. In a statement today, though, Collins vowed to ensure his conservative constituents their voice in Washington.
“Today it was the most humbling experience of my life to take the oath to represent the 9th Congressional District of Georgia,”
“I thank everyone for their support, and I promise to always represent our area to the best of my ability. We had the slogan ‘We Are the 9th’ during our campaign, and I will never forget that. We live in the greatest place in the greatest country in the world. I’m honored to call that home, and I will fight every day to make sure our conservative voices are heard in Washington whether the leaders in Congress agree with me or not.”