Fresh from his first week in Congress, Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins (R) returned to East Ellijay last week, convening with constituents at Poole’s BBQ.
This was Collins’ first visit to the area since being sworn-in.
During his first week, Collins has already co-sponsored two balanced budget amendments and signed onto the Fair Tax bill, which he said has had a record number of signatures this year at fifty-three, a number still lacking to be brought up for a vote. Despite the insufficient signatures, though, Collins said the bill is a way to initiate the Fair Tax discussion and tax code reform. The current code, he said, punishes wealth and small business, asserting that this needs to be changed.
The new congressman also received his committee assignments which consist of the Judiciary, Over Sight and Government Reform, and Foreign Affairs Committees, the latter of which will hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony on the Benghazi Affair—perhaps.
Reflecting on the Fiscal Cliff Deal passed before the start of his term, Collins called it a very bad deal for the American People. In a recent press release, Collins said he would not have voted for the Fiscal Deal, which increased taxes on single taxpayers making over $400,000 and couples making over $450,000, in addition to adding $4 trillion to the national debt. In the shadow of high tax hikes, the deal has scant spending cuts, so now Collins says it's time to address the issue of cuts.
“I’m not dealing with revenue,”
he told the crowd at Poole’s,
“I’m dealing with spending cuts.”
He went on to say Congress needs to cut and reform programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and win long-term sustainability with Social Security, in part by raising age requirements of recipients.
During his talk, Collins also addressed one of the on-going issues in Congress--the continued fight against the Patient Protection Act (Obamacare). Ninth District Constituents overwhelmingly oppose the legislation. As such, Collins said that, since both Republicans and Democrats oppose certain parts of the legislation, the strategy to defeat the draconian bill will be to address it piece by piece. Collins added that the House intends to address Obamacare appropriations bills, which affect funding for the act.
The other looming issue for the Ninth District is gun control. In the wake of the Newtown Tragedy, aggressive anti-gun legislation has been submitted to Congress and pushed hard by the White House and the Left Wing Senate Majority. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden said the President could possibly use an executive order to impose his gun control agenda. But, Collins said, the gun-control response to the Newtown Tragedy is evidence of people trying to take the event out on the instrumentality of a sick individual. He also said he would not encourage the Administration using executive order to push the President’s anti-gun agenda.
“That’s a very divisive and very troubling issue,”
“When you have an executive order on a Constitutional Right.”
Foxnews.com today reported that the President is currently weighing 19 gun control measures he could take without congressional approval.
Collins also talked about a seemingly renewed effort to win the Hispanic vote.
In his talk on broadening the GOP base, Collins emphasized Hispanic voters. Hispanic voters, he said, come from strong families and have strong work ethic, adding that the GOP needs to expand to bring them into the fold. Similarly, the Wall Street Journal ran an interview with Florida Latino Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in its weekend edition last week, Rubio’s name continues to surface as possibility for the 2016 Presidential Run. A Rubio Ticket could doubtless bring more Latinos into the GOP.
Also, Gilmer County Tea Party Communications Director Jack Smith asked the congressman about impeaching the President for repeated violations of the Constitution. Although Collins said little about this possibility, Conservatives on The Hill may be starting the drum-beat of impeachment soon. Responding to the President’s potential move to use executive orders to impose gun-control legislation, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) said he would do everything possible to stop the President, including filing article of impeachment.
Collins said he has opened offices in D.C. and in Gainesville, in addition to contact-personnel through out the district, an effort to keep good his campaign promise of availability.