Posted: Thursday, August 22nd 2013 at 4:00pm
Rep. Collins reports to GHCC about his freshman year in DC
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins' busy summer “vacation” included a Thursday lunchtime visit with members of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce at the Gainesville Civic Center.
The term “vacation” is used loosely: true, the 109th Congress is in recess, but the Ninth District of Georgia is massive and Collins can only be in one place at a time as he tries to report-in to as many of his constituents as possible.
Collins said that his résumé includes stints as a preacher, a lawyer and now a politician and his freshman year in the nation's capital drew on all those trades.
“The things I see right now in Washington that we really need to be aware of is, 'The big picture items are going to get taken care of, one way or another, some good, some bad.',” Collins said.
“But the question comes, 'What can we do that actually matters to real people?',” he continued.
Collins said that it was easy to get blinded by the activity in Washington.
“If you really what to know why Washington is bad I can probably solve it in one pretty simple phrase: it's called 'Beltway',” Collins explained.
“Inside the Beltway (Interstate-495, very similar to Atlanta's Perimeter, I-285)...you are basically echoing the same things off the same people.”
Collins explained that the building activity going on inside the Beltway, and the rising rents inside the Beltway, and the crowded stores and restaurants inside the Beltway can lull a person into thinking that the economy is robust and that all is well with things back home in their districts as well.
“We (those in Congress) get a warped mentality of what the real world looks like.”
But groups such as the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, blended with his time at home in the 9th Congressional District, serve as “a leveling force of what we have got to be looking at while in Congress”.
Collins spoke briefly on the water negotiations going on among Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
“Water right now is stuck in committee,” Collins explained.
He said that he is leading a movement for the federal government to stay out of the issue. “It's time for the governors to sit down...because, believe me, I'll put Governor Nathan Deal in a room with any governor and we're going to be protected in Georgia.”
Collins also had a word of warning to those faint of heart.
"If you don't like ugly politics, turn your TVs off in September," Collins said.
The topic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, AKA "Obama Care", had been raised.
The fight, Collins said, would be over funding the Act. "That's why I say September will be ugly. Where it's going to end, I don't know."
"We'll fund the rest of the government, we'll do everything else, but let's just delay this part (the funding) of it."
And with that Collins was off to speak at an event in Jackson County.
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