WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement in response:
“This afternoon, the People’s House reaffirmed its confidence in American workers and families by passing comprehensive tax reform. The last three decades empowered the IRS to dig its tentacles deeper into the wallets of our neighbors, and we acted to reverse that trend today.
“Middle-class Americans and job creators deserve relief from burdensome taxes and the opportunity to pursue more of their ambitions on their terms. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act can deliver on both fronts on behalf of our nation’s families and future.”
House Passes Collins Bill to Honor Fallen Clermont Marine
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives today voted unanimously to pass H.R. 3821, to rename Georgia’s Clermont Post Office in honor of Zack T. Addington. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced the bill this September, and it will now proceed to the Senate for consideration.
“I’m pleased to see my colleagues in the House recognize the legacy of Lance Corporal Addington, who remains an example of selfless courage to our community in northeast Georgia,” said Collins.
Collins also honored Addington when he spoke about the bill on the House floor.
Known to his neighbors as Zack, Addington joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967. A native of Clermont, he became a rifleman in the 3rd Marine Division of the Fleet Marine Force and deployed to Vietnam that year. Addington was promoted to Lance Corporal and served his country honorably until he was killed in action in May 1968.
That June, Addington received the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon in recognition of his service there.
ICYMI: It’s 2017, but thousands in north GA don’t have access to reliable internet
ATLANTA—WSB TV reports that thousands of northeast Georgians lack access to reliable broadband services while their internet provider has received millions in federal tax dollars. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) hears regularly from neighbors who are frustrated with their lack of internet access, and he has been working to address the challenge.
WSB’s investigation led to a two-part story tackling the problem and considering solutions, including Collins’s GO Act, which would promote broadband development in underserved areas like north Georgia.
WSB: “You have federal tax dollars here going to provide a service. Do you believe that service is being provided?”
Collins: “Right now, in northeast Georgia, no, they’re not.”
Collins: “We’re trying to take a proactive solution while at the same time holding accountable the federal dollars that are supposed to be going for this.”
ICYMI: House tax reform plan focuses on US workers
WASHINGTON—This op ed by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) first appeared in the Gainesville Times on November 5, 2017.
Last Thursday introduced Northeast Georgians to what the House, Senate and president have been collaborating on since January: A conservative tax reform bill that makes the first meaningful improvements to the tax code since 1986, when I was a student at what was then North Georgia College and an intern on Capitol Hill.
Since then, time has passed and tax policy has changed, but not for the better. As pundits tackle the details of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, I want my neighbors to be confident knowing what conservatives are doing through tax reform and, perhaps more importantly, why we’re taking these steps.
The legislation the House has introduced focuses on replacing America’s labyrinth of a tax code with a plan driven by fairness, simplicity and opportunity. The IRS has reached its tentacles deep into the pockets of American workers and families to feed a bloated federal government.
I’d like to cut off those tentacles and allow everyday Americans to keep more of the money they earned by the sweat of their brows. I believe that comprehensive tax reform, specifically the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is the answer to our country’s economic malaise. Our friends across the aisle disagree. Why?
There are two possibilities that explain why someone would oppose President Donald Trump’s call for middle-class tax reform. The person either doesn’t believe that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will actually bring relief to families and job creators or doesn’t think empowering working Americans represents a worthy goal.
Those who claim that our tax plan pads the wallets of the wealthy at the expense of middle America already have been refuted by The Washington Post, which investigated claims that this legislation would raise taxes across the middle class. Senate Democrats tattooed their false claims all over Twitter, and even the mainstream media awarded those claims with “four Pinocchios.” In fact, a family of four earning the median annual income of $59,000 would see their tax burden drop by $1,182, from $1,582 to $400.
To use another example with our community in mind, a firefighter with a $48,000 income would move from the 25 percent income tax bracket to the 12 percent bracket and see his standard deduction double from $6,350 to $12,000. Under this plan, his tax bill would fall to $3,872 from $5,173, and he could invest the $1,301 difference in building his own American dream.
Meanwhile, we’ve raised the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,600 per child and included $300 credits for adult dependents. We’re getting rid of loopholes in the tax code and killing the death tax, which targets family farms and businesses with double-taxation. We’re reducing the corporate rate from an unsustainable 35 percent to 20 percent so that businesses will bring jobs back home.
And I’m inviting you to fact check us. Anyone can read the text of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other resources at fairandsimple.gop.
If the Republican tax plan actually does deliver tax relief to middle class filers—and it does—and if it does level the global playing field to allow businesses to close up their shops across the ocean and drop deep roots into American soil, then why would anyone oppose it? Because their objection isn’t practical. It’s ideological.
America’s economy remains the most productive in the world, and the American worker is the foundation of that economy. Conservatives who embrace tax reform want to ensure that hardworking Americans enjoy and invest more of what they earn because we trust them. We recognize that the American worker is industrious and innovative, and that’s what fuels our economy.
Liberals, on the other hand, don’t trust their fellow Americans to make good choices. They believe we have no hope outside of bureaucrats. So their logic demands that they fight to keep control of Americans and their money. Tax reform upsets Democrats because they want to make the government bigger, and they want to use their neighbors’ paychecks to do that.
President Trump and I believe that America’s greatness comes from free people making free choices in a free market. Democrats think its greatness comes from big government. They think Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer hold the keys to Gainesville’s success.
In reality, though, Democrats have no hope to offer northeast Georgians because they have no confidence in northeast Georgians (or in most Americans, for that matter). And while the president and Republicans in the House are working to make America stronger, to preserve our position as world leader, liberals want to apologize for what American workers have built and to undermine what their neighbors value.
The last administration tried to spend and stimulate its way to economic success, and we call those eight years the Great Recession. In contrast, conservatives in the House are spending this weekend telling their constituents we recognize that America’s future depends on her workers and families, rather than on Washington.
That’s why our tax reform plan insists that we make our neighbors the agents of their futures once again. We’re offering Americans tax relief today because that’s how we can build a stronger tomorrow.
Doug Collins represents Georgia’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Collins Votes to Extend Chip and Protect DSH Resources
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined the House of Representatives in voting today to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2022 and protect funding for rural hospitals.
The Championing Healthy Kids Act, H.R. 3922, uses offsets to fund CHIP and programs like community health centers while eliminating $5 billion in scheduled cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH). The bill includes a two-year extension of funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which focus on delivering health care to underserved populations through community-based and patient-centered models.
“The House’s bill would extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program for five years while strengthening the program to help the children most in need of health care assistance. At the same time, it protects resources for northeast Georgia’s rural hospitals. I’m pleased that the legislation put forward by House Republicans charts a more cost effective—and therefore sustainable—path forward for serving some of Georgia’s most vulnerable populations,” said Collins.
At least seven hospitals in northeast Georgia serve residents with the help of DSH funding, including Elbert Memorial Hospital, Fannin Regional Hospital, Habersham County Medical Center, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital, Stephens County Hospital and Union General Hospital.
*The original release mistakenly included Hart County Hospital, which merged into St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital, and North Georgia Medical Center, which should be Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
Collins Helps House Pass Bill to Protect Medicare Access
WASHINGTON—Today Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) helped the House of Representatives pass H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2017, legislation that would repeal an Obamacare provision that threatens seniors’ access to care.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare, established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which can be empowered to cut Medicare spending and services without Congressional or administrative oversight. The ACA designed the board to be comprised of fifteen unelected officials, and the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act would repeal the ACA provision that created the IPAB.
“The Obama Administration’s move toward socialized medicine gave the Independent Payment Advisory Board broad power to limit access to Medicare for senior Americans. Concentrating such power in the hands of a few bureaucrats risks our neighbors’ access to care, and the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act would correct this flaw by repealing the IPAB. This bill would instead protect seniors’ access to health care and encourage meaningful reforms to make Medicare sustainable.
“I am thankful for Congressman Roe’s leadership on this issue and am proud to join my colleagues in voting to repeal this dangerous board,” said Collins.
Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced H.R. 849, and Collins co-sponsored the bill.
A conservative seeking a better federal prison system
Only a government program can fail a third of the time and still be allowed to operate without accountability or change.
Sound preposterous? It shouldn’t. This kind of monumental failure has plagued taxpayers for years in the form of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons.
The federal prison system is responsible for 187,186 inmates. Of those currently incarcerated, 95 percent will ultimately be released back into our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons does little to help offenders prepare to be better neighbors. The latest statistics show that nearly one-third of all ex-offenders will be convicted of another crime within eight years of release. Ultimately, the Bureau of Prisons fails in its mission to successfully rehabilitate those who run afoul of the law.
Recidivism creates new crimes and new victims, underlining the dire need for prison reform. When people re-offend, taxpayers are yet again saddled with the costs to try, convict and house these offenders. Victims suffer financial and/or personal losses. When you take into consideration the whopping $32,000 annual cost to incarcerate a prisoner, it’s clear that recidivism needs addressing.
For some, it’s easy to misdiagnose our criminal justice system as too lenient and assume we need to lock people up even longer. Facts, however, can be pesky things, and they happen to disprove this theory.
America boasts 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Out of all industrialized nations, we are the number one jailer of our own people. In 1988, the average sentence was 18 months. By 2012, that rate had doubled to almost 36 months. It’s clear that doling out more prison time is not the answer.
Study after study points to three key factors involved in keeping people from returning to prison: mental health and drug counseling; education and job training; and employment opportunities. Providing this type of programming is far less expensive than the financial ramifications of recidivism.
A number of states, including Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Louisiana, have implemented anti-recidivism programming for inmates and enacted other “smart on crime” reforms. Texas was the first state to do so a decade ago and the results were unassailable. In 2007, the Lone Star State reformed its criminal justice system to reduce sentences for nonviolent crimes and rely more heavily on probation and parole. A portion of the costs saved were invested in anti-recidivism programming, victim assistance, drug treatment and increased funding focused on taking violent criminals off the streets.
The results were impressive: Texas soon cut its prison population by 19 percent. With fewer prisoners in the system, the state closed eight prisons, saving more than $2 billion. Crime rates dropped by 29 percent and the prisoner return rate dropped by 14 percent. By taking similar steps, the federal government could see some of the same benefits.
Unfortunately, not many members of Congress are willing to stand up against the status quo. Even fewer Republicans are willing to take on the prison-industrial complex in order to seek out real changes that cut costs, improve public safety and keep families together. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., however, rightly decided this is a battle worth fighting.
Earlier in the year, Collins introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act to create a system of risk assessments to determine what types of programming will work best to keep offenders from returning, including addiction treatment, education, and parenting classes. Individualized determinations can make a monumental difference when it comes to effective corrections programming — especially programming that saves money and keeps nonviolent criminals out of the prison system. If enacted, Collins’ bill will cut spending and make our communities safer. Simply put, it’s a common-sense solution to a costly problem that continues to plague state institutions and American taxpayers.
The Prison Reform and Redemption Act is opening eyes in Washington. Conservatives across Capitol Hill are applauding the initiative and joining Collins to push the legislation to the president’s desk.
Collins’ 90 percent lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union shows that he is a strong conservative in Congress. His introduction of the Prison Reform and Redemption Act makes clear that he intends to get results. And that is something everyone can support.
9th Congressional district Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) spoke exclusively to FYNTV on Friday’s edition of Good Morning From the Office. Collins spoke on a multitude of issues, from the executive actions regarding Obamacare, to his personal crusade for adequate internet service and competition in rural Northeast Georgia. However, his remarks regarding tax reform were quite revealing. According to Collins, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has informed House members that he will keep the House in session, if necessary, throughout the Christmas recess in order to pass tax reform.
The tax question is asked around the 11:00 minute mark of the FULL INTERVIEW below.
BKP: From the House side, will we get tax reform?
Rep. Collins: Yes. I feel very comfortable, in fact, it is the top priority for us in leadership, and the speaker. In fact, the speaker put us on notice yesterday (Thursday) that he would keep us through Christmas or any other holiday to make sure it gets done this year. It was very disturbing to hear some members of the Senate saying “Well, we gotta negotiate, it may be the first of the year” No. It’s time to get behind the American people, time to get behind the President and pass tax reform. It’s way past due.