Collins receives 2019 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award

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Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTON—Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform, presented the 2019 Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award to Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for their work on the FIRST STEP Act and its eventual passage in December of 2018. The awards were presented during a ceremony at the Renaissance Washington, D.C. Downtown Hotel on Monday night.

The FIRST STEP Act is the first step in transforming federal prisons into safe and effective facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy. The legislation expands rehabilitative programming and earned-time credit opportunities. It also reduces and clarifies mandatory minimums and better provides for the needs of federal prisoners.

“The First Step Act invests in what Americans value most fiercely—people,” said Rep. Doug Collins. “Since this bill was signed into law, we’ve seen communities restored, hope renewed, and families reunited. I’m proud to have partnered with my friend, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, to promote human dignity in our criminal justice system, and I’m incredibly honored to stand next to him today as we receive this award.”

“In addition to cosponsoring the FIRST STEP Act from its inception, Representatives Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries have worked tirelessly in a bipartisan manner to pass this critical legislation that paves the way to rehabilitate federal prisoners, protect public safety, and provide opportunities for prisoners to be released sooner for good behavior,” said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. “Representatives Collins and Jeffries are receiving the Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award due to the simple fact that they crafted this bipartisan bill that reflects their shared belief in human dignity and potential.”

“We are honoring these two dedicated public servants because they came together to lift up the voice of the voiceless, regardless of the political fallout,” said Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy. “They used their considerable political capital for those people in our country that have none. Both men went to battle to overcome partisan objections within their own parties, not just across the aisle. But they stood together because of their shared values and faith that they could make a difference for thousands of men and women across the country.”

The Charles Colson Advocate of Hope Award is bestowed annually on a person(s) with a record of faithful, unswerving, and winsome advocacy for restorative criminal justice reform—a person whose leadership blazes a trail toward a future of proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, second chances, and safer communities.

The Charles Colson Hope Awards, sponsored by Prison Fellowship, recognize people who have faithfully and courageously worked to restore those affected by crime and incarceration. Charles Colson, who founded Prison Fellowship more than 40 years ago, was at ease with presidents, prisoners, wardens, pastors, laypeople, and legislators.

 

 

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Collins criticizes IG Horowitz’s FISA report

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“FISA’s original intent was to protect Americans from surveillance abuses, but this critical tool was abused for political gains ahead of the 2016 election. Those at the pinnacle of our national security community lost the objectivity they are required to exercise. I’m deeply concerned the report’s conclusion indicates there isn’t bias when that is so clearly not the case.”

Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement upon the release of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on possible abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“The inspector general’s report confirms what we’ve known to be true: Bad actors at the top levels of the Department of Justice and FBI abused their power to attempt to take down then-candidate Trump.

“FISA’s original intent was to protect Americans from surveillance abuses, but this critical tool was abused for political gains ahead of the 2016 election. Those at the pinnacle of our national security community lost the objectivity they are required to exercise.

“I’m deeply concerned the report’s conclusion indicate there isn’t bias when that is so clearly not the case: The FBI chose not to brief then-candidate Donald Trump, failed to corroborate information in the government surveillance of a U.S. citizen and failed to disclose exculpatory evidence in that FISA application.

“It’s now obvious that Democrats tried to sweep the surveillance abuse under the rug since it pertained to President Trump rather than a Democratic candidate.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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House passes Collins’ bill to expand health care access

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Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3224, the Deborah Sampson Act, which includes the Newborn Care Improvement Act.

“Women serving in the armed forces put their lives on the line to defend our freedom, and the very least we can do is ensure these service members and their newborns receive the medical care they have earned,” said Collins.

Collins first introduced the Newborn Care Improvement Act during the 114th Congress and reintroduced this legislation in the 115th Congress.

The state of Georgia has the fifth highest number of female veterans, and the Atlanta VA serves more female veterans than any other VA nationwide.

Senators Tillis (R-N.C.) and Klobuchar (D-M.N.) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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Collins, Quigley introduce budget transparency legislation

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Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTO, D.C. — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) today introduced the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act (H.R. 4894) to give the public access to how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. This bill would improve government transparency by requiring federal agencies to post their congressional budget justifications on one central, searchable website.

“Each year, Georgians entrust the government with their hard-earned tax dollars, but they’re left in the dark on where that money actually goes,” said Collins. “By requiring federal agencies to regularly publish budget justifications on one central website, the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act will ensure hardworking Americans have access to the information needed to evaluate how their tax dollars are being spent.”

“Today, congressional budget justifications are incredibly hard to find. This information is currently housed inconsistently and confusingly across different agencies, making it challenging to even know whether these materials for an agency exist,” said Quigley. “This bill would provide an opportunity to conduct better oversight of our government and allow the public to learn about what agencies are doing with their hard-earned tax dollars.”

Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

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Corps of Engineers to rethink huge dock permit fee increase

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Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said he is encouraged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers response to his concerns about a proposed increases in dock and land-based facility permit fees.

On June 6, the Corps announced it would increase the cost of permits in the South Atlantic Division effective Jan. 1 2019. Under the revised fee schedule, permits would have increased from $400 to $835 and re-issue permits would have increased from $175 to $835.

On Aug. 26, Collins sent a letter to the Corps demanding a thorough explanation of the anticipated cost increases. It was the second time the Hall County Republican had registered his objection to such a large increase.

Now, the Corps has announced it will pause and reassess the increase along the shorelines of Federal reservoirs and waterways in the South Atlantic Division.

Collins issued the following statement Monday: “I’m very encouraged that the Corps took our concerns seriously and made the decision to hold off on increasing permit fees. Residents of the Ninth District living on or near Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell — and those throughout the southeast living near Corps waterway — will no longer be hit with significant and unexpected fee increases come January.

“I want to thank Major General Holland for meeting with me today to discuss my concerns and explore ways in which the Corps could accomplish their intended goal without placing an undue burden on individuals and families living throughout the southeast. I look forward to continuing to engage with the Corps as they study this issue.”

 

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Rep.  Collins Op-Ed addresses rising tide of anti-Semitism

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Rep. Doug Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an op-ed published in the Atlanta Jewish Times, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) discusses the rising tide of anti-Semitism and his proposed legislation to help combat it.

Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history.

The statistics are clear: Anti-Semitism is on the rise here in the United States and all across the world. According to recent data (from the Anti Defamation League), our country witnessed a 105 percent increase in reported physical assaults on the Jewish community in 2018. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) — an attack on Israel’s very right to exist — is continuing to gain traction, and anti-Semitic statements from certain members of Congress are adding fuel to the fire.

Too often, we’ve seen this form of hate and other notions of racial, ethnic or cultural superiority end in tragic violence. Our nation felt the full weight of this evil nearly one year ago at the Tree of Life synagogue as we witnessed the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history. We mourn the loss of the 11 Americans who were tragically murdered, and we ask ourselves a big question: What can we, as a nation, do to eradicate such hate?

Anti-Semitic violence is a stain on our world’s history, having extinguished countless lives — yet, today, more and more members of Congress are voicing anti-Semitic rhetoric. It’s also hard to comprehend why my Democrat colleagues are quick to schedule hearings and votes on other forms of hateful rhetoric but refuse to condemn members of their own caucus who are proudly fueling anti-Semitic tropes every chance they get.

Anti-Semitism isn’t just rising on a national and global scale; it has also become all too common on college campuses. Just last month, anti-Semitic graffiti was spray-painted across a University of Tennessee landmark, blaming Jews for the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. In April, students at Emory University posted fake eviction notices on the doors of student dorms and apartments as part of an anti-Israel student protest. These horrific actions should not only be condemned, but colleges and universities must take steps to prevent hatred from building a home on their campuses.

Unfortunately, an absence of clear guidance on anti-Semitism has made it difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to directly address threats, harassment and intimidation infringing on the civil rights of Jewish students. In July, I introduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act to help combat anti-Semitism on college campuses. My legislation would provide the Department of Education with an additional resource to investigate potentially anti-Semitic behavior on college campuses by clarifying the definition of “anti-Semitism” in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is a critical tool to protect the civil rights of students and ensure they receive equal educational opportunities.

Colleges and universities that receive federal financial assistance have an obligation to protect all students from discrimination on the basis of race, gender or national origin under Title VI. This includes the responsibility to ensure Jewish students have equal educational opportunities. The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act does not change the rights or obligations under existing anti-discrimination law; it simply ensures the protection of students’ and schools’ First Amendment rights along with the right to equal educational opportunities.

This legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate thanks to Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Bob Casey (D-P.A.), and many of my House colleagues — Democrat and Republican — supported the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act last Congress. Sadly, my colleagues across the aisle refuse to support the exact same bill this Congress simply because the House Democratic Caucus can’t seem to agree on condemning the rank anti-Semitism within their own party.

Hateful rhetoric does nothing but pave the way to oppression and violence. Simply condemning anti-Semitic rhetoric is no longer enough — we must stand together and actively work to stop it.

I hope my Democrat colleagues will give Congress the opportunity to send a clear, bipartisan message: Anti-Semitism has no place in our hearts, and it certainly has no place on college campuses.

 

Rep. Doug Collins represents Georgia’s 9th Congressional District. He is the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

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Collins demands more answers from Corps of Engineers

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Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.)

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Rick Allen (R-Ga.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) sent a second letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) demanding a more thorough explanation on the anticipated cost increase for dock and facility permits.

On June 6, 2019, the Corps announced the implementation of a revised real estate administrative fee schedule for dock and land-based facility permits along the shorelines of Federal reservoirs and waterways in the South Atlantic Division. Under the revised fee schedule, new dock or facility permits will increase from $400 to $835 and re-issue permits will increase from $175 to $835.

On June 28, 2019, the Corps responded to Members’ original letter dated June 14, 2019, but failed to provide adequate justification for the fee increases.

We are in receipt of your letter dated June 28, 2019, however we believe that a number of our questions were not sufficiently answered. Furthermore, we have additional questions regarding the information your office provided.

As you know, on June 6, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the implementation of a revised real estate administrative fee schedule (administrative fees) for dock and land-based facility permits along the shorelines of Federal reservoirs and waterways in the South Atlantic Division. The revised administrative fee schedule, effective on January 1, 2020, includes an increase in fees for new and re-issued dock and land-based facility permits. Under the revised fee schedule, the cost to individuals for a new dock or facility permit will increase from $400 to $835 and the cost for a re-issued permit will increase from $175 to $835.

Please provide detailed and direct responses addressing the following areas:

1) Explain why an assessment by the staffs at the Corps reservoirs within SAD of administrative fees to cover administrative expenses was initiated in 2006 but no decision on a revised fee schedule was made for thirteen years;
2) The Corps left the fee schedule unchanged for more than a decade and then decided to increase the amount exponentially. Explain why a more gradual phase-in to increase fees was not implemented;
3) Explain why the Corps did not follow required notice and comment procedures under 5 U.S.C. 553;
4) Explain how your office implemented a public information campaign to explain the revised real estate administrative fee schedule and why it is necessary; and
5) Provide evidence to justify the fee amount of $835 for all of these services. Please be specific showing the study that the USACE did to arrive at this number, including evidence that the administrative burden for new permits, modifying permits, and renewing permits is the exact same.

The full text of the second letter is as follows:

We respectfully request that you respond no later than September 9, 2019. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices should you have any questions. We look forward to your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

 

Doug Collins
Member of Congress

Jeff Duncan
Member of Congress

Barry Loudermilk
Member of Congress

Virginia Foxx
Member of Congress

Jody Hice
Member of Congress

Rick Allen
Member of Congress

Sanford Bishop
Member of Congress

 

 

 

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Rep. Doug Collins meets with farmers, visits farms

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) met with members of the White County Farm Bureau Thursday to discuss challenges facing the local agriculture industry and provide an update on key issues in Washington. During the meeting, Collins answered questions on a variety of issues ranging from compliance to immigration.

“Our farmers here in White County and throughout Northeast Georgia are working day and night to put food on our tables, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to hear from them directly on the issues facing the agriculture industry,” said Collins. “As part of a family farm, I understand the challenges our farming communities are dealing with, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf as Congress works to support American farmers.”

While in Cleveland, Collins toured London Farms, Seabolt Farms, and Nix Farms, where he cut silage, shucked corn, and visited a sheep farm.

“The farms we visited this week have been family-owned and operated for generations, and it’s incredible to see firsthand the heart and soul these Georgia farmers pour into their products,” said Collins.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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