3 Press Releases from Congressman Collins


July 13, 2016

Collins Votes to Protect Freedom of Conscience, Religious Beliefs

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed S. 304, the Conscience Protection Act, which provides legal recourse to those who refuse to participate in or condone abortions. Additionally, the bill permanently codifies a prohibition on federal, state, or local governments discriminating against or penalizing health care providers that refuse to provide abortion coverage. Congressman Collins, who has maintained a consistently strong pro-life voting during his time in the Georgia state legislature and throughout his time in Congress, released the following statement:

“As a father, a Baptist pastor, and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserve, I believe we have a sacred responsibility to protect the lives of unborn children. Our current laws need to be strengthened for those who share these same beliefs, especially in light of this Administration’s repeated attacks on pro-life policies. Conscience rights are too often not being protected.”

“Cathy DeCarlo, a nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, was forced to participate in the dismemberment of an unborn child against her religious convictions. Ms. DeCarlo was told by Mt. Sinai staff she could not opt out of participating in the procedure under penalty of losing her job. It took a formal complaint to Health and Human Services, a lawsuit, and three years to get Mt. Sinai to admit they were in the wrong. This legislation will help protect people like Ms. DeCarlo by granting people with strong convictions about the sanctity of life access to legal recourse in the event an organizations or individual forces them to violate their sincere moral beliefs.”

“In 2014, California mandated that all health plans – even those purchased by religious institutions – cover elective abortions for any reason. No exemptions were allowed. Instead of enforcing the law, HHS has refused to take action, claiming instead that insurance companies are not covered by the Weldon Amendment since they have no moral or religious objection to abortion coverage. The Conscience Protection Act would also allow insurance companies and plans purchased by religious organizations to opt out of covering or paying for medical procedures like abortion that violate their religious convictions.”

“No one should be forced by the government to destroy the lives of innocent unborn children. I firmly believe that every life has value, and that every child deserves a birthday.”

July 13, 2016

Collins Named to Policing Strategies Working Group

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) announced the establishment of a working group to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The bipartisan working group will hold a series of roundtables, starting with a private roundtable in Washington, D.C., to candidly discuss the issues fueling excessive force used by law enforcement and attacks against police officers and will invite outside leaders on this issue to meet with the working group. Congressman Collins, who was appointed to the working group, issued the following statement:

“Recent events in America have brought forth a national discussion on violence, law enforcement, community relations, and accountability. I am honored to be named to this working group, where I will draw upon my life experiences as a Baptist Pastor, an attorney, and the son of a Georgia State Trooper, to help foster a productive dialogue. We are not here to point fingers, but rather to find solutions to the issues that are on the hearts and minds of so many Americans. The tragic shootings of two men last week by law enforcement in St. Paul and Baton Rouge, followed by the five police officers who lost their lives in Dallas, remind us that this kind of violence will not simply go away, and we must face a difficult conversation together as one nation. I thank Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers for their initiative in establishing this group, and I look forward to working with my colleagues.”

July 13, 2016

Collins Bill Rolls Back Postal Service Overreach, Provides Relief to Local Homeowners

 Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Collins introduced H.R. 5750, The Common Sense Postal Delivery Restoration Act of 2016. This legislation will ensure that homes and neighborhoods that were eligible to receive or were receiving mail prior to the implementation of new postal rules will still be able to receive mail to their addresses under the new rule. Recent United States Postal Services (USPS) rules are forcing home developers to tear up already built or permitted neighborhoods in order to install centralized mailboxes, called cluster boxes, so that all the mail for the neighborhood is delivered to one location, instead of individual homes. In many cases, these developments were eligible for USPS home delivery prior to the rule change. However, USPS is now withholding mail delivery from individual mailboxes and forcing individuals to pick up their mail at the local post office until cluster boxes are installed. In many cases, the installation of these new and unplanned for cluster boxes would require developers to change plans at their own expense or even take private property from homeowners, as well as construct new sidewalks or roads. The Common Sense Postal Delivery Restoration Act of 2016 would exempt developments that had already received the necessary permits or were under construction before the rule took effect, ensuring that residents there can receive mail to their personal mailboxes as planned. Congressman Collins issued the following statement on introducing the legislation:


“This isn’t just an issue for folks who live at the end of a long dirt road. This is an issue for people who live in suburban developments, especially newer ones,” said Congressman Collins. “When you move in to a new home, you have the right to a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer about whether the mail will be brought to your door. The Postal Service should not be able to force developers to change the layout of entire neighborhoods after developers have already received permits and started building, and the Postal Service certainly should not be in the business of implementing rules that force private land to be used at the whim of USPS rules. This rule change is particularly harmful to senior citizens and other folks who have physical limitations who may have moved into the neighborhood expecting curbside delivery. These arbitrary, last minute changes also force developers to hastily install centralized cluster boxes in places where there is no room for them. This encroaches on homeowner’s properties and forces developers to plan new sidewalks, roads, or parking spaces. The Commonsense Postal Delivery Restoration Act addresses the problem by exempting houses that were eligible for personal delivery and held the required permits and approvals for construction prior to April 5, 2012 from the new centralized mail delivery regulations. It is necessary to clarify the scope of this rule to protect private property owners from the whims of USPS.”


“After 6 years of a dead housing market, we are finally back building in many areas,” said former State Senator Chip Pearson,who is now Managing Partner at Cold River Partners, a real estate development company in Northeast Georgia. “For the USPS to not honor their prior commitment to individual mailbox delivery is a real problem. Carving out a lot and developing a mail kiosk area is very costly and disruptive to these communities still shaken form the downturn. The fact the early homeowners had street delivery and new ones now would not is inequitable and unfair. The Common Sense Postal Delivery Restoration Act of 2016 is a practical, equitable and effective solution to this issue.”


“The residents of Whispering Lake Subdivision are grateful for Congressman Doug Collins’ tireless work on behalf of our community,” said Beverly and Bryson Payne, residents of Whispering Lake Subdivision in Cumming, Georgia. “The Common Sense Postal Delivery Restoration Act of 2016 is crucial for safety and accessibility for over 100 families in our neighborhood. Our subdivision was planned and approved before the 2012 postal rule changed, requiring centralized mailboxes. We received curbside delivery for the first several months we moved in, but the Post Office suspended our mail until centralized mailboxes were added to the neighborhood. There are no sidewalks, as the subdivision was approved for curbside delivery, and the location our builder had to allocate has no parking or lighting, no shelter from rain, and is a long walk with poor access for persons with disabilities and families with small children. The cost of adding sidewalks, plus parking and a shelter for the centralized boxes, is more than our homeowners association can bear. All we’re asking for is to have our curbside mail delivery restored, for all existing homes in neighborhoods planned and approved before the US Postal Service changed the rules. Thank you to Congressman Collins for his efforts on behalf of homeowners in the 9th district and across the nation.”

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