WASHINGTON—Upon the inauguration of the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, Congressman Doug Collins issued the following statement:
“This presidential inauguration represents more than a celebration of an individual person or party, era or idea. While the peaceful transfer of power testifies to the success of the experiment known as American democracy, this inauguration also underscores the character uniting the citizens of our Republic.
“Our nation was built on principles of universal human dignity and inalienable rights, and our nation stands or falls based on their endurance. I’ve witnessed individuals from both sides of the aisle taking the oath of the presidency, and I’ve seen during these transitions that Americans have an unmatched capacity for humility and mutual respect, regardless of differences in political philosophy. We continue to believe that our fellow men and women have inherent, unquestionable worth, and we draw on this confidence to chart a brighter path forward.
“Americans have chosen President Donald J. Trump to lead us into this new chapter, which I believe will be marked by relief from policies that stifle American creativity, growth, and freedom and by investment in the people who have trusted one another—through the democratic process—to make America greater than she has ever been before.
“I look forward to working with President Trump and Vice President Pence to that end.”
GA 9th District Congressman, Doug Collins, was the floor leader Friday for the American Health Care Act Debate. We asked Congressman Collins if the Health Care Bill was dead? Could they overcome Republican gridlock in the House to take on President Donald Trump’s Tax Reform Policy? You will be shocked to hear the Congressman’s answer! Collins goes on to talk about how this bill would have defunded planned parenthood. You will hear the Congressman’s frustration that that did not happen.
Washington, D.C. — Today, House Republicans passed H.R. 5620, the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act, by a vote of 310 – 116. This bill will make it easier to hold VA employees accountable for their actions. In response to egregious misconduct on the part of VA employees, and the current inability for the agency to respond efficiently, this bill reforms the appeals process and allows the agency to deal with performance issues in an expedited fashion. The bill will also streamline and expedite the appeals process for VA disability benefits. Congressman Collins, a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, has long been outspoken on issues of veterans’ affairs. From Atlanta to Denver, the issues plaguing the VA have never been more apparent and Congressman Collins was proud to passionately outline a case for the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act on Tuesday when he managed the rule on the floor.
“This behavior would not slide in the private sector, and we certainly shouldn’t stand for it when it comes to our nation’s heroes, who have put their lives on the line to serve our country…That’s not fair to the hardworking individuals who are in fact doing their jobs, and it’s certainly not fair to veterans…It’s a time to decide, are we going to continue to make excuses? Or are we going to put the veterans first?”
June 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CRC Co-Chairs Reps. Chu and Collins Join Creators, Stars, and Inspirations Behind Academy Award®- Winner Spotlight to Discuss Process and Impact of Filmmaking
Washington, D.C. – Today, Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) and Representative Doug Collins (GA-09) hosted a panel on the process and impact of taking a movie from script to screen. The panelists, all women and men who brought the Academy Award®-winning film Spotlight to life, included Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers; Ben Bradlee, Jr. and Mike Rezendes, The Boston Globe; John Slattery, Mad Men, Spotlight, Veep; Stephen H. Carter, Production Designer, Birdman, Spotlight; and Liz Biber, EVP, Publicity, Open Road Films. Reps. Chu and Collins released the following statements:
“Movies like Spotlight help to move, educate and inspire us, and along with other copyright industries they also contribute over $1 trillion to our GDP each year. This would not be possible without the hundreds of people who spent countless hours scripting, pitching, designing, acting, building, and more,” said Rep. Chu. “But without intellectual property protections, movies like Spotlight become harder to make and the below the line artists and craftsmen and women are the ones who suffer the most. That is why it is so important to host events like today’s that help educate Congress on the importance of these industries, how many people are involved, and how we can support them.”
“The American film and television industry is a testament to the power of creativity and innovation,” saidRep. Collins. “The ideas these talented individuals bring to our televisions and movie screens are not only captivating and entertaining, but also challenge us with new stories and perspectives. It takes a great deal of hard work and long hours from many people, doing a diverse array of jobs, to make this industry thrive. Ideas have value, both economically and culturally, and are worth protecting. We must ensure intellectual property protections from theft and piracy, so as not to discourage future generations from pursuing creative careers that contribute so much to our country. I am proud that many filmmakers, directors, actors, and production staff have chosen Georgia as their creative home base, because the jobs created by their industry help grow our economy, both locally in Georgia and across the country. I thank my Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chair, Congresswoman Chu, for joining me today to make this event happen, and I thank the panelists for taking time to share their expertise on bringing movies from ‘script to screen’.”
July 14, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which funds the Department of the Interior and its related projects and agencies for the coming year. Congressman Collins worked to have language included in the bill that prohibits any funds from being used to close any United States Fish and Wildlife Service fish hatchery, or to reduce production at those hatcheries. The following statement was issued by Congressman Collins on the victory for fish hatchery programs that draw economic activity to rural places around the country, especially Northeast Georgia:
“Under the Obama Administration, hatchery programs—including the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, have been among the lowest funding priorities. The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is a major economic driver in the mountain town of Suches, Georgia and the surrounding area. Because of its critical importance to Northeast Georgia, I fought for the inclusion of this language to ensure the continued viability of the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery and other hatcheries across the country. The language in the bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to close certain hatcheries, and prohibits production from being slowed or stopped. I know what an important investment these hatcheries are – the hatchery in Fannin County has generated millions in economic output for the area, and has a $40 dollar return on investment for every dollar spent. In addition to drawing anglers from all over the country to bring economic activity to a rural place, the hatchery keeps the river responsibly stocked with enough trout to keep the habitat in order and maintain ecological balance. I thank my colleagues who have been supportive of this measure, and I am glad to see that the bill will preserve the economic, educational, and recreational benefits that come along with them.”
April 27, 2016
Collins Bill to Protect American Jobs, Innovation, Passes House
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Congressman Collins, who introduced the House version of the legislation, made the following statement after the vote:
“The United States is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world, and the lifeblood of many of those businesses are their trade secrets. However, that success has made American businesses a target for trade secret theft to the tune of billions of dollars each year. This theft—by foreign and domestic actors—threatens American jobs and economic security, and discourages investment. This bill will provide a uniform federal civil remedy for trade secret misuse or misappropriation, to establish protections similar to those for other forms of intellectual property.”
“This legislation—which has broad bipartisan support—is critical to protecting American intellectual property and the associated jobs and economic benefits. Current federal law is insufficient to address this problem, but the Defend Trade Secrets Act takes steps to fix that. I thank Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers, and Reps. Nadler and Jeffries for their support and leadership on this bill, and applaud Senators Hatch and Coons for their tireless efforts in the Senate to move this bill forward. With today’s vote, this bill will go to the President’s desk and meaningful measures to protect American innovation and competitiveness will be enacted.”
Background on the Defend Trade Secrets Act:
Trade secrets include everything from business information to designs, prototypes, formulas, and procedures. Trade secrets derive their economic value from not being publicly known, and this confidential business information is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. Once trade secrets are disclosed, they instantly lose their economic value. Current law does not provide sufficient protections for trade secrets, and trade secrets are not subject to the same protections that apply to other forms of intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
Today, the only federal mechanism for trade secret protection is the 1996 Economic Espionage Act, which makes trade secret theft by foreign nationals a criminal offense. This law addresses only a portion of the problem, and advances in technology and increased sophistication of thieves have made it clear additional protections are needed.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act creates a federal private right of action for trade secret theft and establishes a uniform national standard. It allows for victims of trade secret theft to protect their property in federal court. Additionally, the bill provides for an injunction and damages, and, in extraordinary circumstances, allows victims of trade secret theft to obtain a seizure to ensure trade secrets are not abused while cases are pending.
The Defend Trade Secrets Act passed the Senate by a vote of 87 to 0. The House companion has more than 160 cosponsors, and the bill is supported by a coalition comprised of more than 50 companies and associations.
April 27, 2016
Collins Bill to Protect Law Enforcement Passes
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee marked up H.R. 2137, the Federal Law Enforcement Self Defense and Protection Act. The bill passed the committee by a voice vote. Congressman Collins, who authored the bill, issued the following statement after the vote:
“Ensuring that federal law enforcement officers have the tools they need to defend themselves is critical to protecting them from the threats they face every day. As the son of a Georgia State Trooper, I recognize that law enforcement can face threats on or off duty. I introduced this legislation to ensure that there is a consistent federal policy governing officers’ ability to protect themselves—regardless of their duty status. During the lapse in funding in 2013, about 1800 federal officers were forced to hand over their government issued firearms in a seemingly arbitrary decision. These officers are highly trained and know the responsibilities associated with possessing a weapon; it does not make sense to disarm them if there is a lapse in federal appropriations, especially as our country faces increasing national security threats.”
“Those who would seek to cause chaos may even take advantage of an opportunity for crime knowing that law enforcement is temporarily weakened. Officers make a commitment to protect and serve, and this legislation will clarify federal policy to ensure they can defend themselves and the public in event of a furlough or a lapse in appropriations. I thank Chairman Goodlatte for his support, and hope that this bill’s broad bipartisan support, coupled with support from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the National Association of Police Organizations will help ensure this bill receives a swift vote on the House Floor.”
April 26, 2016
Congressman Collins: It’s Past Time Windstream Address Customer Complaints
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Doug Collins sent a letter to Windstream CEO Tony Thomas to follow up on previous concerns and emphasize the growing number of complaints from Windstream customers in Northeast Georgia. Congressman Collins has been actively working to hold Windstream accountable since coming to Congress, and has repeatedly requested answers and demanded better service on behalf of his constituents. This letter builds on issues addressed in Congressman Collins’ February letter, after Windstream failed to make substantial improvements. Congressman Collins issued the following statement on the letter:
“We keep hearing more and more excuses from Windstream. The reality is, there is a local fire department that is unable to adequately serve the community because of poor Windstream connections. There are people who are unable to operate businesses, or work from home, because of unreliable service. This is unacceptable. The Customer Service employees Windstream has on the front lines are well aware that they are working with an insufficient product, and they do their best to help customers, but the real problems are clearly with the infrastructure. There is a distinct possibility that the networks are over capacity, and utilize outdated technology. Because Windstream has preferred tax status from the IRS, and has accepted taxpayer money from the Connect America Fund, they need to be held accountable to Congress and Northeast Georgians. I look forward to discussing these issues in depth with Mr. Thomas in our meeting on May 9, and I will continue to push for answers until Windstream can show some progress in addressing the concerns of my constituents.”