“Shake off the headlines, shake off the negativity, and do something.”

By on March 23, 2018 in Featured News, News

Collins Urges Republicans to Embrace Positive Message & Trumpet Tax Bill’s Success

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (GA-9) appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning, delivering remarks not only about his role as a member of the Judiciary Committee, but about the political environment and the need for Republicans to embrace a positive message heading into the mid-term elections later this year.

“It’s a challenging environment,” Collins stated matter-of-factly. “It is not an environment where we are simply going to be able to say, ‘tax reform is great and tax reform is wonderful.’  That is going to help us in many of our areas, but it is not going to be enough. It’s going to take members who are actively involved in their districts, members who actively take a part in asking, ‘What matters to the folks that I represent, and how do I best communicate that?’”

Collins was elected to the House in 2012.  In addition to his role as a member of the House Judiciary Committee, he also serves as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference.  In this position, he plays a key role in helping to shape the GOP message.  He has also taken a leading role in encouraging members to reach out to the people they represent so they know what Congress has done.

“Let’s get out there and share what we are doing,” the Georgia lawmaker declared.  “Let’s get out there and actually talk about the fact that tax reform is something good.  And please don’t tell me about your corporate bottom line. I don’t care. You know what I do care about?  I care about workers.  I care about families … One of the workers in my district got a bonus of $1,000. In my district, that is not crumbs. Because when that person looked at me and said they got that $1,000, there was another person who said, ‘You know, I was able to take a vacation with my family.’”

Collins also encouraged Republicans to take a page out of the other party’s playbook and adopt a message that they used successfully in 2008.

“We let the Democrat Party take hope and change and make it mean something it is not supposed to,” he said, referring to the election 10 years ago.  “We are the party of hope and change.  We are the party of hope because we believe in people. We believe that there is actually something inherently good in people, when you give them the ability to get government off of their back and you get them freedom to spend the money where they want and invest and do what their hearts desire. That is when you see hope, and that is when you see change. That is the message for 2018. That is the message of Republicans.  We want you to be the best you can be, because we actually believe in you — not in government. That is something that we’ve got to share.”

In addition to talking about the GOP message and the need for Republicans to communicate what they believe and what they have achieved, Collins spent a few moments talking about some of the things he has achieved, including having 10 bills approved in just over five years.

He also talked about a bill he has authored that he hopes will be approved in 2018.  Called the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706), he described the measure as being the result of a multi-year collaborative effort, saying, “That’s what legislating is about.”

“We took five years,” he said of the effort. “Last year, our staff probably worked well over 1,000 man hours getting the first update to the copyright code in over 25 years. It takes the music system we currently have that was based on a player piano model from the early 1900s and brings it in to now. And I want you to hear this — we have everyone from NAB on one end, to Spotify, Amazon, Apple, the digital providers, all the publishers, music writers, songwriters, artists, all coming together and saying, ‘This is something we support.’ That is what this town is about. That’s what legislating is about, and it is why for me, we’ve invested five plus years in the Judiciary Committee.”

With Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte planning to retire at the end of this Congress, Collins also said it was his hope to take the reins of the panel next year.

“I will be running for Chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” he announced. “I think it is about a vision.  And what I am putting forward is a vision of saying that there are things in our committee that are ripe for the next real resurgence in our economy.  Judiciary has primary jurisdiction over issues that I believe will impact the next 40 to 50 years of our economy.”

Collins noted that the Committee is also responsible for ensuring that U.S. intellectual property is kept secure.

“I am one who believes that we have to be very concerned in an international context,” he stated.  “Where are our patent laws?  Where are our copyright protections?  Where are our trademark and trade secret protections? Are we too strict or should we loosen up? There has been this discussion, but I will tell you right now — if we let up on our protections on our properties and the stuff that we are developing here in the United States, there are other countries that are willing to take that on.  And you will see a migration of intellectual property interests to those places where they are more protected.

“Copyright or patent protection or intellectual property protection is not something that stifles innovation.  It actually encourages innovation.  Because if you have no incentive to make something and have it protected so that you can then have it be marketable to others or be a part of your society and a part of your company, then why are you going to do it?”

“If a company makes a movie and before they can get it to production, it’s pirated and shown on websites all over the world, what’s going to happen?  They are going to quit making movies because people are not going to invest. The same is going to be true in our other industries as well.”

In addition to protecting intellectual property rights, Collins stated that one of his other priorities were he to be selected Judiciary Chairman would to assess the authority granted Congress in the Constitution and ensure that Article I powers are fully realized and achieved.

“Somewhere along the line,” he observed, “Congress felt that its job was either too difficult or too big, and decided to allow authority to be taken away from us.  We did it under Republican administrations, and we did it under Democrat administrations. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a wonderful place, and the President has a whole section of the Constitution for him or her. But we have one as well – it’s Article I.  It is the Legislative Branch’s job to pass laws. It is our job to provide oversight of the Executive Branch. If we don’t accept that responsibility, then we’re not doing our job and we’re allowing Congress to basically become nothing more than a place of great speeches, long-winded ideas, and bills that may or may not get passed. We have got to be a part of that, and Judiciary, I believe, stands at the forefront of that idea.”

Collins concluded his remarks by recalling his first experience in Washington – as an intern working in the Longworth House Office Building for former Congressman Ed Jenkins in the spring of 1987.  It was an experience that helped shape his view of public service, and one, he said, that helps reminds him of what an honor it is to serve in Congress today.

“I look down and I see that office,” he said, referring to where he once worked as a young man.  “And I see where my office is, and then I also remember when I got back home that May, my Dad had actually taken out a loan to let me come. I didn’t know about it for a long time. You don’t think this place matters?  Shake off the headlines, shake off the negativity, and do something.

“I want to be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee because the Judiciary Committee has such a bright potential and everyone has something to gain, and because we are the greatest country, I believe, in the world.  It is time we look up, not down. It is time we look forward, not backwards.  And it is time that we lead, not follow.”

To view Collins’ remarks before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion yesterday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.

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