Doug Collins (politician)

Doug Collins
Doug Collins, Official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – March 12, 2020
Preceded byJerry Nadler
Succeeded byJim Jordan
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
LeaderPaul Ryan
Preceded byLynn Jenkins
Succeeded byMark Walker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byTom Graves
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the 27th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byStacey Reece
Succeeded byLee Hawkins
Personal details
Born
Douglas Allen Collins

(1966-08-16) August 16, 1966 (age 53)
Gainesville, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
Lisa Jordan (m. 1988)
Children3
EducationUniversity of North Georgia (B.A.)
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv.)
Atlanta's John Marshall Law School (J.D.)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
 United States Air Force
Years of service2002–present (reservist)
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Unit94th Airlift Wing.png 94th Airlift Wing
Battles/warsIraq War

Douglas Allen Collins (born August 16, 1966) is an American politician and a United States Representative from Georgia's 9th congressional district since 2013. Previously he was a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, representing the 27th district, which includes portions of Hall, Lumpkin, and White counties. Collins also serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is a Republican.

In 2020, he is running in the special election for US Senate from Georgia.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Born in Gainesville, Georgia, Collins is a graduate of North Hall High School.[1] He attended North Georgia College & State University, where he received a B.A. in Political Science and Criminal law, in 1988. He attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity in 1996. Collins also earned his Juris Doctor from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, in 2007.[2]

Collins worked as an intern for Georgia Congressman Ed Jenkins before working as a salesman, selling hazardous material safety products to Georgia's state and local governments.[3] From 1994 to 2005, Collins was a senior pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church, while co-owning a scrapbooking retail store with his wife, Lisa.[4][5] Collins worked as a lawyer, and has been a managing partner at the Collins and Csider law firm since 2010.[6]

Military service[edit]

In the late 1980s, Collins served two years in the United States Navy, as a navy chaplain. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Collins joined the United States Air Force Reserve Command, where he presently serves as a chaplain (lieutenant colonel).[7] As a member of the 94th Airlift Wing at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, Collins was deployed to Balad Air Base for five months in 2008, during the Iraq War.[8]

Georgia House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

Collins served three terms in the Georgia House of Representatives, representing Georgia's 27th district from 2007 to 2013. After Republican incumbent state representative Stacey Reece decided he would run for the Georgia State Senate, Collins announced he would run for the vacated seat. He won both the primary and general elections unopposed.[9] He was unopposed for reelection in 2008 and 2010.[10][11]

Tenure[edit]

In 2011, Collins sponsored a plan proposed by Governor Deal to reform Georgia's Hope Scholarship program.[12] The bill allowed for a 10% cut in scholarships, and raised the level of SAT test scores and GPA required to obtain a scholarship; saving the state $300 million.[13] Collins argued that the program would be insolvent without the cut, saying that "If you look at it at the end of the day, Georgia still leads the way in providing hope—educational hope—for those wanting to go on to post-secondary education."[14] In 2012, he supported amending Georgia's Constitution to establish a statewide commission authorizing and expanding charter schools.[15][16]

Collins supports the death penalty, voting in favor of allowing juries to use the death penalty, even when there isn't a unanimous verdict, if the defendant has committed at least one “statutory aggravating circumstance.[17] He is against physician assisted suicide, voting in favor of making it a felony for anyone who "knowingly and willingly" assists someone in a suicide.[18] Collins voted for the failed Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Requirement, requiring doctors to give women who are undergoing an abortion the option of a free ultrasound, or to listen to the fetal heartbeat.[19] He also voted in favor of Georgia's law to prohibit abortions past the 20th week, being one of the most restrictive early abortion bans in the country.[20]

In 2012 Collins signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[21]

Collins supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He stated that “The executive order allows re-entry to lawful permanent residents and does not represent a comprehensive ban on entry to people from certain countries. In this temporary measure, President Trump has given us the opportunity to get refugee policy right going forward.”[22]

Committee assignments[edit]

In the 2011–2012 legislative session, Collins was one of three administrative floor leaders for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.[23] Collins served on the committees for:[5]

  • House Appropriations (Secretary)
  • Judiciary Non-Civil
  • Public Safety & Homeland Security
  • Health & Human Services
  • Defense and Veterans Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election[edit]

In 2012, Collins ran for Congress in the redrawn 9th congressional district. (The district's incumbent, Tom Graves, opted to run in the newly created 14th district, where his home was located.) Collins faced local media personality Martha Zoller and retired principal Roger Fitzpatrick in the Republican primary. The 9th is the most Republican district in the Eastern Time Zone, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+27. It was understood that whoever won the Republican primary would be the district's next representative in Congress.

Collins finished first in the primary with 42 percent of the total, but just 700 votes ahead of Zoller. Because neither had a majority, a runoff was held on August 21, 2012, and Collins defeated Zoller in that contest 55 percent to 45 percent.[24][25] In the general election, he defeated Democrat Jody Cooley 76 percent to 24 percent.[26][27]

2018 election[edit]

After running unopposed in the 2016 election, Collins faced Democratic challenger Josh McCall in the 2018 election.[28] Collins overwhelmingly defeated McCall with 79.6% of the vote, compared to McCall's 20.4%.[29]

Committee assignments[edit]

Collins speaks in 2019 as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee

Caucus memberships[edit]

United States Senate[edit]

2020 election[edit]

In January 2020, Collins announced his candidacy for the United States Senate. Collins will run in the special election set to take place in late 2020 to complete the final two years of the term of retiring Senator Johnny Isakson, who stepped down on December 31, 2019 due to his announced health issues. Collins will face the incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican appointed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to fill the seat until the special election is held.[31] Collins faced some initial resistance to his candidacy from senior Senate Republicans as well as from the Senate Leadership Fund (a political action committee aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) and from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which are backing Loeffler.[32] Per Georgia election law, all candidates for that Senate seat (regardless of political party) will compete in a nonpartisan blanket primary. If no candidate successfully earns over 50% of the vote, the top two finishers will participate in a runoff election next January.[33]

Political positions[edit]

Health care[edit]

Collins supports repealing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). He called it an "experiment [that] has continued to fail America" and "costly for my neighbors.'" Collins said the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would not result in anyone losing health coverage[34] although critics in the media, think tanks, and academia assailed the law, mainly based on forecasts of its adverse impact (e.g., higher budget deficit,[35] higher trade deficit,[36] greater income inequality,[37][38] lower healthcare coverage and higher healthcare costs),[39] although it has disproportionate impact on certain states and professions,[40][41] although misrepresentations were made by its advocates,[42][43] although some of the reforms have become controversial within key states, particularly the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductibility, and although polling shows Americans net oppose the law.[44]

Donald Trump[edit]

Collins did not publicly comment on sexual misconduct accusations against Donald Trump in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape being released.[45]

Election interference[edit]

In his opening statement of Robert Mueller's testimony to Congress on July 24, 2019 Rep. Collins stated, "We will need to . . . ensure that government intelligence and law enforcement powers are never again used and turned on a private citizen or a political candidate as a result of the political leanings . . . If we carry anything away today it must be that we increase our vigilance against foreign election interference while we ensure our government officials don’t weaponize their power against the constitutional rights guaranteed to every US citizen.”[46] People called to testify in impeachment hearings suggested that Trump held up delivery of Congressionally legislated aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival.[47][48] On October 31, 2019 Rep. Collins stated, and repeated on other occasions, that the impeachment hearings enacted to investigate Trump's use of his authority to pressure a foreign government to investigate his political rival, were a "sham".[49]

Tax reform[edit]

Collins voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[50] He said the bill would encourage businesses to create more jobs and that the economy and communities would strengthen. He said, "We're making the IRS less ravenous and putting more money back in the hands of American families so that they can pursue more of their ambitions on their own terms."[51] This position although critics in the media, think tanks, and academia assailed the law, mainly based on forecasts of its adverse impact (e.g., higher budget deficit,[35] higher trade deficit,[36] greater income inequality,[37][38] lower healthcare coverage and higher healthcare costs),[39] although it has disproportionate impact on certain states and professions,[40][41] although misrepresentations were made by its advocates,[42][43] although some of the reforms have become controversial within key states, particularly the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductibility, and although polling shows Americans net oppose the law.[44]

Interest group ratings[edit]

Collins has an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund.[52]

Collins has an "F" rating from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes.[53]

The American Conservative Union gave him a 100% in 2012 (Georgia State legislature) and a 91% evaluation in 2017.

Civil rights[edit]

Collins co-sponsored a bill to award the Freedom Riders the Congressional Gold Medal.[54]

Collins opposes same-sex marriage. He co-sponsored the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act and the State Marriage Defense Act.[54]

Collins also opposes the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.[55] He voted against the bill in 2019.[56]

Collins has written letters in defense of military chaplain Wes Modder, who the Navy attempted to fire after he had allegedly berated students at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command (where he was posted) who had gone to him for counseling. Modder allegedly made anti-gay comments and berated students for engaging in premarital sex.[57]

Foreign policy[edit]

After President Trump's assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Collins accused Democrats of being "in love with terrorists" and mourning Soleimani.[58]

Women's rights[edit]

Collins voted against the 2013 Violence Against Women Act because it sought to expand the original law to cover same-sex couples as well as allow battered foreigners residing in the country illegally to claim temporary visas, also known as U visas.[54][59]

Controversial remarks[edit]

In the aftermath of the January 2020 killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, Congressman Collins said during an interview on Lou Dobbs Tonight, Democrats "are in love with terrorists" and "They (Democrats) mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani."[60] Democratic responses were quick, with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), an Iraq War veteran who lost both legs in combat, responding, "I left parts of my body behind fighting terrorists in Iraq. I don’t need to justify myself to anyone."[61] After first defending his claims on Fox News, Collins apologized on Twitter, saying, "Let me be clear: I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I apologize for what I said earlier this week."[62]

Personal life[edit]

Collins married his wife, Lisa Jordan, in 1988. She is a fifth grade teacher at Mount Vernon Elementary School in Gainesville, Georgia; where the couple resides with their three children, Jordan, Copelan and Cameron, one of whom has spina bifida.[63] Collins is a practicing Southern Baptist, and attends Lakewood Baptist Church.[64][65]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daniel Malloy (January 3, 2013). "Collins sworn in as Georgia's new member of Congress". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  2. ^ "Doug Collins (R-Ga.) U.S. Representative, Georgia, District 9 (Since 2013)". washingtonpost.com. March 13, 2013.
  3. ^ Rick Lavender (January 7, 2007). "North Hall's Doug Collins answers 'call' to office". ganiesvilletimes.com.
  4. ^ "Georgia, 9th House District Doug Collins (R)". nationaljournal.com. March 13, 2013. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Doug Collins – Candidate for the 9th Congressional District". athensgop.com. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "The Hill's 2012 New Members Guide". thehill.com. November 13, 2012.
  7. ^ Cindy Huang; Ellen Rolfes (November 12, 2012). "Meet the Incoming Congressional Class Veterans". PBS NewsHour.
  8. ^ Harris Blackwood (May 10, 2008). "Rep. Doug Collins, called to serve in Iraq, will run for re-election". gainesvilletimes.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "GA State House 027- R Primary". ourcampaigns.com. July 27, 2006.
  10. ^ "GA State House 027". ourcampaigns.com. November 6, 2008.
  11. ^ "GA State House 027". ourcampaigns.com. November 7, 2010.
  12. ^ Jim Galloway (February 26, 2011). "The HOPE scholarship and a Democratic policy of engagement". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013.
  13. ^ Doug Collins; David Ralston; Jan Jones; Larry O'Neal, Jr.; Stacey Abrams. "HB 326/CFSA House Bill 326 (COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE) (AM)" (PDF). votesmart.org.
  14. ^ Katy Lohr (April 5, 2011). "Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Dwindles Amid Cutbacks". npr.org.
  15. ^ "HB 797 – Establishes a State Charter School Commission – Key Vote". votesmart.org. March 13, 2013.
  16. ^ Motoko Rich (November 5, 2012). "Georgia's Voters Will Decide on Future of Charter Schools". New York Times.
  17. ^ "HCS HB 185 – Death Penalty Rules – Key Vote". votesmart.org. March 20, 2012.
  18. ^ "HB 1114 – Prohibits Assisted Suicide – Key Vote". votesmart.org. May 1, 2012.
  19. ^ "HCS HB 147 – Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Requirement – Key Vote". votesmart.org. March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  20. ^ "HB 954 – Prohibits Abortions after 20 Weeks – Key Vote". votesmart.org. March 13, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 29, 2017). "Coffman, Gardner join Republicans against President Trump's travel ban; here's where the rest stand". Denver Post.
  23. ^ Jim Galloway (October 11, 2012). "Martha Zoller takes a temp job with Nathan Deal". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  24. ^ "Our Campaigns – GA District 09 – R Runoff Race – Aug 21, 2012". ourcampaigns.com.
  25. ^ Stephens, David. "Doug Collins Wins Republican Run-Off for Georgia's 9th Congressional District". 103.5 WSGC. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  26. ^ "Our Campaigns – GA District 09 Race – Nov 06, 2012". ourcampaigns.com.
  27. ^ Bynum, Ross. "Doug Collins defeats opponent in Georgia race for U.S. House seat". The Independent Mail (Anderson, SC). Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2012.
  28. ^ Galarza, Carlos (April 10, 2017). "Teacher announces Democratic run for 9th District congressional race". The Gainesville Times. Retrieved April 13, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Georgia Election Results". Washington Post. November 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "Members". U.S. – Japan Caucus. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  31. ^ Arkin, James (January 29, 2020). "Collins launches Georgia Senate bid, setting up GOP clash". Politico. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  32. ^ Arkin, James; Zanona, Melanie (January 28, 2020). "GOP establishment prepares to battle Doug Collins". Politico. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  33. ^ Williams, Dave (January 27, 2020). "Georgia House bill would eliminate 'jungle primary' for Sen. Loeffler". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  34. ^ Silavent, Joshua. "ACA health insurance enrollment exceeds forecasts in nation, state". Gainesville Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  35. ^ a b "House Passes Historic Debt Increase". November 16, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  36. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  37. ^ a b "The Republican tax bill will exacerbate income inequality in America". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  38. ^ a b "the Tax Bill that Inequality Created". Editorial. The New York Times. December 16, 2017.
  39. ^ a b "The Senate's tax bill is a sweeping change to every part of federal health care". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  40. ^ a b Frum, David (December 21, 2017). "Republicans Exact Their Revenge Through a Tax Bill". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  41. ^ a b Konish, Lorie (December 3, 2017). "Why states like New York, New Jersey and California could get hammered by the new tax bill". Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  42. ^ a b Summers, Lawrence (October 17, 2017). "Trump's Top Economist's Analysis Isn't Just Wrong, It's Dishonest". The Washington Post.
  43. ^ a b Krugman, Paul (November 16, 2017). "Everybody Hates the Trump Tax Plan". The New York Times.
  44. ^ a b "Trump Republicans Tax Reform Law". Real Clear Politics. Polls. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  45. ^ Hallerman, Tamar. "Crickets from most of Georgia's GOP congressmen after Donald Trump's video flub". AJC. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  46. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8db5lriRfwM, see ca. 1:39:25
  47. ^ "Timeline: The curious release of military aid to Ukraine". AP NEWS. November 14, 2019.
  48. ^ 2:04 PM ET (November 6, 2019). "READ: William Taylor Testimony Transcript In Impeachment Inquiry". NPR. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  49. ^ "Democrats unveil resolution setting scope of public phase of impeachment inquiry of Trump, empowering Schiff to make key decisions". The Washington Post. October 29, 2019.
  50. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  51. ^ Associated Press. "Tax reform bill all but a done deal". Gainesville Times. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  52. ^ "National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund Rating – The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  53. ^ "Georgia Scorecard". NORML. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  54. ^ a b c "Doug Collins on Civil Rights". On The Issues. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  55. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
  56. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217". Clerk.house.gov. May 17, 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  57. ^ Kropf, Schuyler. "Push to oust Navy chaplain under fire 35 U.S. House members send letter". Post and Courier. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  58. ^ Cole, Devan. "Top House Judiciary Republican makes unfounded claim that Democrats are 'in love with terrorists'". CNN. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  59. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (March 14, 2012). "Violence Against Women Act Divides Senate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  60. ^ GOP Congressman Says Democrats Are in ‘Love With Terrorists’ By Adam K. Raymond, New York Intelligencer, Jan 8, 2020
  61. ^ 'I left parts of my body behind fighting terrorists in Iraq': Sen. Tammy Duckworth responds to GOP congressman's claim that Democrats are 'in love with terrorists' By Sonam Sheth, Business Insider, Jan 9, 2020
  62. ^ Top Republican Lawmaker Apologizes for ‘Democrats Love Terrorists’ Remarks but on Fox News He Defends His Claim By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement, Jan 10, 2020
  63. ^ Project Vote Smart (March 13, 2013). "Representative Douglas 'Doug' A. Collins's Biography". votesmart.org.
  64. ^ Reiner, Anne (November 12, 2012). "Southern Baptist contingent in Congress grows". The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  65. ^ Harris Blackwood (February 18, 2007). "New kids on the block Every day is a learning process, but Hall's new legislators are settling into their positions". gainesvilletimes.com.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Graves
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 9th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jerrold Nadler
Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee
2019–2020
Succeeded by
Jim Jordan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lynn Jenkins
Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
2017–2019
Succeeded by
Mark Walker
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Joaquin Castro
United States Representatives by seniority
199th
Succeeded by
Paul Cook