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Collins has eventful 1st day as new congressman
New Congress Albe
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, with his family gathered Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington as the 113th Congress began. - photo by Evan Vucci

Speaker re-elected

How Ga. representatives voted to elect House leader

Jack Kingston: John Boehner
Sanford Bishop: Nancy Pelosi
Lynn Westmoreland: Boehner
Hank Johnson: Pelosi
John Lewis: No vote
Tom Price: Boehner
Robert Woodall: Boehner
Austin Scott: Boehner
Doug Collins: Boehner
Paul Broun: Allen West
Phil Gingrey: Boehner
John Barrow: John Lewis
David Scott: Pelosi
Tom Graves: Boehner

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins took off running on his first day as a freshman member of Congress by co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation after the 113th Congress was sworn in around noon.

“Today, it was the most humbling experience of my life to take the oath to represent the 9th Congressional District of Georgia,” the Republican said in a statement.

The two bills would amend the U.S. Constitution so that the federal government would be required to spend and collect the same amount of money. Several states, including Georgia, have constitutions that require the legislature to produce a balanced budget. The legislation is also sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.

Having a constitutional amendment would ensure that the U.S. doesn’t spend more than it receives, said a news release from  Collins’ office.

“It’s not a hard concept to understand, we simply cannot continue to spend money we do not have,” Collins said in the release. “I am looking forward to working with Chairman Goodlatte on the House Judiciary Committee to move this bill through the legislative process and restore our fiscal house to order.”

One vote Collins made Thursday was to elect the House speaker. Collins voted for John Boehner, R-Ohio, to retain his position, as did several other Georgia representatives, including Tom Graves, R-Ranger; Tom Price, R-Roswell; and Jack Kingston, R-Savannah. Several Georgia Democrats, including David Scott of Atlanta and Hank Johnson of Lithonia, voted for Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. John Barrow, D-Augusta, voted for Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, and Paul Broun, R-Athens, voted for Allen West, R-Fla., who lost his bid for re-election in November. Lewis was not present but his office said he would have voted for Pelosi.

In Collins’ statement to The Times, the new congressman said he will speak his mind without fear of differing opinions. He has promised to always represent his constituents to the best of his ability, he said.

“We live in the greatest place in the greatest country in the world,” Collins said. “I’m honored to call that home, and I will fight every day to make sure our conservative voices are heard in Washington whether the leaders in Congress agree with me or not.”

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