Congressman Chris Collins takes Ceremonial Oath of Office
Jan 5, 2013
Celebrates start of Congressional term with events in Batavia, Canandaigua, and Lancaster
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) took the ceremonial oath of office at three separate events today throughout New York’s 27th Congressional District.
Collins and his family gathered with local elected officials and NY-27 residents at events in Batavia at the Genesee County Courthouse, Canandaigua at the Ontario County Courthouse and Lancaster at the Lancaster Opera House. A reception followed the brief ceremony. Collins was officially sworn-in as a Member of Congress on Thursday, January 3, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Below is a transcript of Collins’ prepared remarks:
On the House floor on Thursday and again today, as I took the oath of office, I thought of the faith and trust that you - the hardworking residents of New York's 27th Congressional District - have placed in me. I am humbled by the opportunity to be your representative and your voice in the United States House of Representatives. They call the House of Representatives the People’s House for a reason. It is your most direct representation in Washington. As your member of Congress, I look forward to hearing from you as we debate the issues of the day. And I promise to keep you and your family in mind as I cast votes on matters both large and small.
Today, I pledge to you to run an accountable and accessible office. My staff members in both Washington and in the district know that I want our operation to be a model of outstanding constituent services…an effective first call to help the residents of NY-27 with all federal issues. We will communicate with our constituents in both traditional and new ways, making sure you know what we are working on and where I stand on the issues that matter most to you. And when not in Washington, I look forward to meeting with many of you in the district, traveling across NY-27 and its 105 towns, brining Congress directly to you.
As a new member of Congress, I look forward to serving on both the Agriculture and Small Business committees in the 113th Congress. These two committee assignments make perfect sense as I look to bring my real-world experience to Washington and represent the needs and concerns of our district.
As you know, Agriculture plays an extremely critical role in this district in terms of both the economy and the way of life for many families. Throughout the campaign, I visited with dozens of crop and dairy farmers who shared with me their daily struggles of trying to run efficient, profitable farms despite the regulations and burdensome bureaucracy coming out of Washington. Congress must come together and pass a comprehensive Farm Bill that will give our agricultural community the support and long-term stability it needs. In addition to a Farm Bill, one of my very top goals as a member of Congress will be to help farmers have a legal and reliable labor force by pushing for much needed improvements to our nation’s guest worker program.
I am also eager to put my business and job creation background to use as a member of the House Small Business committee. Being a member of Congress may be new to me, but I’ve spent my entire adult life in the small business world. After a 35-year career in the private sector, I am all too familiar with the hurdles the federal government places in the way of small business owners. Small business is the backbone of our economy. As this country continues to climb out of the devastating recession, the federal government needs to focus on making it easier for small businesses to grow and thrive, instead of harder. In addition to fighting every day for what is best for the families of NY-27, I pledge to be a strong advocate and champion for farmers and small business owners - and their employees - not only in our own community, but all across this country.
I begin my time in Congress at a very critical moment in our country. It is my hope that the new Congress can come together to seriously address the issues facing our nation. I look forward to being a part of the discussion, and most importantly, a part of the solutions that are necessary to curb our nation's unsustainable spending and reduce our crushing national debt. As a nation, we continue to kick the can down the road with total disregard to what we are doing to our kids. We have heard it before, but it’s true – we don’t have a revenue problem in this country, we have spending problem. We need to stop fooling ourselves and have a serious discussion about what we are going to do - together, with everyone making sacrifices - to get our debt and spending under control. And a serious discussion does not include the same old political tactics that are used to scare the public and protect the status quo. We are going to have to decide as country whether we can come together in a meaningful way to fix our spending problem and pay down our debt or decide that we are OK as a nation to continue to borrow money from China just to pay our bills. Congress must start making decisions based not on political expediency, but on commonsense fiscal policy focused on ensuring prosperity of our children, grandchildren and future generations.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in Congress. I will work hard every day to make you proud. Thank you.