GAINESVILLE - Republican 9th District Congressman Doug Collins is spending this week in various locations throughout the district meeting with constituents, local business owners and community activists.
Tuesday he was in Gainesville at his new main office downtown in the former First National Bank Building on Green Street. He was glad to see constituents respond to his open house invitation.
"I welcomed them with a smile and said this is your office", Collins said. "That's the way we feel; we're representing them and we're glad they came."
Conversations focused on gun control, immigration, and ways to reduce the national debt and deficit. Collins said he is hopeful of a more unified Congress willing to work with President Obama but said right now it is frustrating.
"Right now, all we've seen is he has not presented a budget," Collins said. "He was supposed to do that the first of February; he's now looking at the middle of March. There are certain things that you just get to the point of frustration with and say we need to get back to regular order. If we don't get back on regular order there's no way to put back what I call the proper positioning of the executive and legislative branches."
Collins said Congress and the President must act to get a handle on the budget and the budget process; Collins supports a balanced federal budget and the Fair Tax Act.
"There are going to be automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs as well," Collins said. "That was the give and take when they put it all off in December 2011 to avoid falling off the Fiscal Cliff. Now we've got the next part, the part they kicked down the road, the automatic cuts that kick in. Now we've got to decide if this is the way we're going to go about it."