He made it official in Washington on Thursday. But on Saturday Chris Collins held three more "in district" swearing - in ceremonies in Lancaster, Batavia, and Canandaigua as a new Congressman. He is now ready to take up the Capitol Hill fiscal debate in Washington and for this conservative Republican, spending is the issue.
2 On Your Side asked U.S. Representative Chris Collins "Can you give me three specific parts of government where you think spending cuts could be made ?" Collins replied "Well I think if you start with entitlements, when you look at Medicaid...we've got a program that we know is unaffordable, that there's waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicaid that we can deal with. I believe and I'll be negotiating as part of the new farm bill, that we should be looking at cuts in the food stamp program which have just increased astronomically over the last four years. And I think in the Department of Education is another one. Where the educators are in the localities, they're not in Washington and we've got a lot of red tape."
Then we shifted to funding for the Pentagon and the Niagara Falls airbase which is now specifically located in Collins' 27th Congressional District. 2 on Your Side asked "Do you think some defense spending should be cut perhaps at the risk of the Niagara Falls airbase ? Collins said "Well the Niagara Falls airbase has a mission and I'm very happy to hear that they're look at adding to that mission with the drones. But when you look at the military, I think we gotta get input from our commanders as we're winding down our operations in the Middle East to ask the legitimate questions...what should our Army, our Navy, our Air Force look like as we move forward, knowing that we're gonna have to save money. I do believe there's money that can be saved without jeopardizing the Niagara Falls airbase."
Finally Collins was asked about what some observers feel to be the current dysfunction in Congress and some infighting among Republicans. "Reporter: Are you concerned that you're gonna be marginalized and maybe deemed as one of the ultra conservative Republicans and you're really just gonna be a voice in the wilderness so to speak ? Collins replied: "I don't think so. I've met with quite a number of members of Congress right now. And they are already asking for some of my input relative to my experience in Erie County as well as the business world."