-Congressional candidates Doug Collins and Josh McCall clash on issues
They’re both alums of the University of North Georgia. But their ideas on government couldn’t differ more, as Rep. Doug Collins and first-time candidate Josh McCall get set to vie for the 9th District Congressional seat in Washington D.C.
As voting day looms, The Nugget has posed a series of questions to the Republican and Democrat candidates.
Their answers are followed by a brief bio of both.
Q: Why do you want to be in Congress?
Collins (R): “Growing up in Northeast Georgia taught me to value fairness, honesty, and courage, and I want to represent the people and values I’ve known all my life. I want my children to inherit a strong, confident nation, and I believe America’s best days lie ahead if we guard the freedoms that have made our nation great and have the courage to fight the liberal agenda that works to replace liberty and success with big government.
“I’ve worked in Congress to roll back red tape and lower taxes for families and job creators so that Northeast Georgians can keep more of what they earn. For our home state, the results are clear. There are more jobs in Georgia than ever before, and new unemployment claims are lower than they’ve been in 20 years.
“We’re also rebuilding our military and just passed the biggest pay raise our troops have seen in nine years. I served with some of these heroes in Iraq and can tell you they deserve it.
“But there’s more to be done, and that’s why I want to continue representing our community in Congress. I’m working to make your tax cuts permanent and to protect American innovation. I’m fighting to make quality health care more accessible and prescription drugs more affordable.
“As we’re winning the war against ISIS abroad, I’m making sure we’re also investing in people right here at home. I’ve fought to expand internet access in North Georgia, protect our national forests, keep lake levels healthy and deliver Georgia programming to orphan counties.
“I believe in keeping promises, and I’m proud of the promises we’ve kept by working with President Trump. I’m running to represent Northeast Georgians because conservative leadership is the key to putting our country first and moving us all forward together.”
McCall (D): “I think we can build a better country around compassion and cooperation. As a teacher, [I have] learned to appreciate the value of civility and servant leadership.”
Q: Should US taxpayers pay for a border wall with Mexico? Why or why not?
Collins: “Every nation has the right to defend its sovereign borders, and it’s the duty of our elected officials to put that right into action on behalf of current and future American citizens. The first step in addressing the complex immigration crisis is simple: we must secure the border to increase the safety of people within the United States.
“A secure border serves everyone in and around it by making entry to our country safe, clear and legal. Effective borders and entry points are necessary for us to oversee immigration to our country in a way that works for families, farmers and business owners.
“Anything less insults the men, women and children who have come to our communities legally and threatens national security when America’s enemies are growing bolder and more creative. America is a nation of laws, not corruption or chaos. I voted to fund President Trump’s border wall because securing our borders is the most basic step to building an immigration system that puts people first by keeping people safe—both people in America and those who want to come here.”
McCall: “No, because we should hold politicians to their promises. Mr. Trump promised repeatedly that Mexico would pay for it, and he can have his wall if he follows through, but not on our dime.”
Q: Should the electoral college be reformed? Why or why not?
Collins: “Our nation’s founders had a lot of wisdom. They established a system of federalism so that states were fairly represented and the federal government couldn’t improvise power grabs. The electoral college is fundamental to that federalist plan. It’s enshrined in the Constitution, and it helps ensure that individual states like Georgia are fairly and effectively represented at the national level. As a Georgian and someone who believes that most power should rest with the states and their citizens, I believe it would be unwise to undo the electoral college system.”
McCall: “Yes, because at the moment a square acre of Montana dirt has more voting power than living people in Georgia.”
Q: Would you cut social services for older Americans to lower taxes? Explain your reasoning.
Collins: “The idea that cutting taxes requires us to cut social services to senior Americans is a false choice. I’m working to reduce government waste and fight overreach, yet even if we do nothing to Medicare and Social Security—which is the Democrats’ plan, to bury their heads in the sand—both programs are on the fast track to failure.
Social Security will be insolvent within 16 years, and Medicare is in a worse condition. That program, which many older citizens in Northeast Georgia depend on, is set to run out of funds in eight years. So, the question at hand has more to do with sustainability than any other factor.
“How do we ensure that Social Security and Medicare continue to work for seniors when they’re set to collapse in the near future? We have to reform these programs or the very people who depend on them will become vulnerable and the generations who have been paying into Social Security and Medicare will retire without the structures they contributed to and planned to benefit from.
“I support taking concrete steps to reform Social Security and Medicare without impacting today’s senior citizens so that these programs endure for their children and grandchildren as well. If we put better plans in place today, we can secure a better tomorrow for everyone.”
McCall: “I would not cut one penny from social services for our Seniors. They built the country we live in and enjoy today, and they deserve dignity and decency in return.”
Rep. Doug Collins
A native of Gainesville, Congressman Doug Collins “learned integrity and service at home,” he said. “[My] father was a Georgia State Trooper for more than 30 years, and [my] mother cared for local senior citizens.”
Collins was a North Hall Trojan and graduated from the University of North Georgia with a degree in political science and criminal justice. He earned his master’s degree in divinity from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Juris Doctor degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law.
Collins pastored Chicopee Baptist Church for 11 years and later practiced law in Hall County.
The people of Georgia’s 27th State House District elected Collins to represent them in 2006, and he has served as a U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District since 2013. A Lt. Col. in the Air Force Reserve, Collins completed a deployment in Iraq in 2008-2009 and is currently the only military chaplain in Congress.
Those who would like more information can contact collinsleads.com. He also has several sites on Facebook.
Josh McCall was born in Franklin County and has been “helping our community [my] entire life,” he said. He currently resides in Gainesville.
He earned a B.A. in English and a Masters in English Education from the University of North Georgia. He also has a Masters in Classical Languages from the University of Georgia. He has taught high school since 2003, and has also been an instructor at the University of North Georgia.
Those who would like more information can go to mccallforall.com or on Facebook or Twitter.