Mike Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byJody Hice
Personal details
Born (1967-07-02) July 2, 1967 (age 56)
Jackson, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseLeigh Ann Collins
Children3
RelativesMac Collins (father)
EducationGeorgia State University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Michael Allen Collins Jr. (born July 2, 1967) is an American politician and businessman serving as the U.S. representative for Georgia's 10th congressional district since 2023. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and career

Collins graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor's degree in business. He has operated several businesses, including a trucking company.[1]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2022

Main article: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 10

Collins ran to represent Georgia's 10th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in the 2014 elections, when incumbent Paul Broun was not seeking reelection. Collins finished in second place in the primary election to Jody Hice, advancing to a runoff election.[2] Hice defeated Collins in the runoff.[3]

After Hice announced that he would not seek reelection in the 2022 elections, Collins announced his candidacy.[1] Collins and Vernon Jones advanced to a runoff election,[4] and Collins defeated Jones in the runoff on June 21.[5] Collins defeated Tabitha Johnson-Green, the Democratic nominee, in the November 8 general election.[6]

After his election, Collins drew attention for hiring Brandon Phillips as his chief of staff. Phillips was arrested in November 2022 on a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty for kicking a dog, and had two previous criminal incidents, including pleading guilty to criminal trespassing and battery for a 2008 incident when he attacked a man and slashed his car's tires, and threw a woman's laptop.[7]

118th Congress

2023 U.S. House of Representative Impeachment Inquiry into U.S. President Joe Biden

On December 13, 2023, Collins voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.[8]

Budget

Collins was among the 71 Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 in the House.[9]

In December 2023, Collins used a music-themed Mariah Carey display on the floor of the United States House of Representatives titled "All I want for Christmas is 12 appropriations bills".[10]

Counternarcotics

In December 2023, Collins' H.R. 1734 Testing, Rapid Analysis, and Narcotic Quality (TRANQ) Act passed both the House and the Senate and was sent to the President of the United States to be signed into law. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Collins was "in line to become the first member of this year’s freshman class to see a bill signed into law."[11][12]

Collins' 10th District is located within Georgia's I-75 Central Corridor.[13]

Foreign policy

Collins was among 47 Republicans to vote in favor of 2023's H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[14][15]

Collins voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[16][17] Collins supports the United States selling weapons to Taiwan, but voted against providing military aid to Ukraine during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[18]

Transportation

Collins called for the impeachment and resignation of United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in 2023.[19]

Immigration

On January 24, 2024, Collins introduced a bill he called the "RAZOR Act" which would ban federal authorities from removing razor wire placed along the border with Mexico by the State of Texas and the Texas National Guard.[20][21]

After a migrant in New York City was released from jail without bail in February 2024 after allegedly attacking a police officer; Collins suggested the migrant be executed. Collins stated on X that the migrant should be given "a ticket on Pinochet Air for a free helicopter ride back.” Collins' post referenced the Chilean government's killing of dissidents on death flights carried out during the rule of Augusto Pinochet.[22] The migrant Collins had suggested be executed was later cleared of wrongdoing after the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced he had been misidentified.[23]

After the Killing of Laken Riley, who was a Georgia resident, Collins introduced the Laken Riley Act, which requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain undocumented immigrants charged with theft. The Laken Riley Act has passed the House of Representatives.[24][25]

Social media

Collins frequently posts memes on social media, jokingly declaring that "Press Releases are out, memes are in."[26] In March 2024, Collins replied "Never was a second thought" to an antisemitic post on X by user "Garbage Human", who was implicitly disparaging Washington Post journalist Maura Judkis for being Jewish. "Garbage Human" later confirmed they were alluding to Judkis' religion. Esther Panitch, the only Jewish member of the Georgia State Legislature, criticized Collins, saying "It’s one thing to mistakenly respond to an antisemitic account. It’s another thing to double down on it and gaslight us like it never happened.” Collins denied his post on X was antisemitic, stating he had called Judkis a "garbage human" because she had said the United States was "built on stolen land."[27][28][29][30]

In April 2024, amidst the ongoing pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses, Collins tweeted, "Not sure what y'all are doing up north, but we don't give them the time to encamp. Tazers set to stun!" Collins' post on X/Twitter was accompanied by a one-minute-17-second video clip depicting a series of scenes from the police crackdown on protesters at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, including a scene in which a Black man is seen lying on the ground in handcuffs while a Georgia State Patrol officer applies a taser to his leg and fires it. Other scenes in the video showed police struggling with protesters, protesters in handcuffs seated near an Atlanta Police prisoner transport van, and footage where the sound of police firing rubber bullets can be heard.[31][32] In May 2024, Collins approvingly shared footage of counter-protesters at the University of Mississippi heckling pro-Palestinian protesters. Collins praised the counter-protesters, posting “Ole Miss taking care of business." The footage showed a white student engaging in racist mockery of a pro-Palestinian black student by imitating a monkey. The video also showed the counter-protesters chanting "Lock her up!" at the pro-Palestinian student.[33][34][35]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[36]

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Collins's father, the late Mac Collins, also served in the House of Representatives, representing Georgia's 3rd congressional district.[38] Where Georgia's Interstate 75 Exit 205 and Georgia's Highway 16 cross is known as the "Congressman Mac Collins Memorial Exchange".[39] Collins and his wife, Leigh Ann, have three children.[38] Collins is a Methodist.[40] Collins' business 'Collins Trucking' is a sponsor of the Butts County, Georgia Historical Society.[41]

References

  1. ^ a b "GOP businessman Mike Collins joins race to succeed Congressman Jody Hice". Onlineathens.com. June 8, 2021. Archived from the original on December 1, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  2. ^ Cochran, Kelsey. "Hice, Collins move on to July runoff". Online Athens. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  3. ^ "Georgia Runoff Results for House Races: Ex-Congressman Bob Barr Loses Comeback Bid". Roll Call. July 23, 2014. Archived from the original on May 18, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  4. ^ "Collins, Jones in GOP runoff in Georgia's 10th Congressional District". Ajc.com. May 25, 2022. Archived from the original on June 12, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "Collins beats out Trump-backed Jones for Georgia GOP House nod". The Hill. June 17, 2022. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Tia. "Mike Collins wins election in Georgia's 10th congressional district". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on November 15, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  7. ^ Lippman, Daniel (December 13, 2022). "GOP operative who allegedly kicked a dog hired as top aide to new congressman". Politico. Archived from the original on December 18, 2022. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  8. ^ Brooks, Rebecca Beitsch (December 14, 2023). "House formally approves Biden impeachment inquiry". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 14, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  9. ^ "Republicans and Democrats who bucked party leaders by voting no". The Hill. May 31, 2023. Archived from the original on June 6, 2023. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  10. ^ "Georgia Rep. Mike Collins uses Mariah Carey poster to encourage colleagues". December 14, 2023. Archived from the original on December 16, 2023. Retrieved December 16, 2023.
  11. ^ "PG A.M.: GOP state lawmakers use special session to muscle Democrats". The Hill. December 14, 2023. Archived from the original on December 7, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  12. ^ "Collins' TRANQ Act Headed to White House to be Signed into Law". The Hill. December 5, 2023. Archived from the original on December 5, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  13. ^ "I-75 Central Georgia Corridor Coalition". December 14, 2023. Archived from the original on December 14, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  14. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023". March 8, 2023. Archived from the original on March 10, 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  15. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". Associated Press. March 8, 2023. Archived from the original on April 4, 2023. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  16. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 30, 2023. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  17. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on October 30, 2023. Retrieved October 30, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Tang, Didi (October 9, 2023). "Some in Congress want to cut Ukraine aid and boost Taiwan's. But Taiwan sees its fate tied to Kyiv's". Associated Press News. Archived from the original on January 14, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  19. ^ "Pete Buttigieg resignation demanded on House Floor". Fox News. March 8, 2023. Archived from the original on December 4, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  20. ^ "GOP rep introduces RAZOR Act to ban feds from removing border barriers". January 24, 2024. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  21. ^ "Collins Unveils RAZOR Act to Ban Federal Government from Removing Texas Border Barriers | Representative Collins". January 24, 2024. Archived from the original on February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  22. ^ Prater, Nia (February 2, 2024). "Georgia Congressman Casually Endorses Throwing Migrant From Helicopter". New York Magazine. Archived from the original on February 14, 2024. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  23. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (March 1, 2024). "Man charged with attacking police in Times Square, vilified in Trump ad, was misidentified, DA says". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 14, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  24. ^ Talbot, Haley (March 7, 2024). "House passes Laken Riley Act". CNN. Archived from the original on March 7, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  25. ^ "U.S. House passes 'Laken Riley Act". Atlanta News First. March 7, 2024. Archived from the original on March 12, 2024. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  26. ^ Houghtaling, Ellen Quinlan (October 23, 2023). "Mike Collins Is the Republican Troll We Need Amid Speaker Drama". The New Republic. Archived from the original on November 9, 2023. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  27. ^ Kampeas, Ron (March 4, 2024). "Georgia congressman, after appearing to endorse antisemitic social media post, says critics misinterpreted him". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on March 19, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  28. ^ Bluestein, Greg (March 4, 2024). "Mike Collins draws rebukes after agreeing with antisemitic social media account". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  29. ^ Rod, Marc (March 6, 2024). "Rep. Mike Collins doubles down on post supporting antisemitic, racist social media account". Jewish Insider. Archived from the original on March 11, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  30. ^ Delaney, Arthur (March 6, 2024). "GOP Rep. Mike Collins Standing By Weird Antisemitic Social Media Post". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on May 2, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  31. ^ Rep. Mike Collins [@RepMikeCollins] (April 25, 2024). "Not sure what y'all are doing up north, but we don't give them the time to encamp. Tazers set to stun!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 28, 2024 – via Twitter.
  32. ^ Pratt, Timothy (April 27, 2024). "'Like a war zone': Emory University grapples with fallout from police response to protest". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on April 27, 2024. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  33. ^ Pettus, Emily Wagster (May 3, 2024). "Congressman praises heckling of war protesters, including 1 who made monkey gestures at Black woman". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 4, 2024. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  34. ^ Irwin, Lauren (May 4, 2024). "GOP rep applauds Ole Miss counter protesters who taunted Black woman". The Hill. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  35. ^ Sammarco, Ally (May 4, 2024). "Ole Miss Students Make Monkey Noises At Black Protestor". Los Angeles Magazine. Archived from the original on May 4, 2024. Retrieved May 3, 2024.
  36. ^ "Mike Collins". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on March 28, 2023. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  37. ^ "3 strikes for McCarthy — but he's not out yet". POLITICO. January 3, 2023. Archived from the original on January 3, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  38. ^ a b larry.stanford@rockdalecitizen.com, Larry Stanford (September 17, 2021). "Mike Collins kicks off his campaign for Georgia's 10th Congressional District". Jackson Progress-Argus. Archived from the original on May 4, 2024. Retrieved June 22, 2022.
  39. ^ "Resolution CR202303 Naming the Mac Collins Memorial Interchange - Butts County, Georgia | Georgia's Outdoor Capital". June 6, 2023. Archived from the original on December 7, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  40. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress" (PDF). PEW Research. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 16, 2023. Retrieved March 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "Butts County Historical Society, Inc". Archived from the original on December 4, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.