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Letter: Voters did not elect Collins to be mouthpiece for Trump

Voters did not elect Collins to be mouthpiece for Trump

I was surprised to hear Rep. Chris Collins say that he will not be holding town hall meetings, given that he has no problem finding time in his schedule to appear on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News reciting talking points on behalf of the Trump administration. Collins has appeared on cable news programs defending President Trump nearly 30 times in the past month alone.

Collins said he doesn’t wish to hold town halls because his constituents sometimes arrive with a “bias.” It may be inconvenient, but some of his constituents will disagree with him from time to time. Collins’ job description is right in his title – part of being a “representative” involves representing constituents who have different views.

Collins clearly enjoys appearing on television and sitting next to Trump during photo opportunities. I worked at the White House under President Barack Obama, and I’ll admit that it is an impressive place. However, in my experience, sometimes television cameras and the pomp and circumstance of Washington cause members of Congress to forget why they were sent to Washington.

Collins may believe that his job is to defend the president on television, but he was elected to listen to and fight for the people of Western New York. His constituents would be better served by a representative who understands that Congress is a co-equal branch of government with critical oversight responsibilities. The people of New York’s 27th District voted for a congressman, not a talking head.

Greg Degen


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