Rep. Mike Collins (R-Georgia) told American Family Radio Monday the House of Representatives has worked to shed light on what it sees as questionable policies by President Joe Biden and actions by federal agencies. Ironically, the indictment currently facing former President Donald Trump comes from a local district attorney in Manhattan, albeit a Democrat who has bragged on his history of litigation against Trump.
"The biggest thing Congress can do besides stand up for our former president, stand behind him, is make sure we continue to do oversight. It's one of the best things I've seen going on in Washington," Collins told show host Jenna Ellis.
"The biggest thing I see coming out of this right now is $5 million that was donated to Donald Trump's campaign. That ought to speak volumes. That is the average American out there across this country who is waking up and saying that 'We are sick and tired of this mess.'"
The Trump story has dominated the news daily, but as Collins point out, there's a lot more going on that requires attention.
"We've got other things we've got to tackle, not just the weaponization of government. But this China problem we've got out there, [and] the fact that we need to be looking at every federal agency and how they've been spending money the last 10 years with these omnibus bills where we just throw money at them and tell them to go have a good time," the Georgia Republican said.
"Oversight is very important right now so we can continue to expose just what's been going on in our federal government."
Whether it's allegations of spying against the U.S. through social media giant TikTok or its own weather balloon that was allowed to float above large expanses of mainland America or China's increased support for Russia, there are issues within the China-U.S. relationship.
In addition, an active investigation is being led by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) who chairs the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. The group is taking a look at the Department of Justice for what it says were coordinated efforts to intimidate parents speaking out at local school board meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We've seen weaponization before
"We've been seeing [mistreatment of conservatives]. We've seen that ever since Jan. 6 happened with two tiers, how they're treating Republicans. We saw that back even when the IRS was targeting Republicans," Collins said.
The DOJ in 2017 settled with dozens of conservative groups who claimed the IRS doubled down on background checks when they applied for tax-exempt state, according the court records.
The IRS labeled such groups with words like "tea party" or "patriots," documents showed.
Some Republicans then claimed a connection between IRS actions and the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat. House Republican investigators were unable to prove a connection, but their report did blame IRS officials for mistreating conservative organizations and for covering up misconduct by misleading Congress.
An internal IRS audit in 2013 admitted an "inappropriate" focus on conservative groups. No criminal charges were filed by IRS officials, and a statement at the time of the settlement said the IRS "expresses its sincere apology."
Collins said recent events should be a wake-up call for all Republicans, not just those seeking the presidential nomination for 2024.
"It's not just the other potential candidates against Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. It should be every Republican in this country standing up and standing behind President Trump; [because] if they can do that to him, just think of what they can do to anybody else. That ought to wake everybody up as to what the politicization of this judicial system is. It is purely a two-tiered justice system," Collins said.
Presently, the GOP lawmaker is working closely with one federal agency by promoting a bill that would task the National Institute of Standards and Technology with creating something that will help with incredible amounts of fentanyl pouring over the southern border. That dangerous situation will only get worse when Title 42 expires in May, Collins said.
Overseen by the Department of Commerce, NIST works to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology.
"This is going to require research to come up with ways to combat the veterinary tranquilizer that's being added to fentanyl and to protect our border agents and law enforcement. We need to be doing all we can to protect those folks, and this is a good step toward doing that," Collins said.
Fentanyl's new twist
Xylazine has begun to appear in illicit drugs. Approved for animals but not humans, it extends the high for users but doesn't respond to Narcan, a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.
Collins says use of fentanyl is on the rise in southern states, including an almost 2,000% increase in his state of Georgia.
"Fentanyl is deadly as it is," he said. "[This bill is] not as sexy as me signing on to get rid of the Department of Education, which I did, or the ATF, which we need to get rid of. It's just an administrative what I call back-office type of bill. It just directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to come up with something to combat this."
And border security isn't only about illegal immigration, he added. For example, the flow of drugs is a problem – and the legalization of marijuana in many states has motivated producers to come up with new ways to push their product.
"I had someone over the weekend tell me they were talking to someone who is Hispanic, and they said, 'We used to carry marijuana across the border. That was our product. Now that marijuana is being legalized all across the U.S., we had to come up with something else,'" Collins shared.
Marijuana has been legalized – at least for medical purposes – in 39 states plus the District of Columbia.