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Congressman Chris Collins, the new representative of New York’s 27th Congressional District, will be sworn in today in Washington.

“Starting today, I’m looking forward to being judged based on the votes that I’m going to cast," Collins said on WBEN in Buffalo this morning.

Collins is one of 67 new members of the House. He says he has family and friends from Buffalo with him in Washington. After all the formalities like getting his voting card, Collins says the ceremony begins at around 2 o’clock.

“Then later this afternoon, though, we do have an opportunity – which I’m taking advantage of – to do a one-on-one ceremonial swearing in and have a nice photo taken with the Speaker (of the House John Boehner)," Collins said in the interview.

Collins says he’s still getting his office assembled with computers and telephones so they'll be in business soon, and he has hired two-thirds of his staff. It's a contentious time in federal government, but Collins is excited to tackle the problems ahead.

“The hard work has already begun," he said. "We had meetings late last night on moving forward through the debt ceiling issue that we’re going to have to deal with, so that’s already begun.”

Statement from Collins via press release:

“Today, as I took the official oath of office, I thought of the faith and trust the hardworking residents of New York's 27th Congressional District have placed in me. I am humbled by the opportunity to be their representative and their voice in the United States House of Representatives.

As a new member of Congress, I look forward to serving on both the Agriculture and Small Business committees. These committee assignments are a natural fit for both my experience as a small business owner and the incredibly important role agriculture plays in NY-27. In addition to fighting every day for what is best for the families of NY-27, I pledge to be a strong advocate and champion for farmers and small business owners, and their employees, not only in our own community, but all across this country.

I begin my time in Congress at a very critical moment in our country. It is my hope that the new Congress can come together to seriously address the issues facing our nation. I look forward to being a part of the discussion, and most importantly, a part of the solutions that are necessary to curb our nation's unsustainable spending and reduce our crushing national debt. Members of Congress must start making decisions based not on political expediency, but on commonsense fiscal policy focused on ensuring prosperity of our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

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