1. Do you support:
a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)?
I believe that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable healthcare. I’m willing to consider any host of options that achieves that goal.
b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?
Again, I believe that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable healthcare. I’m willing to consider any host of options that achieves that goal. Because the Affordable Care Act is already law, I would need to study the issue relative to that.
2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:
a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship — one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement — for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;
Yes, I believe our nation needs immigration reform that makes economic sense, secures our borders, and respects human rights. I support an earned path to citizenship for law abiding persons who uphold the principles of our constitution.
b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and Agriculture related temporary workers must be studied as the seasonality needs.
c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?
3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
a) Raising the retirement age;
b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;
c) Directly reducing benefits;
d) Means-testing recipients;
While I oppose means-testing , I regard means-testing for the very wealthiest of Americans to be the least objectionable thing to leave on the negotiation table for the purposes of preserving the well-being of social security and the economic future of our nation.
e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?
4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?
Yes. As someone who employs hundreds of unionized workers and built dozens of buildings with union labor, I understand the valuable roll that collective bargaining and organized labor play in building and maintaining a vibrant middle class that can afford to live a fulfilled life. That is an essential part of our country's heritage.
5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?
I would need to read the bill up for consideration but I strongly believe that the Bush tax cuts are not sustainable.
6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?
I will not join the Blue Dog Coalition.
7. If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and work/vote to end the filibuster?