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)?
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?
Yes on both accounts. Under no circumstances can we cut benefits to current or future Medicare beneficiaries, or jeopardize the long-term viability of the program - we need to expand and strengthen the program.
I have watched my wife Sharry, an OB/GYN, deal with issues of healthcare access and costs for two decades. In the State Senate, I helped pass "Healthy Wisconsin," a bill that would have provided healthcare to nearly all Wisconsin residents and helped reign in costs and increase personal responsibility. I was proud of my work on that bill, and would like to see Congress discuss bolder solutions and have a broader debate about health care reform.
We can't continue to let our healthcare policy process be dominated by the health insurance industry, and we can't be held hostage by an opposition bought and paid for by them. We need bold action and leadership on health care from Washington.
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;
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
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?
Yes on all accounts. I support a fair, comprehensive, and compassionate immigration policy that promotes family values and human rights.
3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
a) Raising the retirement age;
c) Directly reducing benefits;
d) Means-testing recipients; and
e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?
Yes to all of the above. I got into this race after I watched the House pass the Ryan Budget. Medicare and Social Security are promises we make to our seniors that they have earned. These programs must be protected and strengthened. My mother spent too many years waiting tables to sacrifice her retirement for another tax cut for millionaires.
4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?
Here in Wisconsin, I've seen what happens when you try to trample on the rights of workers. I didn't stand for it here, and I won't in DC. We need bills like the Employee Free Choice Act to continue having the most efficient, educated work force in the world. Workers' rights are human rights. Period.
5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?
Yes. They were irresponsible a decade ago, and they are irresponsible now. It's nothing but hot air for Republicans to talk about deficit reduction without raising taxes on those making the most. It's against our values and against common sense.
6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?