1. BUDGET DEFICIT. Name the areas of government that you would cut or taxes you would increase to achieve annual savings (or revenue enhancements) of $100 billion.
I would take the same fiscally conservative approach in Congress that I did in the Iowa Statehouse. I’ve never voted for a tax increase and I never will. In Congress I will work to make the President’s tax cuts permanent. These tax cuts have bolstered our economy and allowed for businesses to grow and create new jobs. This past session I had the most fiscally conservative voting record on spending. In my first year as Appropriations Chairman, I authored the single largest budget reduction bill in Iowa’s history. This government reinvention legislation was signed by the Governor and passed into law which resulted in a $130 million reduction in State Government Spending. I have a strong record of voting against wasteful government spending. I have consistently voted to keep spending at the 99% expenditure limitation required by Iowa law.
In Congress I will work for earmark reform to eliminate pork barrel projects like having rainforests in Iowa and bridges to nowhere.
2. MARRIAGE. Would you support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman? Why?
I co-sponsored the Constitutional Amendment in Iowa which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. I not only sponsored and voted for this amendment, but I was a leader who helped shepard this amendment through the Iowa House. Liberal activist judges are threatening our family values and you can count on me to be a leader in Congress who will stand up to them and work to pass this amendment to the United States Constitution.
3. IRAN. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons?
Our nation’s number one priority is to protect us from our enemies. If our freedoms are at stake, I will do whatever it takes to secure our citizens from threats abroad. I am the only candidate who is standing with our President in his decision to not put in place artificial timelines on troop levels in Iraq and I’m not in favor of putting artificial parameters on military action in Iran. I support the diplomatic process currently underway and hope that military action is not necessary.
4. ENERGY. What is a reasonable price to pay for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Iowa?
I have been a leading advocate in the Iowa House for the increased use of renewable fuels. Expanded use of ethanol and bio-diesel is good for our state’s economy, is more cost effective, and reduces our reliance on foreign sources of oil. As a Congressman from Iowa, you can count on me to be a constant proponent for increasing incentives and putting in place policies that promote renewable fuels.
5. ABORTION. If given the choice, under what circumstances should the law allow a woman to get an abortion?
Every life is precious and I will support any legislation that reduces the number of abortions in this country.
6. EDUCATION. Should the Department of Education be abolished?
Decisions on our children’s education should be made by states and local school boards with great involvement from parents and the local community as a whole. The Federal Government’s role is to ensure that every student receives a quality education.
7. ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL. What would you do to protect the Rock Island Arsenal from the possibility of future closure or downsizing?
The Rock Island Arsenal is one of the community’s largest employers and I understand the implications the Arsenal’s role plays in the local economy. I applaud Congress for approving the bill that will help private companies move to Arsenal Island. This is a good first step, but we need a leader in Congress who realizes the Arsenal’s potential and who will work to find ways to continue to move forward with modernizing the Arsenal and converting it to meet today’s military needs.
8. EARMARKS. Under what circumstances should congressmen be allowed to direct federal spending to specific projects in their district?
Earmarking creates wasteful government spending and must be reformed. The appropriations process in Washington needs to reflect the general welfare of our country and should not be hijacked by powerful legislators serving their own individual interests.
9. POVERTY. Is the U.S. government spending too much, too little or the right amount of money to combat poverty?
Our federal government is too big and spends too much. We need to lower taxes for everyone, eliminate wasteful spending, and decrease regulations in order to attract and keep high paying jobs in our country.
10. IMMIGRATION: How should Congress respond to the growing number of undocumented Mexican workers in America?
Our first priority in combating illegal immigration is to secure our border. We must build a fence, add border patrol agents and institute tough new penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens. Those who are here illegally should be treated as such. We must enforce our laws and end our system of catch and release.
11. What personal or professional experiences make you the best candidate for this job?
I understand the values of our citizens and what makes Iowa such a great state to live, work, and raise a family. As a State Representative, I have a proven track record of results turning these Iowa values into victories. I have gained experience that will allow me to work with others to get the job done in Washington. As a husband and father, I’ve learned that we must promote the values that have made our country so strong.
12. Which Congressmen would you model your public service after?
I would model myself after a Statesman from my home county, who I walked in parades with growing up, and who I have tried to emulate during my political career, Senator Charles Grassley. Senator Grassley is the hardest working man in Washington. His values match my own and I look forward to going to Congress to be another voice advocating for these values we as Iowans share.