Position sought: U.S. Representative, 6th Congressional District
Political party: Republican
E-mail address: email@example.com
Address: PO Box 713, Wheaton, IL 60187
Family: Wife, Elizabeth Roskam; children, Gracey, Frankie, Steve and AJ.
Education: Bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois; J.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: Served in both the Illinois House and Senate
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
In 2006, I had the honor of being chosen by the people of the 6th District to represent them in Congress. Since then, I have worked to bring their voice to some of the most important policy debates of recent years--from the health care debate to tax reform and how to best create jobs for Illinois families. In addition to my work in Washington, I am an active part of the community, visiting small businesses, community groups and meeting regularly with constituents. As a lifelong Illinoisan, it is an honor to represent the community I grew up in as their voice in Congress.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
With over 23 million Americans out of work, my top priority has been and will continue to be getting our economy back on track and getting people back to work.
Three years after the end of the recession, we are experiencing the weakest recovery in history. Our national debt is near $16 trillion, and threatening the future prosperity of our nation. We are at a critical moment in our nation’s history.
Leaders in Washington must be focused on getting things done--making the reforms necessary for the long term health of our economy, creating certainty for job creators and American families, and protecting the future solvency of critical programs that so many rely on.
Official name of your campaign commitee (if you have one):
Roskam for Congress
How do you define a small business and what can government do to support them that isn't being done?
Our current tax code is a mess of loopholes, carve outs and crony capitalism. What’s worse, with compliance costs and endless complications, it’s actually holding back U.S. job creation. Under the current tax code, there are a number of small business owners who pay taxes through their individual returns, not using a corporate tax rate. These entities are called pass throughs, and when we talk about raising taxes on the “wealthy,” often times they get hit instead.
These small business owners will have to reduce investments, payroll—and yes, employees—in order to pay the higher taxes. The 6th Congressional District is home to a number of these small business pass throughs, run by generations of families, entrepreneurs just starting out and community leaders.
I hear from them often about how the burdens of the complex tax code prevent them from growing and hiring. Bringing both sides together to fundamentally reforming the code would create greater certainty for business owners and give them flexibility to invest more in their business and hire more workers.
What steps would you take to reduce the federal deficit? If it includes tax increases, what taxes? And if it involves federal service cuts, which?
The United States is almost $16 trillion in debt. The explosion of entitlement programs, coupled with record-high deficit spending in the last four years has brought the United States to the verge of a debt crisis. The Washington spending problem is evident, and most Americans believe that our fiscal mess isn’t because they don’t pay enough in taxes. Washington needs to get serious about fiscal responsibility, and ensure that the United States economy can grow and become competitive again.
What should the government do to create more jobs?
In our Plan for America’s Job Creators, the House of Representatives put forward a package of bills that would remove the obstacles that are hindering job creation. The plan builds on an earlier effort that I helped craft, the Pledge to America, which was a governing agenda to address our economic and fiscal challenges.
Our plan focuses on empowering families, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, the backbone of our economy. We have already seen one victory with this jobs plan—passage of the export-advancing free trade agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia. To help local businesses learn how to best utilize these new export markets, I hosted a forum with over 100 participants that featured various trade experts who discussed the opportunities and benefits that will now be available.
Should the “No Child Left Behind Act” set different measurements than now for economically disadvantaged students, special education students, students learning English as a second language, etc?
Teachers play a fundamental role in crafting the futures of our youth. They are responsible for equipping the next generation with the knowledge they need to excel, and they deserve the utmost respect and appreciation.
Local school districts and state education systems are closest to the communities are best equipped to make the most meaningful and effective decisions when it comes to individual student needs and achievement.
Should federal immigration policy be changed, and if so how?
As a nation of immigrants, our country welcomes those who have obtained lawful permanent residence, along with legitimate trade and travelers. In fact, every year we bring in more legal immigrants than every other country in the world combined.
However, when illegal immigrants receive taxpayer-funded benefits, it is a financial strain on those systems and state governments, and unfair to citizens who have rightfully earned these benefits.
Granting blanket amnesty is not the solution. We must find a solution that deals with the problem of illegal immigration as well as the undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, without encouraging more people to cross our borders illegally.
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues?
I am proud of my voting record as a pro-life Congressman as well as my support for traditional family values.
What should minimum wage be and through what method should increases be determined?
Too many Illinoisans are underemployed, out of work, or have given up hope in finding a job. The economic outlook is bleak, and Washington must focus on getting Americans good, well-paying jobs that allow them to not only pay the bills each month, but also save for retirement, save enough so their children can go to college and ensure a secure financial future for their families. Unfortunately, the policies of the last four years have not worked.
The economy is stagnant because there is too much uncertainty. This Administration has failed to meet the challenge before us: tackling our debt, reforming outdated policies that hold us back in a 21st century global economy, and streamlining the bureaucracy that often puts an impossible burden on small businesses and job creators.
Creating an environment where our economy can grow and thrive will open up more good paying jobs for the millions of Americans struggling to get by.
Bi-partisanship is given a lot of lip service by congressional members. Tell us how you would work with members of the opposite party?
Common sense bipartisan solutions are attainable for the biggest problems we face as a nation. It takes men and women willing to work to identify a problem at its roots and come together for a real solution. My record of bipartisanship dates back to my service in the Illinois State House, and continues today as a Member of Congress. A piece of legislation I am currently working on is a source of particular pride: my bill to combat Medicare fraud, which is supported by the AARP, the White House, and co-sponsored by Democrats in both the House and Senate.
Do you think some or all of the health care bill should be repealed? What can the government do to provide more access and affordability to health care?
At the beginning of the health care debate, the entire country was hopeful that a meaningful solution to the problems with our health care system could be found.
Unfortunately, the health care law is filled with broken promises: higher costs, decreased care and unsustainable programs based on budgetary gimmicks. As a Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, I am engaged in a robust effort to improve our health care system and repeal and replace the President’s damaging health care law.
Specifically, House Republicans are concentrating on enacting reforms that will reduce exploding costs, increase access to quality services through common-sense market-driven solutions, and take bureaucrats out of the health care equation.
Who are your political heroes and why?
I am very proud to have followed in the footsteps of my predecessor, the late Congressman Henry Hyde. He was a man of great courage, great conviction, and he served the 6th District of Illinois well over his more than 30 years in the House of Representatives.
Following the troop withdrawal from Iraq, what do you think is the future of the war on terror?
During this time of increased volatility in the Middle East, and strained relationships with both Russia and China, American leadership in world affairs is vital.
Both at home and abroad, it is essential that American troops are well-equipped to continue protecting our freedoms. With the passage of the Budget Control Act, the Department of Defense has already faced half a trillion dollars in cuts. The implications of proposals to simply reduce funding, eliminate DOD programs, or withdraw troops from foreign conflicts require complete consideration and adequate review.
Moving forward, we must take steps toward fiscal responsibility while also properly ensuring that the United States maintains a strong and solid defense.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain.