Here’s a closer look at candidates in the Republican and Democratic primary races for U.S. House in the March 4 primary elections.
All candidates in contested races that appear on Tarrant County ballots were sent a Star-Telegram questionnaire about their campaigns and background. Here are the responses — unfiltered and in their own words — from the candidates who replied. Spelling and grammar have not been corrected.
U.S. representative, District 6
I’ve been a leader on free market based health care reform and energy policy. As Chairman and now senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I turned my conservative ideals into legislation, while at the same time building bipartisan support.
My lifetime voting record is over 90% on conservative scorecards and my commitment to hands-on, face to face constituent service is unquestioned.
We borrow too much and spend even more than that. Our national debt is more than $17 trillion - an unfathomable number that is now a sad, scary, and frustrating reality.
Despite this, the federal government continues to borrow money while expecting the American taxpayer to foot the bill. Our revenues are dwarfed by our expenditures, and many in Washington think the solution is to raise your taxes. However, tax increases will only strain your wallet further. Instead, the federal government needs to drastically reduce mandatory spending. Common sense dictates that you don’t spend more than you have. Americans around the country do it every day, and it should be no different for the federal government.
Our current rate of spending is simply unsustainable and leaving this growing burden for our children and grandchildren is irresponsible. It’s time for the federal government to be more accountable with your money.
When it comes to ObamaCare, I have backed up my word with actions by voting dozens of different times to repeal all or part of this disastrous law.
The mandates in ObamaCare need to be replaced with market based solutions. Needed reforms include expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding state high-risk pools so that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they deserve, and much needed medical liability reform (something that is already helping Texans). One of the primary goals of my plan will be to lower health care cost for all Americans.
I don’t want to move toward a government operated single payer system and that is what ObamaCare does over time. It destroys the private insurance market.
The reforms I support take the power away from bureaucrats in Washington and put it back in the people’s hands.
I am an original co-sponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act (HR 3121), which I believe would accomplish many of the goals I stated above.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Payroll/Benefits/HR Manager
U.S. representative, District 25
Address and how long you’ve lived at that address: 2204 Greenwood Ave, Austin, 14 years
I served as the Assistant Commissioner for Health Affairs of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reporting to the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education. I was responsible for coordinating health professions education in Texas public universities and health science centers and funding the Texas Primary Care Physician and Public Health Residency programs. My greatest challenge was to apply the US 5th Circuit Court Hopwood Decision in an equitable manner regarding Pharmacy education in Texas.
After a recall to active duty, I served as a Program Director at Texas State University promoting on a regional basis Hispanic college attendance, completion, and graduate school enrollment with a focus on the health professions. I am proud of my contribution to the university achieving federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.
Most recently I have been self-employed in the Austin area and have worked on projects focused on the use by Texas veterans of the GI Bill, improving community college student transfers to the university, development of a Medical Records IT Specialist education program, and completion of a database of Korean War Hispanics Killed-In-Action.
My unique and diverse experiences as a leader, from testifying at the Texas Legislature, preparing Legislature reports, meeting health care provider demands to managing multi-million dollar budgets and finding budget reductions, have prepared me to serve my fellow citizens in a bi-partisan spirit reflecting my partnership and coalition successes.
1. Increase the Federal minimum wage to reduce government costs of unemployment programs and promote a living wage to stimulate local economies and jobs.
2. Provide uniformed personnel a living wage to reduce the government costs of food stamp programs as part of our commitment for a strong National Defense starting with a debt-free soldier and maintain the Nation's promises for retirement, health, and education support.
3. Allow federally approved hospital facilities to draw, for charity care of Medicaid-eligible patients, from Medicaid Expansion funds within the Centers for Medical Services.
4. Provide for the continued funding of the Affordable Care Act with permission for insurers to incorporate a dental component.
5. Allow any high school graduate who has lived in the United States for at least the last high school year, without a felon crime record, to earn legal status by serving a three year commitment in the regular, reserve or guard components of the Armed Forces, OR, become a baccalaureate STEM graduate in four years.
6. Support the Paycheck Fairness Act to end race and gender-based and sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.
7. Improve rural broadband access in support of education, economic development, and small-business growth to promote American participation in the global market.
U.S. representative, District 26
As a Member of Congress representing one of the fastest growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, I successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During my time on Capitol Hill, I have worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.
A fiscal conservative, I believe Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, effective, less costly, and always transparent. I follow a strict adherence to the Constitution, and oppose unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over Americans’ personal freedoms. Instead, I believe in giving people more control over their lives and their money.
I currently serve on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the 113th Congress, 2013 and 2014, will serve as the Vice Chairman of both the Subcommittee on Health and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. In addition, I am a member of the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission. In 2009, I founded, and currently serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus.
Secondly, there is value in experience. I have served for the past 11 years and I have a record of keeping the care and concerns of my constituents, friends and neighbors in the front of my mind as any legislation comes through the Congress.
Thirdly, because there is such an emphasis on health care with the President’s nationalization of American medicine, I am able to speak on this subject with authority to conquer some of the more dangerous and destructive effects of the President’s programs.
Paying for care, keeping coverage, or being able to see the doctor you choose are major concerns for many Americans. The massive government overhaul of our health care system has created more taxes, increased our costs and has massively expanded our government. As a physician, health care is my passion and I will continue to battle the problems of Obamacare. I will fight for the reforms in health care that will make it more affordable and accessible, and against those ideas which would simply turn over our health care decisions to the federal government.
It would take 7 plus years to pay off our 17.3 Trillion dollar debt if all revenue went towards that goal. Health care costs will soon be our number 1 expense.
We also spend more than twice per capita for health care compared to other countries and have the same outcome. Health Care Lobbyists spend more than any other sector; hence Obamacare and higher health costs. The incumbent has collected more than 2.3 Million dollars from Health Care Lobbyists. He is currently ranked #8 in the US House in Health Care lobby donations. I don’t believe these groups are interested in lowering the cost of health care. I will not accept Health Care Lobbyist dollars; I will work for the people in reducing the cost of Health Care.
The federal income tax is in a nut shell theft and partial slavery, if a person refuses to pay income tax the threat is imprisonment or indirect death. With a threat of that level is it no wonder why people are as scared as they are of their govt! People shouldn't fear their govts, govts should fear their people. Americas have become the slave of govt and are scared of what their govt will do to them. This is tyranny, and we are the slaves to the tyrants.
The dollar has loses over 99% of its value in the last 100 years since the federal reserve was establish, the reason is through spending. If you are stranded on a island with a apple, a orange, and a banana. Then those value to your and your friends would be the same or not valued more, but if your friend discover an apple tree with 100s of apples then your apples would go down in value and the orange or banana would be both so much more. Its supply and demand, basic economics, when the govt has a deficit budget they are devaluing the currency.
U.S. representative, District 33
University; Doctorate of Juris Prudence from Chicago Kent College of Law.
The founders of our nation each had their experiences is a vast array of sectors. They brought forward their skills and gave their best to America. We have detracted from that model. Our career politicians will give you prepared answers, they find excuses, they will blame others and fail to take responsibility. I am different. I get the job done. I find solutions. I solve problems. I put service to country above self-interest. My desire to serve my neighbors is truly rooted in the word Representative. An effective voice is lacking in Congress for the people of the 33rd district. My life experiences, my Hispanic heritage, my work ethic, love for country, community, family and strong values, I believe, are strong qualifications and will be an asset to serving my neighbors in Congress.
My priorities are the District's priorities. I will:
*Promote legislation that incentivizes job creation rather than exporting jobs to foreign countries;
*Champion the Bill of Rights in its entirety and oppose any effort to slowly erode the foundations of freedom;
*Support fairness in our Tax Code and other laws;
*Work tirelessly to bring an end to hateful and harmful deportation policies and pass comprehensive immigration reform;
*Advocate strongly for our Veterans; and
*Keep promises to ensure access to health care and the workability of the Affordable Care Act.