Positions for U.S. House of Representatives (Iowa seat) and U.S. Senate (Illinois seat) Print
Commentary/Politics - National Politics
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Tuesday, 29 October 2002 18:00
1) Would should the role of Congress be in the country’s current standoff with Iraq? If the U.S. does enter an armed conflict, how should the country finance the war effort? Ann Hutchinson (Democratic Candidate for U. S. House, Iowa District 1)
Congress should be responsible for oversight and accountability, and individual members of Congress should act as liaisons between constituents and the administration.

Jim Nussle (Republican Candidate for U.S. House, Iowa District 1)
Voted for the resolution providing authority for the president to use force against Iraq. In 1991, Nussle voted in favor of the international coalition’s liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi aggression. Supports a budget that accounts for national security and military strength.

Dick Durbin (Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate, Illinois Seat)
Voted against a resolution authorizing force against Iraq. Supports “smart sanctions” against Iraq to bring the country into compliance with Gulf War cease-fire agreements. Thinks war can be avoided if U.N. weapons inspectors get unlimited access to Iraq. Believes U.S. military action should have U.N. support.

Jim Durkin (Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate, Illinois Seat)
Supported a resolution authorizing force against Iraq. Believes Congress should commit to re-build Iraq in the case of war and regime change. Increased military spending should be part of re-building country’s military and a budget priority.

2) Should Congress vote to create a Department of Homeland Security, and if so, with what parameters?

Ann Hutchinson
Supports a Department of Homeland Security with collective-bargaining rights to employees.

Jim Nussle
Voted in favor of the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Secure Transportation for America Act (which allows for military presence at airports). Supported creation of a Department of Homeland Security.

Dick Durbin
Has supported language that would give collective-bargaining rights to employees in the new department.

Jim Durkin
Supports creation of Homeland Security department without collective-bargaining language.

3) How can Congress best stimulate the economy, and how should it finance those efforts?

Ann Hutchinson
Supports fiscal discipline in which expenditures do not exceed revenues. Supports an increase in the minimum wage to equate with a living wage. She opposes allowing Congress to raid the Social Security fund for purposes other than to pay Social Security obligations. Supports measures to encourage small businesses by reforming inequitable tax burdens and barriers that exist for small business.

Jim Nussle
Voted in favor of the Economic Security & Recovery Act of 2001. Supports reducing taxes by $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years; providing incentives for job creation; reforming the tax code to make it simple and fair; responsible budgeting so that expenditures don’t exceed revenues; and eliminating the national debt with a pay-down plan over the next 10 years.

Dick Durbin
Favors delaying implementation of the remainder of the Bush tax cut until the economy picks up. Supports an increase in the federal minimum wage by $1.50 over three years. Supports allowing families to deduct the cost of higher education. Supports tax incentives to allow small businesses to provide health insurance. Supports tax cuts targeting families.

Jim Durkin
Supports making Bush tax cuts permanent. Supports elimination of “death tax” and “marriage penalty” to boost the economy.

4) What corporate reforms (if any) should Congress enact?

Ann Hutchinson
Supports laws that will protect pensions against the unscrupulous acts of company management that would threaten employees’ retirement funds. Opposes legislation that allows companies to move their plants out of the country “to avoid paying taxes.”

Dick Durbin
Has sponsored or co-sponsored six corporate-reform bills in the Senate, covering areas such as regulation of accounting firms; disclosure and diversification related to employee-retirement plans; criminal penalties for corporate fraud or destruction of documents related to a federal investigation; and the inclusion of stock options as expenses in corporate financial statements.

Jim Durkin
Supports federal rules requiring stock options to be expensed and CEOs to sign off on a company’s books. Supports full funding of SEC mandates and enforcement of current laws on corporate fraud.
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