Shaw Local News Network: “Marie Newman, US House 6th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire”

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US House of Representatives 6th Congressional District candidate Marie Newman answered Shaw Local’s election questionnaire for the US House primary election.

Voting ends for the primary election on the evening of June 28.

Full Name: Marie Newman

What office are you seeking? Congress, Illinois’ 6th District

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Currently serving as the Representative for Illinois 3rd Congressional District

City: La Grange

Occupation: Member of Congress Education BA, University of Wisconsin Madison

Campaign Website: www.marienewmanforcongress.com

What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?

I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan, a package that helped keep our economy stable when it needed it most, and kept thousands of American families from falling further into poverty. The Child Tax Credit should be credited for much of that helpful insulation. This policy immediately lightened the load for families struggling to afford child care or to keep their families fed, clothed, and sheltered. We saw just how good this policy was in practice, and I believe that the expanded child tax credit should be extended to help lift even more families out of precarity.

Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?

No. Corporations do not pay enough in tax. They are incentivized to do anything within their means – offshoring their operations and assets, seeking out tax loopholes – to minimize their tax responsibility. Trump’s 2017 tax plan made it even easier for corporations to get around paying their fair share. We need to repeal Trump’s Tax Plan and address corporate loopholes head on.

Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?

Many massive corporations aren’t paying their share in taxes at all. Trump’s tax plan slashed corporate income tax rates and opened the door for ever larger tax avoidance loopholes. I believe we need to increase corporate tax rates and to close existing loopholes that allow corporations to bring their tax liabilities down to zero.

Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?

No. They do not.

Would support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?

I support increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy and ensuring that these ultra-wealthy people are actually paying what they owe. Again, our system is designed in such a way that those with the necessary means can completely reduce their tax burden through various loopholes. If we are to seriously address growing income inequality, to continue to rebuild with equity in mind after COVID-19 halted our economy, and to look to solving climate change, we need these ultra-wealthy individuals to be paying their fair share.

Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?

Yes. Again, we need to ensure that the ultra-wealthy are paying their fair share. I do support efforts to raise capital gains taxes on the ultra-wealthy. I am also supportive of President Biden’s recently released wealth tax proposal which would levy a tax on an ultra-wealthy individuals total income including unrealized capital gains.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?

I think the Biden Administration has done well clearing up logistics jams in our ports and has demonstrated efficient crisis management to increase the flow of consumer goods and critical needs like oil, vaccines, and medication. COVID19 has certainly exposed some flaws in our supply chain system, and those flaws were very apparent in one of our country’s largest inland ports in Joliet, IL where freight was stacked higher and for longer than average due to lack of driver capacity. I was proud to lead in the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which established a program to allow 18 year olds to obtain a CDL and clearance to haul interstate with certain training criteria and safety provisions. The new apprenticeship program will help freight haulers better distribute the load and improve the flow of goods from port to rail and rail to distribution centers and point of sale. Additionally, I believe that we need to focus on improving and modernizing our rail system with fighting climate change and a growing population in mind. That’s why I was proud to pass my legislation, the Rail Center for Excellence Bill, as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will establish a center at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to study high-speed rail and green technologies, which will innovate our transportation systems and create hundreds of jobs.

How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?

I am a member of the House Manufacturing Advancement Working Group. My district is home to many small to mid size manufacturers who employ skilled, local labor and support many industries across the state and country. I think there are a few things we can do to bring manufacturing jobs back to Illinois. First and foremost, we need to embrace the idea that growing our economy and stopping climate change are not mutually exclusive pursuits. I propose we tackle climate change head on through the creation of a green economy and massive investments in green infrastructure, all built by American manufacturers and American labor. Second, we need to make it easier for small manufacturers to start their operations and we need to increase the pool of skilled labor in the manufacturing sector. I’ve worked across the aisle on legislation to expand access to capital so small businesses can open and thrive in our communities, and support creating free pathways to technical school, apprenticeship programs, and other postsecondary programs that will prepare students for jobs in the trades.

What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?

The rising cost of living and growing inequality is of top concern to me and my neighbors across the 6th District. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I’ve worked closely with my colleagues to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top.

We have a system that largely benefits the top earners, while the rest of us struggle to pay for rent, student loans, groceries, child care, health care, and more. I believe we need to do much more to raise wages and support the middle class, and if I am reelected to serve the people of the new 6th District, I will continue fighting to build an economy that works for everyone by fighting for policies that put middle-class families over corporate special interests.

We can raise wages, strengthen workers bargaining power, and create safer working conditions by strengthening organized labor. When unions are strong, they uplift wages for everyone, including non-union workers. To get there, we have a bold vision for growing union presence and membership in communities across the Sixth District. I am a proud original co-sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would be the biggest expansion in collective bargaining in decades.

One of the greatest contributors to growing inequity in America is our broken health care system. I believe the best way to address the rising costs of health care, and to give American families a path to financial freedom, is to enact universal health care through Medicare for All. Adopting Medicare for All and rolling it out in stages will greatly reduce the cost of health care not only for families by removing costs like doctor visits, ambulance trips, blood tests, and completely covering vision, dental, long-term care, and prescription drugs as well. These costs are paid for by ensuring everyone in the country pays their taxes, raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy, and appropriating federal funds to ensure the process is administered smoothly.

As a former management consultant and small business owner, I advocate for enacting this policy in phases so that it can be implemented in a measured fashion over time, Starting with our most vulnerable populations and people over 55 years of age. This initial rollout will allow us to test, refine, and roll out further.

In addition to fixing our broken healthcare system, we need to make it easier for families to raise their children. I am a strong advocate for paid family leave and a universal child care system for children 0-5 and after school programs with sliding scale and affordable pricing. For these reasons, I was an outspoken proponent of the Build Back Better Act, which passed the House, which would make it easier for families to get ahead.

Through addressing all these pieces together, we can finally get to an economy that supports everyone, not just those at the very top.

Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?

Yes

How do you feel about mask mandates?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly difficult challenge for all of us. Many families have dealt with immense grief due to loved ones lost, many have fallen into financial instability – lost a job or closed a business – and all of us have felt the impacts of this pandemic to some degree. We know that masks help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus when used correctly, that’s a simple fact, and I think in areas of high spread, masks are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading at even greater speed. I think we need to keep masks in our toolkit moving forward.

Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?

We have learned quite a bit living through two plus years of COVID-19. We are in a much stronger place to handle the effects of a pandemic event now than we were two years ago, particularly now that President Biden has worked to recreate our government’s pandemic preparedness infrastructure after it was slashed by the Trump Administration. With a woking vaccine in place, and with strong PPE distribution networks, I believe we are much better equipped to handle the pandemic now, however there’s always more work to be done.

Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?

I think we need to understand that COVID-19 is not over or gone. The virus is still very much with us, and cases have recently begun to trend upwards again. I believe that we need to follow the lead of our federal government to continue managing the spread of the virus.

Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?

One of the greatest contributors to growing inequity in America is our broken health care system. I believe the best way to address the rising costs of health care, and to give American families a path to financial freedom, is to enact universal health care through Medicare for All. Adopting Medicare for All and rolling it out in stages will greatly reduce the cost of health care not only for families by removing costs like doctor visits, ambulance trips, blood tests, and completely covering vision, dental, long-term care, and prescription drugs as well. These costs are paid for by ensuring everyone in the country pays their taxes, raising taxes on the ultra-wealthy, and appropriating federal funds to ensure the process is administered smoothly.

What are the top two threats to our national security?

Climate change and the growing influence of China on global affairs are two of the largest threats to our national security.

What should be done to eliminate them?

Both of these issues require international cooperation to address, and I believe that working closely with our allies and with other developing countries around the world is critical. Regarding China, since President Biden has been in office, his team has worked to have more direct and effective discourse with competing states like China. Progress has been made, but more is needed. The economy is interconnected across the world, we need to continue to use that leverage to support or address concerns with any member of the world economy. I believe we need to do everything in our power to maintain relations with allies in the South East and to work with those allies to prevent degradation of relations with China. China needs to the U.S. and the rest of the world to grow their economy and as a result, we have leverage and will use all of our diplomatic and economic tools. Climate change is an issue with implications for everyone on Earth, and similarly will require us to work with both allies and competitors alike. I think that addressing climate change could be common ground for productive cooperation with states like China.

What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?

One of the greatest threats our civilization is the climate crisis. If we want to leave a habitable world, we need to act now to roll back the damage we’ve done to our planet.

Fighting climate change and growing our economy are not mutually exclusive. Combatting the climate crisis is an opportunity for us to create millions of good paying union jobs. Our only path to net-zero emissions and solving the climate crisis is through the creation of a green economy.

One of my first actions in Congress was to introduce the America’s Clean Future Fund Act to create new, good-paying jobs by investing in clean energy and a green economy, and ultimately help us reach the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We need to do all that we possibly can to address climate change, from punishing polluters to market based solutions to encouraging new green businesses and green jobs through legislation while simultaneously building a just migration away from fossil fuels.

What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?

I believe that every option should be on the table and open for discussion as we focus on phasing out oil and natural gas and achieving net-zero carbon emissions. Nuclear energy has drawbacks, there are operational safety concerns and waste storage liabilities that we need to better account for.

Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.

Yes, absolutely. Again, everything should be on the table. The time for climate action is now.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

Yes. Period.

Is the immigration system a problem in this country? If so, what is your plan to fix it?

I have been and always will be a strong advocate for immigrants. I have supported every piece of pro-immigrant legislation as a legislator including the dream and promise act. At a minimum, we need to have an expeditious path to citizenship for our undocumented 11 million workers here in the U.S. We also must reform our border procedures to make them more humane, add immigration attorneys and judges. Finally, we need to create a full and robust immigration court analogous to other courts (criminal, traffic, etc.) to provide better treatment and more fairness to immigrant cases. All of our systems, TPS, guest worker, green card, visas need to be revamped fully.

Do American cities have a crime problem?

Public safety should always be a concern. As a mother of two, I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensuring that our communities are safe for raising families in a healthy and productive environment.

If so, what is your suggestion to solve it?

I have supported all major federal bills addressing public safety, gun reform and violence prevention.

Similarly, we have developed a large public safety coalition of community leaders, violence reduction practitioners, law enforcement, states attorney reps and activists to prioritize on the ground solutions and legislative solutions:

  1. We meet monthly and prioritize critical community best practices
  2. Find funding for new programs
  3. Develop legislation locally and nationally

Should police officers have qualified immunity in cases involving alleged excessive force or other misconduct?

No, and that’s why I was proud to support the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act of 2021 which would limit the use of qualified immunity as a defense.

Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?

Every single one of our communities are affected by the crisis of gun violence. As the former spokesperson for Moms Demand Action Illinois, I believe we can effectively support the second amendment while dramatically reducing gun violence and the toll that it takes on families across this country.

I proudly co-sponsored H.R. 8 the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed the House in March. I also support:

  • Reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban
  • Red-flag laws to prevent purchases of firearms by people who are demonstrating threatening behavior in-person, people who have restraining orders or have been arrested on assault, battery/other threatening behavior on social media, or who have a history/pattern of making threatening statements

Do you support any restrictions on gun purchases or other stricter gun control measures including citizens’ access to military style weaponry?

Yes. I support reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban and red-flag laws to prevent purchases of firearms by people who are demonstrating threatening behavior in-person, people who have restraining orders or have been arrested on assault, battery/other threatening behavior on social media, or who have a history/pattern of making threatening statements.

Illinois, along with many states across the country, have legalized marijuana making it legal for people to buy and use it. Marijuana, however, is still illegal at the federal level. Do you support legalizing marijuana nationally? Why or why not?

Yes, I do. Our archaic federal drug policy has wreaked untold harm on black and brown communities across this country, now is the time to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

As a former small business owner and marketing executive, I know how important it is to be on the forefront of changes to how we run our businesses. One of the largest growing industries in our country is the cannabis sector, and to make it even better – we’ve got to legalize cannabis at the federal level. I proudly voted to legalize cannabis when legislation came before the House this year, and we need the Senate to do its job.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Yes

Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?

Yes

What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?

The events of January 6th were, and remain, a travesty stoked and welcomed on by the Trump Administration and certain Congressional Republicans willing to plunge our Democracy into uncertainty.

Was it an insurrection?

Yes

Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?

I believe we should let the justice system conclude unobstructed with processing these individuals.

Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?

No

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