- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Q: What are your top three priorities if elected?
1) My top priority is job creation, and I’m leading the Make It In America plan to create jobs and help businesses grow and expand by strengthening American manufacturing and investing in education and innovation.
2) We must balance job creation with long-term deficit reduction, and I will continue to work in a bipartisan way to make the tough choices necessary to address the debt and deficit challenge facing our nation.
3) I will continue to ensure that we protect and maintain our federal facilities in the Fifth District. NASA Goddard, the National Archives, our military bases among others deserve our ongoing support, and I will remain their champion in Congress.
Q: Discuss your views on the role of the federal government in stimulating the economy. How would you seek to change this if elected?
I am committed to creating jobs and fostering a positive environment for businesses so that our economy will continue to recover.
Democrats’ Make It In America plan will do exactly that by ensuring America remains the most competitive place for businesses and manufacturers to hire workers, produce goods, and sell those goods at home and abroad.
Q: Assess the performance of the incumbent who now holds the seat you're seeking. Discuss a decision he made that you disagree with.
(For sitting members, assess your performance over the most recent term. Is there a decision you regret after having time to reflect on its result?)
I have worked to make Maryland’s Fifth District a better place to live and work by putting our community first and investing in projects that will have a real impact, including fighting for good local jobs by strengthening our federal facilities like Patuxent River Naval Air Station and Indian Head. I have also been effective in producing results for our communities and successful in my efforts to improve our transportation infrastructure and access to education.
Q. The Pentagon plans to reduce projected spending by $487 billion in the next decade and close some military bases. Is this a threat to the military bases in Maryland’s 5th District? If so, what role should the congressman play in influencing those decisions?
We treat every day as if there were a BRAC, because there are constant threats to our military installations in terms of relocating certain functions and missions. As Congressman, I view my job as being the principal advocate for these bases and constantly working the Pentagon and my colleagues in Congress to safeguard and protect our workload and look for growth opportunities. Working closely with the community, we have positioned each of our bases to be involved in cutting edge technologies that are needed to support current and future warfighters, which will protect our bases during a downturn or potential new round of BRAC.
Q: Do you believe No Child Left Behind should be reauthorized? If so, what needs to be changed? Assess the law's effectiveness.
I support the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to ensure that all students graduate high school ready to enter college or a post-secondary career and all students have access to a high-quality teacher. But importantly, those teachers must have the support they need to help all students achieve academically. We must improve upon existing accountability measures by including growth models, support professional development for teachers and other school leaders, and focus on the lowest-performing schools and ensuring they have the resources to turnaround rather than penalizing those that are making progress. But we must still hold ourselves to meaningful standards that will help prepare students to compete with the global workforce in the 21st century.
Q: National politics have become more divisive over the past several years. In what way can you work to bring more a more collaborative approach to federal government?
Government works best when representatives of both parties work together. I have been proud to work across party lines throughout my entire career, and that has resulted in real results for the people of the Fifth District. In times like these, people on both sides of the aisle must come together to restore our fiscal health and protect the programs that Americans value.
Q: Discuss your approach to federal budgeting. Roughly what percent of spending (and why) should be allocated to the following: defense, health and human services, transportation, education, Social Security?
We need to address our deficits in a balanced way that maintains the solvency of our most important programs. A big and balanced approach that strikes a balance between cutting spending and continuing investments in important priorities will help begin the process of paying down our debt while providing certainty for families and businesses that can help lift economic growth.
Q: How can government ensure optimal health care coverage for all Americans?
I am proud to have worked throughout my entire career to ensure expanded access for all Americans to quality, affordable health care while implementing reforms that will help constrain the growth in health care spending. Health reform tackled the skyrocketing cost of health care, reducing health care costs for businesses and individuals.
Q. How would you address the foreclosure crisis?
I have long been involved in efforts to help Fifth District families facing foreclosure and have regularly hosted events throughout the District to help homeowners and advocacy groups address local housing challenges. As long as foreclosures are impacting our community, I will continue working to ensure that responsible homeowners who are struggling have our support and every available resource to help them stay in their homes.