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Candidate positions for Minnesota - 1st Congressional District (2012)

Read the full responses from candidates below. “Answer option” is the choice given in the quiz, and “Candidate’s position” shows the candidate’s response to MPR News.

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Issue Question Position
Job creation What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
I would balance the federal budget to remove economic uncertainty; roll back counter-productive regulations, especially those dealing with carbon dioxide; reduce energy costs by opening more land as well as off-shore areas for energy exploration and development; bargain with countries like China for more equitable trade agreements that would reduce unfair practices that penalize American-made goods.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Economic uncertainty ... is a major factor preventing businesses from expanding and creating jobs. Regulations make our business less profitable and less competitive in the world marketplace," Quist said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Federal deficit Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased? ANSWER OPTION
Eliminate corporate welfare (GM should have been allowed to file for bankruptcy protection), stop funding welfare fraud, and cut the food stamp portion of the Senate farm bill. Funding for roads and bridges should be increased, but lower priority programs should be cut first.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist provided this statement to MPR News: "We are currently $36 billion in the red for our bailout of GM. General Motors should have been allowed to file for bankruptcy protection so it could have become a leaner and more competitive company, just like Northwest Airlines did in Minnesota some years ago. We may be losing as much as $100 billion a year because of welfare fraud, some of that taking place at the state level. We need to stop funding that fraud. The food stamp portion of the so called "farm bill" is unsustainable and needs to be scaled back. I would like to increase funding for roads and bridges, but doing so requires that we are successful in cutting back on lower priority programs." (More Info)
Bush tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, all of them

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Raising taxes during an economic slowdown is counter-productive and would damage our weak economic recovery," Quist said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Agriculture policy Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
No. We can't afford the $500 billion price tag on the bill. It spends too much on food stamps and should be considered only as part of a larger deficit-reduction plan.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"The public has a right to know that 80% of the funding in that bill goes for food stamps. One reason the spending on food stamps is out of control is that the incentives in the program are structured to get as many people on the program as possible. Government policy should be to get people off welfare, not get them on," Quist said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
I would balance the federal budget so we are able to meet our commitments to those on Social Security.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
Repeal President Obama's health care reform law passed in 2010. Eliminate the law's marriage penalty of, in some case, more than $10,000 per year. Health care issues could be entirely solved through free-market solutions, such as malpractice reform; allowing competition for insurance companies between states; remove most of the mandates on insurance companies so people can buy policies that fit themselves; encourage publishing of prices for various medical procedures for more competition; give people full deductions for private insurance and repeal the medical devices tax.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
I would balance the federal budget so we are able to keep our commitments to those on Medicare.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"If we don't get our financial house in order very soon, we will be unable to meet our commitments to Social Security and Medicare," Quist said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
Abolish the U.S. Department of Education. The federal government should help fund education, but the policy decisions should be left to state and local governments.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Under our U. S. Constitution, the federal government has no policy role in education," Quist said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
I would remove the counter-productive EPA standards for carbon dioxide (which is not a pollutant), and I would open up exploration and development of energy on most federal lands and on the continental shelf.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
I would dramatically reduce the size of the Environmental Protection Agency. I strongly support environmental protection, but it needs to be based on sound science. The new EPA standards are mushy and are based largely on opinion, not science.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said he would reduce the EPA in a Rochester Post-Bulletin story. Quist also told MPR News that, "All environmental standards need to be based on genuine science." (More Info)
Silica sand mining Do you support silica sand mining? ANSWER OPTION
I support any mining that is done in an environmentally sound fashion.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
It should be made illegal.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"If our nation would return to Christian ethical codes, the abortion revolution would come to an end and many of the other evils mentioned would be largely restrained as well," Quist wrote in his 1980 book "The Abortion Revolution." (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Same-sex marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
No.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said on TPT's Almanac program that he supports the proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. He told MPR News that, "Marriage should not be redefined." (More Info)
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
I favor legal immigration, but we need to enforce the laws regarding illegal immigration.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Quist said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Job creation What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
We need to invest in infrastructure, homegrown energy solutions and make products here to export overseas. I support a variety of federal policies for a bipartisan energy bill that invests in jobs right here at home to encouraging businesses to hire hardworking, returning veterans to get our economy moving again.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I support a variety of federal policies for a bipartisan energy bill that invests in jobs right here at home to encouraging businesses to hire hardworking, returning veterans to get our economy moving again," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Federal deficit Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased? ANSWER OPTION
We should cut programs that do not work and invest in ones that give the taxpayer the greatest return. I believe we can cut funding in defense, while still protecting our national security and by cutting subsidies for oil companies and companies that ship American jobs overseas. If necessary, I would increase spending on veterans programs -- and make cuts elsewhere to make up the difference.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I believe our nation has a responsibility to honor our commitments to our nation's veterans and if the veterans' community believed there was a need to increase spending to honor that commitment, I would be in favor of finding other areas to cut from to move funding into programs that care for our nation's heroes," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Bush tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, for the middle class. I believe millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share and the tax cuts to those top 2 percent should expire.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Walz told MPR News he would like to raise taxes on the richest Americans, but voted in July 2012 with Republicans to extend the tax cuts for all. Walz said he voted for the Republican tax plan because the Democratic alternative offered on the floor would have negatively affected family farmers. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Agriculture policy Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
Yes. With the current Farm Bill set to expire at the end of September, we owe it to our farmers, ranchers, and those who rely on agriculture production, to enact a new farm bill before October to avoid the uncertainty that comes with extensions or lame duck action.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"As a member of the House Agricultural Committee, I worked on the House version of this bill with Republicans and Democrats alike and believe it should be brought to the floor for a vote as soon as possible ... The extensive drought that has impacted farmers all over the nation only adds to the urgency of getting this bill passed and passed now," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
I support efforts to ensure Social Security is strong now and for the next generations of Americans and I oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, leaving senior's fiscal future to the reckless behavior on Wall Street.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We have to make sure Social Security is strong and stable for our seniors and that we keep the promise we made to them. After a lifetime of hard work, American seniors have earned the right to spend their golden years with financial stability," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
I support President Obama's health care reform law because it will help make health care more accessible and affordable for middle class families. From eliminating pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny, coverage, expanding coverage for young Americans, increasing benefits for senior citizens, this landmark bill will improve our system of health care. However, more work must done to make care affordable and accessible for all Americans.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Walz said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
I support ensuring the strength of Medicare by changing the way Medicare reimburses doctors. Minnesota doctors provide high-quality care at an affordable cost because they don't order unnecessary procedures of tests to make more money, they focus on getting the patient better. If we can fix the way Medicare reimburses doctors, we can provide efficient and high-quality healthcare for Medicare patients, reduce costs, and improve the overall health care system.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We need to make sure Medicare is strong, stable and here for the next generation of Americans ... We took some good first steps in the Affordable Care Act and I look forward to continuing to work on this effort," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I support the overhaul of No Child Left Behind, investing more in early childhood education and efforts to make college affordable.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"As a high school teacher, I believe firmly that a high quality education means success, not only for our children, but for our economy. I am one of only two members of Congress who has taught under the No Child Left Behind Act, and I know that we need to overhaul this legislation to make sure we are giving our children and our schools a chance to succeed," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
Allow more off-shore drilling for oil, invest royalty payments from oil companies in conservation and renewable energy initiatives, provide tax incentives for energy-efficient cars and homes. Support cap and trade.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Walz's campaign website. Walz voted for the cap and trade bill. Walz provided this statement to MPR News: "The United States can and will tackle our energy challenges. We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Why send $1 billion dollars a day to countries that hate us? They will hate us for free. Investment into our energy future is not only economically responsible, but also a matter of national security. I have proposed bipartisan energy reform legislation to increase our production here at home and take money we get from oil leases and invest it in homegrown, new energy technology right here in the heartland." (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
think we need to have reasonable regulation in place to ensure that the water we drink and the air we breathe doesn't make us sick. But I also believe that we have to work with small businesses and farmers to ensure the regulations make sense and are a balanced solution. I believe we can strike that right balance and ensure that common-sense regulation is not overly burdensome, but also keeps us safe and healthy.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Walz said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Silica sand mining Do you support silica sand mining? ANSWER OPTION
I support the efforts of local communities to decide for themselves if it can be done in a safe manner in their areas.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I understand the concerns many folks in southern Minnesota have about the environmental impact of silica sand mining ... we have seen a number of communities concerned that the environmental risk is too great," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
Abortion should be legal.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Walz received a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national organization that lobbies to oppose restrictions on abortion. He provided this statement to MPR News: "While I respect the views all Minnesotans have on this very personal issue, I do not believe it is the place of the government to mandate the decisions a women should make about her own health and body." (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Same-sex marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Marrying my wife Gwen was the best thing that ever happened to me and I simply cannot in good conscience prevent someone else for committing to and building a life with the person that they love," Walz said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
We need comprehensive immigration reform and to secure our borders. However, we must also recognize that foreign workers will also be drawn to the promise of the American dream and we need reform to address the system we have in place now for allowing those foreign workers to enter the country. Employers also need a way to determine the legal status of their potential workers.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Walz said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
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