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Candidate positions for Minnesota - 7th Congressional District

The following positions reflect those used for each candidate in the Select A Candidate survey. They come from candidates' public statements, Web sites, and responses to Minnesota Public Radio questionnaires. In some cases, candidiates have failed to respond to inquiries, and their position is noted as "No known opinion."

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Issue Question Position
Jobs and economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
The very first thing the Congress should do is pass an actual budget, which has not happened in over 3 years. Without a budget agreement, the appropriations process is totally out of control, leading to years of trillion dollar deficits, and projections of trillions more. Reforming the tax code should be the very next step, streamlining the current unwieldy system.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this 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
The first thing we should do is quit bailing out failing companies, and subsidizing others which cannot prove themselves in the marketplace. We have wasted billions of dollars in recent years doing just that. We should wind down the wars and the billions more we spend overseas. Third, we should prohibit earmarks.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Bush-era tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, but only as a stopgap. We should reform the tax code and eliminate the death tax, which harms small businesses and farmers.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Farm Bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
No. Instead, I support the $383 million version passed by the House in August -- with the exception of the supply management provisions regarding dairy producers.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
Reform it for people under age 55 in order to make it solvent into the foreseeable future.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg 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
Obamacare should be repealed. In our district we need to focus on ensuring greater access to providers and more health care options for people. Leveraging innovations such as telemedicine will increase access and reduce costs.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
First, I would vote to scrap Obamacare, which steals over $700 billion from the Medicare program. Long-term we have to reform the system for younger recipients to ensure solvency. I support a system that looks similar to the one members of Congress have.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
Federal education policy has largely failed. Since President Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education in the 1970s, hundreds of programs and mandates have been created in order to improve student and teacher performance. During that time, performance has stagnated.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
The government should quit subsidizing energy production, be it conventional or non-conventional. In turn, permitting should be much easier for energy production, and federal lands should be made accessible for drilling for oil and gas. America can be energy independent if we exploit our natural resources (oil, gas, biofuel, etc.), and our economy will benefit from cheaper energy.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg 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
The EPA should be overhauled so that environmental protection is not just a code word for restricting economic and job growth.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"The federal government is much better at being an impediment to economic growth than actually protecting the environment," Byberg said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
I oppose it.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
No.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
I support legal immigration and guest workers.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"My parents were legal immigrants to our country, and the vast majority of our citizens are the descendants of immigrants," Byberg said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
American Crystal Sugar What would you do to end the contract stalemate at American Crystal Sugar? ANSWER OPTION
I would strongly encourage negotiations between the parties. In general I oppose government-imposed solutions to contract disputes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Byberg said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Jobs and economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
We have to get the federal budget under control and on a sustainable path. Every day we wait adds $11.4 billion to our debt, prolongs the economic slowdown, delays the creation of millions of private-sector jobs, and risks the credit rating of the federal government. We need a bipartisan and bicameral solution that puts everything on the table; tax reform, defense spending, domestic spending and entitlements.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this 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
I believe that everything must be on the table; tax reform, defense spending, domestic spending and entitlements. I've supported a balanced budget amendment, voted for across-the-board spending cuts, and worked to reinstate "pay-as-you-go" rules into law.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Everyone will have to find some compromises and leave something on the table. We cannot continue down this path of short-term solutions and patches," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Bush-era tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, all of them should be extended. But only for another year while greater budget reform is accomplished.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I have supported extending these tax cuts for another year because I believe that this tax reform discussion should happen within the context of greater budget reform. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that budget reform will take place yet this year and the recovering economy needs certainty for another year. While I have supported a one-year extension, I am not supportive of making these tax cuts permanent," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Farm Bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
Yes. Many farm bill programs expire at the end of September or the end of the crop year. Without the certainty of a 5-year farm bill, it is difficult for farmers and banks to make plans and decisions. Additionally, starting the farm bill process over in a brand new Congress will likely result in less money for farm and conservation programs.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"[Without a new farm bill,] bankers will have no assurances regarding a farm safety net as they look to provide lending this winter and spring ... The real danger is that if something is not passed by the end of the year, all the progress we have made to date would be lost," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
It must be reformed in the interest of keeping it solvent and helping balance the federal budget.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I think there's ways for Social Security. We can make that solvent for 75 years without decimating the program," Peterson said during an MPR interview in 2011. (More Info)
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
I will support reform that will bring down the cost of health care without increasing our country's growing debt. I will support the fair implementation of Obama's health care reform bill.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
I would support additional efforts to control the rising cost of medications by requiring Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, like they do at the VA.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I believe we should fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to make sure our school districts aren't overburdened with rising special education costs.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
We need to keep the Energy Department and EPA from over-regulating new energy source development, including renewables.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Energy is a bright spot in our economy with many opportunities for renewable energy industries, especially in agriculture," Peterson said 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
The EPA needs to reclaim a commitment to transparency and accountability. The process is seriously flawed and it is leading to damaging results out in the countryside.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Environmental groups use the courts to twist laws against American farmers and agricultural production. This is resulting in policy decisions being made by activists, bureaucrats and lawyers without consideration of what's best for American agriculture," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
I oppose it.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"I am pro-life," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
I believe that this issue is best left up to the states.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
I support comprehensive immigration reform that enforces existing immigration laws, that includes reforms to the work visa programs, that makes e-verify permanent and will address illegal immigrants that are already here. While I do not support amnesty, I believe that we need immigration reform because America is losing its top immigrant job creators -- particularly those in science, technology, engineering, and math -- to our competitors abroad.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Peterson said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. (More Info)
American Crystal Sugar What would you do to end the contract stalemate at American Crystal Sugar? ANSWER OPTION
Our region has a history of working together during difficult times. It is time to do just that and settle this contract.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"The area's farmers, union members and American Crystal Sugar have all suffered from this lockout. The Red River Valley's small towns and communities have felt the impact. Each day the lockout continues only makes a resolution more difficult," Peterson said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
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