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Candidate positions for Minnesota - 6th 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
Economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
Cut spending, reduce taxes and reform the tax code so companies can invest again. Eliminate counter productive regulations, repeal the president's health care reform law and stop cap-and-trade.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Bachmann's campaign website. (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
Congress cannot and should not vote to increase the borrowing limit for the government unless serious steps are taken to reduce spending, and most important, unless the legislation to raise the debt ceiling includes the full repeal of the president's health care reform law. Deep spending cuts must be made.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Bachmann's campaign website. (More Info)
Bush-era 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
Bachmann introduced a bill in December 2010 that would make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Farm bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
The farm bill as currently written fails to reform a problematic budget program. It fails to provide farmers with the certainty they need to sign contracts and prepare for next year's growing season. We need a farm bill that provides for a safe, reliable food supply. I am committed to supporting a solid, reform-minded farm bill that reflects what consumers and farmers need.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a Bachmann press release in September 2012. (More Info)
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
Program would remain same for those age 55 and over, but would be reformed to ensure its solvency for those younger than 55.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Bachmann spoke about her plans for Social Security at a debate in St. Cloud in October 2012. (More Info)
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
Program would remain same for those age 55 and over, but would be reformed to ensure its solvency for those younger than 55.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Bachmann's plan for Medicare is similar to her suggested reforms for Social Security. She spoke about it at a debate in St. Cloud in October 2012. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
The president's health care reform law should be repealed. Work to unleash the power of medical innovation and personal choices. Empower families and doctors, not unelected bureaucrats, to make the the right decisions about the shape and form of your health insurance, your quality of care and your course of treatment. Continue to push for greater competition in the healthcare market.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From a statement on Bachmann's campaign website. (More Info)
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I support abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and returning education decision making to the states under the 10th Amendment. This would give local school administrators, teachers and parents the flexibility to determine what teaching strategies are most effective for their students in establishing high competitive standards and accountability in the classroom.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Bachmann's House website. (More Info)
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
To lower gas prices and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, federal regulations that drive up production and processions costs should be cut. Domestic drilling should be increased. In addition, we must look beyond our traditional sources of energy to diversify our sources and find innovative solutions to help protect the environment.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Bachmann's House website. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
The Environmental Protection Agency should be shuttered. States should negotiate environmental issues themselves, with very limited involvement from the federal government.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Bachmann talked about federal environment policy on Fox News in 2011. She said during the Republican presidential primary that she would eradicate the EPA. (More Info)
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
The government has a responsibility to protect life from the moment it begins - at conception. Abortion providers should be required to make the heartbeat of an unborn child visible and audible to its mother; federal funds should never go toward covering the costs of abortions; health care entities that refuse to perform abortions should still receive federal assistance; taxpayer funds should not go to organizations like Planned Parenthood.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Bachmann's House website. (More Info)
Same-sex marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
No. I firmly support the Defense of Marriage Act. I believe marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman, and that the traditional family setting of a husband and wife, along with their children, is the pre-eminent foundation on which a healthy, productive society is built. This legal union has been the cornerstone of our American heritage for more than 200 years.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Bachmann's House website. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
While the United States has always been known as a nation of immigrants, it is also a nation founded on the rule of law and our immigration policies must reflect that. The enforcement of our immigrations laws is essential to the economic recovery. Only the spouses and children of legal immigrants should get priority consideration in the immigration process. Illegal immigrants should not collect Social Security benefits. Federal funds should not go to cities that prohibit enforcement of immigration laws.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
From Bachmann's House website. (More Info)
Issue Question Position
Economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
We should increase aggregate demand for American goods and products by making sure more money is in the hands of middle-class consumers. Also, the federal government must negotiate trade laws that are truly fair, cut bureaucratic red tape, and ensure capital is available to small businesses. In addition, I will work to bring new industries to the district, giving small businesses the tools and advocacy in Washington they need to succeed, and putting the middle class back to work.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this, in part, 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 would eliminate wasteful tax expenditures that subsidize huge corporations and special interests; end the expensive wars in the Middle East; and cut wasteful government spending, redundancy, and subsidization of luxurious "wants' in place of underfunded needs. Spending should be increased on rebuilding American infrastructure.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this, in part, 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
I will not support taking money out of the hands of the middle class. Instead of tinkering with a system that is broken, I support a comprehensive overhaul of our tax structure.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We cannot afford to raise taxes on the middle class, since that would suck the oxygen out of our already fragile economy," Graves 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
I am generally in favor of moving away from direct subsidies and toward crop insurance and approve of the direction the farm bill takes on that issue. However, the threat to food supply and the lack of competition caused by the ethanol industry is an area I will focus on. Programs that ensure that vital food supplies are protected for all Americans will always be my top priority.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
Protecting Social Security and Medicare are non-negotiable priorities, and, in order to do that, we have to keep them solvent, using creative solutions and open minds at the negotiating table.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Social Security has provided a guaranteed safety net for America's seniors who have earned these benefits," Graves said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
I will vote to protect Medicare, keep it solvent, and to keep health care costs down for our senior citizens. Specifically, I will do everything I can to prevent senior citizens from financial ruin due to the Part D "doughnut hole" coverage gap.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Issue Question Position
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
The Affordable Care Act primarily addresses the problem of access. But we need to consider solutions that bend the cost curve of health care before it destroys our economy. I will support continued health care reform with the introduction an outcome-based compensation model that incorporates transparency, employs competition and free market principles, and emphasizes preventative care.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I will work to reduce class sizes and ensure that new and existing teachers have the most effective training and resources to support them. I oppose unfunded mandates in the education system. I also believe Congress must work to make higher education affordable and reduce crippling student loan debt. I will support capping the student loan rate at 3.4 percent indefinitely.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said the following in response to an MPR News inquiry: "As a businessman and employer, I know the importance of quality education and training for a thriving workforce and economy. As a former teacher, I also understand the challenges educators and students face and am committed to reforming education in a way that demands accountability from parents, teachers, and administrators, but also rewards educators for the tremendous service they do."
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
First and foremost, we should stop subsidizing big oil. As we transition to more renewable solutions, nuclear and natural gas, as well as some additional oil drilling and clean coal, should be on the negotiating table. This future should involve a combination of innovative energy technologies, an emphasis on energy efficiencies and an expansion of domestic energy production, without abandoning the call to be responsible stewards of our state's precious lakes, rivers and other natural resources.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said the following in response to an MPR News inquiry: "I see our energy crises not as a problem, but an opportunity to create new technologies, products and, above all, new jobs. It's an opportunity to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and thus to bolster our national security, and an opportunity to fashion our own energy future."
Issue Question Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
As we transition to cleaner technologies we have to be cognizant of the need to keep commerce going and our economy thriving. We should allow freer and fairer competition in the energy sector to let the best sources and technologies succeed.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We will always need to strike a balance between our economic growth and our call to be good stewards of our lakes and rivers," Graves said in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
The proper role of the government is not to make these kinds of personal decisions. We ought to come together as families and as communities to do everything in our power to provide young women with support and options in order to reduce the number of abortions. Abortion is a tragedy.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said this in response to an MPR News inquiry.
Same-sex marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
Yes. The government should not be a nanny state in the business of monitoring people's private lives.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said the following in response to an MPR News inquiry: "I have been married for 39 years and it is the best thing that ever happened to me; I would never try to deny that to another person."
Issue Question Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
Immigration is, above all, about national security. Because Congress has failed to face the reality of our immigration challenges, we have a system that supports criminals, weakens our borders, and penalizes innocent families instead of those who wish to harm America. A sustainable immigration system requires an earned path to citizenship for law-abiding, productive migrants. I also support a requirement that migrant workers be paid prevailing wages and benefits, thereby decreasing demand for poorly-paid undocumented workers and protecting human dignity. I also support the DREAM Act.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Graves said the following in response to an MPR News inquiry: "Smart immigration enforcement can improve our country, but only if it is coupled with immigration policy that takes into account human dignity, the opportunity of the American dream, national security, and the need for a growing labor force."
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