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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Senator —United States SenateNovember 8, 2016 —Illinois General Election

United States
November 8, 2016 —Illinois General Election

United States SenateSenator

About this office

Senators are elected to six-year terms to represent the people of their state in the federal government. They make new laws, hold hearings, approve presidential appointments, and help set priorities for U.S. policy.
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Who’s Running?

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Republican
United States Senator
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  • Protect the American people from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad.
  • Change the culture of corruption in the VA health care system.
  • Tax less, spend less and encourage economic growth.
Profession:United States Senator
Senator, U.S. Senate — Elected position (2010–current)
Member, U.S. Navy Reserve (1989–2013)
Member, U.S. House of Representatives — Elected position (2001–2010)
Special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State (1991–1993)
Staff member, Office of U.S. Representative John Porter of Illinois (1984–1990)
Georgetown University J.D. (1992)
London School of Economics M.S. (1982)
Cornell University B.A., history (1981)

Mark Kirk represents Illinois in the United States Senate as an independent voice for families from every corner of the greatest state in the nation. With a proven record as a bridge-builder, Mark is a fiscal conservative, social moderate and defense hawk on our national security.

Mark was born in Champaign in 1959 and spent his earliest years growing up in a small house on Magnolia Drive. The Kirk family later moved to Kenilworth, where Mark attended the Joseph Sears School. He graduated from New Trier High School in 1977.

Mark attended Blackburn College in Carlinville and earned a degree in history from Cornell University, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Georgetown University. He worked for 10th District Congressman John Porter and later at the World Bank, at the State Department, at a private law firm, and as counsel for the House International Relations Committee.

In 1989, Mark was commissioned as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He served for 23 years until retiring in 2013 with the rank of commander. He considers his service in the Navy Reserve the greatest honor of his life. When Congressman Porter retired in 2000, Mark was elected to replace him. He served five terms representing the people of Illinois’ 10th District in the House of Representatives before being elected in 2010 to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. He was sworn in on November 29, 2010.

In January 2012, Mark suffered an ischemic stroke and underwent several surgeries at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to save his life. After nearly a year of intensive rehabilitation to re-learn how to walk, with the help of talented physical therapists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Mark climbed the 45 steps of the U.S. Capitol and returned to work in the Senate.

Mark’s grueling recovery process and triumphant return to work only strengthened his determination to be an independent voice for Illinois. He confronts the culture of corruption at VA hospitals like Hines in Illinois on behalf of our state’s 700,000 veterans. He has delivered millions in federal dollars to find and prosecute dangerous drug gangs which remain a plague in Chicago, Peoria, and other Illinois communities. Mark understands that over 30 million people rely on the Great Lakes, the crown jewel of the Midwest, for clean water.

He is the leading advocate of industry and innovation of Illinois, the nation’s fifth-largest economy, from the aerospace industry in Rockford and Caterpillar in Peoria to the farmers that have made Illinois number one in soybean production and the small businesses that drive innovation. As Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Mark is proud of Illinois’ military installations – Scott Air Force Base (the largest employer south of Springfield), Rock Island Arsenal, and Naval Station Great Lakes – at the forefront of military readiness. With allies in office and in the private sector, Mark is always looking for ways to strengthen Illinois’ best competitive advantage – its transportation and logistics infrastructure – from making the Mississippi River an export drag strip for Illinois agricultural products to keeping O’Hare the world’s busiest airport.

Mark currently lives in Highland Park.

Total money raised: $8,505,478

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
National Republican Senatorial Committee
$46,800
2
NORPAC
$42,710
3
Employees of Kirkland & Ellis
$33,625
4
Fidelity and employees
$28,200
5
Employees of Elliott Management
$27,300

By State:

Illinois 33.41%
District of Columbia 12.25%
New York 7.67%
Virginia 6.04%
Other 40.64%
33.41%12.25%40.64%

By Size:

Large contributions (95.06%)
Small contributions (4.94%)
95.06%

By Type:

From organizations (29.53%)
From individuals (70.47%)
29.53%70.47%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.
Email press@kirkforsenate.com
Phone: (847) 498-0300
Green
Attorney - Public Guardian & Public Administrator of McHenry County
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  • Climate action
  • Economic rejuvenation
  • Equal opportunity in education and employment
Profession:Attorney - Public Guardian & Public Administrator of McHenry County
Attorney, Private Practice (1989–current)
Public Guardian, McHenry County — Appointed position (2013–current)
Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management M.B.A. (not availa)
Northern Illinois University J.D. (not availa)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign B.A., liberal arts (not availa)
1.
Question 1

What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?

Answer from Scott Summers:

I advocate for human rights, financial reform, a Green New Deal, climate action, alleviation of poverty, immigration and criminal justice reform, demilitarization, equal opportunity in education and employment, racial justice, and universal health care, among other things. In my opinion, other candidates for Senate aren't putting enough focus on these essential issues.

2.
Question 2: National Security

Congress has declined to formally authorize America’s undeclared war against ISIS. Should Congress take a vote to authorize the use of military force against ISIS?

Answer from Scott Summers:

Pursuant to Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war. The last time that happened was on June 5, 1942, when we declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

Since then, Congress has completely abdicated its constitutional responsibility: it has instead relied on resolutions and on the War Powers Act of 1973. They need to bring a vote to the floor concerning ISIS, and they should continue to do the same for any other conflicts going forward.

3.
Question 3: National Security

More generally, what should Congress do to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

ISIS relies on foreign arms, and some of their arsenal consists of American weaponry that was captured from the Iraqi army.

Attempts to limit international arms transfers and arms sales in the region are, of course, imperative. But the weaponry already there and being used isn't going away. Accordingly, one of the best ways to limit ISIS' ability to fight would be an all-out international effort to cut off flows of munitions to the region. Similarly, dramatic steps must be taken to increase the security of US weapons presently controlled by Iraq.

On a long-term basis, we should combat ISIS and other terrorist organizations like them by radically shifting our foreign policy. Instead of perpetual warfare in the Middle East that leads to civilian casualties and galvanizes local populations against us, we can extend foreign aid and re-purpose our military to achieve humanitarian goals.

4.
Question 4: National Security

Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Do you support such action? What restrictions, if any, do you support on the admission of Muslims into the United States? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

When we assess terrorist threats I think it's very important that we look objectively at each immigration application instead of making blanket judgments based on nationality, ethnicity, or creed. As such, I don't support any special restrictions on Muslim immigration -- or, for that matter, on any cultural group.

5.
Question 5: National Security

The United States’ nuclear deal with Iran turned one year old on July 14, 2016. Should the deal be maintained as it is, revised or scrapped completely? What is right or wrong with the Iran deal? And should the next president feel bound by it?

Answer from Scott Summers:

I believe that the nuclear agreements with Iran should be maintained. The essential goal – sharply reducing the ability of Iran to obtain weapons-grade nuclear material – has been achieved. As a result the chances of nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East have been reduced.

In the coming years there will probably be disagreements about inspections and other protocols, but I think future presidents need to stay the course. We have taken a critical first step towards rebuilding trust with Iran. Reneging on the agreements would only serve to (a) increase Iranian cynicism about U.S. motives and (b) plunge the region into nuclear roulette. 

6.
Question 6: Immigration

Should the United States build a physical wall along our nation’s entire border with Mexico? Should a “path to citizenship” be created for the millions of people already living here without proper documentation? Would you support legislation to prevent the deportations of so-called “Dreamers” — youth who came to the U.S. illegally as small children with their parents?

Answer from Scott Summers:

Every wall in history has failed. Hadrian's Wall, the Great Wall of China, the Maginot Line, and the Berlin Wall are just four examples. There’s no reason to believe that Trump’s Wall would be any different. I think it would waste money and project a toxic, isolationist attitude to the rest of the world.

We as a nation are predicated on wave after wave of immigration; it's what made America the economic force that it is today. That being said, I strongly support a path to citizenship and any legislation that prevents those who came to the U.S. as children from being deported.

7.
Question 7: Voting

Federal judges in July ruled against voter identification laws in Wisconsin and Texas, concluding that they disproportionately impact minority voters and violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Should voters be required to show a photo ID when voting? And should the federal government have a say in this, or is it strictly a matter for the individual states to decide? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

Despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's claim that "voter fraud is rampant", it's actually quite rare. A study reported by Politifact found that there were 85 prosecutions for voter fraud in Texas between 2002-2015, and many of these cases didn't even lead to convictions. When we compare that number to the 42 million ballots that were cast in Texas during roughly the same time period, it becomes apparent that voter fraud is a miniscule problem.

Bearing that in mind, I don't think a photo ID requirement is justified. While it might have a small impact when it comes to preventing voter fraud, it would seriously undermine the voting rights of the poor and elderly. In general, I believe voter eligibility laws do far more to disenfranchise us than they do to protect us, and the simple system of checking signatures against registries of eligible voters that's served us since the beginning of the Republic should stay in place.

To answer the final part of the question - yes, the federal government should absolutely have a say when it comes to federal offices. I think they also have an interest in overseeing state voting laws from a civil rights perspective, since the federal government is responsible for enforcing the 14th amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

8.
Question 8: Public Lands

Should all or certain federal public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests, be given to states to control? Do you support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration for oil and other fossil fuels, even if those resources are not immediately developed? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

I'm open to limited partnerships between federal and state governments given the particular needs of each location, but it's not a one-size-fits-all proposition. In general I believe national parks should remain under federal control.

I am strongly against opening public lands, or any lands, to aid in the search for fossil fuels. The oil industry has inhibited the development of renewable energy sources for decades in the interest of perpetuating a global reliance on fossil fuels. This needs to stop. Climate change is real, and we need to take major steps now to abandon fossil fuels and move towards clean and renewable sources of energy.

9.
Question 9: Economic Security

What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

Answer from Scott Summers:

As it stands, upper-level income tax brackets are extremely lenient compared to what they were 60 or 70 years ago. The highest marginal income tax under the Truman administration exceeded 90%. Today, it’s just shy of 40%. There’s an extensive historical precedent where the country was able to function, and often thrive, with much higher taxes on the wealthy. (And with these high top-dollar rates, we raised money to fight World War II and the Korean conflict on a largely pay-as-we-went-basis -- not by borrowing money, as we have with the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.)

In the interest of simple fairness, the U.S. tax code must be changed in fundamental ways. I would work to end the practice of carried interest (whereby funds managers pay low taxes), phase out capital gains taxes (also lower than personal tax rates), implement a financial transactions tax (i.e., a Wall Street tax), end the payment of interest on excess reserves (whereby the Federal Reserve pays interest to banks for redeposits), end corporate inversions (whereby a multinational company can avoid US taxes by having a foreign parent), curb the abuse of offshore tax havens and secret accounts, sharply increase earned income tax credits, remove the annual Social Security cap on earnings, and also sponsor legislation to stop predatory lending with a federal usury law.

10.
Question 10: Economic Security

What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?

Answer from Scott Summers:

To start, we could increase the amount of maximum annual earnings that are subject to Social Security tax or remove the earnings cap altogether. (Note that in a similar vein, the current Medicare payroll tax has no cap.)

We should also means-test benefits. Social Security payments should diminish and then vanish altogether for retirees with high personal incomes. Conversely, benefits should be enriched for people with low lifetime earnings and service credits so that all retirees can be brought up to at least the federal poverty line.

Given that life expectancies continue to rise, it has been suggested that retirement age levels should rise accordingly. I have misgivings about this, because I believe that lower income workers and blue collar workers might be affected disproportionately. Further actuarial studies are required. If the eligibility ages are, indeed, increased, they should be phased in over a period of years so that those approaching retirement have time to adjust their financial plans.

11.
Question 11: LGBT Rights

The Republican Party platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. What is your view? The Obama Administration has issued guidelines to schools, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. What is your view? And do you believe parents of LGBT children should be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy?

Answer from Scott Summers:

The Republican Party is entitled to its stance on marriage, but ultimately their personal beliefs, and by extension my own, are not important. What's important is that under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, same sex marriage is now legal throughout the country.

Concerning the issue of transgender bathrooms, one constructive approach could be to introduce inclusive restrooms. These would be similar to the private family bathrooms that have started to become more common in recent years.

I'm strongly against parents forcing their children to undergo conversion therapy because it's been discredited by the American Psychiatric Association and virtually all major medical organizations.

12.
Question 12: Gun Violence

What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?

Answer from Scott Summers:

Irrespective of any legislation to reduce gun violence, guns themselves will remain in circulation for decades to come. I think the single most important action would be to impose stricter taxes and regulations on the manufacture and sale of ammunition. Bullets are consumed; guns are not.

13.
Question 13: Gun Violence

The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act” would give the Department of Justice authority to keep suspected terrorists on the federal “no fly” list from buying firearms. The bill was voted down in Congress late last year but pushed again in June after the Orlando massacre of 49 people. Do you support or oppose this bill, and why?

Answer from Scott Summers:

I fully support this bill. I’m honestly amazed that for all the rhetoric about national security and combating terrorism, there isn’t already a firearm ban for suspects on the no fly list. What’s the point of having a watch list in the first place if the government allows people who are flagged as potential security risks to buy guns and ammunition?

14.
Question 14: Health Care

Should Obamacare be repealed, left intact, or changed — and if so, how? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

I think that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should ultimately be seen as a stepping stone towards a universal health care solution, i.e., Medicare for All.

15.
Question 15: Health Care

A plan to replace Obamacare, presented by House Speaker Paul Ryan in June, would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare, which is now 65. Starting in 2020, the Medicare age would rise along with the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, eventually reaching 67. Do you support this change in the eligibility age for Medicare? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

Implementation of universal health care would render age levels moot. Once again, I am concerned that people of lesser means would be disproportionately affected by changes to attained age levels. For the present, I would hold the eligibility age at 65.

On the whole, I think that Mr. Ryan’s proposed legislation is vague on costs, sketchy on details, and not worthy of serious consideration. The old Republican bromides of tax credits, health savings accounts (HSAs) and block grants will neither reduce the complexity of the health care delivery system in the United States, nor make health care more affordable. If anything, the suggested strategies may actually increase the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.

16.
Question 16: Health Care

The GOP platform opposes the use of public funds for Planned Parenthood and other groups that “perform or advocate” abortion. It also opposes funding health care that includes abortion coverage. In contrast, the Democratic Party’s platform called for continued funding of Planned Parenthood and repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the direct use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Where do you stand?  

Answer from Scott Summers:

Roe vs. Wade stands, in part, for the premise that the state cannot compel an interest in human life unless and until such life is viable. I believe that this is wise public policy. Those who disagree shouldn't continue to nibble around the edges with platform planks and regulations and funding restrictions. They should instead propose constitutional amendments.

17.
Question 17: Education

President Obama has proposed making two years of community college free nationally. Do you support or oppose this proposal? If you support it, how would you have the nation pay for it? 

Answer from Scott Summers:

I heartily support Mr. Obama's proposal. In many ways it reminds me of the G.I. Bill that was introduced after World War II. That bill was a major win for the economy, and I think a modern education subsidy would have similar beneficial effects.

The program could be funded with direct grants, scholarships, and federal tax rebates. We could also consider paying partial costs (course credits but not administrative fees, for example) or encourage individuals to participate in a national service corps to receive benefits.

18.
Question 18: Education

College costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation for about 30 years. What is driving this increase and what should be done about it?

Answer from Scott Summers:

I think some of the major factors include administrative overhead, insufficient state funding, and facility expenses.

An educated workforce is the cornerstone of any healthy economy, so ensuring that higher education remains accessible to the general public would be one of my highest priorities as Senator. Securing additional state funding to achieve that goal is no simple matter, especially in Illinois, but it's possible to take cost-cutting measures that would keep tuition affordable without seriously undermining the quality of the education our colleges provide.

We can start by getting creative with classroom space. When I was a trustee at McHenry County College, my fellow board members and I oversaw many collaborative efforts between the college and local high schools. We borrowed rooms that were otherwise not in use for evening courses. We brought AP programs directly to the high school students. To give a more specific example - there was a culinary arts focus at MCC, but we didn't have a kitchen at the time, so instead of building a kitchen we borrowed one from a high school during the evenings.

Classroom sharing programs like these have already saved colleges a significant amount of money, so I think it's time to expand on them. We could also reduce spending and keep tuition costs down by offering more online coursework.

Libertarian
Paralegal at a law firm
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  • Bring troops home from overseas and employ them in this country to protect us
  • End the drug war and concentrate on treatment
  • Wind down the social security program by selling assets to purchase annuities for senior citizens
Profession:Paralegal at a law firm
Northern Illinois University Bachelor of Arts, Journalism (1983)

I am a graduate of Northern Illinois University and also completed th Lawyers Assistant Program at Roosevelt University.  I have been employed as a paralegal for over 30 years.  I am a proud single father of a 28 year old son and 24 year old daughter.  I live in Melrose Park.  I enjoy reading, exercising, being outside and conversation with family and friends.  

1.
Question 1

What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I believe in personal freedom and a limited federal government.  Problems cannot always be solved with the introduction of a new government program or intrusion at the federal level.  I believe in free and open capital markets as opposed to government involvement in business as well as our personal lives.  We do not need trade agreements in order for companies across the globe to trade with each other.   

 

2.
Question 2: National Security

Congress has declined to formally authorize America’s undeclared war against ISIS. Should Congress take a vote to authorize the use of military force against ISIS?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

Yes.  This would give a consensus to take action against ISIS and then Congress cannot second guess actions of the executive branch.

 

3.
Question 3: National Security

More generally, what should Congress do to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

We should share intelligence with our allies and offer other support which doesn’t include ground troops.  The countries in which ISIS is flourishing need to devote more time and money to national defense and be serious about refuting this threat.

 

4.
Question 4: National Security

Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Do you support such action? What restrictions, if any, do you support on the admission of Muslims into the United States? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I believe a temporary ban on Muslim immigration is un-American.   Immigration is what made this country and this country has many Muslim immigrants who are valued members of society.     

 

5.
Question 5: National Security

The United States’ nuclear deal with Iran turned one year old on July 14, 2016. Should the deal be maintained as it is, revised or scrapped completely? What is right or wrong with the Iran deal? And should the next president feel bound by it?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I believe the deal should be maintained as it is.  It sets reasonable goals and we have recourse if Iran is not holding up their part of the deal.    The next president should pursue normal diplomatic channels if he or she feels the deal requires amendment.

 

6.
Question 6: Immigration

Should the United States build a physical wall along our nation’s entire border with Mexico? Should a “path to citizenship” be created for the millions of people already living here without proper documentation? Would you support legislation to prevent the deportations of so-called “Dreamers” — youth who came to the U.S. illegally as small children with their parents?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

The wall is a symbol of intolerance and should not be built.  Yes, there should be a reasonable path to citizenship for those living here without proper documentation which would include a fine and guidelines to ensure their citizenship and enable them to be productive members of society.  Yes, I would support legislation to prevent the deportation of the Dreamers.  They should be allowed to be citizens.

 

7.
Question 7: Voting

Federal judges in July ruled against voter identification laws in Wisconsin and Texas, concluding that they disproportionately impact minority voters and violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Should voters be required to show a photo ID when voting? And should the federal government have a say in this, or is it strictly a matter for the individual states to decide? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

This is a state and county matter as voting is at the county level.  I do not believe in having to show a photo ID as voting is a right and there is no evidence of any widespread pattern of voting fraud as a result of not having a photo ID.  In Illinois, voting cards are mailed to voters and voters can show those at the polling place.

 

8.
Question 8: Public Lands

Should all or certain federal public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests, be given to states to control? Do you support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration for oil and other fossil fuels, even if those resources are not immediately developed? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

Federal public lands should be sold as part of the program to purchase annuities for senior citizens with the intent of ultimately eliminating social security.  With respect to the second question, I support these lands being sold to private interests. The new owners, which could very well include many conservation organizations, would determine the best use of these resources.

 

9.
Question 9: Economic Security

What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

According to the non-partisan Tax Foundation, Americans will spend 8.9 billion hours complying with IRS regulations, the equivalent of 4.3 million full-time jobs. As a first step, the U.S. tax code should be streamlined to eliminate deductions and call for a simple flat tax, which would abolish the IRS.  Ultimately, with the downsizing of the federal government, there would be no need for an individual, federal income tax.

10.
Question 10: Economic Security

What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

If social security is to be saved, the salary cap will have to be raised dramatically and benefits will have to be cut.  Unfortunately, the program hasn’t been run as a retirement program but more of a “Ponzi Scheme” where new investors pay for older investors.  The federal government shouldn’t be in the retirement business.    As a part of downsizing the federal government, federal assets should be sold to purchase annuities for retirees with the intent of eliminating social security over time and giving younger workers the power and resources to plan their own retirements.    

 

11.
Question 11: LGBT Rights

The Republican Party platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. What is your view? The Obama Administration has issued guidelines to schools, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. What is your view? And do you believe parents of LGBT children should be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I do not believe that marriage should be defined only as between a man and a woman.  I don’t believe in federal guidelines for schools regarding transgender students.  This should be decided at the state and local level between school administrators, parents and students.  Parents of LGBT children should not be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy.    

 

12.
Question 12: Gun Violence

What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

The only thing the federal government can do to reduce U.S. gun violence is to end the war on drugs.  This has not stopped the use of drugs and continues the gang war since there is a black market for the product; otherwise, guns are a state and local issue.  Most gun owners are responsible people who only want to protect themselves and their families and to hunt and use guns for sporting purposes.

13.
Question 13: Gun Violence

The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act” would give the Department of Justice authority to keep suspected terrorists on the federal “no fly” list from buying firearms. The bill was voted down in Congress late last year but pushed again in June after the Orlando massacre of 49 people. Do you support or oppose this bill, and why?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I do not support the bill because there is a constitutional right to buy firearms and the no fly list is subjective.   

 

14.
Question 14: Health Care

Should Obamacare be repealed, left intact, or changed — and if so, how? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a consumer driven, open market system for healthcare in which the individual decides what type of care he wants to pay for and should have the option of going anywhere in the country for health insurance.

 

15.
Question 15: Health Care

A plan to replace Obamacare, presented by House Speaker Paul Ryan in June, would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare, which is now 65. Starting in 2020, the Medicare age would rise along with the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, eventually reaching 67. Do you support this change in the eligibility age for Medicare? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I do not.  Medicare has become such a large part of the federal budget due to mismanagement and fraud.  AARP recently reported over 66 billion dollars in Medicare fraud.  It needs to be streamlined and better accounted for.     

 

16.
Question 16: Health Care

The GOP platform opposes the use of public funds for Planned Parenthood and other groups that “perform or advocate” abortion. It also opposes funding health care that includes abortion coverage. In contrast, the Democratic Party’s platform called for continued funding of Planned Parenthood and repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the direct use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Where do you stand?  

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I do not support federal funds for abortion and I do not support federal funds for Planned Parenthood.  Abortions should be rare, safe and privately funded.

 

17.
Question 17: Education

President Obama has proposed making two years of community college free nationally. Do you support or oppose this proposal? If you support it, how would you have the nation pay for it? 

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

 

I oppose this because there shouldn’t be a federal directive which respect to community college.  If local units of government want to make community college free, they can put it to a referendum.   

 

18.
Question 18: Education

College costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation for about 30 years. What is driving this increase and what should be done about it?

Answer from Kenton McMillen:

The more taxpayer dollars are shoveled to colleges, the more they will spend. Removing taxpayer subsidies will force colleges to live within their means and will lower costs.

I believe in personal and fiscal responsibility.  Responsiblity leads to freedom and freedom leads to prosperity.  I am a believer in the power of each individual to live his life according to his terms, as long as he doesn't tread on someone else's life.  I believe in limited government, low taxation and abundant personal freedom.  Less government means less taxation which means more money in your pocket.  This country should not be the world's policeman but should be a good friend to our allies and a good global neighbor.  The size of the federal government is too large and should be cut to include essential services only, such as national security and civil and individual rights.     

Email Info@Kent4Senate.com
Phone: (708) 831-1961
Democratic
Government Administrator & Elected Official
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  • Investing in and strengthening our economy through manufacturing and workforce development. If our workforce isn’t strong, our nation isn’t strong. I will advocate for policies that create jobs and create new economic opportunities for all Americans
  • Serving our members of the Military. It’s imperative that members of our military and their families have access to the care and support they earned during and after their service.
  • Strengthening Social Security and Medicare. Not only do millions of Americans currently rely on these crucial programs, millions more have paid into the system and are counting on these programs to provide them with dignity in their retirement.
Profession:Government Administrator & Elected Official
Member, U.S. House of Representatives — Elected position (2013–current)
Member, U.S. Army Reserve, (1992–2014)
Member, Illinois Army National Guard (1996–2014)
Assistant secretary, United States Department of Veterans Affairs — Appointed position (2009–2011)
Director, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs — Appointed position (2006–2009)
Capella University PhD, human services (2015)
The George Washington University M.A., international affairs (1992)
University of Hawaii B.A., political science (1989)
1.
Question 1

What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

Bottom line, I am always going to put the needs of hardworking families first. Republican Mark Kirk, by comparison, has made it clear over his 16 years in Washington that he will always go to bat for Wall Street and big donors at the expense of the middle class.

 

I see things differently. I am running because we need to do better by working families in this state and across the country. For far too many people who are working harder than ever before, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make ends meet. The cost of a college education seems out of reach, and a secure and dignified retirement seems unobtainable.

 

It’s personal for me: my dad lost his job in his 50s and my family went from solidly middle-class to relying on food stamps and reduced lunches at school. I was able to go to college and become an Army helicopter pilot because of a quality public school education, teachers who cared about me and a lot of hard work. I relied on Pell Grants, student loans and a lot of waitressing to pay for college, and I wouldn’t be where I am without it.

 

My goal is to look out and work for Illinois families like mine, who may have been knocked down, but haven’t given up. I want to make sure every child has access to a quality education, regardless of where he or she lives. I’ll work to ensure we’re investing in education with an emphasis on STEM areas, so we can fill the jobs of the future. In the Senate, I’ll continue my work to link graduates up with local employers.

 

I will also fight for fairer trade policies that will help Illinois workers compete globally, rather than keep us at the mercy of foreign currency manipulation and steel dumping.

 

By supporting initiatives that bolster the middle class, we can reduce income inequality and ensure that hardworking Americans have the resources they need to live a fulfilling life. I’m also running to support seniors who rely on Social Security and Medicare. Not only do millions of Americans currently rely on these crucial programs, but millions more who have paid into the system are counting on Social Security and Medicare to one day provide them with dignity in their retirement. I’m committed to working to ensure Social Security and Medicare are secure for generations to come.


Finally, I have always been a strong supporter of Veterans and will bring that commitment to the Senate. Our nation must give Veterans and their families the care and support they deserve. As director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and later Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, I worked hard to address Veteran homelessness and suicide, and increase Veteran access to mental health care. During my time in Congress, I’ve led legislation to reduce Veteran suicide, and I’ve worked to protect Veterans’ benefits from fraud.

2.
Question 2: National Security

Congress has declined to formally authorize America’s undeclared war against ISIS. Should Congress take a vote to authorize the use of military force against ISIS?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

The Islamic State poses an immediate threat to U.S. interests abroad and a serious threat here in the United States. Because of this, I support targeted military action in the region, but I do have reservations about the deployment of our military without a long-term plan or exit strategy. A new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) is critical for ensuring that our nation’s service members are not put in harm’s way without specific and measurable goals. It’s critical that Congress lives up to its responsibility of passing an updated AUMF. The situation with ISIS is fluid and any action the U.S. takes must be well thought-out, include our allies, and take into account all the costs of military action, including the costs borne by our troops and military families.

3.
Question 3: National Security

More generally, what should Congress do to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

The reality is ISIS cannot beat us on the battlefield. The way they gain strength is to grow the pool of recruits who think Americans hate Muslims. To defeat ISIS, we must methodically and relentlessly attack every facet of its base of power. We’re going to use proactive diplomacy, financial pressure, and an information operations campaign coordinated with the most powerful military in the world to assist our allies in Syria and Iraq as they clear and hold territory now in ISIS’ hands.

 

Over the last 15 years, America has developed unique capabilities to track networks and capture or kill key terrorist leaders. Using those tools, we have killed thousands of ISIS fighters and removed several key figures from the battlefield—like “Jihadi John.” We will continue these efforts until ISIS no longer controls territory.

 

Beyond combat, we must continue using our diplomatic and economic tools to push Syria and Iraq to develop legitimate governments that respect their peoples’ rights, operate transparently, and fight the corruption that breeds distrust and fosters extremism. As part of any political solution, we must insist on the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

 

Ultimately, we must understand that no amount of U.S. bombing or boots on the ground will defeat ISIS without local allies taking the lead. It’s their fight. We can and must continue to support them with resources, training, and assistance.

4.
Question 4: National Security

Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. Do you support such action? What restrictions, if any, do you support on the admission of Muslims into the United States? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I have risked my life to defend the principles of our Constitution. I feel it would be an attempt to subvert the intent of Article VI of that document to establish a religious test for those who would immigrate here in search of a better life.  I do not support any ban on the immigration of Muslims into the United States. Protecting our homeland from ISIS must be accomplished without slamming the doors on innocent victims of terrorism. Congress should be working to address real vulnerabilities, combat homegrown terrorism and improve security here at home, not hurting those who are escaping the brutality of those we must eliminate.

5.
Question 5: National Security

The United States’ nuclear deal with Iran turned one year old on July 14, 2016. Should the deal be maintained as it is, revised or scrapped completely? What is right or wrong with the Iran deal? And should the next president feel bound by it?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

After countless hours reading and reviewing the agreement, briefings from the Administration as well as national security, intelligence and non-proliferation experts, and many discussions with my constituents and stakeholders who hold views on both sides of this issue, I came to support the Iran nuclear agreement.

 

Let’s be clear: Iran is not our friend. But when making the decision of whether to support the agreement I had to weigh Iran’s destabilizing role in the region. I concluded that, as it is already a nuclear threshold state,  Iran’s ability to disrupt relations and security in the region would be much greater if it could obtain nuclear weapons. That is why preventing a nuclear-armed Iran is in U.S. interests.

 

While not perfect, the agreement is the most realistic and effective course of action to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. If fully implemented, the reduction of Iran’s nuclear stockpile and their enrichment capabilities will effectively shut down their nuclear program for 10 to 15 years. This will lengthen Iran’s breakout time, or the amount of time it would take them to develop a nuclear bomb, from several months to a full year, removing its status as a nuclear threshold state.

 

There are risks associated with this deal that must be addressed. I have concerns that as sanctions are eased, the release of oil revenue to Tehran will lead to greater threats to our regional allies, particularly Israel. In addition, Iran’s record of providing material support for terrorist groups must be monitored and held in check.  The United States must now focus on enforcing the Iran Deal and making sure Iran does not cheat so that American interests remain secure.

6.
Question 6: Immigration

Should the United States build a physical wall along our nation’s entire border with Mexico? Should a “path to citizenship” be created for the millions of people already living here without proper documentation? Would you support legislation to prevent the deportations of so-called “Dreamers” — youth who came to the U.S. illegally as small children with their parents?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

Trump’s idea of building a 1,900-mile wall that Mexico will pay for is ridiculous, does a disservice to the real work that needs to be done, and ignores the reality that many undocumented immigrants arrived legally only to overstay their visas — something a wall does nothing to prevent. Instead, we need comprehensive reform that includes an earned pathway to citizenship, keeps families together and also improves border security.

 

While I do not support Donald Trump’s plan for a wall,  I do support the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill of 2013, which recognizes that physical security barriers -- including a border fence -- are only one component on an effective multilayered strategy to secure our nation’s borders. It includes 700 miles of fencing, 38,405 border patrol agents deployed between ports of entry, and the E-Verify employment verification system. It also includs a biometric program to stop those who overstay their work visas. In the long term, we need to combat the root causes by cracking down on cartels and helping economic development by improving education, infrastructure and social institutions.

 

Moreover, I have always supported comprehensive immigration reform that is practical, fair and humane. It’s clear to me that our current immigration system is broken and ineffective. I’m supportive of a long-term plan that secures our borders, keeps families together and includes an earned pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States only after they pay a fine and wait at the back of the line.

7.
Question 7: Voting

Federal judges in July ruled against voter identification laws in Wisconsin and Texas, concluding that they disproportionately impact minority voters and violate the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Should voters be required to show a photo ID when voting? And should the federal government have a say in this, or is it strictly a matter for the individual states to decide? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I’m proud of the work I have done to restore and protect the Voting Rights Amendment. Rulings to overturn discriminatory voting laws in both Texas and Wisconsin mark a significant victory for civil rights, and for our nation as a whole. The right to vote is key pillar of our democracy, and the federal government must do it’s job to ensure states do not infringe upon this right for political expediency, which often comes in the form of unfair photo ID laws.

 

8.
Question 8: Public Lands

Should all or certain federal public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests, be given to states to control? Do you support the opening of public lands and the outer continental shelf to exploration for oil and other fossil fuels, even if those resources are not immediately developed? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

The federal government plays a key role in ensuring our national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests remain protected. As Senator, I would continue to support the federal government’s role in preserving these lands and our environment.

 

In Congress, I voted against H.R. 8, a bill that would further entrench the use of fossil fuels in our energy systems and accelerate the construction of pipelines through national parks.  While I believe coal, oil, and natural gas will play a role in transitioning to a clean energy future, I also understand that there must be key environmental and safety precautions in place before we open public land for development or approve fossil fuel pipelines. During my time in the House, I voted to keep our water clean of dangerous chemicals, and recognize the social social cost of carbon emissions. As we take steps towards a cleaner environment, we need to make sure our families and communities are kept safe. As Senator, I want to ensure we can protect our environment, keep energy prices affordable for hardworking families, and create new energy sector jobs.

9.
Question 9: Economic Security

What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

The current tax code is not fair. We ask working and middle-class families, Veterans and low-income seniors to pay more than their fair share while large corporations and multi-millionaires are allowed to exploit special-interest tax loopholes and avoid paying what they owe.

 

Taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize the wealthiest among us, but that’s exactly what we see happening. We also need to focus on reforms like the Buffett Rule, which ensures that those who make over $1 million a year don’t pay lower tax rates than middle-class families. The Buffett Rule would be an important step towards deficit reduction while making our tax system fairer and more equitable. Further, I also support the President’s plan to limit corporate inversions, which could save the U.S. Treasury as much as $40 billion over the next decade. Rather than reward companies that ship American jobs overseas,  tax cuts should go to companies that bring jobs back home.

 

I have a “families first” approach to reforming our tax code, and will continue pushing legislation that supports middle-class families. In the Senate, I would support proposals focused on hard-working Illinois families, like the comprehensive college affordability legislation I introduced this year. My In the Red Act would put our nation on a fiscally-responsible path towards achieving debt-free college by closing several wasteful special interest tax loopholes.

 

As Senator, I’ll continue supporting tax policies critical to working families, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, tuition tax credits and credits that help teachers afford needed expenses. I would also ensure our tax reform is comprehensive. If we are going to cut tax rates in order to lower tax rates for multinational corporations to repatriate funds currently held offshore, I would insist on lowering tax rates for small- and medium-sized businesses as well.

 

I’ve worked hard in my time in Congress – and I will do the same in the Senate - to pass tangible bipartisan improvements to the tax code that help the hardest working Illinoisans.

 

10.
Question 10: Economic Security

What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

While we have to address our budget issues, we cannot do it on the backs of our seniors. When it comes to protecting Social Security, I am confident a bipartisan solution can be achieved, and I am eager to work with my colleagues to strengthen the program. I am open to lifting the current Social Security cap. If we went back to the way the law was in the 1980s and adjusted the cap accordingly, we could protect the solvency of this essential program for decades to come.

 

Further, I strongly oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits. In fact, I want to explore increasing benefits for seniors, and introduced legislation to do just that: the SAVE Benefits Act. Seniors, Veterans, people with disabilities and other Social Security beneficiaries did not receive a cost-of-living adjustment this year despite rising costs. I am working with Senator Elizabeth Warren to provide a cost-of-living increase, which would give a one time boost of about $580 to the 70 million Social Security beneficiaries.

11.
Question 11: LGBT Rights

The Republican Party platform defines marriage as between a man and a woman. What is your view? The Obama Administration has issued guidelines to schools, saying they must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. What is your view? And do you believe parents of LGBT children should be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I will continue to advocate for LGBT Americans and reject the Republican Party’s definition of marriage. Before all Americans were granted the freedom to marry by the Supreme Court, I signed onto an amicus brief to the Supreme Court advocating for the right to marry for same-sex couples. I’m also a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, designed to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and ensure that all citizens receive the same federal benefits of marriage. I recently helped introduce the Equality Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that all Americans are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. I also support a transgender student’s right to choose the bathroom that matches their gender identity, and I do not believe that a parent should be able to force their children into conversion therapy.

12.
Question 12: Gun Violence

What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

First of all, no one should be able to buy a gun without a background check. This process is not onerous, and it will likely prevent fatalities. Recent reports have shown that more than 90 percent of Americans--including gun owners--support expanded background checks for gun purchases.

 

We must pass meaningful limits on assault weapons. Mass shooters often use high capacity magazines. They are dangerous and have no place in our communities. As a Soldier, I have an appreciation for the care and discipline it takes to use firearms properly, but some weapons of war simply do not belong on the streets of our cities.

 

We need to pass the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act, a bipartisan bill I cosponsored to empower law enforcement to crack down on illegal gun trafficking and criminalize the use of middlemen to buy guns for criminals. Imposing these stronger penalties for “straw purchasers” would help stem the flow of firearms to violent criminals and gangs.


I’m proud to have worked with Senator Durbin to introduce common-sense legislation to prevent foreign nationals who have not been vetted by our intelligence community from purchasing firearms while they are in the United States. Together, we proposed closing that loophole in the Visa Waiver Program.

It is a matter of how we are directing our resources. In Chicago and communities across Illinois, we’re seeing a rash of gun violence, which law enforcement officials attribute to the easy availability of illegal guns, plus an overburdened criminal justice system that too frequently allows violent offenders and those with serious gun convictions back on the streets.


Putting a stop to these fatal tragedies also means strengthening community-police relationships. As Senator, I will work to support strong relationships between law enforcement and local communities.  Last year, even before the Laquan McDonald video was released, I laid out a comprehensive criminal justice reform plan, and I will continue to make this issue a priority and help restore trust in our communities. Ultimately, we need comprehensive reform that addresses out-of-date gun laws, and works to create stronger communities through enhanced economic opportunity and a more robust education system.

13.
Question 13: Gun Violence

The “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act” would give the Department of Justice authority to keep suspected terrorists on the federal “no fly” list from buying firearms. The bill was voted down in Congress late last year but pushed again in June after the Orlando massacre of 49 people. Do you support or oppose this bill, and why?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I serve as a proud cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act. I strongly believe that the Attorney General should have the authority to prohibit individuals who are terrorists --  or individuals who the AG reasonably suspects are seeking to purchase a firearm or explosive to commit an act of terror -- from buying such deadly weapons.

 

Giving law enforcement the authority to prevent people from buying firearms or explosives who are on the FBI's Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist is simply common sense.

 

This should not be a partisan issue. Not only did a Republican author the bill, but the legislative proposal originates with the Bush Administration, which first submitted the proposal to Congress in 2007.

14.
Question 14: Health Care

Should Obamacare be repealed, left intact, or changed — and if so, how? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It’s time for Congress to accept that the ACA is settled law. Instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars on trying to repeal it, Congress should begin working together to improve the law. The ACA is not perfect and I support fixing flaws in the legislation so it can benefit the greatest number of Americans. For example, I was a proud cosponsor of the bipartisan PACE Act, which protects small businesses, and am pleased it was signed into law. I have also supported a bipartisan effort to repeal the excise tax and the medical device tax provisions of the law.

 

In Illinois, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for health care plans through the ACA, and the current uninsured rate has dropped from 15.5 percent to 8.8 percent. Consumers and businesses that were being overcharged by their insurers have received over $1 billion in premium rebates thanks to the law, which is also helping slow the growth of health care costs. We cannot go back to the days where one medical emergency could put a person in debt for the rest of their life and insurance companies could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. I’m confident that the ACA has made a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans and I will continue to work to improve the law.

15.
Question 15: Health Care

A plan to replace Obamacare, presented by House Speaker Paul Ryan in June, would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare, which is now 65. Starting in 2020, the Medicare age would rise along with the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits, eventually reaching 67. Do you support this change in the eligibility age for Medicare? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

No, I do not support Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Obamacare, and I do not support raising the eligibility age to 67. Instead of putting our seniors at risk, we need to focus our efforts on cutting waste and fraud. That’s why I cosponsored the bipartisan PRIME Act with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) to crack down on physician identity theft, reduce overpayments, increase the penalties for fraudulent activity and expand anti-fraud data sharing among federal agencies. I’m proud that many of these provisions passed into law.

 

There are common-sense steps the Federal government can take without privatizing Medicare or turning it into a voucher program. I am encouraged that the Congressional Budget Office has lowered the projected future cost of Medicare for six years in a row. The current estimate for Medicare's cost in 2019 is $95 billion less than it was four years ago. We must continue pushing good ideas like the PRIME Act to continue this trend without compromising the basic Medicare guarantee.

 

We can also improve Medicare by allowing negotiations over prescription drugs, and aligning incentives so we are paying for quality of care rather than quantity of care. If we allowed Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies for better prices we could save $24 billion each year. This simply has to happen.

16.
Question 16: Health Care

The GOP platform opposes the use of public funds for Planned Parenthood and other groups that “perform or advocate” abortion. It also opposes funding health care that includes abortion coverage. In contrast, the Democratic Party’s platform called for continued funding of Planned Parenthood and repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the direct use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Where do you stand?  

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I support Roe v. Wade and a woman’s continued legal access to abortion. A woman's economic position should not impact a women's right to a safe and legal family planning. I also support full funding of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides vital healthcare services, including lifesaving cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, birth control and well-woman exams, for millions of women all across the country. In fact, when I was a college student I relied on Planned Parenthood to obtain a physical.

17.
Question 17: Education

President Obama has proposed making two years of community college free nationally. Do you support or oppose this proposal? If you support it, how would you have the nation pay for it? 

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

I relied on student loans, Pell Grants, and a lot of waitressing to go to school, so I understand just how critical it is that we work to help students gain access to higher education, not hold them back. This is why I recently introduced In The Red Act, which would strengthen Pell Grants and build on the Obama administration's proposal to give deserving students access to tuition-free community college. This bill would also enable borrowers to refinance student debt at lower interest rates, and increase accountability among universities. We could help thousands more Americans receive an education by closing tax loopholes that give companies deductions for CEO and executive pay. This is a way to both create a fairer tax code, and support higher education.


I am also a proponent of instituting more public-private partnerships to strengthen our education system, and our economy. In Congress, I introduced introduced the Community College to Career Fund Act, which helps support innovative partnerships between community colleges, technical colleges and businesses to train students to fill high-demand jobs like Harper College’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab. The Harper College program, which sets up students for a career in manufacturing after they graduate, has enrolled over 2,100 students to date. I have introduced a bill to expand this type of program nationwide.

18.
Question 18: Education

College costs have risen at twice the rate of inflation for about 30 years. What is driving this increase and what should be done about it?

Answer from Tammy Duckworth:

It’s clear that universities are facing a rising tide of costs in order to stay competitive globally, causing education costs to skyrocket. With that said, we can’t afford for our students to be straddled with a lifetime of debt. Since the Great Recession, student loan debt is the only type of household debt that has continued to rise each year, toppling in at $1.3 trillion in 2016. The rising cost of college then poses a serious threat to both education opportunity and economic activity at large. When 40 million Americans are faced with mounting debt, fewer dollars are going into the consumer and housing markets that power national growth, hindering economic recovery nationwide.

 

In the House, I introduced the In The Red Act to allow individuals to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates, saving more than 24 million student loan borrowers billions of dollars in interest. The bill also provides necessary financial support to offset the rising cost of education.  To adjust for the rate of inflation, the In The Red Act bolsters funding for Pell Grants, providing 9.2 million students with an additional $1,300 in financial aid. By closing a current loophole that allows corporations to write off executive bonuses as business expenses, millions of Americans are able to receive essential support for both higher education and job training.

 

In the Senate, I will continue to advocate for the expansion of Pell Grants, opportunities for students to refinance their loans at lower rates and federal financial aid options designed to help college-bound and currently-enrolled students pay for their education and complete their degree debt-free.

Total money raised: $12,660,141

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Simmons Hanly Conroy
$120,675
2
ILLINOIS COORDINATED VICTORY FUND 2016
$112,500
3
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)
$46,800
4
EMILY's List and employees
$32,885
5
J Street
$29,457

By State:

Illinois 31.94%
California 13.24%
New York 11.53%
District of Columbia 9.56%
Other 33.73%
31.94%13.24%11.53%9.56%33.73%

By Size:

Large contributions (83.13%)
Small contributions (16.87%)
83.13%16.87%

By Type:

From organizations (15.57%)
From individuals (84.43%)
15.57%84.43%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.
— October 12, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times

Tammy Duckworth tells why she should be one of the two U.S. Senators from Illinois.

Videos

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth participated in their first televised debate Thursday, October 27, 2016.

U.S. Senate Debate on ABC7 Chicago — November 5, 2016 ABC7 Chicago

Candidates in the race for U.S. Senate squared off in the hour-long VOTE 2016: The U.S. Senate Debate, moderated by ABC7 Anchor/Reporter Kathy Brock, joined by ABC7 Political Reporter Charles Thomas and Univision Chicago's Erika Maldonado. November 4, 2016.

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