Should Congress pass legislation to protect the special counsel from potential firing by the president? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I’m a cosponsor of such legislation. Donald Trump has repeatedly shown an unprecedented disregard for conventional standards of ethical behavior, especially concerning investigations into himself or his campaign. Look no further than the chaos surrounding the firing of James Comey and new questions around Rod Rosenstein’s job. Robert Mueller needs the security necessary for him to effectively do his job.
What specific steps should Congress take to make healthcare more affordable and accessible in this country?
First and foremost Congress must defend the Affordable Care Act. President Trump is still on a mission to destabilize the health care exchanges and unravel protections for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. The ACA helped millions of Americans get covered for the first time, but we need to improve it and expand on it. I’ve proposed a bill called the Choose Medicare Act that would allow any individual or business to buy into Medicare. We know Medicare works, and it is cost-effective. Let’s allow people to make that choice for themselves to see if it is the right plan for them.
Has the president's decision to place a $10,000 cap on SALT deductions unfairly penalized Connecticut residents? What will you do to mitigate the tax increase that this change represents for Connecticut taxpayers?
The president’s decision to cap SALT deductions at $10,000 was designed to hurt states like Connecticut. For this reason, not only did I oppose the Republican tax bill throughout negotiations but I also specifically supported a measure to reinstate the deductions. Due to to the loss of these deductions, the Republican tax bill is the largest tax increase in our state’s history, increasing taxes on Connecticut residents by $2.8-billion. The President’s tax bill was designed as a giant giveaway to wealthy donors and corporations at the expense of the middle class, and I will continue to fight to repeal it.
Eversource and some out-of-state entities appear to be attempting to buy control of Connecticut's water resources, and some of our quasi-public water agencies have signed away large amounts of water to commercial interests with little regard to future water shortages. What can you do to ensure that Connecticut residents maintain control of public water supplies in perpetuity?
Any sale of public water resources to private entities must be highly scrutinized to make sure Connecticut residents and their access to clean, safe water are not threatened. Except in cases involving hydropower generation, which is regulated by the federal government through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the sale of water resources by local water supply utilities is regulated by the state. To that end, I will work with state and local officials to protect that access.
Clean water safeguards play a significant role in federal policy, most notably through one of our country’s bedrock environmental laws, the Clean Water Act. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have fought against repeated attempts by Republicans to attack the Clean Water Act so that our rivers and the Long Island Sound can be clean for future generations to inherit and enjoy.
Should the government's response to the opioid crisis be to focus on law enforcement to stop drug dealers, or improving access to treatment for addiction and reducing the overprescription of painkillers?
More than 1,000 people died of drug overdoses in Connecticut last year. This epidemic has touched every corner of our state, and we need to be taking an “all of the above” approach to fight this crisis. That means better resources for law enforcement and getting to the root of the overprescribing problem, but also expanding access to addiction treatment. That’s why I authored the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act, which improves access to mental health and addiction treatment. It passed Congress along with a billion dollars to help states fight the opioid crisis. I also voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a bipartisan bill that authorized millions in funding for first-responder training for opioid overdose reversal drugs and treatment alternatives to incarceration programs. And I’ve worked to expand programs that have been successful here in Connecticut: I wrote and passed through the Senate the Recovery COACH Act, modeled on a Connecticut program, to give those trying to overcome addiction access to specially trained coaches who have gone through recovery themselves and can provide support, insight, and help navigating treatment.
Will you support a federal requirement for universal background checks on all gun purchases?
Yes, I wholeheartedly support universal background checks on all gun purchases. I am the author of the Background Check Expansion Act in the Senate, which would close loopholes and ensure that private gun sales go through a background check. I also worked across the aisle with Republican Senator John Cornyn to introduce and pass the Fix NICS Act, which will enhance compliance with the federal background check system.
Will you support a ban on posting online instructions for 3-D printing of guns
Yes, our country is in desperate need of commonsense gun reform in order to make it harder for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them. I can think of nothing more counterproductive than allowing anyone with internet access and a 3-D printer to manufacture a virtually unlimited number of firearms. I am a cosponsor of a bill to ban 3-D guns.
A recent report found 40 percent of Connecticut residents can't afford basic needs such as housing, food, health care, or child care. What would you do to improve their situation?
This report was devastating to read. We can and must do better. It underscores the importance of quality, affordable health care and how vital it is that we protect programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and community health centers that are constantly under attack by the Trump administration. We also need better affordable housing, workforce training programs, and a livable minimum wage that matches the growth of inflation.
(For Democrats or minor party candidates): Will you support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker should Democrats retake the House? If not, who?
(For Democrats or minor party candidates): Will you support Chuck Schumer as Senate Majority Leader should Democrats retake the House? If not, who?
Yes. Chuck does a good job listening to the diverse voices in our caucus. Without his leadership, President Trump likely would have succeeded in repealing the Affordable Care Act's protections for people in Connecticut with preexisting conditions.
(For Republicans or minor party candidates): If the Republicans maintain a House majority, who do you prefer for Speaker: Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Jim Jordan of Ohio, or someone else?
(For Republicans or minor party candidates): If you are elected to the Senate and the Republicans maintain the majority, will you support Mitch McConnell to continue as Majority Leader?
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