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John Larson

Running for U.S. House

10 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:


Age: 72

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: East Hartford

Current Job: US Representative

Previous Job: Small business owner

Previous Job: Public school teacher

Education: East Hartford High, Central Connecticut State University

Despite statements to the contrary by various individuals, PPE has remained in short supply throughout the country. If elected, how will you ensure that every state and US territory is provided with enough medical supplies and capacity to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the next one(s)?
After speaking with experts, including former Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, I authored two pieces of legislation to help manufacture and distribute PPE and other critical supplies. The first bill would utilize the Defense Production Act to increase the manufacturing of critical medical supplies, including PPE. The second bill would utilize the Defense Logistics Agency to create a national strategy for the production and distribution of supplies.
The coronavirus has placed a tremendous strain on the healthcare system, and the rise in unemployment has resulted in many people losing their health insurance, amplifying disparities in access to health care. If elected, what would you do to help the healthcare system and all the people who need it? Would you expand coverage with a public option or a Medicare For All concept, something else, or nothing?
I believe we need to build on the Affordable Care Act as we work towards achieving universal healthcare. I’ve introduced a bill that would allow Americans to buy into Medicare at the age 50. This bill would lower costs for those on Medicare and for those on private insurance. Additionally, I’m a sponsor of Medicare X, which would create a public option plan that would be available on individual and small business exchanges.
Do you agree or disagree with President Trump's recent decisions to label certain American cities as "anarchist," and to send federal agents – uninvited by local authorities – into cities such as Portland, Oregon? In your opinion, is this a legitimate use of federal force and rhetoric, or is this an overreach?
I do not agree with President Trump’s recent decision to send uninvited federal agents to cities. This was an overreach of federal force and should have been left up to the individual cities and states.
The pandemic has led to massive changes in our workforce, with many jobs disappearing entirely, at least for now. If elected, how do you envision reshaping the workforce to create new opportunities for those whose jobs have evaporated – for example, in restaurants and bars and throughout the service sector?
I am a strong supporter of both the Heroes Act and the RESTAURANTS Act. Both pieces of legislation would help small businesses, including the restaurant industry weather this crisis. The Heroes Act would also improve and continue the Paycheck Protection Program that has been a lifeline to businesses across the country, but much more is needed. The RESTAURANTS Act would offer $120 billion in relief to the industry through a federal grant program.
COVID-19 and the resulting recession have increased the number of people who qualify for Medicaid just when state revenues are dropping. Will you support more relief for state Medicaid programs to continue coverage levels and ensure access to providers?
The coronavirus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, bringing with it, massive ongoing disruption to all of our systems, from food supply to employment to health care to education and more. From a broad perspective, how do you holistically envision addressing this crisis in the long-term?
The health of our nation and the economy are inextricably linked until this pandemic ends. We can’t fix one without fixing the other, but we can work to address both at the same time. First and foremost, we need a nationally-coordinated response to set federal standards to address this pandemic. States shouldn’t have to fight over supplies. We need to utilize the Defense Production Act and the Defense Logistics Agency to produce and distribute PPE, supplies, and tests across the country. At the same time, Congress needs to offer more relief to help industries that are the most impacted and small businesses. I have voted for the Heroes Act, which offers more of this needed relief and makes significant investments to increase testing.
Many Americans are now calling racism a public health crisis in our country, with policy implications and disparities across multiple sectors like law enforcement, residential zoning, healthcare access, employment, and educational equity, among others. What measures must Congress take to address racism and its impact over many generations in America?
First, the Senate needs to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This legislation isn’t a panacea, but is the first step towards transforming the way policing is done in our country. Second, we need to look at how we can best address the disparities that exist across our country. I am a cosponsor of HR 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. This bill would examine the longstanding implications of slavery and segregation and the best ways to address systemic problems and disparities at that stem from slavery and segregation.
What measures do you support to help protect voting rights this year and for the years ahead, within the context of the pandemic and post-pandemic voting?
I am a cosponsor of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which the House passed. The Act would restore the core of the Voting Rights Act that prevents racial discrmination and voter suppression. Additionally, I support mail-in voting nationwide. No one should have to choose between their right to vote and their health.
Do you agree or disagree with President Trump’s directive for all schools to return to a full schedule this school year? What parameters and/or process do you endorse in making decisions involving the operation of public schools in the age of COVID-19?
I disagree with the President’s directive. I believe that those decisions are best left to local authorities who know best about what’s happening in their school district.
The world is facing an impending climate emergency. With the US spending more than the next 10 countries combined on our military budget, do you think that it is important that we transition some of those resources to combat and build resiliency ahead of a predicted global climate catastrophe? How can Connecticut’s existing engineering, manufacturing, and technical project management expertise be transitioned to address that next emergency before it is too late?
There is no doubt, we are in the midst of a global climate crisis. We need to act to address climate change and I believe the best way to do that is tackle the problem at its source, pollution and carbon emissions. I've introduced the America Wins Act which would slash our carbon emissions in half over the next 10 years while investing $1 trillion in rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. I'm also a supporter of the Green New Deal, a resolution that sets the goals we need to address this crisis. We have some of the brightest minds and some of the most innovative technology in Connecticut. I am proud of the Yankee ingenuity that our manufacturing base produces day in and day out. Many of our companies are already transitioning to clean power and are creating more energy efficient options. Connecticut is also home to some of the biggest fuel cell manufacturers in the world.