Name: Dave Loebsack (incumbent)
Residence: Iowa City
Occupation: U.S. representative
Education: Sioux City East High School, Iowa State University, UC Davis
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans and our country, and how would you address them as a U.S. representative?
• Iowans tell me we must create jobs and grow the economy. Growing up in poverty, I know what it’s like to have to make tough decisions. I’ve worked to pass the Sectors Act into law to get workers the training they need and match them with employers who are hiring.
• As a young child, my family relied on Social Security Survivor Benefits to help us survive. No one should have to choose between having food on the table or paying for medications. I’ll continue to fight the privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program.
• I’ve fought to hold Congress accountable by introducing bills to cut member’s pay for the first time since the 1920s and ban member’s from lobbying
Do you support President Donald Trump’s approach to trade and tariffs? Why or why not?
I’m concerned about the trade actions and the impact it may have on Iowa. I’ve fought to hold accountable bad actors such as China, but I’m opposed to tariffs in place because they’re overly aggressive and lead to retaliatory tariffs. It’s very important that trade policies be well-planned, create jobs and support Iowa’s industries, not broad, across-the-board tariffs. As I travel across Iowa, farmers tell me they want trade, not aid. We must expand overseas markets, not close them off.
What will you propose or support in Congress to protect and promote Iowa’s farming economy?
Farmers feed and fuel the world, and it’s imperative that Congress help our farmers succeed. The first thing that will help Iowa’s ag economy is passing a new farm bill. The previous farm bill expired while the House closed up shop and went home to campaign. I’ve fought to get a farm bill passed, and it’s a big mistake and too important to allow it to lapse. Congress shouldn’t have gone home. I’ve also been a champion of the RFS, which has created millions of jobs in rural communities
What steps are needed to help grow and retain Iowa’s workforce, especially in more rural areas?
My number one priority has been to grow the economy and create jobs here in Iowa so folks can make a good living and take home a bigger paycheck to best provide for families. As I travel across Iowa, I hear from employers who have jobs available but can’t find workers with needed skills. That is why I worked to get my SECTORS Act signed in to law. This bill brings together local employers, community colleges and others to develop plans to train and educate local workers for these jobs.
Do you believe Congress should increase the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25?
The minimum wage is lower today, adjusted for inflation, than it was when I was younger and working full-time at the sewage treatment plant in Sioux City. It’s clear that the minimum wage has not kept up with today’s economy and needs to be increased to support hardworking families. I believe that the minimum wage must be raised because no person working a full-time job should be living in poverty. By raising the minimum, we are not just raising the floor but brining up all wages.
What steps are needed to control the rising costs of health premiums and health care?
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There’s no question that because of the Affordable Care Act millions of Americans and thousands of Iowans have access to quality insurance. We can’t go back to a time when women could be charged more for insurance solely based on their gender and folks could be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition. The ACA isn’t perfect, and I’ve voted for tweaks to improve the bill. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Iowans have access to quality and affordable health insurance.
What is your approach to immigration reform? What steps will you propose or support in Congress?
We can all agree that the status quo isn’t working and action is needed to reform our immigration system. Any reform must be done in a comprehensive way that strengthens our border, creates a legal immigration system that actually works, supports families, contributes to our economic recovery, enforces our laws, protects jobs, workers, and wages and gives employers the tools needed to hire employees. Our immigration system is broken. Congress needs to stop bickering and start working together
If you are elected, what efforts would you make to listen to and include those who have political beliefs which don’t match your own? How would you communicate with your constituents?
I’ve made it a priority to work with folks, no matter their party, to get things done for Iowans. I’m proud to work across the aisle, which is why nearly 50 percent of the bills I put my name on are co-sponsored by Republicans. In fact, in all the House, I have the 11th highest percentage of bills co-sponsored by a member of the other party. I’ve also held over 50 Coffee with your Congressman stops in all 24 counties to speak one-on-one with Iowans and help directly address the issues they are facing
Why are you the best candidate to represent this district in Iowa?
I’m running to improve the lives of all Iowans. For me it was having community supports that helped me pull myself up and work hard to get to where I am. It means having access to a quality public education. For Iowans, it means I’m working to grow the economy and create jobs so folks can make a good living. As a military parent, I’m committed to ensuring those who served are treated with the same dignity and honor with which they served. I work hard every day to ensure the future looks bright.