Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks is running for U.S. House in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. You can learn more about her candidacy here.
1. What is the purpose of government:
The purpose of the federal government is to protect our rights as described in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The federal government is supposed to be constrained by its enumerated responsibilities so that most of government is done locally where elected leaders are closer to those they govern.
2. What issues do you consider non-negotiable:
Our 2nd amendment right to bear arms is non-negotiable, protection of life and further encroachment on personal liberty and property.
3. What one thing would you most like to accomplish should you earn a seat in Congress:
Working with President Trump to reform our health care system. We need to be able to tailor medical insurance according to need and desired benefits. The expansion of health savings accounts, tort reform, less consolidation and monopoly of insurance and health care providers, transparency of prices, and decreasing the length of time of pharmaceutical patents so generic drugs can come into the market sooner are things that can be done to help reduce costs. As a state Senator, I passed a bill require transparency of drug rebates and administration fees within pharmacy benefit managers to try to help lower prescription drug prices.
4. What, if anything, would you do to strengthen religious liberty at the federal level:
Although we are guaranteed through our first amendment right to practice our faith, we have seen laws, such as Obamacare, that limit these rights. When challenged to the Supreme Court level, religious liberty was supported. Although in Congress you do not vote for Supreme Court nominees, we need to ensure that we continue to have nominees who respect and support the original intent of the constitution. When appropriate, we should also interject into bills, preservation of religious liberty and strengthen the freedom to practice religion. We should remove any language from a bill that would discriminate against a person of faith for appointments or federal contracts.
5. There are efforts to increase the federal gas tax 25 cents a gallon, is this something you’d support:
Several years ago, Iowa increased their gas tax to support continued infrastructure improvement. We know that our decaying infrastructure is a concern, and even as a state legislature this has been brought to my attention from county supervisors. I think we should be willing to research how best to fund improvements and repair of our infrastructure, first by determining if there are other excesses in the budget that could be cut and reduced and those funds shifted to infrastructure spending. Given the increased numbers of electrical vehicles and natural gas powered mass transit, we need to convene studies regarding appropriate infrastructure mechanisms rather than solely relying on a gas tax.
6. How do you suggest balancing the budget and working toward elimination of the national debt:
The increased deficit that has been incurred through the pandemic and added to existing deficit and rising national debt are concerning not only for our generation but for generations to come. In the past we have been able to reduce our national debt by growing our economy and this remains the best option. President Trump has been very proactive in reducing regulations that impact economic growth and making sure that new regulations do not get passed until the impact on a particular economic activity has been addressed. Tax increases generally yield less revenue and impair economic growth and innovation, which further reduces revenue. So entrepreneurial growth and increased economic activity has been demonstrated to lead to increased tax revenue with subsequent lowering of deficits and debt. Careful review of all departmental budgets for spending cuts and eliminating automatic budget increases are necessary. I would also verify if there are federal government assets (like empty buildings or land) that could be sold without harming taxpayers.
7. Are there any scenarios where you would support a pathway to citizenship and/or amnesty for any illegal immigrants in America:
All countries should be able to establish their borders and determine who comes into their country. I do think that the pathway to legal immigration should be less onerous for those who have applied and come here legally. Our legal immigration system should address this issue while we continue to secure our borders. Additionally, we need to be able to better track individuals who come here legally on a visa but are lost in the system and overstay their visa. We should also adopt a health screening or assessment, especially for infectious diseases for anybody entering the country.
8. Do you believe sanctuary cities are a danger to the citizens who live in them and what, if anything, would you do in Congress to either encourage or discourage sanctuary city policies:
One way that Congress can discourage sanctuary city policies is to require compliance with immigration laws or risk loss of some federal funding. I do not support sanctuary city policies.
9. What federal action would you support in terms of climate change, if any:
Research and development into cleaner fuel sources both for automobiles and electricity should continue. But we know to have a strong and growing economy, we need to have inexpensive energy production. This is necessary in order to grow our manufacturing sector and bring more manufacturing back to the United States. There are also policies that we can do to continue to clean our rivers and water sources such as what Iowa has done with the nutrient reduction program. Policies to address use of plastic and islands of plastic in the ocean should also be adopted.
10. Would you support any red flag gun legislation:
11. Give a general rundown of your on American foreign policy:
I do not believe the United States should be the “police“ of the world and that the declaration of war needs to come through Congress. I believe fair and free trade helps the security of all nations. I do believe we should support our democratic allies and stand with those who advocate for democratic principles such as we do in United States.
12. Do you support term limits for Congress:
I do support term limits for Congress and like Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, I would hold myself to no more than 6 terms.
13. What are your thoughts on the Electoral College:
Our founding fathers were prescient in establishing the Electoral College. Without the Electoral College, approximately six states would be able to determine the outcome of the presidential election. The Electoral College is necessary to ensure that all citizens are represented, no matter the size and population of their town or state. Without the Electoral College, rural and less populated states would have no voice and no representation.
14. What issue can you envision working with Democrat members of Congress on right away:
Given the high degree of unemployment and need to repair to decaying infrastructure, including locks and dams on the Mississippi River, I would be willing to work with Democrat members of Congress on an infrastructure bill that would also help to create employment. I would also be willing to work with the opposite side of the aisle on issues related to our military and veterans health care, which should be non-partisan.
15. What excites you most about possibly representing Iowa in Congress:
I am most excited to be able to put forth conservative policies that put Iowa and America first. We need to push back against socialized medicine, free college tuition and health care for illegal aliens and I am energized to work on these issues representing Iowa in Congress.