Address: St. Clairsville.
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Past Offices Held: Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio State Senate, US House of Representatives.
1. With the national unemployment rate still around 8 percent, what specifically can you do as a member of Congress to help more Americans find work?
As a Member of Congress you have a responsibility to the constituents you represent. While the national unemployment rate hovers near eight percent, many of the counties in southeast Ohio are dealing with double-digit unemployment. Our communities have always been a manufacturing hub and right now Washington support for unbalanced trade agreements and pro outsourcing tax policies have adversely affected our local economies. We have to hold Washington responsible and demand legislation that prevents our manufacturing jobs from leaving our communities. The contrast between Congressman Johnson and myself is simple: Congressman Johnson does not believe in American manufacturing. If he did he would not have voted for trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. He would not have voted in favor of expanding corporate tax loopholes that allow companies to hold trillions of dollars in overseas bank accounts, avoiding paying their fair share of income tax, while failing to pay livable wages to unskilled workforces. I pride myself on standing up for American manufacturing. I am a small businessman who operates a family company that has serviced this area for 115 years. I feel the effect of our manufacturing sector leaving our area. A Congressman's responsibility is to bring the business of his or her constituents to our nation's capitol. Our business is manufacturing and because of this industry, our industry, you cannot support pro outsourcing policies. Congressman Johnson has failed to do this and this is why voters are speaking with a loud and clear voice, it's time to replace what is broken in Washington.
2. What adjustments do you feel should be made to the Affordable Heath Care Act and why? What should be kept, tweaked or discarded?
I have said from the beginning that the Affordable Care Act is an imperfect policy. There are many components to the bill that I fundamentally disagree with and I will lay those out. However, I would first like to point out the factors that contributed to my vote on this bill. Living in our communities are 31,000 children that were once unable to qualify for health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition, now these children are able to gain coverage. We have 116,000 seniors who did not have access to preventative care that would allow them annual health care screening, they now have access to these preventative care checkups. The hospitals in the 18 counties of this district will see an annual savings of $49 million dollars because of the elimination of "charity care." The three statistics I mentioned where strong contributors to my decision. Now, I have said all along the bill is far from perfect. I disagree with the state mandate that forces each state to fund programs through Medicaid. States should continue to have the ability to regulate Medicaid programs, as they have done for many years. Second, the mandate on small business is unfair and should be eliminated. Small businesses that employ more than 50 full-time employees will be forced to pay a penalty on every staff person who is not provided coverage. As a small businessman who employs less than 50 full-time employees I would not qualify for this penalty, however, as a small businessman I understand the burden of making a payroll and providing for my employees. Government should be in the business of helping small businesses, not hurting them, regardless if they employ 10, 15 or 55 full-time employees. I would encourage Washington to fix the bill. It is time to work internally, across the aisle - Democrats and Republicans alike, to eliminate the unfair mandates that place a burden on our small businesses. Washington has used this one policy as an excuse to shut down, and because of this we have all paid the price. It is time we work not as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, to develop a bill that we can agree upon. We did this with Medicare and now our seniors have access to quality health care, we can accomplish this task with a health care policy that will protect our children, seniors, and our health care most vulnerable.