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16th Congressional District, Republican Primary

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The questions

All candidates were invited to respond to questionnaires, although not all chose to participate. Click on a candidate's name to see the unedited response to each question.

Biographical information & experience
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger
Birthdate: 2/27/1978
Occupation: Congressman, Air National Guard Pilot
Marital status: Engaged
Spouse:

Education:

Illinois State University, 2000

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

National Rifle Association, Illinois State Rifle Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Ass, National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and Illinois Farm Bureau.

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

U.S. Congress, 2011 - present
McLean County Board, 1998 - 2003

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

n/a

Manzullo
Birthdate: 3/24/1944
Occupation:
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Freda

Education:

B.A. from American University, School of Government and Public Administration
J.D. from Marquette University

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Illinois Farm Bureau
Illinois Natural Land Institute

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

U.S. Representative

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

Campaign information
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

Campaign headquarters: P.O. Box 487, New Lenox, IL 60451
Website: www.ElectAdam.com
Campaign manager: Jayme Odom
Campaign budget: n/a
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
n/a

Manzullo

Campaign headquarters: P.O. Box 7783, Rockford
Website: www.manzullo.org
Campaign manager: Bryan Davis
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.

What are your top priorities for the nation?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

My work in Congress is focused on effectively advocating for economic growth and reforming Washington; eliminating wasteful spending, reducing our debt and deficit, simplifying the tax code, and enacting a national energy plan.

For decades, Republicans and Democrats have been united in one thing: the status quo. My freshmen class has provided a crucially important check and balance on the excesses of the Obama Administration, but we also hold our fellow Republican colleagues more accountable.

On November 2, 2010, Americans spoke loud and clear when they elected 87 new Republican freshmen colleagues into office. My freshmen class has provided a crucially important check and balance on the excesses of the Obama Administration, but we also hold our fellow Republican colleagues more accountable.

Over the last year, my freshman colleagues and I have changed the conversation on Capi tol Hill from how much to spend to how much to cut. We banned earmarks and required more transparency by putting legislation online for three days before it is voted on. Weve passed legislation promoting energy production, simplifying the tax code and rolling back unnecessary regulations all toward the advancement of generating economic growth. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate refused to take up many of these bills and failed to address key issues in getting our country one-step closer toward an economic recovery. Like the majority of
folks, Ive heard from, I believe there is a lot of work left to be done and I look forward in advocating for pro-economic growth policies while in Congress.

Manzullo

a) Creating a positive business environment for entrepreneurship and job creation, particularly in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors,

b) Reducing and eliminating the budget deficit, with a plan to pay down the national debt; and

c) Protecting our nation from attack.

What are your top priorities for your congressional district?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

The newly drawn 16th District of Illinois will be one of the most energy intensive districts in the country, if not the most. From nuclear to hydropower, the 16th District will produce much of the energy that powers the Midwest, particularly the large manufacturers here. I'm proud to be a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee where we are working to find solutions that increase the supply of American made energy in all forms and reduce prices for Americans.
With simpler regulations, America can become more energy independent while also protecting the environment and health of our citizens.

Presently, the surplus of natural gas that has been found in pockets of shale deposits across the country (including Illinois) is reshaping the energy market in the U.S. and providing a boom to many Illinois manufacturers due to the low price of energy. New horizontal drilling techniques, combined with hydraulic fracturing, have made obtaining these natural gas deposits economically feasible. On the Energy & Commerce Committee, we will be working to ensure hydraulic fracturing is done safely and proper procedures are in place to protect the environment.

With the districts high concentration of nuclear plants, I will also be working with my colleagues to examine how best to store radioactive waste. Even without the development of more nuclear plants, the U.S. has a problem with its current 50,000 metric tons of nuclear waste, which grows by 2,000 metric tons each year. No long-term repository for storing nuclear waste is operational, despite the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act naming the federal government responsible for collecting nuclear waste by 1998 a deadline it failed to meet. In 2002, Yucca Mountain was deemed suitable as the sole national repository, but Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid is blocking the project from moving forward. Local plants are forced to set aside significant and expensive space to store the waste locally. We need a long-term solution to our waste storage, and I will be working to finalize a decision on Yucca Mountain.

Another area for improvement for the newly drawn 16th District is manufacturing. This new district is home to one of the largest manufacturing areas in the country. Finding welleducated, trainable workers to hire in these new jobs will become increasingly important to manufacturers in Illinois. To take advantage of these opportunities, it is vital that we have a well-trained work force that is ready and willing to compete in the global economy. I'm looking forward to working to improving manufacturing conditions that will enable us to compete better with Asia on my subcommittee, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and
Trade.

Manzullo

Same as above

The nation's economy has yet to recover. What are the causes of the weak economy, and what should be done to speed its recovery?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

In order to turn our economy around, we need to listen to those who know best the job creators not career politicians in Washington. Over the last year, Ive held small business roundtables all throughout my current district to hear their thoughts, concerns about what is hampering their business. Following these roundtables, I sent small business owners all throughout my District a letter asking them what it would take from Washington to help them create just one more job. According to the U.S. Small Business Association's 2008 statistics, there are 1.1 million small businesses in Illinois. If only 10 percent of these businesses were able to create just a single job, it would add 110,000 new jobs in Illinois. The majority of these businesses tell me that lower or simplified taxes and fewer regulations would help their business to grow and thrive. I'm a firm believer that in order to grow this economy, we need to get Washington out of the way so small businesses can thrive.

Manzullo

Our economy is weak because of the many uncertainties about the future. The President should stop threatening tax increases, he must pull back on his proposed regulatory burdens, and he must focus on real spending cuts. Specifically, I have developed a detailed 10-point plan to help speed economic recovery and foster job creation in America (http://manzullo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jobs-Agenda-120211-final.pdf).

Should revenue increases, in the form of new taxes, higher taxes or more broadly imposed taxes, be part of the solution to crafting a more balanced federal budget and reducing the national debt?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

I think its clear we need to totally rethink our tax code. The reform of 1986 achieved great things by cleaning out all kinds of dubious deductions, credits, favors and the like. Since those reforms, Congress has inserted hundreds of different tax preferences, creating a complicated tax code that rewards those with close ties to Washington. I support tax reform that will remove or reduce tax advantages in all sectors while lowering the base rate for everyone. The tax code should be designed to extract the revenue we need to operate this country with the
least amount of pain, in terms of foregone growth, that we can get.

For too long, the government has been in the business of picking winners and losers. If you are popular, you get special breaks; if you are not, you pay more. Instead of the government targeting specific industries for reward or punishment, we should aim to create a simplified tax code for all sectors of our economy in a fair, uniform way.

Manzullo

Congress should not raise taxes during an economic downturn. In fact, even President Obama said in 2009 during a visit to the Midwest that “the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.” Congress should reduce the tax burden to spur private sector economic growth and job creation. At a minimum, Congress should keep current tax policy intact in order to promote certainty in the economy. Longer-term, we need fundamental tax reform that leads to lower rates, broadening the base, and reducing various tax breaks particularly in the area of corporate taxation. That is why I am encouraged by the work of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) in his comprehensive tax reform discussion draft (http://waysandmeans.house.gov/taxreform/). Simplifying the tax code will produce the twin benefit of improving our nation's overall competitiveness and increasing incoming tax revenue as more people are put to work.

Many Republican members of Congress have signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to support a tax increase of any kind at any time. Have you, or would you, sign this pledge? Why or why not?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

I believe tax increases hinder economic growth, especially during one of the most economically depressed times we have seen.

Manzullo

First, this is not a pledge to Grover Norquist. Just as the pledge to “protect” Social Security is not a pledge to Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green, co-founders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the pledge organized by the founder of Americans for Tax Reform is a written commitment to the American electorate pledging not to raise taxes on a net basis. I have signed this pledge because I believe raising taxes is not the answer to our deficit problems and will only hinder economic growth, as the President mentioned above. Plus, I am not optimistic that the projected revenue from tax increases will materialize as individuals find ways to mitigate the effects of tax increases. The classic example is the 1990 “luxury” tax on yachts, which Congress repealed three years later when the projected tax revenue did not materialize and the small boat building industry was almost decimated in the United States as those who had the means to purchase a yacht changed their plans.

What is the role of compromise in ending the political deadlock on fundamental goals such as entitlement reform and deficit reduction? When and how would you compromise?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

Republicans and Democrats have fundamentally different opinions on how best to get Americans back to work and revive our economy. These ideological differences have resulted in the gridlock weve seen for the past year in Washington.

When I was elected in 2010, I knew it would be difficult to reduce spending and remove government barriers to job creation in a divided government. By taking a stand, the conversation in Washington has changed from how much we should spend to how much we should cut.

Both sides need to do a better job of working together to find common ground, and Ive been just as frustrated by the gridlock as anyone else. However, the problems our country presently faces arose because too many members of Congress, for decades now, have gone along to get along. Im happy to compromise, so long as were not compromising our nations future.

Presently, Im excited to work with a Democrat member in the Illinois delegation on a manufacturing reform proposal that aims to promote manufacturing in the U.S. I will continue seeking out opportunities to reach across the aisle and find common ground.

Manzullo

The elements of compromise can only be found when people have a grown-up discussion about the facts of the problems that face us. We cannot solve this problem without acknowledging that entitlements, particularly federal health care spending, are the main drivers of future budget deficits. Closing the deficit will not be solved by just raising taxes on the “rich,” and cutting defense. Even if we imposed a 100 percent tax on the “rich,” we'd still have a deficit. Entitlement spending, mostly Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, currently comprises about 60 percent of total federal spending and is set to rise to nearly 70 percent within 10 years as more and more of the Baby Boom generation retires. Again, the President said in 2011, “If you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, it's not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing.” Yet, some would precisely do that in order to raise political pressure to raise taxes on the “rich.” Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) offered a deficit reduction compromise to the “supercommittee” last November that included some revenue enhancement and spending cuts that mirrored the ratio recommended by the President's Fiscal Commission. Even Senate Majority Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL), said his offer was a “breakthrough” but revenue wasn't raised enough to satisfy most other Congressional Democrats and deadlock remains. Key elements of deficit reduction and entitlement reform that I would support follow the budget alternative offered by the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC) (http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/Solutions/rscfy2012budget.htm) in 2011.

Does the Social Security program need reform? What exactly should be done?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

I do not believe it is fair to change the rules for those currently receiving Social Security benefits or nearing retirement as some members propose. The government made a promise to our nations seniors and that promise should be kept. It is necessary, however, to modify Social Security for younger generations, like myself, if we are to ensure the programs long -term viability. I think many people in my generation do not expect Social Security to be available to them when they reach retirement. Before we can begin discussing how to save Social Security, we all must agree that there is a problem. When both parties are ready to work toward a solution, it will be much easier to discuss the various proposals that have been floated.

Manzullo

The problem facing Social Security (and Medicare) is that according to the Urban Institute (http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/social-security-medicare-benefits-over-lifetime.pdf), the average wage-earner will reap more in lifetime benefits than they paid into the system during their working years. In addition, Social Security was created when life expectancy was 62 years and now people are expected to live until 78, with the majority of the Baby Boomers still yet to retire. Plus, Social Security and Medicare are on track to be the majority of all federal spending within the coming decade. All these factors should spur Congress to act, sooner rather than later, in order to ease any transitional changes. For Social Security, I support a continued slow-phase in of the full retirement age so as to stretch the Social Security Fund.

How would you reform Medicare? Be as specific as possible.
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

By 2020, Medicare/Medicaid spending will be one fourth of federal spending. These escalating healthcare costs are the biggest driver of debt and must be dealt with in a responsible manner. In 2010, healthcare costs rose by more than 7 percent, compared to an approximate 1 percent increase for other goods and services. This is putting enormous pressure on Medicare and Medicaid. Absent action, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will soon grow to consume
every dollar of revenue that the government raises in taxes.

On the Energy and Commerce Committee, I support reducing waste in Medicare by changing how Medicare investigates and controls fraud. Much like credit card companies use complex computer algorithms to detect unusual spending patterns (and possible fraud) in real time, industry specialists believe the same technology can be applied to Medicare. Presently, Medicare waits a month or two before its investigators even begin examining claims. By adopting this technology, analysts project the government could capture 80 percent of the approximately $60 billion lost to Medicare fraud.

Reforms like this, as well as passing medical liability reform, will go a long way toward reducing the cost of healthcare. But we shouldnt stop there. I supported House Budget Chairman Paul Ryans Path to Prosperity budget resolution, which tackled our national debt in a responsible way by reforming the tax code and restructuring entitlement programs while keeping promises to current seniors and those nearing retiring age something the budget that Congressman
Manzullo touts did not do. It took our country decades to get into this mess and it will take us decades to get out of it due to bad decisions by prior Administrations and Congresses.

Manzullo

For Medicare, I support three specific changes because Medicare is scheduled to go bankrupt within the next 10 years. First, I would slowly phase-in an increase in the eligibility age similar to what has been done in Social Security. Second, beginning in 2017, Medicare beneficiaries should be given options to help offset the cost of their health insurance policies, similar to the health care benefit provided to federal employees. Third, wealthier seniors should be required to pay slightly more in annual premiums to Medicare than those with fewer financial resources.

I would also support dedicating more resources to root out $17 billion in improper Medicare payments that are made every year, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In addition, we need greater implementation of health care technology to improve patient care and outcomes through better care coordination among patients' various health care providers that will have the side-benefit of lowering costs.

Is there a problem of a growing income and wealth gap in the United States? Is there a problem of unequal opportunity? What, if anything, should government do about this?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

There has been a growing income gap in the United States, which I believe is in part from the decline of manufacturing. According to the New York Times, the number of factories in the United States employing more than 1,000 workers fell by 1/3 from 1997 2007.

Additionally, I serve on Energy and Commerce where I look forward to working to improve manufacturing conditions that will enable us to compete better. As an example, last February, I heard directly from businesses that would be impacted by the EPAs new Boiler MACT rules. I was told the standards were not achievable or the cost was so high that the manufacturing would be sent overseas where environmental regulations don't exist. I lead the effort in sending the EPA the message that these new rules need to be rewritten. Not long after my letter was sent, the EPA rewrote the rules so that businesses could fairly compete. Similarly, I heard directly from concrete manufactures that new EPA rules would destroy 20 percent of the nations cement industry. I worked with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to pass legislation that would require the EPA to rewrite the rules and give more time for the cement industry to implement new requirements.

Secondly, finding well-educated, trainable workers to hire in these jobs will become increasingly important to manufacturers in Illinois. To take advantage of these opportunities, it is vital that we have a well-trained work force that is ready and willing to compete in the global economy.

Revitalizing our manufacturing industry, after decades of decline, is vital to increasing our middle class.

Manzullo

The government should not get involved in ensuring equal outcomes (i.e., income redistribution) but should ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve all they can be in their lives through a good education at the local level; preventing discrimination of all kinds; enforcing contracts and property rights; and making sure basic regulations are in place to protect health, safety, and the environment.

Who is to blame for the home mortgages collapse?
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

There is no one person or sector to blame for the home mortgage collapse. Greed was the main culprit; making money became more important than seriously questioning the sustainability of a clearly broken system. Homeowners borrowed too much, mortgage companies lent to easily, and the government intervened in the markets. For decades, politicians had supported easing credit policies for mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government sponsored enterprises, like their private counterparts, played a huge role in the market collapse by putting profits ahead of common sense lending practices.

Manzullo

There is plenty of blame to go around but fundamentally it was a result of the two housing Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – that purchased sub-prime mortgage loans that had little likelihood of being repaid and then packaging and marketing those loans as “good as gold” to investors. Fannie and Freddie had the implicit backstop of the federal government. Thus, lenders face little to no risk in putting people into homes who couldn't afford the monthly mortgage payment once the “teaser” interest rate expired because if the homeowner defaulted on their obligation, then the federal government would pick up the tab. Once the sub-prime mortgage problem grew in magnitude, then it affected other financial transactions, which were backed by these junk real estate securities, resulting in the full-blown financial crisis in the fall of 2008. As far back as 2000, I was calling for reform of Fannie and Freddie that would have required them to hold more in reserve and also have stricter underwriting standards for the loans they purchased. If this bill had become law, most likely the financial crisis would have not emerged.

What, if anything, should be done to assist Americans whose homes are financially "under water" and face foreclosure?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

A pervasive climate of uncertainty about government policies is leading to fewer opportunities and less economic security for American families. Lenders are reluctant to expand their balance sheets and job creators are deferring plans to purchase inventory and add new employees because of the new regulatory mandates that are coming from Washington. The best way to help a homeowner prevent foreclosure is with a job. Unemployment is now the greatest cause of mortgage defaults. The government needs to extract itself from the market,
remove barriers of uncertainty that prevent employers from hiring, and improve regulatory efficiency for the mortgage market.

Manzullo

The best solution is to concentrate on getting Americans back to work so that they can pay back their mortgages. Then, interested parties should work together to come together to devise a mutually-agreeable resolution on case-by-case basis to renegotiate a particular mortgage. There are existing initiatives to facilitate these negotiations (http://www.hopenow.com/), which could also involve bringing in another lender to assume for the loan. It is also in the best interest of the lender to come to some resolution because receiving a lower monthly mortgage payment is better than dealing with a foreclosed home.

Is global warming real? Is it man-made? What, if anything, should be done about it?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

We need a comprehensive energy and environmental policy that plans for the future but meets the needs of today. America leads the world in innovation and I have no doubt that we can develop a plan that protects our environment while defending our economic security.

Manzullo

Instead of having a contentious debate over global warming, I prefer acting on positive solutions that actually provide technical assistance in limiting all forms of global pollution – land, water, and air. The U.S. government can play a helpful role in promoting the adoption of technologies and practices that reduce pollution, particularly in developing countries where growth is expected to be the highest, through our export promotion programs. But to have the U.S. government impose a carbon tax or enact a “cap and trade” system, which I voted against, while other emerging economies do not follow our direction, will only lead to the movement of more manufacturing production and jobs to large polluters like China and India.

What is the role of the federal government in promoting "green" alternatives to fossil fuels? What are those alternatives?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

We need to stop talking about the need to become more energy independent and start pursuing an agenda that actually moves us closer to it. We need to pursue all options for our short and long-term energy needs. In the short term, I strongly support vastly expanded domestic energy exploration In the long-term, we need to encourage new forms of renewable energy such as hydrogen, advanced solar
cells, bio-fuels, geothermal, better electric car technology and others through tax incentives, which will ultimately unleash the creative ingenuity of the private marketplace.

Manzullo

The government can provide information and encourage individuals to use “green” alternatives, but the government should not be involved in picking winners and losers in the energy marketplace. If the people want more energy efficiency or more fuel-efficient vehicles, then they will gravitate to companies and products that offer those benefits. That's why I voted to end all direct government subsidies for every form of energy research (July 11, 2011, Roll Call #538, McClintock (R-CA) amendment to H.R. 2354, the Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill).

Is waterboarding a form of torture? On what basis do you make this assertion? Should the United States engage in waterboarding under any circumstances?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

I support the use of waterboarding techniques when imminent and serious national security threats arise and only with consent of the President of the United States.

Manzullo

Waterboarding should be used only as a last resort under very strict guidelines in dealing in rare situations with a high-value enemy combatant or to prevent an imminent attack on our nation that could harm the lives of numerous Americans.

Do you support the legalization or de-criminalization of marijuana, either on a state or national level? Have you ever personally smoked marijuana?
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

No/no.

Manzullo

No. No.

Iran, according to a new United Nations report, is covertly at work building a nuclear bomb. Should Iran be stopped, and how? Please explain the merits of international sanctions versus military action.
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

There is little doubt Iran is near obtaining a nuclear weapon. The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran would be devastating to the security of the U.S. and our allies. While President Obama appears resigned to the fact that Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon, our ally Israel is not ready to concede. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, has made clear their goal is to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Iran is transferring weapon technology to Hezbollah, which is used
in its war against Israel. It is quite possible that Iranian nuclear weapons would be transferred to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations in the region. All available options must be on the table when deciding how to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Current global sanctions on Iran will increasingly isolate the Iranian regime, but more must be done. A peaceful resolution will require the international community to implement additional sanctions aimed at collapsing its central bank. President Obama must support these sanctions and work with our allies to respond quickly to any disruption caused by Iran to the world oil market.

Irans recent threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the sea-lane by which oil leaves the Persian Gulf, is a serious test for the U.S. in the region. Iran is pushing America to determine how invested we will be in the region following the pull -out from Iraq. It is important that President Obama make clear to the Iranians that the U.S. will not tolerate attempts to close the strait. The President should also position more naval forces in the regio n to show Iran we are ready and willing to protect the strait. Strong words followed by smart action are the best deterrence
to Irans aggression.

Manzullo

Yes. We should continue to enforce our trade sanctions and engage in vigorous diplomacy to persuade more nations to join our efforts to stop Iran from having a deliverable nuclear weapon. While no option should be removed from the table, the U.S. should strive to work primarily through peaceful means, such as through Farsi (Persian)-spending media outlets, to encourage regime change and the spread of the “Arab Spring” to Iran. Because of the intense nationalism of all Iranians, engaging in unprovoked military action would most likely result in the democratic opposition inside Iran siding with the repressive, theocratic government; thus diminishing hope for peaceful regime change.

How would you define "success" for the United States in the war in Afghanistan? Do you support the President's plan and timetable for withdrawing American troops?
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    ALL
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

Afghanistan is one of the vital fronts in the war on terrorism where we face many challenges. Success in Afghanistan is defined when the Afghan government is able to withst and any Taliban resurgence with limited from U.S. military involvement. We cannot allow the country to once again become a training ground for terrorists and see all of our work and sacrifice over the last ten years be for nothing. The Taliban have a saying, The Americans have the watches. We have the time. Providing a timetable for a pullout will only cause the Taliban to wait it out. I was disappointed by the presidents announcement of troop withdrawal, as it should depend on current conditions on the ground and advice from our
commanders. American withdrawal and stability of the region need to be done in a manner, which achieves both goals.

Manzullo

Congress authorized the use of force against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan as a result of the horrendous September 11th attacks. I do not support staying in Afghanistan indefinitely, and I strongly believe that developing the capacity of the Afghan national military and police to defend them is an important step towards our eventual withdrawal. America's withdrawal from Afghanistan must be based upon conditions on the ground, not an arbitrary date. Setting an arbitrary withdrawal date allows the enemy too much of an advantage. However, we must continue to move from a counterinsurgency strategy to a counterterrorism focus, which means the Afghans must continue to assume more and more responsibility for their own security.

The No Child Left Behind Act is overdue for reauthorization. Do you support the Administration's blueprint for reauthorization, the bill that recently passed the Senate Education Committee, or some other alternative?
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    Kinzinger
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    Manzullo
Kinzinger

The President has proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
Flexibility because the Secretary of Education believes No Child Left Behind places unrealistic standards on educators to obtain 100% proficiency at math and reading levels. I believe the standards and processes for reaching the goals set out in No Child Left Behind should be determined at the local level, with an appropriate level of funding by the federal government. The current "one size fits all" methodology requires school districts to spend an inordinate amount of time and three times as much money per pupil to comply with federal regulations. The closer decision-making is to the classroom, the better off America's students
will be.

Manzullo

No. I voted against the No Child Left Behind Act back in 2001 because I believe education reform works best when it is closest to the people. The federal government provides only about six percent of total education funding. Yet, it imposes from Washington, DC a host of “one-size-fits-all” requirements as a condition for receiving these education funds. That is why I support an alternative proposal – the A Plus Act (H.R. 2514) – that would bloc-grant all federal primary and secondary education funds to the states to avoid all the onerous federal mandates and requirements, allowing teachers to actually teach and help children learn.

The race
The candidates
Adam Kinzinger
Don Manzullo
The district
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