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Position papers: U.S. Congressional representative, District 16

10/11/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Jim Renacci (incumbent*) vs. Betty Sutton (incumbent*)

Jim Renacci
Betty Sutton
Voters will vote for one candidate for District 16 U.S. Congressional representative for the term commencing Jan. 3, 2013, on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot. The information provided below was submitted by the candidates, with their responses to our questions printed as submitted.

* We have listed both candidates as incumbent, due to redistricting. Jim Renacci is the current District 16 incumbent and Betty Sutton is the current District 13 representative. With redistricting, the newly drawn District 16 will include Renacci and Sutton’s current districts.


James Renacci (incumbent)

Political affiliation: Republican

What would you do to create jobs in this region?

“Simply put, we must get Washington out of the way. Private sector job growth is being stifled by the uncertainty created by over-regulation and the threat of higher taxes coming from our nation’s capital. Businesses will not hire and they will not expand when they do not know what their future costs will be. That is why I have voted repeatedly in the House to keep taxes where they are and to streamline our tax code.

“Government, however, can put in place policies that set the table for economic growth. Keeping taxes low and pulling back the sea of red tape currently swamping our businesses is a good start. But it will also take innovative solutions.

“One example is a piece of legislation I introduced is called the EMPLOY Act. It allows businesses to collect a portion of an out of work person’s unemployment benefits in exchange for giving them a job. This way the business gets a new employee for a fraction of the actual cost, and the employee now has a job that pays more than they were getting. Because only a portion of the benefits were paid out, taxpayers save the difference, plus that formerly unemployed individual …” [Exceeded stated word limit.]

What is your position on health care reform?

“The President’s health care bill does virtually nothing to control costs and that is why I have voted to repeal it and replace it with reforms that will actually lower costs. Before the health care law passed, we were promised premiums for a family of four would drop by $2,500. Instead, they have shot up by more than $3,000 in the last several years.

“We can lower costs through a number of reforms like breaking down the barriers to purchasing health insurance across state lines. Competition among the insurance companies will bring your costs down as insurance companies compete for business.

“Reforming the way doctors can be sued will also lower health care costs for everyone. Runaway legal actions in recent years have forced doctors to engage in defensive medicine to protect themselves. Ordering every test in the book to avoid a lawsuit is bad medicine and sends costs skyrocketing.

“We also must discuss decoupling health insurance from employers entirely. People move between jobs much more frequently in this day and age than they did in previous generations. If an employee can carry their health insurance with them, the insurance companies would have even more of an interest in keeping …” [Exceeded stated word limit.]

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“My top priority has been — and will remain — getting Ohioans back to work. That requires getting Washington out of the way of our small businesses and in turn giving them the certainty and predictability they need to expand and begin hiring again. It is that simple.

“We must get our debt and deficits under control. The past four years have seen annual deficits well above $1 trillion dollars and more than $5 trillion added to the national debt, which now stands at more than $16 trillion. We currently borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar we spend, much of it from China. If we do not get our debt under control, our debt will control us.

“To accomplish these goals we must work in a bipartisan manner, something I have made it a point to do in my first term. I will continue to run the bipartisan working group I co-founded and which now has over 12 members in the House of Representatives. The problems and challenges we face are American problems and challenges. They are not just Republican or Democrat in nature — or in cause — and they will not affect only members of one party or the other. …” [Exceeded stated word limit.]


Betty Sutton (incumbent)

Political affiliation: Democrat

What would you do to create jobs in this region?

“Helping to put people back to work is my number one priority, and should be our number one priority in Congress. I have been proud to pass legislation to help put our auto industry back on track, and work with local businesses to help give them the tools they need to expand and create jobs. We can do more however by ensuring our investments in transportation and infrastructure are made in America, and by working to level the playing field for American workers. Congress must focus on balanced, common-sense solutions that make smart investments while empowering our entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs.”

What is your position on health care reform?

“Our country faced a health care crisis that made it harder for our seniors to pay their bills and our small businesses to grow and create jobs. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it is a good start in addressing these serious problems. This legislation makes it possible for over 32 million seniors on Medicare to have access to free preventative services, while reducing the costs for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D and brings the donut hole to a close. I supported the Affordable Care Act because I believe that no one should be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Now, young people under the age of 26 can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan, rather than going without coverage. It also stopped insurance companies from imposing annual or lifetime benefit caps. Once fully implemented, this legislation will make health insurance more affordable and more accessible for small businesses and individuals through common-sense and balanced market-based solutions. We must continue to work together and move forward to find new strategies to slow the growth of health care costs and deliver accessible and affordable care to all Ohioans.”

What would be your top three priorities if you were re-elected? Why?

“My platform is simple: I will fight for measures that create jobs here in Ohio, and I will oppose policies that make it easier to send our jobs overseas. We must level the playing field for American manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs, treat their workers right, and their customers fairly. We need to get Ohioans back to work by investing in job training and rewarding the small businesses and manufacturers that will drive our recovery forward. We must also deliver on our promise to Ohio’s veterans and seniors, by strengthening veterans’ programs and pledging never to turn Medicare into a risky voucher program. Finally, we must work to change Washington so it works for us, not the special interests. I was proud to help pass critical ethics laws during my first term in Congress, and I will continue to fight to clean up Washington so our institutions deliver for those of us in Ohio.”

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