U.S. Senate Candidate Q & A

U.S. Senate Candidate Q & A

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Tim Ryan, a 10-term Democrat from Warren, and Republican J.D. Vance, a Cincinnati venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, will battle it out in the Nov. 8 race. for the United States Senate. Early voting has already begun.

Each of the two candidates has agreed to participate in one-on-one interviews being conducted in the Warren newsroom of news partner Tribune Chronicle. Each of them was asked the same 10 questions on the topic of the tender. They responded spontaneously and their unfiltered responses are shared here.

The first five questions will be in today's edition, the remaining five – on Monday.


Q: What can the US Senate do to prevent inflation from rising?

TIM RYAN: I think it's going to be tough in the short term, so I think tax cuts are the best thing that workers and small businesses can do to help cover costs. But in the medium to long term, and to make sure we don't find ourselves in this situation again, we're increasing natural gas production while transitioning to a more natural gas-based economy, bringing supply chains back from Asia, whether it's chip manufacturing or automobiles. or whatever to make sure we restore those things here. And that was really the strategy of the infrastructure bill, which is bipartisan and will create 600,000 jobs here; The $100 billion investment CHIPS Act to help us deliver the Intel project that will create tens of thousands of jobs. What are we trying to do in the Mahoning Valley with electric cars, tractors, batteries. Thus, we have the opportunity to become the most powerful manufacturing center in the world. I think it will fight inflation and give us more control over our economy to keep prices low for businesses and consumers, which is what we want to do with natural gas.

JD VANCE: The most important thing we need to do to prevent inflation is to open up America's energy markets. Energy goes to the price of food, to the price of household appliances, to the price of everything. When electricity goes up, it's not just gas at the pumps, but natural gas, anything that goes to utilities. Then everything becomes more expensive. Unfortunately, I think the Biden administration has really derailed the pipeline, new oil and gas leases, and most importantly, the ability of our businesses to invest in fossil fuel energy. The second is that we as a country must live within our means. The added leverage and costs in an energy-constrained economy are causing inflation to skyrocket. I think the combination of these two policies has made it very difficult for ordinary people to meet their basic needs. If we open up the US energy market, stop borrowing and spending, I think we will do a lot to really solve the inflation crisis.


Question: Are there conditions for a woman to have an abortion? And if so, is there a blackout time?

RYAN: I think what we saw was the largest government intrusion into the privacy of American citizens in our lifetime. To me, this is a matter of liberty and personal freedom, and I think the Dobbs decision and the law here in Ohio go too far. Again, I think J.D. Vance is too extreme on this, no exceptions for rape and incest, no national abortion ban, and the like. Like most Americans, I believe that the only reason to have a full abortion is for safety reasons or in the event of a major tragedy. For me, this would be the exception until the end of pregnancy. But let me quickly say that what concerns me is that Justice (Clarence) wants to follow what Thomas wrote in his Dobb opinion, and after he overturned same-sex marriage with the abortion ruling, he wants to have a baby. control. I just think that these are very, very extreme positions that will wreak havoc on our society. We see women who have been assaulted have to go to Illinois or Indiana. A national abortion ban would force them to get a passport and travel to Canada.

VANCE: I'm pro-life. I am deeply convinced that we must develop a culture of life in this country. It saddens me to see major American corporations refusing to offer paid maternity leave and even cutting it back at a time when they are throwing people $5,000 for an abortion. My question is why do we encourage women to do things but not support them when they decide to have children? Our country can do better in many ways, provide better health care, etc. In terms of abortion, I think the clear example is that abortion should be allowed if it is medically necessary. things will work out, God forbid. But there are tragic cases when people have to have an abortion. I think that we need to make exceptions and compromise here. But in general, I would like to take us to a place where we save as many lives as possible. This is my main view.


Q: Do you support President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan and was the move legal? Do you think the plan goes far enough, not enough, or for the right amount of donations?

RYAN: I don't support it. My wife and I understand better than anyone else that we are still paying off their student loans, so I understand the value. I find it scandalous that the rates are 8, 10, 12 percent. But I don't think we can afford it now, and that's one of the main reasons. The other is that we do not solve the problem of the cost of education at universities. If we're going to spend $300 billion, we should at least get to the root cause of the problem, which you don't have. I think there is a way to save people money by allowing them to lower their interest rates to 1-2 percent. This will put money in their pocket and possibly allow them to pay off the principal earlier or have more money. But even then we need 70-80 percent. If you take out loans, I think you should pay them back. So there should be a global approach to everything. But again, given the three big investments that we just made to get out of the pandemic, out of the economic collapse, we need to start reducing the deficit, which is set at $300 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act. This particular project will redefine those savings, which I don't think is a good move at this point.

VANCE: I'm not saying that President Biden is going to forgive student loans because they're illegal. I don't think the US president has that kind of authority. We all learned in elementary school that we hope that Congress can make laws and that the president must enforce the laws. I don't think there's a law on the books that allows the president to do that. But deep down it is fundamentally unfair. Central to the American character is our contempt for injustice as a people. We want everyone to follow the same rules regardless of their life situation. Plumbers, electricians, there are people who are in college and paying off debt, they are actually being forced to pay off the debt of people who have decided to go to college and still have a lot of debt. This is a big, big problem. My first problem with this is the unfairness. The second problem is that actually, I think it allows universities to get away with creating this debt crisis. If you look at what caused our student debt, it's because executives are paid more. He does not go to study. It does not affect the quality of education. It really goes to the administrative burden. This applies to some of our local schools in Ohio. This also applies to some other national schools of the country. We need to address this issue and effectively save these colleges from massive tuition and price hikes that are completely wrong. It's not fair, and we already have a problem with student and college costs.


Q: What gun reform legislation, if any, do you think is necessary and why or not?

RYAN: I'm not concerned about law-abiding citizens or hunters. My concern is how many criminals buy guns and how do they get them? We should be able to understand this. The number of gun crimes, gun deaths in Ohio and across the country is unacceptable and I think we need background checks. I think we should close the loopholes. I don't think we need combat weapons on the streets. But I think we should stop politicizing this issue. I think there is strong agreement even among gun owners that we can find some reasonable gun safety measures. Now you see what happens when the FOP goes against what's going on in the state by relaxing the concealed carry process, permits and everything else. We have to sit down with the police. We have to sit with the armed groups. We need to sit down with schools and think about how to make them safer. I think we're looking at these school shootings. How does an 18-year-old walk into a gun store a few days after his birthday and buy a semi-automatic rifle and 1,600 rounds of ammunition? When we send someone out of the war, he has 300 bullets. This is what we need to understand. But this requires a consensus between the two parties. The party cannot do it.

VANCE: What worries me about gun reform is that we have a very clear problem with violent crime in this country. The gun reform proposals that I have seen, I believe, will simultaneously affect the rights of many people, but will not actually make our communities or our country safer. It really is the worst of all possible worlds. To give an obvious example, we know, for example, that the background check system failed to catch several convicted felons who should not have been issued firearms. I am very much a supporter of the Second Amendment. Everyone agrees that a convicted felon should not be able to walk in, get a background check, pass that background check and walk away with a deadly firearm. But why are we talking about creating additional systems and additional regulations that I believe will have a greater impact on law-abiding Americans instead of addressing the issue of access to firearms by convicted felons? Another way I make this point, perhaps statistically, is that we've seen a rapid increase in gun violence in this country over the last two years. Our gun laws haven't really changed. Clearly, the most violent crimes are not driven by gun laws. What causes violent crime is that we choose to scare the police into doing their jobs, and we have released many violent career criminals from prison. To me, that's how the gun violence problem is solved.


Q: What are the main goals of immigration reform and how will this help achieve them?

RYAN: There are eight billion people in the world, and most of them want to live here. But not everyone can live here. That's why we need an orderly process. I think we need a strong border. We need to patrol the borders more. We need the help of the local police. But then we need an orderly process where if you're here and you're undocumented, you can pay the fine, pay the taxes, go through the background check and we can get you back into the country. It has to be a double for me again. For example, we can't do it either way. It is so frustrating that we have to solve these problems. We don't want to pass this immigration problem on to the next generation. This is partly due to the next drug, fentanyl. We know what comes from China. We know you work in Mexico and come to the country. We have to use the technology that we have. I started the Frontier Technology Caucus to help us figure out how we use today's technology to solve some of these challenges. We have all this technology, we have to be able to use it better at the border, so it has to be a whole-of-government approach.

VANCE: It's a very, very difficult issue, and unfortunately, the Biden administration is where it's worst and where it's hurting itself the most. First, border walls aren't perfect, but they certainly help, and I think we've learned that over the last four or five years. Therefore, I believe that the necessary 3-4 billion dollars should be allocated. This is a small part of the total federal budget for the construction of the border wall. The second thing is when I talk to the border guards, do they need more funding? What do you need to do your job? The most they tell me is that we don't need agents anymore. We just need agents who are empowered to do their jobs. Right now, the president is actually ordering border guards not to guard the border in most places, which is why you're seeing these videos of people crossing the border. Not that there are sometimes no border guards. Because the border guards were told not to do their job. So I think the president should really give these guys a chance to do whatever they need to do. Third, the president should use his diplomatic power — he's the CEO of the most powerful country in the world — to get these Central American countries to actually do the work of strengthening their borders. That's one of the things that I think the Trump administration deserves, but doesn't get as much credit for, is that they've had a lot of communication with the Mexican government in particular, but also with the U.S. government. Government of El Salvador. , other governments, as well as Central American governments, to prevent such large flows of migrants into this country. If you can't get it under control, you're going to have a huge problem with the fentanyl deaths that we have, and they're going to get worse. I want to remind people that the border problem is not 2-3 million illegal migrants. This is the important part. But for Ohio, it's about the amount of fentanyl entering our community and killing our children.

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