U.S. House of Representatives District 2
Election date: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010
|Family||Wife, Amy, who is a pediatrician, and they have two sons|
|Occupation||Business; energy industry|
|Previous experience||Congressman Matheson serves on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, an exclusive committee with the broadest jurisdiction of any Congressional committee. The Energy and Commerce Committee deals with energy policy, consumer protection, food and drug|
What is your top priority for the United States?
My top priority is to promote stronger economic growth and create jobs. Success there will help with additional priorities, including cutting federal spending and lowering the federal deficit.
Describe your solution to the U.S. illegal immigration problem. What specifically should be done about the over 10-million illegal immigrants who are now in the United States? Do you favor or oppose some kind of pathway to legal status for the current illegal immigrants?
Immigration reform is a federal responsibility. I do not support amnesty. I support and have voted for strengthening border security and improving the E-verify system for employer use. Along with a viable guest worker program, we should raise the unrealistically low caps on visas, thereby encouraging legal immigration.
Do you support the Affordable Care Act (health care reform)? If not, how would you fix America's health care crisis?
I voted no on the Affordable Care Act because it is too expensive, and it fails to address health care cost inflation. Until we control the ever-escalating costs of health care, we face the prospect of unaffordable care for individuals, families, small businesses and the federal treasury. Covering the uninsured is a priority and the new health care reform law offers some progress. But fixing America's health care crisis requires numerous steps such as: medical malpractice reform; eliminating the bloat and waste in administrative costs; reforming unnecessary procedures; reimbursement based on quality, not quantity; and many more.
What can be done to improve the U.S. economy? How will you help?
The federal government cannot and should not manage every detail of our economy, nor can government just flip a switch and fix it. But I believe we can adopt appropriate public policies that can help get the economy going again. I support quality education and retraining programs, for a competitive global workforce. I support investing in roads, bridges, airports and broadband expansion to promote safe, reliable, efficient transportation and communication. I support free trade to remove barriers to Utah's?and America's?goods and services in other countries. I support keeping taxes low on families and small businesses so that they can keep more of their hard-earned money, they can invest more and they can grow their businesses. Finally, I helped write a comprehensive plan to restore fiscal responsibility to the federal treasury by cutting federal spending and lowering the federal debt.
Utah is famous for its beautiful landscapes. What will you do to protect and promote these areas?
I demanded that the federal government clean up the 16 million tons of radioactive tailings that are polluting the Colorado River near Moab. I wrote the legislation, which passed the U.S. House, to ban the importation of foreign radioactive waste into the U.S. and Utah because Utah is not a dumping ground for other countries' waste. I helped write the Washington County public lands bill that broke a generational logjam on public land use issues in Utah. My inclusive stakeholder model produced the first major wilderness designation for Utah's red rock country in a generation and it has been held up as the model to follow for future efforts. Finally, I have written legislation to preserve the Wasatch Front Canyons' source of pristine drinking water. It will also enhance the extraordinary recreational opportunities literally out the backdoor of over 1 million Utahns.
What are your views on federal funding for embryonic and adult stem cell research?
I have consistently supported federal funding for stem cell research, subject to strict ethical guidelines. I believe this research holds tremendous promise for curing terrible diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes that cause so much heartbreak and suffering for thousands of Utah families. The research should be conducted in an open and transparent environment, with government oversight and accountability.
Are you willing to work with members of other political parties to accomplish changes in Washington?
From my many conversations with Utahns around the state, I am convinced that working across the aisle is what a majority of people want and expect. They are tired of the bickering and lack of progress. Since my first day in this job, I have championed bipartisanship. Neither party has an exclusive on all the good ideas. From reaching across the aisle to cosponsor legislation and to vote with members of the other party, to meeting informally to discuss the issues, I will continue to work with anyone who wants to achieve progress on behalf of our country.
What are your views on nuclear testing?
I am strongly opposed to the resumption of nuclear weapons testing. I have a proven record of effectiveness on this issue. Resuming testing would be dangerous and unnecessary. Utahns have paid dearly for believing what the government said in the past regarding safety. U.S. scientific and military experts verify annually that our existing nuclear weapons stockpile is safe and secure and a prestigious panel of experts has recently confirmed it will remain so for decades. New weapons would require new testing and the only place in the U.S. where testing takes place is at the Nevada Test Site. Health studies have proved that even underground testing emits radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. We never want to go down that path again.
When you are forming an opinion on an issue, who do/will you ask for advice and information?
First and foremost, I listen to Utahns. Many of the priorities I have pursued in Congress have come from the ideas I've heard as a travel around the state to meet with people. I listen to the expert testimony presented by panels of experts who appear before Congressional committees. I also try to bring together as broad and diverse a group of stakeholders as possible when looking for solutions. There are usually more than just two points of view on an issue. There is a range of thought across stakeholder groups. I put Utah first and decide each issue on the merits and whether or not I believe it is the right thing to do for Utahns.
What is the one personal trait/characteristic that you want voters to know about you, and why is that important in this race?
I am honest and I bring integrity to public service. I take a thoughtful, common sense approach to every issue, and in this job I am an independent voice who is not a rubber stamp for either party or any ideology.