Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: 16th District U.S. Representative
Family: Married, 3 children
Occupation: U.S. Representative
Education: BA Political Science, American University JD Marquette University
Civic involvement: Illinois Natural Land Institute
Elected offices held: U.S. Representative
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: no
Key Issue 1
Creating a positive business environment for entrepreneurship and job creation, particularly in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, which cannot be accomplished until we make progress on reducing the deficit.
Key Issue 2
Closely linked to the first issue, reducing and eliminating the budget deficit, with a plan to pay down the national debt.
Key Issue 3
Protect our nation from attack.
What would you do to help ease partisan gridlock? Are you willing to compromise on sticking points including spending cuts and taxes to produce results' How can Congress move from being a "crisis-driven" institution?
I am blessed to work primarily on manufacturing issues where there isn't the partisan gridlock that you find on other issues.
I work closely with my Democratic co-chair of the Manufacturing Caucus, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, on issues such as decreasing our dependency on China for critical ?rare earth? minerals.
I also work with the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard Berman of California, to reform our outdated export control laws.
I always have an open door but it's frustrating.
Last November, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) offered a deficit reduction compromise, which contained the same ratio of revenue enhancements to spending cuts as suggested by the President's Fiscal Commission to reach the $1.2 trillion target set forth by the statute that created the 'supercommittee.'
Even Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called the Toomey compromise a 'breakthrough.'
Yet, what happened?
Other Congressional Democrats wanted more revenue increases than what Senator Toomey proposed and his ideas never went beyond the proposal phase.
Unfortunately, that was a lost opportunity.
We need Congress to recognize the gravity of the situation and deal with the same set of facts.
Sixty-three percent of federal spending is on 'automatic pilot' mandatory programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and growing fast, particularly as the Baby Boomer generation retires.
The budget deficit will not be closed by simply taxing the 'rich' and eliminating 'waste.'
Even the President said last July, "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? It's not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing."
Yet, many in Congress would prefer to do nothing in order to demagogue this issue for political purposes until the next election, inching us another year closer to when both the Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds are exhausted.
Should tax breaks be extended? Why or why not? If so, for whom? What should Congress do to improve unemployment? Why do you support or oppose President Obama's jobs plan? What cuts or revenue increases do you support for deficit reduction?
The 2001/2003 tax cuts should be made permanent for everyone in order to reinstate certainty about what tax rates will be in the coming years.
We can't have the President saying one year, don't raise taxes during a recession, and then the next year talk about raising this tax or that tax, particularly when our nation is still in the economic doldrums.
The best thing Washington can do to improve employment is to end the uncertainty to give employers confidence to expand and create jobs.
President Obama should stop threatening tax increases, he must pull back on the massive regulatory burdens proposed this past year, and he must focus on real spending cuts.
While there are some positive aspects of the President's jobs plan, some of which have already been enacted into law, most of his proposals are simply a rehash of the flawed stimulus package that did little to foster long-term private sector employment.
I have developed a comprehensive 10-point agenda that lists many of the detailed specifics on what policies I would press Congress to adopt in the effort to help spur job creation and growth (www.manzullo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jobs-Agenda-120211-final.pdf).
With regard to my suggestions for deficit reduction, I have already voted over 700 times to cut $2.6 trillion in spending since 2007.
I also supported the budget
What steps should the country now be taking in the war on terrorism? What policy should the U.S. have toward Iran and North Korea? What is your view of terrorism policies that pit public safety against civil liberty?
On the war on terror, we need to return to the focus on counterterrorism and away from counterinsurgency policy and nation building.
We should continue to battle the few remaining terrorist cells wherever they are around the world.
However, some are attracted to fighting us and became insurgents because the U.S. is viewed as overstaying our initial welcome and now we are the foreign occupiers or ?infidels' in their home country.
Nevertheless, we should not let a foreign country use its territory for terrorist training purposes as we did Afghanistan in the late 1990's.
Preferably, we should first work with the country to close down terrorist networks, but if that it not a viable option, we should exercise our right to self-defense and destroy those networks by ourselves, if necessary.
With respect to Iran, We should continue to enforce our trade sanctions, boycott companies that do business with Iran's Central Bank, 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)-speaking media outlets, to encourage regime change and the spread of the ?Arab Spring? to Iran.
With respect to North Korea, Kim Jong Il was the epitome of evil, a dictator of the worst kind who ruled his country with an iron fist and dished out constant pain and misery to his people.
As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, I have watched Kim Jong Il closely and our committee has monitored his actions, including his unprovoked provocation toward South Korea and his relentless quest for nuclear weapons.
I hope his passing will mark a new chapter for North Korea.
This is an opportunity for North Korea to emerge form its cycle of oppression and walk down a new path toward freedom and democracy.
I will continue to watch closely but early signs are not promising.
As a result, current policy on sanctions and political isolation should remain.
With respect to balancing public safety and civil liberties in the war on terror, I am one of the few Republicans who have voted now twice against the long-term extension of the PATRIOT Act because I believe the pendulum swung too far towards security interests after 9/11 .
For example, there is no need to have secret searches of library and bookstore records when nefarious information is on the Internet.
How should Medicare and Medicaid be changed overall to fix fund gaps' How should Medicare be changed for those currently enrolled? How should it change for the Baby Boomer generation?
For Medicare, there should be no changes for those currently enrolled.
For those below the age of 60, 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.
For Medicaid, I support converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block-grant program tailored to meet each state's needs, indexed for inflation and population growth.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to health care from Washington, States should have the freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations.
What is your position on concealed carry gun laws' How do you believe marriage should be defined legally? What is your position on abortion? What, if any, abortion exceptions do you support? Should abortion clinics receive government funding?
I support conceal/carry.
On November 16, 2011, I voted for the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 822) to require states that allow the carrying of concealed firearms to recognize concealed-carry permits issued by other states.
However, because Illinois is the only state in the nation that does not allow conceal/carry, this legislation has no direct impact on Illinois residents.
That is why I joined a letter co-signed by other pro-gun rights Illinois Congressmen to the top elected state government officials in Illinois encouraging them to pass a conceal/carry law on the state level.
I voted for and continue to endorse the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton and supported by 64 percent of House Democrats and 70 percent of Senate Democrats, that defines marriage to mean only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
Last year, I voted several times to make sure that there is no undermining of DOMA, particularly in light of the repeal of the ?Don't Ask; Don't Tell? policy affecting the military.
I am pro-life and I have consistently received 100 percent ratings for my vote record from various groups that track the pro-life issue.
The only exception on the abortion issue should be for the physical health of the mother.
Abortion clinics should not receive taxpayer money.
In fact, on May 4, 2011, I voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) to make it clear that no organization that directly or indirectly provides abortion-related services receives any federal support either through a spending program or through the tax code.
My wife and I have realized that being pro-life also means we had to be actively involved in the issue.
Thus, we helped co-found three pregnancy care centers to help women in difficult situations and provide counseling and a host of other services for the mother and father involved, including the babies.