Peter Roskam: Candidate Profile
6th District U.S. Representative (Republican)
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: 6th District U.S. Representative
Family: Married to Elizabeth Roskam, with four children
Education: Graduated from Glenbard West High School, earned a bachelor?s degree from the University of Illinois and J.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: Served in both the the Illinois House and Senate before running for Congress in 2006.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
With over 23 million Americans out of work, my top priority has been and will continue to be getting our economy back on track and getting people back to work. Three years after the end of the recession, we are experiencing the weakest recovery in history. Our national debt passed $16 trillion, and threatening the future prosperity of our nation. We are at a critical moment in our nation?s history. Leaders in Washington must be focused on getting things done--making the reforms necessary for the long term health of our economy, creating certainty for job creators and American families, and protecting the future solvency of critical programs that so many rely on.
Key Issue 2
When it comes to getting people back to work, Washington must do more to foster an environment for innovation and job growth in our economy. Some specific proposals include enactment of the REINS Act, approval of the Keystone Pipeline, and fundamentally reforming our tax code. The REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act would require any regulation with more than a $100 million impact on the economy to be subject to an up-or-down vote in Congress. That would have a restraining influence on regulators, and would provide job creators a level of confidence that they won?t be surprised by new regulations. The Keystone Pipeline will create jobs with private-sector money, and it will bring us greater energy resources from a stable source and friend. Despite deliberate work to meet all environmental concerns, this Administration has stood in the way of tens of thousands of jobs waiting to be unleashed, all without government funding. Finally, imagine a tax code totally reformed, without the loopholes and subsidies which, as we all know, make filing each year a confusing, frustrating and inefficient experience. For most families, rewriting the tax code would mean lower rates, a flatter tax code and no more hiring accountants or tax professionals each year to comb through the thousands of pages. For businesses both large and small, preparing taxes each year is a huge expense?money that could be spent on creating more goods, delivering more services and even hiring more workers.
Key Issue 3
Throughout this Congress, my colleagues and I have been pushing back against business as usual, working hard to strengthen our economy by getting our fiscal house in order. We have put forth bold budgets, aimed at tackling our debt and deficits, and returning government spending as a share of the economy to traditional levels from the dramatically elevated levels of the last few years. While Senate Democrats have failed to offer any plan whatsoever, and the President has only put forward budgets silent on the major drivers of our debt that didn?t receive a single vote in either the House or Senate, House Republicans have elevated the public debate and demonstrated that the budget can be balanced over time, and our debt paid off, without raising taxes.
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?
Our current tax code is a mess of loopholes, carve outs and crony capitalism. What?s worse, with compliance costs and endless complications, it?s actually holding back U.S. job creation. Under the current tax code, there are a number of small business owners who pay taxes through their individual returns, not using a corporate tax rate. These entities are called pass throughs, and when we talk about raising taxes on the ?wealthy,? oftentimes they get hit instead. These small business owners will have to reduce investments, payroll?and yes, employees?in order to pay the higher taxes. The 6th Congressional District is home to a number of these small business pass throughs, run by generations of families, entrepreneurs just starting out and community leaders. I hear from them often about how the burdens of the complex tax code prevent them from growing and hiring. Bringing both sides together to fundamentally reform the code would create greater certainty for business owners and give them flexibility to invest more in their business and hire more workers. The House of Representatives has already passed a plan to extend current tax rates for one year, while a fundamental tax reform plan is fast-tracked through the House and Senate. We have been clear and consistent in our commitment to reform the tax code, starting with the budgets we passed through the House that envisioned fundamental tax reform as well as a plan to tackle our debt and deficits. The simple truth is we won?t be able to cut our way out of this problem, we will have to grow out of it. Making our tax code the most competitive in the world while returning government spending as a share of the economy to traditional levels from the dramatically elevated levels of the last few years, we can put America back on the path to prosperity.
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?
Common sense bipartisan solutions are attainable for the biggest problems we face as a nation. It takes men and women willing to work to identify a problem at its roots and come together for a real solution. My record of bipartisanship dates back to my service in the Illinois State House, and continues today as a Member of Congress. A piece of legislation I am currently working on is a source of particular pride: my bill to combat Medicare fraud, which is supported by the AARP, the White House, and co-sponsored by Democrats in both the House and Senate. The problem is obvious: each year, Medicare fraud costs America's elderly a staggering $60 billion. Both parties understand how waste, fraud and abuse undermine this vital program for our seniors, and that a solution, while elusive so far, must be found. A common sense, proven tactic to combat fraud can be found in the private sector. Credit card companies use predictive modeling technology to prevent fraud before it happens. This would be a huge shift away from the current ?pay-and-chase? model that is costing Medicare billions.
Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care law and why? Do you support or oppose repeal of the law? Which parts would you change and why? If you are elected, how, specifically, will you work to achieve those changes?
At the beginning of the health care debate, the entire country was hopeful that a meaningful solution to the problems with our health care system could be found. Unfortunately, the health care law is filled with broken promises: higher costs, decreased care and unsustainable programs based on budgetary gimmicks. The Supreme Court?s recent decision to uphold the individual mandate as a tax means that the president has broken yet another promise: not to raise taxes on middle class families. As a Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, I am engaged in a robust effort to improve our health care system and repeal and replace the President?s damaging health care law. Specifically, House Republicans are concentrating on enacting reforms that will reduce exploding costs, increase access to quality services through common-sense market-driven solutions, and take bureaucrats out of the health care equation. There are ways to achieve the lofty goals of the President?s health care law without creating a massive new entitlement and costly government bureaucracy. One innovative solution is to expand state-run, high-risk insurance pools for those with pre-existing conditions. We are also focused on enhancing the doctor-patient relationship and ensuring that Americans have greater transparency with their providers. Plus, by reducing health costs, access will necessarily increase. Eliminating the cost drivers in medicine that do not add any value was largely overlooked in the president?s health care reform. A tort reform plan to control runaway lawsuits will cut down on defensive medicine running rampant through our system will also help further drive down costs. Bureaucratic regulations are impeding medical innovations and blocking job growth. The approval process for prescription drugs and medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration takes too long, and does so at the expense of patients. A streamlining of the process for innovative drugs would be of great benefit for cost control and patient care.
How do you believe marriage should be defined legally? Should the law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman be overturned or upheld? Why?
I support traditional family values and support the Defense of Marriage Act as current law.
The Latino population in the suburbs is growing. What is the biggest challenge created by that growth? Do you support or oppose President Obama's directive to stop deportation of undocumented immigrants who are in college or the military and why?
As a nation of immigrants, our country welcomes those who have obtained lawful permanent residence, along with legitimate trade and travelers. In fact, every year we bring in more legal immigrants than every other country in the world combined. The United States must continue to attract the best and brightest minds to our shores, and those around the world who seek the American dream for themselves and their families. However, our broken immigration system has resulted in a number of illegal immigrants receiving taxpayer-funded benefits. It is a financial strain on those systems and state governments, and is fundamentally unfair to those who played by the rules when coming to America. Granting blanket amnesty is not the solution. We must find a solution that deals with the problem of illegal immigration as well as the undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, without encouraging more people to cross our borders illegally. I was disappointed in the president?s recent decision to sidestep Congress and enact a temporary immigration policy. A permanent solution to our country?s immigration problems must be a bipartisan solution agreement between the House, Senate and White House. The president said he would accomplish in his first term in office, but unfortunately chose to "go it alone" on this important issue, rather than seek bipartisan input from Congress.