Randy Hultgren: Candidate Profile
14th Congressional District (Republican)
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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.
City: St. Charles
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Facebook: Candidate did not respond.
Family: Wife: Christy
Children: Karsten, Kylie, Kaden, Kole
Occupation: Member of Congress
Education: 1988 B.S. from Bethel College, 1993 J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law
Civic involvement: Candidate did not respond.
Elected offices held: 1994 - 1999 DuPage County Board and County Forest Preserve Board
1999 - 2007 Illinois House of Representatives
2007 - 2010 Illinois Senate
2010 - present U.S. House of Representatives
How will you work to make Congress more productive and effective? What actions are needed to produce a healthy federal budget? Specifically, what changes do you advocate regarding how revenue is produced or what our spending priorities are? In particular, what effect does current policy have on your district and what changes, if any, are needed?
A Congress where both sides work together to solve our nation's challenges is productive and effective. I have worked hard to maintain my conservative principles while working with Democrats to solve problems for Illinois. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and I are protecting tax-exempt municipal bonds used to improve local infrastructure. My good friend Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and I advocate for investing in jobs through funding basic scientific research at Fermilab and Argonne. My bill to bring the discoveries made at our national labs to the marketplace passed the House with bipartisan support.
Repeatedly, I have said "no more" to runaway spending by voting against bloated omnibus bills that break budget caps and allow the growth of mandatory spending. The best way to allow the economy to grow more jobs is to limit the intrusion of government. I pushed for "zero-based" budgeting to encourage responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
We should reform the tax system and make it fairer for families and all business owners. Intelligent reform removes the economic distortions in our system and ensures every American gets to keep more of what they make. It allows us to invest in defense, homeland security, transportation and infrastructure to ensure our citizens are protected and our communities can grow through improved roads, airports and rail.
I uphold my promise from day one to strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare to those 55 and older, ensuring they experience no change or cuts in their benefits.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies affect your district?
My great-grandfather sailed from Sweden and began as a doorman at Marshall Field's in Chicago. The immigration system then was not perfect, but it welcomed many in search of better opportunities and a better life.
Unfortunately, that system is in disarray. Our borders are porous and criminals are passing through undeterred. Families are being broken up by inept bureaucracy. Scientists and entrepreneurs from other countries who could be creating jobs for Americans are being sent back home. Immigrants in search of the American Dream are languishing for years in long lines.
Fixing our immigration system requires a careful and measured approach. For too long, Congress has made legislation too large and complex to pass-leading to delayed action.
1.Secure the border by ensuring law enforcement has the latest technologies and officers available. Let's properly implement a biometric entry-exit system.
2.Ensure businesses respect our nation's laws and American workers by using electronic systems to verify legal status of potential hires.
3.Update our visa system to address agricultural and high-skilled workers, and support the family as the best social safety net. Family breakdown creates dependents of the federal government. I will not accept amnesty. We must ensure all immigrants declare themselves before entering into our society. The undocumented must get right with the law, admit their guilt and pay necessary fines and back taxes. But doing this will not ensure they can stay. Productive members of society must go through the legal process to obtain proper status.
What should be the top priorities in Congress related to the Affordable Care Act? If you want changes, what specifically do you recommend? If you want the act entirely eliminated, please address these questions: Is that politically feasible? If it proves infeasible, where do you see the potential for compromise? If it is eliminated, what would you replace it with, if anything?
Over several years, I've heard too many stories from my constituents who have received letters terminating their coverage, from employers who have had to eliminate health benefits, from workers and teachers whose hours have been reduced because employers can't afford the higher premiums, from families losing doctors they've known for decades.
I have consistently supported efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. I support expanded health savings accounts. We should reform medical malpractice, work to prevent plan cancellations, adopt a system of portable deductions, protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, rein in prescription drug costs, prevent government intrusion on religious freedoms, and give states more Medicaid flexibility.
The broken ACA is in need of serious fixes. The President has signed into law several bipartisan changes I have supported to give consumers relief, including delaying onerous tax provisions and allowing states to define a small business for the purpose of employer-sponsored health insurance.
My own alternative, the State Health Care Options Act, reforms the ACA's existing state innovation waiver to give states like Illinois an "off-ramp" from the law and an "on-ramp" to lower costs, more options and higher quality care. It streamlines waiver requirements-which are functionally impossible to use-and allows states to opt out of certain ACA plan and exchange requirements, while maintaining coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions and for those under age 26. Today, Illinois consumers are trapped with few plan choices and no affordable options. I hope to see House action on my legislation soon.
What military or diplomatic roles should the United States play to promote peace and stability in the Mideast? Under what circumstances should we have military forces actively operating?
I believe when America is strong abroad, we are kept secure at home and our allies are emboldened to defend themselves. I supported a House resolution which rejected the Iran nuclear deal. I am not opposed to diplomatic solutions-just bad diplomacy. The deal falls far short of what the United States and its citizens should have negotiated or ever agreed to protect our nation and ensure peace in the Middle East.
Two summers ago, I traveled with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to Israel and saw firsthand the existential threats it faces every day. The US-Israel friendship is strong. We must continue to strengthen our cultural, religious and economic ties with the only truly free democracy in the Middle East.
We must act decisively to stop ISIS without empowering Iran or pulling ourselves into another conflict overseas. This requires a concerted overall strategy, not a reactive, piecemeal, half-hearted effort. Beyond air strikes, the strategy may entail ground troops composed of a coalition of neighboring countries. It must address the murderous regime of strongman Bashar al-Assad. It must work to empower moderate Sunnis and Shias without taking sectarian sides, and empower the Iraqi government to take charge over its internal security.
Countries like Saudi Arabia must combat radical indoctrination. We should encourage our moderate Middle East allies to better integrate and assimilate alienated youths into their societies to provide them hope and a realization that there is another path other than fanaticism and violent radicalism.
Will you uphold the international climate change treaty? If not, what alternative steps would you advocate? If so, what steps will you take to meet U.S. obligations under the accord?
The President chose not to bring a treaty before Congress, and his agreement has no binding requirements for the United States to meet, outside of reporting mechanisms which other nations have already shirked. While the Paris agreement was more symbolic than actionable, the President still felt it necessary to dispatch his negotiators to water down the gesture to present the optics of everyone being on board.
The federal government's primary role in promoting new energy technologies is through the support for basic scientific research, mainly at the university level, which can lead to the next big energy technology discovery. Other than that, we need a regulatory structure in place which will easily allow new technologies-like advanced nuclear reactors-to come to market and compete. I have supported policies through my work on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee to clarify the jurisdiction of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to remove the delays which are driving new companies to China to do their research and development. The government should not continue picking winners and losers, which the loan grantee program and our applied research programs at the Department of Energy often do. While both the government and the private sector did not see advancements like the shale revolution coming, the private sector was able to react and change course while our energy policy has not had a rewrite since 2005.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I have put families and small businesses first, pursuing legislative solutions to create opportunities for job growth and solutions for those facing rising household costs. I convened community leaders to work together to combat heroin and painkiller abuse, resolved healthcare challenges for veterans and passed legislation to get qualified specialists into air traffic controller jobs. I worked with school leaders and called on the state to "pause" the Common Core effort. I prioritized our transportation and infrastructure, defending financing tools municipalities use to build roads and bridges, and helped release funds to study Metra extensions into our area. I have consistently said "no" to policies that grow government and burden our children with more debt. I have helped hundreds of families fight for and receive their Social Security, Veterans, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
On a broader level, I have been afforded a unique platform to bring attention and solutions to human rights issues and fight for religious freedom, and have worked hard to become one of a select few Members who are a part of distinguished congressional organizations that are influential venues on human rights-the Helsinki Commission, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
I believe we can all agree on 80 percent of the issues facing the nation. Building relationships and working on common goals can help us address the other 20 percent. I want to continue to serve the 14th District and keep fighting for jobs, families and limited government.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence. He's a leader with a clear vision and has excelled at bringing together community leaders to solve problems for his state.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
My mother always taught me to have J-O-Y. That means putting Jesus first, Others second, and You last.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I wish I had put in more effort to keep in closer touch with all who have had such a positive impact on my life.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History and Social Studies class because it introduced me to the leadership and vision of our founding fathers who inspire me in my congressional service.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Love God and serve people.