Tell us about who you are, your work and political experience and why you are running.
It’s been an honor to represent central, northern, and Western Wisconsin for the past eight years and fight for the place I’m from and the people I love. I’m running to continue to fight for policies that help Wisconsin families achieve the American Dream. I’ve fought to lower taxes for Wisconsin businesses and workers. As a result, a typical Wisconsin family will receive a $2,508 tax cut, jobs are coming back from overseas, and workers have more opportunity. Just a few years ago, we saw “going out of business” signs because small businesses throughout Wisconsin could not handle the taxes and big-government regulations that liberal politicians put on them. But now, because of the reforms I’ve fought for, more people in Wisconsin are working than ever before, wages are rising, and the future is brighter for our kids and grandkids.
What’s your take on current immigration and border security issues? What needs to change? How?
We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. As American citizens, we should have the right to say in who enters and exits our country. We have an estimated 22 million illegal immigrants in this country, and they should not be able to jump the line from freedom-loving people who want to enter our country legally. Our nation needs the best and brightest who love our country and want to come here and start a business, serve our nation in the armed forces, or do jobs that most Americans do not want to do. That’s why it’s so critical we reform the immigration system. But in order to achieve real reform, we must secure our border. That means building the wall, and using technology and border patrol agents where a physical barrier is infeasible. Additionally, we must fully fund ICE, not abolish it like many Democrats have demanded, and reform our visa system.
What’s your plan to combat the opioid epidemic?
Opioid abuse in America kills more people each year than car accidents. We must do everything we can to stop it. At a recent Law Enforcement Roundtable I held with local sheriffs, they told me that 90% of heroin and meth that devastate Wisconsin communities enters our country through the southern border. It is absolutely critical that we secure our border to stem the flow of these drugs. I have fought for more than $10 billion to combat the opioid crisis, the largest ever investment of its kind. The funding includes new tools for states and tribal governments for treatment and prevention measures. It also includes $130 million for a Rural Community Opioid Response, aimed to specifically address the abuse issues that have devastated our rural communities. The fight isn’t over, and I will continue to work my heart out to defeat this epidemic.
How do you plan to address the cost of higher education and student loans?
Right now in Wisconsin, there are more than 100,000 job openings than unemployed Wisconsinites. Small businesses need workers and eager to hire people who are trained to do the job. We can’t afford to have anyone on the sidelines, and that means we need our kids to be ready for the twenty-first century economy. I believe we need more transparency in the education system. Before the Governor instituted a tuition freeze in the UW system, tuition for students exploded 118% over the prior decade. I think if you’d talk to a lot of professors, they wouldn’t say that their pay went up 118% or the cost of producing their books went up 118%. That money has been going somewhere else: universities throughout the state (and I suspect throughout the country) continued to build new administration buildings, cafeterias, tennis courts, pools, and other lavish features. Our kids deserve better than to pay for college administrators’ pet projects. Not only do our students deserve more transparency, they deserve more choices in education. (Maybe a four-year degree in philosophy isn’t going to warrant the best return on investment in the twenty-first century economy.) I’ve worked to expand Career and Technical Ed and Fab Lab opportunities that connect students with potential employers. That way, students can learn in-demand skills that they can use immediately to build a rewarding career.
Are the recently enacted tariffs by the current administration helping or hurting Wisconsin?
Make no mistake, other countries have been taking advantage of America for decades. China, Europe, Canada, and Mexico have exploited the United States when it comes to trade, and have taken wealth and jobs out of our country in the process. President Trump has made clear that the United States will no longer be the world’s piggy bank. China steals our intellectual property to the tune of $600 billion a year. Canada’s unfair trade policies have specifically hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers. And Europe distorts their pharmaceutical markets to force Americans to pay more for life-saving drugs. These are serious injustices, and President Trump has enacted tariffs in order to get free and fair trade for the American people. We are already seeing successes from that tough stance. For example, under the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Wisconsin dairy farmers now have access to Canadian markets that they never had before. American workers and farmers can compete with anyone in the world if they have a level playing field. And we must continue to fight to make sure that they have that opportunity.
How do you plan to address the accessibility of affordable healthcare across the state?
When Democrats passed Obamacare, they said, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” And, “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” They also said that premiums for a family of four would go down by $2,500 per year.” These were all lies. Wisconsin families lost access to plans and doctors they liked, and premiums for Obamacare plans shot up 93% in just a few years. And now liberals, admitting that Obamacare has been a total failure, asks the American people for even more control over our healthcare system. That is flat-out insanity. We need a patient-centered healthcare plan that puts control between patients and their doctors- not Washington bureaucrats. I’ve specifically advocated for plans that lower premiums, increase competition between providers, maintain pre-existing condition protections, reform Medicaid, and preserve Medicare. I will continue to fight for healthcare policies that accomplish these goals.