How do you assess the Trump administration so far?
Harris: The President has been very successful in restoring the American economy through a combination of tax cuts and scaling back unnecessary regulation that was stifling economic growth. We now have the lowest level of unemployment, and the largest number of Americans employed in decades. The President has also restored American foreign policy dominance - as a country that will spread liberty and freedom throughout the world, making our allies know that we will always have their backs when it comes to struggles against authoritarian regimes and radical terrorism. The President has restored the rule of law to our immigration policy - while offering to support a statutory continuation of President Obama’s DACA policy.
Do you support or oppose the federal tax cuts passed in 2017? What effect do you believe they will have on the economy?
Harris: I support the tax cuts and believe they will help restore the economy and bring millions of jobs back into the United States by lowering the taxes our job creators have to pay from the highest among our competitors in the world to among the lowest.
Is the level of national debt a concern? What, if anything, should be done to reduce it or constrain its increase?
Harris: Every family and business knows that you have to balance your budget and limit the amount of borrowing that you can do before you become bankrupt. The federal government appears to have no such restraint. The level of federal debt is absolutely a concern - that’s why I have voted against spending packages that would increase the debt to unaffordable and irresponsible levels. We have to restrain wasteful government spending, and pass a balanced budget amendment to Constitution that would make the federal government have the same balanced budget requirement that the state of Maryland has.
Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Harris: Every American should have access to equal opportunity - but we can’t guarantee equal outcome. WE have to supply the tools that would allow every American to succeed - starting with a world-class education and job training.
Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how?
Harris: We have to enforce the laws we currently have. Strict gun laws like we already have here in Maryland have done little to stem the tide of gun violence, especially in Baltimore City. There is no reason to believe that extending those laws nationwide would have any better result. It is a shame that in Baltimore City crimes committed with handguns are so poorly enforced. If necessary, we should bring in federal prosecutors to help in prosecution of those cases whenever necessary.
What should Congress do with respect to the Affordable Care Act? Should it be strengthened, and if so, how? Should it be scrapped? If so, what if anything should replace it?
Harris: The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage, but at the cost of making insurance unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders on the individual exchange. To lower the cost, I supported the re-establishment of high-risk pooling mechanisms, which would lower the cost for all Marylanders on the exchange. The Maryland legislature took a similar approach this year by establishing a re-insurance mechanism which may accomplish a similar reduction in cost. We should also establish a work or work training requirement for any able-bodied person who is not disable and who does not have young children if they are receiving insurance under the Medicaid expansion.
What role should the federal government play in helping cities like Baltimore?
Harris: We should help in reducing violent crime by helping with prosecutions and investigations of gun crimes whenever possible. We should not accept Baltimore being designated one of themost dangerous cities in America.
What can Congress do to address the opioid epidemic?
Harris: The federal government has to partner with state and local governments, as well as communities, to be sure that they have the tools to deal with addiction treatment. The federal government should also make sure that the prescription drug monitoring systems (PDMPs), on which health care providers depend to see if a patient is abusing prescription drugs, works across state lines, and is easy to use for prescribers. Finally, we have to close our borders to narcotic drug trafficking, especially for heroin and fentanyl and its derivatives - which are killing thousands of our children.
What changes if any should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies?
Harris: We should enforce current immigration law, and expand enforceable temporary work visas for industries like seafood processing, vegetable canning, and tourism which are so important to the economy of the First District.
Should the United States continue with the free trade policies it pursued for the last several decades, or should it enact restrictions in an attempt to help domestic industries?
Harris: We have to help our domestic industries from unfair, predatory trade practices of some of our trading partners. For instance, the dumping of low cost Chinese steel and aluminum in America have decimated those industries - industries which use to be an important part of the Maryland economy. Right now, for instance, China refuses to allow the import of American poultry, This is harmful to the economy of the First District - not only to our poultry growers, but also to our farmers who grow the corn and soybeans as poultry feed.
Do you support the Iran nuclear deal?
Harris: No - it is unenforceable. Two major flaws in the deal are that it is time-limited, and that it doesn’t allow inspection on military bases where it was well-known that nuclear research and development were taking place. These two deficiencies have to be corrected.
How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?
Harris: We have to make it clear to North Korea that we will not tolerate a nuclear threat on the Korean peninsula, and that we will always stand by our allies in the region - specifically South Korea and Japan. To that end, we have to position advanced defensive weaponry in the area that could prevent a nuclear missile or conventional missile launched from North Korea from hitting our allies, or even the continental US. We should pursue a diplomatic solution through bilateral talks with North Korea if necessary - but always with the endpoint of a nuclear-free peninsula.