Key coverage in the race for U.S. House
Contributions by zip code: Joe Dooling (R)
On the issues
Particularly as the nation deals with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, what federal action would you support to help create good, high-paying jobs for Montana workers?
Probably the only good thing that has come out of this pandemic is employers have found out that folks working from home are as productive as they are at the office. Congress could use the tax code to help incentivize more remote working environments, which would allow some towns in Montana to have more telecommute workers.
What separates you from your primary opponents as your party’s best candidate to represent Montana in Washington, D.C.?
I am a Montana rancher who stands for Montana. I represent Montana’s largest industry, agriculture. If we want a prosperous Montana we need a strong ag community. I spent 13 years in the engineering world and have an appreciation for what small and large towns need from the federal government.
If elected to the House, how would you attempt to bridge partisan divides to represent the concerns of Montanans who don't share your political orientation in Washington D.C.?
Montana is a special place and most of our country knows this. I believe if you are a genuine Montanan, you can convince your colleagues on both sides of the aisle what is good for Montana. I am endorsed by over 40 county commissioners and several sheriffs of both party affiliations. If I am lucky enough to go to Washington, D.C., for Montana, I will bring that nonpartisan support with me to help win for Montana.
Would you have voted to impeach President Donald Trump based on the evidence presented to the U.S. House last year? Why?
No, impeachment can not be a partisan movement. The evidence was lacking and the process became a major waste of time and resources.
Do you see reining in the federal debt as a priority? If so, how should that be accomplished? If you support new taxes, whom specifically should that burden fall on? If you support spending cuts, which specific places in the federal budget should be targeted? (We assume that working to minimize waste, fraud and abuse is a given.)
We have to balance our budget. Since the first day of my campaign, I have discussed the need for a balanced budget and the importance of building a strong economy. In the aftermath of COVID, we are going to be tasked with rebuilding our economy. In order to get our house in order we need to actually pass a budget; something Congress has not done since 1998.
Do you support keeping the Affordable Care Act in place? What if any alternate federal policies would you support to promote Montanans’ access to safe, affordable health care?
Whether we like it or not, the Obamacare is here to stay. We need to make sure that insurance premiums are drastically dropped. We need to make it work for all Americans. I think we need to break up the insurance monopolies. It was ridiculous that an EpiPen cost $700. Though, because other companies were allowed to compete in the marketplace, generic brands were created and the costs to buy an injection pen drastically dropped. We need more free market competition in health care. Price transparency is additionally very important.
Do you believe the federal government has enacted effective policies to keep Montana’s family-owned farms viable businesses? If not, which pieces of federal policy would you push to change?
Yes and No … the last two farm bills have been automatic renewals by Congress in terms of farm risk and it has created a haves versus have-nots situation. The inequity has to stop. We need to broaden the risk so that protection is equal.
Should the federal government consider transferring some federally held land into state ownership?
Using blanket statements on an issue as important as this is a little misleading. If a ROW is needed for the state, I would not oppose the transfer. Having said that I generally do not believe that the transfer of large portions of federal land to the state is a good idea. I do support local control of public lands with the mission statement of multiple use.
Do you support the Montana Water Rights Protection Act implementing the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes Water Compact in its current form before Congress?
I do not support Senator Daines’ bill for three simple reasons: the price tag is triple; I am not confident that it protects the bull trout; and there is not enough adequate protection of irrigation district governance. Before supporting this legislation, I want to see a hatchery constructed and fully operational producing quality numbers for the bull trout population. Water is a complex issue and needs to be studied from multiple angles. Previous legislation failed because irrigation districts didn’t have the ability to maintain its structures and used more water than they should have, which resulted in more inefficiencies. Bottom line is that it is about honoring the treaty and protecting the bull trout.
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