Rob Bishop (R) – Congressional District 1
Rob Bishop (Republican)
Congressional District 1
1. Please describe how your background prepares you to serve in the office you seek and why you have chosen to campaign for that office.
Before coming to Congress, I taught public school for 28 years and I served 16 years in the Legislature, including a term as Speaker. I’ve lived in this district my entire life and my wife and I have raised five kids here. I love Utah and the people, principles and policies that have made our state so great.
In Washington, I sit on the Armed Services Committee where I can defend our troops and military installations, like Hill Air Force Base, not just because of the jobs, but because they are so critical to our national defense. I’m also the Chairman of the Public Lands subcommittee and have consistently worked for wise management of our lands. I also continue to fight to reestablish the balance of powers between the federal government and the states to protect individual liberties and make government more effective and accountable.
I think that the right background and the right principles make a difference. I’ve worked hard to make a difference for Utahns and to defend our rights and prosperity. I want to continue those efforts and that’s why I’m running for re-election.
2. The Park City and Summit County economies have performed solidly during the current two-year congressional term. Please discuss your reasoning for the performance of the local economy and identify one policy you will pursue during the next congressional term to ensure further economic expansion in the community.
Governments that are close to the people and responsive to needs govern best. That is, in part, why Utah has performed better economically than so many other states and why so many of our counties and cities in Utah are doing well, with leaders committed to wise use of taxpayer funds and recognizing the need to be responsive to the needs of citizens. I’ve worked hard to promote the principle of federalism, as found in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. My goal has consistently been to make Washington lose power – to turn more money, control and decision-making back to the states and the people. I’m proud that House Republicans have reduced federal spending for two years in a row. It’s not enough, but it’s progress. Our country and economy will continue to improve as Washington spends less and allows states and people to have more options and choices.
3. Please discuss your opinion of the benefits and drawbacks of the Affordable Care Act. Please describe one item you would like added to the health care law and one that you would like removed.
I voted against the government takeover of health care for many reasons. Consolidating power in Washington is not the answer for health care reform. There were then and continue to be today better legislative options which I support. I have voted to repeal Obamacare entirely and replace it with elements that would lower costs, including among other things expanded Health Savings Accounts and the ability to purchase coverage across state lines. I support initiatives that won’t put the government between the doctor and the patient but that promote competition, quality and choice. Whether it’s in the area of health care or in so many other issues, we should be turning more to the states for solutions and allow them to take the lead in reform, much like Utah was trying to do, to meet the needs of their unique demographics.
4. The situation in Iraq has deteriorated in recent months, more than a decade after the U.S.-led invasion of the country. What dangers do you foresee for the United States in Iraq and what role should the U.S. have in Iraq as the government there struggles to maintain control?
Our fight against terrorism must and will continue. There are significant and real threats to U.S. freedom and security and they need to be addressed. I’m disappointed that this Administration’s foreign policy has not been stronger and more consistent. One thing we must always keep in mind is that our military policy now lays the groundwork for our diplomatic efforts down the road. Without a strong military as back up, our diplomatic efforts are weakened and undermined. I’ll continue to use my spot on the House Armed Services Committee to make sure that we adequately fund our military and that whenever our troops are sent into harm’s way, they have the resources they need to complete their mission and come back safely.
5. Many Americans see partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., as one of the inhibitors to progress in the country, pointing to the government shutdown as an example. Please discuss the problems created by the partisan nature of Washington and describe one effort you pledge to make to cooperate with the other side of the aisle.
I think a lot of the so-called gridlock comes not from friction between the two parties but between the two chambers of Congress, with the leadership of the Senate not wanting to vote on much of anything. Even still, I’m proud of many of my efforts to break through the stalemate. On the Armed Services Committee, we pass a bi-partisan defense bill every single year that includes good things for Utah and for our national security. I’m also proud that a few years ago I was the first Utah Congressman in years to pass a bill designating Utah wilderness to help block the storage of high level nuclear waste. We accomplished both goals with bi-partisan support. There is also my Public Lands Initiative for eastern Utah, where we’ve had hundreds of meetings and are bringing all the stakeholders together to try to solve these long-standing land use issues.
6. The tourism-heavy economy of Park City has for years relied at some level on foreign workers, both those in the United States legally and those in the country illegally. Please discuss your preferred immigration reform package. In your answer, please address the idea of amnesty for those already in the United States illegally.
The first step to real immigration reform has to be border security. Once that is fixed, we can move on to the other aspects of this issue. That is why I’ve been the lead sponsor of legislation to make sure our Border Patrol has the access they need to make our border secure. Currently, our own Border Patrol agents are severely limited in doing their jobs by environmental regulations that hamper their ability to pursue the drug cartels and human traffickers along our borders. My bill would fix this problem, leading to increased security all along our border which would in turn make it much more likely that we can find common-ground solutions to the other parts of the overall issue.
7. Please identify one of President Obama’s policies you support and one that you oppose. Please explain the reasoning behind your support and opposition.
I have opposed his government takeover of health care. I have opposed his cuts to our military and space programs. I’ve opposed his massive increases in federal spending and to our national debt. I oppose his land policies and his trampling on the ability of states to pursue creative and custom solutions to meet their unique needs. I oppose his one-size-fits-all approach to so many issues. But that doesn’t mean we never get anything done and don’t agree on anything. I’m proud that I’ve sponsored or worked on multiple bills that had bi-partisan support, including defense and land bills, that eventually made it to his desk and which he signed into law.
8. Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
As I’ve said before, I always try to run positive campaigns based on who I am, my principles, what I’ve accomplished, and what I hope to still get done – so I’ll pass on commenting about any of my opponents. This election is not really about me or my opponents anyway. It’s about the voters in our district. It’s about their future and their right to vote for a person with the right experience and principles to best represent them. I’m a lifelong resident of Utah. I spent 28 years as a teacher and 16 years representing my community in the Legislature. That experience does make a difference. I also think that on the issues I represent the mainstream of northern Utah. I’ve tried to be right on the issues and in the right positions to get things done. I’m proud of my consistent votes to cut taxes, eliminate wasteful Washington spending and strengthen national security. I’m a passionate defender of our state and a tireless advocate for federalism – turning more power back to the states and the people where it belongs – and I look forward to continuing that fight.
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The Summit County unemployment rate dropped slightly in October, the state Department of Workforce Services reported.