Primary: June 3, 2014
To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**).
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Bob Menendez (D) Next Election in 2018.
Cory Booker (D) Incumbent
Elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in a special election on October 16, 2013, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Frank Lautenberg, a seat subsequently held by appointed senator Jeffrey Chiesa, and took the oath of office on October 31, 2013, for the term ending January 3, 2015.
http://corybooker.com/ From leading legal clinics in New Haven, Conn. as a law student to taking on one of the most powerful and entrenched political machines in New Jersey, Booker has built a record of bringing people together around tough challenges and delivering results that improved people's lives.
"This is the fight I will carry to Washington - our fight, our spirit, our guts and our grit. It is time to have more courage in DC to take on the big problems, to take risks for the sake of our children and our families, to have the needed valor to reach out across whatever lines that divide, join with others, and brick by brick, as we have done in Brick City, to build a stronger foundation for our future - for New Jersey, for our nation."
When Booker swept into office as mayor of Newark, N.J. in 2006, defeating the political operation of a five-term incumbent, he won with the largest margin ever recorded in a contested Newark election and immediately began uniting people to tackle problems that had been plaguing Newark for decades. Violent crime was rising; businesses were leaving Newark, and its tax base was shrinking; its population had been declining for 60 years; failing schools were pervasive, and the city's finances were in shambles.
In the face of these intense challenges, many had given up on Newark. But Booker, 44, a Harrington Park native, Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Stanford and Oxford Universities and Yale Law School, joined with residents and others who believed that something better was possible for Newark. They have been hard at work for more than seven years proving the skeptics wrong. And they have succeeded. Today, after decades of neglect, mismanagement and decay, Newark has started a turnaround.
Jeff Bell (R) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY I'm glad to see that President Obama has become vocally supportive of natural gas exploration, and by extension fracking. This technology has resulted in lower energy prices, more jobs, and much less carbon dioxide emission. Natural-gas-fired power plans emit half of much as coal-fired ones, according to the EPA. The Department of energy has found that since 2008, the cost of natural gas delivered to homes is 20 percent cheaper. Employment in oil and gas extraction have expanded by 18 percent during that same period, with several times more jobs created in industries that support this growth. North Dakota, which has had by far the best single state economic experience since the end of the recession, demonstrates the success of fracking.
We're now learning that there may be large natural gas reserves under New Jersey worth developing one day. I would support study of that potential to make sure that our state does not miss out on the American energy revolution. Fracking has been demonstrated to be safe for the environment and our public space. A study done by the Department of Energy on the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania found that the process does not contaminate drinking water. Fracking wells are typically more than a mile deep, and therefore are safely insulated from the drinking water at the surface. Because natural gas fracking is still a relatively new technology, we should continue to study its effects and be sure that well construction is done at a high standard.
Finishing the Keystone pipeline is also critical to our nation's long-term energy plan. It will allow us to efficiently import oil from Canada and use our refineries to bring that oil to market. Not only will this help reduce gas prices, it will decrease our oil imports from Venezuelan and other unstable countries. Transporting oil by pipeline is also much safer than by railcar, as the devastating train crash in Quebec showed. President Obama has continued to delay approval of this project in order to placate environmental interest groups. Cory Booker has lined up with his friends in Silicon Valley in opposing the pipeline. While I support Congressional Republicans' effort to expedite Keystone XL through the Northern Route Approval Act, the best course is for the Administration to immediately approve TransCanada's permit for this $7 billion project that will create tens of thousands of jobs.
REAL UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE How is it, so many ask, that America is the richest country in the world and so many people here can't afford healthcare? This is because we have essentially priced ourselves out of a marketplace for healthcare. The emphasis on employer-based insurance at the expense of individually-owned coverage has destroyed the prospects for competitive pricing that exists in most other areas of the U.S. economy. We must change this by enabling individuals to purchase and control their own health insurance with a tax credit.
Obamacare essentially doubled down on the bad parts of the pre-Obamacare system by implementing an insurance mandate that discourages price competition and imposing regulations that make insurance harder to afford. We should repeal Obamacare and redirect its subsidies into a refundable tax credit generous enough to enable everyone to afford catastrophic health insurance - the kind that ensures no one is confronted with a financially devastating hospital bill. For those who have serious preexisting conditions and still can't find affordable private insurance, the federal government should offer its own insurance plan exclusively for those in need.
This universal healthcare model would 1) create a competitive marketplace for routine healthcare that could be affordable without having to use insurance 2) allow individuals to own and control their own health insurance and 3) give a public insurance option to those with chronic illness and preexisting conditions who need government support to become insured.
PROMOTING LEGAL IMMIGRATION Immigration has always been a key strength of this country, both culturally and economically. Our current system is badly broken and needs fixing in a manner that secures our borders and encourages future immigrants to come here legally. We should not only welcome the highly-skilled and educated from abroad, but also those who are comparatively low-skilled and desire to come to America and work hard. We should provide an earned path to legalization and citizenship for the roughly 11 million people here illegally, with fines and payment of back taxes a requirement for obtaining legal status.
To prevent recurrence of the undocumented immigrant buildup of recent decades, immigration reform must include a generous guest worker program with state-by-state flexibility to exceed any nationwide limits or quotas specified by federal policy. The Senate-passed bill does not feature this crucial element, and if elected I would push for any final legislation to include a provision to allow for a guest-worker program that suits the market rather than Big Labor.
US HOUSE OF REP LOGO
Rob Andrews (D) Resigned February 18, 2014.
Don Norcross (D) Challenger
Garry Cobb (R) Challenger
Neither challenger has listed an issues page.
Frank LoBiondo (R) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
Opposed Arms Treaty that limits gun trade to Israel & Taiwan. (Nov 2012)
Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Bill Hughes Jr. (D) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
FIGHTING FOR PAY EQUITY AND WOMEN'S HEALTH I learned early on the importance of working hard to get ahead, and I learned from my mom, my three sisters, wife, and the women I worked side-by-side with in the United States Justice Department, about the importance of fighting for fairness and equality. We live in the greatest country in the world, but women in the U.S. work the same jobs and make less than men. We're also one of the only developed countries on earth that does not offer paid medical leave for new parents and relatives caring for a sick family member. That's sends the wrong message, and I've got a plan to fix it.
Vote to finally end pay inequality, where women make less than eighty percent of what men do for the same work. Our current congressman voted against the Lillie Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and he opposed legislation that combated pay discrimination based upon gender and promoted paycheck equality. Pass extended medical leave for middle-class families with new children and guarantee job protections so families can look out for relatives in the event of a catastrophe. Fight to ensure that women always have the right to control their own health care choices and stop attempts to restrict access to needed services like mammograms and cancer screenings. Our current congressman has consistently voted against healthcare initiatives that benefit women, including recently voting against prohibiting gender bias in the provision of healthcare.
HEALTHCARE We have the best doctors and hospitals in the world, and nobody in this country should face obstacles to getting the treatment and care they need. Instead of returning to a system that denied healthcare to millions while bankrupting hospitals, individuals and businesses - and was a drain on taxpayers - we need REAL healthcare reform that is both affordable and makes sense for individuals and businesses.
Make sure patients can choose - and keep - their hospitals and doctors so that they can get the best care possible.
Fight to ensure nobody is ever kicked off their insurance for having a pre-existing condition.
Ensure that there is real competition and choice among insurance companies to significantly lower the cost of healthcare premiums.
Guarantee that a woman never pays more for care, just for being a woman
Allow children to remain on their parents' healthcare plans until age 26.
Improve existing law so that healthcare requirements work better for small and medium-sized businesses.
Allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to get lower prescription drug prices for seniors.
Jon Runyan (R) Retiring in 2014.
Tom MacArthur (R) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Tom will fight to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free market solutions that move away from a one-size-fits-all, government-controlled approach. He will promote policies that reduce costs, that allow people to keep their doctors, and that provide superior care for patients. Furthermore, Tom will fight for real tort reform, while helping to provide a safety net for those who can't obtain coverage from any other source. Tom recognizes that healthcare insurance reform is complex and he will draw on his nearly 30 years in the insurance industry and will work with other experts to create free-market alternatives and solutions.
IMMIGRATION Tom believes that any attempt to address immigration must begin with strong and secure borders and that any illegal immigrant who has committed a crime must be immediately returned to their country of origin. Tom opposes blanket amnesty and in-state tuition for those here illegally. He believes that illegal immigrants in this country today should be required to pay back taxes, learn English and get in line behind those who have observed the law as part of any tough, but fair path to citizenship.
SECOND AMENDMENT Tom is a long-standing supporter of the Second Amendment and will defend the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families, to hunt, to collect, and to shoot competitively or recreationally - as Tom and his daughter enjoy doing.
ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST Tom understands that Israel is America's most stable and reliable ally in the Middle East. He values our shared commitment with Israel to the democratic ideals of religious, individual and economic freedom. Tom believes that Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel and he supports Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism and aggression by its neighbors and terrorist organizations. Tom believes that we must continue to provide both economic and military aid to Israel, and work in concert with Israel and other allies to prevent dangerous actors in the region from obtaining nuclear weapons.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Tom is concerned about our reliance on potentially hostile nations for our energy needs and will fight for energy independence, which he believes is both possible and necessary. Tom supports projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and expanded domestic drilling to ensure long-term energy independence for America - projects that will also create thousands of new jobs.
Tom also strongly supports efforts towards a responsible transition plan to replace the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township with another power generation plant. Tom recognizes that the current plant provides significant property tax relief to local home and business owners, 700 jobs to local residents and 600,000 homes with power.
Environment - Cap and Trade Tom opposes cap-and-trade laws that would essentially impose a national energy tax on middle-class families, seniors and businesses. A boater and outdoorsman, Tom supports a clean and safe environment for current and future generations to enjoy.
Aimee Belgard (D) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
STANDING UP FOR WOMEN It's 2014, and the fact that women still make 77 cents for every dollar that men make is not only wrong, it's embarrassing. In Congress, I will fight for measures to ensure equality in the workplace, including equal pay for equal work. I will also work to ensure that women's health care decisions are made between women and their health care professionals, not extremists in Washington. Finally, I will be a voice that is currently missing from New Jersey's Congressional Delegation. New Jersey hasn't had a female representative in Congress for over a decade, and it's about time that changed.
ENERGY Protecting New Jersey: I have a strong record of protecting our environment, and I'll continue that record in Congress. The 3rd Congressional District is home to many natural treasures that encompass our farmland, shore and Pinelands. I'll work to protect these treasures by working to expand alternative energy, which will create jobs with benefits, lessen CO2 emissions, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. I'll also support initiatives that protect our farms and curb pollution. And, I'll work to keep the shore clean for recreation, tourism and fishing, for generations to come.
No to Fracking Oil and gas exploration activities, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is unacceptable. Hydraulic fracturing can harm people and the environment. I will always oppose all hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS We must protect and defend the equality of all women. Although there has been tremendous progress made, more work must be done. I am taking the fight for women's equality to the House of Representatives in Washington.
Equal Pay For Equal Work - It has been over half a century since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy, and women still face an uphill battle in the workplace to receive a fair and equal salary. It is unacceptable that women earn 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man. I proudly support the Paycheck Fairness Act so that employers must pay equal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.
Protecting Women's Medical Rights - We must end the Republican's war on women's reproductive rights. A woman's health decision should be between her and her doctor.
Christopher "Chris" Smith (R) Incumbent
According to the congressional watchdog organization, GovTrack.us, which monitors lawmaking performance over the past two decades, Congressman Chris Smith is tied for second out of all 435 members of the House of Representatives in authoring bills that have been successfully enacted into law, a clear indication of Chris Smith's legislative skill and ability to get things done.
Rated -3 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE In an attempted first step to repeal and replace the Obama takeover of health care, House Republicans forced a vote to eliminate the controversial and likely unconstitutional "individual mandate" at the heart of Obamacare.
"This is only the beginning," said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), who held multiple press conferences and gave several speeches in the House chamber opposing Obama's initial efforts to takeover the U.S. healthcare system. "The stakes are too high to quit fighting Obamacare. Obama-Pelosi-Reid have put us on a path toward a healthcare crisis. We are facing the threat of a collision course with government-controlled, rationed healthcare, Medicare cuts and record-breaking deficits. The individual mandate forces people to buy insurance, but it's against the Constitution to be forced by the federal government to buy a product."
Smith said Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with responsible health care reform that provides credible health insurance coverage for everyone, provides incentives for quality and innovation, as well as healthy behaviors and prevention. Current private health insurance should be reformed to put patients first and to eliminate denials of pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps. The tax code should be modernized to promote affordability and individual control of health insurance coverage, while providing assistance to low-income and middle-class families. Smith is also a cosponsor of H.R. 4903, legislation to repeal Obamacare in full.
ENERGY Voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Ruben Scolavino (D) Challenger
E. Scott Garrett (R) Challenger
Rated -5 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY Voted for the KeystoneXL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Increase Domestic Energy Production and Energy Independence With such an abundance of coal, oil and natural gas within its borders, the United States possesses ample reserves of energy. Utilizing these resources to their fullest potential could result in thousands of American jobs, lower energy prices and energy independence. Congressman Garrett is committed to increasing domestic production of energy in a safe and environmentally-conscious manner so that all Americans have access to affordable and abundant sources of energy.
Alternative Energy - American innovators should be commended for their ability to develop technologies that serve as alternatives to more conventional forms of energy. However, these technologies, like all others, should be allowed to compete equally on their own merits in a free market, not subsidized by the federal government. As we have seen in the case of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer that went bankrupt in 2011 despite receiving $528 million in federal loan guarantees, the government can make disastrous gambles with taxpayer money. Only truly viable and promising technologies will attract the private investment necessary to make these alternative sources of energy a reality. Congressman Garrett believes Americans should be empowered to decide what energy sources are best suited to their needs and that the government should stop subsidizing risky and unproven technologies at the expense of American taxpayers.
IMMIGRATION America is a nation of immigrants, and throughout our history it has been the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of immigrants from around the world that have made our country great. America is also great because we are a nation of laws, and we must ensure that those who seek to cross our borders do so legally. The validity of our laws as well as the strength of our national security depends on this.
Securing our Borders: During Scott's time in Congress, he has been a strong supporter of measures to secure our borders from illegal immigrants and also those who attempt to enter our country with the sole purpose of doing our country harm. Scott Garrett has consistently supported legislation to combat the hiring of illegal aliens and to provide for strategies for increasing border security. Scott Garrett supported the Secure Fence Act. He firmly believes that providing stronger border security will help us better protect our nation.
Opposing Amnesty: Scott is an outspoken leader in opposing amnesty for those who broke our laws to cut in line in front of immigrants who spent many years and dollars to be part of the American dream legally. Rewarding those who have no respect for the rules is not a good policy. We must adequately enforce current immigration laws and secure our nation's borders. Protecting American citizens to ensure that we are safe and strong is one of Scott's top priorities.
United Nations The United Nations was formed in an effort to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, promote better living standards, and advocate for human rights. While these are noble aims, the Congressman believes that the UN lacks transparency, accountability, objectivity, and effectiveness in its mission and is in need of sweeping reform. The United States is the single largest contributor to the UN's budget. However, it often seems that the UN gives a platform to anti-American nations and dictators like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, who use their positions on various UN bodies to attack America and our allies. Congressman Garrett rejects the use of American taxpayers' dollars to support giving these dictators a platform to slander our nation and our allies. To that end, he supports taking a hard look at the United States' contributions to and support for the UN.
Taiwan Congressman Garrett is a long-standing member of the Taiwan Caucus, and is a staunch advocate for Taiwan to have full and meaningful representation in international bodies such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization. The Congressman has consistently supported Taiwan's independence and pushed for closer political and military ties between our two great nations. He is a strong supporter of giving Taiwan the tools to defend itself in the face of a rising and increasingly hostile People's Republic of China, and for ensuring that both Taiwan and China know that America stands with its ally.
Israel Congressman Garrett supports the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign, democratic nation and defend itself against attacks from neighboring territories. While Congressman Garrett supports efforts to have peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he does not believe Israel should jeopardize its security by creating borders that could potentially leave it vulnerable to attack by neighbors.
The Congressman supports strong ties with Israel, and is a strong supporter of ensuring that Israel has the full support of the United States. In the 113th Congress, Congressman Garrett introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2013. This important legislation would require that the United States Embassy in Israel move from its current location in Tel Aviv to Israel's legal capital, Jerusalem.
Congressman Garrett acknowledges the vital role that US support plays in promoting Israel's safety and security. Not only does US aid to Israel help promote a more stable Middle East, but also approximately 75 percent of the aid delivered to Israel returns to the United States in the form of military supply purchases.
Roy Cho (D) Challenger
As the son of Korean immigrants who came to the United States with little more than the optimistic belief that hard work could lead to opportunity and success, Roy Cho was raised to believe in the promise of America. Greek Council through which he organized community service events and programs.
Roy is currently on a leave of absence as a mergers and acquisitions and private equity attorney from the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he provided legal counsel to companies as they expanded in the increasingly complex and competitive corporate arena. Previously, he was a corporate attorney in the New York office of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. While at the firm, he also spent time working with the Lawyers Alliance for New York which provides pro bono legal counsel to urban environmental groups and community development nonprofits serving low-income areas.
Roy earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where he served as the Editor in Chief of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. While studying as an evening student, Roy worked full-time as Correspondence Director to U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan where he prioritized constituent concerns for the Senator and supervised legislative correspondents who responded to constituents on an array of federal issues such as health care, foreign relations, agriculture, immigration and fiscal policy. Prior to law school, Roy worked as an Aide to the Governor of New Jersey and as Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. At the Authority, he focused on the infrastructure and transportation needs of the metropolitan region, analyzed airport security protocols, and worked on a number of pioneering public-private collaborations.
Frank Pallone (D) Incumbent
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE As the Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee during the 111th Congress, Congressman Pallone played a key role in writing the health reform bill and helping to guide it through the House and eventually into law. The health reform bill makes significant investments in the health of our nation while controlling costs.
Three years after its passage, the law is already having a great impact and benefitting millions of Americans. Eventually the law will expand coverage to 32 million more people and helps to lower health costs through new health insurance marketplaces where insurers will have to compete for your business.
The law includes a Patients' Bill of Rights that builds critical consumer protections into the health care system and ends the control of insurance companies over consumers. Now, insurance companies are not allowed to drop coverage when people get sick or have lifetime caps on coverage. It stops unjustified premium hikes by insurance companies and ensures that no one with pre-existing conditions will be denied coverage. It makes it easier to access preventive care, by eliminating co-pays for many preventative services. Young adults may now stay on their parents' health coverage through 26. Roughly 6.6 million young adults who would not have had access to health insurance prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act are now able to be covered on their parents' health plans.
The healthcare law strengthens Medicare by closing the Medicare Part D donut hole, which has already enabled millions of seniors to save billions of dollars in prescription drug costs. It requires Medicare to cover many preventive treatments like mammograms and colonoscopies and provides for free wellness visits. It also does more to stop Medicare fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties and new technology.
IMMIGRATION The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, and now, it's the House's turn to act. Members of Congress from both parties must work together to pass commonsense legislation that will secure our borders, protect our workers, require employers to comply with common sense laws, unite families and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to become taxpaying American citizens. Congressman Pallone is a co-sponsor to the comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. While Pallone believes that this is not the perfect immigration reform bill, it is a compromise bill that takes important steps towards a more equitable immigration system and which should have no trouble gaining bipartisan support.
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act:
Contains the same provisions from the bipartisan Senate-passed bill that protect our workers, unite families, and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship.
Also contains the same provisions from the bipartisan Senate-passed bill that reform our visa programs to ensure fairness and American competiveness.
For securing our borders, contains the provisions of the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson border security bill that received unanimous approval from the House Homeland Security Committee.
FOREIGN POLICY Working to Prevent a Nuclear Iran - Pallone voted for The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. Now law, the law places tough new sanctions on Iran to prevent their acquiring a nuclear weapon. Pallone identified potential violations of the sanctions regime and sent letters to the Secretary of Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve calling on them to take action to ensure compliance with the sanctions or levy penalties on any violators. Pallone also wrote to CEO's of foreign national corporations detailing their potential violations and urging them to stop business with Iran. Pallone has cosponsored the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 to strengthen sanctions and expand international cooperation to stop trade and financial dealings with Iran.
Opposing Terrorism and Defending Israel's Right to Prevent Terrorist Attacks
When a Turkish flotilla violated the Israeli blockade on Gaza, Pallone wrote to President Obama stressing Israel's right to defend its people and called on him to support Israel's actions. He also wrote to the Secretary of State requesting that an investigation be launched into the flotilla group's ties to terrorist organizations such as Hamas. Pallone supports restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance that would go to a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Advocating for Foreign Assistance to Israel
Pallone has personally testified before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations to urge the committee to allocate robust economic and military assistance to Israel. Pallone supports continued foreign aid and is currently advocating for $3.1 billion to be directed to Israel next year.
Ensuring an Israeli Military Edge and the Protection of the Israeli People
Pallone has strongly supported the Iron Dome anti-missile system and U.S. funding for the system and is actively advocating for $200 million more for the system. Pallone also advocates for U.S. help in maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge. Pallone voted to amend the Arms Export Control Act to require the Administration to certify that an arms sale to another Middle Eastern country does not threaten Israel's qualitative military edge. He is a cosponsor of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, which declares Israel to be a major strategic partner of the United States and urges the President to support the procurement, and enhancement of the Iron Dome, Arrow 2, Arrow 3, and David's Sling defense systems.
ENERGY Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Expanding American Energy Production
Congressman Pallone promotes extending the Production Tax Credit, which has generated massive amounts of new growth in the wind industry, a sector employing 85,000 Americans.
Congressman Pallone supports cutting the massive tax breaks and subsidies to Big Oil. The five largest oil companies made a record $137 billion in profits in 2011, so they don't need $4 billion in annual tax breaks.
Congressman Pallone advocates extending the 1603 solar grant program, which provides grants in lieu of tax credits to small renewable energy companies. Extending it for one year would create 37,000 jobs in the solar industry alone.
Lowering Gas Prices
Congressman Pallone supports EPA fuel efficiency standards that will reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Making vehicles more fuel efficient helps our environment but also reduces the amount of money consumers have to budget every month to fill up their tank.
Anthony Wilkinson (R) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
Let's help our economy by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Instead of hurting workers and businesses through Obamacare, the government should promote economic growth and job opportunities by repealing and replacing Obamacare with better health insurance solutions. Obamacare hurts workers by eliminating affordable health insurance options for individuals and businesses. Obamacare hurts businesses when they face higher premiums, fewer insurance options and tax penalties. Obamacare hurts workers by creating incentives for businesses to reduce the number of full time employees.
Let's keep the good things about the law like coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and covering young adults that still live at home. It is also a good idea to allow insurance companies to compete across State lines. More competition will bring lower prices and better quality.
GOVERNMENT PROMISES TO KEEP
The most important promises our federal government has ever made are written in the U.S. Constitution. The first clause of the First Amendment promises the free exercise of religion. There should be no governmental mandates requiring anyone to violate his or her religious beliefs and no governmental penalties for merely expressing one's religious beliefs. The Second Amendment protects the individual's right to keep and bear arms. Citizens have the right to protect themselves and their families. The Fourth Amendment protects our privacy. Our government should not monitor our phone and internet usage without probable cause.
Our government has also made important promises to the nation of Israel, and our government should not take any actions to undermine those commitments.
SPENDING AND TAXES
Let's help our children and grandchildren by eliminating overspending - Instead of hurting our grandchildren by leaving them the burden of an incomprehensible national debt, the government must limit spending and reduce the federal debt. This can be accomplished through small incremental across-the-board reductions in spending and through a constitutional amendment requiring fiscal responsibility and accountability. Let's help our families and businesses by reducing the tax burden - Instead of hurting middle class families and small businesses through high taxes, the government must reduce the tax burden. This can be achieved through a simplification of the tax code, a reduction in income tax rates and through the elimination of the alternative minimum tax on middle class families.
Leonard Lance (R) Incumbent
Rated -4 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE AGAINST OBAMACARE: As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Leonard Lance is on the front-lines in the fight against ObamaCare, voting 64 times to either fully repeal, defund, or dismantle portions of this onerous legislation. Leonard Lance supports sensible measures that include allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, improving health savings accounts (HSAs), establishing Association Health Plans (AHP) insurance pools and enacting real medical malpractice reform.
IMMIGRATION For my part, I oppose amnesty, support securing our borders and requiring businesses to use the E-Verify background check system. I oppose granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants because it is unfair to those who have entered our country legally and an affront to the laws that we have established governing immigration and citizenship. This includes ensuring that illegal immigrants are not covered under any federal health care reform measure.
Instead of rewarding illegal behavior, we need to crack down on illegal immigration and secure the border. The American people support securing our borders first. Border security must be our highest priority. To this end, I am proud to have voted for the new law providing $10.1 billion for Customs and Border Protection, including $800 million for Southwest border security fencing, infrastructure and technology, an $1.5 billion for identifying and removing from the United States criminal aliens once an immigration judge has ordered them deported. Finally I strongly support requiring businesses to use the E-Verify background check system. By strengthening the E-Verify system employers would be less inclined to hire undocumented or illegal immigrants.
ENERGY VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE: Congressman Leonard Lance voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring secure energy to America, support the creation of thousands of jobs, and help bring down prices at the pump.
VOTED IN FAVOR OF NORTH AMERICAN-MADE ENERGY: Congressman Leonard Lance voted for an energy plan to expand offshore energy production, open up small portions of federal lands to oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West.
VOTED FOR OFF-SHORE DRILLING: Congressman Leonard Lance voted to lift President Obama's moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico while also speeding up the approval of off-shore oil leases and drilling permits that have been slowed by Washington bureaucratic delays.
VOTED AGAINST PRESIDENT'S CAP & TRADE PLAN: Congressman Leonard Lance voted for the "Energy Tax Prevention Act" (H.R. 910) to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving ahead with its planned cap and trade regulations.
VOTED AGAINST ONEROUS REGULATIONS THAT INCREASE ENERGY COSTS: Congressman Leonard Lance voted against burdensome federal regulations that stifle growth, kill jobs, and raise energy and gas costs.
Janice Kovatch (D/Write-In) Challenger
Albio Sires (D) Incumbent
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY Voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
HEALTHCARE Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care. Without access to affordable health care, our children cannot learn properly, parents cannot be as productive at work, and our seniors are forced to choose between food, shelter, or medical care. Unfortunately, far too often people are seeing an increase in the costs of care, while the quality of care declines. Furthermore, the cost of health care spending is putting our nation on an unsustainable fiscal path.
As a result, in March 2010, my colleagues and I in Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act to reform our nation's struggling health care system. Prior to enactment, 46 million Americans were a serious illness away from destitution because they lacked health insurance. The Affordable Care Act works to protects people's choices of doctors and health plans, as well as guarantees that all Americans have access to quality, stable, and affordable health care. Since enactment, millions of Americans are already benefitting from this law. In particular, insurers are no longer permitted to discriminate against children and others who are sick; small businesses are receiving billions of dollars in tax credits to provide health care coverage for their employees; and seniors are saving money on prescription drugs and receiving free preventive care through Medicare, including 72,000 seniors in the 8th District alone. On June 28, 2012 the Affordable Care Act was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
WOMEN The wage gap among men and women is still prevalent and American women make approximately 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. The pay gap for female minorities is even greater. In the 111th Congress, I voted for, and Congress passed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving women the right to seek legal redress for wage discrimination. Additionally, I am a proud cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to deter wage discrimination by ensuring that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job show that the disparity is job related and necessary. This legislation would also strengthen legal remedies to include punitive and compensatory damages.
Last Congress, I was proud to introduce H.Res. 114, the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which exists to overcome the final barriers for women in sports by celebrating female athletes' achievements, acknowledging the positive influence of sports participation in women's lives, and urging equality and access for women in sports. Athletics are one of the best opportunities for personal growth, and yet there has not always been an equal opportunity for everyone to participate. As a former athlete, I know firsthand the benefits of competing in sports; and everyone regardless of background should have equal access to be involved. I was privileged to introduce this legislation, which passed the House of Representatives on February 10, 2009, and highlight achievements of women in the 8th District.
Women have unique health care needs, and often make important health care decisions for their families. In March 2010, my colleagues and I in Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act to deeply benefit women's health. The new law protects women by providing insurance options, covering preventative services, and lowering costs. Specifically, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to women because of a pre-existing condition such as cancer or having been pregnant. The law also provides women with the freedom to choose from any primary care provider, OB-GYN, or pediatrician in their health plan's network without a referral. One of the most beneficial provisions of the new law allows women to receive preventative care without co pays, including mammograms, new baby care and well-child visits. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurers from charging women higher premiums than they charge men. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and its benefits for women and families, please visit: www.healthcare.gov.
Finally, women's needs are especially critical on an international level. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have worked to address issues affecting women both at home and abroad, especially access to education and health care. In order to improve access to health care, I support funding to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve the health of newborns, children, and mothers in developing countries. This Congress, I continue to support adequate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, a multilateral provider of family planning and reproductive health services.
Jude-Anthony Tiscornia (R)
Bill Pascrell (D) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
ENERGY Voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
As concern over US reliance on foreign fossil fuels grows, so does the push for increasing renewable energy resources and creating "green" jobs. As a member of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment for ten years, I worked to increase renewable energy production and to protect our environment for future generations. I fought for key energy provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided funding for low and middle class families to undergo weatherization of their home and to renovate existing public buildings to make them more energy efficient. This puts money back into people's pockets by reducing the costs of utilities. Moreover, this stimulus legislation provided $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration projects in our communities.
In addition to this legislation, last year I authored the Water Quality Investment Act to grant money to municipalities to upgrade clean water infrastructure and to create jobs in this sector. Here at home, I am committed to cleaning up the sites which have been polluted and contaminated as a result of industrial activity. I have worked to obtain federal financial support to assist in the removal of thorium in Wayne, radium in West Orange, Montclair and Glen Ridge, and abandoned chemical facilities in Clifton. Furthermore, I am dedicated to cleaning up and preserving our waterways including the Passaic and Peckman Rivers. As a lifelong resident of Paterson, another issue that has been very important to me is promoting the Great Falls Historic District in Paterson as a destination for both tourists and locals. I am happy to say that I recently succeeded in passing legislation to create a National Historic Park at the site. I have been one of the strongest supporters of environmental conservation in the United States Congress, and I will continue to pursue policies to promote the use of renewable energy, to cleanup the environment and to create jobs in the process. It is critical that this world is left in even better shape for our children.
HEALTHCARE I believe that all citizens should have access to first-rate and reasonable health care. I am concerned with the amount of Americans putting off necessary medical care because they cannot afford it. It is very concerning that Americans are not able to catch expensive and harmful diseases early because of cost.
As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, I worked on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill. Specifically for New Jersey I helped achieve improved consumer protections for 5.3 million residents with private insurance coverage, free preventative care for 1.3 million Medicare enrollees, and tax credits for 144,000 small businesses to help cover the costs of offering health care coverage. In the 8th Congressional District, the bill will prevent over 900 families from filing bankruptcy because of medical bills extend coverage to 71,000 uninsured residents, and allow 47,000 college students the option of staying on their parents' coverage. I believe this bill will create stability in the health care system and relieve tensions caused by health care costs.
I introduced H.R. 1946, the Health Workforce Investment Act of 2009, in order to address the increasing shortage of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. This bill became part of health care reform, and ensures a national work force strategy is developed to address shortages in health care professionals. I also fought to pass the re-authorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which helped achieve coverage for 11 million children. I am committed to providing the necessary funds to update our out-dated systems, for prevention and wellness programs, and for research to discover effective ways to improve our health care system. I voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which provides the needed funding for these critical investments. I believe that we must work together to make our health care system more efficient and affordable. We need to make our health care system about quality of care. I believe that in the end our health is our responsibility and I am working hard to make sure health care is a right, not a privilege.
Dierdre Paul (R) Challenger
Donald Payne Jr. (D) Incumbent
Rated +4 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Every American should have access to quality, affordable health care, which is why I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since ACA's enactment, nearly 3.1 million New Jerseyans have received a free preventative service, like cancer screenings; 73,000 young people in New Jersey have gained access to care under their parents' health plan until the age of 26; and the average New Jerseyan on Medicare will save about $4,2000 from 2011 to 2021 - and those with high prescription drug costs will save up to $16,000.
I will continue to work hard for you to reduce health disparities in New Jersey and around the world. I have led efforts to increase education and public awareness about the importance that HIV testing and preventative cancer screenings play in saving lives. Furthermore, I strongly support community health centers and school based health centers in providing quality healthcare to underserved populations in communities across New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District.
ENERGY No vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Green Jobs The state of New Jersey has one of the highest numbers of homes and businesses in the nation that incorporate solar panels, and the acceleration of wind turbine projects can be seen along the Jersey coastline. As the world takes an increased interest in environmental monitoring, management, and regulatory compliance, green jobs and training must be a priority for the future of New Jersey. My GREEN Jobs Act will increase access to loans for green small businesses that create jobs to retrofit buildings, install and replace solar panels, regulate waste, clean up contamination, and collect samples to help monitor pollution levels are expanding exponentially. By the year 2016, it is projected that these fields will increase by 28%. The GREEN Jobs Act will accelerate that growth so that New Jersey and America leads the way in innovation and creating jobs in emerging green energy fields.
Smart Grids Recent events such as Hurricane Sandy and the hacking of our power grid systems have highlighted the vulnerabilities that exist in the nation's power grid. My SMART Grid Study Act will provide a comprehensive assessment of steps needed to upgrade our electric grid, making it stronger and smarter in the face of natural disasters and cyber attacks. Expanding and strengthening the capabilities of our electrical power system in order to prepare for, respond to, and recover faster from disasters is not only essential to both protecting our national security, but it is critical to creating jobs and building a more energy-efficient and green future.
Yolanda Dentley (R) Challenger
Preparing new website.
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) Incumbent
Rated -2 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE Rodney supports health care reform, but not Barack Obama's federal takeover of health care! It's bad enough that ObamaCare slows job creation and economic growth, but it's also shrinking paychecks and destroying the 40-hour work week. Because of the President's misguided law, many people who are lucky enough to have jobs have seen their hours slashed. That's not fair and must be changed. Families and small businesses need high-quality health care. And they also need to be assured that medical decisions are made by doctors and patients. That's why Rodney supports patient-centered bills that allow "portability of coverage," prevent insurance companies from barring coverage due to pre-existing conditions, permit the sale of health insurance across state lines, prevent junk lawsuits, expand Health Savings Accounts and allow small businesses to jointly purchase insurance for their employees at lower costs.
NATIONAL SECURITY For Rodney, there is no greater responsibility for a member of Congress than protecting the American people by providing for a strong national defense. As the Chairman of the key Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, his focus is to ensure that our Armed Forces and intelligence community have all the tools they need to defeat America's enemies. That's why he is Congress' leading champion of Picatinny Arsenal. He is fighting to provide support for our military men and women and their families whether at home or abroad, all of whom are volunteers.
ENERGY Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Since coming to Congress, I have supported:
Substantially improving car mileage (CAFE) standards without making vehicles unaffordable to average consumers; (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/cafe/overview.htm)
Working to cut home and business energy usage and create incentives to conserve;
Greater investments in solar, wind power, and other renewable energy sources.
Making the production of biofuels cost-competitive with gasoline, but end the costly ethanol mandate;
Building more nuclear power plants to produce usable electricity (New Jersey gets 55 percent of its power supply from nuclear);
Constructing more oil refineries. Consider using closed military bases for this purpose;
Ensuring that speculation in commodity markets is not artificially driving up the price of energy.
Using innovation at the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy to help lead the way on comprehensive, clean, and renewable energy.
Mark Dunec (D) Challenger
HOT BUTTON ISSUES
HEALTHCARE I believe we need to closely evaluate and where necessary adjust The Affordable Care Act. Philosophically I believe that affordable healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. The Affordable Care Act is law and the Supreme Court ruled in its favor. We need to give it a chance.
That said, any legislation of this magnitude is bound to contain flaws and indeed this Act does. I plan to work with my fellow Representatives in Congress to identify, address and correct those flaws in order to strengthen the program. In my run for Congress, I have met with and gained feedback from dozens of health care providers. My own wife is a physician. I will continue to get input from health care providers, insurance companies and private citizens to make necessary improvements in the Act.
However, if this country is going to get serious about reducing healthcare costs, a conversation on lifestyle and personal responsibility i.e. smoking, eating right, exercise and sleeping is in order. I will use the platform of the office to support healthy lifestyles and smart health choices. There can be creative ways to make this happen and I welcome your feedback and ideas.
ENERGY In order to ensure America's long-term prosperity and national security, it is vital that we pursue a long overdue strategy for energy independence.
As a Congressman, I will aggressively promote investment in green and renewable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal, and nuclear power. Wind is already the cheapest form of energy available to us per Kw/h, and the cost of solar drops every month. The future is here, and other nations, from China to Germany, are investing in it heavily. It's time to make sure that America does not fall behind the other leading forces in the economy. Energy independence and sustainable development can go hand in hand. All we need are leaders in office who are willing to take us there.
One of the most important factors in this conversation will be garnering support for technological innovation in the alternative energy sector. We need to make sure that the United States remains at the cutting edge of developing technologies, and does not fall behind the other industrial economies which are willing to explore there. The only way to promote "green innovation" is through investment in the development of green jobs at home. The Department of Energy estimates that 30% of all energy waste occurs in the commercial sector - that costs over $60 billion each year. That money can and should be pumped back into our economy, to stimulate job growth and grow our tax revenue base. We should create an entrepreneurial environment for "green companies" to start-up and innovate.
IMMIGRATION I applaud our Senators for their bi-partisan immigration bill, which addresses both fiscal and social concerns. However, I find the House's failure to consider the Senate bipartisan bill absolutely shameful and a dereliction of their responsibility. On the fiscal side, we need more people paying taxes in order to support our retirees for Social Security and Medicare. In 1965 there were 5 workers for every 1 retiree. Today, this ratio has dropped to 2.2:1. Immigration reform will not solve all our fiscal problems but will help increase the ratio between workers and retirees. From a social perspective, I support the Dream Act. The Dream Act is about guaranteeing a better future, not just for the youths in question, but those who have been helped by them. The United States has always benefitted by the uplifting of our immigrant communities through education. Our generation has a responsibility to assure that this maxim remains true.
ENVIRONMENT We've long known that climate change is real and Hurricane Sandy brought this home. To protect New Jersey, we need to take the reasonable and rational measures that will help not only the citizens of our state, but also play our part in helping the global environment. We need to cut and offset carbon production. As I discussed above in the job creation section, we need to invest heavily in green energy production. We need to think differently. When we consider the environment, we need to make the changes that we can bear, while thinking in terms of not just years, but decades.
At the same, it is naïve and economically unfeasible to expect that all fossil-fuel extraction in the US will stop in the near term. So I will advocate against oil-industry self-regulation and for increased EPA oversight of all drilling and refining operations, funded by the oil companies themselves, to ensure that our air, land and drinking waters are as safe as they can possibly be.
WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND LGBTQ RIGHTS Equal pay for equal work. It's a simple principle, and it is tragic that, fifty years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, women only receive 81 cents on the dollar on the dollar when compared with men. Civil rights are a moral issue, but many moral issues can only find resolution in the political arena. In this case, it is clear that we need strict, enforceable anti-discrimination legislation. I resolve to work with colleagues to define and introduce such legislation. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 states that an individual should have 180 days from the first paycheck to file a discrimination complaint. My position is that this period should be dramatically extended. The window to address grievances due to discrimination should be years, not days.
In addition, I am in favor of women's self-determination of their reproductive rights. I believe abortions should always be safe, legal and rare. To accomplish this we should continue to have funding for family planning programs. In Congress, I will be a steadfast supporter of this non-negotiable right, including support for women who receive funding from federal health coverage, an option my opponent voted to ban.
In recent years, the President of the United States has taken significant action to promote equal rights and treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning Americans. More recently, I was very happy to see an end to the Defense of Marriage Act. On a personal level, I am against all forms of discrimination. We can't discriminate on such basic, everyday matters, and still call ourselves a nation of equals. As your representative, I will support every effort to establish and guarantee equal rights for committed couples. Locally, I am proud to say that New Jersey has already enacted strong measures against LBGTQ employment discrimination. I would very much like to see these same measures applied at a national level. That will be a hard fight, but I am prepared to play my part in both leading and defining it. Similarly, I stand with those who want to strengthen hate crime legislation. There is no excuse for crimes rooted in bigotry.
A. Foreign Aid
Foreign aid must be used to advance American interests; to foster economic and political ties with developing allies, to support existing allies, to promote American values, and to fight terrorism and instability globally.
I support a continuation of foreign aid at the current aggregate budget levels for these reasons:
Foreign aid, both humanitarian and military, amounts to approximately 1% of federal spending, though many Americans mistakenly believe that up to 25% of the U.S. budget is spent on aid.
As a percentage of GDP, U.S. foreign aid spending ranks behind that of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France and China.
The overwhelming majority of "foreign" military aid is actually spent with defense contractors in the United States, creating American jobs and increasing American exports.
All foreign aid, as all federal spending, must be conditioned on its benefit to the people and interests of the United States. As in business, a cost-benefit analysis must be undertaken on foreign aid. In many instances, as especially evident in aid to Israel, the benefit to U.S. interests overwhelmingly exceeds the cost. With other countries, this may not be the case.
Iran Iran stands at a crossroads, the likes of which we have not seen since the Revolution of 1979. Iran's new President, Hassan Rouhani, has spoken with more caution and reserve than any of his predecessors. This may prove short-lived, and we must be prepared to maintain a hard-line. At the same time, we must remember how our relations evolved with Soviet Russia and Communist China. We need to consider and reflect on the importance and role of diplomatic engagement in the process of easing our relations with hostile parties. Sanctions can be an effective tool, but they can work against us as well. Study after study has demonstrated that those who are hit hardest by sanctions are the common people, and, given this, sustained sanctions can increase US enmity. Sanctions can also be undermined if other nations are unwilling to stand with us. Given the current stance of China and Russia regarding Iran, our sanctions may not have the teeth we need. To be clear I support existing sanctions and stronger sanctions if necessary to avoid military confrontation so long as they serve the ultimate goal - Iran must never become a nuclear power.
Arab-Israeli Conflict Israel is the strongest ally of the United States in the Middle