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EDITORIAL BOARD QUESTIONNAIRES

David M. Gill

Democratic candidate for U.S. House (13th district)

David M. Gill

David M. Gill

Democratic candidate for U.S. House (13th district)

Education
B.S. in mathematics, Univ of IL 1982 M.D., Univ of IL College of Medicine, 1988 Family Practice Residency, Mason City, IA 1988-1991
Occupation
Emergency Medicine physician; self-employed
Home
Bloomington
Past Political/Civic Experience
Assistant Director of Illinois Department of Public Health, 2013-2014

Responses to our questions

The U.S. government is now $20 trillion in debt. To address that historic level of public indebtedness, the country would need to raise revenue and/or decrease spending. What is your position on the budget and debt?

The United States cannot keep leaving incredible amounts of debt for future generations to deal with. However, we should not cut spending from programs that help the working class to get the debt under control. In Congress, I will push for raising revenue by having the wealthiest Americans and corporations pay their fair share. I will also fight to ensure that programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are not subject to spending cuts.

Can you identify any major federal expenditures or programs that you would eliminate?

I do not support fully eliminating any of the current federal expenditures. However, I do think that our military budget is bloated and needs to be cut as part of getting our debt under control. Congress often forces the Pentagon to buy weapon systems it does not need or want. The American people deserve better when it comes to military spending decisions made by Congress.

Medicare and Medicaid costs continue to spiral. How can these programs be restructured to control costs and avoid collapse? Be specific about your willingness to change or reduce future benefits.

When it comes to healthcare, I have long been an advocate of a Medicare for All, Single-Payer system. If we expand Medicare to every American it will save money for 95% of Americans, and more importantly every American will finally have access to quality healthcare without fear of going into bankruptcy due to medical bills.

What if anything should be the federal government's role in helping Americans obtain health insurance coverage?

Healthcare is a human right, and the federal government should ensure this right by moving to a Medicare for All, Single Payer system as outlined in H.R. 676.

Economic growth has been steady but wage growth is slow. Are you content with the state of the economy? What is your recipe for enhancing American prosperity?

Wage growth has been slow for a few generations now, and that is unacceptable. The American workforce is more productive than it has ever been but they have not been treated fairly, and so wages have stagnated and income inequality has soared to levels we have not seen in almost 100 years. I believe in a living wage of $15 per hour that increases with inflation. If workers are given the raise they so richly deserve, it not only helps to combat poverty, but also boosts our economy by giving the working class more spending power.

If you could fix longstanding problems with this country's immigration system tomorrow, what would you do? What is your position on the future of DACA and the Dreamers?

I would pass the DREAM Act, which has many of the same protections in place as DACA does and also creates a path for citizenship or permanent legal resident status. When we are talking about Dreamers, we are talking about people who are Americans in every sense of the word, but are not recognized as full legal citizens, and it is time to change that.

North Korea's nuclear weapons program represents a direct threat to the security of the United States and its Pacific allies. How should the U.S. confront or contain Kim Jong Un's regime?

In Congress, I would argue for opening bilateral or multilateral (including China, S. Korea, Japan, and maybe Russia) negotiations with N. Korea, in an attempt to obtain a nuclear freeze (and hopefully, ultimately, the disarmament of the entire Korean Peninsula). It almost goes without saying that President Trump's approach to this issue has been incredibly reckless and irresponsible. The President is a dangerous individual in many ways, but this is probably the area of greatest concern.

ISIS is contained in Syria and Iraq but terrorism remains a threat. What are your priorities in keeping the country safe?

I believe in strength through diplomacy. Our goal should be to resolve every conflict in a peaceful manner, with war being a last option that is rarely used. If the threat of terrorism is so great that it leads to war, the United States must have a clear mission that we follow, and plan for what comes after. Too often we have become involved in conflicts too quickly and this has forced us to devote resources and more importantly, our women and men, to certain regions for decades at a time.

Should the U.S. continue to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran?

Yes. The Iran nuclear agreement, while not perfect, was the result of a dedication to diplomacy by the international community. Withdrawing from the agreement would not only throw the matter into chaos, but would also make the United States look like a bad faith negotiator, something we cannot afford.

What is your position on the continued presence of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan?

They should be brought home over the next several months. If our goals have not been accomplished within the past 16 years, it's highly unlikely that they will be achieved at any point in the near future.

Do you support a unified, federal background check system for gun sales? Do you support magazine limits or a ban on certain rifles? Describe, briefly, your position on how to balance safety with the Second Amendment.

I fully support a unified, federal background check system. As an Emergency Room Physician, I see the horrors of gun violence in this country far too often. I also support limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds per magazine. These are positions that most Americans agree on, including most gun-owners. These are common sense approaches that we can use to balance safety and the 2nd Amendment, and the only reason we do not see this kind of action is because of the stranglehold that the NRA has on members of Congress.

Should the U.S. government take steps to curb emissions of greenhouse gas? If so, what steps? If not, why not?

The United States should be a world leader when it comes to the fight against climate change. I am a longtime member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and I believe there are many ways to combat climate change, including limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Power Plan is a good example of how to do this, as the plan provides state by state targets to reduce carbon emissions and would reduce emissions from the electricity sector by 32% by 2030.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I am a lifelong baseball nut, and I am one the few who root passionately for both the Cubs and the White Sox. I have been doing so since 1967, when my dad started taking me games at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park.

If you are an incumbent, tell us the most significant accomplishment of your current term.

N/A

Candidates for U.S. House (13th district)

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