On Nov3, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil (1st Congressional District) will defend his seat against Roger Polack, of Racine. We asked the same questions of both candidates. Looking to learn more about Polack? Click here.
Here are Steil’s answers.
Where do you live
How long have you lived in the community?
I was born and raised in Janesville. Before running for Congress, I spent a decade working for Rock County manufacturing companies while calling Janesville home. My current home is in Janesville. I’ve owned it since 2014.
What is your educational background?
I have a business degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
What civic organizations do you belong to?
What position are you running for?
Representative, Wisconsin’s First Congressional District
Have you ever held elected office before?
If so, what positions were you elected to?
Representative, Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, elected in 2018
In thinking about your election bid, what top three issues need to be addressed? *
Keeping America healthy, getting Wisconsin back to work, and keeping our communities safe.
How would you plan to address those issues?
We must defeat coronavirus and keep America healthy. I am working to provide unprecedented support to our doctors, researchers, and scientists who are working to develop a safe and effective vaccine. I helped pass legislation to increase funding for COVID-19 vaccine research and development, expand testing capabilities, and help families cope with the financial burdens of this crisis.
I will continue working to ensure we defeat this virus, expand access to telehealth and mental health services, and protect those with pre-existing conditions. Wisconsin workers are out of work through no fault of their own. Getting workers back to work and our economy on the road to recovery is my job number one. Before COVID-19, we saw record-low unemployment and rising wages for workers. We can do it again. We must continue to keep taxes low, create more jobs, and ensure individuals can go to bed at night feeling financially secure. We need to invest in our workforce by focusing on job skills and education and continue supporting innovative programs that drive investment to our challenged neighborhoods.
Expanding the federal government’s control and raising taxes on families and workers will stifle job growth, depress wages, and hurt workers. As I meet with people across the First District, I hear from families and workers on the need to keep our communities safe. I support our men and women in law enforcement. Defunding the police is a dangerous policy that will make our communities less safe. Assuring public safety means supporting those who keep us safe. Ensuring police departments have funding for body cameras and training is an important step. We should also help police departments retain and hire the best officers. I am working in Congress to ensure we pass a nonpartisan bill to invest in sound law enforcement.
In reference to those issues you have identified, what would success look like to you?
Health: Wisconsinites deserve affordable, accessible health care that guarantees coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. We must ensure that health care decisions are made between you and your doctor. A government takeover of health care and massive tax increases on you and your family is not the answer. I am working to defeat the coronavirus. We must develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine that is free and easily accessible to every American. From the beginning, I have been working to increase our testing capabilities. I also believe that we must ensure schools and hospitals have the needed PPE and resources to keep students, teachers, health care workers, and patients safe. We need to get our lives back, and we can do that by defeating the virus.
Jobs: I want every worker who wants a job, to have a job. We need to lower the unemployment rate and grow wages for Wisconsin workers. I’m running on a pro-growth agenda to bring good-paying jobs to Southeast Wisconsin. We can do this by preparing workers for the jobs of the future. I work on this every day as the co-chair of the Future of Work Caucus in Congress.
Public safety: We must protect our communities and keep them safe. I support funding for local law enforcement for body cameras and de-escalation training. I am a part of a coalition of Kenosha faith, community, and business leaders committed to rebuilding and healing the city. I will continue working to be a part of constructive dialogue and bringing resources to our community to keep everyone safe.
Why are those issues important to you?
The coronavirus pandemic has affected our health and economy. Many people have shared with me the challenges they faced during the coronavirus pandemic. I have spoken to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. I have met people whose health has been impacted. I got to work on these issues. I helped pass legislation to ensure workers receive their paycheck during the pandemic, to give families immediate relief they needed, and to provide free testing to everyone. As we get out of this crisis, it is important we act to lower the cost of health care, promote innovative care options like telehealth, and protect health care coverage for those with preexisting conditions.
The situation in Kenosha reinforced my belief that we must work together to create a more perfect union. This requires fixing what’s wrong and improving what’s right so we can all feel safe. Law enforcement should have the capabilities to do their job–protecting us–to the best of their abilities. It’s why I cosponsored the JUSTICE Act, which addresses the hiring practices of police departments to more closely match the communities they serve and provides federal dollars for body cameras and de-escalation training. During the Kenosha unrest, people were scared for their families, for their livelihoods, and for their safety. I called the President of the United States and successfully obtained help to end criminal activity in Kenosha. The fires, violence, and destruction can never be tolerated in Kenosha or another city. I am working every day to keep you and your families safe.
At the end of your term, what would you like to have accomplished?
We must defeat coronavirus and get our lives back. I am committed to being available and accessible, to hear people’s concerns, and provide assistance to those who need help with a federal agency. In Congress, I will fight to enact policies that keep taxes low, support new trade deals that put Wisconsin workers and our industries first, and invest in workforce development and innovative programs to help workers obtain family-supporting jobs.
Why should people vote for you?
I’ve kept my promises and I’m fighting for you. When I first ran for office two years ago I promised to be available and accessible. In my first two years in office, I held 14 in-person town halls, numerous telephone town halls, and in-person forums focused on topics like helping seniors avoid scams. I work to ensure those in need to receive information and assistance from federal agencies. I have helped over 3,000 people with federal casework assistance, helping veterans navigate the VA, assisting seniors receive their Social Security benefits or working with the State Department to bring loved ones home who were stuck abroad due to travel restrictions.
Additionally, I am focused on issues in Congress important to our community. I successfully fought for policies that help our community and state. The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) is an enhanced trade deal for Wisconsin dairy farmers and workers. USMCA creates new jobs and gives our economy a boost at a time we need it most. I also fought for a 10-year extension of Wisconsin’s SeniorCare program, which provides affordable prescription drugs for seniors.
When Kenosha needed help, I picked up the phone, called the President of the United States, and got Kenosha the resources law enforcement needed to restore public safety.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know?
2020 has been a challenging year and I have worked aggressively in Congress to protect our health, keep us safe, and get Wisconsin back to work. I fight for our community because Wisconsin is home. My job is to serve you and I wake up every day with that in mind. It has been an honor to be your voice in Washington the past two years and I ask for your vote again on November 3rd.
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