UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES
The House of Representatives has equal legislative functions and powers with the Senate; however only the House may originate revenue and appropriation bills, shares power with the Senate to levy taxes, borrow money, regulate interstate commerce and declare war. 2-year term.
All candiates were asked the following questions:
- BACKGROUND: Why are you running for this office and what qualities, training, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
- GUN VIOLENCE: Do you believe the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights? Would you favor a ban on assault weapons? Limit on firearms purchases by someone who is under suspicion of terrorist activities?
- AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT: Do you support its continuation? If you favor modification or replacement, what kind of changes do you favor?
- IMMIGRATION: What is your plan on immigration? on reform? the undocumented? and on refugee asylum?
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 - Tim Canova (DEM)
My campaign represents a new kind of politics in which congressional candidates do not have to devote thirty hours a week in call centers to ask wealthy people for contributions. I vowed that I would not take a penny from corporate interests, their PACs or SuperPACs. When elected, I will not owe any favors to any special interests. I am for the people of South Florida, not for special interests.
I completed my undergraduate studies in government and economics at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, earned a law degree, with honors, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. In the early 1980s, I served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas, a Democrat from Massachusetts. While working on Capitol Hill, I began warning about the rise of Wall Street special interests and the assault on working families. I published critical articles on the deregulation of interest rates and lending standards and the rise of subprime and predatory lending.
I practiced law in New York City with two prominent law firms in the early 1990s, and then moved to South Florida for a visiting professor position at the University of Miami School of Law. I became a leading critic in the legal academy of Wall Street deregulation. I opposed efforts to weaken the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that had separated commercial banking from the risky securities markets. I cautioned about the rise of complex derivative financial instruments that were turning the United States into a “casino” economy. In the early 2000s, I warned about the growing bubble in housing prices and called for increased supervision of Wall Street banks and financial markets.
In 2011 I was selected by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform along with such leading economists as James Galbraith, Robert Reich, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
I am currently at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where I am a tenured Professor of Law and Public Finance, and where I have taught Business Entities, a required class for second year law students, and Regulation of Financial Institutions and seminars on the Wall Street crisis. During this time, I have taught hundreds of young men and women from South Florida and I have learned a great deal about the problems they and their families face every day.
Today in America – through either our negligence or willful inaction – we have created a culture of fear; the fear that anywhere and at any moment we can be the victim of senseless gun violence. I do not want to live in a culture of fear that threatens our freedom, our liberty or our happiness. That is why when I am elected to Congress I will make every effort to end this culture of fear.
For these reasons I would support overturning the federal ban on researching gun violence because I strongly believe that the best way to address any problem is to try understand what is causing the problem. Using federal resources to identify the true drivers of gun violence will allow us to craft the most finely turned legislation to tackle this epidemic.
Furthermore, our country’s founders could not have possibly imagined a world where guns are have become such casual instruments of death and therefore we must work to create reasonable limits on our Second Amendment rights, such as:
1. Banning assault weapons;
2. Requiring instant background checks, and closing background-check loopholes such as for gun shows;
3. Prohibiting individuals on the terrorist watch list and from acquiring guns;
4. Requiring that gun-owners notify the police when their guns are stolen;
5. Prohibiting perpetrators of violent misdemeanors, those arrested for domestic violence and anyone under the age of 21, from qualifying for concealed carry permits, and requiring those who qualify for a concealed carry permit to successfully complete a safety training course;
6. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop/gun show employees;
7. Requiring reasonable liability insurance for gun owners.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a monumental achievement. Through the ACA, millions of Americans have gained access to health insurance that was previously too expensive or otherwise unattainable. It is because of the ACA that insurers can no longer deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, drop policyholders when they get sick, or issue policies with lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits. The ACA was a transformational piece of legislation, but I know we can do better.
The United States remains the only major developed country that does not provide universal health care to all its citizens. Despite the reforms of the ACA, tens of millions of Americans still do not have health insurance. Millions more are underinsured, cannot afford high priced deductibles and co-payments, or are forced to declare bankruptcy because they simply cannot pay their medical bills. This should not happen in a fair and just America. I firmly believe that healthcare is a universal human right and it is because of this that I want to improve upon the Affordable Care Act, by moving to a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care system that would guarantee every citizen health care as a basic right.
That said, on the road to creating a universal health care system for all Americans, we must not ignore improving Medicare in its current form. Currently, many seniors struggle to afford the prescriptions medicines they need. That is why when I am elected to Congress I plan on working to create legislation that will allow the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. I also intend to introduce legislation to change the asset and income tests for getting help with Medicare premiums and copays so that the seniors who are most in need are not forced to choose between their health and feeding themselves.
America is a country built by generations of immigrants who came to its shores in search of a better life. Today, the United States continues to be a prime destination for those seeking opportunity, prosperity, or refuge for themselves and their families. However, welcoming immigrants in the 21st century presents problems that we did not face in the past. Our country needs to reform its immigration policy so that we have sensible and humane solutions to the challenges of today while continuing to attract the world’s best and brightest to help build a better tomorrow for all Americans.
When I am elected to Congress I will fight tirelessly to forge a fair path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the country. I will support the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs so that people, like the Dreamers, who have lived in America most of their lives are not forced to return to countries they no longer recognize or call home. I also intend to reform student and skilled worker visa programs so that we can continue to attract the best talent to America and lead the world in technology and innovation for generations to come.
While advocating for a more humane policy for undocumented immigrants, I also support enhancing our border security. Unfortunately, weak border security has at times provided a safety valve for corrupt and repressive regimes south of our border. The U.S. has to do more to be both a good neighbor and encourage democratic reforms in those countries to our south.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 - Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DEM)
I ran and continue to run for Congress because I believe that one person can make a difference. I have pushed for programs that represent the priorities of all of South Florida’s families, not just a select few. I will continue to push for job creation and tax policies that benefit small businesses and working families. I firmly believe that as a mother of school age children, the voice of my generation is significantly underrepresented in Congress. Therefore I have continually raised many issues that are unique to my generation that need to be raised in the Congress; issues such as pool safety, protection of children from internet predators, and equal pay for equal work and providing a safe and secure future for our children. As a woman and a mother, I bring an important perspective to these issues every day.
Additionally, I have been a strong advocate for my constituents on issues important to them, such as fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security, improving the affordability, quality of and access to health care, fighting to expand access to affordable student loans and protecting our environment by standing up and achieving progress on Everglades restoration programs and fighting offshore oil drilling. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have successfully secured resources for local, state and federal programs to improve the quality of life for my constituents, Floridians and Americans.
The gun violence epidemic is unacceptable. It is long past due for every public official in America to stand up for common-sense gun safety measures that we know help keep guns out of the wrong hands and have the support of an overwhelming majority of Americans. I support universal background checks, a federal ban on assault weapons, and closing the outrageous loophole that allows a suspected terrorist to purchase a gun. I strongly support overturning the federal ban on gun violence research.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
I am a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act. As a young breast cancer survivor, I learned that you never know what may come your way. Every American deserves comprehensive, affordable health insurance. We need the Florida Legislature to pass Medicaid expansion for the more than 800,000 Floridians who desperately need it. Congress should focus on building on our progress as the law is implemented, and I will continue to look at ways to ensure we can attain fully universal and affordable coverage for all Americans.
I am committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our heritage as a nation of immigrants. Under our current patchwork of policies, millions of our fellow brothers and sisters are living in the shadows, outside of the system and in fear of being separated from their families. Comprehensive immigration reform must ensure that our nation’s immigration system is a driver of economic prosperity, provides security for our borders, and protects American workers.
Undocumented immigrants should be given the opportunity to integrate into American society through an earned pathway to citizenship, as long as they pay their taxes, undergo background checks, and follow the legal process to become a citizen. This nation's character and history are founded on the backs of families fleeing persecution and seeking refuge; we must uphold these values. We have a robust and thorough vetting process already in place to ensure that we can support those who truly need protection and safety.
Contact information: email@example.com, 954-533-7980
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 – Martin “Marty” Feigenbaum (REP)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 23 – Joseph “Joe” Kaufman (REP)
I am running for office for two main reasons, my background and my daughter. I do counter-terrorism research, writing and lectures for three think tanks: the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Middle East Forum, and the Center for Security Policy. I have been involved in this field for the past 15 years, and I have accomplished much to be proud of. Given how big a threat terrorism is to our nation today, it is imperative that someone with my background serve in Congress. As well, my amazing wife, Emily, and I have an equally amazing three-year-old daughter, who we both want to grow up in prosperity and safety. With a national debt reaching $20 trillion and so many jobs moving overseas, America is facing a very chaotic future for my daughter and all in her generation. I need to go to Congress to help save our nation, and I look forward to doing so very soon.
I am against any type of gun control for law abiding citizens. That said, I support the recent legislation banning the purchase of firearms by those individuals found on the ‘terrorism watch list.’ In my professional life, I do counter-terrorism work, and with regard to Orlando, we saw what happens when terrorists get their hands on guns. Regarding a ban on research, I would rather take the money that would go towards that research and use it for something more appropriate, such as funding for mental health facilities. It is embarrassing that Florida ranks 49 out of 50 states in funding for mental health.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
I am in favor of replacing the Affordable Care Act with a health care system that provides high quality at low cost, while at the same time allowing those with pre-existing conditions to benefit as well. I believe the only way to bring up the quality and bring down the cost is by having nationwide competition between i-nsurance companies, so that, instead of having a half-dozen companies control cost, you have 300+ companies competing against one another. Those that are good will prosper and those that are not will not be around for long. Pre-existing conditions can be handled through the use of risk pools, as auto insurance companies utilize, which mitigates the cost across the board. Having a system such as this also takes away the chaos that has been experienced by many businesses who have suffered under Obamacare. It also gets rid of the high premiums and high deductibles that many have had to pay out.
I want legal immigration reformed, so those who wish for residency or citizenship have a quicker, easier and less costly process. My wife (originally from Peru) was sworn in as an American citizen recently. Over the course of six years, she paid $10,000 to an immigration attorney. Also, it is common sense to provide guest workers with an easy renewal process for guest visas (only jobs which most Americans do not desire). Guest workers make up half of all illegals. If these two reforms are made for the LEGAL immigration system, it will end most of the ILLEGAL immigration problem. Regarding those legitimately seeking asylum, my great-grandparents came to the USA to escape Hitler. If America had not opened her arms to them, I would not be around to write this, as they probably would have been murdered along with many other members of my family. I will always fight for those who arrive in the US under similar circumstances and who cannot be deemed threats to our homeland.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 24 – Randal Hill (DEM)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 24 – Frederica Wilson (DEM)
Throughout my quarter-century of public service, from the Miami-Dade County Public school board to the Florida State Legislature to Congress, I remain committed to being a strong voice for the voiceless and a fighter for improving lives and communities in Florida.
During my time in Congress, I have continued this commitment to the people of South Florida’s 24th Congressional District by fighting for good, fair paying jobs for our workers, better opportunities for our children, access to affordable health care, and safety, security, and prosperity in our communities.
I believe that the Second Amendment leaves room for limits on gun rights, that assault weapons should be banned, and that individuals under suspicion of terrorist activities should be unable to purchase firearms.
For me, gun violence is not just another issue—it’s personal and a decades-long priority. I have helped to bury too many people from my own community because of gun violence. I have seen too many young, talented, and beautiful children lose their lives.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
Access to high-quality, affordable healthcare for all is a right and I support the continuation of the Affordable Care Act.
It is vitally important for the State of Florida to fully participate in the Affordable Care Act by accepting Medicaid expansion dollars. Florida is leaving money on the table—money that would be used to take care of our most vulnerable residents. I will continue fighting to ensure that the basic right to health care is guaranteed for my constituents and for all Floridians.
Health care also plays a vital role in South Florida’s economy and is one of the largest employers in the region. Better access to care results in healthier people and communities, and generates good-paying jobs.
The Frederica Wilson and Juanita Mann Health Center in Liberty City was a project that I started during my time in the Florida Legislature and was both proud and gratified to see it completed during my service in Congress. This clinic is a product of my ongoing activism for the underserved and uninsured in my district, and I am in the process of building an annex that will provide pediatric medical and dental services.
As the representative for one of the most diverse and immigrant rich congressional districts in the country, I am fighting for an immigration system that respects families, protects human rights, and strengthens our economy.
America has always been a nation of immigrants. People from other nations—who arrived here both with and without documentation—have enriched our society and made tremendous contributions to our economy. This is true now more than ever.
President Obama’s immigration plan would give millions of undocumented immigrants an opportunity to come out of the shadows to get an education, and become law abiding and tax paying citizens.
Since my time in the Florida Legislature, I have been a proud voice for fairness in immigration. On a moral level, I am convinced that there’s simply no such thing as an “illegal person.” As the cofounder of Congress’ Full Employment Caucus and a persistent advocate for congressional action on jobs, I am convinced that immigration reform is an important vehicle for economic progress.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 26 – Joe Garcia (DEM)
I’m running because I care deeply about my community. It’s the community where I grew up, where I was educated and where I worked, raised my family and lived my entire life. When I was in Congress, I pushed past partisan politics to get things done for the families of South Florida because this is our home.
I sponsored the only bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in the 113th Congress and secured 200 cosponsors. When radical Republican leadership refused to call a vote on this legislation, I led a group of lawmakers in asking President Obama to move forward with Executive Actions, resulting in DAPA and DACA+.
I fought Republicans who tried to defund Planned Parenthood because a woman’s right to choose is sacred. I stood by the Affordable Care Act and voted over 20 times against attempts to repeal the law.
As the congressman from the everglades and Florida Keys, I understand how climate change and rising sea levels can impact our lives. I defended our environment and the EPA safeguards that protect our ecosystem from corporate polluters and secured $200 million for everglades restoration projects and $2 million for Keys water quality projects because the environment and access to clean water is a priority for our community.
South Florida’s economy is experiencing record growth, but too many people are getting left behind by low wages and widening inequality. I want to see an increased minimum wage and focus on education, job training and economic growth so we can have good, quality jobs. We can’t turn this country around if Congress continue to give millions of dollars in handouts to big corporations instead of making government work for everyone. We need a change.
I have striven to bring about that change throughout my entire career—whether working on the Florida Public Service Commission to successfully lower utility bills for all Floridians or serving President Obama as a director in the Department of Energy to do the same for all American families. As President and Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation, I worked to advance human rights in Cuba and throughout South America.
I'm running because I believe Congress is broken, and it takes people with real progressive ideals and a record of delivering in order to find solutions to the most difficult challenges facing our country. I want to continue to be that voice for my community.
All rights come with responsibilities and the Second Amendment is no exception.
In recent years we have seen an increase in shootings resulting in senseless death. We need to take this seriously and take real action. I am disappointed in my opponent who voted against the ban on assault weapons for people on the terrorist watch list.
I have been a long-time supporter of common sense gun control, especially when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists, criminals, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill. When speaker Boehner refused to hold any votes on gun reform I joined 135 other members of Congress in a letter demanding he end his silence on our country’s rampant gun violence.
Today, I continue to support gun reform that keeps all people safe. I believe no one who is on a terrorist watch list should be allowed to purchase a gun. I am in favor of background checks for all gun sales and transfers. I also support doing away with loopholes. When you buy or sell a car, you are required to keep proper documentation of that transaction, purchasing a deadly firearm should be no different.
We also need to pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. The Florida Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board has reported that 56% of all domestic violence homicides in the state from 2006-2012 were committed with a gun. We need to ensure that we don’t allow already dangerous circumstances to turn deadly.
Finally, I am in favor of an assault weapons ban. No person should be able to go into a school, church or nightclub with military-grade weapons and cause devastating harm before our police officers even have a chance to respond.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
I absolutely support the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, I voted over 20 times in Congress to protect and improve Obamacare when Republicans tried to repeal and dismantle the law. We must continue to improve the system under the ACA, but the reality is that our healthcare system is more fair and efficient today than ever before. Today, 20 million more people are insured in America because of the President’s healthcare law. In the past 3 years, South Florida enrolled more people under Obamacare than any other region in the country proving the need for affordable healthcare in our community.
In addition, we can continue to improve the system under the ACA. Most importantly, we need to expand coverage to the 30 million people who remain uninsured. Part of the solution is demanding governors expand Medicaid for vulnerable families. When Governor Rick Scott refused to expand Medicaid, 1.2 million Floridians were left behind, uninsured. Passing immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents also allows them to access to the healthcare marketplace is another part of the solution to get people coverage. Alternately, a Public Option is the best way to get all people covered and one that I would support.
In short, I believe the Affordable Care Act should be protected and expanded. All Americans should have access to affordable quality healthcare.
I was fortunate to have been the lead sponsor of the last bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill to be filed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Through our efforts, we were able to secure 200 cosponsors and would have passed CIR had Republican leadership in the House allowed a vote on the bill. When leadership blocked the bill, I led a group of lawmakers in asking President Obama to move forward with Executive Actions that resulted in his taking actions to implement policies from my reform bill, DAPA and DACA+.
As the son of Cuban immigrants and as a candidate for Congress in a district with one of the largest immigrant populations in the US, I'm passionate about making the system work for all Americans. I believe that CIR is needed to keep American families together. Deportation of students and children who have lived here their whole life in America is not the answer to our problems. I fought for Dreamers and believe that allowing them to stay in the US and giving them the ability to pay taxes and grow our economy is the best solution for the United States. More than 50% of South Florida small businesses are owned by immigrants and passing comprehensive immigration reform means more people can start small businesses and grow the US economy.
A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants was a staple of the CIR legislation I sponsored in Congress. Reforms to our refugee and asylum processing system are also necessary. As part of these reforms, we must adjust the status of immigrants currently in the country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). All the people who have languished under TPS for years should have a pathway to permanent status. Additionally we need to create a special adjudication process for Venezuelans asylum seekers. The U.S. has always been a beacon of opportunity for people escaping persecution and should be no different now.
I am proud to have fought for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. With the support of the voters, I intend to continue those efforts and finally pass legislation that helps South Florida families, keeps families together and grows the economy.
Joe Garcia for Congress
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 26 – Annette Taddeo (DEM)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 - David Andrew Adams (REP)
I am running because there needs to be someone who will be the voice of the new generation. For too long our voices of concern have been silenced. Its time for a new generation of leadership for a new generation of America.
This is a complicated issue. More research and planning needs to go into this. Banning and altering Amendments may not solve the problem. I am open to an intelligent discussion on both sides.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
I do support radical modification or complete replacement.
This is another issue that needs a closer look and revaluation.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Scott Fuhrman (DEM)
South Florida, and the country as a whole, is in need of new leadership unafraid to say that climate change is real, reversible, and urgent to our attention. Our district needs new thinking ready to bring the postal service into the 21st Century through postal banking that can help our brothers and sisters most in need, to allowing door sale delivery of alcoholic beverages, and more. Our congress needs a shakeup via leaders who are ready to take on student debt and address our foreign relations with a diplomatic mind and a steady hand. Our communities need legislators ready to advocate for a massive rebuild of our crumbling and dated infrastructure including high-speed rails, new roads and bridges, and working towards more renewable energy consumption; bringing new, decent paying jobs along the way. Our schools need advocates to strengthen the value of our teachers and the funding for our schools to ensure every American, regardless of zip code, can have the same opportunities to learn and succeed.
My family has achieved the American Dream and our business success has helped hundreds of families over the years achieve it too. I’m running for the House of Representatives to advocate for structural change and new jobs to help every American, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual identity have the opportunity to have a fair shake at the destiny we call the American Dream.
I am a gun owner and a believer in the existence of the 2nd amendment, but I also understand that our current gun culture bears some responsibility for the rise in mass shootings like the heartbreaking attack targeting our LGBT+ community in Orlando. I, like a majority of Americans, support common-sense gun regulations. That includes banning gun sales to people on the terror watch list -- given means by which a wrongly-listed person can appeal both the no-fly list and the no-gun list, as to ensure due process -- because if you’ve been deemed too dangerous to board an airplane, you have got to be seen as too dangerous to buy a gun.
Universal background checks are a must and in Congress I will stand up for what more than 80% of Americans feel is needed to keep our communities safe. That means, through legislation from a Congress willing to act, we need to close the hobbyist and gun show loopholes.
AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT
Absolutely, but modifications are needed to make the ACA a living policy policy that adapts as health care advances. Health care is a human right and the goal should be universal coverage for all Americans. The ACA is a good start at 90% coverage, and we must build upon it to reach the goal. A renewed push to bring the public option amendment back is a great example of one of the modifications needed to keep private insurers competitive on prices. Allowing Congress to negotiate prescription drug prices is another. Without negotiation, the American people are the ones who primarily lose out. Ultimately, see the ACA moving towards a model that Senator Sanders gained so much support by advocating for on behalf of the still millions of Americans locked out of proper health care access.
We need a congress with the understanding that preventative health care is far less expensive than reactive or emergency care, and that the more people who have insurance the less people will have to resort to emergency care, saving the country many billions of dollars. That takes a change in perspective, and I think our district is ready for that change.
Immigrants make this country stronger. It was disheartening to see the Supreme Court overturn DAPA because breaking up families through deportation is a human tragedy. It’s a disservice to justice, leaves a moral blindspot in our immigration policy, and goes against the ideals upon which this nation was founded. The Statue of Liberty’s other name is the Mother of Exiles and I’m proud to live in a country where people from other nations are willing to risk their lives to get here. We should welcome them with open arms, not demonize them for political gain. We need a compassionate pathway to citizenship that is also prudent for the management of our federal budget. We need to have a more compassionate approach for our refugee program and understand that turmoil is what brings people to seek asylum in the first place. That cannot be the reason we turn our backs on them.
The amount of unfounded resources we waste on witch hunts for families trying to make a better life is all less funding we could be using to keep our children safe, fed, and educated; less money we can use to end homelessness; less money we can be using for our vets after they come back home. Furthermore, referring to humans as “illegals” is a dehumanizing and shameful tactic, and I was extremely disappointed that Rep. Ros-Lehtinen supported Paul Ryan for Speaker after he swore to stalwart immigration reform. It’s imperative that the 115th Congress takes up comprehensive immigration reform to stop the shattering of immigrant families through deportation and I plan on being on the right side of history on this issue.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Frank Perez (DEM)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Adam Sackrin (DEM)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Maria Peiro (REP)
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 27 – Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (REP)