I support federal spending on highways and other infrastructure, which is why I have been urging Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of a surface transportation bill. By passing a long-term reauthorization in June, we were able to give businesses certainty, support job creation, and improve the safety and reliability of our transit system.
I will continue to make investments in infrastructure a high priority. The Make It In America plan, an initiative I am leading in Congress to create jobs and grow the economy, focuses on making investments in our nation's infrastructure so that we can help businesses grow and move products quickly and cheaply.
// Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon? //
A nuclear Iran would be dangerous to the United States, to Israel, and to our European allies, and it would result in a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf. The global oil supply would be threatened as well. A nuclear Iran also would carry the risk of nuclear weapons technology potentially reaching terrorist groups seeking to employ them against American targets. For these reasons, a nuclear Iran would be a grave threat to our national security, and I believe we must use every tool available to prevent it.
// Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party. //
The Make It In America plan, which I am working to advance, aims to strengthen manufacturing so that American companies can grow and create jobs here in the U.S. It is an agenda that Democrats, Republicans, and everyone from labor to business can support. The manufacturing sector has been leading our economic recovery, and the Make It In America plan aims to build on that momentum through bipartisan proposals to strengthen the industry and boost the middle class. The plan includes bills that enjoy strong bipartisan support, such as the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, which requires the development of a national strategy to revitalize American manufacturing. Several Make It In America bills have already been signed into law, but we must do more to grow our economy and support job creation. I will continue to pursue the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act and other bipartisan proposals so we can help businesses innovate, grow, and keep and create good jobs in the U.S.
Tony O'Donnell, Republican
- Occupation: Minority Leader, Maryland House of Delegates, leading 43 Maryland legislators from across the state
- Family: Married, three children, two grandchildren
- Experience: Member, Maryland House of Delegates, 1995-present; Minority Leader, 2007-present; Minority Whip, 2003-2006; delegate, Republican National Convention, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012; various positions, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, 1988-2002; U.S. Navy, 1984-1987.
- Education: Naval Nuclear Propulsion School, 1980; B.S. Excelsior (Regents) College, State University of New York, 1985
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No.
// As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for? //
The existing federal income tax rates have been the existing rates for over 10 years and should not be increased. We now must focus on deleting 21-plus new taxes imposed on working class Americans under the Affordable Care Act passed by President Obama and Congress. We should not be raising taxes on American families and small businesses when everybody is struggling to make ends meet and our economy flounders badly in the worst situation since the 1930's. We need to create an environment to reduce unemployment by a confident private sector being willing to invest to hire more people onto their payrolls. The unemployment rate is understated and is particularly higher in minority communities than the national averages might indicate. Raising taxes will not help us create the environment for economic recovery and the subsequent creation of good paying private sector jobs.
// Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain. //