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Candidates in the 2nd Congressional District Race

A look at where the 2nd Congressional District candidates stand on the issues.

Kevin Raye won the Republican primary election and faces the Democratic incumbent, Mike Michaud who is serving his fifth term in Congress and is seeking a sixth.


  Believes the best way to stimulate the economy is through policies that help small businesses succeed and encourage private investment. Says 99 percent of businesses in Maine are small businesses. Supports regulatory reform, while still ensuring clean air and clean water. Would cut the size and cost of government, replace Affordable Care Act with enhanced competition in the private insurance market, and cut the national debt, which he says poses a "very serious threat." " Believes the focus should be on small businesses, which he says make up more than 95 percent of Maine's workforce. Would like to improve access to capital, credit and financing, and seek ways to reduce the burden of regulation, particularly new tax regulations, on small businesses. Supported a new law that promotes innovation through addressing a backlog on patents. Supports the Small Business Innovation Research program, and authored an amendment to the Small Business Jobs Act, which he says leverages up to $300 billion in private sector lending for small businesses, and says has brought $13.2 million to Maine. That $13.2 million is expected to spur more than $132 million in small business lending in the state, he says. Supports the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011, which would allow eligible credit unions to boost lending at no cost to taxpayers.  
  Supports a "comprehensive" policy that considers all forms of energy, including wind and nuclear; would increase conservation; supports government subsidies for oil and for developing alternative energy, but only in the short term, not as part of a long-term business model. Believes that a major failing of Congress, and a succession of administrations, is the lack of a "coherent energy policy." Thinks there's a lot of untapped potential in developing domestic sources of energy. Supports looking into more oil drilling, including in the ANWAR, but not necessarily offshore drilling. Supports nuclear, if it can be done safely. Says we need fossil fuels now and in the near future, but must find ways to cut down on their use in an affordable way. Would promote weatherization of homes and fuel efficient vehicles as "common sense approaches." Supports efforts to expand inexpensive natural gas opportunities for Maine consumers: Doing this will promote clean water and air, reduce reliance on foreign sources of fuel, and create clean energy jobs for the future, he says. Thinks "special interests" are standing in the way of progress on the energy front.  
  Does not support the Affordable Care Act. Would vote to repeal the act, and replace it with a plan that includes elements that both parties have already endorsed, such as covering pre-existing conditions and allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines. Thinks it's "regrettable" that the ACA was not crafted in a "bipartisan way." Thinks the Affordable Care Act was a step in the right direction, but believes more must be done. Advocates for moving Maine to the Boston market rate for Medicare reimbursement, which he says would help ensure provider access in rural areas and stabilize health care costs in Maine. Supports the ACA's provision allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance longer and the provision that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Also supports the ACA's tax credits to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance, and says the insurance exchanges the bill requires will provide greater "purchasing power" for individuals and small businesses.  
  Political Gridlock  
  Agrees with his former boss, Sen. Olympia Snowe, that Washington is "broken." Believes he represents a Maine tradition of working across the aisle to solve problems. Quote: "Right now in Washington, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Believes partisanship is preventing good ideas that could help the nation from being brought forward. Says a big part of the gridlock problem is on the Senate side, where any one member can filibuster and hold a bill up. He is one of a few members of Congress who are suing to end the Senate filibuster because they believe it "halts progress and is not an efficient, effective means to doing our business." Supports the "No Budget, No Pay" bill, which would require members of Congress to pass a budget in order to get paid.  
  Is pro-choice on abortion, and believes that the government has "no appropriate role" in decisions involving early pregnancy. "A government intrusive enough to get between a woman, her family and her doctor is a government intrusive enough to get between a gun owner and his gun, or between a protester and his freedom of speech." He would vote to ban all post-viability abortions except those necessary to avoid threats to the life or health of the mother. Says Roe v. Wade is "the law of the land" and opposes efforts to restrict private health insurance options and to criminalize physicians. Says he supports the current ban on federal funding of abortion.  
  Same-Sex Marriage  
  Opposes same-sex marriage. Believes marriage is "between a man and a woman." Thinks the rights of committed same-sex couples should be protected through civil unions or other measures. Believes that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, as long as religious freedoms are protected - and he says "they are under the question on the ballot this year in Maine."  
  Social Security  
  Believes the system should be strengthened and preserved for the future. Would consider raising the retirement age for younger Americans and isn't "wild" about means testing, but wouldn't rule it out. Believes the Social Security system should be strengthened, and opposes privatization or "any measures which would weaken it." Says it's also important to balance the federal budget to make sure the Social Security Trust Fund is protected from government raids.  
  Thinks Medicare (and Social Security) is headed "off the cliff" and needs reform. Says he "strongly opposes" Paul Ryan's plan "to turn Medicare into a voucher program." Instead, he would require that the federal government negotiate the costs of prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program, "an approach already used by the VA in providing affordable medications to our nation's veterans." Says the Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare by "eliminating billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse without cutting benefits to seniors."  
  Calls for seeking ways to make the tax system more simple and fair, and thinks the country has a tax problem, not a spending problem. Would encourage business through "innovative" tax policies. Favors extending Bush-era tax cuts across the board. Says he "remains to be convinced" that raising taxes would help reduce the deficit. Did not sign the Grover Norquist "no taxes" pledge because he believes it's "counterproductive to draw lines in the sand." Does not support the Grover Norquist "no taxes" pledge, and says it "has a lot to do with why Congress is broken." He says it hamstrings members of Congress from voting "to eliminate tax incentives that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas or repeal unneeded tax giveaways to the oil industry." He says the pledge also prevents action on overall tax reform, which he says most Americans agree is necessary, "regardless of political affiliation."  
  Foreign Policy  
  On Iran, says it would be a "dereliction of duty" to allow Iran to become a nuclear power because it would be destablizing for the Middle East and theaten Israel. Thinks it would be irresponsible to signal to Iran that military action is off the table. On Afghanistan, supports ending the conflict as soon as possible without giving a specific date. Applauds American troops for their "hard work and incredible sacrifice" and says they've done an "outstanding job" in Afghanistan. But he says the mission there has been accomplished. "Osama bin Laden has been killed and Al Qaeda has largely been driven from Afghanistan," he says, and thinks it's time to bring the troops home "at as fast a pace as possible." On Iran, he says "the world can't afford a nuclear Iran." Supports the "serious economic sanctions" imposed on Iran. Says the U.S. should "exhaust every peaceful diplomatic channel necessary to convince Iran to end its nuclear program."  











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