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Deseret News - Candidate Questionnaire: GOP Challenger Jason Chaffetz

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1 — Please give — point by point — your solution to the U.S. illegal immigration problem?

▪ FIX LEGAL IMMIGRATION
▪ REJECT AMNESTY
▪ LOCK DOWN THE BORDER, ENFORCE VISAS
▪ HAVE THE POLITICAL WILL TO ENFORCE THE CURRENT LAWS
▪ GET RID OF REWARDS & INCENTIVES TO BE HERE ILLEGALLY
▪ GIVE BUSINESS THE TOOLS & ALIGN FINANCIAL INCENTIVES
▪ INSIST ON ASSIMILATION (English should be the official language of the United States of America)

2 — What specifically should be done about the 12 million or so illegal immigrants who are now in the United States?

"We need a pathway to deportation. To facilitate this pathway to deportation, we should allow people currently here illegally to come forward and apply for a short-term work visa if done in conjunction with a sponsoring legal business. The visa will be for a specified time. At the conclusion of the visa, the illegal immigrant must return to his or her country of origin, or face serious criminal consequences.

"This should be a limited-time offer and any adult person identified without this application in process should be detained and deported. This will allow us to identify illegal immigrants and uniformly return them to their country of origin while allowing a legal workforce, with proper documentation and background checks, to enter the country in a uniform fashion."

3 — Do you favor or oppose some kind of pathway to legal status for the current illegal immigrants?

"For those here illegally, the ONLY pathway to U.S. citizenship is to go home to their country of origin and apply from there. Period. However, fixing our legal immigration process is critical. Those who apply legally, the way we want them to, should be able to get a timely answer. The process of immigrating legally should not stretch out for decades as it does now."

4 — Utah has a state law that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition to public colleges and universities. Do you favor or oppose that law? And do you believe Congress should pass a similar law?

"I oppose in-state tuition for those who are here illegally. The whole principle is wrong. We should not offer rewards and incentives for those who are here illegally. We must reward those who follow the rules, not those who have broken them."

5 — What specifically can you do to make sure Congress comes up with an illegal immigration solution over the next two years of your term?

"Each member of Congress has political capital to spend. I intend to spend my political capital on the immigration issue by joining the Immigration Reform Caucus and working with like-minded members of Congress to sponsor and co-sponsor immigration reform related bills."

6 — Does Congress have any role in providing affordable gasoline to Americans over the next two years? If so, what should Congress do?

"First, we must remove the restrictions that government has placed on energy development in this country. We have to be able to extract the resources found here in Utah, throughout the United States and off our shores. Secondly, reducing federal spending and debt will naturally help the falling dollar recover its value, which will directly impact the price we pay for all imported goods, including oil."

7 — It appears now that Republicans will not be in the majority in the U.S. House next year. What can you do to make yourself effective as a member of the minority party?

"I intend to stand true to the conservative principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability, and strong national security. Republicans need to articulate our stand on the issues and the principles that drive those positions. We need to make a case to the American people that we have a better, smarter way to govern. Further, I plan to join like-minded representatives in the Reagan 21 group, the Immigration Reform Caucus, and others to fight business as usual in Washington, DC. I will reach across the aisle, but without sacrificing my principles."

8 — Much has been made recently of so-called "spending earmarks" — where a congressman gets funding for specific projects in his district in a budget bill. Do you personally favor or oppose such "earmarks" in spending bills? Will you put "earmarks" into funding bills for the 3rd District?

"I unequivocally oppose the abusive use of earmarks. I will not ask for an earmark until this process is changed. I will seek funding through the normal appropriation process. I am appalled that members of Congress, especially Mr. Cannon, will not reveal what earmarks they're requesting. My refusal to ask for earmarks is found at www.earmarkpledge.com."

9 — Congress has not adopted a balanced budget in years. Do you believe it is desirable, or even possible, to have a balanced federal budget? What would you do as a congressman to get a balanced budget?

"We must balance the budget and pay down the debt. Balancing the budget will take political will. I have that will and I'll fight that fight. We can not be all things to all people. We must cut spending at the federal level. This means proactively addressing entitlement programs, the 28% of our 1,100 federal programs that fail to demonstrate results (www.expectmore.gov), reforming earmarks, across the board budget cuts, and taking a business approach to the function of government."

10 — This past spring there were a number of critics complaining about how the Utah Republican Party selected delegates and oversaw intra-party challenges, including convention fights. Do you believe the party properly handled its internal nominating process? If not, what kind of improvements do you think the party should undertake to make the candidate nominating process better?

"I think the Republican Party has a big job and they do it well. I do have concerns about "automatic delegates" that I would like to have addressed. I appreciate that party leaders are now looking at providing a mechanism for delegates to make their e-mail addresses available to campaigns. Overall, I appreciate the delegate process and find it the best way to select a candidate to represent the party."

11 — How should the Iraqi War be brought to a conclusion?

"Our troops have restored order to the country, but we desperately need a political solution so we can bring our troops home sooner rather than later. We are moving in the right direction but the diplomatic efforts need better results."

12 — How long do you think American troops should be in Iraq?

"I don't believe you can set an arbitrary timeline, but I don't want to see our troops in Iraq for decades, as some have advocated. The goal should be complete withdrawal over a reasonable time period, sooner rather than later."

13 — Can you now promise not to vote to raise taxes over the next two years?

"I have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and can absolutely promise I will not vote to raise taxes during my term. Government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem."

14 — What role do you think religion should play in America's political and governmental life?

"The proper role of government is to protect our religious liberties. We the people must be able to practice our religious freedoms. We are a nation of faith, inspired by God, and we must never forget the role religion has played in the foundation and formation of our country. We are "one nation under God," and we should not forget this nor should we shy away from it."

15 — Utah's two U.S. senators are split over whether the federal constitution should be changed to protect the flag. Do you favor or oppose such an amendment?

"I am in favor of a constitutional amendment to protect the flag of the United States of America."

16 — Do you favor or oppose a U.S. constitutional amendment recognizing only traditional marriage, between one man and one woman?

"I favor a constitutional amendment as I believe marriage should be exclusively the union of one man and one woman. The American family is the cornerstone of this great country, and I will work tirelessly to protect its sanctity."

17 — Do you favor or oppose new nuclear power plants in the United States? In Utah?

"I support the development of additional nuclear power facilities in this country and in Utah. Nuclear energy has many advantages. It's clean, it's proven, and we can own the technology. We haven't built a nuclear power plant in this country in decades. That must change. We're going to have to accelerate legal authorization and environmental impact studies to pave the way for additional nuclear development. I oppose the importation of nuclear waste from other countries, and I oppose the utilization of Yucca Mountain."

18 — In your opinion, is global warming a fact? If not, what do you think is happening, if anything, to the Earth's climate?

"I believe global warming is a farce. Certainly the earth experiences patterns of climate change, as it has throughout time. I reject the notion that mankind is able to control those patterns or that we are solely to blame. Surely pollutants from around the world effect our environment, and we should be conservative in our approach. We have a stewardship of this planet and we must pursue cleaner energy and alternative fuels. I reject cap and trade policies that buy and sell credits for carbon emissions."

19 — Why would you make a better congressman than your Republican opponent?

"I intend to spend my political capital on the issues that matter most to Utah. I am passionate, tenacious, and driven by principle. Mr. Cannon has squandered his opportunities on issues Utahns don't care about and he hasn't been able to address the ones we do care about. I will fight to cut spending, develop a national energy policy, fix illegal immigration, and get the federal government out of local education. These are the issues Utahns want their Congressman to address."

20 — What is your greatest strength in being a congressman, what is your GOP opponent's greatest weakness?

"My greatest strength and my opponent's greatest weakness are the same — the ability to communicate. I will passionately articulate Utah's position to Washington. I will always make listening to constituents a priority for myself and my staff. Communication is a two-way street. Utahns deserve someone who can listen to them and then effectively articulate our perspective and values in Washington."


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