|Job description||Represents his/her district in the US House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the legislative branch of the United States. Term is two years.|
|Kenny Marchant (incumbent)|
Note: Candidate answers are shown alphabetically by last name.
What is your current occupation? Educational background? What experiences do you have that make you the best candidate for US Representative?
Jan McDowell: Current Occupation – CPA
Education – Texas Tech University, BA in Journalism/Public Relations
Undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Accounting and Business at UT Dallas
As a citizen who stays informed about the issues, and as a CPA with the financial background to find practical solutions, I am determined to put those skills to work to level the playing field for all Americans.
And having run for this seat in 2016, I have been engaged across the district for over two years, meeting people and getting to know them and their concerns.
I have helped in campaigns for other Democratic candidates, and I have been involved in the community. I registered to vote when I was 18, and I have voted in almost every election at every level since then. So I was a concerned citizen long before I became a candidate.
I’ve raised two daughters to be successful, independent adults, and I’ve seen the challenges faced by seniors as my siblings and I helped our parents navigate their difficult final years.
With a wide variety of life experiences, I think I have a broad perspective to bring to representing constituents all across District 24.
What percentage of your campaign donations comes from individuals? What percentage comes from PACs?
Jan McDowell: 100% individual contributions.
If elected, what would be the first piece of legislation that you would propose?
Jan McDowell: I believe that income is income, and our tax law should reflect that. There should be no distinction between ordinary income (the money you earn in your paycheck or as the profit from your business) and capital gains income (from dividends and the sale of stocks). For some reason, the tax rate on capital gains income is about half the highest rate on ordinary income. Is it a coincidence that the representatives making these rules, and their donors, make most of their income from capital gains?
This phenomenon is how Warren Buffet’s secretary ends up paying taxes at a higher percentage rate than Buffet himself! In addition, there is no Social Security or Medicare tax paid on capital gains income. You absolutely pay those taxes on your wages or business profits.
The first legislation I would propose is one that recognizes all income as income. Whatever rules are set for taxing income should apply equally to all income.
What is your position on the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana? What regulations should there be on marijuana usage?
Jan McDowell: I believe we need to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. The drug remains categorized as Schedule I at the federal level, meaning it has no recognized medical benefits and is wholly illegal, just like LSD and heroin. This is clearly not true. It has been proven to have significant health benefits in treating some conditions. It has recently been shown to be an alternative to opioids in treating pain.
For recreational use, regulations on marijuana should be similar to those in place for alcohol. States that have allowed legal marijuana usage should be consulted to find best practices.
What are your priorities for comprehensive immigration reform?
Jan McDowell: First, for Dreamers, the people who were brought here years ago as children, their situation should be handled separately, and immediately. Beyond the fact that it’s just the right thing to do, our nation has invested for years in their education, and it would be foolish to deport them now, when they are able to fully contribute to our economy. They should have a clear path to citizenship.
On the overall subject of illegal immigration, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally is at its lowest point in more than a decade, according to a study by the Center for Migration Studies. Our country benefits daily from the work done by immigrants, both legal and undocumented. Our diverse tapestry is richer thanks to their sharing of their culture. People in countries less fortunate than ours are trying to do exactly what we all do…providing a good life for their families. They would much prefer to enter the country legally, and it would be a benefit to all if we made that a viable option.
House Speaker Paul Ryan recently said that American women should start having more babies. Otherwise, the number of baby boomers dying each year will continue to outpace the number of babies being born, thus jeopardizing Social Security and Medicare. Democrats, though, see the benefit of having immigrants filling that population gap.
Of course, anyone here illegally who is convicted of a violent crime should be immediately deported. But for the majority, who for the most part are doing everything right…working hard and contributing to their communities, there needs to be a reasonable path provided for them to attain citizenship. Families should be kept together, not torn apart. Simultaneously, the legal immigration system needs to be streamlined, and our laws need to be changed to reflect our beliefs embodied in the Statue of Liberty.
What solutions do you propose for health care system reform?
Jan McDowell: Healthcare is a right of every person, not a privilege for those able to afford it. By whatever name or means necessary, healthcare for all must become a reality in our nation. It is appalling for the United States to be the only very highly developed nation in the world without universal healthcare. Studies have shown that we spend more and achieve poorer outcomes than other developed nations. A reordering of our priorities is clearly called for.
I favor Medicare for all. If that needs to happen incrementally, one suggestion would be to lower the age of eligibility one year at a time until it reaches age 55. That would remove those age 55-64, typically those with the most costly needs, from the private insurance pool. Additionally, drug prices must be negotiable on Medicare, just as they currently are on private insurance plans. Americans’ need for lifesaving medications must not be held hostage to the greed of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists.