WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Dave Loebsack – Congress (IA – 2)

Oct 29, 2012

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City) says he would use his 4th term in Washington D.C. to continue the fight for the middle class.

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa City)

The Congressman says the United States is slowly getting back on track after a severe recession, which means this is not the time to take the focus off of the middle class.

“(I want to) make sure that those who are in the middle class stay in the middle class and if they are able to do better, that is great,” says Rep. Loebsack.  “(I will) do everything I can as a Congressman to get those who have fallen out of the middle class, over the years, back into the middle class.”

He says one way to help the middle class is to have high-quality jobs available.  He says the key to that is education, in particular, community college education.

Rep. Loebsack says he would like to see regional leaders, including community colleges, getting together to discuss areas of economic improvement.

“To identify where the jobs can be created and what industries are growth industries and making sure the folks at the local level, the stakeholders including the community colleges, are able to come together.”

He says he would also push for the continuation of Pell Grants and low interest loans for students, especially those returning to school to learn a new trade.

Rep. Loebsack says, if re-elected, he would fight efforts to repeal “Obama Care,” push for a balanced budget amendment and support extending some of the “Bush-Era” Tax Cuts.

“(I would) keep in place the ‘Bush-Era’ Tax Cuts for those up to $250,000 (in annual income),” says Rep. Loebsack, “and then $250,000 and above would go back to the (Bill) Clinton Era tax rates.  It would also exempt all of those small businesses at $250,000 and above and it would exempt family farms.”

Two of the most-talked about issues during this campaign have been Medicare and Social Security.

Rep. Loebsack says the key to sustaining Medicare is not turning it into a voucher program.

“To go out on the private insurance market and expect you to get the same type of coverage that you get with Medicare right now is completely out of touch with the reality of health care.”

Rep. Loebsack says Medicare would be much more efficient if it became a system where reimbursements are provided to hospitals based on the quality of care provided, not the state in which they reside.

He says when it comes to Social Security, the program’s future will improve as the economy turns around.  Until then, though, he says the benefits should not be reduced for current or upcoming recipients and the qualifying age should not be increased.

Rep. Loebsack says many people work in jobs that would be very difficult to do into their late 60’s or early 70’s.

When it comes to foreign affairs, Rep. Loebsack says the U.S. needs to continue the tough economic sanctions against Iran.  He says military action can never be taken off the table to make sure the country never secures a nuclear weapon.

Rep. Loebsack also says the U.S. has accomplished its goals in Afghanistan, including bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice, so the troops should come home as soon as possible.  The Congressman currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee and has made multiple trips to the country.