JASON CONGER ON THE ISSUES

BUDGET; TAXES; DEFICIT REDUCTION

Spending Restraint/Deficit Reduction that ends preferential policy-making in Washington, D.C.

Permanent moratorium on pork-barrel projects or earmarks

End all forms of corporate welfare

Start systematically reducing unnecessary federal spending, eliminating government waste and reduce the deficit immediately

Temporarily freeze non-defense, non-veterans, discretionary spending. Until deficit reduction targets are met, allow increases only with supermajority votes

Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.

Tax reform and simplification that begins with working and middle-class family tax relief

Level the playing field that’s now tilted against parents.

Tax relief for parents of younger children that applies to income and payroll taxes.

Simplify and consolidate tax brackets and eliminate some deductions and loopholes.

Eliminate preferential treatment and subsidies for the well-connected and special interests that come at the expense of ordinary Americans.

Eliminate the marriage penalty throughout the federal tax code.

Lower the foreign income tax rate below the current 35% rate to bring those revenues home to be invested in the United States.

Encourage U.S. innovation and development of new technology – increase R&D tax credit and make the new rate permanent.

Welfare reform that promotes opportunity and upward mobility for underprivileged families so they can work their way into the middle class

Eliminate marriage penalties in welfare regulations.

Consolidate federal safety net programs and emphasize simplicity, adequacy of benefits, accountability, and self-reliance.

Ensure that all safety-net programs have job-seeking or job training/education requirements for able adults.

Initiate programs that encourage and help lower-income individuals and families build wealth.

HEALTHCARE REFORM; REPEAL OBAMACARE

Repeal Obamacare and replace with patient-centered healthcare reform that drives down the cost of healthcare.

We need true healthcare reform that’s the same for Washington, D.C. and the rest of the country.

We need true healthcare reform that addresses the real problem of people with pre-existing conditions.

Treat Congress like the rest of the country when it comes to Obamacare or any healthcare reform.

Make real the guarantee that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Keep the promise that Jeff Merkley and Barack Obama made to Americans – and broke.

Guarantee protection for Americans who remain continuously enrolled in insurance plans.

Broaden the criteria to form association health plans and individual membership associations in order to lower insurance costs and create more options for people with pre-existing conditions.

Allow people to buy insurance across state lines so there’s more competition in the insurance market and consumers have more choices.

Provide generous tax benefit to all Americans to enable them to purchase at least catastrophic insurance coverage, and further policies to provide access to coverage for the sick and the poor.

Reduce government mandates that drive up cost of insurance.

Tort reform to end lawsuit abuse and slash the costs of defensive medicine.

EDUCATION

K-12

Allow states to opt out of “No Child Left Behind.”

Limit the role of the federal government. Federal government has an appropriate role in providing research, information and resources to help schools, teachers and administrators develop the best practices available, but should never be in the position of dictating a national standard for curricula or teaching.

Empower states and local school districts to structure education programs to accommodate the needs and circumstances of the community. Eliminate nationally imposed standards.

Expand educational choice options for underprivileged families so parents and students, regardless of their income level, can choose the education they think is best.

Post-Secondary

Restructure federal college aid to encourage students and institutions to consider the cost/benefit to students of obtaining any particular degree and give students a realistic prospect of: (a) starting their career immediately after graduating and (b) earning enough to pay their student loans back.

Reform federal financial aid programs so they don’t encourage increased student borrowing, which has forced more money into the system and contributed to unsustainable cost inflation in higher education leading to a vicious cycle where ever greater aid is required to fund the ever more expensive system.

Reward accelerated degree programs concentrated on core courses that lead to high demand degrees and skills after fewer years in college.

IMMIGRATION

Enforce the border first. The first reform to our now dysfunctional immigration system must involve effective enforcement along the border and at the job site.

Oppose amnesty. The concept of amnesty would only encourage more illegal immigration.

Create temporary visa or adjusted-status programs that allow law-abiding currently undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States (as non-citizens) to work in agriculture and other industries if they have a community-based sponsor (such as a church, association or employer).

Reform the temporary visa program for high-skilled workers from foreign countries so U.S. companies have the workforce they need to be competitive globally.

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Recognize long term stewardship of the land by farmers and ranchers benefits all of us.

Review and simplify federal regulations to ensure that the rules are clear and effective, but do not create sunk costs or favor large corporations over family owned agriculture. Eliminate policies that do not encourage sustainability, healthy ecology, clean air and water and protect public health.

Put people back to work in Oregon’s federal forests.

Fight for an effective, long-term solution on federal O&C timberlands for Western Oregon’s forested communities that emphasizes balance, local funding stability, fire prevention and forest health.

Restore active management to O&C lands and other federal forest lands across Oregon to create middle class jobs, help struggling rural families and communities, and save the state’s remaining timber industry.

ABORTION

This is a complex and sensitive issue for individuals on all sides. It’s important that we address the issue – and each other – with civility and respect. For Jason, that means speaking the truth in love. He believes that life begins at conception. He is opposed to abortion except in the case of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.

MARRIAGE

Jason believes it’s as important how we approach this issue as what position we ultimately take. In other words, we should address the issue – and each other – with sensitivity and respect. Jason believes marriage has always been, and should remain, between a man and a woman.

SECOND AMENDMENT

Jason has always openly supported the Second Amendment as it is plainly written and intended. He believes, along with the Supreme Court, that the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms applies specifically to individuals.

FOREIGN POLICY

U.S. foreign policy must be grounded in our nation’s founding principles – that all men and women are endowed with certain inalienable rights, especially those articulated in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Movements and governments that support democracy, free trade, human rights and global stability support and strengthen the U.S. national interest. Our foreign policy ought to back those governments and groups that work to create greater opportunity for freedom to flourish. We must engage and strengthen those groups who promote these principles everywhere.

A strong, modernized U.S. military is the best guarantee of peace and stability in the world today. That said, the United States cannot be – should not be – the globe’s cop on the beat. We must be ready to confront our enemies and respond quickly when they attack our interests, assets or allies. But we must be equally discerning in determining when and how to use American military power.

From the lack a response to the brutal attack on the U.S. ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi to the ham-handed “red-line” response to Syrian chemical weapons, the Obama administration has permitted our enemies to see us as weak and unwilling to take appropriate action to defend our interests. This only invites more attacks. The on-going lack of clarity about the U.S position in the Middle East has compromised our influence in the region and has emboldened our enemies.

The United States has no better friend in the Middle East than Israel, and Israel should have no better friend in the Middle East – and, indeed, the world – than the United States. Our special relationship with Israel is a result of our mutual commitment to democracy, human rights and regional stability. Israel, like every other democratic nation, is entitled to defend itself and protect its citizens from harm. The Jewish state and other friendly states in this dangerous region should have no doubt that the United States will stand with them. Sadly, there are doubts today, and this region is a more dangerous place as a result.

A nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable. It’s a danger to the United States and an existential threat to Israel, which Iranian leaders have said repeatedly threatened to destroy. In addition, a nuclear-armed Iran threatens to trigger an arm race in the region, undermines the fragile balance of power in the Middle East. United States should stand with Israel and other allies in thwarting Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The Obama administration’s recent deal with Iran makes Neville Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement look like a model of wisdom and far-sightedness.

Elsewhere, the recent “Asian-pivot” in U.S. foreign policy must be more closely linked to our core principles. As China grows in economic strength and global power, the United States should carefully work with its leadership to ensure that they shoulder more responsibility in promoting and securing the principles of the U.N. Charter on Human Rights.