Stutzman Wants To Move To Senate To Tackle Debt

WINONA LAKE – Every generation faces its unique set of challenges, and U.S. Senate candidate and Indiana 3rd District Congressman Marlin Stutzman believes that the ever-ballooning U.S. debt is one such challenge facing America today.
Because he’s willing to stand up to both political parties to bring down that debt, he feels very confident going into the Republican May primary against Todd Young and then the November general election against Democrat Baron Hill for retiring Dan Coats’ Senate seat, he said.
“We feel very good,” Stutzman said during an interview at a campaign fundraiser Wednesday night in Winona Lake. “I think this is an election … (where) folks are really frustrated with Washington, D.C., and that they’re tired of Washington picking winners and losers, and that a select few in Washington are doing well and the rest of the country continues to struggle; and Washington’s bureaucratic agencies continue to rain down regulation after regulation; Congress continues to spend more money.
“I’ve been a congressman who has been willing to stand up to both parties and say, ‘Look, spending has got to be held under control,’ and we have $19 trillion of debt in the current budget. They want to increase spending $30 billion more and I’m saying something’s got to stop. So I think my record and our approach to Washington is something that people are feeling refreshed by, that there’s somebody that’s actually going to stand up and fight against the status quo,” he said.
One of the biggest strains on the budget is healthcare, particularly the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, according to Stutzman.
“I’ve heard Todd (Young) say he wants to eliminate major parts of it. I want to repeal all of it and put it back to the states where it belongs, and allow for the states to develop programs just like the Healthy Indiana Plan here in Indiana – it’s helping people. And we can’t have this one-size-fits-all from Washington, and we need to empower the patient, empower families, empower doctors and providers rather than having this large bureaucratic agency out of Washington tell the people in California what their health insurance needs to look like compared to what it needs to look like in Indiana,” Stutzman said.
Going from the House of Representatives to the Senate would increase his influence to get things done, Stutzman acknowledged, as a senator is one of 100 versus one of 435. But the Senate is where a lot of the problems are, he said.
“The filibuster rule is one of those big challenges where bills can’t be passed in the Senate unless you have 60 votes to close the debate, and neither party has had that for any long period of time. Democrats had it briefly there in 2009. It should be hard to pass bills, but it shouldn’t be impossible,” Stutzman said.
He said the filibuster rule is a process that senators hide behind, and he thinks it’s more important that elected officials cast votes on issues than hide behind the process.
“I’m going to continue to fight for Hoosiers and common sense. Being a farmer, when something breaks on the farm, you fix it, and right now Washington is broken and my aim is to fix it,” Stutzman said.
One of the issues facing the Senate now during this election year is the Supreme Court vacancy due to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the bench, but GOP leadership has said it won’t act on any nomination until after the November election, though about 16 Republicans now say they will at least meet with Garland.
“I think it should depend on what the majority Lleader and the will of the majority senators want to do,” Stutzman said. “The president has the right to nominate a justice, which he has done, but it’s a two-step process and the Senate has a responsibility and a right to handle the nominee as they sit fit.”
He said he thinks there is wisdom in waiting, especially with the country in the middle of a presidential race.
“Justice Scalia was a conservative on the court, and more than likely, the nominee that Barack Obama will nominate will be a moderate to liberal justice, so that does swing the Court. We saw that just yesterday in their ruling on labor unions where it was a 4 to 4 split. I’m sure that if President Obama’s nominee had been on the court, it would have been a different ruling. With Justice Scalia, conservatives would have won that ruling. So, I think that there is wisdom in waiting because we need to let the democratic process work itself out with people electing the next president and that will determine the future of the court,” Stutzman explained.
Stutzman is pro-life. On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that women who seek abortions should be subject to “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States. Trump later recanted after attracting instant, bipartisan criticism, according to the New York Times.
Stutzman said he didn’t hear Trump’s comments but only bits and pieces about it.
“My goal is to save every life possible, whether it’s within Congress or outside of Congress,” he said. “Being a survivor myself where my mom was 17 years old when she was pregnant with me, I want to make sure every woman who finds herself in an unexpected pregnancy has the ability and opportunity to provide for the child and save the life.”
Stutzman said Trump speaks for himself and was speaking to a hypothetical right now. “I think we need to show compassion and help any parent, or parents, who are in a situation that they find very difficult,” he stated.
Another issue Stutzman is passionate about, partly because he’s an Indiana farmer, is the Waters of the United States Rule. It defines which waterways fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. Opponents condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, according to
“Again, it’s just the federal government  being a bully. Farmers are facing huge fines across the state for moving their own land one way or another or farming in areas that the federal government has not determined to be their land,” Stutzman said.
If you drive down Ind. 37 south of Indianapolis, Stutzman said you can see orange snow fence all over the place outlining where it’s the federal government’s property.
“They’re claiming land in the name of it being in the Waters of the U.S. and that’s just an abuse of power, and it’s giving private property owners very little ability to control their own property,” Stutzman stated.
Specifically for Indiana and the Warsaw area, as a senator Stutzman said  he’d work to make the Medical Device Tax repeal permanent as that’s been a top priority for him and his office ever since being elected in 2010.
“We’ve seen what it has done. It’s slowed down growth in the medical device industry. So that will be a top priority,” he said.
He’d also make sure the military is strong. “I have continually voted to increase spending for military. Todd Young has voted against that. And so there’s the differences between us that we’re pointing out – he’s voted for the president’s illegal amnesty program, I voted against it,” Stutzman said.
“We’re going to continue to make sure our economy is strong and the federal government is not beating us back.”