J.D. Scholten, candidate for the Iowa 4th Congressional District, visited Denison on Sunday to discuss his reasons for running and what he hopes to do if elected.
He took questions from the audience for about 30 minutes.
Asked about what he would do for working people, Scholten said the recent tax cut enacted by Congress was aimed mostly at “the 1%” and corporations.
“It benefits the corporations that buy back their own stock, which used to be illegal,” he said. “What we’re seeing in that bill is a blatant attack on the middle class.”
He is for raising the minimum wage and fighting for jobs that pay $55,000 to $75,000.
Scholten said he would “scrap the cap” on Social Security witholding from salaries above $125,000 to keep the program solvent.
He is for “Medicare for all” to help fix the health insurance crisis because the Medicare infrastructure is already in place.
“I want us to live a free, productive and successful life and a lot of that starts with having healthcare and putting care above profits,” he said. “Other countries have figured it out. We’re the only country that has just not figured it out.”
Asked about women’s issues, Scholten said he worked to find commonality with both sides.
He said he believes everyone in Iowa wants to reduce abortion but he doesn’t think the federal government should get between a woman and her doctor.
Scholten said a study from Indiana showed that the most effect way to get a woman to continue with a pregnancy was to enroll her in Medicaid.
Congress plans the cut Medicaid, he said.
He said he is for modernizing the Veterans Administration and deregulating medical marijuana to help veterans who are having problems.
On the subject of funding for education, Scholten said, “Public finance should go to public education.
“I have a tough time when somebody who has never been to public school, whose family members have not been to public school, is running our education system,” he said.
Scholten said he would work with Republicans to find common areas of interest.
An infrastructure program is one such area that President Trump campaigned on, he said.
“From 2011 to 2013, China produced and used more concrete than America did in the entire 20th Century,” he said. “They are building. If we’re not building, we’re falling behind.”
Every Democrat and half of the Republicans in Congress are for the Dream Act, but nothing is being done in the House or Senate, he said.
“When 90 percent of people want something and our Congress is not allowing it to happen, that’s unacceptable,” he said.
“We absolutely need to modernize our visa program to match our modern economy. We need a pathway to residency and we need a pathway to citizenship. We need secure borders but we need people to have the opportunity for people to earn the right to become an American citizen.”
He said he likes to use a quote from Ronald Reagan’s farewell address, in which Reagan talked about America being the shining city on the hill.
“The city had walls and the walls had doors for all who had the will and the heart to be here,” Scholten said.
He said Reagan and Steve King, the 4th District incumbent, are far apart on immigration.
Kicking undocumented immigrants out of the country would have a huge negative effect on businesses because workers are needed.
“The other part is - would they be here if people weren’t hiring?” Scholten asked.
He said, if elected, he would push back against Trump and King.
“I have this fire burning in me because I cannot live with what is happening nationally,” he said.