Q&A with U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer
Patch asks the incumbent Democrat about some hot topics in this year's election.
Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is an incumbent seeking to retain his seat in the 5th District this fall. Below are his responses to some of the hot legislative topics important to local voters.
Bowie Patch: Would you support the federal DREAM Act, similar to the Maryland DREAM Act, which would provide conditional permanent, residence to illegal immigrants who meet specific criteria, including arriving in the U.S. as minors, living in the U.S. for five or more years, and graduating from a U.S. high school, and could lead to eventual permanent residency after completing some college or military service? Please explain your position.
Congressman Steny Hoyer: Under the Democratic-led Congress, the House passed the DREAM Act in 2010, and I continue to support this legislation, which gives individuals, brought to the United States as minors through no fault of their own, the opportunity to serve and contribute to our nation. I also believe it’s important to continue to work for common sense, comprehensive, and balanced immigration reform. While Democrats have strongly supported and prioritized border enforcement and the Obama administration has sharply increased enforcement efforts, I will continue to make border security a priority and advocate for comprehensive reform that provides immigrants with a fair chance of achieving the American Dream.
Bowie Patch: Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act, or do you support legalizing same-sex marriage at the federal level? Please explain your position.
Hoyer: I do not support the Defense of Marriage Act because I believe it is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Bowie Patch: Do you identify as pro-choice or as pro-life, and why?
Hoyer: I am pro-choice and am committed to protecting women’s full reproductive rights. Access to affordable reproductive health care options is critical to women’s health. I will continue to oppose efforts that restrict women’s right to access the health care options they need, and I’m pleased that the Affordable Care Act is helping to provide quality, affordable preventive care, such as contraception, to women in Maryland and across the country.
Bowie Patch: The interest rate on federal student loans had been set to double to 6.8, but was recently frozen by Congress at 3.4 percent for one more year. Please explain your position on this temporary freeze?
Hoyer: I strongly supported taking action to prevent interest rates from doubling on over 7 million students, and I was pleased Congress was able to pass a bill that ensures over 100,000 students in Maryland will save nearly $1,000 over the lifetime of their loans. In order to remain competitive and ensure Americans have the education and skills needed to find work, we must make higher education more accessible and affordable. During the Democratic-led Congress, I supported historic investments in higher education by increasing the maximum Pell grant award, helping graduates find more flexible repayment options for student loans, and ending wasteful taxpayer subsidies to big banks and directing the savings to students instead. I continue to make investments in education a priority through the Make It In America plan, a jobs initiative I am leading in Congress.
The following biographical material was provided by Hoyer for Congress.
"Congressman Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland serves as House Democratic Whip for the 112th Congress and plays a key role in shaping Democrats’ legislative priorities. He previously served as Majority Leader from 2007-2011. He was first elected to the House in 1981.
Hoyer is spearheading House Democrats’ Make It In America plan to rebuild American manufacturing, increase economic competitiveness, and create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
A firm believer that fiscal responsibility is critical to a strong economy and affording the investments we need for our future, Hoyer led the effort that put the 'PAYGO' principle into law, mandating that our nation must pay for what it buys.
As an advocate of equal opportunity, Hoyer guided the Americans with Disabilities Act to passage in 1990 and was a lead sponsor of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, hailed as the most important voting rights legislation since the 1960’s.
Hoyer and his wife, the late Judith Hoyer, raised their three daughters in Prince George’s and St. Mary’s Counties."
For more information, contact the Hoyer for Congress campaign headquarters at 301-464-5710.
Check out Bowie Patch's Election Guide for more information on candidates and issues in the 2012 election.