Congressional District 1 – Jeff Ettinger
Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for the 2023 Congress? Why are you running for office?
I know rising costs are hurting everyone. I spent my career focused on making food affordable and finding solutions to big problems, and I have offered a 10-point plan to tackle the crisis of rising costs. Healthcare is another area that’s gotten far too expensive, and that impacts all of us, whether you work on a farm, in a classroom, at a desk, or anywhere else. I was so disappointed to see Brad Finstad vote against lowering drug prices in his very first vote in office.
Economy: Infl ation is at record levels. Do you support the Federal Reserve’s actions to try to control infl ation? What measures can Congress take to stabilize the economy?
I know that inflation has been hard on families all across the district. I am very familiar with controlling costs from my business career, and I have offered a specific plan to tackle the issue of the rising costs of groceries, gas, energy, and more, which you can find on my website, EttingerForCongress.com.
Gun reform: Congress passed legislation in the wake of the school shooting at Uvalde, Texas. Should additional specific measures be taken to curb mass shootings?
I am a supporter of the Second Amendment while recognizing the devastating impact that gun violence and crime can have on our community. I support common-sense gun regulation like universal background checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders that would keep firearms out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others.
Health care: The overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court has put abortion law back in the hands of lawmakers. What action should Congress take?
I believe the Supreme Court made a mistake when they struck down Roe v. Wade. It had been established precedent for over 50 years, and its elimination has created chaos for women all over the country. No matter your personal views on abortion, most people don’t think our country should be turning women or their doctors into criminals. If I’m elected, I’ll work to pass the protections of Roe v. Wade into law.
Education: What is the role of the federal government in ensuring that high school and college graduates are prepared to help companies compete in the global economy?
I am the proud product of public schools, and all four of our kids graduated from Austin High School. We need to do more to recruit teachers to rural areas, update technology in classrooms so that students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, and make investments in transportation so that all kids have a ride to school.
I believe deeply in the mission of our public schools. The federal government should be providing funding for things they mandate districts to do – that’s why I’m for the federal government covering more of the special education costs that fall on school districts small and large across Southern Minnesota. We should build on the bipartisan IDEAS Funding Act that was co-sponsored by Tim Walz when he represented us in Congress.
I think education is the key to equality of opportunity, which is why my wife LeeAnn and I have sponsored four-year college scholarships for 36 Austin grads, most of which are the first generation in their family to attend college.
Environment: Should the mining of precious metals be allowed in northern Minnesota? With or without environmental regulations?
Climate change is one of the most critical issues facing the next Congress. I am committed to addressing climate change to ensure a planet that is livable for my grandchildren. I am also committed to doing so in a way that brings new jobs, particularly in the green energy sector, to the Southern Minnesota economy. As we explore ways to move away from fossil fuels as a nation, our district has a vital role to play in providing the energy solutions of the future.
Immigration: What should be the key principles of any immigration reform legislation?
There hasn’t been a meaningful change in the law since the 1980s because of Congress’ inability to compromise. As a result, our immigration system isn’t working like it should be, and Congress can’t seem to get anything done to make things better. We need more people with real-life experience to change that, not more career politicians.
We should pass a law to make DACA permanent, so that children that were brought here and are contributing to our country aren’t thrown out. Then, we need to work on comprehensive immigration reform, which should include enhanced border security.