Judy Feder (D)
FAMILY: Husband, Stan Feder; Sons Lester and Sam Feder; Daughter-in-law (Sam’swife), Sara Feder
EDUCATION: BA, Politics, Brandeis University; PhD, Government, Harvard University
OCCUPATION: Professor and Dean
EMPLOYMENT: Georgetown University Public Policy Institute
CAMPAIGN ADDRESS: 46950 Jenning’s Farm Dr., Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20164
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 703-433-1310
BEST BOOK YOU READ THIS YEAR: The Time Traveler’s Wife
FAVORITE MOVIE: An Affair to Remember
QUALIFICATIONS: 20-year resident of Fairfax County; Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Dept. of Health and Human Services; Staff Director, Pepper Commission.
1. Was the Iraq war a mistake? Why or why not?
Yes, because it has become a breeding ground for terrorists and, as we have learned from the National Intelligence Estimate that has recently come to light, a rallying point for terrorists world wide. But even though I opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning, I believe we will be even less safe if we immediately withdraw without stabilizing the region, and we cannot abandon the people of Iraq.
2. Five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, what more could be done to protect America? What limits on civil liberties are acceptable?
We should fully implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, including meaningful chemical plant security and complete cargo screening. We must pursue the war in Iraq in a way that makes us safer and that does not exacerbate the war on terror.
And we must give the President and the intelligence community every possible tool to surveil suspected terrorists. But what we must not and cannot do is allow the constitution and the balance of powers it enshrines to be undermined. Just as Congress and the courts must recognize that the President has the job of protecting the American people, the President must recognize that Congress and the Courts have an oversight role. Our soldiers are also safer because of the Geneva Conventions, and we undermine it at our peril.
3. What is the nation's best long-term strategy in combating terrorism?
The struggle against terrorism is both a problem of security and diplomacy. While working tirelessly to ensure that our borders, ports, power and chemical plants, and airports are secure and working with our allies to destroy terrorist infrastructure around the globe, we must regain our place as a beacon of hope and opportunity to the rest of the world. Military strength must work hand in hand with fostering political and economic opportunity in countries currently under repressive regimes and cultural and political exchanges that promotes dialogue with parts of the world where terrorists find support.
4. In light of recent corruption scandals in Congress, do you believe reforms are needed? What would you propose?
It is amazing that, after a year in which more than one congressman has pled guilty to corruption charges, Congress has been completely unable to pass reforms. And it is even sadder that the earmark system that encourages corruption wastes millions of tax dollars at a time when we have record deficits. We need comprehensive lobbying reform bill that requires full disclosure of earmark requests, would ban travel on corporate jets, prohibit lobbyist gifts, slow the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street, shut down the “K Street” project in which jobs in lobbying firms were traded for legislative favors and put an end to the procedural abuses that have flourished in Frank Wolf’s House.
5. What should be done about the 45 million Americans who are living without health insurance?
Like most Americans, I believe everybody should have the care they need at a price they can afford. This goal is far out of reach, and, realistically, it is not one that we can get to overnight, or even in the next session of Congress. There are many important things we can achieve in the 110th Congress, however, including: Implementing common-sense measures to reduce costs, like allowing Medicare Part D to negotiate the best prices for prescription drugs, investing in training and technology so that patients get the right care instead of unnecessary procedures and treatments, and reforming the FDA to bring generic medications to market; invest those savings in expanding coverage, closing Medicare Part D’s coverage gaps, reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and expanding Medicaid to cover as many low-income Americans as possible.
6. President Bush's signature education law, No Child Left Behind, requires high-stakes testing in all public schools. What is your view of the law? Should it be reformed? Why or why not?
The goals of No Child Left Behind are laudable. We must ensure students are receiving the education they deserve and making measurable progress each year. But after passing NCLB, Congress abandoned the commitment it made to America’s children and schools.
It has routinely underfunded NCLB, leaving schools saddled with a federally imposed burden they do not have the resources to manage. We need to fulfill the promise made to American schools by fully funding NCLB.
7. The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the federal deficit will grow to $286 billion in 2007 and to $1.76 trillion over the next decade. How would you address this?
President Bush and Frank Wolf have been spending money like drunken sailors, digging a deep hole that we cannot climb out of overnight. They have squandered the nation’s resources at precisely the time that we need to be saving to meet the needs of the baby boom generation. We must restore pay-as-you-go budgeting rules to make sure we bring our budgets into balance, we must curb wasteful earmarks and giveaways to special interests like oil companies and drug companies, and make hard choices about the nation’s priorities.
8. What is the best way to deal with the record high oil prices of recent years?
Ending our addiction to oil should be a top priority for the sake of Americans security, prosperity, and health. We must eliminate federal giveaways to oil companies, which could save taxpayers more than $48 billion, and invest in alternative fuels and improving efficiency. We can double the number of E85 ethanol pumps — a fuel that can power many cars already on the road — within one year, make hybrid cars more affordable by helping consumers upgrade to more efficient cars, and invest in long-term alternatives like wind, solar, hydrogen, and biofuels.
9. While the economy has grown in the last five years, the wages of middle- and low-income Americans has stagnated. How would you address the income disparity between the very wealthy and the rest of the working America?
A raise in the minimum wage is long overdue, and Frank Wolf and his leadership in the House shamefully blocked its passaging by attaching it to a provision they new would kill it in the Senate. We also must work to help working Americans keep up with the skyrocketing costs of health care, higher education, and the other keys to long-term prosperity.
10. Opinion polls suggest that the international community views the United States in a negative light. Does this matter? If so, what can the United States do to repair its standing with the rest of the world?
This absolutely matters — our moral authority has been vital to our ability to address crises around the world and keep ourselves safe it home. President Bush’s reckless policies have sadly undermined this, making us ineffective in helping bring peace to the Middle East and containing the nuclear threat from North Korea and Iran.
For the following questions, please respond with a yes or no answer.
1. The minimum wage has been $5.15 since 1997. Is it time to increase it?
2. Congress is considering the elimination of the federal estate tax, which requires the wealthiest 2 percent of all Americans to pay taxes on inherited property. Do you believe the estate tax should be discontinued?
3. Is global warming real?
4. On Nov. 7, your name will appear on the same ballot as a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Considering the full text of the amendment, will you vote for it?
5. If President Bush's tax cuts are made permanent, $2.2 trillion would be added to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Would you vote to extend the tax cuts past the 2010 expiration date?
6. Should the United States have higher fuel economy standards for vehicles?
7. Do you believe in evolution?
8. Should electronic voting machines be required to have verified voting paper trails?
9. Do you believe the sectarian violence in Iraq is a civil war?
Without having seen the intelligence and the situation on the ground first-hand, I cannot make this judgment. But getting honest and clear answers about the situation in Iraq will be my top priority if elected.
10. Should the federal government fund stem cell research?
11. The United States is one of the few countries that has refused to sign a global ban on land mines. Would you vote to sign the treaty banning the use of land mines?
Until the military has found an adequate replacement for land mines in situations like the Korean Peninsula, we should retain the right to use landmines. However, we can move faster towards replacing the most harmful kinds of antipersonnel mines, and the Pentagon should make finding substitutes for antipersonnel mines a priority so that we have the option of joining the mine ban in the future.
12. California has enacted the nation's toughest restrictions on air pollution, requiring a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide pollution. Should similar action be taken for the rest of the country?
13. Do you support "Net Neutrality," which would guarantee that every website on the Internet loads at an equal rate of speed?
14. Do you believe that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision that overturned state laws banning abortion, should be overturned?
15. Would you support a guest worker program for illegal immigrants that would lead to citizenship?
I believe that our current situation is a threat to our security—people entering our country illegally are not screened for security risks, and it is unsafe to have millions living in the shadows. I support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that will tighten and secure the border and bring undocumented people out of the shadows by giving them a path to citizenship that fines them for breaking the law and requires they paid all owed taxes.