Candidate Bio: Tammy Duckworth - 8th District - New York News

Candidate Bio: Tammy Duckworth - 8th District

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Tammy Duckworth is the Democratic candidate to represent Illinois' 8th congressional district. She previously ran for the same position in 2006, and lost the position to Rep. Peter Roskam by only 2 percent.

The Iraq War veteran, Blackhawk helicopter pilot and Purple Heart recipient lost both legs and partial use of her right arm after an explosion. She continues to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Duckworth promises to be a bipartisan voice if elected to Congress, and hopes to work within the federal government to help provide an economic environment where every family has the opportunity to work.

She is running against incumbent Rep. Joe Walsh, a Tea Party conservative and Republican, in the 2012 election.

They recently took part in a debate exclusively on FOX Chicago News, where they explained their positions on issues like immigration, health care and education, and responded to aspects of those issues that most directly affect their constituents.

SEE: 8th Congressional District Debate on WFLD: Walsh vs. Duckworth

Illinois' 8th district covers Chicago's northern suburbs, including Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Gurnee, Palatine, Mundelein, Zion, Barrington, the Cook County portion of Elgin, McHenry, and Woodstock.

On The Issues

The American Dream - Growing up, my family struggled with poverty and unemployment, but through hard work we were able to rebuild our lives and achieve the American Dream. I understand on a deeply personal level the needs of this district. I will work to guarantee that every family has the opportunity to work for and achieve the American Dream, just like my family did. Read more...

Jobs and the Economy - The federal government has an important role to play in strengthening our economy and this will be my first priority once elected to Congress. I propose a combination of short-term programs that will immediately help accelerate and reinvigorate our economy and long-term policy initiatives that will establish lasting growth. My jobs plan includes significant short-term investment in infrastructure, transportation, schools, communication, utilities and education. Long-term priorities include job training, an extension of the payroll tax credit, as well as business tax credits for research, clean energy development and for companies that hire returning Veterans and those who have been unemployed for more than six months. Read more...

Budget, Deficit and Taxes - The success of our economy hinges on how we handle our nation's increasing deficit. Good governing is about making tough, but responsible choices to put our country's economy back on track. The budget deficit can only be reduced with a multi-faceted approach that includes cutting annual government spending, identifying additional savings opportunities and creating an equitable system that will balance the budget and forge a sustainable fiscal path for our economic future. Read more...

Education - Education is the number one indicator of individual success and is vital to our national and economic security. Education is a valuable resource that we need to invest in now to bolster our economic future. We need to invest in our public schools to make them better and more competitive. The U.S. ranks in the middle to the lower portion of industrialized nations in terms of educational performance. As the leading nation in the world on so many other issues, this is unacceptable. Read more...

Bipartisanship - We need to bring an end to the extreme rhetoric and partisanship that is dominating Washington and prohibiting anything from getting accomplished. Party extremism has pushed our government to the brink of failure because Congress has been placing politics before sound policy. Based on my past successes, I know I can be effective in working across party lines on bipartisan legislation. Read more...

Energy, Gas and the Environment - The environment and energy use are major issues of concern for our country. We need to think creatively about how to build an economy that is less dependent on foreign oil and instead champions American clean energy innovations. We need to build the foundation for a clean energy economy. My first priority when discussing energy policy is to put a higher priority on reducing energy use. Read more...

Social Security - Social Security benefits are a promise the U.S. government made to every American who pays in to the system and needs to be safeguarded for future generations. I am willing to consider raising the cap on earnings subject to the payroll tax above $110,100 as a way to strengthen the system. I would also take steps to make sure that the Social Security Trust Fund is repaid in full for the funds it has loaned during decades of surpluses. Read more...

National Defense and Foreign Policy - My experience as a military officer gives me a unique voice in discussions of foreign policy and war. I believe that Congress has an important role in formulating and executing foreign policy. Congress has nearly abdicated its foreign policy role at many points over the last decade, and as a Member of Congress I will work to reverse that trend. As a combat Veteran, I will work to ensure that the next time our country considers going to war again that my colleagues understand the true cost of that decision. Further, having worked at Rotary International, I know the value of international not for profits, diplomacy and foreign aid. As the only global superpower we also have a responsibility to lead in issues of human rights, public health, the environment and diplomacy. Read more...

Afghanistan - We have eliminated much of Al Qaeda's leadership, extinguished the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and rolled back the Taliban's advances. Our troops have done a tremendous job of training the Afghan National Forces. The draw down of U.S. troops in Afghanistan should begin as soon as the Afghan Forces are capable of adequately taking a larger role in defending their country. At the same time, we need to leave Afghanistan responsibly and in such a way that will ensure lasting peace and security. Read more...

Israel - I firmly support the unique relationship between America and Israel. As the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel is a vital strategic ally and a key economic partner to the United States. It is important to me that we continue to build the decades-long partnership between our two nations. One of my top priorities as a Member of Congress will be to support the safety and security of the State of Israel. Read more...

Civil Rights - I believe that every American should have a voice in this country, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, their sexual orientation or their religious creed. This great country was founded by people from many different nations and backgrounds, on the principle that we are all created equal. We honor their legacy with our diversity. When one person's rights are threatened, everyone's rights are diminished. Read more...

Veterans Issues - From one generation to the next, our Veterans have stood up for America. Some are looking to live out their final years with dignity. Some are returning from overseas wounded, with a long rehabilitation ahead. Most are simply looking for a job and an opportunity. They've fulfilled their promise to America, and America should fulfill its promise to them. Read more...

Source: tammyduckworth.com

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