Darin LaHood, Congress 16th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Election 2024
Congress 16th District candidate Darin LaHood

Full Name: Darin LaHood

What office are you seeking? U.S. Representative, 16th Congressional District of Illinois

What offices, if any, have you previously held? U.S. Representative - 18th Congressional District of Illinois (2015-Present) Illinois State Senator - 37th State Senate District of Illinois (2011-2015) Assistant U.S. Attorney - Las Vegas - Department of Justice (2001-2006)

Assistant States Attorney - Cook County, Illinois (1999-2002)

City: Dunlap, Illinois

Occupation: U.S. Representative for the 18th Congressional District of Illinois

Education: Loras College, BA in Political Science (1990)

John Marshall Law School, JD (1997)

Campaign Website: lahoodforcongress.com

What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by Republicans in 2017, I supported the doubling of the child tax credit, which incentivized work and support for young families. I continue to support that investment. The American Rescue Plan, passed by President Biden and Democrats, incentivized individuals to stay home without any encouragement to enter the workforce and has resulted in runaway inflation that is hurting lower- and middle-income families. With COVID-19, mandates, forced closures, and labor shortages, we should support responsible policies to help support families and grow our economy.

Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?

As a supporter of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which benefited Americans in the lowest income brackets the most, I believe we should reduce Americans’ tax burden. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a once-in-a-generation piece of legislation that empowered Americans to keep more of their hard-earned income, spurred record investment, significantly reduced unemployment rates, and brought jobs back to the United States.

Democrats in Washington want to reverse the gains we made from tax cuts and instead, increase taxes on corporations and individuals. The negative effects of Democrats’ tax and spend proposals would be drastic, increasing taxes at a time when many Illinois residents are still feeling the negative effects of Governor Pritzker’s state-mandated closures and exacerbating the impact of runaway inflation.

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we reduced taxes on corporations, including small businesses in Illinois, which incentivized investment and brought jobs back to our country. Democrats under President Biden want to increase America’s corporate tax rates, which would ship jobs overseas, make us less competitive in countering China, and cause Americans to continue to pay more at the grocery store and the gas pump.

On the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all tax policy, I continue to support policies that reduce the tax burden on Illinois families and grow our business community.

Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?

See answer to question 12.

Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?

See answer to question 12.

Would support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?

See answer to question 12.

Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?

I oppose raising taxes on capital gains. The top industry in Illinois is agriculture. I am proud to represent the 10th largest corn and soybean producing district in the nation. Policies like raising taxes on capital gains or repealing the step-up in basis tax would devastate family-owned farms in Illinois and our rural communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?

The COVID-19 pandemic identified gaps in US preparedness, including the ability to address challenges in our supply chains. Moving forward, we must support a proactive trade agenda that provides robust market access for our companies and consumers. We must ensure we are able to compete and rely less on countries like China and other malign economic actors and encourage policies that protect American supply chains, jobs, and the economy.

How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?

Invest in and incentivize American research and development. Lowering taxes and reducing regulation to make our industries more competitive than those around the world. In our trade policy, we also need to ensure that American intellectual property is protected from bad actors like China and Russia.

What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?

First, we should make the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent to ensure low- and middle-income Americans keep more of their hard-earned paychecks. We must address rising inflation – we cannot continue reckless spending policies proposed by the Biden Administration that will make everything from gas to groceries more expensive. We must support innovation and access to high-quality health care in rural communities. Instead of getting the federal government more involved in individuals’ health care choices, we should support policies that allow for innovation to help lower the cost of prescription drugs and ensure access to care – including telemedicine and increased mental health services. Lastly, we should continue to expand access to rural broadband, which is critical to communities and education in central and northwestern Illinois.

Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?

I oppose federal mandates requiring individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That is a decision that individuals can make in consultation with their own doctor. I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 because I believe it’s the best decision to protect my family and myself. I’d encourage every individual to talk to their doctor about it if they have not already.

How do you feel about mask mandates?

I do not support mask mandates, especially in our schools. Our kids have suffered significantly because of Governor Pritzker’s forced mandates and lockdowns. The mental health impact on children has set many back in school, and I don’t support continuing to force students to wear masks. At this point, individuals can assess their own risk and make decisions for themselves about whether or not they want to wear a mask.

Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?

While we learned significantly and adapted quickly at the onset of COVID-19, we must work to continue to invest in our own supply chains, increase the competitiveness of our businesses, invest in updating infrastructure, and increase public health awareness.

Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?

We should take each instance or pandemic separately, but broadly I don’t support new unilateral regulations at the federal level that infringe upon Americans’ freedoms. While I supported several of the bipartisan COVID-19 legislative packages Congress passed during the beginning of the pandemic, we cannot continue to spend at record levels.

Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?

Support for the Medicare program is vital for our seniors. I support ensuring that as Americans head toward retirement, they have access to Medicare. However, we need to significantly invest in reforms to entitlement spending so programs including Medicare and Social Security are around for future generations.

What are the top two threats to our national security?

While there are many threats to our national security, particularly as technology modernizes and space exploration expands, China and Russia present the two top threats to our national security

What should be done to eliminate them?

China is a strategic competitor to the United States and as we look to the future, they present us with some of the biggest national security challenges for military hard power, cybersecurity, and economic manipulation. In Congress, I have worked to focus on these issues on the Republican China Task Force, the bipartisan US-China Working Group, and the House Intelligence Committee. To address the challenges presented by China, America needs to invest in our military, work with our like-minded allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen our economies, and grow American innovation to keep up with the Chinese government’s investments in their military and subsidized state-owned businesses.

On Russia, it’s clear in recent months that Vladimir Putin wants to shake the world with his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is a thug, a dictator, and a war criminal. The United States should continue to provide Ukraine with humanitarian assistance, defensive weapons, and share information with our allies. In the long run, we must invest in our own military and continue to work with our allies to strengthen the NATO alliance.

What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?

I believe that the climate is changing, but I disagree with Democrats on the way to address these issues. Democrats are pushing destructive Green New Deal policies that will crush American jobs, our economy, and the way of life for many Americans. We should be reducing regulations on America’s energy sector and unleashing our energy independence, including renewable energy.

What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?

Nuclear power provides twenty percent of our nation’s energy, much of which is emission-free. I support nuclear energy, which has a robust industry in Illinois. In Congress, I have introduced legislation to help expand investment in Illinois’ nuclear power and protect jobs in the industry.

Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.

Yes, I believe in an all of the above energy approach. This includes oil and natural gas, but also biofuels, wind, nuclear, and other sources. The United States should not constrain our energy production, as the Biden Administration has done, driving up costs for consumers. In Illinois, we have a strong renewable energy sector including ethanol, other biofuels, and wind energy. We should tap into these resources to diversify our energy sector, which is why I’ve introduced bills to support our farmers and biofuels producers and invest in wind energy.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

As a father of three boys and a practicing Catholic, I am proud to be pro-life and have a strong record in Congress of supporting pro-life policies. I oppose abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or a life-threatening impact to the mother.

Is the immigration system a problem in this country? If so, what is your plan to fix it?

As a descendant of Lebanese immigrants, I believe strongly in our legal immigration system and we should continue to support those who want to come here legally and live out the American dream. However, under President Biden, we are seeing the consequences of open border policies. Illegal immigration and crime are at record highs and deadly fentanyl, which is now the leading killer of people ages 18-45, is flowing across the southern border into communities throughout the country. Since President Biden took office, we have seen record numbers of illegal border crossings. We need to keep Title 42 protections in place, increase border security as we did under President Trump, and increase the resources our border patrol agents receive.

Do American cities have a crime problem?

Yes, in cities across the country, including Chicago, we are seeing crime on the rise. Democrats across the country have pushed defund the police policies, demonized cops, and instituted measures that weaken our police forces. As a result, we’ve seen violent crime rise.

If so, what is your suggestion to solve it?

Instead of demeaning law enforcement, we should be investing in our police, hiring more officers, and giving them the resources they need to protect our communities. In Congress, I’ve introduced and supported legislation to increase police pay and hire more officers.

Should police officers have qualified immunity in cases involving alleged excessive force or other misconduct?

I oppose ending qualified immunity. In Illinois, there are civil remedies in place to address allegations made against officers. Ending qualified immunity would harm our police force and discourage qualified individuals from entering law enforcement.

Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?

I am a proud supporter of the 2nd Amendment and FOID card carrier. It is our constitutional right to bear arms and I believe that it shall not be infringed. In Congress, I have been a staunch supporter of Americans’ right to bear arms and will

continue my unwavering support for the 2nd Amendment.

Do you support any restrictions on gun purchases or other stricter gun control measures including citizens’ access to military style weaponry?

See answer to question 35.

Illinois, along with many states across the country, have legalized marijuana making it legal for people to buy and use it. Marijuana, however, is still illegal at the federal level. Do you support legalizing marijuana nationally? Why or why not?

I oppose legalizing marijuana at the federal level. These decisions should be made by states, as Illinois has already done. I believe more research should be done on marijuana before legalizing it at the federal level. I remain concerned about the impact marijuana has on adolescents’ development and its potential as a gateway drug.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Yes. Like many of my constituents, I share the concerns about irregularities in the presidential election in states that circumvented their state legislatures to make election-law changes. The cornerstone of our democracy is the integrity of our election system and ensuring that every vote is cast legally and without controversy is vital to our entire country. Congress and our nation have more work to do to ensure that every citizen has confidence in the electoral system.

Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?

During the counting of the 2020 electoral votes in Congress, I opposed the objections to the electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania, therefore, certifying the results. The Constitution is clear, our elections are entrusted to the states, not Congress. People act through the Electoral College to elect the president, not Congress. As the Constitution outlines clearly, Congress’ power is limited only to counting certified electoral votes that states submit. Congress and the Vice President do not have, nor should we, the authority to take the power of electing a president away from the

people. Overturning the results of the Electoral College would far exceed the power given to Congress and the Vice President in the Constitution, establish poor precedent, and usurp the will of the people. I would not want Vice President Kamala Harris – or any politician – to have the ability to decide which states electoral votes can and cannot be counted.

What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?

The acts of rioting, violence, and criminal acts that took place on January 6 were shameful and it was a bad day for our country. We are a nation of law and order, and those who broke the law should be held accountable.

Was it an insurrection?

See answer to question 40.

Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives presidents the authority to grant reprieves and pardons, not Members of Congress.

Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?

Yes. You need an ID to drive a car, fly on a plane, or purchase alcohol. Photo IDs are easy to obtain, and they should be required to vote. If we want to instill greater confidence in our electoral system, requiring voter ID would help.

Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?

See answer to question 39.