Virginia’s 1st Congressional District Candidate Questionnaire: Matt Rowe
Incumbent Rob Wittman (R), Matt Rowe (D), and Gail Parker (I) are running for Virginia’s 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat in the November, 8, 2016, general election.
In advance of the debate at the University of Mary Washington on October 24, Fredericksburg.Today invited each candidate to respond to a brief candidate questionnaire.
Virginia’s 1st Congressional District Candidate Questionnaire: Rob Wittman
Virginia’s 1st Congressional District Candidate Questionnaire: Gail Parker
Following are the complete and unedited answers provided by Matt Rowe.
1 – Traffic is a big concern for constituents in the 1st district. What do you propose to do to improve this problem?
It has been determined that keeping the D.C. region’s transportation, utility, safety, and energy infrastructure in a state of good repair over the next 15 years will require $58 billion in funding, according to a report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This is not just a challenge for our region, but rather a priority for our nation. To ensure a well-functioning government, we must ensure a well-functioning capital. The D.C. region will require special funding that Congress needs to provide to accomplish this. We can’t simply rely on two states and D.C. to figure this out and pay for it on their own. Improvements to Metro are long overdue. Finally, bypass alternatives for the Washington area for road and rail traffic need to be seriously studied.
2 – What is your stand on immigration reform?
I support comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants are a vital component of the US workforce. We need to provide undocumented workers and their family members an opportunity to earn legal immigration status. In short: stop breaking up families, protect DREAMers, do a better job with integration into our communities, and also promote naturalization.
3 – The region is home to many veterans. If elected, what would you do for veterans?
The problems associated with today’s Veteran’s Administration are serious, systemic and unacceptable. Veterans continue to wait months for care at some VA facilities as they languish in the claims and appeals process. In Congress, I will support efforts to transform the VA into a collaborative care model that integrates physical health, mental health, and substance abuse services. In addition, there needs to be increased assistance for families caring for veterans. The best care begins at home and we need to make it easier for military family members to provide care for their loved ones.
4 – What would you do to work toward improving bipartisan respect and alleviating gridlock in Congress?
The Federal Government Shutdown of 2013 was an embarrassing reminder of how broken our political system is. Too many politicians are beholden to special interests or to their own stubbornness, and when our elected representatives play this game of chicken, they do it with the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Virginians. Stopgap measures to ensure pay for federal employees and service members in the event of a shutdown can lessen the impacts locally, but these measures don’t solve the actual cause of our problems. I pledge that I will work to ensure that Congress stops playing this reckless game with our government and our economy. The businesses and workers of our district have enough challenges to tackle without adding this uncertainty. There is always a compromise to be made – so ego and reelection need to be left at the door. I will work with any other member of Congress from any political party who is willing to work with me to get things done.
About Matt Rowe
Rowe is a Bowling Green Town Councilman. A native Virginian, he is graduate of Hampden-Sydney College. He earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Virginia Commonwealth University, and works in Stafford County as a G.I.S. analyst.
Website: Matt Rowe for Congress
Virginia’s 1st Congressional District
Virginia’s 1st Congressional District includes the City of Fredericksburg and the City of Williamsburg; the counties of Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King William, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Stafford, Westmoreland, and York; and portions of the City of Newport News and the counties of Fauquier, James City, Prince William and Spotsylvania.
The 1st District candidate debate will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, Dodd Auditorium at the University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Ave., Fredericksburg.
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