Betty McCollum — Democrat, Incumbent U.S. Rep. Dist 4

In light of the current economic crisis, what needs to happen to ensure American economic stability in the future? Well, what we need to do to make sure that we stimulate the economy in a way that provides opportunities for the middle class âĦ IâÄôm looking forward to going back, possibly right after the election, and be voting on a stimulus package which will invest in infrastructure here in Minnesota and around the country. Can the United States achieve energy independence? If so, what steps do we need to take for that to happen and how long do you think it will take? I think Barak Obama is about right when he says itâÄôs gonna take about 10 years. ThereâÄôs a lot of work to be done, we need to invest in technology thatâÄôs out there, and share and use it. With tuition costs rising, what, if anything, would you do to make college more affordable? You know, we have done some things to make college affordable, the 110th Congress did. We saved the student money by not having to pay so much to the third party financiers that were coming. We also increased Pell Grants. What is your stance on gay marriage? Well, I think weâÄôve clearly, clearly seen, with the way that the courts have been ruling, that people in this country who are in loving, committed relationships should not be discriminated against, period. What is your stance on abortion? I think abortion should be rare, and it should be legal. It is a difficult decision that any woman and any family goes through and I think it should be a private, personal, choice not a government choice. What, if anything, would you change about the health care system? I would make it so that it is a right for every citizen in this country, and I would do it by working forward with universal access. How should the United States address the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Well, I didnâÄôt vote for the war in Iraq. It was a needless war and itâÄôs cost us far too many lives âĦ and we need to bring our troops home, and we need to do it as soon as possible. I do support helping the Afghan people because they have a very positive attitude about what their country can be and they want it to be that way: a country of peace and prosperity for their citizens. What is the most important issue our country must deal with today and how do you plan to address it? I think the issue on everybodyâÄôs mind is whatâÄôs going to happen to our economy. Because if we do not stabilize our economy, we arenâÄôt going to be able to move forward with doing all the things we need to. I look forward to going back to Washington and working on getting America back to work.