Stevens currently lives in Rochester Hills after growing up in Birmingham. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at American University, and served as chief of staff of President Obama's Auto Rescue, and worked for the White House Office for Manufacturing Policy and Office of Recovery for Automotive Communities and Workers. Recently, she led a national workforce development program.
When President Trump came to office, he began to roll back a number of environmental regulations enacted by the past administration and reversed a number of decisions dating back to the Clinton administration that were designed to promote a cleaner environment. Do you support the administration’s efforts to minimize environmental regulations?
Absolutely not. President Trump’s reckless rollback of environmental protection standards not only damages our environment but hurts our economy. Like it or not, climate change is real and we need to start acting accordingly or we will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. I served as Chief of Staff on President Obama’s auto rescue. When our auto industry was in crisis we not only helped save GM and Chrysler, we did it while improving fuel efficiency standards and spurring American auto companies to build the cars of the future. We designed and implemented Cash for Clunkers, an incentive-based program that allowed consumers to trade in old, environmentally inefficient vehicles for 21st century models. I don’t buy the argument that we can have a clean environment or cars but we can’t have both; for over a decade Detroit’s automotive industry has shown the opposite.
Do you support the tax cuts enacted by Congress at the urging of the Trump administration? Explain your position.
After years and years of corporate executives buying seats in Congress, Donald Trump and Washington Republicans repaid the debt to their donors and then some with a massive tax giveaway to people who need it the least. They might call that bill a “tax cut;” I call it a massive return on investment for the wealthy donors who bought their members of Congress and expected something in return. I could never support that kind of approach to policymaking. We need to stop giving out millions and billions and – in this case – $1.5 trillion in tax breaks like they are party favors. Let’s target tax breaks for the middle class families who work hard and just want to get ahead.
In the most recent budget adopted by Congress, and in tax legislation approved by both the House and Senate, the national debt has continued to skyrocket. There has been talk of Congress now attempting to reduce the deficit by cutting back on programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Do you support trimming these programs to reduce the budget? Are there other areas of the budget that should be targeted to bring the budget back under control and over time reduce the national debt?
Social Security and Medicare are a promise we made to America’s working families – our guarantee that if you work hard and put your time in you will be able to retire with dignity. That means financial and health security without forcing your kids to pay for your ability to get by. That is why we need to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, not cut them. It is unfathomable that Donald Trump and Republicans in Washington think it is OK to hand out a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway while trying to balance our national debt on the backs of the people who need our help the most. That is true for Medicaid, too. I would never support a plan that cuts these critical benefits, and to strengthen them I would start by cutting Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthy.
NATIONAL HEALTH CARE
Despite attempts by the current administration and Republican members of Congress, a substantial number of persons continue to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare. What is your position on the current Affordable Care Act and the issue of a national health care plan in general?
The two biggest things President Obama accomplished were the Auto Rescue and Obamacare. I stepped up and served as Chief of Staff for the Auto Rescue when our economy was in crisis, and now that Donald Trump is creating a healthcare crisis I’m stepping up again and running for Congress. I supported the Affordable Care Act and do not believe it is Congress’s job to remove people from their healthcare plans without alternatives. Let’s protect and improve Obamacare, not sabotage it. Let’s ensure that everyone has access to health coverage, that we tackle the costs of prescription drugs and bring forward a public option. It is time we focus first on how to meet Americans’ healthcare needs, then focus on how we get our healthcare companies to step up to the challenge. Profits should never be put before people.
President Trump has eliminated the policy governing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that granted deportation relief for immigrants who came here as children (under the age of 16), which was created in 2012 by the Obama administration. Do you support continuation of the DACA program? Should Congress move to find a common ground that will provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
For generations, families have come to America seeking a better life for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren. We are a nation of immigrants, but sadly our immigration system today is broken. It can and must be fixed without tearing apart families who come here in pursuit of the American dream. I support the DACA program and our Dreamers because I do not believe Congress should be in the business of punishing children brought to this country through no choice of their own. Many of our Dreamers know no other country or home and serve our nation proudly. We must pass common sense legislation to fix DACA and our immigration system so that America will always be the city upon the hill we strive to be.
What is your position on the need for added gun control legislation? Which, if any, of the following gun control measures could you support: Requiring expanded background checks? Background checks at gun shows? Banning bump stocks? Raising the age on the purchase of weapons? Banning military style weapons?
In Congress I will be the NRA’s worst nightmare. My commitment is that on day one of the 116th Congress, I will have issued a letter to every single one of my colleagues asking them to join me in passing gun safety legislation that will include universal background checks, reinstating the assault rifle ban from 1994, “no-fly-no buy” provisions, banning bump stocks, and raising the age in which individuals can purchase guns. I made this commitment on January 3, 2018, one year before I plan to follow through on it. Our country’s gun violence epidemic is not going away and Michiganders can count on me to continue being an outspoken advocate for gun violence prevention. It is time we elect bold and courageous leaders willing to take on tough challenges – I will be one of them.
AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS
Should this or any President be required to consult with Congress before sending our military forces into foreign countries?
Going to war with a country is one of the most grave and serious decisions any President can make. It costs time and money and, most importantly, the lives of the most patriotic Americans – our service members. We cannot afford to make that decision lightly. It does not matter if our President is a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or a reality TV show host – he or she must consult with Congress before committing an act of war.
The current administration has expressed its desire to withdraw from many of the international trade agreements entered into by past administrations. The President has also authorized import tariffs in recent months. Do you agree with the President on the trade agreements? What will the impact be of the import tariffs?
I oppose NAFTA and other free trade deals that hurt American workers, but, as with all things, Donald Trump’s approach creates massive dysfunction and inconsistency. While I agree we need to renegotiate trade agreements to make them more beneficial for workers, the President’s inconsistent approach to trade and import tariffs troubles me.
Why should a voter choose you over an opponent on the ballot?
In 2009, economists were singing Detroit’s swan song. The auto industry was in crisis. Analysts wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. I disagreed: I believed then, as I do today, that Detroit hustles harder. So I went to Washington and hustled, serving as chief of staff for President Obama’s auto rescue that helped save more than 200,000 jobs. I’m running for Congress because I see a different kind of crisis today: Donald Trump’s reckless agenda is hurting us and raising healthcare costs. America’s working families can’t afford inaction – we need real leadership, and that’s what Michiganders can expect from me. I’m a Seaholm alum and proud product of this district. I got into this race when it didn’t seem easy but I outraised the incumbent and soon after he announced his retirement. I’ve delivered for Michigan before and voters should choose me because I’ll always deliver for Michigan in Congress.
Epstein, a resident of Bloomfield Township, is a co-owner of Vesco Oil. She has an economics degree from Harvard and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
I support the President’s efforts to roll back outdated regulations that place an undue burden on our economy and businesses in southeast Michigan. I strongly support efforts to protect our Great Lakes so that our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy them and help keep out tourism economy strong.
I support the tax cuts. They have enabled the citizens of southeast Michigan to keep their hard earned money and invest it as desired. The result has been economic growth; our GDP was up by 4 percent last cycle. The tax cuts are working.
I support a full audit of the Pentagon. However, I also support our military and will work to get our troops whatever they need to succeed. We need to cut waste and abuse; however, I will protect Medicare and Social Security and make certain we keep our promises to our seniors.
NATIONAL HEALTH CARE
First and foremost, we need to ensure those with pre-existing conditions are covered. But, we can cover pre-existing conditions without messing with everyone else’s healthcare plan. The Affordable Care Act caused many to lose their healthcare plans. And under the ACA, we saw out-of-pocket costs sharply increase. I support federal subsidies for state-run high-risk pools or any sort of state-run program that will provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. I support the federal government block granting Medicaid funding to the states. And, young people should be able to stay on their parent’s healthcare until they are 26. When we talk about healthcare, I firmly believe we can find solutions that work for everyone.
I support enforcing our current laws. I want to secure our borders. I also believe it is vitally important that we reunite families with children and work to keep families together.
I support the right to keep and bear arms. I support enforcing our current laws more stringently.
AUTHORIZING MILITARY ACTIONS
Our President is the Commander in Chief of the military. He cannot declare war; only Congress can. However, he has broad powers in dictating military operations. The proper course of action for a president to take depends on the nature of the situation. Generally, I would prefer more congressional oversight. However, there are times when a president must act swiftly and will not be able to consult Congress.
I support the President’s efforts to renegotiate trade deals that have put American workers at a disadvantage. The result will be better deals for working families of southeast Michigan and across the country.
I am a member of the community of southeast Michigan with deep ties to the business and Jewish community. I have lived almost my entire life right here in southeast Michigan. I grew up here, I am raising my family here. My husband, Eric, and I are getting ready to celebrate our daughter, Emma’s, first birthday. We want America to offer Emma and all of our nation’s children the tremendous opportunities that it offered me. I am a business leader who comes to the district by way of job creation and not by way of Washington, DC. I am an outsider. DC elites got us into this mess, they will not get us out. We need more practical problem solvers who have accomplishments in the private sector. I am reaching across the aisle and taking my message to Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. I have created jobs. I have signed both sides of a paycheck. When I look at a bill or proposed policy, I can tell what the impact on jobs will be. My primary mission is job creation. We live in a special place. This district has a rich diversity. We have people from every walk of life, but we all agree that we want more opportunities. I will work to keep southeast Michigan a special place where persecuted people can seek refuge, where business owners can set up shop, and every child grows up knowing that they have a shot at the American dream. We need to work together and I’m ready to unite the people of this district and be their voice in Washington, DC.