Levin resides in Bloomfield Township and holds undergraduate degrees from Williams College and the University of Michigan and a law degree from Harvard. He has been active in a number of religious and issue-oriented community groups.
FEDERAL RESPONSE TO COVID-19
How would you rate the response by the Trump administration to the coronavirus crisis that has gripped the country? Specifically, the national supply of personal protection devices and critical supplies for the medical first line responders. Likewise, was there a clear and timely national policy response on containment of the virus? And what about a national policy on reopening the economy?
In the midst of a global pandemic, the federal role in health care has never been clearer. We’ve seen in real-time what happens when leadership is abdicated: we were late in preparing, the response has been chaotic, and pitting state against state in the race for personal protective equipment contributed to the deaths of over 180,000 Americans. Many who perished were from poor, minority communities. This disproportionate toll combined with the uncoordinated public health response has underscored my commitment to universal health care as embodied in the Medicare for All bill, ensuring access to quality, affordable health care.
When President Donald Trump came to office, he and his administration began to rollback a number of environmental regulations enacted by the administration of President Obama and reversed a number of decisions from prior administrations dating back to the Clinton era that were designed to promote a cleaner environment. The last count put the total at over 100 environmental rules that have been weakened or eliminated by the Trump administration. Do you support what the current administration has done on this front? Explain.
No. The Trump administration’s environmental policy has been abysmal and denies the basic reality that climate change represents the number one existential threat that we face. We have an obligation to ensure that the planet the next generations will inherit survives and thrives. I’m committed to doing my part. I’m an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, I have pledged to do all in my power to move us in the direction of a 100 percent renewable energy future, making certain no one is left behind in an old energy career. I introduced the Electric Vehicle (EV) Freedom Act to jump start EV adoption in our nation within five years by modernizing the EV charging infrastructure on our nation’s highway system. I have sought every opportunity to fight contamination in our communities from ‘forever chemicals’ like PFAS. And closer to home, doing what we can to clean up a toxic waste leak in my district in Madison Heights. This will help us to leverage broad public understanding of what we need to do to clean up our water, air and soil in this country, and to hold corporate polluters accountable.
NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN
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?
I support protecting the Affordable Care Act but at the same time believe we must work towards universal health care, as embodied in bills like the Medicare for All Act. It’s frankly quite shameful that we are the only developed nation in the world that does not provide health care for all its residents. We must do all we can to fix our broken health care system.
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
How can we guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?
I’m proud to be a cosponsor of H.R. 860, the Social Security 2100 Act. The chief actuary of the Social Security administration has indicated that under a bill like this, nearly 12 million seniors would see a tax cut and have benefits expanded for not only existing Social Security beneficiaries but also for future recipients.
GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION
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?
I support all of the above.
Should Congress move to find a common ground that will provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already located here, many of whom are working productively? Explain. The Trump administration – before the current pandemic – had imposed or in some cases proposed stricter rules for allowing immigrants to enter our country. Do you support those that have been imposed and proposed?
We need comprehensive immigration reform. I’ve been active on this issue for decades, ever since I co-founded a group called Immigration Reform, Advocacy, Training and Education after the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed in 1986. We need a reasonable system where people who have spent a certain number of years living, working and paying taxes here, can become citizens of this country over time. Ripping apart families simply because they came to the U.S. illegally or overstayed a visa many years ago is immoral and counterproductive. With birth rates dropping, we need immigrants to help revitalize our cities and inner suburbs and fill out our workforce, which otherwise will face critical shortages in the years ahead. I do not support the president’s efforts to slash legal immigration.
YOUR TOP ISSUES
What would you list as your top 3-5 issues that you hope to address in this next term of Congress?
Ensuring the value and dignity of work has been an enduring theme in all my efforts. This means making sure that Michiganders have affordable health care, access to quality educational and training opportunities, making certain that after a lifetime of hard work Michiganders can count on Medicare, Social Security, and a meaningful pension in their retirement years. I am also focused on fighting against climate change, protecting our environment, and defending the human rights of all. At the same time, I’m working hard to drive federal investment in our infrastructure like roads, bridges, locks and mass transit that will benefit Michigan’s 9th Congressional District. I’m also committed to stemming the gun violence epidemic. For starters, we need universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, and robust enforcement of the bump stock ban. I have been seeking every opportunity to block the president’s retrograde view on women’s health and reproductive rights. I continue to fight for the rights of women to make their own choices concerning their bodies.
WHY VOTE FOR YOU
Why should voters support you in November as opposed to your opponent? Be specific in your comparisons.
My experience – as a federal labor department attorney, as the head of a large state agency, as an entrepreneur starting a statewide clean energy finance market creating jobs for tradespeople retrofitting commercial buildings, and as one who spent decades fighting for working families at SEIU, the UAW and the AFL-CIO – has helped me serve the people of the 9th District in the U.S. House.
In Congress, I have introduced 25 bills, 10 amendments, and had over 21 measures pass the House. I have championed bills to improve the rights of workers including the Raise the Wage Act and the PRO Act; investments in critical infrastructure needs including the EV Freedom Act; and led multiple efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, including the CCC Act to create a nationwide testing and contact tracing program, the Coronavirus Community Relief Act which would provide $375 billion to local governments – like those in the 9th District -- which were too small to receive direct federal funding from the CARES Act. I am also proud to serve as vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, where I continue to advocate for access to higher education introducing bills like America’s College Promise Act.