On October 19, 2018, Delaware Valley University, with the assistance of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, hosted the Bucks County Congressional Debate featuring Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat challenger Scott Wallace. Subsequent to the debate, the Public Policy Graduate Program reached out to both Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat challenger Scott Wallace for a follow-up interview with graduate student, Christopher Handy, administered by Graduate Assistant John Simila for its Graduate Public Policy Journal. Scott Wallace responded with the following answers and the journal will publish answers from Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick upon receipt. Each Candidate has been encouraged to follow-up with additional responses if needed.*
What is your vision to unify the country at this time?
Wallace: When I was working in the US Senate, I never could have dreamed of the degree of partisan rancor and division that we have in Washington today. I was hired by moderate Republicans to serve as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Veterans Affairs where I helped write bills like the Missing Children Assistance Act and legislation to aid veterans affected by Agent Orange. The reason we were able to come to a bipartisan consensus to pass this legislation was because we relied on facts, data and the real experiences of people to solve the country’s problems. We have moved away from hard evidence because politicians are being bought by special interest groups so new laws are only benefitting the top 1 percent and the corporations. We can revert back to a time when the government acted on behalf of the people’s best interests and our country was united – but in order to do so, we have to pay attention to the facts and get the dark money out of politics.
What is your view on the federal government’s place in financing the repair of the nations deteriorating infrastructure?
Wallace: America’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair and we should be using public money for the public good of the country. By re-investing in America we can repair our infrastructure through a comprehensive package focused on rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, water supplies, and installing broadband in rural areas. We can achieve this while also beginning the transition into a clean and prosperous renewable energy future with jobs, economic opportunity, and a healthier planet for all. When we invest in America, we are investing in our communities and the hardworking people of this country.
What legislation is necessary to ensure politicians are accountable to their constituents, and in lieu of their political base?
Wallace: Special interest money pollutes everything that politicians do in Washington. In order to ensure our elected officials are only beholden to their constituents, we have to have more transparency within our government. I would pass a law to mandate disclosures of corporate contributions, implement public matching funds to empower small donors, and ultimately work to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and allow the government to regulate the money in politics.
What additional federal legislation, if any, needs to be passed to increase the health of our population?
Wallace: Increasing the health of our population starts with increasing the access to quality and affordable health care. The GOP tax plan ripped the heart out of the Affordable Care Act by repealing the individual mandate and adding $1.9 trillion to the national debt – and in order to pay off the deficit, Republicans want to slash funding to earned benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We need to protect and expand these programs, which are lifelines to millions of Americans because no individual should ever have to choose between putting food on the table or visiting the doctor. Our health care policy needs to be driven by what is good for the people, not what is most profitable to the pharmaceutical companies or the health insurance lobby. Health care is a fundamental right and when people have access to the treatment they need at affordable prices, the overall health of our population will improve.
* Editor’s Note: John Simila, GA, Harry M. Baturin, JD, LL.M. and Dr. Tanya Casas would like to thank both Republican Incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick and Democrat Challenger Scott Wallace and their respective Campaign Staffs for their time and assistance with this Interview!
The Answers, Responses, Statements and Opinions provided do not reflect the opinions of the Delaware Valley University Public Policy and Politics Journal’s staff, nor Delaware Valley University’s staff, teachers and administration.