Name: Tim Ryan
City of Residence: Warren
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Occupation: U.S. Representative
Education: Tim Ryan has a law degree from the University Of New Hampshire School Of Law (formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center).
He studied abroad as part of the Dickinson School of Law’s International Law Program.
He received a BA in Political Science from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Training/Experience: U.S. Representative 18 years Ohio Senator 2 years.
Given our experience with Covid-19, what precautions would you put in place to allow for safe, secure elections whereby voters are not choosing between their health and their right to vote, especially in November? Include how you would fund any necessary precautions and changes.
The U.S. is facing a public health crisis, which has seriously impacted families, workers, business owners, and our economy. It is also straining a pillar of our democracy: our elections. With public health officials urging Americans to stay at home and practice social distancing, the prospect of long lines and crowded polling places could be dangerous to voters and disastrous for our democracy. We cannot force Americans to decide between making their voice heard in November, and their own health and the health of their loved ones.
Millions of Americans already face significant barriers to voting, obstacles that could be made worse in certain states in a continuing public health crisis. Given the uncertainties of the pandemic and physical distancing measures necessary in November, we must ensure the upcoming election is free, fair, secure, and on-time. I was proud to see that the House-passed HEROES Act included many strong provisions to shore up these concerns, including ensuring that voter registration application forms, absentee ballot application forms, and absentee ballots in federal elections are mailed to voters expeditiously with self-sealing envelopes and prepaid postage.
Many people, including President Trump, have successfully voted by mail many times. To avoid long lines on election day, we must expand voting by mail, extend early voting opportunities, enable curbside voting and remove other obstacles to the ballot box.
Describe what you have done to work across political differences to solve problems and foster trust with the voters you represent.
The only way we will be able to truly move our country forward is by setting aside our differences and finding common ground. In 2019, I was named the second most bipartisan Member of Congress from Ohio and the 35th most bipartisan out of the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Bipartisanship is more important now than ever as our nation combats this worldwide pandemic. I am proud of the strong relationships I have forged with my Republican colleagues and my long record of bipartisan work to bring federal dollars back to Ohio and provide our state with the support and resources we need.
How would you address immigration policy?
I support strong border security and smart investments in advanced border technologies, but we should focus on comprehensive immigration reform: a long-term solution to fix our broken immigration system and secure our border. I introduced legislation to create the independent Nonpartisan Commission comprised of 9 immigration experts appointed by the top four leaders in Congress. The bill prohibits members from being current elected officials or political appointees. It’s time for Congress to develop an informed, long-term fix for our broken immigration system.
We also need to create a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants who are here and abiding by our laws. This includes 1.8 million DREAMers, young people who were brought to the United States as children. These young people voluntarily registered with the government, so they could legally drive, work, attend college, serve in our military, and pay taxes. This country is the only home they know and remember, yet they are forced to live in fear and uncertainty waiting to know whether their future is secure.
I voted for the American Dream and Promise Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The bill passed the House and is in the Senate.
The U.S. should be able to ensure our national security while continuing to be the nation of immigrants, dreamers, and refugees that we have been in generations past.
Where do you stand on efforts to protect our water, air and land?
Scientists agree that global climate change is real, but its impacts are being felt firsthand by Ohio’s farmers, sportsmen, and working families. Things will only get worse if we do not get serious about reducing carbon pollution.
The consequences of inaction will be felt not by politicians in Washington, but by the communities they have let down. As a father, I understand we have a duty to our children and grandchildren to do all we can to prevent the economic and environmental devastation that climate change threatens.
By stepping up to the challenge of combating climate change we can also jump-start Ohio’s green energy economy. Each wind turbine that spins in northwest Ohio has over 8,000 parts that could be built by machinists in Youngstown and Akron. In Congress, I have supported investment in green energy, liquefied natural gas, and fuel-efficient automotive technology, which create tens of thousands of Ohio jobs and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
Green infrastructure is way to address climate change in Ohio. We must rebuild America’s infrastructure, invest in modernizing clean energy systems and green surface transportation to create jobs and protect our environment for the future.
Clean air and freshwater are not partisan issues. I have fought attempts by big business to gut environmental safeguards that keep our air and water clean. I have worked with fellow Ohio representatives of both parties to ensure that Lake Erie and Ohio’s waterways are protected.
What legislation, if any, would you suggest to address gun safety?
We have seen that horrific acts of gun violence can happen anywhere, to anyone. Congress must act.
I broke completely with the NRA after their non-response to the shooting at Sandy Hook and their opposition to universal background checks. I support Sandy Hook Promise, Americans for Responsible Solutions and Everytown for Gun Safety.
Congress can keep Americans safe while honoring the 2nd Amendment, which I support. I voted a background check for every firearm sale, and to strengthen procedures federal firearms licensees or dealers must follow before selling or transferring a firearm.
Congress should increase funding so the records are sufficiently updated to provide timely and accurate background checks. I support a ban on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with military-grade features have no place in the hands of civilians. At the same time, we must make it harder for these mass killing technologies, such as bump stocks, to be obtained.
We need to overturn a 1996 law that prevents the CDC from conducting research on gun violence and give states more power to enact gun safety laws.
After so many school shootings, we must ensure the safety of our children and teachers. I will fight tirelessly for safer schools. No parent, child, friend, or teacher should be forced to worry about their safety or the safety of their loved ones while going about their daily lives.
What solutions do you propose to address challenges in the healthcare system, women’s reproductive rights and maternal and child health?
This information has been collected by the League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown (LWVGY). Candidates provided authorization for it to be published on the WKBN website. Questions were selected by the LWVGY and addressed to the candidates, in partnership with WKBN. Candidates were informed that their responses would be printed exactly as submitted, and that has been done. Candidates are responsible for the accuracy of the information provided. WKBN in publishing this material neither endorses nor rejects the views of any candidate and does not and cannot assume responsibility for the content of any candidate’s reply or motive for making the same. Material contained in this post may not be reproduced without the written consent of WKBN. The complete LWVGY’s Voter Information Guide, which also includes information on local issues, will be published on the LWVGY’s website www.lwvgy.com by Sept. 28, 2020, and it will be distributed in print version throughout Mahoning County.