OSKALOOSA – Presidential candidate Andrew Yang wasn’t the only political figure visiting Oskaloosa Saturday, January 4.
Iowa Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Eddie Mauro also campaigned at Statesmen Lanes Mahaska Bowl during the Yang event.
During a sit-down interview at Smokey Row, the Herald had the opportunity able to speak one on one with Mauro where he shared his thoughts on his healthcare policy, climate change, the impeachment inquiry on President Donald Trump and more.
What are your thoughts on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial?
Every day, it becomes more and more evident that there’s some issues that need to be explored. In the United States Senate that it’s, it’s incumbent upon all the United States Senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, to have conversations about all the facts that are out there. That should be the number one job, to provide that oversight, to take the information to come to some kind of a decision on whether the President has committed impeachable offenses or not. I’m not privy to all the information there, but what we’re seeing on the street, that’s coming from media, is very concerning for us. The President has withheld funds that could jeopardize an entire country for political gain. We should all be concerned about that and we need to make sure we go through all the processes that and then make the determination from that.
Last week, President Trump gave an order for an airstrike that killed the second most powerful man in Iran, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, without input and knowledge from Congress. What are your thoughts and do you see Trump’s actions as a move to start a war?
I’m not sure his ultimate motivations are, and let me be clear the person that was killed was a bad actor and a state actor. That requires a different type of chain of command. A conversation about what we’re doing what we’re up against when we take action against a state like Iran, again, regardless of what our thoughts and feelings are there. That requires, I think, a conversation with the United States Senate as well, and more than just Lindsey Graham. He’s not the United States Senate. So we should be talking to Democrats or Republicans alike about the action we’re about to take and get feedback from that. The United States Senators abdicated it’s role over the last several decades, what we should be doing regarding war powers and we need to go revisit that again. That’s part of the conversation that we’re trying to talk about. It’s Democrats and Republicans alike that need to have conversations about what are the roles that the President should it be able to take unilaterally as the Commander in Chief. Also, what are the roles of the United States Senate, what should they know and what input should they have when decisions are being made.
Currently, polls are predicting that the U.S. Senate will remain Republican-led. As a Democrat, how do you plan to stand up to Republicans?
Then my job is every day to go knock on the door of the majority leader, and other Republicans, to find out what we can do to make our country a better place. How do we make tomorrow better than today. To get them to take off their R-hat and their D-hat and sit down to figure out how do we make healthcare better for our country, how do we make sure we make climate environment better for our future, for our kids and our grandkids. What are going to do about gun violence in our communities, all the things that we’re running on. We can still go work and make progress there regardless of who’s in the majority, but we need the right kind of leader and we’re lacking that in this seat today. That’s why I’m the strongest Democrat and the best candidate to beat Joni Ernst. I would be a remarkable senator to go fight against the odds and for the minority.
Your healthcare policy is “Medicare for all who want it.” How are you going to ensure that healthcare is affordable and accessible to all Americans, young and old?
So, the main objective: make sure that everybody has health care and it needs to be affordable, it needs to be accessible and it needs to be the same quality. I have a pre-existing health condition, I tell people a lot about that. I had to use my health care earlier this year and spent 10 days in the hospital for surgery, intensive care, and all the fun things that go along with that. Everybody should get the kind of care that I have; that’s that’s the main objective. For a large swath of people, it might be free and for another large swath of people, there might be a small fee. Obviously, as you grow in income capabilities you may have to pay a little bit more, but at the end of the day everybody needs to have care in this country.
If elected as an Iowa U.S. Senator, what would be the first policy you would take on as your target policy?
I’m a multi-tasker, so we’re going to hit on a bunch of things right away. We will talk about health care, we will talk about gun safety in our communities, we will talk about our climate environments, because if we don’t deal with that then none of these other things will make a difference. We will talk about making sure our main streets and town squares remain strong. We have an infrastructure bill that would create tens of thousands of jobs, as well. There’s a lot of things we need to be working on all at one time and I’m capable of doing that, driving the ship in many directions.
A great deal of your policy focuses on farmers and having them take the lead on fixing the environment. Your plans feature providing farmers with incentive for doing so. Where are those incentives going to come from?
The opportunity is there for farmers to take the lead in solving the climate crisis that’s in front of us. Rural communities from Iowa to Alabama could all play a massive role in that. We pay farmers for pulling the carbon out of our air and storing it into the richness of our soils, regenerating the soil. The incentives would come from the federal government using the cap and trade mechanism, from the business community and others that are paying taxes on the amount of carbon they’re using, basically. By taking those resources and paying them into rural communities, helps communities like Oskaloosa and the farming communities around here. It helps these farms become stronger by offering a new income stream for them which will make these communities strong again.