They said it: Garcia, Lambert and Lawrence on the issues
New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District stretches from Massachusetts to Canada, and Maine to the Connecticut River. The three candidates running for the Republican nomination this year – state Rep. Marilinda Garcia of Salem, former state senator Gary Lambert of Nashua and former state representative Jim Lawrence of Hudson – have contained their conversation to several key issues.
Affordable Care Act
∎ Garcia: “A lot of things have taken root at this time, so I’ve talked about dismantling some things that I think are more odious, such as the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device tax. . . . Sure, there are some good things, the coverage for pre-existing conditions, the move to electronic medical records, and coverage for young people up to 26.”
∎ Lambert: “I’m for repeal of the entire system, ’cause I think it’s all broken. . . . There are some things we can all agree are good reforms, and repeal doesn’t mean we can’t do those things outside of Obamacare. I believe in the free market, I also believe there’s a time and a place for government. The world is not black and white. There is some gray and that is a place where we can come to agreement on what folks want to see in health care.”
∎ Lawrence: “I would be in favor of repealing it. The system, as imperfect as it was before, seemed to service the people of this state better than what we have now. I’d like to see more competition, to see people allowed to purchase insurance across state lines. . . . There was a small percentage of individuals that weren’t being serviced correctly. We blew up the entire system for those individuals when that could be addressed without the large affordable health care options.”
Energy and Northern Pass
∎ Garcia said she would support Northern Pass if the lines were buried, and that the government should not “create disincentives for people to care for the environment on their own.” She also voted to withdraw the state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Programs like RGGI “increase bureaucracy, increase taxes, increase rates, make it more difficult for these things to be tested in a true private market,” she said.
∎ Lambert would consider supporting the Northern Pass project if the lines were buried. He has been attacked by his opponents for voting against withdrawing the state from RGGI, but he says he would oppose a national cap-and-trade or carbon tax program. “What’s right for New Hampshire is making sure we don’t have the government picking winners and losers. If wind works for someone, that’s wonderful, but I don’t believe the government ought to be involved in that,” he said.
∎ Lawrence opposes all current proposals for the Northern Pass project. He also opposed RGGI while in the House, but was absent the day in 2008 the House voted to enter the program, according to state records.
∎ Garcia said on her website the role of government in promoting job growth is in “ensuring property rights are protected, basic infrastructure is built and rule of law is enforced.”
∎ Lambert said the role of government is to ensure the success of high-tech employers offering high-paying jobs. He also believes in the need for higher education. “I’m a big fan of the community college system,” he said. “Manufacturers want to see those places train people so they can go in and start working. We can help the community college system to make sure they do everything possible to succeed.”
∎ Lawrence: “Every congressman and senator has a staff to answer their phones. They could say anything. My staff will answer the phone and say, ‘Congressman Jim Lawrence’s office, from New Hampshire, a great place to do business.’ We need to take advantage of these free opportunities to market our state.”
∎ Garcia voted while in the House to end public funding for abortions and require parental notification before a minor receives an abortion, with no exception for maternal health, victims of rape, incest or abuse. At a debate last month, she said she would support the over-the-counter sale of birth control pills. “That would be a great move, especially as we see how Obamacare will lead to rationing, and a lack of medical providers in areas where (physicians) are already hard pressed to see all the patients seeking their attention,” she said.
∎ Lambert, while in the Senate, supported requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion procedures and supported a ban on partial birth abortions. He voted for an interim study on a bill that would allow employers to deny coverage for contraception based on the employer’s personal beliefs, effectively helping kill that bill. He said he supports the Supreme Court’s decision that closely held corporations do not have to offer employees coverage for contraception.
∎ Lawrence, while in the House, supported requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion procedures and supported a ban on partial birth abortions.