Saturday, April 1, 2023

Know the Candidates

Tom Malinowski

US House of Representatives

Tell us about yourself, and why you would be the best candidate to represent Warren County in the 7th District of New Jersey?


I am not a career politician, but a life-long public servant who ran for Congress for the first time in 2018 because I wanted to give something back to the country that I love. I’m running for reelection because I want to make that economy more fair for hard working people struggling to pay for health care and child care, bring manufacturing jobs back to America, and protect the freedoms, including a woman’s right to choose, that make our country a model for the world.

What sets me apart is that I have actually delivered for our district and for Warren County in the last few years, including the Inflation Reduction Act that will lower the cost of prescription drugs and health insurance, the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will fix our roads and provide high speed internet to rural areas, the American Rescue Plan which secured $3.4 million for Warren County to lower property taxes this year, the successful campaign to stop the PennEast Pipeline. Last year, I secured $750,000 in the federal budget to establish an Agriculture Education and Training Program at Warren County Community College, and this year I got almost $7 million more through the House of Representatives to fund water and sewer projects in Phillipsburg and Alpha.

Since being elected, I’ve teamed up with Warren County leaders to preserve the Musconetcong River. I was able to bring home federal grants to restore the watershed’s trails and local history. And this summer, I helped persuade the Interior Department to designate the final stretch of the Musconetcong a National Wild and Scenic River, ensuring that our beautiful river is preserved for New Jerseyans for generations to come.

What do you think are the top three issues facing the nation today and why?


Two of the biggest issues my constituents raise with me right now relate to the economy: gas prices and high cost of living, and the need to bring good paying manufacturing jobs back to America, including rural areas like Warren County.

Because consumer spending recovered faster post-pandemic than the supply chains for the goods we buy, inflation has been hurting everyone. Our decision to ban Russian oil — which Democrats and Republicans were united in supporting— increased the price of gas and food. We’ve made progress in getting gas prices down, and passing legislation to lower costs, but there is much more work to be done. Bringing supply chains for critical technologies, and the jobs that go with them, back home to our country will help, and that has been one of my top priorities.

A third issue voters bring up everywhere I go is the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe vs. Wade and how to protect our freedom to make decisions about when to have children, access to birth control, and who to marry. We all have our own moral convictions about these matters. But the overwhelming majority of Americans supported Roe vs. Wade and assumed it would remain the settled law of the land, because we don’t think the government should be making these difficult personal decisions for families, or treating women and doctors like criminals for having an abortion. With Roe vs. Wade gone, states across America are doing just that, in some cases from the moment of conception, even when the life of the mother is a risk. I think that’s wrong.

What legislation have you or will you propose or sponsor that address these issues?


Earlier this month, I helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act to lower costs for middle class Americans. The bill will allow Medicare — finally — to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, while capping the price of insulin for seniors at $35 a month, and eventually for all drugs at $2000 a year. It guarantees that no American will pay more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance, saving middle class families who use the Affordable Care Act up to hundreds of dollars a month. The bill will also lower our energy bills by making clean American energy more affordable and expanding domestic energy production, reducing pollution AND our dependence on foreign oil. All of these investments are responsibly paid for — through a minimum tax on corporations like Amazon that have recently gotten away with paying zero taxes — without costing middle-class families a penny. Warren County voters should know that my opponent, Tom Kean Jr., opposed all of these things.

One of the biggest causes of inflation has been the shortage of microchips, a key component of everyday goods like cars, appliances, and phones. So this summer, I helped pass the CHIPS and Science Act, which will bring chip manufacturing back to America, including New Jersey, reducing our dependence on foreign supply chains. I’m pushing for another bill that I helped write, the America COMPETES Act, that invest in bringing home manufacturing of other critical technologies, from batteries, to pharmaceutical ingredients, to solar panels, to make our supply chains more resilient. Meanwhile, gas prices are coming down thanks to our efforts to increase domestic oil production and crack down on price gouging by oil companies — and we’ll keep that up.

I cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law of our land once and for all. I also introduced the Stopping Abortion Bounties Act, which would impose a 100% federal tax on any “bounty” collected under state laws designed to encourage vigilantes to turn in women who have an abortion or try to leave their states to seek health care.

In contrast, my opponent, Tom Kean Jr., voted against codifying Roe vs. Wade in New Jersey.

How will you get to know and understand the needs of those you would represent in Warren County?


Unlike other candidates, I show up and listen — having held more than 120 public town hall meetings since I was elected in 2018, including in Warren County. It is from these open meetings and the conversations I have with residents that I get my priorities in Washington. My opponent has held no public meetings with voters during his 20 year career as a legislator in Trenton.

Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy. From Phillipsburg to Blairstown, this year I have visited Main Streets across Warren County to check-in with businesses owners and local chambers of commerce to ensure they are getting the support they need to thrive, especially as we continue to recover from the pandemic.

What will be your priorities for representing Warren County?


I’m working to secure funding through the federal budget for community projects in Warren County, including over $3.3 million for a new water tower in Alpha, and over $3.3 million to rehabilitate the Philipsburg sanitary sewer system, so that residents have clean water for generations to come. The projects were included in the budget that the House of Representatives passed this summer.

I know many residents and businesses in Warren County have lacked access to reliable high-speed internet. So I pushed to get funding for rural broadband in last year’s infrastructure bill. As a member of the Rural Broadband Caucus, I will work to deliver that funding to Warren County, to expand internet access and make it more affordable for families and businesses alike.

I am also working to bring train service to Warren County. I pushed hard for funding for the Lackawanna Cutoff project, which eventually will enable New Jersey Transit and Amtrak to re-connect New York and Scranton with service going through Blairstown. Funding for the new Hudson River Tunnel, which I helped secure in the infrastructure bill, will enable further expansion of NJ Transit service to New York, and I will work hard to include expansion of the Raritan Valley Line to Phillipsburg and Easton as part of that plan.