Name: Dean Heller
Address: P.O. Box 7237, Reno, NV 89510-7237
Phone number and campaign Web site: 775-827-2008 and http://www.deanheller.com
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, specializing in finance and securities analysis, from the University of Southern California in 1985.
Profession: United States Congressman
Political experience: U.S. Congressman Dean Heller was elected as Nevada’s Representative for the Second Congressional District on November 7, 2006. Prior service to the State of Nevada includes two terms in Nevada’s State Assembly and three terms as Nevada’s Secretary of State. Heller currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee, which is one of only four exclusive committees in the U.S. House of Representatives. Heller became the first Nevadan freshman congressman since 1995 to be appointed to an exclusive committee. Heller is a former member of the House Natural Resources Committee. Issues such as mining, public land management and wildfires continue to be top priorities.
Please write a short biography of yourself (this answer may be up to 200 words; you might include such things as birthplace, career, community involvement, family, etc.): Dean Heller grew up with five brothers and sisters and graduated from Carson High School. In 1985 he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, specializing in finance and securities analysis, and worked as a stockbroker and as a broker/trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange. After college, Congressman Heller and his wife of 24 years, Lynne Heller, moved back to Carson City and raised their four children Hilary, Harris, Drew, and Emmy in Carson City. The Heller’s still reside in Carson City today.
What will be your top three priorities if elected?
We need to get our economy back on track by supporting policies that create solvency in the financial markets, adopting pro-growth measures, and developing a strong domestic energy policy that brings down the price of energy and lessens our dependence on foreign oil. Lower taxes, smaller government, fiscal responsibility are fundamental principles Congress should embrace. We need to secure our borders and enforce the immigration laws we have on the books today. Moreover, Amnesty for illegal immigrants should never be an option. Finally, I will continue to fight misguided mining reform pushed by east coast special interests that would have devastating effects on rural Nevada.
How would you alter our nation’s immigration policies?
What realistic solutions do you support?
It is estimated that illegal immigrants cost the American taxpayers nearly $100 billion a year in education, health care, and law enforcement. If legislation that provides amnesty becomes law, that cost has been estimated at $2 trillion and higher. I oppose amnesty for those that enter America illegally and believe that the federal government should enforce current laws. Immigrants that wish to become citizens must follow our laws. I support increased efforts to defend America’s borders and protect our country from those who want to do us harm. Businesses who hire illegal immigrants should be held accountable and fined.
Would you vote to formally establish English as the national language, and require its exclusive use in all public institutions and on all public material?
I authored legislation to require English Only ballots for federal elections.
I also coauthored legislation to make English the official language of the United States and legislation to allow private employers to require English on the job site.
What if anything should the federal government do to make health care more accessible and affordable to Americans?
Providing affordable healthcare for Nevadans is critically important. The first step would be to allow importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada and other countries with proven safety records. Congress should allow for the creation of small business and association health plans to allow businesses and organizations to negotiate insurance prices so they can provide employees and member’s affordable health insurance. Change the tax code so individuals receive the same tax benefits as businesses for purchasing health insurance, and increase patient choice by increasing transparency in the healthcare industry. Moreover, Congress must pass medical liability reform to discourage frivolous lawsuits.
Should the “No child Left Behind” law be changed, abolished,
improved? Explain your answer.
Numerous changes and reforms are needed in NCLB. The federal government needs to provide more flexibility and freedom to local schools under current law, and education policies should be primarily handled by state and local officials, not Washington bureaucrats. I also support changing NCLB to give parents more choices and options related to their children’s education, to support teachers by providing needed resources, and to improve education for all students at all stages.
Can Social Security be saved for future generations of Americans? How?
The Social Security program provides our senior citizens with important benefits, as well as many disabled families. As a Member of Congress, I have pledged to protect the commitment made to hard-working seniors who have worked their whole lives and now depend on this program. I oppose any change to Social Security that would jeopardize an individual’s ability to receive their payments. However, the Social Security system in its current form is financially unhealthy and needs reform. Congress should consider options to reform this system, without removing benefits from current and near-retirees who are counting on these benefits in their retirement.
Summarize a federal energy policy you would support.
Record high gas prices are dragging down our economy and crippling family budgets. Airline routes to Nevada are being terminated because of high fuel prices. Congress should embrace energy legislation that promotes conservation, encourages renewable energy development, and increases our domestic oil supply in an environmentally safe manner. In Congress, I have consistently supported renewable energy production including a national renewable portfolio standard. I also toured the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and joined my colleagues on a trip to ANWR to learn first hand the energy potential in the North Slope of Alaska.
Do you believe humans hold some responsibility for global warming? To what degree would you support restrictions on CO2 emissions?
The scientific community continues to debate the extent and causes of changes in global climate. Congress should look at innovative ways to reduce harmful emissions; however, these provisions should not come at the expense of our country’s ability to be competitive in the global market. I am convinced that our nation can find ways to have both economic growth and prosperity while maintaining a safe, clean environment for future generations.
What Iraq War strategy do you support?
I believe the United States should get out of Iraq more intelligently than we got in. I have cosponsored legislation to implement the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. I have a brother in the region and a nephew in Baghdad. My fellow Nevadans have brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters currently in harms way. I believe it is imperative that these soldiers are provided with the necessary tools they need to win this war. Recently, the Iraqi government has been speaking about reducing U.S. troop levels. This is a welcome development. U.S. troops should get off the front line as soon as conditions allow.
Do you believe enough efforts have been made to capture Osama Bin Laden? What efforts would you support toward this end?
I am confident that our military has done everything it can to capture Bin Laden, but we must continue our efforts to hunt him down as well as those who follow him. We must secure commitments from Middle Eastern countries that their best interests are not served by supporting terrorists. U.S. intelligence communities need to improve beyond today’s efforts to catch Osama Bin Laden, further limit the influence of terrorists, and, most importantly, to more effectively safeguard American citizens.
What strategy would you support for dealing with Afghanistan?
Our country has vital interests in Afghanistan and supporting international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan is important. U.S. and NATO troops continue to fight a war against a Taliban-led, al-Qaeda backed insurgency, while trying to rebuild the country and strengthen its government. We need to fully fund our troops there with every resource needed to complete their mission. The United States also needs to continue to work with key NATO countries providing both military support and humanitarian relief efforts for Afghani citizens.
Do you support the $700 billion bailout of the financial services industry? Why?
I voted against the federal bailout bill in defense of Nevada’s families and taxpayers, who should not be on the hook for the excesses of Wall Street. As debt and spending are out of control, I could not justify the additional borrowed spending and $1.3 trillion increase in the national debt. Washington and Wall Street both need to get their financial houses in order. Solutions exist to this problem that do not place current taxpayers and future generations at risk or push our country further into debt.
Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
Yes. I have cosponsored a constitutional amendment that would require Congress to balance the budget. Congress must be fiscally responsible and reduce the size of the federal government. Increasing the deficit and the endless spending by the federal government has placed our country deeper in debt. I was one of 16 members of Congress who voted to strip out wasteful pork projects and will continue to advocate for fiscal responsibility while I am in Congress. The current tax and spend attitude by our government must end.
Do you support reducing government regulation of the private sector? Why?
I support a responsible level of regulation to ensure consumer protection and proper government oversight. An appropriate level of regulation will allow commerce and capital to flow, open and fair competition to improve services, and innovation to succeed and be rewarded. I certainly support updating or eliminating old and outdated regulations, but also do not oppose sensible regulations that would keep our economy healthy.
What else would you like voters to know about your ideas and qualifications?
I have fought for lower taxes, smaller government, and secure borders. I have introduced legislation to open federal lands for economic development, passed legislation to help alleviate demand for water in northern Nevada by southern Nevada, and authored legislation to provide a tax credit for Nevada’s veterans to assist them with travel costs when visiting healthcare facilities. In Carson City, I have been able to secure funding for the rehabilitation of lands burned by the Waterfall Fire. It has been an honor to serve my fellow Nevadans and I will continue to put Nevada first while I’m in Congress.