Mike Fricilone, 3rd Congressional District Republican candidate profile
His top priorities include tax reduction, health care and job training.By CST Editorial Board
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent candidates for the U.S. Congress a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois their districts and the country. Mike Fricilone submitted the following responses:
Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.
I love giving back to the community, after all, it’s the community and the people in them that we are elected to serve. During my time on the WIll County Board, I was the Chairman of the Finance Committee and the Vice Chairman of the Capital Improvement Committee. During that time, we’ve built the county courthouse, a public safety complex, a health department building, an EMA building, and an animal control building. All of this was done without raising existing taxes or implementing new ones. Also, I am the president of the Lockport Township High School Charitable Foundation. In the last five years the foundation has given out over $500,000 in scholarships to deserving students.
What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Has the impeachment process been fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.
The impeachment process has been politically motivated. It is a partisan scam, and designed to try and hide the corruption that exists in Washington. I helped send President Trump to Washington to do exactly what he is doing. Draining the swamp. I do not support impeachment, I would not support censure in the future. I stand by our president.
How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
Well, I’m a fiscal conservative so I support reducing the deficit. One trillion dollars is an absurd amount and hopefully in future budgets steps can be taken to reduce this. The economy is growing strongly, and continued growth will help pour dollars into our tax system thus shrinking the deficit. Economic growth is our best way of getting us in the black. As an Illinois representative, I would be in favor of increasing the SALT tax deduction to reduce the burden on residents of high tax states. I am also in favor of closing tax loopholes that corporations exploit in order to pay zero taxes.
What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?
I would work to have a new, common sense plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The ACA just quite frankly hasn’t worked, and needs to be repealed. Talking to constituents, I’ve listened to countless stories of premiums doubling, private insurance becoming prohibitively expensive, and they lose the ability to work with the doctor of their choice. We need a new healthcare plan. However, that new plan is not Medicare for All. I oppose Medicare For All as it is a socialistic program that will never work and is pure folly spouted by the hard left. I believe prescription drugs need to come down in pricing, especially for our seniors. Prescription drug pricing is going to be more important than ever, now that the Baby Boomers are entering retirement. A bipartisan, commonsense solution must be found now.
The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Do you support or oppose DACA and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.
Our first mission is to secure our borders. We have 500,000 people coming here illegally each year. How can we talk about a plan for the people here if more keep coming? Turn off the tap, then we can work on a solution. I am in favor of finding a path that allows young people brought here as babies and young children to stay here.
What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?
Number one would be reducing taxes. Number two is finding a reasonable health care plan for my constituents. Number three is job training and re-training.
What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
Well the number one difference is that I’m not a Democrat or a Nazi. I am the only true Republican in the race, and the commonsense choice. I have real legislative experience. I’m currently the Minority Leader on the Will County Board, and have seven years of local government experience. During my tenure on the board; as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Capital Improvement committee, we’ve lowered the county tax rate for four consecutive years. I know how to find and reduce government waste, and I will do the same thing in Washington.
What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?
Guns are a complex issue. I’m pro second amendment, as well as a gun owner. However, something must be done to combat this new wave of violence. I support federal legislation that would increase sentences of those that are caught with illegal guns. We also need to commit more resources to those that are struggling with mental health issues.
Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?
The future of the environment is very important to me. I am in favor of continuing research and development of new technologies in the private sector. The private sector is best positioned to come up with these new technologies, government interference would only slow them down. I proposed solar energy for the new county courthouse which will account for seven percent of the building’s energy. I also proposed we analyze all county buildings for their compatibility with solar, and that process is currently ongoing.
What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?
The seniors are being shortchanged when the COLA (cost of living adjustment) is tied to the CPI-E (Consumer Price Index for the Elderly) instead of the regular CPI. The CPI-E is lower than the CPI, and seniors are left covering costs or cutting corners due to the COLA’s not keeping up. Even though the difference between the CPI-E and CPI aren’t too far apart, you must remember that the numbers compound, so the cost to the seniors is far greater. To reach solvency, changes in income will have to be looked at, as well as the age requirements for the program. I am confident a bi-partisan solution can be found.
What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?
I would support an across-the-board decrease in the interest rate students are charged for their loans. There are many ways to decrease costs at universities, including at our community colleges which I feel Illinois has the best in the nation. I think a turn towards vocational school would help address the crisis as well, as it is important that all job sectors have enough workers.
What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?
As a global leader, I support the US working with all nations to increase our economy. However, our safety comes number one. We must put safeguards in place to protect the integrity of our elections. The US has to make sure that all nations work with us, not against us. Nations that pose a threat to us or impede on our election safety must have a strong response from the United States Government.
What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.
To be a partner in the global economy, all nations must play by the rules. Unfortunately, not all nations play by the same rules. Under previous administrations, a blind eye was turned to this, especially when the infractor was China. President Trump has shown that it is not business as usual, and is forcing these rogue nations to conform to the global standard. Otherwise, why cripple ourselves and let China run free? Tariffs are the response to years of Chinese manipulation of the global economy.
Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.
The United States does have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries. As a global leader, we must show these developing nations what a free beacon of democracy looks like. However, we cannot impose our will on them. Educate first, assist second.
What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?
We should continue to be at the table with all nuclear nations to decrease nuclear arms and create treaties that will provide a safer globe. While we cannot have zero nuclear weapons, we do not need enough to destroy the entirety of the world 100 times over.
Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
One of my children is the current Event and Communications Coordinator for the Village of Homer Glen.
What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.
President Ronald Reagan. His ability to reach and speak to all members of the country gives me great inspiration. Of all the administrations I have been around for, his was the most honest and direct I felt. He didn’t have an ulterior motive or agenda, he just wanted what was best for the country. And that’s the same thing I want.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
I only watch what my wife puts on (she controls the TV). However, I love when she puts Modern Family on. The family dynamic is hilarious, and I notice parallels to my own life, like when the children are bickering. Really any show that has the comedic family dynamic is one I’m a fan of.