Colorado Congressional District 1 race: Martin Walsh, Diana DeGette on the issues

Photo: Diana DeGette and Martin WalshRepublican Martin Walsh is challenging incumbent Democrat Diana DeGette in Colorado's First Congressional District. The district covers Denver, Glendale, Englewood, Sheridan and Cherry Hills Village.

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The candidates answered the following questions about issues they may face.

Do you want the Affordable Care Act to stay in place and possibly have minor changes, or do you want to completely overhaul or eliminate the ACA?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)I support reforming the Affordable Care Act, and we need a bipartisan effort to improve the law. One place we could start would be to fix a glitch that ensures affordable coverage for individuals but overlooks the higher costs facing working families.
Martin Walsh (Republican)Eliminate the ACA.
What can be done to shore up Medicare and Social Security?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We must ask every American to support these programs that we all pay into and will all have earned by the time we retire. They must not be undermined, especially for today’s retirees. They have played by the rules throughout their careers and are relying on the benefits they have earned. 
Martin Walsh (Republican)Comprehensive, long-term fiscal reform is the only way that we will be able to save Medicare and Social Security for future generations.
What role should the federal government play in regulating oil and gas extraction?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)Common-sense federal standards and oversight can help make sure that energy development is done safely. I have authored bipartisan legislation to bring similar standards to hydraulic fracturing, so that the public will know what chemicals are used in fracking, while companies can keep proprietary information shielded from competitors.
Martin Walsh (Republican)The federal government should ensure that oil and gas extraction is done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. Otherwise, they should encourage private industry and development.
Do you support changes to the Endangered Species Act? If so, what?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We should regularly evaluate longstanding laws like the Endangered Species Act to make sure they continue to serve their intended purpose. As animal populations fluctuate rapidly, we need to make sure that ESA standards are relevant to the situation biologists and zoologists are observing.
Martin Walsh (Republican)I support sensible changes to the Endangered Species Act that protect individual property rights and limit the power of government bureacracy. 
What should the federal government do about climate change?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We need to give the right incentives to develop clean and renewable energy, and we need to do this urgently in order to halt and hopefully reverse the worst effects of climate change. 
Martin Walsh (Republican)The federal government should encourage technological development in the private sector. Carbon taxes and Solyndra-type solutions are definitely not the solution. 

What can the federal government do to boost Colorado's economy?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We can ensure that women are paid equally for equal work, raise the minimum wage to help those who are working full time to get ahead, and pass comprehensive immigration reform to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows and give businesses better access to the legal workforce they need. 
Martin Walsh (Republican)Get out of the way and let private industry and creativity thrive. 
What should the federal government do to address growing inequality in America, and in Colorado?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)Addressing inequality and boosting our economy are closely connected, so ensuring equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and passing comprehensive immigration reform will all help address inequality as well. We must also reduce student loan burdens on recent graduates just entering the workforce, and our education system must prepare every child to succeed in our rapidly-changing economy.
Martin Walsh (Republican)I believe that the federal government needs to do better in providing jobs and opportunity to folks in Colorado and across the country. We continue to see an uneven economic recovery, where our middle class is still not better off today when compared to before the recession. We need greater economic opportunity. To get there, we need to encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs. We do this not through higher taxes and more regulation, but through a system that supports and rewards free markets and private enterprise. Apple and Google were not founded by the government, they were founded by hard-working entrepreneurs who took a chance to make something great.  
What should the federal government do to lower the child poverty rate in Colorado?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)Every child deserves a chance to succeed, but poverty dims those chances for too many kids. By working to grow the economy and create jobs, we can give their parents a better chance at a steady income. But no matter the parents’ circumstances, those kids deserve our support through healthy meals at school, a roof over their heads, and a sound education to prepare them to make a better life for themselves.
Martin Walsh (Republican)Enable the economy to get back on its feet through pro-growth policies such that moms and dads can provide for their families.
Do you support raising the federal minimum wage?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)Yes; hardworking Americans ought to make enough to support themselves, and the current minimum wage fails to do that.
Martin Walsh (Republican)No.
What areas of federal spending should be increased? What should be cut?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We need higher and more stable funding for medical and scientific research. These funds are an investment in future medical cures, inventions, and breakthroughs of all kinds. We need to go ahead and simplify programs such as the ones that military leaders at the Pentagon and food safety officials at the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration say are outdated. No joke: a pepperoni pizza falls under the Agriculture Department’s food safety rules, while cheese gets regulated under the FDA. That needs to change.
Martin Walsh (Republican)There is so much waste in the Federal budget. Listing cuts would be exahustive. I believe we need to keep present levels of spending for defense and for veterans.  
What changes should be made to the federal tax code?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We need to overhaul our old and loophole-ridden system for one that asks every American to pay their fair share.
Martin Walsh (Republican)We need to overhaul the entire tax system. We need to lower income taxes and corporate taxes and incent entrepreneurs and business owners to thrive.
Do you support Common Core standards? Why or why not? 
Diana DeGette (Democrat)I support holding our schools and students to high standards while making sure they have the resources and support to reach those goals. Our kids deserve every chance and resource to help them succeed.
Martin Walsh (Republican)No I do no support Common Core. Education decisions are best left to parents and local districts.
Do you believe adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship? Why or why not? 
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We need comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for the undocumented. Otherwise, our system will continue to fail the needs of immigrants, their families, and every American citizen who needs a functioning system to support our communities and businesses.
Martin Walsh (Republican)I believe that adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship, after they have registered and gotten in the back of the line.  
Should marijuana be legalized across the country?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We should let states decide this question, just as Colorado has. As other states consider this issue, the federal government should give states the legal flexibility to responsibly carry out voters' wishes.
Martin Walsh (Republican)States should have the right to decide on the legality of marijuana.
What is your stance on same-sex marriage?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)Same-sex should absolutely be legal. I have fought my entire career for equal rights for members of the LGBT community. I’m proud to be a founding member and vice-chair of the U.S. House LGBT Equality Caucus.
Martin Walsh (Republican)I am pro gay marriage. We all deserve equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
Should the federal government impose new restrictions on the sale or possession of firearms?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)We can take modest but effective steps to make sure people who should not have guns, such as convicted felons or those with mental health issues, cannot purchase them. These steps should be done with minimal or no burdens on law-abiding gun owners who responsibly use their Second Amendment rights.
Martin Walsh (Republican)No.
Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)I am strongly pro choice. I currently serve as co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus. I have spent my entire career fighting and advocating for pro-choice legislation and access to reproductive healthcare.
Martin Walsh (Republican)I will always support a woman's right to her make her own reproductive health decisions. I will never vote to publicly fund abortions with taxpayer funds.
Should the U.S. be helping arm Syrian rebels to take power away from ISIL--the Islamic extremist group? Why or why not? 
Diana DeGette (Democrat)ISIL represents a real threat to American national security, and Congress should work closely with the Obama Administration to coordinate an effective response with our allies to stop and defeat ISIL.
Martin Walsh (Republican)Yes. We should be actively engaged in defeating ISIS.
What would you do to help this country’s veterans, many of whom have recently returned from war?
Diana DeGette (Democrat)I will continue to ensure that veterans who served have the best possible VA healthcare and educational support. Our veterans have earned our support, and we owe it to them to offer quality healthcare and educational opportunities.
Martin Walsh (Republican)We need to improve care at VA hospitals and increase funding to our veterans.

Also running is unendorsed Republicans Daniel Kirschler and Logan Blackburn and unaffiliated candidate Danny E. Stroud.