Colorado Congressional District 7 race: Don Ytterberg, Ed Perlmutter on the issues

October 23, 2014

Photo: Perlmutter, YtterbergRepublican Don Ytterberg is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter in Colorado's 7th Congressional District, which covers the western and northern suburbs of Denver.

More voters guides | Election 2014 coverage

Perlmutter answered the following questions about issues he may face if reelected. Ytterberg's campaign did not complete CPR's questionnaire. His positions are comprised of previous statements and news coverage that CPR News has compiled.

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?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)The Affordable Care Act should stay in place and Congress should fix it when needed. Since the implementation of the ACA there are nearly 8 million people enrolled who now have quality, affordable healthcare coverage. Additionally, Connect for Health Colorado, our state exchange, reports more than 300,000 Coloradans now have acquired some form of healthcare coverage. Most importantly, individuals with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against and children can remain on their parents plan until the age of 26. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"There are a myriad of problems with the ACA, and while I’m a firm believer that ACA should be repealed, it is currently the law of the land," Ytterberg's campaign website states. He offers three ways the law can be improved: 
1) Allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, allowing competition to push down prices. 
2) Reduce administrative regulations that cost a huge percentage of our healthcare dollars by streamlining billing processes and eliminating regulations that don’t make sense.  
3) Small businesses should be allowed to band together and purchase insurance as a group.
What can be done to shore up Medicare and Social Security?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I oppose efforts to privatize Social Security or dismantle Medicare. This is a promise we've made to our seniors we must uphold. This is an issue Congress needs to tackle and I support further Congressional oversight and investigation on identifying ways to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress in maintaining these important and necessary programs.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about these issues.
What role should the federal government play in regulating oil and gas extraction?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I believe there is a way to conduct hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in an environmentally sound way to take advantage of American domestic energy production while protecting our public lands and our communities. I believe the federal government should give states the power to ensure their local communities can find a way to co-exist and find common ground on this critical issue for our state and our country.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"The government should stay out of the way and not favor one type of energy over another with subsidies," Ytterberg says in a campaign blog post. He also says he would vote to build the Keystone XL pipeline.  
Do you support changes to the Endangered Species Act? If so, what?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I support reasonable changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but currently there is no evidence the ESA is broken and needs reform. Republicans are targeting the entire ESA, rather than focusing on specific animals to be removed from the list.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.
What should the federal government do about climate change?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I have long supported an all-of-the-above energy policy. This approach is essential to secure America’s energy independence and meet our future energy needs. Renewable energy sources - including wind, solar, biofuels and geothermal - are good for national security, jobs and the environment. I have also supported investments like the extension of the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and other measures that will increase energy efficiency across the entire energy spectrum. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"It is not proven science" that climate change is caused by man, Ytterberg said in a FOX31 debate in October 2014. He also said the Environmental Protection Agency's approach to energy regulation is burdensome on businesses. 
What can the federal government do to boost Colorado's economy?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)When we talk about the economy, I think it’s important to understand how far we’ve come over the past six years. As of October 2014, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.9%, the lowest point since July 2008. The unemployment rate in Colorado is even lower at about 5.1%. While this is positive news, we must ensure all Coloradans and Americans feel the benefits of a stronger economy. I support raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and increasing our manufacturing jobs here at home. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)

"Job creation is my number one priority for Colorado," Ytterberg's campaign website states. "What this economy needs is more capital, less regulation, greater confidence, and local banks that have the freedom to lend."

What should the federal government do to address growing economic inequality in America, and in Colorado?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)We need balanced, commonsense policies that will help the hardworking folks in the middle. We must make sure all Coloradans feel the effects of the improving economy by helping families afford higher education for their children and save for retirement, ensuring equal pay for equal work, increasing the minimum wage and passing comprehensive immigration reform. We also must create more opportunities for good-paying jobs by promoting energy security and independence and keeping manufacturing jobs here at home.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.
What should the federal government do to lower the child poverty rate in Colorado?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)For the first time since 2008, Colorado's child poverty rate declined in 2013; however we have a larger population of children now. That’s why it’s more important than ever to close the income inequality gap by pushing for higher wages, raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for equal work, and developing more efficient workforce training programs. We also need to make sure we reauthorize the children’s health insurance program and invest in early-childhood education programs like Head Start. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.
Do you support raising the federal minimum wage?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)Yes.  
Don Ytterberg (Republican)Ytterberg said in an October 2014 debate that he doesn't support raising the minimum wage. 
What areas of federal spending should be increased? What should be cut?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)As the economy continues to improve, so do the finances of the Federal Government, but reducing the national debt is important. I was a member of what the USA Today termed the 'Brave 38' who supported a Simpson-Bowles-like approach to balancing the budget. This approach is a comprehensive way to reduce our debt while keeping our promises to seniors, veterans, students and families. Additionally, it balances the need for spending cuts and additional revenue and makes needed reforms to the tax code.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"I would support an amendment to the Constitution requiring Congress to maintain a balanced budget except for emergency circumstances such as war. Endless deficits and mounting federal debt are threatening the American Dream," Ytterberg's campaign website states. 
What changes should be made to the federal tax code?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I believe our tax code should be reformed in a simple and fair way which is more conducive for economic growth. By eliminating certain individual and corporate tax loopholes favoring a few specific interests, we can lower the individual and corporate tax rates for all Americans. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)In his jobs plan, Ytterberg says he supports lowering taxes. He doesn't offer any specifics. 
Do you support Common Core standards? Why or why not? 
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I believe we need to let teachers teach. There is no question we need accountability in the system, but too often teachers and schools are forced to focus on the test and not given the flexibility to ensure children are receiving a well-rounded education. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any statements from Ytterberg about Common Core. Speaking on education more generally, Ytterberg said:  "Our education community also needs to focus on students' future jobs. A K-12 education should prepare children to find a rewarding career that provides financial security."
Do you believe adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship? Why or why not? 
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I support comprehensive immigration reform and believe it is the best way to address the many problems with our broken immigration system. A comprehensive package will provide the necessary resources to identify who is coming and going at our borders and ports, crack down on human trafficking, enforce laws in the workplace, improve our legal immigration and visa system, and provide an earned pathway to citizenship for those already in our country who are paying taxes, not committing crimes, and learning English.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)In a FOX31 debate in October 2014, Ytterberg said he would enforce existing immigration laws and try to find ways to naturalize immigrants here illegally. Ytterberg doesn't believe a comprehensive reform package is the answer, the Golden Transcript reports. 
Should marijuana be legalized across the country?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)It is up to each individual state to decide whether to legalize marijuana. In Colorado, the voters have spoken and legalized medical and recreational marijuana for adult use. In the cases of Colorado, Washington, and the 20 other states plus the District of Columbia [with medical marijuana], it has become apparent there is a need to address the disparity between state and federal law when it comes to access to the banking system. Currently these legal, small businesses are forced to operate on a cash-only basis which is a serious public safety risk for our communities.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.
What is your stance on same-sex marriage?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I support same-sex marriage. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.
Should the federal government impose new restrictions on the sale or possession of firearms?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I support the Second Amendment and I support commonsense, responsible gun violence prevention measures such as criminal background checks, increased access to health care for the mentally ill and reinstating the assault weapons ban.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"I am a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment because protecting my family from harm is of paramount importance," Ytterberg's campaign website states. 
Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)Support. I believe in a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)Ytterberg describes himself as pro-life, the Colorado Statesman reports: "... while he understands 'the discussion of rape and incest,' he opposes partial-birth abortion. 'I’m about families. I’m a family kind of guy.' "
Should the U.S. be helping arm Syrian rebels to take power away from ISIL--the Islamic extremist group? Why or why not? 
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I support the current air campaign and counter-terrorist measures being carried out against the Islamic State and their barbaric actions. I voted to authorize, for a short time, the training and arming of rebel forces to fight these terrorists. Once the current authorization expires in December I will reassess whether to continue to support training and arming rebel forces.
Don Ytterberg (Republican)"America needed to retaliate against the brutality that was issued against Americans," Ytterberg said in a FOX31 debate in October 2014. He did not address the issue of arming rebels, but said the U.S. military's exit from Iraq contributed to the rise of Islamic extremists. 
What would you do to help this country’s veterans, many of whom have recently returned from war?
Ed Perlmutter (Democrat)I have the highest regard for the men and women who have served and are serving our country. We must honor their service by providing our veterans and their families the best medical care possible and securing their hard-earned benefits upon returning home. One of my highest priorities since assuming office in 2007 has been to ensure the new VA medical facility in Aurora gets built. It will serve veterans from Montana to New Mexico and will be the finest medical facility in the country. I won't stop fighting until it's complete. I will continue to support programs and companies who make it a priority to hire veterans as well as advocate for legislation to help train our veterans and put them back to work in the civilian labor force. I cosponsored H.R. 4629, the Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act, which creates a pilot grant program to states and nonprofits to train veterans on advanced manufacturing skills. I also voted for a new post-9/11 GI Bill to provide full college scholarships to four-year institutions to ensure veterans have more access to the education they deserve. In my congressional office, I work hard to help the veteran community by hiring veterans to work in my office, hosting veteran-specific job fairs, and organizing Veterans Oral History Projects in conjunction with the Library of Congress. 
Don Ytterberg (Republican)CPR News couldn't find any record of Ytterberg speaking about this particular issue.

Find more voters guides here.