Colorado US Senate Race: Bennet, Glenn, Williams And Hammons On The Issues

Photo: Bennet, Hammons, Glenn, Williams
From left: Democrat Michael Bennet, the Unity Party's Bill Hammon, Republican Darryl Glenn, and Libertarian Lily Tang Williams.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is defending his seat from challengers Republican Darryl Glenn, Libertarian Lily Tang Williams, Bill Hammons of the Unity Party, and Arn Menconi of the Green Party.

The candidates answered the following questions from CPR News about issues they may face. Arn Menconi, the Green Party candidate, did not respond to repeated requests to complete CPR's questionnaire. We will update this page if his campaign completes it.

The answers below are directly from the candidates, edited only for style.

What areas of federal spending should be increased? What should be cut?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)There are areas where the federal government has ignored critical needs, like education and infrastructure improvements. But Congress needs to take action to reduce our growing deficit, and we should start by focusing on inefficiencies in our system. I have a bill with Senator Rob Portman, Republican from Ohio, to help seniors on Medicare get to their appointments, get the medicine they need, focus on preventative care and coordinate their care between doctors and facilities. Fifteen percent of Medicare recipients account for $300 billion in spending—we could cut billions off that number without affecting benefits.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)As a result of budget cuts, military spending has reached dangerously low levels and I would support an increase in funding to ensure that endstrength matches our national security objectives and that our service members are properly trained and equipped. There is so much excessive government spending that it would be impossible to list all areas I would seek to cut, however, some examples would be eliminating government bureaucracies such as the Department of Education to return funding to the states, ending funding to Planned Parenthood, and eliminating taxpayer services to illegal immigrants. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)There are no areas where federal spending should be increased and many where it should be cut. For example, military spending, education, entitlement programs and farm subsidies should all be either cut or eliminated.
Bill Hammons (Unity)Within the context of a Balanced Budget Amendment, spending on health care (including for veterans currently covered by the VA) and spending on encouraging alternative energy should be increased along with dollars for fighting extremism, while spending for classes of weapons systems that anticipated a conventional conflict with the now-defunct Soviet Union should be decreased to free up dollars for more appropriate defense programs.
Do you support the Paris climate change deal that the U.S. agreed to in 2015? Why or why not?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)Climate change is a real threat, and we’re already seeing the effects right here in Colorado. With the risk of more and more devastating wildfires, shortened ski seasons, and the impact on our $40 million agriculture industry, the consequences of climate change pose a serious problem for Colorado’s economy. I support the Paris climate deal because it’s a good first step of a multinational plan to reduce carbon emissions, but we also must take more immediate steps. I have a bipartisan bill to help finance carbon-capture projects, which will help reduce carbon emissions and support Colorado’s diverse energy economy.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Any climate change agreement needs to balance the goals of reducing negative environmental impacts with the impact any changes will have on our economy and the ability of families to access affordable energy. The Paris Agreement brings with it enormous costs for businesses and society, and during a time when the American economy is just beginning to recover from the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, I do not support any agreement that would further handicap our economy or harm our business community. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)I do not believe that there is sufficient scientific evidence that climate change is caused by human activity or that it falls or will fall outside the normal levels of historic change. Greenhouse gas emissions can be controlled by giving consumers the choice of doing business (or not) with companies which pollute, in other words by letting the free market work.
Bill Hammons (Unity)Yes, though such international agreements are akin to corralling cats; the United States should lead the way on controlling climate change in exactly the same manner it has led the way through the later stages of the Industrial Revolution and into the Post-Industrial Age: unilaterally and with appropriate impatience. Carbon taxes should at least partly replace the Federal income tax, with excess revenues returned to taxpayers as regular rebates to help offset the disproportionate impact and also to reward individual conservation; those taxes should be matched with carbon tariffs directly baked into any new trade agreements and perhaps shoehorned into existing ones; such tariffs will force overseas manufacturers to immediately emit less carbon emissions or perish; the net result of such measures will be to launch the world as a whole into the Post-Carbon Age, no Parisian gabfests necessary.
What is the one thing the federal government could do that would have the biggest positive impact on Colorado's economy?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)The best thing government can do is make smart investments that will help bring more high-paying jobs to our state while making sure they’re not hindering economic development. I’ve worked to make that happen through my work in the Senate, like passing tax credits for the wind and solar energy industries, which support thousands of jobs right here in Colorado. I also helped establish a patent office in Denver to support jobs and entrepreneurship across the state, and it’s expected to generate over $400 million in economic activity. Additionally, I’ve worked to cut red tape for our aerospace and liquefied natural gas industries, so they can thrive without burdensome federal regulations.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Get out of the way. Return taxpayer dollars to the state rather than continuously adding new entitlement programs and funneling money through federal government bureaucracies. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Reducing the amount of federal regulation and interference in the economy will stimulate Colorado’s economy more than any other single factor. Government regulation stifles innovation and the economy in general, reduced regulation stimulates it.
Bill Hammons (Unity)In light of our 300 days of sunshine a year, our Eastern Plains, and our central position in the country (ideal for long-distance energy transmission), the Federal government could (see previous answer) encourage wind and solar energy.
How should the federal government balance the need for affordable energy with its stated goal of shifting to higher-cost renewable sources?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)It’s important that we support Colorado’s diverse energy economy, including both the renewable and traditional energy industries. I fought to extend wind and solar tax credits for Colorado’s clean energy industry, which supports thousands of jobs here in our state. I also fought to protect over 200 mining jobs in Moffatt County after a court ruling called into question the environmental assessment to approve Colowyo’s mining plan. And I have a bipartisan bill that would finance carbon-capture projects—an approach that would help coal plants stay open while reducing emissions. We need a balanced approach to energy that works for Colorado.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)The federal government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in the energy game. The market will dictate demand. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The federal government should remove itself from the decision-making process entirely and let consumers decide for themselves what types of energy they wish to consume.
Bill Hammons (Unity)See my answers to the two previous questions.
Should western states, including Colorado, assume control of federally owned land? (See here for a good explanation of this issue.) Why or why not?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)We need to make a commitment to protecting Colorado’s landscapes and natural resources for future generations. These lands, parks, and wilderness areas are critical to Colorado’s economy, which is why I voted against legislation that would sell off public lands, and co-sponsored legislation that would make it more difficult to do so.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Colorado should assume control over federally owned land because the Obama administration has demonstrated the danger of federal control. With increased regulations by the EPA and through executive designations of national monuments, the federal government has attempted an unprecedented power grab that impacts Coloradans’ land and water rights, limits multiple land use, and restricts the use of land for recreational purposes. In this sphere, the federal government has demonstrated that it is out of control. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The federal government should return most or all federally-owned land to the states. States are much better suited to decide the use of land within their borders than is the federal government, and should be allowed to make such decisions without federal interference.
Bill Hammons (Unity)No.
What are one or two changes you would like to see to federal gun laws?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)We need commonsense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. This includes background checks on gun purchases and ensuring that anyone on the terror watch list is unable to obtain a firearm. These are commonsense changes that will keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)I am a constitutional conservative and the constitution states that, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” ​To that end, I don’t believe the government should be restricting the rights of law abiding citizens to own or use a firearm. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The second amendment to the constitution is very clear, and was instituted for the very reason that many people want to see it removed: the citizens of a free country should be able to defend themselves and their country. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun ownership is a right, not a privilege. All federal gun laws infringe the rights of the citizens to keep and bear arms.
Bill Hammons (Unity)Federal gun laws need to address mental health issues and the state of mind of gun buyers. All gun buyers could be required to affirmatively answer that they are aware of the immense potential destructive impact upon human life a firearm could have if used incorrectly, that they are aware of the value of human life, and that they solemnly swear they will never take an innocent human life with that firearm.
Do you want to keep the Affordable Care Act and possibly make minor changes, overhaul it, or eliminate it? Please explain.
Michael Bennet (Democrat)The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, and we need to work to make improvements to ensure that individuals have access to quality, affordable health care. But we can’t go back to a time where millions were penalized for having preexisting conditions and women could be charged more for insurance than men, and repealing the law would mean putting insurance companies back in charge. Instead we need to focus on fixing the law. I’m focused on getting more competition in these markets, capping these unbelievable premiums and fighting to keep hospitals open in Colorado’s rural areas like Sterling, Delta County and Steamboat Springs.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the latest example of a government entitlement program that neither the federal government nor individual citizens can afford. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Obamacare will cost the federal government $1.4 trillion over the next decade and $110 billion in 2016 alone. Colorado has been particularly hard hit by Obamacare. Premiums have skyrocketed, high deductible plans flooded the marketplace, insurance companies are opting out of offering plans, and the state-run co-op, Colorado HealthOP, has shut down due to insolvency, potentially leaving Colorado taxpayers with a $40 million bill. While I like that individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, I would completely eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its unconstitutional requirement that all individuals purchase their own health insurance or face a financial penalty from the federal government. This law must be replaced with a more commonsense approach to healthcare that includes tort reform, permitting insurance to be purchased across state lines, and improving public health to decrease the demand for medical care. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The federal government has no reason to be in the healthcare business, nor in the insurance business. The Affordable Care Act should be repealed and not replaced. Additionally, the federal government should reduce or eliminate the regulations governing where and how insurance is sold. For example, insurance should be able to be sold across state lines.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I want to replace the Affordable Care Act with a Medicare for All system which includes veterans not adequately served by the VA.
College has become unaffordable for many Americans. What would you do to make it more affordable?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)Everyone deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education without being saddled with a lifetime of debt, and this has been a priority for me in the Senate. I wrote bipartisan legislation to make the FAFSA questionnaire more accessible to Colorado families by reducing it from over a hundred questions to just two, which will prevent students from missing out on important financial aid. I also cosponsored legislation that would allow individuals to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a car loan or a home loan. In the Senate, I’ll continue to work to make college more affordable for all Americans.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)A four-year college degree is not the necessary path for all students. At a time when student loan debt is soaring and opportunities for recent college graduates are more limited than at any other time in recent history, a college education should not be prescribed as the only option. High school graduates should be presented with a plethora of options including technical schools, apprenticeships, and opportunities for national service in addition to the traditional college pathway. These different opportunities would help better meet the needs of our economy, match the talents of our students, and help businesses recruit the skilled workers they need. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Remove the government regulation concerning education. The primary reason college is so expensive these days is the amount of government regulation concerning it. Remove the regulations, allow open competition without federal (or state) subsidies, and the costs will drop dramatically. State subsidies always reduce efficiency and increase costs in the marketplace.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I support using legislation to cap interest rates on student loans at no more than the interest rate on a 20-year U.S. Treasury Bond (a little under 2 percent as of this writing), thus effectively eliminating the private student loan market (which has proved to be predatory) and encouraging the growth of Federal Direct Student Loans in its place. I also support doubling the typical repayment term to 20 years.
Should the federal government play any role in making housing more affordable in places like Colorado? If so, what should it do?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)With the middle class struggling to get by, a lack of affordable housing is a major issue for Coloradans. Last year, I voted to increase funding to construct more than 35,000 affordable housing units. I’ve worked to secure regulatory relief for public housing agencies, including securing language in the Administration’s budget to allow public housing authorities to recertify the income of fixed-income tenants once every three years instead of annually. This cuts down on red tape, helping those agencies secure affordable housing for more families.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)I think the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2016 was attractive in many ways -- by focusing on public-private partnerships and giving states flexibility to spend on communities of people or geographical locations -- that could most benefit from these credits.
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The free market should be allowed to govern prices in the housing market. As has been demonstrated time and time again, government interference, whether in the form of subsidized housing, rent controls or other forms of interference, increases costs to the consumers while reducing the amount of affordable housing available.
Bill Hammons (Unity)See my answer to the previous question. Remitting some carbon taxes to those with lower incomes and also alleviating the student debt burden will free up more money for housing for many Americans.
Do you believe adults who came to this country illegally should have a path to citizenship? Why or why not? 
Michael Bennet (Democrat)I was part of the “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of senators working to draft comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Our bill included a pathway to citizenship to allow millions living in the shadows to fully contribute to our society and our economy, as well as measures to strengthen our borders. I worked with business and labor groups, farmers, faith leaders, and the Latino community on this legislation, which passed the Senate with 68 votes. Comprehensive immigration reform will keep families together and boost Colorado’s economy, and I’ll keep working to pass it into law.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)We have thousands of people around the world who have been patiently waiting for years to enter this country legally. Many of them are doctors, scientists, small business owners, tech entrepreneurs –people who could contribute to this country right away, and create jobs. America should be recruiting the best talent the world over and bringing it here, but we’re not–because our system is so broken. It’s time to stop rewarding lawbreakers at the expense of those who are trying to follow the law. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Our entire immigration system needs to be overhauled. Our country was founded on the principle of open immigration ("Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”), and immigration has always proved to be a benefit to our country over the medium to long term. Illegal immigrants should have a path to citizenship, but is should involve restitution in some form to the state, and immigration in general should be much more open than it is today while still maintaining the security of our country.
Bill Hammons (Unity)No. Coming to this country illegally is, by definition, an illegal act, and therefore should not be rewarded with American citizenship. That said, our economy needs economical labor, and hard-working non-citizens should be allowed to stay here if they obey the law and pay taxes.
What should the federal government do to address growing income inequality in America, and in Colorado?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)One of the most important parts of addressing income inequality is improving our education system to ensure everyone has access to opportunities to help them succeed. I have spoken out about the disparity between affluent and poor students across the country, and have led efforts to help vulnerable students succeed. I’ve pushed for bipartisan legislation to close the resource gap between high and low-income students, and secured a provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act that requires states to identify and intervene in the bottom 5 percent of schools.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Education is at the heart of growing inequality within this country. To battle the growing disparities, families deserve choices- a choice between multiple high-quality options, a choice about what type of program best suits their own child, a choice of where to send their kids in order to set them up for success. Not all families are fortunate enough to live in a school district with high quality public schools -- and public schools aren’t the right option for all families. Parents should be able to choose among several great options including successful public schools, public charter schools, homeschooling, and private schools with the help of vouchers, scholarships, tax credits, and Education Savings Accounts. Providing options helps put government education dollars to their best use while increasing parental satisfaction and child success. The goal of education, after all, is to provide the best outcomes for our children, not special interests. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Allow the free market to work. Reducing regulation and government interference will lead to an economic boom such as has seldom been seen in this world.
Bill Hammons (Unity)See above my answers regarding remitting carbon taxes (think along the lines of the Alaska Permanent Fund) as well as alleviating the student debt burden. 
Do you think the federal government ceded too much power to the states in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind? Why or why not?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)As a former Superintendent of Denver Public Schools and a father of three children, education is an issue that’s deeply personal to me. I was proud to work on the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act with Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander to overhaul No Child Left Behind. The legislation made long-overdue improvements to give states more flexibility while maintaining accountability. This means that states like Colorado have the ability to take action better suited to the needs of their schools. We also made important updates to the law that reduce high-stakes testing, reward performance and let teachers teach again.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)No Child Left Behind and Common Core are a violation of the state mandate to oversee education by substituting federal standards generated by corporate interests and developed by academics and test assessment experts, without the input of parents or teachers. States have essentially been coerced into accepting these national standards by having their educational funding held hostage until they acquiesce to implementation. However, despite receiving federal funds once they agree to adopt these federal standards, states have found that adopting the curriculum and overseeing the endless standards-based testing has cost their states millions. This test-based learning has also stifled teacher creativity and flexibility by dictating what students must learn and the lanes in which teachers must remain. These programs have not raised academic achievement in this country, nor have they led to greater student outcomes. In fact, last year, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), commonly referred to as the nation’s report card, math scores dropped for the first time since 1990 while reading scores fared just as poorly, and fewer students are considered “college ready.” If we want our children to succeed, we need to hand responsibility for educating them back to parents, teachers, and local communities, and end federal government micromanagement over a responsibility defined in the Constitution as belonging to the states. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The Department of Education should be de-funded and control of education returned to the several states.
Bill Hammons (Unity)In part, yes. Education is a local, if not private, matter, and a nationwide one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit when it comes to education. That said, schools serving poor and minority students need to be held to a higher standard, and just as Civil Rights shouldn't be left to local authorities, a good primary and secondary education as a Civil Right shouldn't be left to local authorities.
If elected or re-elected, what one piece of legislation would you focus on? 
Michael Bennet (Democrat)One of my highest priorities if reelected would be to advance the comprehensive immigration reform legislation crafted by the bipartisan Gang of Eight, which I was a part of. It passed the Senate with 68 votes, but partisan obstructionism blocked it from even receiving a vote in the House. I remain committed to comprehensive immigration reform and will continue to push for it if re-elected.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)By voting for the Iran deal, Michael Bennet has made America less safe. Iran is unquestionably pursuing nuclear weapons. President Obama and Senate Democrats’ support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a national security disaster of immeasurable proportion. By capitulating to this misguided treaty, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, can continue to pursue nuclear weapons free of the hard-won international sanctions passed over a decade of international diplomacy. Moreover, they can do it with a windfall of billions of dollars unfrozen from Iranian accounts, all while the international community is still denied access to suspected nuclear sites for inspection. Once in the Senate, I will support withdrawal from the treaty, reimposition of tough sanctions, and a tightening of restrictions on senior Iranian leadership
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)I would immediately begin efforts to de-schedule marijuana and remove all “victimless crimes” from the law.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I would introduce the Comprehensive American Federal Election Reform Act of 2017 (CAFER pronounced as "SAFER"), because everything follows from our elections. The Act would introduce as Constitutional Amendments term limits for Congress and the Federal Judiciary (including the Supremes). Also: new bans on corporate money in politics to kick in once term limits are in place and therefore the Court is reformed, the outlawing of Gerrymandering, mandates for paper records of Federal election votes, and required immediate resignations of elected officials once they announce for higher office.
Should marijuana be legalized across the country? Why or why not?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)Colorado and similarly situated states need to continue to show how recreational marijuana can be regulated responsibly. Since voters chose to legalize marijuana, I’ve worked on legislation with Sen. Cory Gardner to ensure marijuana businesses have access to banks and are not forced to operate as cash-only enterprises, which is a threat to public safety and complicates tax collection. I’ve also worked to clarify regulations for financial institutions that wish to serve these businesses, and have cosponsored legislation aimed at allowing marijuana-related businesses to deduct ordinary business expenses.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Legalization of marijuana is a state issue and should not be regulated by the federal government. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Absolutely. Alcohol prohibition failed horribly and we are seeing the same effects from the so-called “war on drugs”. Drug use falls into the category of victimless crimes, and so should be legalized. In brief, that will strangle the drug cartels and the Mafia, and allow treatment of addicts without the stigma of criminal conviction.
Bill Hammons (Unity)Yes, if only to keep people from moving here solely for pot.
What should the federal government do to improve the long-term financial viability of Medicare and Social Security?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)We must protect the promise of both Social Security and Medicare for those who have spent their lives paying into it. In the Senate, I’ve voted to throw up roadblocks to legislation that would reduce benefits, increase the retirement age or privatize Social Security. But in order to ensure the solvency of the program, we might have to consider adjustments—such as lifting the income cap—that will make sure we protect the most vulnerable while also keeping the program viable for the next generation. For Medicare, we should be looking at inefficiencies in the system. My bill with Republican Sen. Rob Portman would help seniors on Medicare get to their appointments, get the medicine they need, focus on preventative care and coordinate their care between doctors and facilities. Fifteen percent of Medicare recipients account for $300 billion in spending—we could cut billions off that number without affecting benefits.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Younger generations need to prepare for retirement with the mindset that government programs (even ones that they have paid into themselves over the course of their careers), are just part of their long-term plans. There needs to be a focus on diversifying retirement assets such as with IRAs, 401Ks, and health savings accounts. The government simply cannot afford to continue paying out benefits to future generations the way it pays out now. We must also work to combat fraud in the Medicare system due to identity theft. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Medicare and Social Security should be returned to their roots: a safety net for the poor and disadvantaged in our country, not a guaranteed retirement plan. Young people today should be allowed to opt out of both systems by contributing to some sort of individual retirement / medical plan, and recipients of both types of benefits should be means-tested.
Bill Hammons (Unity)The way to secure Social Security on a permanent basis is to fund the Trust Fund's benefit distribution every year with the previous year's Social Security taxes. The year-to-year variability in benefits can be off-set by sales of Social Security Insurance issued by private insurers (there are plenty of capitalists who are willing to bet that the economy and incomes will grow in any given year; needless to say this insurance will need to be re-insured and well-regulated). See above for my Medicare for All proposal; current private premiums could be rolled into funding for health care that is government-funded but *not* government-run.
Do you support raising the federal minimum wage? Why, or why not?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)Yes. Working families shouldn’t have to struggle to get by and live in poverty. That’s why I support raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour to help working Coloradans make ends meet.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)I do not support raising the federal minimum wage because studies have shown that doing so would result in massive job losses and have adverse economic impact on small businesses throughout the country. What’s more, a full third of workers earning the minimum wage are teenagers, not heads of household working to support a family as the president and Democrats in Congress would have you believe. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Absolutely not. Minimum wages reduce the job opportunities available to the very people that they are intended to help. While it is true that those lucky enough to find employment are able to live better, the number of jobs in total is reduced, due to the incentives for employers of using automated systems and other, lower cost alternatives.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I support raising the Federal Minimum Wage in the context of a Global Minimum Wage worked into current and future international trade agreements. We can suggest that other countries adopt their own minimum wage standards pegged to our minimum wage if they wish to sell goods produced by those workers to the US (e.g., the current average Vietnamese wage is about $1 an hour and could be pegged to a new American minimum wage of $8 an hour; if we raised our minimum wage further to $10 an hour, we could force the Vietnamese to raise theirs to $1.25); such wage floors would improve standards of living around the world, create more economic and political stability, and create new consumers of American goods produced by our trusty $10-an-hour workers. I also support a "Global" minimum wage in that fewer exceptions should be made based on industry. In a past life as a restaurant waiter, I experienced first-hand the cockamamie effects of a $2 an hour minimum wage allowed by law (i.e., restaurant owners can find someone else to fold their damn napkins at 2 a.m.).
What changes should be made to the federal tax code?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)We need a vastly simplified tax code that supports job creation and that is modernized for the 21st century—the last time we reformed the tax code was in the 1980s. I support a one-time tax on the $2 trillion of foreign earnings of U.S. multinationals, with the money going towards our highway system. We should also get rid of egregious tax loopholes like the kind that benefit companies that ship jobs overseas.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)The tax code is far too complicated. Individuals should be able to file their own taxes without needing to hire expert accountants to ensure they are in compliance with the law. The tax code should be simplified such that the average American could understand the process and file their own returns. 
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)The 16 amendment should be repealed, the IRS abolished, and the tax system replaced with a consumption tax along the lines of the Fair Tax. Under a national consumption tax, there is no drag on the economy caused by the huge bureaucracy of the IRS, taxpayers are not required to become accountants, the wealthy pay more due to their higher consumption rates and the poor are not unduly burdened by virtue of the “prebate” given to all taxpayers.
Bill Hammons (Unity)See above. We need to replace the Federal income tax (at least in part) with a carbon tax with regular partial rebates.
What can Congress do to ensure timely medical care for veterans?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)As home to over 400,000 veterans, Colorado—and the entire country—has a responsibility to ensure that those who have served our country have access to the quality care and support they deserve. When the wait times issue first came to light, I requested the VA Inspector General investigate all VA facilities in Colorado, and I’ll continue to hold the VA accountable. I also successfully pushed the VA to change their “40 mile rule” so veterans in rural areas could access non-VA care closer to home—previously, the rule measured the distance as a straight line, rather than actual driving miles. Taking care of our veterans isn’t a partisan issue, and we should continue working together to make improvements to ensure all the men and women who have served our country have access to high-quality care.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)While VA health care is certainly outstanding in many areas (such as their Centers of Excellence), veterans have consistently had a difficult time being treated in an expeditious manner. To overcome this problem, veterans should be permitted to be treated within the private sector without long waits or a lengthy approval process.
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Eliminate the Veteran’s Administration and replace it with an allowance for all veterans to pay for their own healthcare and/or health insurance.
Bill Hammons (Unity)See above. We should do away with the VA and include our veterans in a Medicare for All system to get them the health care they deserve when they need it.
The U.S. has admitted far fewer Syrian refugees than other countries. And President Obama has limited the American military's role in the Syrian civil war to an air campaign against ISIS. What should be America's role in Syria?
Michael Bennet (Democrat)The civil war in Syria is devastating to the region: hundreds of thousands killed, over 4 million refugees displaced and millions more internally displaced. Regional actors need to do more to address the situation, in particular Russia, which needs to be part of the solution, not the problem. You also can’t address the situation in Syria without addressing the threats posed by the terrorist groups that have flourished there, like ISIS. We have to continue to do everything we can to degrade and destroy ISIS, including increased air strikes targeting their economic infrastructure and oil production. We also need to redouble our efforts to disrupt their recruitment online.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)Becoming embroiled in the Syrian civil war does not serve American interests. The U.S. should continue to destroy ISIS strongholds and eliminate the threat posed by the terrorist organization, which is currently able to operate freely in Syria.
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)America should not be involved in the Syrian civil war at all. We should recall all troops in the area and allow the sovereign country of Syria to deal with what is an internal issue. On a broader note, the U.S. should maintain a strong military, but should not use that military without a declaration of war by the Congress.
Bill Hammons (Unity)At this point, stay out.
Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions? Please explain.
Michael Bennet (Democrat)In the Senate, I have worked to ensure women have access to safe and affordable health care, and have fought against efforts that would defund care and make it harder to obtain. I currently hold 100 percent ratings from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)I am 100 percent pro-life and believe life begins at conception. Women should have access to birth control. I would, however, be willing to support legal exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. While I appreciate the question, it's one-sided and a proper question should also include a discussion on support for abortions performed in the last trimester.
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Abortion is an intensely divisive and personal issue which has very sincere and intelligent people on both sides. Personally, I oppose abortion; I believe that we should make a strong effort to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country. While I do support legal abortions through the first part of the pregnancy, I do not believe that any part of the abortion should be funded by the federal government.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I don't support abortion so much as an individual's freedom to make their own choice in such a private matter.