On Iraq Rasoul says the surge was to buy us time for political reconciliation and “we needed 3 different factions to come together and make nice and it’s not going to happen.” Rasoul advocates an 18-24 month timetable for withdrawal.
Goodlatte’s response, “we have made substantial progress in Iraq in creating a free people. People that are willing to go into polling places and dip their fingers into purple ink and risk being killed by a terrorist.” Goodlatte believes we are very close to having the Iraqis take responsibility for their future. He does not advocate a timetable said that “it sends the wrong message.”
On No Child Left Behind Rasoul says, “in the long term we need to scrap it.” Rasoul wants to bring more control back to localities. “No unfunded Federal mandates,” exclaims Rasoul. Goodlatte introduced legislation to allow states that have high accountability standards such as Virginia to opt out.
Rasoul reluctantly supports the $700 million rescue plan but what he did not like is all the “pork” that was attached to it. Rasoul wants to make sure the “special interests don’t get hold of this $700 million. Something had to be done before our economy shut down lamented Rasoul.
Goodlatte agreed that taking no action was not an option but that it is “a long term intrusion into our economy.“ He wanted firms to have “skin in the game” to buy insurance and have the Mark-To-Market rule reformed.
On illegal immigration both agreed on abiding by the rule of law. However Rasoul states that building a fence was not the answer and wanted improved border security. Goodlatte says that the fence is working, the Visa Lottery was wrong, and that local law enforcement should be empowered to assist at the border.
On Energy Goodlatte urges drilling in Alaska, the Rocky Mountain states, and on the continental shelf of Virginia. Goodlatte believes we will always need oil for producing products like plastics and the United States could produce all the oil it needs given the reserves we have.
Rasoul says, “we [United States] should have been the leader” in new technology and hybrid cars. We need to take the 18 billion dollars we give in tax subsidies to big oil and require them to invest it in alternative energy or we should put the money somewhere else. Both advocated for alternatives like solar and wind.
Rasoul passionately calls the current tax code “an abomination” and he would never support any tax code alteration that increases the tax burden on the middle class. He was resolute as he spoke about the tax loopholes that were there for the ultra rich.
Goodlatte complained that everyone has a plan to reform the tax code. He wanted to call everybody’s bluff and vote to scrap the code and sunset the tax code over a 2-3 year period.
On healthcare Goodlatte does not support a National Healthcare system and said citizens need choice. Government would be deciding “what’s covered and what‘s not.” He proposes Association Health Plans where “small businesses could band together and form large pools” for greater bargaining leverage.
Rasoul says that 41% of home foreclosures were due in large part to financial hardship brought on by health care burdens. He said, “you can’t solve this by subsidizing the health care industry.”