Congressional candidates’ stances on health care, marriage, climate change

A story published this week in The Columbian explains where candidates running in the state’s 3rd Congressional District stand on the Columbia River Crossing, some foreign policy issues and on government spending. But where do they stand on other hot political topics this election season?

Healthcare reform

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas: Opposes the requirement that people buy health insurance, which is part of the health care reform law passed in 2010. She has voted to repeal the law.

Democrat Jon Haugen: Supports the health care reform law passed in 2010.

Nonpartisan Norma Stevens: Opposes the health care reform law. “The federal government usurped their power,” she said, adding that health care decisions “should be left to the states and the people. … We’re being forced to buy health insurance.”

Climate change

Herrera Beutler: Humans’ impact on the climate is being blown out of proportion by some groups. On climate change, she said, “I do think man can have an impact, but I don’t think man drives big-scale changes over time.” She also said: “a lot of groups have really been extreme about it to the detriment of our economy.”

Haugen: Climate change is real and is caused in part by humans. “I believe in free enterprise and capitalism, but i also believe in science,” he said. “Scientists have said that we do have climate change.”

Stevens: Undecided about whether climate change is real. “There’s enough articles out debunking” climate change, she said. “I lean toward thinking that it’s all much to do about nothing, but I recycle and I do everything I can.”

Same-sex marriage

Herrera Beutler: “I support traditional marriage.” As a state representative, she opposed extending legal partnerships to same-sex couples.

Haugen: Supports same-sex marriage. He said the debate about same-sex marriage reminds him of the discrimination that occurred in the 1960s with interracial couples. “That’s wrong then, and it’s wrong here,” he said. “I’m in favor of equality.”

Stevens: Plans to vote yes on Referendum 74, affirming legislation passed earlier this year that would allow same-sex couples to marry. “It’s not my place to judge who marries who,” she said. She also said marriage shouldn’t be a federal issue; the decision should be left to each state.

All three candidates will appear on the Aug. 7 primary ballot, in which the top two will advance to the Nov. 6 general election. Primary ballots will be mailed out July 18.

Stevie Mathieu: 360-735-4523 or or or

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