Election 2016: Phil Pavlov Candidate Questionnaire

WDET sent identical questionnaires to Congressional primary candidates. Here’s how Phil Pavlov answered:

Why are you running for Congress?


I’m running for Congress to give people a voice in what their government does. 


America is headed down the wrong path and falling behind other nations. The federal government is not adequately addressing the threat of terrorism and taking the necessary steps to protect our borders. Our economy has stagnated, and people are being squeezed out of opportunities for success and prosperity.


In our area, many people have felt a sense of powerlessness over the last seven years.  They believe they no longer have a say in what government does — that government is no longer listening.


The role of Congress at all times is to listen to the people and represent their voices in the decision-making process.  When someone from the 10th District calls – I’ll answer. I have always been that way, and I will continue that practice in Washington.


What qualifies you to run for Congress?


I have always taken seriously the responsibility entrusted to me as a public servant, and I have a strong, principled record of listening to my constituents and voting with their best interests in mind.


As a small business owner for fourteen years, I know the challenges many families and job-providers are experiencing.  I understand the impact of government decisions, and I understand the importance of being heard when sharing a concern or idea about improving government or our community.  


As a life-long resident of St. Clair Township and as state senator for the Thumb and Northern Macomb, I understand that what our communities need from Washington is a level playing field, a fighting chance at prosperity, and greater national security. I am a leader who puts people ahead of politics, and these values are my priorities, too.


What do you consider the major issues facing your district? Please name at least three.


  • Economy
  • Terrorism and National Security
  • Obamacare


How do you plan to address those issues if elected?


Economic Stagnation

Michigan’s economy has improved overall, but many areas have not yet felt it. Many families and businesses are still struggling from the “lost decade,” and our national economic stagnation is not helping.  We must revive the U.S. economy and make it easier — not harder — for people and businesses to earn, spend, and save.


My record in Lansing over the past six years is strong.  We’ve taken the necessary steps to help job-providers by lowering taxes, erasing debt, shrinking long-term liabilities and rebuilding the state’s rainy day fund. This is the type of leadership I’ll take to Washington.


We must remove barriers to American economic growth, like regulatory bottlenecks and burdensome government overreach, and we absolutely must rein in federal spending to shrink the national deficit. I’ll focus on these and other solutions that empower businesses to expand and thrive.


Terrorism and National Security

We must reduce the threat of terrorism in America.  This can be achieved by supporting protective measures aimed at preventing the further establishment and expansion of terrorist organizations on U.S. soil. If Congress really wants to keep our communities safe, they should crack down on illegal immigration, secure our borders, ensure proper screening of immigrants, put an end to dangerous “sanctuary cities,” and better support our border communities’ law enforcement. Local law enforcement is often in the best position to detect and respond to this threat.


In Congress, I will focus on providing our local law enforcement with the ability and resources they need to make our communities safer.  We must begin to control runaway federal spending and stop funding wasteful projects, so we can allocate many of those resources to our local law enforcement organizations. 



The solution begins with one word: repeal. Under the terribly-named Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care has actually become more, not less, expensive, and insurance premiums are higher, not lower.


Families and businesses need affordable, accessible health care for their members and workers. Obamacare has complicated the operation and administration of employer-provided healthcare plans. It’s crushing families across America, and it’s actually reducing proper healthcare.


We must repeal Obamacare and replace it with reforms that give people greater choice, protect the doctor-patient relationship, decrease costs and increase quality.


Are you formally endorsing a candidate for President?




In broad terms, what do you believe is the relationship between the federal government and local units of government? What is in your record that supports and informs this philosophy?


I believe that government works best when it is run locally.  There are issues of national security, international trade and our nation’s economy where our federal government has an important role and responsibility, however, whenever possible, I will work to bring decision-making to the local businesses, schools and law enforcement officials who make up and lead our communities.


In almost all things — and my record in the state Senate reflects this — I will trust a parent, teacher, or principal over an education official in Washington.  I will look to local job providers for what they need to run their business and fight back against federal rules that micromanage small business and stifle growth.  And I will stand with local law enforcement leaders who are literally now on the front lines of efforts to keep our country safe.


What is your opinion on:


Raising the age of Medicare eligibility?




Taxing investor income on municipal bonds?




Establishing an Internet sales tax?


I opposed an Internet sales tax in the Michigan Senate.


Transportation-related infrastructure and prioritization of road repair vs. transit vs. non-motorized projects?


Road repair would be my number one transportation-related priority.  


Energy policy and how it may support local investments in renewable power and support for financial incentives to increase energy efficiency?


It depends on the project.