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Scott Walker's Political Views
Scott Walker is the current governor of Wisconsin, a position he has held since 2010. Walker is most known for his stand-off with public sector unions in Wisconsin upon winning election in 2010, a battle which culminated in a successful bill in 2011 to limit collective bargaining rights and Walker winning a recall election in 2012. Walker was also one of several nominees running for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2016, though as of September 2015, he had suspended campaign because of his inability to gain traction action other candidates such as Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. This hub will take a look at the key issues that will help determine who wins the nomination and gets a chance to in the 2016 Presidential election.
Scott Walker on the Issues
1. Budget Deficits and Taxes: Like many of his fellow Republicans, Governor Walker has consistently called for large cuts in spending to balance the state budget. As discussed in his biography, Walker is probably most known for his stand-off with public sector unions in Wisconsin in 2010-2011 over the "Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill", which severely limited the ability of public sector unions in the state to engage in collective bargaining. Workers protesting the bill occupied the State Capital building for months on end, though Walker was ultimately successful in guiding the bill through the State Legislature. Walker was subjected to a recall because of this fight, but successfully defeated his Democratic opponent in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014. By the end of Walker's first term, taxes in Wisconsin had been reduced by over $2 billion and the state budget.
2. Jobs and Economic Growth: Like many of his fellow Republicans, Walker believes that cuts to taxes and government spending lead to economic growth. Economic performance in Wisconsin has been mixed during his term, as Walker promised to deliver an estimated 250,000 jobs a year if his budget repair bill was passed in 2011. Wisconsin's unemployment rate has dropped from 7.7% to 4.8% during Walker's time in office, but in recent years job growth has lagged behind the national average, with job growth of 1% in Wisconsin vs. 1.7% nationally from 2013-2014.
3. Health Care: Walker is an opponent of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and declined federal funds to help Wisconsin set up a state exchange and expand Medicaid coverage to low-income residents. However, in January 2015, Walker stated "But, in the end, there’s no real substantive difference between a federal exchange, or a state exchange, or the in-between, the hybrid, the partnership."
4. Global Warming and Environmental issues: Walker has not made many statements about his stance on global warming, but he did sign a "no climate tax" pledge backed by the Koch brothers in 2013. He also joined a lawsuit against the EPA for its attempts to regulate coal emissions from power plants because the regulations would be a "blow to Wisconsin residents and business owner."
5. Foreign Policy: As a Governor, Walker has generally avoided making many statements about his foreign policy views as they do not fall under his purview as governor of Wisconsin. In April 2015, he stated that if he was elected President, he would "cancel any deal with Iran" over its nuclear program. During an interview with ABC News in early 2015, Walker called for a more aggressive stance towards the Middle East, telling a reporter "we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world, because it's not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil, or not if I should say, it's when, and we need leadership that says clearly, not only among the United States but among our allies, that we're willing to take appropriate action."
6. Social Issues: Walker is very conservative on abortion, announcing in March 2015 that he would seek to ban all abortions after 20 months in the state. During the 2010 election Walker stated "I am 100% pro-life and believe in protecting life from conception to natural death. As governor, I will protect the sanctity of all human life." Walker has not made many public statements on gay marriage, repeatedly deferring when asked to define his stance on gay marriage during interviews by stating that he would rather talk about his economic policies and other issues.
7. Immigration Policy: Walker has a somewhat mixed record in immigration. During the 2010 campaign, he expressed support for the controversial Arizona bill which allowed police officers to stop suspected illegal immigrants, a bill which many derided as thinly veiled racially profiling. In 2013, however, Walker seemed to open the door to immigration reform in an interview with Chris Wallace, stating "You hear some people talk about border security and a wall and all that, but to me, I don’t know that you need any of that if you had a better, saner way to let people into the country in the first place."
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