Running for: U.S. House of Representative for 8th congressional district in Illinois
Political/civic background: Humanitarian/Philanthropist and MedGlobal Board of Director
Occupation: Doctor of Anesthesiology/Physician
Education: University of Illinois at Chicago
Campaign website: drinamforcongress.com
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing their districts, the state of Illinois and the country. Inam Hussain submitted the following responses:
Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.
The last two years I have been on the board of directors for Med Global an organization that provides mobile medical clinic services to the underserved populations in the City of Chicago. The organization also serves globally. We’ve served populations in Syria, Yemen and Columbia. Humanitarian services both locally and internationally are important to me.
What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Has the impeachment process been fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.
The impeachment of Donald Trump is absolutely necessary and very fair in my opinion. I believe the process has been more than fair and many actions by our President have gone unpunished. There is absolutely no one who is above the law and as an advocate of protecting Democracy I absolutely see that impeachment becomes necessary in situations like this.
How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
The only way to reduce the federal budget is to raise taxes on the most wealthy, cut spending and create more jobs. This sometimes feels like a cart before the horse scenario, but when we raise taxes on the most wealthy and remove the loopholes that let large corporations circumvent, we immediately reduce the deficit. Next, we cut expenditures especially military spending so that we can use the additional dollars to help create jobs, fund entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, etc. These are just a few ways to systematically reduce the federal budget deficit.
What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?
The ideal end goal is to provide healthcare for all and the Affordable Care Act is a great first phase to reaching that goal. Bringing prescription drug prices down can only happen when big Pharma doesn’t have control over pricing over the prescriptions.
The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Do you support or oppose DACA and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.
Yes, I am absolutely in favor of DACA and yes a path to citizenship should be created for DREAMERS and should be the first in line to being granted citizenship. These children need to be protected and supported and given access to opportunities to become loyal citizens or our country and participants, protectors and promoters of Democracy.
What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?
- More jobs- some part of District 8 there is 9% unemployment- and higher wages
- More low income housing, too many people can’t afford a home and are out on the street.
- Infrastructure, repairing our roads, railroads and transportation based infrastructure provides jobs and is enticing to businesses who want to relocate to our communities.
What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
The biggest difference is I am running not because I deeply want to serve the people of District 8. I have been in the service profession for close to 25 years as a Physician and I am NOT doing this on a path to higher and higher political aspirations, and not because I am seeking to add another feather to my cap, but to make sure ALL of the voices, the voices of different demographics, people of various religious beliefs, those underserved and sometimes forgotten, that all of these voices are heard and recognized and that as Congressman I will work to do what I can to support the variety of people that make our District so rich.
What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?
I am absolutely in favor of removing all guns off of our streets. My greatest desire is to end the senseless killings of innocent people by the hands of people who should never have been able to acquire semi-automatic weapons and other guns. Congress should absolute create much stricter and possibly even an extreme stance against guns and gun violence. Let’s remove the ability to purchase semi-automatic weapons and make it much harder to own guns in general.
Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?
I believe it’s real, and yes it’s a threat to humankind if by the melting of ice sheets will eventually flood our coastal cities and further in the future wipe us out entirely. I don’t believe everyone else has to believe it’s real to understand that we also have a real opportunity here to fundamentally shift and shape the future of the human species. It should be the catalyst to inspire innovations in energy and fuel delivery and design. I am a firm supporter of taking this as a huge opportunity for the human species to expand to their greatest potential. Why not do it through addressing climate change? As Congress of Illinois District 8 I would focus on supporting more renewable energy and green energy initiatives, support the introduction of bills that tax the oil and gas companies for their unfair advantage of having been around longer than say some of our new forms of energy products and services such as solar energy, biofuels, and wind energy to name a few.
What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?
The Social Security 2100 Act introduced by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) is by far the best SS solvency program out there and I am 100% behind this act. I believe Congress should adopt and implement this act as soon as possible.
What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?
I would call it a crisis and Congress should wipe out all student loans, and make education free or heavily subsidized. I believe making spending cuts elsewhere in order to remove student loan debts, and to provide more people with access to higher education would help advance our workforce and there our country, exponentially.
What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?
We need to have good relationships with all countries of the world including Russia. Our interest should be utmost important in dealing with Russia. We have to realize that they are adversary in the world.
What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.
I personally don’t think President Trump has done anything well including his use of imposing tariffs. His decisions were/are purely ego-driven. With that said, I do belief that the PROPER use of tariffs in international commerce can be effective if done well for instance when it’s to protect our population or when it hurts our economy.
Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.
My view is that our greatest responsibility is to protect our Democracy. Sometimes that means we need other countries to understand the benefits of establishing a Democracy. To promote Democracy is also an outcome of protecting it. But what I want to make clear is that promoting it does not mean we force other countries to establish a democracy. We must also recognize that our ways do not always impact other countries positively. My first and foremost concern will always be to protect Democracy here on our soil and not let other foreign governments interfere.
What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?
The Senate Resolution 562 is one I agree with and stand behind whole-heartedly and this might seem odd to say but Scott Tipton’s Improving Strategies to Counter Weapons Proliferation Act is on point in terms of finances being the key in nuclear weapons proliferation. A upgraded and revised version of this act is something I would do and would be willing to reach across party lines in order achieve.
Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.
Paul Simon, though not born in Illinois, was an important figure in Illinois history. His passion to share the stories of ordinary people that were not only inspiring but evocative and stirring us to take action. His works and her talent inspire me to serve, to listen to the stories of the people in my community and to help those that need it most. Even more inspiring is that she was the FIRST African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize. I love firsts.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
This might sound cheesy, but my Pakistani – immigrant background might explain why my favorite TV streaming or web-based show of all time is the Voice. It is a wonderful account of real -life stories and portrayal of going for your dreams, putting yourself out there, doing whatever it takes to let your talents and your skills shine out to the world. The contestants have such inspirational stories of overcoming hardship, pain and even loss, in order to come to where they are today. It reminds me a lot of what I went through. The show highlights the beauty of the American Dream and why it’s always worth it to just go for it. America has our back. I want everyone in District 8 to feel like they can go for it and not only does America have their back, so do I.