Running for: U.S. Congress (IL-02)
Political party affiliation: Republican
Political/civic background: Election Judge 2018
Occupation: Homeschooling Mom, Former Claims Processor, Former Business Owner
Education: Bachelors in Criminal Justice (GSU), one year of law school
Campaign website: www.RabornForCongress.com
Facebook page: @RabornForCongress
Twitter handle: @Raborn4Congress
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees 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. Theresa J. Raborn submitted the following responses:
Are you satisfied with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Why or why not? What grade would you give President Donald Trump for his handling of the pandemic, and why?
President Trump banned travel from China on January 31, 2020, while Democrats in Congress said COVID-19 was not a threat, that it was basically the flu, and that the President’s ban was “racist”. Once COVID-19 hit our shores, they all changed their tune. President Trump and his administration issued guidance, but the governors are the ones who shut down our states, with Illinois in various parts of shutdown to this day. Our national stockpile of PPEs was depleted and not replenished under the previous administration. President Trump’s administration was in the process of replenishing that supply when COVID struck. He acted swiftly in getting companies to switch gears and manufacture PPEs and ventilators, while directing field hospitals to be constructed throughout the nation and mobilizing ships to be used as hospitals.
There are therapeutics that President Trump has mentioned, but any mention of them now gets banned immediately. While we have Viagra commercials on our television, any mention of a prescription medication (that has been deemed “safe” by the FDA for over 65 years) gets banned. Yet, the media is telling people to be ready for a vaccine for which we do not know any long-term effects.
Overall, President Trump has acted swiftly from the beginning when Democrat leaders at the federal and state levels have failed the American public over and over. Now, we have multiple crises of skyrocketing suicides, crime and violence, rioting and looting, mental health, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, and child abuse. We have businesses that have permanently closed and will never reopen, even after the pandemic is over. I would give President Trump an “A” and Governor Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lightfoot an “F” for having the audacity to tell us what we can and cannot do, while they exempted themselves from those restrictions (Lightfoot got her hair done because “[she’s] out in the public eye”) .
What should the federal government do to stimulate economic recovery from the pandemic shutdowns?
High-paying, entry-level jobs are desperately needed right now. However, parents cannot go back to work while their children are “remote learning”. This is especially burdensome for the single parent. We need our children back in school and parents back to work. I think the federal and state governments need to give a full year of “tax holiday” for the rest of this year. People need to be able to get caught up on bills they got behind on during the shutdown. Mortgages and rents should be suspended. Student loans should be automatically suspended. And all other loans should be suspended, without the accumulation of interest. This should apply to small businesses as well to prevent more businesses from permanently shuttering.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd, President Trump signed an executive order on police reform. It calls for the creation of a database to track police officers with multiple instances of misconduct, federal grants to encourage police departments to meet higher certification standards on use of force, and the greater involvement of social workers and mental health professionals when the police respond to calls dealing with homelessness, mental illness and addiction. The order also calls for police departments to ban the use of chokeholds except when an officer feels his or her life is endangered. Will this be enough to address concerns about police brutality? If not, what other steps should be taken?
One thing that a constituent brought to my attention is that there are non-lethal maneuvers used in martial arts that disable a person without causing lasting harm. I would love to see these techniques taught to our law enforcement officers. It could be an ongoing training incorporated into the already existing officer training that we have. Officers need to recertify for things like their firearms. This could be another type of recertification on an annual basis.
We also need to educate the public on the proper safe response to law enforcement. In many (not all) of these cases the suspect is resisting or acting aggressive or erratic. The public needs education (maybe via TV ads) on how to de-escalate an encounter with police. It is far safer to debate it out in court, rather than argue and fight with an officer in an uncontrolled environment.
I would like to bring together officers and the public to discuss how we can improve police / community relations. Although it is great that President Trump signed that Executive Order, it can be reversed by the next president. That is why it is imperative that Congress acts to codify the details of that Executive Order into law so it will be more difficult to reverse. But we need a Congress that will do that. I would immediately introduce a bill to codify that Executive Order.
Also in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the House passed the Justice in Policing Act, which would ban police departments from using chokeholds, develop a national standard for use of force, limit the transfer of military weapons to police departments, define lynching as a federal hate crime, establish a national police misconduct registry, and limit qualified immunity, which protects officers from lawsuits over alleged misconduct. Do you support this legislation? Why or why not? What other steps, if any, would you like to see the federal government take on police reform?
Policing is a state government issue, not a federal government issue. It is sad that some of our states have had such a problem managing their respective states that we are now looking to the federal government to solve state problems. I support resolutions that give guidance to the states and suggestions on how the states can improve policing, but not dictate to the states. I support giving more federal resources to states who take up those suggestions and/or guidance, then implement them. It is a friendlier method of achieving the same result when you focus on incentives rather than force. State government and federal government must work together, not engage in overreach or power grabs.
What’s your view on President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone?
A President has the legal authority to commute and/or pardon whomever he or she wishes. Every president exercises this executive power. Sometimes I agree with the action; sometimes I do not. However, I have rarely criticized these types of Executive actions. Why? Because I do not have the extensive information about the case, to which the President has access. It is pointless to play Monday morning quarterback, especially when you do not have all the facts.
I am a strong supporter of those who have been wrongfully accused and/or convicted. We have an excellent system of justice, but it is far from perfect because it is run by humans, not God. We are not perfect, and we sometimes get things wrong. The power of the Governor (for state convictions) and the President (for federal convictions) is a method to reverse course when the system does fail. I leave those decisions up to those governors and the President.
I have also expressed, on my website, that if any constituent knows of someone who has been unfairly convicted, they should reach out to me so I can assist with righting that wrong. I believe in “you do the crime, you do the time”, but no one should be punished for a crime he or she did not commit.
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.
For the past two years, I have been preparing for this race. It started with drafting legislation, bills and solutions to solve our nation’s problems. You can see those very bills on my website, RabornForCongress.com. I do not just tell you my “position”; I tell you detailed solutions, which are the bills I will introduce in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2021, moments after being sworn into office.
In 2018, I was an election judge. This year I have been speaking at various events and rallies to advocate on behalf of the people of Illinois, especially in the second district. I have spoken at Back the Blue rallies because while some are calling for the defunding (and even the elimination) of our law enforcement, our communities need law enforcement now more than ever, with crime and violence at record levels.
What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Was the impeachment process fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.
That is done and over with at this point. It’s pointless to rehash the past when we have far bigger issues to contend with now – skyrocketing crime, rioting, looting, COVID-19, children being murdered in record numbers in Chicago, crumbling infrastructure, children are not in school, excessive unemployment, and so much more. I prefer to look to the future and the issues I can actually control and meet our nation’s challenges with solutions that will actually improve the lives of the people in the 2nd District, throughout Illinois and the rest of the country.
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?
While many believe the federal government should live “within its means”, I go further with my Balanced Budget Bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/balanced_budget_bill, which would required the federal budget for only 90% of the expected revenue, meaning the federal government should operate BELOW its means. My bill also lays out how to achieve that in a fair, balanced, and bipartisan manner.
I am against raising taxes. If anything, we need to lower taxes, especially for the low-income and middle-income Americans who are already struggling. My Freedom Health Plan, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/freedom_health_plan_bill, greatly increases healthcare choices, while driving down the cost of all healthcare (not just prescriptions), puts more money in the pocket of the American worker, and saves taxpayers over $200 Billion per year.
My Educating For Success bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/educating_for_success, overhauls K-12 education so all our children get to succeed with individualized education where they advance at each child’s unique pace. It also eliminates the stress on students, teachers, and parents. Chicago Public Schools would save nearly $2 Billion per year, WITHOUT touching salaries! Imagine if that is multiplied throughout the nation!
We can reduce the cost of government by simply providing better solutions that solve problems, rather than wasting more money on existing policies that have failed time and time again.
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?
Why limit reducing costs to just prescription drugs? I believe in reducing healthcare costs across all of the healthcare industry. My Freedom Health Plan, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/freedom_health_plan_bill, does just that. However, it reduces those healthcare costs while putting more money (avg. $900 per month per full time worker) in your pocket; saves businesses 20% of their current healthcare costs; allows you to go to ANY provider you want (not a predetermined list of providers); eliminates Medicaid discrimination; saves Medicare for the next 100 years; covers pre-existing conditions; mandates that pre-existing conditions are no longer a life sentence; streamlines healthcare so you can have the same plans your entire life regardless of where, or if, you work; allows you to use your healthcare dollars for any loved one (adult children, parents, friends, etc.); and saves taxpayers over $200 Billion per year. This would be a full repeal of the very expensive ACA. Medicare For All will completely collapse Medicare, especially Medicare Part A (the hospitalization insurance for our seniors) which is already due to run out of money by 2026. Medicare For All will destroy Part A overnight. I want to save Medicare, not destroy it.
Do you support or oppose DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.
It sickens me that we have people living in “limbo” like this. We must act to cure this situation. Since there are many people who have been deported numerous times, I see blanket deportation as a costly and ineffective solution. Full amnesty is a slap in the face of citizens and immigrants who came here legally. The solution must take all these things into consideration.
My Solving Immigration Together bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/solving_immigration_together, provides a pathway to citizenship, but is a far cry from amnesty. It allows for a person who is here illegally to “cure” their status by earning citizenship. People who truly desire to be citizens will eagerly work to earn their citizenship. Deportation would still be an option for those who do not complete the steps. It would only apply to those who are already here. Those who violate our immigration laws after this bill goes into effect, as a law, would be deported.
I am working on a caveat for those who were extorted by coyotes and/or trafficked. We need to protect people who are being victimized. My Solving Immigration Together bill also prepares immigrants for being full citizens, who know their rights and responsibilities as citizens, so they will be less likely to be taken advantage of in the future. This also apply to DREAMers, so they could become full citizens once the process is completed. Let us end this “limbo” so people can be safe and secure, once and for all.
What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?
The three most important issues upon which the federal government can act are 1) economic investment (jobs and the economy), 2) education, and 3) crime and criminal justice.
1) As your Congresswoman, one of my top priorities is to get the federal funding and investment into the second district. We desperately need high-paying, entry-level jobs and I will work every day, to get those jobs here. I am already working on the list of companies to contact to start the conversations to get them to bring their companies here.
2) As I laid out in question 8, I have a bill, Educating For Success, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/educating_for_success, that will bring the much needed reform to our K-12 education so every child graduates with the skills and ability to successfully enter the workforce, start a business, or go on to college. Our children are our legacy and our future. We must prepare them for that future.
3) We have record levels of crime right now and the Democrat response has been to be more lenient, which only serves to embolden the criminals. Chicago has a 12.5% homicide clearance rate, which is abysmal. Many people in the second district want a gun for self-protection, but cannot afford one. My 2A For All bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/2a_for_all, will provide low income, law abiding citizens (who can pass a background check) vouchers to use for a firearm, ammo, stun gun, security system, or other personal protection device. If they choose a firearm, they will also receive vouchers to 2 hours of range time every 90 days, so they are properly trained to be responsible gun owners. The objective to responsible ownership, not reckless ownership.
I am also considering federal legislation that would allow the federal government to be brought in once a city, village, or county homicide clearance rate drops to a specific level. When a local government cannot protect its citizens, the federal government needs to come in to assist local law enforcement to protect the citizens from out of control criminals.
What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
My opponent is a career politician who claims to be “finding solutions”, while I am ready to bring solutions to Washington. My opponent calls religion “voodoo” (Chicago Tribune), but I am a Christian woman who defends religious liberty and reads the Bible daily (you can follow along at https://www.facebook.com/RabornPrayerWarriorsforIllinoisandAmerica or https://www.rabornforcongress.com/bible_in_one_year).
My opponent has voted in favor of late-term and post-birth (infanticide) abortion more than 5 times, yet I defend life and will never support late-term abortions and certainly never support infanticide. While my opponent wants to limit your Constitutional Rights, I protect and defend your Constitutional rights. While my opponent wants to destroy Medicare with Medicare For All (which gives businesses a HUGE break), I propose the Freedom Health Bill to give YOU more money, more choices, and better care, while protecting Medicare from extinction.
What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?
Criminals are emboldened when they know their victims are defenseless and there are few, if any, repercussions. The gun is merely a tool. In the hands of someone with a hateful heart, it becomes a tool of evil. In the hands of someone with a loving heart, it becomes a tool to save and protect lives. When Cook County relaxes their criminal laws, refuses to prosecute cases with overwhelming evidence, and releases suspects back out within hours, there is no deterrent. That is when the federal government and Congress must act to ensure the safety of the law-abiding citizens. We cannot let a few thousand terrorize the millions who live and work here. We also must encourage the law-abiding citizens to be prepared to defend themselves until the police arrive. That’s why my 2A For All bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/2a_for_all, is so vital for those living in fear, in Chicago and the suburbs.
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?
Any study of the history of our planet proves that our planet is always evolving, and the climate is always changing. Do humans significantly effect these changes? I have seen evidence that suggest we do impact climate change and I have seen evidence that we do not impact it. In light of contradictory evidence, I prefer to error of the side of caution.
I think we should always do our best to protect our natural resources and minimize the impact we make on our planet. It simply makes good sense. Asthma is prominent in my household, with two of us affected. Obviously, having access to clear air is especially important to me, as is clear water. My husband has a degree in environmental sciences and through him, I have learned just how toxic our water supply is. Congress should always continue to look for ways to encourage Americans to be good stewards of our environment. However, I draw the line at forcing people to make those changes. I believe incentives are far more effective than mandates and force.
What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?
As I explained in questions 8 and 9, my Freedom Health Plan bill, https://www.rabornforcongress.com/freedom_health_plan_bill, will save taxpayers over $200 Billion per year and bring Medicare back from the brink of extinction, transforming it operate with a net positive. These savings can be used to also save Social Security and ensure it is also protected.
What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?
Yes, I would use the word “crisis”. My generation jumped at those federally subsidized student loans, only to learn the hard way, that those loans are forever, whether you get a decent paying job or not. For many of my friends and family members who took on these student loans, many only recently paid them off, while some of us are still paying on them.
You can finish college in a horrible economy, but that does not matter, you are stuck. However, the University got their money and laughed all the way to the bank. I think colleges and universities should take some responsibility for providing bogus degrees that they know there is no market for. Colleges and Universities should be required to assist more with job placement for the first couple years after graduation. If they fail with the follow through, they should have to reimburse part of the tuition. When colleges and universities are on the hook, they may not be as eager to swindle naïve, impressionable young men and women.
What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I think we should always try to be on friendly terms with as many countries as we can, especially if they have nuclear weapons. It is common sense to not poke the bear that has the ability to put up a good fight. This does not mean we capitulate to Russia either. It is a balancing act – friendly, but assertive.
What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.
Tariffs have been a part of our global economy since our founding. Tariffs are also a great tool bring unbalanced and unfair trade back into balance. It is also a great negotiation tool when we are engaging with other nations. We can incentivize the types of behavior we would like to see (by lowering the tariff) or penalizing the behaviors we do not want to see (increase the tariff. Other nations use tariffs as bargaining chips. Why shouldn’t we?
Yes, I do believe President Trump has properly and effectively used tariffs. I am surprised previous presidents did not use them more. I would like to see tariffs used more and income taxes used less, so we can decrease the tax burden on the hard-working Americans.
Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.
Of course! With great power comes great responsibility. As the world superpower, we have a duty to encourage other nations to embrace freedom, liberty, equality, justice, and prosperity which comes from a Constitutional Republic like ours. However, it should be encouraged, not forced. We need to lead by example, not brute force. I prefer not to get entangled in the affairs of other nations providing they are not committing atrocities against their people or others.
What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?
As much as I hope and pray nuclear arms are never used and I wish the whole world would denuclearize, I don’t trust other countries to have that same altruistic view of the world. People in many countries shout, “death to America” and as long as we have haters, I want some nuclear arms on hand to deter our enemies from daring to harm our precious Americans.
Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
None other than a niece and nephew who are in the military, if you are counting that.
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.
It is with great pride that the first two presidents who hailed from Illinois were Republican Abraham Lincoln and Republican Ulysses S. Grant, both being anti-slavery abolitionists. Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered, in person, to Ulysses S. Grant.
Ulysses S. Grant was with President Abraham Lincoln on the day of his assassination, as President Lincoln invited General Grant and his wife to join the Lincolns at the theater. General Grant and his wife declined as they were headed out of town. He was spared so he could latter become President. Even though he was a tough General, he wept openly at President Lincoln’s funeral and even was quoted as saying Lincoln was “the greatest man I have ever known.”
President Grant won in a landslide, as his opponent won the majority of white votes, but Grant received overwhelming support by Black Americans, who were able to vote for the first time. He oversaw Reconstruction which was his top priority.
Who couldn’t be proud of these two Illinoisan rising up to be the two presidents who shaped our path to crushing slavery and work diligently to deliver on the promise of our Declaration of Independence which stated “that all men are created equal”? It’s an honor to follow in their footsteps to represent the great people of the second district as we navigate another pivotal time in American History, one I am sure will lead to even more equality and prosperity for all.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
Any documentary on the History Channel. Why? Because I love to learn and I am a bit of a history buff / nerd. I am always amazed at how we won the Revolutionary War when, on paper, we seemed destined to lose. The same with the Civil War. I believe the hand of God was in both of those wars. However, what resonates with me the most are the personal stories of courage and bravery in times of uncertainty when losing was all but certain. Many of these brave souls – from the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, to the Civil Rights Movement, to today – never got the chance to see the fruits of their labor nor the legacies they left behind. It gives me the strength to fight every day for the people of our district, our state, and our nation.