NEW ULM - Byron native and National Guard veteran Aaron Miller has laid out his campaign positions in his bid to be the Republican candidate to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walz for Minnesota's 1st District seat in Congress in 2014.
Miller said his main campaign platforms will focus on "fiscal common sense," controlling the federal deficit and opposing Obamacare.
On the federal debt, he said he is worried the country has reached a dangerous point. He said he is concerned about the debt burden that will be left on his children and their children. He said there needs to be a plan to not continue to add to the debt without a balanced budget. During his campaign announcement, Miller said he would be willing to sign the "no-new-taxes pledge" supported by many Republican lawmakers.
On the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, he said he vehemently opposes the law and will seek it wholesale repeal. He said it gives him serious concerns as an individual in the health care industry. He said he feels it was jammed through Congress on party line votes.
"Health care shouldn't be a partisan issue. The Republican Party needs to stop being the party of "No!" and become the party of "No, but here's this plan," said Miler.
He said he has not seen any specific plans that he supports to replace the Affordable Care Act. But, he said he supports ideas such as expanding the use of health savings accounts or expanding the ability to purchase on an exchange across state lines outside plans the employer provides. He said the most important emphasis has to be on putting the responsibility back on the individual's choice while eliminating government interference.
On military intervention in Syria, he has voiced serious opposition to a military strike without the official support of Congress and the majority of Americans. He said his criteria for supporting the strike focuses on needing the incident to be a direct threat to the United States and for a clear, laid-out exit strategy to be established.
He said he does not feel Syria has met these criteria. He also said he concerned that if Assad were to fall, it is unclear who would end up in control of the country.
On immigration, he said he opposes any immigration reform "until we have secured our borders or implemented a process to secure our borders." He said he has so far not been a fan of the bills being debated in Congress.
On the Farm Bill, he said he understands the intent of Republican lawmakers to split the agriculture and nutrition portions of the bill. But, due to concerns it may hinder the passage of Farm Bill this year, he said he would consider passing at least some form of the complete bill as more important this year.
He also said he supports pushing efforts to reform entitlements to address the waste and abuse associated with the system. He previously said he objects to the doubling of the number of people on food stamps in last few years. In the same speech, he called welfare programs "bloated" and "out of control."
"The best way to grow us out of an entitlement economy is to grow full-time jobs," said Miller.
On gun control, he said he only supports enforcing existing laws and has opposed new efforts to regulate gun ownership. He said he is a big support of the 1st Amendment, and that he consider a free 2nd Amendment essential to guarantee those freedoms.
On social issues, he said he does not plan make them a focus. He said he supports the conservative platform and considers himself a strong advocate for pro-life efforts.
Miller said he plans to abide by the decision of the Republican endorsing convention that will be held early next year.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.