Iymen H. Chehade: 2022 candidate for U.S. House 3rd District

  • Iymen H. Chehade is a Democrat running for U.S. House 3rd District.

    Iymen H. Chehade is a Democrat running for U.S. House 3rd District.

 
Updated 6/9/2022 6:43 PM

Bio

Party: Democrat

 

Office sought: U.S. House 3rd District

City: Chicago

Age: 48

Occupation: Professor, Foreign Policy Adviser

Previous offices held: None

Q&A

What needs to be done to get Congress to work constructively, whether that be senators and representatives of both parties working with each other or Congress itself working with the president?

There was a time when both sides of the aisle were able to agree to disagree. That's been lost. The divisiveness and inability to so much as have a conversation is causing deep damage to the country and has stalled elected officials' ability to govern. Politicians have created a culture of party before country. As elected officials we must stick to our values and the stances we were elected for on the one hand yet be willing to talk to and work with others we disagree with in a way that is constructive and that works for the betterment of the country as a whole. The tribalism of party politics needs to be replaced with a culture of working together for the betterment of the country. I will be a voice of reason in Congress.

What is your position on changing voter access?

I support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Federal review of states and counties who seek to pass and have passed laws that can hinder the rights of voters, oftentimes people of color, should be reinstituted. This review can ensure that states are not violating the Voting Rights Act, which took over a century to implement, and which is a cornerstone and turning point of American democracy.

Do you recognize that the election of Joe Biden as president in 2020 was legitimate and fair? If not, why?

Yes, I recognize that the election of Joe Biden was legitimate and fair, as proven by repeated investigations.

What, if anything, should Congress do to prevent another violent attack such as the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol?

Make sure we hold those accountable, including the participants in the violent riots and the politicians who fanned the flames and encouraged them. No elected official who incited violence on that day or who supported the rioters should be holding or running for office. Law enforcement officials must investigate and move on all forms of terrorism including promoters of hyper- ethnic nationalism who commit and incite violence.

What do you consider America's role in world affairs? In particular, what should our role be regarding current points of tension involving Russia/Ukraine, the future of Taiwan or other threats of Chinese expansionism and the Middle East?

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a war of aggression that violates international law. I support the Biden's decision to help Ukraine defend itself and to send humanitarian aid.

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But it is unfair for US taxpayers to pay billions when other countries in Europe aren't sharing the cost. While campaigning, I've met seniors who have no food on the table because of the high cost of medication, insurance, and taxes. We have a collapsing infrastructure. Schools are underfunded. We are $30 trillion in debt. We need to prioritize America, and while we must support Ukraine, other countries should share costs.

The US is the strongest economy in the world. We also exert powerful diplomatic influence. Economic and diplomatic pressure will let China know that it is best to remain a partner rather than an adversary of the US.

A just solution to the Palestine/Israel Crisis in the Middle East is key and we must ensure that we don't start unnecessary wars that reduce our standing in the region.

Do you acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?

I do acknowledge humans' role in causing climate change. In my Marshall Plan for the United States, climate reform plays a key role. I will focus on developing the green energy sector to limit greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependency on plastic, minimize waste, and safeguard ecosystems. We have to implement environmentally friendly policies to stop and reverse the damage that has been done to our planet. Our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas should be minimized. Alternative sources of energy should be encouraged on societal and governmental levels. I support the Green New Deal and will work to see its implementation as a member of Congress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Please define your position on health care reform, especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare is a human right. We are behind many other developed nations with respect to this issue. While American ingenuity has been at the forefront in medical advances, access to healthcare in the US ranks last among the highest income earning countries in the world.

The healthcare insurance system creates an unnecessary middleman and harmful incentives. I believe in Medicare for All. All Americans should have access to this safety net, especially those who are currently uncovered, or under-covered, and those who unexpectedly lose their insurance because of job loss.

I will fight to ensure coverage is comprehensive for all Americans, including pre-existing, dental, vision, hearing, and women's reproductive health.

A population that has access to healthcare is able to live a more happy, productive life. It is abundantly clear, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, that this issue matters to Americans.

What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? Does the government have any responsibility toward Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children and are now adults? How will these policies affect your district?

I support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have contributed to our economy for ten years. There are millions of undocumented individuals who have lived in the U.S. for years. They play a pivotal role in the American economy. Construction, maintenance, food preparation, and farming rely on undocumented individuals. These workers are often paid less than the minimum wage, are denied job benefits, and are exploited.

• It will add an estimated $149 billion to the United States economy after taxes annually. A pathway to citizenship will allow for full and transparent employment which will generate billions in revenue.

• 79% of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals who have lived in the US for ten years or longer. Many undocumented immigrants are our friends, colleagues, and neighbors who have been here for many years, who work hard, and who just want a chance like the rest of us do.

• It's the humane and right thing to do.

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