U.S. House of Representatives 8th District of Missouri -- Jo Ann Emerson

Sunday, November 2, 2008
Jo Ann Emerson

Name: Jo Ann Emerson

Party: Republican

Birth: Sept. 16, 1950; Bethesda, Md.

Spouse, children: Ron Gladney; two adult daughters, five adult stepdaughters and an adult stepson.

Occupation: Member of Congress

Employer: Missouri's 8th Congressional District

Public offices held: U.S. Representative, 1996 to present.

Past political campaigns and offices sought: U.S. Representative, 1996 to present.

Question 1: What is the most important issue facing the next representative from the 8th Congressional District?

Answer: We have to focus on our economy, right now. Trade deficits, national debt and financial instability are problems that affect every American and all of our children. We must get our financial house in order, grow American jobs -- especially in rural areas -- and punish greed and wrongdoing on Wall Street. We must take advantage of investment in infrastructure, and new American fuels can create valuable opportunity for the Missouri workforce of today and tomorrow.

Question 2: What in your background or education makes you qualified for this office?

Answer: I have served Southern Missouri in Congress since 1996, and I understand the economic and energy challenges of our rural congressional district. I'm leading the fight to lower prescription drug costs and bring higher quality health care to our communities. Washington needs to hear the commonsense solutions that come from places like Southern Missouri where we put people before politics, and advocating for the families and businesses of our region is my highest priority every day I serve our congressional district.

Question 3: Why are you better qualified than your opponent?

Answer: I want to bring more commonsense ideas from Southern Missouri to federal government. Fiscal responsibility has to be a cornerstone of responsible government. Lower taxes are vital to increasing productivity and turning around our economy. We have to enable the farmers and ranchers who work the land every day to be the heart and soul of conservation efforts, and we have to create opportunities for American agricultural and manufacturing products in markets at home and around the world.

Question 4: What is the most important step for achieving economic stability during the next two years?

Answer: We need to get back to basics, grow jobs and invest in our workforce right here at home. Main Street solutions will put us back on the right track -- lower taxes, new business opportunities and home-grown energy solutions for our economy. Energy security and economic security go hand-in-hand, and we need to drill now for American oil and natural gas while we work to bring renewable, alternative American fuels to market. Clean coal is also important.

Question 5: Should Congress enact a health care program that covers every American or should private sector efforts be allowed to prevail? Why?

Answer: We need cooperation between government and the private sector to create access to health care. One-size-fits-all won't work -- Americans should choose their own doctors. In rural America, we need incentives to bring health care professionals to our communities and modernize our system of care. In Washington, we need reforms that put patients ahead of special interests, and I have a record of achievement fighting big drug companies and bringing competition and lower prices to the market.

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