Raúl Grijalva

Raúl  Grijalva


  • NameRaúl Grijalva
  • Party Affiliationdemocrat


Office: U.S. House of Representatives, District 3

Party: Democrat

Age: 64

Employer and position: Congressman

Education: Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Arizona

Political experience: Congressman, Pima County supervisor, school board member

Top priorities: Continue health-care reform, oversight over financial institutions, real investment in jobs and education

How would you use your position as an elected official to help businesses create jobs in Southern Arizona? – As a Member of Congress, I've supported the federal loan guarantees made to Abengoa Solar and First Solar that have helped build clean power projects and create hundreds of jobs in Southern Arizona. I've also introduced a number of bills this Congress to create jobs in Southern Arizona and around the country:


- My Border Infrastructure and Jobs Act establishes a United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Commission to strengthen border economic development; create a Port Security and Trade Facilitation grant program to expand access for small businesses; and fund expansion projects and 500 additional staff at Arizona’s ports of entry to speed commerce. It makes sure our local economy benefits by mandating that at least 30 percent of jobs for any federal contract or subcontract is performed by a local business.


- My Restore the American Dream for the 99% Act is a comprehensive package designed to create more than 5 million jobs over the next two years. This bill reduces the budget deficit by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years while protecting programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 


- My Prioritize Emergency Job Creation Act makes it possible to create jobs directly on an emergency basis by removing the arbitrary block on federal job creation investment created by the Budget Control Act. Our unemployment situation is a crisis, and we need smart, decisive action – not nibbles around the edges.


- I fully support the president's American Jobs Act, which would create good-paying jobs and get the economy back on track. The House Republican majority has managed to ignore this easy-to-pass bill since it was introduced.


Arizona Republicans have tried corporate tax cuts and slashing public education. It's obviously not working. We need big, targeted investments to create a new sustainable economy, not more handouts to the very wealthy. The federal government has an obvious role to play in creating jobs, stimulating our economic success and providing for the national welfare. The attitude that the government should give taxpayer money to the richest two percent and step back to watch the results has gotten us to where we are now.


Should the qualifications for Medicaid or AHCCCS be broadened to make more people eligible? - The Affordable Care Act offers an incredibly good deal for states who choose to expand Medicaid eligibility to people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Arizona should take that deal. Under Gov. Brewer, Arizona has been cutting sick and vulnerable people from Medicaid for years and freezing enrollment in KidsCare, even as unemployment remains a problem and working people have less to spend on health care. She keeps saying the state can't afford to help low income people, but then gives friendly contracts to the private prison industry and passes a $538 million corporate tax cut. Expanding Medicaid eligibility is an effective way to save money, because Medicaid costs much less for the state than letting working people go bankrupt from medical expenses. Opposition to Medicaid is purely ideological. It has nothing to do with fiscal common sense.


If you were in a position to vote on SB1070, would you have voted for or against it? – I have opposed this hurtful bill from the beginning because of the harm it does to our people and our state. I think SB 1070 was part of an ongoing attack on immigrants, and the community in general, under Russell Pearce’s control of the Senate. I opposed SB 1070 as it was moving through the Legislature, and had I been a state representative rather than serving in Congress at the time, I would have made it a priority to speak vehemently against it on the floor and to cast a resounding NO vote. Not only would I have voted against it, I would have written to Attorney General Holder -- as I did in April of 2010 -- urging him to bring a lawsuit to test its constitutionality. More than 100,000 Hispanics left Arizona after SB 1070 passed, representing a big and completely unnecessary hit to our economy. Arizona has not benefited from this law, the deep divisions it has created, or the grave damage to the state's public image. Its supporters should explain why they supported an unconstitutional waste of time.


In a world of finite resources, what if anything would you be willing to cut to better fund education? - Education amounts to about four percent of this year's federal budget, and the military is about 24 percent. The Washington Post wrote late last year that if you put the military off limits, "you find that you’re slashing three types of programs: public investments, support for the poor and disabled, and government operations." In a world of finite resources, we can't put the military off limits any more. There's simply no reason to be building multi-billion dollar military jet engines that the Pentagon has said it doesn't want or need, while we let schools close for lack of financial support. Conservatives like to answer by talking about waste without actually coming clean about what they'd cut. The budget passed by the House Republicans for this Congress eliminates Medicare as we know it. They should be up front about what they want. 


Should local government fight to keep the Rosemont Copper Mine out or encourage the company to stay? - It's not a question of "fighting to keep it out," it's a question of whether the project has been developed in the public interest. Rosemont seeks to dump its mining waste on public land without penalty, which can threaten our other natural resources, such as our drinking water. There have been multiple problems with a lack of public notification and opportunity for public comment throughout the assessment process. The company would pay no royalties on the copper it mines, and the resources from the project would likely be exported to foreign competitors like South Korea, rather than put back into our national economy. I support mining when it's done responsibly and in the public interest. Rosemont is not a responsible project and it has not been promoted in a fair, open way. Mining companies should not get to pollute public land, leave the taxpayer on the hook for cleanup, sell their product overseas to entities competing with America for jobs and call it the cost of doing business. I would say the same of any other mining project.


Race District Election Year Election Level Election Type Win
CD 3 Democratic primary Arizona 3rd Congressional District 2012 National Primary
CD 3 3rd Congressional District 2012 National General
Congressional District 3 Democratic primary 3 2014 National Primary

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