Maryland Congressman and candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for U.S. President John Delaney brought his politics of bipartisan centrism to Perry Tuesday when he met about 50 Perry-area Democrats at the Perry Perk coffeehouse in downtown Perry.
Calling himself a “pragmatist” and a “realist,” the four-term House member and successful entrepreneur and business executive spoke to many issues, from climate change — “the most existential threat our children face” — to globalization, automation, trade and health insurance.
He touted the $1 trllion carbon tax plan he sponsored in Congress, which has drawn support from 40 Republicans and 40 Democrats, as an example of the fact-based solutions that can unite our “terribly divided nation.”
Delaney quoted U.S. President John F. Kenedy from a 1958 speech and said he does not seek a Dmcrat answer or a Republican answer but the right answer. “The Right Answer” is the title of his campaign book, which was offered for sale at the event.
He said Democrats “must step forward and restore respect, civility and honesty” to the national political conversation, which the present administration has degraded.
His Congressional accomplishments include the creation of Opportunity Zones for local investment, and he has plans for a national infrastructure program and a doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit,which he called “one of the most successful pieces of anti-poverty legislation ever passed.”
On the subject of health insurance and healthcare, Delaney did not embrace the Medicare-for-all mantra of many of his fellow contenders for the Democrat nomination, but he said that “everyone should have healthcare as a right in this country.”
He said he would first “fix Obamacare” and “leave Medicare alone” and then introduce a new program for people from birth to age 65, into which he would “roll Medicaid.” The healthcare issue drew the most questions from the audience.
Delaney also spoke of his high moral regard for the principles of equality and human rights, whether as applied to immigration or the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
The congressman ended the 75-minute stop by shaking hands and selling books. He said this was his 75th visit to Iowa since declaring his candidacy in July 2017.