David P. Joyce
University of Dayton (BS,JD)
Public Defender, Cuyahoga County (1983-1984) Public Defender, Geauga County (1984-1988) Prosecutor, Geauga County (1989-2012)
Given our experience with Covid-19, what precautions would you put in place to allow for safe, secure elections whereby voters are not choosing between their health and their right to vote, especially in November? Include how you would fund any necessary precautions and changes.
Here in Ohio, our election professionals have worked hard to ensure you can safely cast your ballot this November, whether you choose to do so by mail or in person.
Voters who don’t want to risk their health amid the ongoing pandemic by voting in person still have the right to participate in our nation’s democratic process and must have the option to do so. To ensure the Postal Service has the resources they need to deliver those ballots, I recently voted with my colleagues across the aisle to provide the Postal Service with $25 billion in additional funding. Ohioans who plan to cast their ballot by mail should have full confidence that their vote will be counted.
Similarly, voters who wish to cast their ballot in person must be able to do so safely. Our board of elections are working to establish the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those who vote in-person as well as those working the polls.
Last month, I was proud to work with a Lake County manufacturer, RB Sigma, and the Secretary of State’s office to create a partnership that will provide nearly half a million surgical masks for poll workers and voters in all 88 counties on election day. RB Sigma was able to retool their machinery to produce PPE thanks to a $500,000 grant funded by the CARES Act. I’m proud to support manufacturers like RB Sigma that have worked around the clock to produce and deliver essential PPE across Ohio, ensuring that voters who choose to vote on election day are safe.
Describe what you have done to work across political differences to solve problems and foster trust with the voters you represent.
Regardless of where you land on the political spectrum, I think everyone can agree that the American people pay the price when partisanship prevents Congress from addressing the challenges facing our nation. That’s why I’m proud to have been recognized as one of the most bipartisan members of Congress by the Lugar Center and Georgetown University. While the majority of members ranked below the historical average, I earned a spot in the top 10% in their annual rankings of the most bipartisan members of Congress, which are based on the frequency with which members work with members of the other party on their legislation. I was also honored to receive the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s first-ever Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship.
As a member of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, I consistently work across the aisle to find common ground on issues facing the American people. This year alone, I’ve worked alongside my Democratic colleagues to combat the skyrocketing opioid overdoses amidst the pandemic, ensure our hospitals have sufficient resources and PPE, address military suicide rates, reduce our nation-wide sexual assault kit backlog, and protect student loan forgiveness for public servants like nurses, police officers, social workers and firefighters.
Every time I go to Washington, I go ready to leave the toxic red team versus blue team mentality at the door and work together with my colleagues across the aisle to create a better future for our country.
What would you do to safeguard our elections and ensure free and fair voting access for all?
Both the integrity of our elections and the ability of Americans to participate in our nation’s democracy are of the utmost importance.
While states, territories and localities have primary responsibility for ensuring that election systems are secure, federal agencies also play a role in helping identify and address election system threats and vulnerabilities. That’s why, since the 2016 election, I have voted to provide more than $800 million in federal funding to help secure our elections systems at the local level and counter threats to our nation’s democratic institutions and processes at the federal level. I was also proud to join my colleagues Reps. Marcia Fudge, Marcy Kaptur and Anthony Gonzalez for a bipartisan field hearing held by the House Administration Elections Subcommittee in Cleveland last year.
Additionally, I’ve been glad to see that every board of elections in Ohio has adopted 34 different election security measures, including physical security assessments and improvements, strengthened background checks for staff and personnel, secure websites and email domains, cyber-attack detection and network defense, and security training.
How would you address immigration policy?
I have long worked across the aisle to address the problems we’re currently facing due to our broken immigration system and am frustrated that Congress has failed to act to end the crisis at our southern border. America is the land of opportunity. That’s why fixing our broken immigration system should not be a red or blue issue. It protects both Americans and those who want to come here for a better life.
Congress needs to provide the tools our border patrol agents need to do their jobs safely, ensure the security of our nation and end the broken cycle that has led to the humanitarian crisis at our border. Whether it’s women and children being abused or trafficked on their way to our country, the separation of those individuals once they get here, the level of drugs flowing across our southern border that contribute to thousands of American deaths each year, or those impacted by crimes committed by individuals who would’ve never been allowed into our country had they gone through legal channels, it is very clear that there is too much suffering going on.
Partisan politics have prevented progress on this issue for decades, but the reality is that perpetuating the security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border can no longer be an option. As someone who has voted both to provide DACA recipients with legal certainty and strengthen our border security, I firmly believe we cannot continue to shy away from compromise when it comes to fixing our broken immigration system.
Where do you stand on efforts to protect our water, air, and land?
Having lived my entire life here in Northeast Ohio, I know how valuable our natural resources – like Lake Erie – are. In Congress, I’m proud to help lead the bipartisan effort to protect and preserve the Great Lakes. I’m known in Washington as “the Great Lakes Guy” for all the work I do to combat invasive species, restore habitats, reduce harmful algal blooms and prevent pollution in the Great Lakes region. These lakes supply 90% of our nation’s surface water, are home to 3,500 species of plants and animals, create $62 billion in wages each year and support 1.5 million jobs. They’re a national treasure and must be preserved for future generations to come.
In addition to my work to restore the Great Lakes, I’ve introduced a number of bipartisan conservation and environmental bills, including the RECYCLE Act with Rep. Dean Phillips and a bill to extend and increase funding for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area with Rep. Tim Ryan. That’s not to mention the countless other pieces of legislation I’ve cosponsored such as the Restore our Parks and Public Lands Act and the Trillion Trees Act. We must continue to be good stewards of our environment and I will continue to work across the aisle to ensure legislation coming out of Congress helps us accomplish that.
What legislation, if any, would you suggest to address gun safety?
As a member of the initial prosecuting team for the Chardon High School shooting in 2012, I have seen first-hand the impact that acts of senseless violence have on our communities. That’s why I have reached across the aisle and offered to work with my Democratic colleagues to address this critical issue in a non-partisan way.In addition to consistently voting to protect and strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), I voted to increase the accuracy of background checks and penalize agencies that fail to report required information to NICS. I have also supported numerous pieces of legislation that address the root cause of these tragedies, such as the Mass Violence Protection Act of 2019. This legislation tackles gun violence by improving information sharing among law enforcement agencies and cracking down on illegal firearm possession.
Other legislation I’ve cosponsored includes the Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016, the STOP School Violence Act, the Securing our Schools Act, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. Last Congress, I sent a letter to the Department of Justice in support of Ohio’s application for funding under the STOP School Violence Act to help bring threat assessments and training programs to all Ohio schools.
As the only member of Congress to have prosecuted a school shooter, I remain committed to finding commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence and directly improve the safety of our communities.
What solutions do you propose to address challenges in the healthcare system, women’s reproductive rights and maternal and child health?
This pandemic has underscored just how important our healthcare system is, as are those who work in it. As the proud husband of a nurse, I’ve always known that our healthcare workers are heroes but over that past several months, the word “hero” has reached a whole new meaning. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, medical professionals across the country have been working non-stop to preserve the health and safety of the American people all while risking their own.
That’s why, as the Co-Chair of the House Nursing Caucus, I led the charge to directly include $100 billion in relief funding for hospitals and healthcare systems to battle COVID-19 on the frontlines. But even before COVID-19 swept across our nation, I was working to enhance healthcare for millions of Ohioans. The first bill I introduced this past Congress was to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions and ensure their coverage remains intact despite legal uncertainty stemming from the Affordable Care Act’s ongoing litigation. I have also advocated for increased and unbiased access to healthcare services for those suffering from mental health disorders and worked across the aisle to combat the skyrocketing costs of prescription medications.
The fact of the matter is that healthcare should be accessible and affordable for all Ohioans and much work remains to be done to accomplish that.