Policy Priorities

 

Climate Change & Environment

Being a good steward of what God has given us is a very important responsibility. I believe in an American responsibility towards the sustainability of what we have on earth – for generations to come.

At the same time, while being mindful of the world around us, we must be careful to not enact regulations that would do little more than cause economic hardships. There is a fine balance. I am opposed to unnecessary government regulations to support climate change policy.

Economy & Jobs

Creating jobs is not the role of government. The role of government is to create an environment where commerce can occur unfettered. The role of government is to contribute towards positive outcomes – towards business success and positive job growth. A key to this is the reduction of unnecessary government regulations.

I support working towards a stronger economy and would do all within my authority to help attract companies to Indiana, as well as work to keep existing businesses within our state. I believe we should extend incentive packages, if possible, to those who have called Indiana home for years – not just to those we are endeavoring to attract to our state.

I believe we need to pursue new technologies to make Indiana businesses more competitive, sustainable, and efficient. We want to continue growing business and commerce in Indiana, which will have a positive impact on the creation of new jobs. We need to foster an environment that creates new jobs and, in turn, a better future for all.

Education

Education is a key foundation of a healthy civil society. Students should be able to access a quality education at a reasonable cost. Today, there are serious issues surrounding escalating education costs, particularly at the post-secondary degree level. As a result, student loan debt has increased dramatically. This impacts our national debt.

In the United States, over a trillion dollars is owed in student loans.

We must find a way to decrease the costs of higher education and, thus, overall student loan debt. I believe there are ways to do this without increasing government funding. This includes working to decrease education costs in communities, as well as attract additional investment – from the private sector – and explore funding options such as loan repayment through service. We must address the debt burden on our young people.

Education, at whatever level, is important for our citizenry. No Hoosier should be made to feel they are less than someone else because they have chosen to advance their education through a pathway different from others, such as those who might have chosen to seek a four-year college degree. It is time to value all levels of education equally.

Foreign Policy

Diplomacy is a very important element that aids in our overall national security.

In my career, I have worked with others toward goals that benefit all. I feel this characteristic is very much needed when dealing within foreign policy. Some in Washington are skilled in foreign policy matters, but more can be done to support relationships between nations – as long as we understand history and guard against potential hazards or negative partnerships.

We need to continue influencing policy in the world’s hotspots, including with the ongoing situation between Israel and Palestine; I am a strong supporter of Israel, the sole real democracy in the Middle East. There are other issues within the Middle East, namely with Iraq and Syria. Another key hotspot, at this time, involves North Korea.

There are some key factors within foreign policy that I believe are key towards our continued national security. This includes a continued relationship with China and, also, with Russia. Additionally, it is important to invest economically within the nations of Africa beyond just foreign aid, as it is a growing area to influence – great opportunity for the United States to do great good when compared to other active nations in the region such as China.

Health Care

Repealing Obamacare, the American Affordable Care Act, is a real positive overall. At the time of its passage, there was talk of everyone having a choice with his or her respective health care plans. It does not seem to be working as advertised. The program is in trouble.

It is important for all Americans to be unified over a new health care replacement law, providing most believe the law should be reworked and replaced. Many do not.

I believe it is important to care for our people. I believe everyone should have affordable healthcare access regardless of their situation in life. I believe the free market can impact the cost of healthcare, focusing on keeping insurance costs competitive and pharmaceutical expenses to a minimum. And we must focus on healthy living.

As many Republicans, I believe more power should be returned to the states from the federal government. This includes an overall perspective related to healthcare. Indiana has shown success with being a good steward at the state level with Medicaid, something that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments and managed by the state. I believe part of a solution is for Indiana to participate within the healthcare governance overall. This would return more power to the people, giving state governments more authority.

Immigration

We must protect our borders – north and south – to ensure we reduce unlawful entry into the United States. We must also protect our citizens against crime and drugs. While we may have not caused the current immigration problem in the United States, it is our responsibility to address the issues in a constructive fashion.

There are many issues of people illegally entering the United States and, also, others are overstaying their visas.

I do believe in the importance of southern boarder protection; before it became widely known to the contrary, I always thought we had the necessary boarder protection between the United States and Mexico. I support building a wall. At the same time, it is important to understand that a wall alone will not completely protect our country from all unlawful entry. And until all illegal avenues have been closed, we cannot consider a meaningful plan to return undocumented immigrants to their homelands.

We must support our nation’s long-standing tradition of integrating immigrants into the United States. Our great history reminds us that immigrants have made incredible contributions to the building and advancement of our nation. It is also important – in a changing world – to guard against those who may wish to come to America to do us harm. I believe it is vital to take steps to ensure only those who want to contribute towards the good of our country are given access.

Law & Order

As a nation, we must support our law enforcement officers in order for them to keep our citizens safe. It is important that we do not incite factions and encourage dissent. We must allow our police to do their jobs, giving them the tools they need to be successful. Our recent history, as a nation, has not been positive towards support for those within law enforcement.

America is a great nation because we believe in the rule of law. We want to keep a free society where everyone can exercise their opportunities regardless of their situation in life.

 National Defense

Maintaining a strong military is critical towards protecting our way of life in America. I believe we must always invest in national defense even during times of peace. In a changing world, we do not have the luxury to be reactive when conflict arises. We must be proactive. We must have the resources to always meet the military needs that exist.

While President, Ronald Reagan used to talk about the importance of having “peace through strength.” This is so true and we understand the necessary of a strong national defense.

New Technologies

As Indiana businesses continue to thrive, we must encourage Hoosiers to find new ways to meet consumer needs through the use of new technologies. With manufacturing jobs being critically important within Indiana, we must look for ways to ensure companies have what they need to be competitive in the global market.

Philanthropy

I believe philanthropy, through voluntary action, is an important dynamic in America today. The dynamic of “neighbor helping neighbor” should be expanded – encouraged by our tax laws – to ensure our people receive the support they need. Americans can care for each other more effectively than the government, so we should include friendly laws with respect to the nonprofit sector. And in the end, this will continue to encourage the role of religious organizations and churches to exercise their faiths, humanitarian relief efforts and/or their overall service focuses.

Political Climate

Civility in our politics seems to have been lost. It is unfortunate since working together used to be celebrated. Disagreeing respectfully was once the rule of the day. Today, each political side is polarized beyond what we have witnessed in recent years.

I believe there are opportunities to bring both sides together and, also, that many people want to change the tone in Washington. One way to begin this is for both major political parties to work on creating legislation together, which will – in turn – ensure better results on the passage of bills towards the advancement of our way of life.

We must send a message of inclusivity, while also advocating for what it right. Our message should be that we are all Americans. This dynamic is important. I feel strongly that Hoosiers support the idea of Washington working together.

 Tax Reform

Simplifying the tax code is something of great importance to Hoosiers and to all Americans. I believe it is critical for us to consider a multitude of ways to accomplish this, which would reduce the burden for all.

There are a lot of views about fair tax or flat tax arrangements, and I believe there are several good approaches to ensure we can reduce the tax burden, allowing Hoosiers access to more of their money for goods and services. There are a lot of challenges to the current tax code, which is seen each year when Americans file their income taxes.

A better tax policy not only ensures we are maximizing government revenues on services, but also ensures we are able to thrive in other areas such as charitable giving.

 Terrorism

As a Republican, I believe that maintaining a strong position towards fighting terrorism is very important for our nation, identifying the issues and our potential risks. While there is a great need for our law enforcement to have any and all tools available to them, it is also important that the privacy of Americans are not overlooked in the name of safety.

A strong military with true partners around the world will aid our nation towards achieving our national security goals, which includes fighting terrorism.

I support increased funding for national defense because a safe nation is a prosperous nation. Hoosiers know how vital it is for America to defeat terrorism abroad as a strategy towards protecting our homeland.

 Trade

Commerce around the world is good business for all, giving consumers an opportunity to make purchases anywhere they choose and companies the chance to compete in the global marketplace.

Trade should be fair across the board, including for the United States. I support fair trade, which corresponds to many dynamics for our country. Foreign trade is key to a stronger economy and critical towards effective military power. In a globalized world, effective trading nations exercise great influence.

Better trade around the world – specifically with inexpensive imports – helps America, particularly through keeping prices lower on our goods and services. This, in turn, elevates our standard of living and quality of life.

Through tax reform, we should use domestic influences to incentivize companies to keep and grow an American workforce.

Veterans

Veterans’ needs should be addressed. Our former service men and women need to feel we appreciate their sacrifices vs. just taking their service for granted. We must find ways to ensure veterans are given a higher quality of care, as well as that they have the services they need for complete recovery. We must take care of them in their time of need, too.

 

-Andrew Takami for U.S. Senate