Utah 4th Congressional District
Republican former NFL player Burgess Owens is challenging first-term Congressman Ben McAdams, the state’s only Democrat in Congress. McAdams unseated the previous incumbent, Republican Mia Love, in 2018 by a razor-thin margin of less than 700 votes. The race is listed as a toss-up by the Cook Political Report, and is a priority for national Republicans and Democrats.
For this guide, Rep. Ben McAdams responded to KUER’s candidate survey and joined reporter Sonja Hutson for a one-on-one interview. Burgess Owens did not respond to requests for either, and his policy positions here are based on past public statements and his campaign website.
Federal COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Voted for the CARES Act, which gave financial aid to businesses, individuals, hospitals and schools. Supported a failed bill which would have required the Small Business Administration to disclose which businesses received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Voted to approve a PPP compromise bill that gives loan recipients more flexibility.
Supports federal response to the pandemic, but argues that “a lot of unneeded things were thrown into the relief bill.” He told the Salt Lake Tribune in August that he would like to see PPP loans extended.
Affordable Care Act
Supports reforming the law to lower drug costs and lower premiums through “reinsurance plans,” essentially insurance plans for insurance companies.
“The ACA was not a perfect bill, but at a time when millions are losing jobs and health care, it should be strengthened and improved, not repealed.”
Says the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) “no longer needs to be repealed,” but does want to make changes to the healthcare system. Wants to push for transparency and give Americans more healthcare options in order to drive prices down.
“By creating more transparency, our country’s healthcare system will be more patient-centered and less controlled by bureaucrats.”
Voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a wide-ranging police reform bill that would require police to wear body cameras, create a National Police Misconduct Registry and lower the standard for convicting officers of misconduct in federal cases.
“I do not support defunding the police. I proposed federal funding for local police grants to assist with training and recruitment based on local needs.”
Supports increasing police relations with the community and “justice” when that trust is broken. Supports “mindset training” and “an increased emphasis on empathy.”
“‘Defund the police’ is a dangerous and absurd movement. In DC, I pledge to defend our brothers and sisters in Blue against those who try to demonize them.”
Voted for a bill in 2019 that would have protected DACA recipients — immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children — from being deported. Also voted for a bill that would have imposed hygiene standards for immigrants held in detention by U.S. Customs & Border Protection
“The federal immigration system is broken. We need reforms that keep families together, strengthen our economy, and protect our borders.”
Supports making legal immigration easier, as well as securing the border and enforcing immigration policy.
“Our focus should always be to protect Americans first.”
Believes in human-caused climate change. Said he does not support the Green New Deal. Sponsored a bill to require the Department of Energy to research and develop solar energy technologies, and voted yes on a bill that would require the president to create a plan for the U.S. to meet its previous obligations under the Paris climate agreement.
Has not spoken publicly on the matter, and does not have a section on his campaign website dedicated to the issue. He did not respond to KUER’s request for comment.