Birthdate and place: September 10, 1951; Philadelphia, PA
Residence: Mitchellville, MD
Family: Gaines Clore Wynn (wife); Gabrielle and Meredith (2 daughters); Kaden (grandson)
Education: JD, Georgetown Univ; Howard Univ. Graduate School of Political Science; BS, Political Science, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Professional experience: Representative 4th C.D.; member of the Energy and Commerce Committee; chairman, Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials; member, subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality; Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus PAC and Minority Business Task Force. (present); Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1993-present; member, Maryland Senate, 1987-93; member, Maryland House of Delegates, 1983-1987; Attorney, Albert R. Wynn and Associates, 1982; Executive Director, Prince George’s County Consumer Protection Commission, 1979-1982
Community experience: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated; Member, Maple Springs Baptist Church; Chair, Caucus Minority Business Task Force; Congressional Black Caucus Homeland Security Task Force; Chair, Congressional Black Caucus Task Force on Campaign Finance Reform; Co-Chair, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Caucus
Key issues: bring our troops home from Iraq, health care, education, energy, the environment including drinking water, clean air, toxics and superfund; telecommunications issues and biotechnology
Web site: www.albertwynn.org
E-mail address: wynnforcongress
Campaign headquarters: Wynn for Congress, 706 Cloverly StreetSilver Spring, MD 20905
Link to state Board of Elections campaign finance database
Congress, Dist. 4
Albert R. Wynn (D)
Click here to view excerpts of a conversation with Dist. 4 Democratic primary candidate Albert Wynn.
Q. What are your top three priorities for the next two years, if elected?
Ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home is the top priority. On the domestic front we must aggressively reform No Child Left Behind, stop global warming and fight for universal health care.
Q. How would you rate the performance of the House of Representatives: excellent, good, fair or poor? Why?
Good. With the democrats in the majority, the U.S. House of Representatives has been successful in passing such important measures as SCHIP, raising the minimum wage, setting fuel economy standards and voting to bring our troops home. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration is the roadblock to progress and prosperity and the inability of the Senate to override the President’s veto is a problem.
Q. Do you have a timeline on when the U.S. should pull out of Iraq?
I am in favor of an immediate withdrawal from Iraq beginning within 30 days of passage of legislation and ending and no later than December 2008. Unfortunately, efforts towards achieving this timeline and others before it have been thwarted by the Bush Administration.
Q. How should the government pay for the War on Terror and is it working?
We need to end the war in Iraq and redeploy our troops. By cutting spending in Iraq we can better use our funds to reinvest in domestic priorities and the war on terror. In addition, the War on Terror is a global problem that requires broad diplomatic solutions, global cooperation and funding. We need to involve other nations, and find a greater role for the U.N. which is why I have sponsored legislation to establish a U.N. emergency peace service.
Q. Would you make any changes to the way the Department of Homeland Security is run?
In August, I called for a federal investigation into the rise of no-bid contract awards at the Department of Homeland Security. Even the appearance of favoritism on exclusive, non competitive contracts is a serious concern for the fairness and transparency of our contracting system. In defending our homeland, or rebuilding after a disaster has struck, it is essential that DHS provide fair opportunities for small, minority, and disadvantaged businesses to participate.
In addition, we need to make the Head of Homeland Security a cabinet-level Secretary position in order for that person to be at the table with all other cabinet secretaries. We need better cooperation amongst the agencies and a better system for sharing intelligence so that tragedies like Katrina and 9⁄11 never happen again.
Q. What should be done to reform Social Security, Medicare?
I will support legislation that reforms Medicare by creating a meaningful prescription drug benefit that allows Medicare to reduce drug costs by negotiating lower prices with drug manufacturers and eliminates the coverage gap.
We must also provide more competitive reimbursement rates to physicians to counter the shortage of doctors participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Also, I am an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2034, the Medicare for All Act which would make health care coverage available to every American by expanding the Medicare program to those under age 65 and allow people to choose coverage through Medicare or any of the health plans available to Congress, the President, and federal employees.
I will continue to oppose efforts to undermine the integrity of Social Security through privatization. I will continue to work with my colleagues to produce fiscally-responsible budgets that make the right investments in defense, health care, and education, without dipping in the funds needed to secure the future of Social Security.
Q. Should SCHIP be expanded? If yes, how would you pay for an expansion? If no, how would you ensure that people who need health and dental care get it?
Yes, SCHIP must be expanded in order to ensure that our children do not suffer because they cannot afford to pay for a visit to the dentist or the doctor. Tooth decay remains the most common disease affecting children in America. For that reason, I sponsored and introduced, H.R. 2472, The Essential Oral Health Care Act of 2007, to improve essential oral health care for lower-income individuals under the Maternal and Child Health Program and the Medicaid Program.
The best way to provide funding for SCHIP is to increase the taxes of the wealthiest Americans, increase cigarette taxes and end the war in Iraq.
Q. What is your position on the death penalty?
I am strongly opposed to the death penalty.
Q. What is your position on abortion?
I am a strong defender of choice and have supported reproductive rights for my entire career. I have had a consistent pro-choice voting record during my tenure in Congress. I have also received the endorsements of NARAL and Planned Parenthood for my re-election campaign.
Q. Do you support same-sex marriage?
I support civil unions in order to ensure every American has the right to form a recognized committed relationship with all of the rights, protections and responsibilities that a marriage entails.
Q. Do you support the federal No Child Left Behind law?
I am committed to reforming and reauthorizing No Child Left Behind in a way that addresses several key problems and makes changes that will significantly benefit students. I believe the program continues to rely heavily on measuring schools based on standardized test results, but should focus on restoring the highly effective class size reduction program and strengthening provisions to address the nation’s high school dropout crisis, particularly among minority and low-income populations.
I have also been endorsed by the National Education Association and the Maryland State Teachers Association for my re-election campaign.
Q. What, if anything, should be done to assist homeowners at risk of losing their homes because of adjustable rate loans?
I am currently co-sponsoring legislation and working to get additional congressional sponsors and support for an initiative that would permit Bankruptcy judges to renegotiate mortgages in foreclosure and to give credit relief to victims of sub-prime loans.
I also joined in passing H.R. 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Act of 2007. This bill provides redress by forcing financial institutions to create more affordable mortgage options for those facing foreclosure. It also reforms the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) so that the agency can assist people at risk of foreclosure by providing them with affordable loans and refinancing options.
Q. Should slots be allowed in Prince George’s County? Should there be any form of gambling at National Harbor?
No, I do not support slots in Prince George’s County. Slots only serve to exploit the poor and harm local communities. No, I do not support other forms of gambling at National Harbor.
Q. Who should bear the costs of the changes wrought by BRAC?
Inevitably, federal, state and local government will share the costs. However, the primary and direct costs should and will be born by the federal government. The collateral costs facing local communities will be generally offset through the revenue of new taxpayers and economic development.
Q. What state transportation projects are a priority and how should we pay for them?
We have a serious transportation problem in this region. We need to focus on putting Rail across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. In addition, I led the effort to secure funding authorization for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project, the Purple line and Corridor Cities Transitway. These are all priority transportation projects. We need to end the war so that we can reinvest our overseas spending in domestic priorities. We need to utilize ‘‘pay as you go” principles and cut wasteful spending.