Your Vote Counts Candidate Forum: Laurie McReynolds
Laurie McReynolds is one of 11 Republicans running to replace Representative Bill Flores as District 17’s Congressional Representative.
McReynolds is from Waco, Texas. At the age of 23, she opened her own dry cleaning and laundry business. Years later when she was 45, she decided to go back to school for an undergraduate degree from Tarleton State University. At age 50, she earned her real estate license.
McReynolds participated in the Congressional Candidate Forum hosted by KBTX and KWTX on Jan. 25 held at Texas A&M University’s Rudder Theatre.
On the Issues:
Immigration: McReynolds supports President Trump’s plan to build a wall and does not agree with giving amnesty to illegal aliens.
"The number one thing we have to do is to secure the border because there are a lot of bad people coming through and we have got to stop that," said McReynolds at the Candidate Forum on Jan. 25.
Education: McReynolds wants to minimize government involvement while expanding voucher programs.
Healthcare: McReynolds wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with free-market solutions.
"I think we need to get the kickbacks out of healthcare. There are a lot of people that get money for pushing certain drugs that have hurt a lot of people," said McReynolds.
KBTX has reached out with additional questions from viewers. McReynolds’s answers are below.
Q: The unemployment rate in the United States sits at its lowest in a half-decade. Increasingly, employers are struggling to find quality candidates to fill skilled roles, especially trade workers. At the same time, the U.S. just ended its second-slowest decade for wage growth since the Great Depression. Compensation for hourly wage workers has remained flat since the seventies. What responsibility does the federal government have to make sure our jobs bubble doesn’t burst and is it time for a hike in the federal minimum wage
A: This is not a simple question. America needs trade schools and we could start internships during high school so when students get out of high school, they could begin a career if they choose. The government should not force businesses to pay a certain wage. If you want to keep employees in your business, business owners must use business sense to pay people their worth. If they don’t, employees have the right to move to another place of employment. When the government forces employment wages, it’s a double-edged sword, because businesses are forced to raise their prices to keep their doors open.
Q: Governor Abbot recently declined new refugee resettlement for the state of Texas. Do you agree? What specific steps would you propose that the US government could do to help refugees? –JL to KWTX
A: I agree with Governor Abbot. Our government should treat refugees with dignity while they are in our care.
Q: What is your position on immigrants already in the country who entered illegally? Should they be deported, given a pathway to citizenship, or something in between?
A: If an illegal is doing criminal acts, they should be deported when arrested; no more catch and release. There are work programs in place that immigrants who came in illegally can use, such as green cards. Anyone that is working for cash, needs to get work papers so that they can pay into the system that is already in place. If you are illegal, you should not be eligible for any welfare programs that our country offers to legal citizens.
Q: What is the US’s role in maintaining or creating peace in the Middle East? -Daniel Vines to KBTX
A: We have to stand tall and not back down to threats as President Trump just demonstrated.
Q: Recovery from the Great Recession has been slow, and fueled largely by consumer spending. How will you work to grow and diversify our economy while in Congress?
A: We need to continue with the Tariffs on imports to keep the U.S. on a more equal playing field. We need more manufacturing companies back in our country so that we have our own resources. When we are self-sufficient then we become economically stronger.
Q: How do you feel about Texas Central’s proposed high-speed rail project and the potential use of the eminent domain to acquire land necessary for construction? -Paula Williams to KBTX
A: If the rail project travels along the current highways, I think it could be a good thing but if they use an immanent domain for the project, I will not support it. There are many family ranches that would need consideration and discussion.
Q: As US Representative, you will be called to serve on committees. Please name one of your committee preferences and explain what in your past experience would help you serve. –JL to KWTX
A: I would like to serve on the budget committee because I have had to live within a budget to successfully run a business.
Q: Name one thing you respect about another candidate onstage.
A: Their willingness and courage to serve. There are over 700,000 people in our district and 15 candidates have stepped up to try and fill this position.
Q: What’s one word you use to describe yourself?
Q: Do you support the legalization of marijuana at the federal level? -Diektrich Morgan to KBTX
A: I support medical marijuana. There are benefits from CBD oils that have helped many people with cancer and seizures. More research can be done to show the benefits of medical marijuana.
For more information about McReynolds’s campaign visit the Related Link section on this story. To hear all of McReynolds's answers at the candidate forum, watch the video player.