POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah debates: Here’s how 1st Congressional District candidates Rick Jones and Rep. Blake Moore stand on the issues

Oct 10, 2022, 9:00 AM | Updated: Dec 7, 2022, 9:32 am

First Congressional District debate candidates Rick Jones and Blake Moore...

Rick Jones (left) and Rep. Blake Moore (right) are pictured. (Utah Democrats) and (Blake Moore campaign site)

(Blake Moore campaign site)

SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic challenger Rick Jones will debate incumbent Republican Rep. Blake Moore at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Weber State University to represent Utah’s First Congressional District.

Held at the Val A. Browning Center, the debate will also be live-streamed on the Utah Debate Commission website where viewers can also submit questions. Tickets are required for the event but are available for free.

The debate will also air live on KSL NewsRadio, our Facebook page, as well as our internet live stream

A West Haven resident and a piano teacher, Jones is a retired adjunct teacher of economics from Weber State and a constitutional scholar.

Moore was first elected in 2020.

The top issues pushing people to vote for Democrats in 2022 are abortion and gun regulations while the issues pushing people to vote for Republicans are immigration and crime, as reported by the Deseret News.

Overall, 30% of survey respondents identified inflation as their top issue, but that’s down 7 points from the last time the question was asked in July. That was followed by abortion at 22%, up 4 points since July, according to NPR.

Here’s where the two first district candidates stand on both. 

Abortion

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. A little more than 60% of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases while 37% think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. These views are relatively unchanged in the past few years. That figure hasn’t changed much since before the court’s decision, according to the Pew Research Center.

“I have proudly cosponsored and voted for legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortion, coordinate resources for low-income expecting mothers, protect the conscience rights of healthcare providers, and more,” Moore said.

Moore introduced the Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act to ensure pharmacists can refuse to provide abortion drugs without repercussion.

“Pharmacists, along with other medical and health-care workers, should never be coerced into participating in abortions, and this bill is an important step in supporting medical professionals who have deep convictions about practicing life-affirming medicine,” Moore said in a press release.

“While generally I personally discourage abortion, since about two-thirds of Americans favor a measure of women’s autonomy, it is foolish to criminalize all abortions… In Utah 20 years ago, there were about 5,000 abortions per year; today there are about 3,000,” Jones said. “This indicates abortion can be reduced without the government becoming more intrusive and meddlesome.”

Inflation

“It is highly unlikely that our inflation is caused by federal deficits,” Jones said. “During the [President Jimmy] Carter era his inflation was completely blamed on his deficits. But [President Ronald] Reagan’s deficits were almost four times greater than Carter’s, and there was very little inflation. Moreover, every administration since then, with the exception of  [President Bill] Clinton’s, had astronomical deficits with modest inflation.”

“Americans should not have to pay higher prices for prescriptions than people in other nations do,” according to Jones’ campaign website.

“When the wealthiest individuals and corporations avoid paying their fair share of taxes, it imposes increased burdens on middle-class working families,” Jones said.

He also listed four other factors he said are contributing to inflation in the U.S.:

  • Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Ukrainian war.
  • Global supply chains.
  • Asset price inflation.

“This is now inflating consumer prices because land and housing are more expensive than ever,” Jones added.

“Democrats’ federal spending agenda is one of the main contributors to inflation. Between the CARES Act, ARPA, infrastructure package, appropriations bills, CHIPS Act, Inflation Act, and now loan forgiveness, federal spending is raising inflation, lowering job opportunities and incomes, and producing long-term deficits,” Moore responded.

Immigration

The U.S. Border Patrol reported more than 1.6 million encounters with migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in the 2021 fiscal year, more than quadruple the number of the prior fiscal year and the highest annual total on record. The number of encounters had fallen to just over 400,000 in fiscal 2020 as the coronavirus outbreak slowed migration across much of the world, according to Pew Research Center.

The most recent major immigration reform enacted in the United States, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, made hiring or recruiting illegal immigrants illegal, while also legalizing about 2.7 million undocumented residents who entered the United States before 1982.

“I believe a task force, composed of experts from all the areas that touch on immigration, should be appointed. Ultimately the solution will require strengthening border security, creating a path to citizenship, and reducing the enormous backlog,” Jones said.

“From undermining the Remain in Mexico Policy to failing to address the fentanyl crisis that is killing Americans, this [Biden] administration has abdicated its basic responsibility to secure our border,” Moore said. “I voted to restrict the Biden administration from sending checks to people who violated U.S. immigration laws, and I defended the use of Title 42, which gives our Border Patrol more tools to manage our border.”

Jan. 6 insurrection

On Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob of then-President Donald Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in an illegal attempt to keep him in power: 138 police officers were hurt and five people died. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months, according to Reuters.

On that day, Moore had been on the job only four days. He voted in favor of establishing bipartisan legislation to create a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as reported by the Deseret News.

“In Congress, I have worked hard to support election integrity by opposing H.R. 1, the Democrats’ egregious legislation to give the federal government control over state elections, overturn voter ID laws and allow taxpayer funding for political campaigns,” Moore said.

“Because [President Donald Trump] was the ringleader, and there were deaths and untold injuries [during the Jan. 6 insurrection], I believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Jones said. “I believe one of the most indefensible votes my opponent has cast was voting not to impeach Trump.

“If this nation had lived by its ideals after the election of 2000 and adopted the national popular vote referendum, we would not be talking about multiple Trump investigations and January 6 today,” Jones said.

Energy

On Wednesday, the group of nations known as OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November. The move will cause a spike in U.S. gasoline prices that will last for months, analysts told ABC News.

“We should continue to use tax credits and any other available means to incentivize businesses to develop and rely upon renewable forms of energy,” Jones said.

“When it comes to energy, I believe we should empower American industry to create clean, innovative, affordable solutions to our energy demands without picking winners and losers,” Moore said. “Our ability to leverage and expand newer, cleaner technologies is growing, and we must ensure that regulations don’t disincentivize investments in these promising technologies.”

Environment

Summer 2022 was a season marked again by historic heat waves, widespread drought and torrential rains and ranks among the hottest on record, according to data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as reported by the Washington Post.

“As a member of the Conservative Climate Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee, I believe it is imperative that Republicans have a seat at the table to talk about responsible environmental stewardship,” Moore said.

Jones said climate change needs to be a priority as it affects our quality of life for us and future generations.

“We constantly see growing evidence that climate change is real. I believe we have a moral obligation to fight it since those hurt worst — like the people of Maldives — have the least resources to combat it,” he added.

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Utah debates: Here’s how 1st Congressional District candidates Rick Jones and Rep. Blake Moore stand on the issues