U.S. House District 18
Republicans

Brian Mast

  • Marital Status: Married
  • Education: Bachelor's degree
  • BA, Harvard University
    • Recent Job: Retired

    Previous races

    This candidate has not previously run for office.
    Should Congress pass a law requiring background checks for gun purchases made at gun shows, over the Internet or between private individuals?
    No. It is already a felony to buy and sell firearms without a federal dealer’s license and it’s a crime for a licensed gun dealer to fail to conduct a background check for a gun sale. It’s a felony to sell a firearm to someone you know shouldn’t have one. Regulating transfers between friends or family members would require a federal gun registry to track them. That’s not a place we should go. I have carried a rifle and a pistol for most of my adult life, and fired both in defense of every American and myself. The right to defend ourselves is God given. It is not provided to us by the government, but rather the right to keep and bear arms is a right the federal government is sworn to protect. I will fight to protect our Second Amendment from all attempts to erode it.
    Do you favor a pathway to legal status or citizenship for any of the estimated 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally?
    I favor no pathway to legalization or citizenship prior to addressing overstayed visas, implementing a work verification system in all 50 states, physically securing our southern border, ending sanctuary cities, and tracking down others who have unlawfully entered our borders. Securing the border begins with a fence, more border patrol agents, and unmanned aerial surveillance. Next, since about 40% of the illegal immigrants in the US are on overstayed visas, we need to reform tracking for visa overstays. America also needs a more effective and efficient employment verification system so that companies can have confidence that the people they hire are legally entitled to work. Likewise, we must reform guest worker programs to make sure that American workers aren’t being displaced in the process of companies meeting legitimate worker shortages.
    Aside from about 300 Special Forces troops now assisting in Syria, are more U.S. ground troops needed to defeat ISIS?
    The threat of a growing ISIS presents a clear and present danger to the United States. More troops will be needed to defeat ISIS. In order to defeat ISIS the U.S. must cut off every safe haven, funding, and resource, including oil, associated with the Islamic State. A Sunni Middle Eastern Coalition should be created as a spearhead for ground combat. As a combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan, national security will be my top priority in Congress. We need a national security strategy and a defense budget that allows us to implement it. We need leaders in Washington who understand the modern battlefield. While the biggest change will come from a new Commander-in-Chief, Congress also has an important role with its oversight function of the Executive Branch. America must complete what we started and defeat global jihadist such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. I will aggressively press the next administration for a plan and a budget that will allow us to defeat these radical groups.
    Do you favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
    I support repealing and replacing Obamacare. The promises of lower cost, better quality, and more choices have not come true. Premiums have skyrocketed and many Floridians have lost the coverage they liked. Health care in America would be best improved by allowing small businesses and voluntary associations to join together to get the same insurance discounts as large corporations. We need to expand the use of Health Savings Accounts, allow for insurance purchases across state lines, and give individuals tax deductions or credits so they can buy insurance that fits their needs rather than insurance coverage dictated by the federal government.
    Do you support higher payroll taxes to extend the life of Social Security beyond 2034 and Medicare beyond 2028?
    No, I do not support higher payroll taxes. Entitlement programs and interest on the debt are now 2/3 of the federal budget. But putting Medicare and Social Security on sound footing isn’t just about averting a debt crisis; it’s about saving these programs for seniors like my dad, and preventing younger Americans from facing huge tax increases and fewer jobs caused by massive spikes in their payroll taxes. The economy over the last 8 years has been sluggish. Too few jobs, too few workers getting a raise. Too many people struggling to make it. We need to reform the tax code so we have more growth, jobs, and higher wages, not raise the payroll tax and kill jobs. There have been reforms proposed to Social Security and Medicare that I would consider. While these largely involve adjusting for younger people like myself, Social Security and Medicare can only be saved long term by growing our economy and getting more people to work for higher wages.
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