Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District is about to hold a special election, the result of which will have nationwide significance.
This election is to replace Tom Price, who earlier this year became President Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services. There are 18 candidates, but the one who has earned the most attention is 30-year-old Jon Ossoff.
If Ossoff were to win, this would be seen as an expression of anti-Trump sentiment in the country, with Ossoff having spoken negatively about President Donald Trump throughout his campaign; he has promised to hold the president accountable.
“It was one of the most divisive and destructive presidential races in U.S. history, and I think that many have been hoping that the president will heal some of those wounds, show good faith and a more inclusive approach to governance,” Ossoff said in a recent MSNBC interview. “So far, I don’t think he’s allayed those concerns among those who believe that that divisive approach to governance is not right for the United States.”
Ossoff went on to say, “I have great respect for the office. I don’t have great personal admiration for the man himself.”
When Ossoff announced his campaign for Congress, he told his supporters, “Let’s stand up to Trump.”
But outside of being anti-Trump, what are Ossoff’s positions on the issues? Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Supports Planned Parenthood
On his campaign website, Jon Ossoff lists 10 priorities, and the fourth is that women should have access to contraceptives and abortions.
“Jon will defend women’s access to contraception and a woman’s right to choose and fight any legislation or executive action that would allow insurance companies to discriminate against women,” his website says.
Ossoff’s website goes on to say that Planned Parenthood provides “essential preventative and reproductive health care services,” and so Ossoff will defend Planned Parenthood while in Congress.
Tom Price, who Jon Ossoff would be replacing in Congress if elected, has received a rating of zero from Planned Parenthood, and he has worked to ensure that Planned Parenthood does not receive federal funding.
2. He Supports Avoiding ‘Reckless, Destabilizing’ Wars Like the Iraq War
When it comes to national security and foreign policy, Jon Ossoff says he wants to avoid “reckless, destabilizing” wars overseas like the war in Iraq.
“Jon will oppose unnecessary military intervention overseas and will only support the use of force where US national security is at stake,” his website reads.
His website goes on to state that he will back efforts to destroy ISIS that do not deploy ground forces, and he will work to ensure that law enforcement, intelligence agencies and the military are given the resources that they need without sacrificing privacy and human rights.
In a recent interview on MSNBC, Jon Ossoff expressed some support for Donald Trump’s recent strike on Syria.
“If U.S. intelligence confirmed that the Syrian military struck civilians with chemical weapons, then a swift, punitive, limited strike was a reasonable response, but any further action should require Congressional approval, and we can’t get drawn in on the ground there,” Ossoff said.
3. He Supports Raising the Minimum Wage
Jon Ossoff believes that the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25, should be raised.
“Jon believes the minimum wage should be a living wage,” his website states. “He will support an increase in the federal minimum wage indexed to cost of living and implemented at a pace that allows employers to adapt their business plans.”
In 2014, Pew Research Center found that 73 percent of Americans are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. This included 90 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans. During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton supported raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, while Bernie Sanders supported raising it to $15 an hour.
When it comes to the economy, Ossoff says that he will support a “dynamic, forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors.”
He also says that he will “reduce the tax burden on small businesses and simplify small business tax filing.”
4. He Supports Securing the Border & Providing a Pathway to Citizenship
In a recent tweet, President Donald Trump claimed that Jon Ossoff wants to “allow illegal immigration.”
That does not line up with what Jon Ossoff has said throughout the campaign; in fact, Ossoff has talked about his desire to secure the border.
“America needs a strong border policy that protects American citizens and American jobs,” his website says. “We should welcome those strivers who, like our own forebears, seek the opportunity to work hard, play by the rules, and build better lives in America.”
Ossoff has said, however, that he supports providing undocumented immigrants who have not committed any crimes a pathway to citizenship.
“The notion that we are going to massively deport more than 11 million people is absurd. There is no way a program like that could be implemented constitutionally, in a way that is fiscally responsible or in a way that is humane,” Ossoff said during a recent debate, according to Politifact. “The only real solution is comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders and provides a path to legal status for non-felons who are here without proper documentation.”
On his website, Ossoff makes clear reference to some of the comments of President Donald Trump on immigration.
“Jon believes it is a violation of core American principles to slander entire religious groups and that it’s unconstitutional to ban anyone from entering our country on religious grounds,” Ossoff says.
In a recent interview on MSNBC, Ossoff said that there should be stricter penalties for those who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants.
5. He Supports Finding ‘Common Ground to Fix Obamacare While Keeping What Works’
On Obamacare, Jon Ossoff says that he is open to working with Republicans to tweak the health care law.
“We can find common ground to fix Obamacare while keeping what works,” Ossoff said in a campaign ad.
However, he has made clear that he does not support getting rid of the law entirely, saying in his campaign ad that repealing it “makes no sense.”
On his website, Ossoff says that he will ensure that young people can stay on their parents’ plan, that those with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage, and that veterans get swift health care and benefits. He also says that he will fight against any law that would allow insurance companies to not provide contraceptives and abortions.
Jon Ossof also says, however, that “No business should go under or lay off employees because it can’t keep up with health insurance premiums.”