Maryland Voter Guide 2022

Voter guide: Shelly Skolnick, Congress, District 8

Shelly Skolnick

Republican candidate for Congress, D8

Age 77

Residence Chevy Chase, Maryland

Occupation attorney

Education Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Bachelor of Laws, Boston University School of Law

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Previous political experience

Candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large in 2018; candidate for county and federal offices in prior years

Why are you running for office?

To reduce gridlock in Congress, I believe more moderates should be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. As a moderate Republican, my campaign motto is Make America Fair To All (MAFTA). For example, I am proposing changes to make our taxes more fair by having social security retirement benefits tax free at age 70; and waiving the employee social security payroll tax at age 70.


How do you assess the Trump administration so far? Name at least one positive and one negative.

Positive: expanding oil production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Negative: withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear agreement.


What effect do you believe the federal tax cuts of 2017 have had on the economy thus far or will have in the future and why? Do you support the cuts?

The tax cuts properly reduced the corporate tax rate, since the prior rate was among the highest in the developed countries. Also, increasing the standard deduction was beneficial in simplifying tax returns for many taxpayers. However, the reduced tax rate for high income taxpayers should be returned to their prior rate; and the limit on deducting state and local taxes should be removed.


Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and why or why not? What, if anything, should the federal government do to address it?

Increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hour for adults 18 years and older; but exempt very small businesses with less than 10 employees or less than $500,000 annual revenue.


Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how and why?

I support a universal background check before a gun is purchased. Also, I support the finger print technology that only allows the gun owner to shoot the gun, to reduce accidental shootings; and to reduce gun thefts.


What should Congress do with respect to the Affordable Care Act, how and why? If you believe it should be scrapped, what, if anything, should replace it?

I would add two public options to the Affordable Care Act. One option is to allow any U.S. citizen to purchase Medicaid coverage. The other option is to allow any U.S. citizen to purchase Medicare coverage. These voluntary options provide more choices without taking away private insurance. Also, these purchase options do not create unfair taxes.


What role should the federal government play in helping cities? What, if anything, would you do for Baltimore, specifically?

Many federal programs should be consolidated into block grants to allow the city governments with more flexibility in spending the federal funds.


Do you back Elijah Cummings’ bill -- which Republicans say is too expensive -- to provide $100 billion over 10 years to fight the opioid epidemic? Why or why not?

No position at this time in view of the current fiscal and financial crisis in the U.S.


What changes, if any, should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies? Should the DACA program be preserved? Why or why not?

The immigration system must be fair to those who wait to enter the U.S. legally. I would provide a path to citizenship for the “dreamers” who came to the U.S. illegally as minors. However, for adults who came to the U.S. illegally as adults, they would only have a path to green card status, unless they honorably served in the U.S. military.


How would you rate the Trump administration’s trade stance with China and why?

All the tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China during the Trump administration should be withdrawn by both countries. Instead, there should be substantial tax, patent and business incentives for companies to move their factories from China to the U.S.


Do you support the president’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal? Why or why not?

No. The nuclear deal was working; and all the other countries to the deal wanted the deal to continue. By pulling out of the deal, the U.S. compliance with future international agreements will be questioned. Thus, it will be more difficult to negotiate international agreements in the future.


How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?

The U.S. should install anti-missile defense systems in South Korea, in Japan, and aboard ships in the international waters off the coasts of North Korea.


How should the United States address climate change?

The federal government should provide tax and patent incentives for the discovery and use of new technologies to reduce global warming. High priority should be given to the generation of electricity and the development of new electric vehicles.


Do you support the Green New Deal? Why or why not?

No position at this time in view of the current fiscal and financial crisis in the U.S.