Name as it appears on the ballot: David E. Price 

Age: 80

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Congressman, educator

Years lived in North Carolina: 47

1. What in your background qualifies you to represent the people of North Carolina effectively? What would you cite as your three biggest career accomplishments? 

I believe at its best that the government, including Congress, is an instrument of our common purpose, delivering justice and righting fundamental wrongs. In my years in Congress, I’ve sought to advance opportunity for all and use policy to improve the lives of my constituents.

As the son of teachers and a professor myself, I know the value of education, including universities, community colleges, and training programs. Two of my earliest legislative successes were 1) to establish a National Science Foundation program to promote innovative community college curricula and 2) to make student loan interest tax-deductible and allow penalty-free IRA withdrawals for education.  I have also been a strong supporter of Democratic efforts to expand Pell Grants, lower student loan interest rates, and expand loan forgiveness.  

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked hard to bring opportunity and federal resources to the Research Triangle. That includes playing a key role in locating the Environmental Protection Agency’s research facility in Research Triangle Park as well as providing the funds for the construction of the North Carolina National Guard and State Emergency Operations Center flagship building in Raleigh.

Finally, I have played a leading role in Congress’ efforts to strengthen democracy and the rule of law abroad. I was the initiator and currently serve as the chair of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), a bipartisan commission that engages with 20 parliaments in emerging democracies to increase governing capacity and share best practices. Diplomatic efforts like the bipartisan HDP are often overlooked, but they are critical to shaping our foreign policy and bolstering democratic values in new and emerging democracies. I will continue to work to strengthen diplomacy and the rule of law at home and abroad.  

2. If elected, what three policies would you prioritize that you believe will have the most impact? How would you work across the aisle to enact those policies? 

The two domestic issues that I’ve worked hardest on, transportation and housing, are now the issues that I’m equipped to lead on due to my role as Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Subcommittee. A key component to creating a future where every American has a fair shot is ensuring housing affordability. As Chairman of the T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m tasked with allocating federal resources for affordable housing. For too many years, the federal government has underfunded and underinvested in affordable housing, and I’m refocusing our committee’s efforts on protecting historically underserved populations, combatting homelessness, creating new affordable housing units, and ensuring our seniors and people with disabilities have access to a safe place to live. This includes prioritizing funding for HUD’s “202” and “811” programs, which provide funding to local nonprofits, faith organizations, and other housing providers that build and operate long-term affordable housing for the elderly and disabled alongside appropriate support services.  I have secured several hundred million dollars for new construction in recent years, which will soon lead to the creation of tens of thousands of badly needed housing units in North Carolina and across the country.  I’m committed to making housing a front burner issue.

I also am working toward creating a more diverse and sustainable transportation future for our region and nation. As congestion builds on our roads, we cannot continue to simply build more lanes on I-40. Although we’ve experienced setbacks in the past year, I support efforts to connect the Triangle through a coordinated system of commuter rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and enhanced bus and van services. I’ve also secured important funding to advance intercity passenger rail service in North Carolina and the region, including seed money to acquire track and right-of-way from Raleigh to Richmond with the goal of creating a new passenger rail corridor that will improve mobility and reduce congestion on the busy I-85 and I-95 corridors.  Expanding access to high-quality broadband service remains a top priority.  Although this falls outside of my T-HUD jurisdiction, the pandemic has only laid bare how broadband is necessary for education and economic development, and the federal government should be a much more active partner with states and localities to ensure no community is left behind.  On many of these issues, I work on a bipartisan and cooperative basis with the T-HUD Subcommittee’s Ranking Republican, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, to advance these and other critical transportation and housing policy priorities. I will continue to do so in the new Congress.

Finally, I believe one of the most pressing issues of our time is democratic reform. It’s been a key priority of mine throughout my time in Congress, as I’ve authored the ‘Stand by your Ad’ law that requires politicians to verbally approve of the political advertisements their campaigns run. I introduced legislation to update this provision for the digital age.  I believe, at the core of the corruption in today’s Washington is the influence of dark money and special interests who are drowning out the voices of everyday Americans.  In the prior Congress I introduced the We the People Act, a comprehensive democratic reform bill, several provisions of which were included in the For the People Act (H.R. 1), the very first bill introduced by the House’s new Democratic majority. The For the People Act would overhaul our democracy by exposing and eliminating dark money, expanding voting rights, stopping voter suppression, ending gerrymandering, and establishing a public financing system that encourages and matches small contributions. I helped shepherd it through the House, and know that we have a chance to move forward next year under a new administration.

3. Do you believe President Donald Trump is of good moral character and is mentally fit to hold office? Do you believe he has governed responsibly during the pandemic? Do you believe he should have been impeached rather than acquitted? 

For the entirety of Donald Trump’s presidency, he has put personal business and political interests ahead of the national interest. He’s used the Department of Justice to shield his tax returns from public scrutiny, he’s used his power to enrich himself and his family, and he’s failed to live up to the highest ideals of the office. When Russia put bounties on our troops in Afghanistan, he did nothing.  Disturbingly, he has personally lobbied foreign leaders to take actions that would undermine his domestic political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden.  This is the textbook definition of abuse of power.  Donald Trump is both morally unfit to serve as President and has utterly failed the American people.

His shortcomings are exemplified by his inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic — where he’s clearly viewed the problem through how it could affect him personally, rather than being concerned with the welfare of the American public or our allies across the globe. In a public health crisis, patchwork state and local efforts are no substitute for competent federal leadership and a national strategy. Donald Trump’s repeated lies and misinformation surrounding the pandemic have not only caused confusion, but likely resulted in increased deaths and positive cases across the country. Leaders can’t simply wish away a public health crisis– they must follow the science and tackle challenges head-on. That means developing a national testing and tracing strategy, producing and distributing critical supplies, and setting clear standards for workplace and school safety.

When a president so brazenly and completely abuses the power of their office, like President Donald Trump has, they must be removed from it for the sake of both our national security and our democratic system. President Trump abused his power by asking a vulnerable foreign leader, the President of Ukraine, to investigate both his political rival and a baseless Russian conspiracy theory, while simultaneously withholding congressionally appropriated defense aid and a coveted White House visit. He then blocked Congressional investigation into these abuses.That’s why I voted to impeach Donald Trump, and I would do so again. But because the Senate failed to do its job, and nearly every Republican Senator prioritized party politics over doing the right thing, we must remove him resoundingly through the ballot box.

4. Millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to pay bills amid the pandemic. What immediate steps should be taken to offer relief to families and businesses? If in the form of a stimulus package, what would that look like and how would you fund it?

Four and half months ago, the House passed the Heroes Act, which would provide a critical safety net for families and tackle both the public health and economic fallout from the pandemic. We continue to face major hurdles including limited testing supplies and tracing capacity, inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, and concerns about the safety of upcoming elections. The Heroes Act responded to these critical needs by extending unemployment insurance, reforming the Paycheck Protection Program and expanding small business grants, bolstering public health initiatives, protecting the Postal Service, increasing much needed support for state and local governments, providing resources for safe voting, and preventing evictions by providing rental assistance to keep families in their homes. 

These priorities were also included in compromise legislation (Heroes 2.0) that the House passed in early October in an attempt to reach bipartisan agreement.  Economists on both sides of the aisle agree: the threat now is taking too little action, not too large.  Our country will undoubtedly have to reckon with our long-term fiscal imbalance (a task made much harder by the GOP tax cuts for the wealthy), but now is not the time to worry about the national debt.  This is an emergency.  It is a disgrace that Senate Republicans and the White House “hit pause” on relief and then, when it was too late, put forward a “skinny” relief package that lacked critical aid such as rental assistance.  I will continue pushing for a compromise agreement that will actually address the needs of the American people.

Regarding the federal budget, as our state’s only member of the Appropriations Committee, I have strongly opposed Republican tax cuts and spending cuts (including to our nation’s public health infrastructure) which have disproportionately benefited wealthy individuals and harmed our most vulnerable citizens.  I have advocated for bipartisan budget agreements that allow us to invest in our nation’s future.  While many federal agencies and programs are in dire need of additional funding, I believe our top priority should be programs that both create economic opportunity today and improve our future competitiveness, including education, scientific research, affordable housing, and transportation infrastructure.

Our economy and the American people are in desperate need of an infusion of relief aid right now. This critical need only underscores the folly of the Republican-led tax cut that only served to benefit the wealthy, put the economy on a sugar high, and dug a deficit hole. Despite that, the danger right now is doing too little, not too much — we must get out of the economic ditch. The time will come when we need to recalibrate fiscal policy, but the focus right now must be on recovery.

5. Nearly 200,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19 and millions more are struggling with astronomical medical bills. Do you believe the American health system is working?  What is your plan for making sure health care is affordable and accessible to all American citizens? Are you in favor of a single-payer option?

The pandemic has exposed the inadequacies of a dangerous, almost libertarian ideology that prioritizes individual “freedoms” over community wellbeing and simply doesn’t account for the common good.  Wearing a mask in a respiratory pandemic shouldn’t be a partisan issue.  Politicians like President Trump have been all too willing to exploit this selfishness at the expense of the overall health and well-being of our country’s citizens.  The pandemic also has highlighted the gaping holes in our social safety net, especially in our unemployment system, health care, and housing. It has exposed and deepened longstanding racial inequalities that we know leads to glaring health disparities.  At all levels of government, we must invest more resources, target them to communities in need, and create a more robust social safety net to better address the challenges of the present and future.

During COVID-19, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and with it, their employer-based health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a major step forward in providing better coverage, including protection for those with preexisting conditions, but too many Americans remain un- or under-insured. Without further delay, the NC General Assembly must expand Medicaid to provide health care to hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. We must end Republican efforts to sabotage the ACA and enact policies that move us firmly in the direction of more affordable, universal coverage. No American should have to choose between putting food on the table and affording basic medical coverage.

Toward that end, I am supporting several pieces of health care reform legislation which offer a range of options towards universal coverage, including Medicare for All (H.R. 1384), Medicare for America (H.R. 2452), Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act (H.R. 1346), and the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act (H.R. 1884). I will work with my colleagues on the best path forward to ensuring that every American has access to affordable and comprehensive health care coverage. 

6. Do you believe abortion should be a fundamental human right and would you back a supreme court nominee with a history of ruling against women’s right to choose? What, if anything, do you think congress must do to protect abortion rights? 

I support a woman’s right to choose.  I am a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and am cosponsoring several bills in the 116th Congress that would protect access to abortion and other reproductive health care, including but not limited to: the EACH Woman Act (HR 1692), the Global HER Act (HR 1055), the Women’s Health Protection Act (HR 2975), the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act (HR 2694), and a resolution to support equitable access to comprehensive reproductive heatlh care (H Con Res 40). 

In addition, I am supportive of increasing funding for the Title X Family Planning Program and oppose the Trump Administration’s fundamental changes to the program that would prevent any organization that provides or refers patients for abortions from being eligible for funding. I support the removal of the Hyde Amendment from our appropriations bills, and I recently signed an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee. Although the House does not vote on Supreme Court nominees, I strongly oppose any and all efforts to repeal or weaken Roe v. Wade, as well as access to reproductive health care abroad. Roe v. Wade must remain the law of the land.

7. Do you believe the federal minimum wage should be increased? If, by how much? If not, why? 

Yes, we absolutely must raise the minimum wage. I cosponsored the Raise the Wage Act, which passed the House in July 2019 but has been gathering dust in the Republican Senate. It would raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour over several years and eventually expand coverage to tipped workers as well.  Over the past few decades, the value of the minimum wage has declined in real terms and economic inequality has risen exponentially, which is only exacerbated by the pandemic. Too many Americans are being left behind by stagnating wages, economic dislocation, or institutional discrimination. But instead of upholding his promises to working families, President Trump and congressional Republicans are giving away trillions to corporations and the wealthy. We must repeal these reckless corporate giveaways and create a progressive tax structure that creates opportunities for the poor and middle class. 

There’s no silver bullet that will close the wage gap — including raising the minimum wage — but we must use every tool in the toolbox to work toward comprehensive solutions that ensure profits are shared with workers and create opportunity for everyday Americans. I have fought to provide American workers the education and training they need to compete in the global economy and to help those displaced by globalization and automation. I created a federal program that provides grants to community colleges to train local workers and have championed worker protections and collective bargaining rights throughout my career. In the current Congress, I am a cosponsoring legislation to protect the pensions workers have earned and to establish paid family and medical leave for all Americans. I am also a leading advocate for bold new investments in infrastructure and other job-creating programs.

8. Please state three specific policies you support to address climate change. 

When future generations look back at this time, I’m certain climate will be the one issue where they say, “what were they thinking, and why didn’t they act?”  The disastrous impacts of climate change influence many of my policy decisions, from my Transportation and Housing (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairmanship to how we should rebuild in the aftermath of storms. We know all too well the threats of climate change right here in North Carolina, having experienced two 100-hundred-year storms in the past four years.  We have suffered from harsher weather, shifting coastlines, and more powerful and frequent storms. 

In the current Congress, I cosponsored the Green New Deal as an expression of our aspirations and I also support legislation that would require federal agencies to develop realistic plans to ensure our nation moves to 100% renewable energy over the next three decades. Throughout my career, I have championed investments in clean energy and U.S. global leadership in combating climate change. I was a strong supporter of President Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan, his raising of automobile fuel efficiency standards, and his leadership in negotiating the Paris Climate Accords. I have been an outspoken critic of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Accords.  Finally, I recently introduced bipartisan legislation, the Flood Resiliency and Taxpayer Savings Act, to require more robust federal reviews for investments in flood-prone areas along with requirements to bolster resilience of these structures to protect communities.

A major focus of mine as THUD Chair is incorporating principles of resiliency into existing federal programs.  For example, I’ve secured HUD recovery funding that allows states–including North Carolina–to invest in a broad range of recovery projects that mitigate threats from future storms so we can rebuild smarter.  I’ve also included provisions in annual funding bills to require localities that receive HUD community block grant funding to incorporate resiliency in their planning process, and prioritized robust funding for transit, rail, and other transportation alternatives that reduce emissions and give Americans more choices when they need to commute or travel.

I’ve also fought for years against President Trump’s efforts to allow drilling and seismic testing off the North Carolina coast, which not only endangers the environment and the coast’s economic vitality, but would only accelerate the dire impacts of climate change.  I was pleased when the President finally reversed course in September after realizing just how unpopular this policy was in an election year.  In addition, I am proud to have received a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters, and actively serve as a member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. As we look to the future, we need big, bold solutions to tackle climate, and I’m working in the House to make that happen. 

9. Do you support the Black Lives Matter movement? Why or why not?

As someone who came of age during the Civil Rights Movement here in North Carolina, it is sometimes tempting to look back and marvel at how far we have come as a nation toward righting ancient wrongs. But we have so much further to go. The state of today’s politics and the intense backlash to the Obama presidency–from “birtherism” to Charlottesville to the so-called “Proud Boys” — remind us that racism and inequality still exists today.  It’s in our criminal justice system, but also in our schools, the financial system, housing, our neighborhoods, and our society at large. 

As citizens and as elected officials, we must confront racism and discrimination wherever it exists and strive continuously to realize the lofty ideals upon which our nation was founded.  I support the Black Lives Matter movement, which has not only shone a light on these issues, but spurred the public to action and created a long overdue national discussion on race with the goal of concrete policy changes to address these challenges.  To this end, I am in favor of comprehensive reforms to our criminal justice system; voting rights protections for all Americans; reforms of our housing system including robust enforcement of our fair housing laws; efforts to eliminate the “achievement gap” in our education system; and programs that support minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.  This is only a sampling of policy areas that need our collective attention; I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Washington, state and local officials, and community members to chart a positive, inclusive path forward.

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