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Candidate for Utah’s 4th Congressional District
Ben McAdams is the twice-elected mayor of Salt Lake County. McAdams is a seventh generation Utahn who was raised in a family of eight where he learned the values of hard work, honesty, and duty to the community. As mayor, he has brought Republicans and Democrats together to get things done such as address homelessness, form partnerships with the private sector to create jobs and improve education — all while managing a balanced budget. Mayor McAdams will take these Utah values to Washington and work with parties on both sides of the aisle to find solutions to our nation’s challenges and support opportunities for all Utahns.
Ben graduated from the University of Utah and Columbia Law School. He has practiced law in New York and Utah. Ben was elected to the Utah State Senate in 2008, representing Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake and West Valley City. He and his wife (fellow Columbia Law grad), Julie, and their four children live in Salt Lake City, where they enjoy hiking, soccer and baseball and the many cultural activities offered throughout the state.
Fixing a broken Washington
Ben believes Utahns deserve better than a dysfunctional government where partisan bickering keeps Congress from moving forward on issues that matter to Utah families. He has worked with both sides of the aisle in the Utah legislature and as Salt Lake County mayor to balance the budget and take action on important initiatives. He will continue to work with colleagues in both parties to overcome Washington’s broken politics and put Utah families first. He has a proven track record of bringing people together to help solve intractable problems such as homelessness and criminal justice reform.
Ben believes that if Congress can’t do its job and pass a budget, it should not get paid. Utah families and small businesses balance their checkbooks and manage their budgets every month and they expect Congress to behave responsibly and do the same.
What Ben will do
In Congress, Ben will work with both parties to fix the Affordable Care Act, rather than simply scrapping it.
Ben supports allowing parents to keep their kids on their policies until they are 26 and will oppose insurance companies being able to kick people off their insurance for pre-existing conditions, or charge women higher premiums.
Ben will work to ensure that people aren’t punished for working harder and getting a raise, which then throws them off their health care coverage. He will also work to lower out of pocket expenses and to find ways to keep premiums down.
Ben will support efforts to ensure that Medicare can negotiate with the drug companies to lower the prices seniors and taxpayers pay for Medicare drug plans.
Ben will work with both parties to eliminate the Cadillac tax for working families.
What Ben has done
All Utah families deserve access to quality, affordable health care. Ben supported Utah’s “Healthy Utah” plan, which would have responsibly expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act to tens of thousands of Utahns who lack health insurance. When that did not move forward, Ben worked in a bipartisan way to gain passage of a permanent extension of the Medicaid program to include single adults who are homeless or involved with the criminal justice system and for low income families with children. Since its implementation in December 2017, hundreds of individuals who struggle with the opioid epidemic have been enrolled in order to receive drug addiction treatment and regain stable and productive lives. The extension of Medicaid has allowed Utah nonprofit providers to permanently add hundreds of new treatment beds, helping free up jail beds for serious offenders and provide a more cost-effective and positive alternative than jail for nonviolent drug offenses.
Ben called on Congress to restore funding to the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) after its funding lapsed in September 2017. This proven, bipartisan program, championed by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, allows working parents to provide health insurance to their children so that they can visit the doctor, receive screenings, vaccinations and vision and dental care. More than 19,000 Utah kids faced the uncertainty of not knowing whether they would have health insurance coverage, until Congress finally acted in January.
Budget and taxes
What Ben will do
Ben believes hard-working Utah families and businesses deserve a government that is fiscally responsible and accountable for tax dollars. Ben supports tax reform that makes the tax system simpler, fairer and more certain so that families and businesses can plan appropriately for the future. He criticized the 2017 tax reform bill that passed Congress because it favored the very wealthy over the middle class and added $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the federal debt.
Ben supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which would require that Congress stop running up record deficits that saddle future generations with debt they did not incur.
What Ben has done
As Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben has balanced the budget annually—with bipartisan support-- while keeping taxes low. He has funded important public safety services, managed critical public health response, expanded parks, trails and open space and offered countywide access to arts and cultural activities. Ben has led innovative initiatives, partnering with the private and nonprofit sectors, to pay for and measure the results of programs to tackle homelessness and reform criminal justice.
Education is the best investment we can make in our children. Ben believes every child should have the opportunity to achieve his or her potential—regardless of zip code or economic circumstance. That is why Ben led Salt Lake County in the first-in-the-nation county partnership to expand access for thousands of economically-disadvantaged children to enroll in voluntary, high quality preschool. Data and evidence shows that by investing in early childhood development, county residents get a substantial return on investment by avoiding future costs to taxpayers from student delinquency, pediatric health, drugs, gangs and incarceration. High quality preschool closes the achievement gap between poor kids and their better-off peers by the time they reach first grade and leads to better high school and college graduation rates. The county’s successful pilot program prompted the Utah legislature to expand the initiative statewide.
Higher Education - As a recipient of federal student loans and Pell grants for college, Ben understands how important these programs are to families who are helping their children get through college. He will support access to financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education in a way that is transparent and with minimal overhead costs.
Our federal immigration system is broken. It is time for Congress to pass bipartisan, comprehensive immigration to secure our borders, do more to encourage legal immigration, allow undocumented individuals to come out of the shadows, and recognize the important role immigrants play in our economy.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Nearly 10,000 young adults in Utah have enrolled in DACA. These are youth who came here through no fault of their own and are studying, working, serving in the military and contributing to our community. It is time for Congress to resolve the uncertainty for them in a way that strengthens and unites families and allows them to continue to build their future.
Energy & Environment
Utahns’ health and Utah’s economy benefit from clean air, clean water and addressing the challenge posed by climate change. As mayor, Ben supported construction of energy-efficient county buildings; infrastructure to support natural gas and electric vehicles; trip reduction plans for county employees to reduce vehicle emissions; planning and building a county-wide network of safe, convenient bicycle routes, transit “free fare” days along with other initiatives. He partnered with the private sector and with the state of Utah on projects including solar installations on county-managed facilities to transit-oriented developments.
Ben supports an “all of the above” energy portfolio which ensures affordable, reliable energy for Utah homes and businesses now while also emphasizing an increase in the supply of renewable energy, along with research and development of new technologies.
To protect Utahns’ drinking water and balance recreation, transportation and the environment, Ben worked for two years with numerous stakeholders in business, government, private landowners and environmental groups to produce Mountain Accord – a consensus plan for the Central Wasatch mountains. Congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced federal legislation, backed by Utah’s other House members, to establish land designations that would protect water, the environment and the ski industry in Utah.