Q&A: U.S. Senate Elisa Maria Martinez
- Name: Elisa Maria Martinez
- Political Party: Republican
- Occupation: Executive director, New Mexico Alliance For Life
- City of residence: Albuquerque
- Relevant experience: I have worked with every level of government — from the Governor’s Office and administration to working with the Congressional Select Panel on Infant Lives. I worked with the New Mexico Legislature for more than five years, and I now serve on the White House Coalition for Hispanic Engagement. I have drafted legislation, served as a policy analyst, expert witness and media spokesperson.
- Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of New Mexico
- Campaign website: ElisaForNM.com
What is your opinion of the coronavirus response packages passed by Congress and signed by President Trump? Is there anything you would have done differently?
The coronavirus response packages provided urgently needed relief to businesses and citizens alike. The CARES Act was not a perfect bill and contained too much waste, such as money for the Kennedy Center, but the consequences of inaction grew every day we did not do something.
What actions to restore the economy, if any, do you feel Congress should take once the outbreak has been contained?
We must revitalize the economy by supporting legislation that allows for business growth, job creation and the restoration of consumer confidence. This includes deregulation and lessening our economic reliance on China while bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?
I believe that humans have a moral obligation to be good stewards of our land and our natural resources. Environmental problems are best resolved by providing support for the advancement and the development of technologies that improve our environmental health, not through heavy-handed mandates that suppress our economy.
What is your opinion on energy initiatives that have been introduced both on the federal and state level such as the Green New Deal and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act?
I strongly oppose both the Green New Deal and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act. The GND carries a $93 trillion price tag and would cost the average New Mexico family $70,000 during the first year of implementation. It would lower our GDP, eliminate millions of jobs and increase energy costs.
Fracking bans have been introduced in Congress by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and presidential candidate Joe Biden indicated in a debate he would support a ban. Where do you stand on the issue?
Fracking is an important component of America’s energy plan. A ban on fracking would cut 7.5 million jobs, reduce our GDP by over $1 trillion, increase household energy costs and harm our energy independence. Here in New Mexico, we would lose over 140,000 jobs and $8 billion in state/local tax revenue.
What is your position on the leasing of federal land for oil, gas and mineral development? Do you agree with the removal of energy development in a 10-mile radius around Chaco archaeological sites? Are there other areas of the state that should be considered for similar treatment?
Nearly 35% of New Mexico land is owned by the federal government. I am open to expanding energy development on federal lands, if done responsibly and with the input of local communities. In the case of the Chaco archaeological sites, I agree with the Trump Administration’s moratorium on land leasing.
What are the most important actions Congress should take regarding people now living illegally in the U.S.? What about for those who want to come in?
Our broken immigration system must be reformed in a manner that upholds the rule of law, protects the American worker and ensures our national security. Legal immigration should continue under a merit-based system.
Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase security?
No. I support the Trump Administration’s efforts to build the wall, while increasing funding for additional border security agents, ICE personnel, immigration judges and detention centers.
Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles? If so, what would you do about the millions of such weapons now legally owned by American citizens? What other, if any, gun law reforms would you support?
No. I believe that such bans would violate the Second Amendment and inhibit law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their families.
Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?
New Mexico is one of the most impoverished states and ranks first in dependence on federal spending. We must do more to diversify our economy by increasing the amount of private sector jobs. We need to support the private sector, rather than continue to harm it through excessive taxation and regulation.
Congress passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Are there any other trade initiatives you’d like to see Congress pass if you’re elected?
I will support trade initiatives that aim to decrease our trade deficit while concurrently protecting the American worker. Such initiatives ought to increase our exports, provide job growth and protect U.S. sovereignty.
Do you favor or oppose a national single payer health system?
I strongly oppose a national single payer health system. The extreme “Medicare-For-All” proposals would cost as much as $47 trillion, by some estimates, and only result in decreased quality and access to health care, and increased taxes on hard-working families.
Do you favor or oppose limits on late-term abortion, and do you believe tax dollars should or should not be used to fund abortions?
I favor limits on late-term abortions and oppose tax dollars being used to fund abortions. As the Founder of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, I have fought for the rights of women and unborn children and defeated the expanding of abortion up to birth and infanticide in New Mexico.
What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?
I support President Trump’s Initiative to stop opioid abuse, which included funding to educate Americans about the dangers of opioid abuse, reducing over-prescription, cutting the supply of illicit drugs, and assisting Americans with addiction recovery services. I believe similar efforts should be applied to combating the impacts of other drugs.
Why do you want to be a member of Congress?
New Mexico is first in everything bad and last in everything good. For too long, our elected representatives have neglected to uphold our traditional New Mexican values. I am a political outsider with a record of accomplishment, who will provide a needed voice for hardworking New Mexicans.
Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
I paid off a small personal tax lien from several years ago that I was unaware of because my address had not been updated.
Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.