PA's U.S. House District 14 Candidate: Mike Doyle
Doyle—the Democratic incumbent—is being challenged by two others for his seat.
Three people will run in an April 24 primary election for two spots on November's general ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives' 14th District of Pennsylvania, which includes Baldwin Township and Baldwin Borough.
Republican Hans Lessmann, of Forest Hills, is the only candidate from his party running for that seat, meaning that either Doyle or Brooks will almost certainly face Lessmann in November.
Below are details from a Patch interview with Doyle. Here is an interview with Brooks. An interview with Lessmann will appear later.
Doyle has a Bachelor of Science degree in community development from Penn State University. He has been a small-business owner and was once the chief of staff for state Sen. Frank Pecora.
Doyle is serving in his ninth term in the U.S. Congress. He has been Pennsylvania's 14th District representative since 2003. He serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and is a member of the subcommittees on Energy and Power and Communications and Technology.
He is a member of the House Democratic Caucus and is the founder and co-chair of both the Congressional Autism Caucus (also known as the Coalition for Autism Research and Education, or CARE) and the House Distributed Generation Caucus.
Doyle has a wife and four children.
Economic improvement and creating jobs have always been Doyle's main focuses, he said.
"My focus since I've been elected has been on economic development in Pittsburgh and creating a good climate for jobs to grow here."
Doyle has been involved with projects to reclaim and develop abandoned mill sites in the Mon Valley area. He also has worked on "green" projects with Pittsburgh Green Innovators and Connelley Vocational High School in Pittsburgh, as well as development projects in Homestead Borough, McKeesport and Duquesne.
A big part of creating jobs is having a strong education system, he said.
"Education is the key to the future, and Pittsburgh is a perfect example. In Pittsburgh, we have replaced every job we lost during the recession and added 4,000 on top of it, but we still have 27,000 unemployed."
Doyle said that this is because the jobs that were created were not the same as the jobs that were lost. Jobs were lost in manufacturing, construction and retail, while the jobs created were in health care, energy and technology.
"What you find out is that, with people who are still unemployed or underemployed, many don't have skill sets to take advantage of the economy. We need specialized training—not necessarily college degrees but programs to allow people to step into jobs that are emerging."
Transportation and Infrastructure
Education and transportation are important factors in getting people back to work, Doyle said, but funding for both has been scarce, especially at the state level.
"How does the unemployed person get to work if they don't have a car?" he asked. "Education and transportation are critical to getting jobs, and they are the very things we're stripping out of these state budgets, and to some degree, the federal budgets, too."
To improve fuel efficiency and transportation, it’s important to look at a long-term plan, he said.
Americans used a billion less gallons of gas in the past year, Doyle said, in part because of conservation and driving more fuel-efficient cars.
But that means that less money for infrastructure improvements is available from the gas tax. Gas prices, generally, are still high, and Doyle said that the government can't simply bring them down. Americans might be using less gas, but it's a global market. And countries like China and India are using more.
"Anyone who would tell the American people that gas could easily go down to $2, they're not thinking the right way," Doyle said. "It's just not based in any reality. Gas is made from oil and priced on the world market."
The answer is to stop using gasoline, he said, but that isn't going to happen overnight. Doyle said that he advocates for using oil as a base fuel for the foreseeable future but also for working to develop the technology that would allow electric and battery-powered cars to be the norm in the long term.
Doyle said that such technology already is being developed at Carnegie Mellon University, and he wants to expand that research for widespread use.
Doyle said that he has been a strong proponent of health care for all Americans. He helped to write the Affordable Care Act, and said that, since that time, prescription drug costs have gone down, especially for senior citizens.
"Seniors are paying—on average—$600 less on prescription drugs than they were before the act was implemented. They also have access to free screenings and preventative care with no copayments. This all goes away if the (U.S.) Supreme Court strikes down individual mandates."
Doyle said that he thinks that there is a lot of confusion about that health care bill and that, in reality, the bill wouldn't change anything for about 80 percent of Americans. He said that a Supreme Court decision on that bill might not be made until June.
For more information about Mike Doyle, visit his campaign website.
This article originally appeared on the Dormont-Brookline Patch.
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