Senate-hopeful Allen talks jobs, small government in Sterling
Former governor and current Senate candidate George Allen addressed employees at Fortessa Inc., in Sterling Monday, saying his goal if elected is to make sure the federal government gets out of the way of businesses and innovation.
Touching on a common campaign theme, Allen said he wants to drop the average business tax rate nationally from 35 percent to 20 percent, because the world average is around 25 percent, and America should be “better than average,” he noted.
Allen, the Republican who’s locked in a tight race with Tim Kaine, another former governor of Virginia, touched also on energy policy, a local approach to education and the Senate’s inability to pass a budget in recent years.
“If you didn’t deliver these glasses or those plates or those dishes, would you get paid? No,” Allen said at the Loudoun County tableware manufacturer. “I think that’s the way it ought to be in Congress – if they don’t get appropriations, budgets, done on time, withhold their pay. We need to get back to the basics.”
Allen supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution for the federal government, and is a major advocate of line-item veto authority for the president.
A former governor, state delegate and U.S. representative, Allen is seeking to reclaim the Senate seat he held from 2001-2007. He lost the 2006 election to Sen. Jim Webb in a close general election race. Webb is not seeking re-election.
During the question and answer portion of the campaign stop, Debra Taylor, Fortessa’s director of operations, asked Allen about his thoughts on the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which he voted against in 1993 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The FMLA requires covered employers to provide workers job-protected and unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons.
“I generally don’t like mandates,” Allen said. “ … I do think any responsible employer will allow families – employees – to have the leave with their families, whether it’s a birth or an adoption or a member is ill.”
Allen went on to say he believes the law has worked well, and he wouldn’t vote to change it if elected.
The Republican didn’t level a direct attack at Kaine, whose name wasn’t mentioned at the Sterling event.
Kaine was in Hampton Roads Monday campaigning alongside Sen. Webb. The Democrat’s campaign released new TV and radio ads this week featuring Virginia women who claim they would be negatively impacted by Allen’s stances on women’s economic and social issues, which include the vote against the FMLA, failure to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Correction: Oct. 22
An earlier version of this story stated Tim Kaine was campaigning in Richmond Oct. 22 He spent Oct. 22 campaigning in Hampton Roads, and will attend events in Richmond Oct. 23.