Democratic candidate John Delaney visits Pella

Photo by Emily Hawk/Pella ChronicleJohn Delaney address constituents about gun control, immigration, universal healthcare and other issues during a meet and greet on Aug. 5.

Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney addressed gun control, immigration and healthcare during a meet and greet with constituents at West Market Park in Pella.

Delaney, who was the first candidate to announce he would be running for president in 2020, was pressed about gun control policies after the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Delaney proposes universal background checks, a limit on purchases of high-powered military assault weapons, liability insurance and implementing Red Flag laws across the nation.

The gun violence prevention law permits police and family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from an individual who may present danger to themselves or others. According to Delaney, his home state of Maryland successfully used the law 250 times last year.

“There’s not an issue in Congress, in my judgment and that I’ve seen, where money has bent the will of the government away from what the American people want more than this issue,” said Delaney. “In a representative Democracy, which we have … on this issue, the Congress is absolutely not representing the American people.”

Constituents were also concerned about immigration and the humanitarian crisis at the border. Delaney stated more resources, including processing facilities and judges, are needed to create a sanitary and efficient environment for migrants seeking asylum. Delaney emphasized the importance of rebuilding economic and judicial systems in migrant countries like Mexico in order to fix the broken system they’re initially fleeing from, as well as comprehensive immigration reform.

“I think what the American people want is to stop the noise on this issue,” said Delaney. “They want us to actually fix the issue, and we can do it.”

Additionally, Delaney advocated for universal healthcare that would still give Americans the option to choose private insurance. According to Delaney, his universal healthcare policy would not risk hospital closures or raising taxes on the middle class. The plan would cost approximately $5 trillion dollars over 10 years.

“This is an incredibly ambitious program I just described,” said Delaney. “It’s the largest expansion of government healthcare since the creation of Medicare … I’m 100 percent for a public option, and I am 100 percent for fixing the Affordable Care Act. I would like to do both of those things in my first 100 days, but I would also like to have a vision for how we could create universal healthcare.”

The meet and greet was Delaney’s twenty-first visit to Iowa during his campaign. Lunch was served to constituents, and Delaney and his team canvassed door-to-door to registered Democrats. According to Delaney’s staff, there are approximately 1300 registered Democrats in Pella.

“In my opinion, what the American people are looking for is a party that’s sensible, decent, moral and really tries to bring the country together, all while recognizing that we don’t all agree with each other on everything,” said Delaney. “What we deserve to have is a civil, respectful and honest debate. We deserve transparency, we deserve the truth, and we deserve leaders that will roll up their sleeves and solve these problems.”