One-on-one with Anna Paulina Luna: Her views on banning oil exports, ‘pork’ infrastructure spending, vaccines
TAMPA, Fla. - When U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist elected to run for governor, it set up a race in Pinellas County for a rare open seat in Congress.
The state also redrew the district this year to give Republicans a slight edge in November. Five republicans are competing for the nomination in the August 23 primary.
Anna Paulina Luna won the GOP nomination in 2020. In an interview with FOX 13 Political Editor Craig Patrick, she discussed her focus on the issue of energy independence.
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Anna Paulina Luna discusses platform ahead of the 2022 midterm primary for US House District 13
Here is an excerpt from that part of the interview.
Energy independence and oil export ban
Luna said she would support a ban on U.S. oil exports. Here is an excerpt from that part of the interview.
Anna Paulina Luna: "The United States has literally one of the biggest supplies of cleanest oil in the entire world. There's no reason why we need to be going to places like Saudi Arabia or even Venezuela to get those oil source."
Craig Patrick: "So you would support a ban in order to increase the domestic supply?
Anna Paulina Luna: "Frankly, yes. "
Craig Patrick: "That puts you right in line with Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and it takes you out of step with your party. Are you comfortable with that and the qualms they raise about the consequences of doing it?
Anna Paulina Luna: "My decisions and what I make is what's best for the American people. That's the America First platform. If it means not selling to other countries so that here in the United States, we can literally lower the gas prices. That's what I agree with."
Craig Patrick: "Well, the arguments against are that it would wound our allies in Europe, that it would boost Vladimir Putin, that it would reduce supply on the global market and thereby drive up global prices and therefore drive up our prices. And it could reduce refining capacity in this country. To those points..."
Anna Paulina Luna: "If we really want to hinder Vladimir Putin, we need to start with going after China. China this entire time, especially in regards to Ukraine, has been aiding and abetting with Russia, right? If we really want to focus on how we can stop that and stop this global inflation that we're seeing, we have to start with, one, maintaining our position as a global superpower and then also to ensuring that our production comes back here to the United States. There's been a huge problem in politics, in particular, with people being afraid to say that China is one of the biggest threats that we as a nation. Whether you are Democrat, Republican or independent are facing going back to the oil issue, going back to what we can do here in the United States to stop that immediately. We have every single natural resource we need in this country. We don't need anyone else. And to really go elsewhere is a complete joke to me.
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Infrastructure ‘pork’ spending, technology, and veterans
On her campaign website, Anna Paulina Luna states she will champion improvements to surface transportation. However, she said she would have voted against the bi-partisan infrastructure law due to her concerns over how money under that legislation would be spent. She expressed similar concerns in explaining why she would have voted against the Pact Act which expands access to benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
FOX 13's Craig Patrick interviews Anna Paulina Luna ahead of the 2022 midterm primary for US House District 13
Anna Paulina Luna: "I think the infrastructure bill that was passed had a lot of pork that was unnecessary spending. So that's the one thing that I'm adamantly opposed to. I think that if we're going to write bills, that it needs to go specifically to those causes and issues.
Craig Patrick: "But here's the challenge. Most bills are going to have that in them, and you will see good and bad in various bills… Which way would you have gone?
Anna Paulina Luna: "I would not have voted for it, because I do believe that it's not excusable for any party to put in, for example, what we saw with recently, what happened to our veterans. They had a bill that they proposed for veterans, but there was unnecessary spending that did not go to vets. And I don't agree with that."
Craig Patrick: "You’re talking about the PACT Act?"
Anna Paulina Luna: "Yes, I'm talking about that."
Craig Patrick: "It's a good example. Would you have voted yes or no, given your qualms with the spending contained within?"
Anna Paulina Luna: "I would have proposed a better bill that actually had legislation that put that funding towards only veterans."
Anna Paulina Luna interviewed by FOX 13's Craig Patrick ahead of the 2022 midterm primary for US House District 13
Craig Patrick: "But here's where it gets tricky. That one may not advance, and you're left with the one before you. And you have to make those difficult decisions, given the mixed feelings you have about it. So on the PACT Act with the concerns that you just relayed and the value you see in protecting our vets and giving them the benefits they deserve. Would you have voted yes or no?
Anna Paulina Luna: "Well, if I was in Congress, I would have voted no. However, I will say this, there was a president, his name was John F Kennedy, who said where there are manmade problems, there are manmade solutions. And so I believe talking in hypotheticals is not really a fair example, because if I was in Congress, I would have voted and I would have ensured I would have gone to every single office I had to and knocked on those doors and twisted arms, as they say, in an effort to make sure that that bill went to veterans. That is what I care about."
Rejecting military vaccine requirements
Craig Patrick: "Your husband was honorably discharged, if I understand correctly, for declining to take the COVID vaccine. Do you support or will you, if elected, pursue efforts to get rid of those vaccine requirements in the military?"
Anna Paulina Luna: "I think that they should have acknowledged and honored people's religious exemptions. I can tell you, having gone through that process, not only did they make it nearly impossible for people to actually be able to do the paperwork to get that religious exemption, but then these people were discharged and a lot of these families were on single incomes. So, when I'm elected, because I do feel based on the effort that our team is putting forward and based on what we're seeing with the grassroots outreach in this community, I will sponsor a bill to either get those people reinstated honorably back into the service or give them the option of getting a stipend from the federal government because of the fact that they were wrongfully discriminated against and discharged."
Craig Patrick: "So you think there should be a religious exemption for all vaccines in the military?"
Anna Paulina Luna: "I think so."