Name: John Ellis “Jeb” Bush
Party Affiliation: Republican
Government Positions Held: Governor of Florida (1999-2007)
Education: B.A. in Latin American Studies from University of Texas at Austin
Science Research Funding: Recently, Bush declared his support of a “long-term spending initiative” on infrastructure projects and research and development. Bush went on to say “As we’ve cut back with NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding and other types of research funding, we lose the initiative to cure diseases. And I think this is an appropriate role for government.” Furthermore, Bush has described himself as “a space guy” and would seek to increase funding to NASA. However, Bush is pro-life and has historically opposed funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Climate Change and Alternative Energy: In an interview with Bloomberg BNA, Bush acknowledged that the climate is changing and human activity has contributed to it. However, he criticizes the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for creating job loss, despite claims that it will not negatively impact the economy, and he asserts construction of the Keystone Pipeline is “a no brainer”, despite concerns from environmentalists. Ultimately, Bush believes in creating “market access” to renewable energy companies, but maintains that “ [t]he federal government should not be dictating what types of power should be used where.”
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): On stage at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Bush came out in full support of the use of GMOs to improve crop production and opposed GMO food labeling. He stated “I think [food labelling is] a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
STEM Education: Bush believes more should be done to keep STEM graduates in the U.S. after graduation. He suggests making work visas more accessible to STEM graduates to encourage foreign students to enter the U.S. job market. Additionally, Bush has a well-documented history of supporting common core and school choice. A more complete overview of Bush’s stance on education can be accessed here.
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare): Bush has described Obamacare as a “monstrosity” and vows to repeal it, if elected. His alternatives include a “transition plan” for those currently on Obamacare, proposed tax credits for those in need of a catastrophic health care plan, and less accountability on businesses to provide health insurance to employees.
Vaccines: Bush has stated that “parents ought to make sure their children are vaccinated.” His statement suggests that it is not the responsibility of the government, however, Bush has not clearly stated a position on the government’s role in ensuring children are vaccinated.
Summary: In general, Bush seems to be supportive of the scientific community. His eagerness to fund research programs, like NIH and NASA, his support of GMO research, and his willingness to extend work visas in the STEM fields are encouraging positions. However, Bush’s stance on key climate change issues are at odds with environmentalists and he remains ambiguous on the government’s role in mandating vaccines.