On The Issues
Standing up for the Middle Class
We all know that Washington is broken. Instead of ending tax breaks for billionaires and oil companies, the majority in Congress has time and time again protected tax giveaways for the wealthiest among us. I believe we should be protecting working class Americans instead of tax breaks for the rich.
America needs more jobs. That’s why Congress’ first priority should be job creation and strengthening our economy. Yet after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Congress has refused to pass a single jobs bill. To get more Americans working, I believe we should be giving tax incentives to companies that create jobs in Michigan, not funding those that ship our jobs overseas.
We need to invest in small businesses so they can hire new workers and retain current employees. After years of layoffs, we also need to increase the number of police officers and firefighters on our streets and put more teachers back in the classroom.
Despite the millions of Americans who rely on Medicare every day, the majority in Congress has passed the Paul Ryan budget twice, which would end the Medicare guarantee. I know personally the value of Medicare for seniors – like millions of other retired Americans, my mom and dad, Margaret and Jack, count on it for their health care needs. In Congress, I will fight any plan that tries to eliminate or privatize Medicare. Our seniors have earned their Medicare benefits and I believe it is fundamentally wrong to take it away from them or future generations.
Every child, no matter where they grow up, deserves a quality education. Fully funding our schools must be a priority because our children deserve the best education possible. I believe we must also invest in higher education and ensure that everyone can afford to go to college. A quality education – including both K-12 and higher education – is the foundation of our society and will ensure America has a well-trained workforce to compete in a global economy.
Protecting our environment and natural resources is vital to protecting the health of all Americans. In Michigan, we are blessed with some of America’s most beautiful natural resources especially our Great Lakes. I believe we need stronger – not weaker – standards to ensure that the air we breathe and water we drink is free from contamination and that our environment is preserved for future generations.
I also recognize that the clean energy sector can create thousands of good-paying jobs, all while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Renewable energy technologies like wind and solar will help us achieve energy independence and preserve our natural resources.
I believe we should be increasing access to health care for women, not dictating or limiting their options. Attacks on women, including their right to reproductive healthcare, have got to stop.
It is unacceptable that women in the United States earn just 77 cents to every dollar a man earns for the same work – that’s not fair and I won’t stand for it. That’s why I’m proud that President Obama’s first bill signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which says that women should receive equal pay for equal work. It’s also unfortunate the majority in the House of Representatives refuse to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a law that was initially passed by Congress with broad, bipartisan support. Simply put, violence against women is unacceptable.
Corporate Money Out of Politics
We’ve got to get the money out of politics. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has opened the floodgates, letting corporations and a handful of billionaires have unlimited influence and reign over our elections. That’s not right. Corporations should not be able to spend unlimited amounts of money to try and influence our democracy. I believe the people should decide who our elected officials are, not the highest bidder.