Joseph Kopser is a 20-year Army veteran, technology entrepreneur, and father of three daughters running in the Democratic Primary for TX-21.
United States Military Academy, 1993;
Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2002
I will be a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. In the short-term, I remain hopeful that Democrats in Congress will stay resilient and united in getting a clean DACA bill passed. In the long-term, I will focus on being a part of a solution that keeps families together, streamlines the immigration process, creates a pathway to citizenship, and addresses the needs of both low-skill and high-skill employers that cannot currently find enough employees to fill available jobs.
I will fight to ensure coverage for all, regardless of employment status or income level, and I’ll work to close the disparities in both the system’s costs relative to the quality of care Americans receive and the vast gap in coverage that separates the wealthiest Americans from everyday citizens. You can see specifics at www.kopserforcongress.com/my-values/health-care-for-all/
The leadership of the National Rifle Association has developed into little more than a hired bully for gun manufacturers. NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre and his ilk bully Republican members of Congress into a corner, and it is unacceptable. In Congress, I will work towards common-sense solutions like re-instituting the assault weapons ban, universal background checks &no-fly/no-buy, and protect state-supremacy on gun safety laws. You can read more specifics at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/gun-safety/
For too long, too many politicians in Congress have treated the constitutional rights, economic opportunity, access to healthcare, and societal status of communities referenced in the question as a bargaining chip in negotiation. In Congress, my bedrock support for these communities: their health, their opportunity, their choice, and their freedom will never be a bargaining chip. It will be a foundational principle on which I base my representation of Texas 21 and my votes on complex legislation. You can read more specifics at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/womens-health-opportunity/
Absolutely. A system is which a college degree is a prerequisite to enter today’s economy - and thousands of dollars in student debt is a prerequisite to obtaining the degree - is immoral. Americans should have universal access to a post-high school education without it leading to five-figure debt accounts, and graduates who already have amassed this debt need viable options for loan forgiveness or discharge.
Climate change is real and scientists globally accept that emission of carbon dioxide through human consumption of fossil fuels is its principal contributing cause. A stable climate is a critical underpinning of quality of life and sustaining that stability—while exploring leadership solutions for a less stable climate—are at the core of my energy policies. These include: investing in wind/solar, following the Pentagon's lead in investing in energy efficiency; carbon pricing & rebates; and 3rd party financing. You can read more at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/climate-energy/
I would start by seeking cuts to defense spending. In particular, I would look for places to innovate by engaging the Department of Defense to propose cuts in areas that have proven redundant or unnecessary in the context of today's national security landscape. This emulates work I did building the Defense Energy Summit - https://events.techconnect.org/DTCFall/. Further, I would look to areas where the federal government is subsidizing large corporations that no longer need federal investment - such as oil and gas exploration tax credits, for example.
20 years in the medical industry, contracting with the U.S. Military and exporting American-made products to distributors in Europe
Bachelors in Business and Economics, Westmont College
I believe in legal immigration. I believe in nationhood and that it defines us. The border is not an artificial line. However, as a country we are grappling with justice vs. mercy. Justice calls for exportation and a wall. Mercy knows that families and livelihoods are at stake. So, I believe in strong borders and nationhood. I believe in building a wall, physical or high-tech, so long as it works. I do not support any new path to citizenship. Once those things are settled, we need to redo our entire immigration system so it is fair and also takes into account the on-the-ground realities.
Republicans owe their constituents a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare and should follow it up with a free market. Women and men should decide for themselves what is adequate, affordable, and accessible. Free markets always drive value up and costs down. Interstate competition between insurance companies is a great place to start. In addition, the product approval process in the U.S. creates huge costs ultimately borne by the U.S. taxpayer. We must streamline the approval process and provide clear price signals so Americans can shop for the best value for their families.
First, we should get rid of all gun-free zones for licensed gun carriers (with the obvious exception of bars). When was the last time you heard about gun violence at a gun show or at a police station? Mass shootings only occur in gun-free zones. Second, we should recruit law-abiding citizens to take concealed gun classes. Third, we should encourage the NRA to offer free gun safety courses in high schools. Liberals want to teach 10-year olds how to use condoms, which I believe is entirely a family discussion. Gun safety is as much a social issue as sex education and just as practical.
I'm writing this on Martin Luther King Jr. day, and I'm reminded that we should judge by the content of character, not the color of skin. I reject racism in all forms. I reject sexism, and I believe in equal pay. I believe in equal opportunity. However, I do not believe in quotas or institutionalized favoritism. Just because an organization or company is predominately white or black, male or female, does not make it inherently racist or sexist. Everyone is privileged in some way compared to someone else. But all citizens deserve equal treatment under the law, and that is what I support.
The government has no role in reducing student debt. I believe America needs to get to a place where graduating high school means something. In today's world, a college degree means what a high school degree did thirty years ago. It is unfair to our youth to have the societal pressures of having to go to college to get a job that high school should have prepared them for. On the other hand, students freely choose their degrees and focuses of study with costs clearly being laid out to them beforehand. It is not the taxpayers' burden to rescue them if the financial cost-benefits don't add up.
Climate change happens, and humans clearly affect environments, but whether humans are causing world-wide temperature-based cataclysmic global warming is unclear at best. Ten years ago it was, "global warming," and now it is, "climate change," because the scientific models for warming didn't pan out and anything that happens can be categorized under the heading of, "climate change." I believe the environmental movement has been highjacked by socialists. I fully support clean air and clean water. I also fully support safe offshore drilling and the judicious use of our natural resources.
The current government report says there is $450 billion in waste, fraud, and duplication in the federal budget. If we eliminate that, it's a great start. America is currently $20 Trillion in debt. That the budget needs to be cut is self-evident. We need to get rid of entire departments of the government to change the narrative back to, "what do we really need?" Do we really need a Department of Education? America survived until 1978 without it. What else can we get rid of? It has to happen for us to be solvent.
Senate Judiciary Committee under Sen. Cornyn, Chief of Staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General's Office, Texas Public Policy Foundation
B.S. and M.S. from University of Virginia, J.D. from University of Texas School of Law
Establish a truly secure border and immigration enforcement system first (border, visa overstays, workplace enforcement). Second, reduce legal immigration and overhaul it to focus on America’s needs (re-focused on labor/education/assimilation rather than family chain migration).
All other questions should be addressed after these things have been met.
1) Repeal virtually all federal healthcare regulations that are prohibiting affordable healthcare in the first place. 2) Block grant Medicaid to the states and reduce the Medicaid expansion that is straining the system.
1) Enforce the gun laws on the books – but focus more heavily at the state level than the federal level. 2) Reduce government involvement beyond its core functions – and leave more money for safety and security (more resources to combat crime at the state and local level). 3) Continue to keep dangerous criminals in prison and off our streets (criminal justice reform should be focused on first-time, non-violent offenders).
We should encourage a government that focuses not on the color of skin, but on opportunity and equal justice under the law.
The best way to increase safety and opportunity for prosperity is to create a climate for strong economic growth, encourage the strong enforcement of our criminal laws, and take as many steps as possible to maintain the nuclear family. It is also in the interest of taxpayers and those who end up in trouble with the law to focus on reentry and rehabilitation, so that generally non-violent and non-repeat offenders are given a pathway to being productive members of society.
Yes – by no longer subsidizing them. Student loans should be competitive in the free market, not heavily regulated by the federal government. Too many students have been trapped underneath crushing student debt because the cost of tuition has artificially risen as credit and low interest rates have become readily available. If student loans were treated as other types of debt, there would be more caution before borrowing and, as a result, tuition rates would likely decrease as students became unwilling to borrow more.
We need to restore the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the limits set by Congress and return its focus on addressing actual measurable pollution that has a tangible negative impact on human health and the environment. I would support making permanent the reforms proposed by EPA Administrator Pruitt to permanently ban “sue and settle” practices and to eliminate conflicts of interest between citizens appointed to independent advisory boards caused by them also being dependent on federal funding. Finally, I would support delegating more environmental regulatory authority to the states.
They are necessary. We have $21 trillion in debt and no solution in sight. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem.
I oppose restoration of earmarks in the appropriation process.
I would support implementation of a “Sunset system” type process similar to the one in Texas.
I would support block grants to the states.
I favor automatic across-the-board cuts to spending to force decision-making to allocate spending.
I would not vote to increase the debt ceiling without significant spending reforms associate with the increase.
Mathematics professor and educator for 20 years. Currently, I pastor a small congregation in Cedar Park
BS-Mathematics, Ok. Bapt. Univ.;
MA-Mathematics, SUNY-New Paltz;
Mdiv-Austin Pres. Theological Sem;
Doctor of Ministry- in progress, Brite Divinity
I believe congress should pass a clean DACA act immediately. I also believe we need a complete revamping of our immigration policies. When a person attempts to immigrate here legally, following our system is nearly impossible, and those who succeed often persevere for 15-20 years. For those who can afford to wade through the process, I applaud them. For others who do not have the financial means or who come here in fear of their lives or their children's lives, we need to find a better way.
We have models that are already in place - medicare, healthcare for govt employees, the military. We have the knowledge and means to implement a universal healthcare system and we should. There is freedom and security in knowing we will not face bankruptcy due to medical bills. When I was in college I worked at a local emergency room. Everyone was treated, but not everyone could pay. The hospital, as hospitals continue to do today, simply raise rates for those who can pay to make up the difference. We all pay for health care, but right now we do it in the most inefficient manner possible.
1. Close the gun show loophole
2. Background checks
3.1. Ban bump stocks
3.2. Waiting period. In Texas, a shotgun wedding would require a three day waiting period, not because it takes three days to apply to get a gun, but because it takes three days in order for the wedding certificate to become valid. If we can require couples to wait 3 days to get married, we can require people to wait at least 24 hours before receiving a gun.
1. Vote for women.
2. Hire women.
3. Prohibit those accused of domestic violence from purchasing a gun without a background check.
I think we need to end the "for profit" nature of student loans. They have become an albatross around the necks of graduates and prevent them from participating in the larger economy. To that end, we need to implement a debt forgiveness program and at the very least put a cap on the interest rate of new loans.
1.On a local scale, promote sustainable resources - wind and solar are particularly viable for the congressional district 21. Texas currently produces the most wind energy in the US. There's no reason we shouldn't continue to take advantage of this natural resource.
2. On a global scale support UN-REDD. According to their research "Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 17 per cent of carbon emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. " Clearly, we need a multi-faceted approach and we need global cooperation.
Although cutting the budget sounds appealing, we also have to remember we want good roads, bridges, schools, healthcare, educated diplomats, etc.
More than cuts, I would like to see us examine where money is being left out of the current tax system.
For instance, we know from the Panama papers that off shore accounts are a means to evade taxes. The New York Times estimates the loss is near $70 Billion in tax revenue. Secondly, salaries and wages are taxed at a higher rate than investment income. I would like to see a graduated tax rate increase on investment income.