Hillcrest High School, 2001
Baylor University, B.A., 2005
UC Berkeley School of Law, J.D., 2014
We are a nation of immigrants, and we should embrace the diversity, talent, and hard work of those who have come to this nation looking for opportunity. Congress should pass the DREAM Act to protect those who were brought here as children and are now serving in our military and contributing to our communities and our economy.
We must also pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for those already here. Immigration reform must supply our economy with the workers it needs, treat those coming here with respect and dignity, and effectively control our borders. And finally, I oppose the construction of the wall both as a waste of money and as a racist symbol of exclusion.
The decision to use force is the gravest decision any nation can make. We should only intervene militarily when our vital national interests are at stake or to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, and only as a last resort after diplomatic options have failed.
The North Korean nuclear program is the most serious threat we face. Congress must do everything it can to tighten sanctions on North Korea to pressure it to negotiate an end to its nuclear/missile programs--the only real solution to the crisis. It must also ensure that our military has what it needs to defend our country from a North Korean attack. Finally, the President must stop engaging in bellicose and dangerous rhetoric that is only making this crisis more dangerous.
We must honor our commitments to our senior citizens by preserving--and strengthening--Social Security and Medicare. These programs are not “entitlements,” they are earned benefits: you pay into them your entire working life so that you can draw from them once you become eligible. It is a part of the modern social contract, that you can work your entire life knowing that you can eventually retire with dignity.
As Congress takes steps to bolster these programs, I will honor that fundamental promise between the generations by acting to preserve and, where possible, expand these programs so that they actually meet the needs of retirees. If necessary, we must ask for more sacrifices from those at the top to fully fund these programs.
Health care is a fundamental right, but Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country. That is why I will fight every day to deliver universal, affordable health care to every American. We can do that by protecting Obamacare by stabilizing the individual markets and expanding Medicaid. We must also give Americans a not for profit option for their health insurance by allowing every American the option to buy in to Medicare. Medicare's low overhead costs and established provider networks can provide all Americans with a quality, affordable health care option that puts people over profits and that will compete with private insurers, driving down costs and cutting out the insurance executives in the process.
Restoring the Voting Rights Act is the first piece of legislation I would like to see passed in Congress. The right to vote is the most fundamental right, because it protects all the other rights our Constitution guarantees. Yet the Supreme Court’s decision gutting the VRA has unleashed an attack on voting rights, and Congress must act to restore the VRA’s full protections.
The other major priority must be increased investments in education. I support providing universal Pre-K; recruiting, training, and retaining the best teachers in the world; rebuilding the decaying infrastructure of our public schools; strengthening apprenticeship and job training programs; working toward debt-free college; and bolstering our community college system.
Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D.
University of North Texas, M.A.
We need comprehensive immigration reform that prioritizes the unification of families and reflects the reality of our increasingly interconnected world. In the meantime, I would support UAFA and the passage of a clean DREAM Act. Right now, we must demand the Trump Administration reinstate DACA as a precondition for the passage of any appropriations bill. Personally, I will use my platform as U.S. Representative to stand with Texans impacted by our outdated immigration policies, support Texans who are advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, and highlight the benefit DREAMers have brought to our community. I do not support the construction of a border wall.
Military intervention should be a last resort. There is no silver bullet to reducing the risk of nuclear warfare with other nation-states. Doing so will take expert, sustained, and multilateral efforts led by American diplomats and other government officials to induce states to abandon their attempts to develop nuclear weapons. I support the Iran deal and agree with most experts who view it as effective. The cavalier attitude of the Trump Administration to the possibility of nuclear warfare with North Korea should keep us all up at night, and I support changing American law so the President cannot unilaterally decide to launch a nuclear strike, along with reopening a multilateral dialogue with the North Korean regime.
Expanding Social Security and Medicare, combined with a range of policies that would help to raise wages and reduce the costs of essentials like child care and college, is key to ensure workers and retirees can live out their lives with dignity and security. As more Americans retire, Social Security payments are gradually creeping higher than the taxes collected to fund it, requiring supplemental funding to be drawn from the Trust Fund. To close the shortfall, I support making the payroll tax more progressive by lifting the cap on those making more than $250,000 a year. To reduce budget deficits in our Medicare program, we must tackle the larger question of affordability for pharmaceuticals, insurance providers, and medical devices.
The progress made through the Affordable Care Act must be protected. I support a public option and would work toward a single payer system. In order to do so, we first must tackle out of control healthcare and pharmaceutical costs so we do not perpetuate these excesses in a new system.
We need to fight the monopolistic powers within our healthcare industry, including private insurers, pharmaceutical corporations, the medical device industry, and group purchasing organizations that are allowed to set the terms of the debate behind closed doors at the expense of the interests of the American people.
Left unchecked, climate change imperils the planet that we will leave our children and grandchildren. But it also presents one of the greatest economic opportunities of our time. I support a market-based approach to reducing CO2 emissions at a pace in accordance with climate science, while ensuring that the federal government will encourage -- rather than inhibit -- innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies. And, because climate change is the ultimate global issue, we must work cooperatively with nations worldwide. I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, and will work to ensure the U.S. remains a part of this historic agreement.