The public health and economic crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have put into stark relief two top priorities for families in my district: economic security, which cannot be achieved without access to affordable health care, and equal treatment under the law. I am committed to being present in the communities I serve and meeting people where they are, whether at a town hall or in the grocery aisle, so that I can hear from them directly and bring their stories to the halls of Congress.
I believe that health care is a right, not a privilege, and I am committed to strengthening the ACA protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. On the Appropriations Committee I have secured increased funding for NIH, and I will continue to prioritize investments in community health, maternal health, and behavioral health services. I have been proud to support legislation passed in the House that will expand access to quality health care and lower the costs of prescription drugs.
As we confront the deep inequities that have been magnified and exacerbated by this pandemic, I will prioritize policies designed to ensure a robust and equitable economic recovery, which must include racial justice initiatives and substantial investments in child care. I will also continue working with the urgency required to address the existential threat of climate change by fighting for policies such as funding for climate research, investments in renewable energy, and carbon capture.
Voting is a fundamental right. I was proud to support the For the People Act to protect our elections as one of the first bills passed in the 116th Congress, and to join Congressman John Lewis as we passed the Voting Rights Advancement Act to reinstate a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that had been gutted by the Supreme Court. I will continue to fight for funding to expand vote-by-mail so that states can hold elections while ensuring the health and safety of the American people.
We are in the midst of a long overdue truth telling about the racism that pervades all aspects of American life. Passing the Justice in Policing Act, historic new legislation to address systemic racism in police departments, hold officers accountable, and end police brutality, is an essential first step, but real reform cannot stop there. I am committed to centering antiracism in my work, and in particular continuing to address the disparate rates of school discipline for students of color.
Structuring the federal response to the Coronavirus Pandemic to directly help citizens most effectively return to work and school – putting our economy back on its feet.
Restoring our historic individual commitment to equality under the law and impartial government – rejecting the poison of identity politics. Listening to my constituents is the way to determine the issues important to them.
These questions ignore the achievements of America’s scientists, doctors, nurses, and companies, who create the great treatments to which Americans get first access. Lower cost is A goal, not THE goal. Better medical outcomes are the goal. Our world-class professionals already have the drive to move the entire country toward that goal. Congress should encourage, rather than hinder them. One-size-fits-all universal health care will hurt us, our hospitals, and the economy in Massachusetts.
My top two budget priorities are (i) to reduce wasteful government spending and (ii) reduce debt. It is unfair to leave such a burden to our children and grandchildren. The alternative – burdening the elderly with high inflation is worse. I support a bipartisan commission to produce one bipartisan proposal to reduce spending and debt for an up or down vote by Congress within 90 days of submission. Our Congressmembers need to stop evading their responsibility on this issue.
As a long-time local official, very familiar with local elections, it is been proven over and over again to me that all voting-age citizens in the Commonwealth have full access to voting. The most recent 2018 Congressional elections saw record turnouts of voters in many states. Voting has never been easier than it is today, by early and absentee voting. I’m still a particular fan of voting on election day – when every voter will have equal access to all the facts at hand.
The Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964/1965 abolished government’s policy of discrimination. Countless African-Americans, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., made Civil Rights succeed. Despite generations of humiliation and individual suffering, African-Americans changed our nation’s views about: (i) individual freedom, (ii) equality under the law, (iii) impartial government, and (iv) an economy excluding no one. I support federal legislation that preserves their gift to all of us.