US House District 5
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What is the most important challenge facing our country and how do you propose to address it?
What should the federal government do to provide an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-K through grade 12?
What steps will you take to reform current immigration policies?
What policies will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our country?
What will you do over the long term to ensure healthcare access for all?
We are facing multiple challenges: a deadly pandemic, record unemployment, racial injustices, voter suppression, millions without health coverage, and the worst U.S. president ever. The House passed the HEROES Act in May, and then another version just last week, but the Senate refuses to talk. This would keep people in their homes, food on tables, give businesses relief to stay open and save our economy and culture. We have to reimagine our police and enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Both have passed the House, but have gone no where in the Senate. We also need to protect the ACA and expand health insurance. I stand ready to continue fighting for Middle Tennessee.
Every child deserves a quality education. The Trump administration’s policies have been disastrous for K-12 education, even rolling back a new bipartisan education law. Many people don’t remember that Secretary DeVos’ first act in office was to cut an Obama-era grant program designed to reduce racial and socioeconomic isolation in public schools. I recently voted in favor of a bill that would set aside $100 billion to expand broadband access for low-income families and individuals. We also need to change the way we view education funding. Public schools are primarily funded by state and local government taxes. In Tennessee, only about 10% of public education funds typically come from the federal government. We must change this.
I reject President Trump’s extremely anti-immigrant agenda. I have cosponsored the House Democrats’ immigration reform bills and voted for the House’s American Dream and Promise Act.. I am the only Tennessee Democrat to have voted to help the Dreamers in 2010. I also traveled with a congressional delegation to the southern border to observe the conditions of the detention centers and camps. I have voted for and supported efforts to improve humanitarian conditions at the border and I will continue to fight for refugees and asylees who want to make a better life in America.
I have fought to end systemic racism throughout my career and have a 100% rating from the Leadership Council on Civil Rights and the NAACP. I have voted for efforts to raise the minimum wage, invest more in housing and education systems, student debt relief, and eliminate gender pay gaps because we know nonwhite women are discriminated against the most when it comes to pay equity. I have cosponsored a bill that would create a commission to study and develop reparations proposals; this is the same proposal that Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden support. I cosponsored and voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which will do more
than any bill in history to reform police departments nationwide.
I proudly voted for the Affordable Care Act and worked closely with President Obama in developing the ACA. I support any option that gets us universal health care coverage -- as soon as possible. The fastest way to do that is for Tennessee to expand Medicaid. Because of our Republican-led state legislature, our state turns down over $1 billion - every year - that could provide health care for over a quarter million Tennesseans. It’s important to recognize that with 7.5 million coronavirus to date, ALL of these Americans have pre-existing conditions that are protected by the ACA. Repeal of the ACA, or the gutting of the Act by the Supreme Court, would leave all of these Americans without protection and in jeopardy of being uninsured.
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