Gas prices don’t have to be nearly $4.00 a gallon. North America has enough clean, cost-effective energy sources to supply our needs and those of our neighbors. The misguided policies of the current administration prevent new energy from coming to market and to stop us from buying more oil from our North American neighbors. The result is that we are dependent on buying overseas oil, much if it from nations that are not friendly. I support construction of the Keystone pipeline and the continued exploration and expansion of oil, gas, hydroelectric, solar and other energy sources that will make us energy independent in the near future.
Americans need improved access to greater quality and more affordable healthcare. While we have the best trained medical professionals and the most technologically advanced facilities and equipment, our health care system is too complex and exclusive, and many individuals fall through the cracks. We also need better access to care in the Central Valley and incentives so that healthcare workers locate and stay in the Valley.
In Congress I have worked to fix the troubling parts of the national Healthcare reform law with common-sense, reasonable and incremental changes that will lead us on a path of affordable healthcare that all Americans can utilize. A market based approach will allow providers and insurance companies to offer greater flexibility, consumer choice, and lower costs in a more transparent and efficient healthcare delivery system.
America’s immigration system is not working. We need to secure our borders first, then address the very real problems created by the 11 million undocumented persons living here now. I support a plan that treats everyone in a fair manner. This would include a way to earn citizenship for those seeking to stay here, work and become a citizen. Earned citizenship would require immigrants to learn English, pay fines and back taxes. We also need a guest worker system to provide our farms and ag-related businesses with the seasonal workers they need.
PROTECTING MEDICARE BENEFITS FOR OUR SENIORS
I won’t support any plan that will rob our seniors of the Medicare benefits they have paid into for their entire lives. They have earned those benefits. I want to guarantee that anyone over the age of 55 will see the benefits they deserve. I will continue to fight, as I always have, to protect Medicare funds from those that want to steal Medicare funds to use for other government programs.
ECONOMY AND JOBS
The unemployment rate in the San Joaquin Valley is unacceptable. We can turn this around and restore jobs to the Valley but it will require the adoption of pro-economic growth policies. This means not only lowering taxes for small businesses, making our code simpler and fairer, but decreasing the intrusive federal regulations that keep entrepreneurs focused on compliance rather than customers.
Here in the Valley, jobs depend on water. I am working to expand water storage and delivery to ensure a steady and reliable source of clean water for our farms and communities.
I have fought to reduce regulatory barriers to success, keep your taxes low, and lay the groundwork for economic recovery.
The biggest threat to the long-term health of our economy is the $17 trillion national debt. Not only does out of control government spending distort the market place but it puts an unsustainable burden on our children and grandchildren. Washington needs to spend within its means, and our nation needs a budget to protect hardworking taxpayers and to secure a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
I am proud to have served my country in the United States Air Force, and I have tremendous respect for America’s military men and women who have consistently served our country with honor and valor. The freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today are a result of the sacrifice our veterans have made to this country.
I voted to make sure our vets, troops and their families were not harmed by the government shutdown. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs I have made honoring our promise to veterans my top priority. In addition, this Congress also has a special obligation to the more than 2 million who have served in combat operations since September 11th. That means providing oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs to make sure they are putting veterans first and working on legislation that cuts through red tape for veterans transitioning to civilian life.
The most important duty of Congress is to provide for the defense of our nation. We must be prepared to fully defend our interests and support the needs of our troops while preparing to meet future threats. These threats may come from other nations, such as Iran and North Korea, as well as terrorist networks that continue to threaten our way of life.
I am firmly convinced that the greatest promoter of peace is a strong United States military. While we must be prepared for spending cuts across the federal government we must also take care to preserve the unique capabilities of our military and not break faith with the men and women who serve our nation.
In Congress I have supported legislation that reforms No Child Left Behind by restoring the independence and flexibility to State and local governments who know best how to run their schools. Ultimately, I believe that local governments have the primary responsibility for educating the future generations of America. Too often, the federal government forces once size fits all solutions on local school districts that drive up costs but do not improve quality.
We must place the focus on communities and working with parents and teachers to ensure our children are receiving the education that will set them on a path to future success. We must especially support math and science education that will help them compete in college and the workforce.