Jobs and the Economy

Jobs-&-Economy

There is no higher priority than ensuring economic growth, jobs, and opportunity for all Americans. We have come a long way since the financial crisis of 2008, but much more needs to be done to ensure that economic growth is shared by all, and not just the wealthy. I have always fought for a much stronger investment in infrastructure, since the building of roads, bridges, schools, a renewable energy superhighway, broadband and other key elements of our national backbone have a multiplier effect on the economy. I also believe that small businesses are the key engine of growth, and support efforts to help them access capital and reduce their regulatory burden.

One my other priorities in Congress is making sure that trade deals are fair in addition to free, a position which has led me to oppose the current Trans-Pacific Partnership, because I fear it will only widen income inequality. I support policies to boost the manufacturing industry, so that we “make it in America again” and keep good, well-paying jobs at home. And I support strong regulation of the financial sector to ensure that the American taxpayer is never again called on to bail out Wall Street.

Climate Change and the Environment

Environment

Climate change is real and human activity is a major contributor. We do not have time to debate that fact when essentially all scientists are in agreement, and the potential harm is so devastating.

In California, we already see the effects of climate change in prolonged drought and extreme heat. And while El Niño brought us much needed drought relief, it was not enough to quench our years-long drought or to refill our depleted aquifers ahead of future dry years. We must prioritize the protection of our environment and transition to renewable sources of energy.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy asked America to lead the world in the race to the moon with the Apollo missions. America needs a new Apollo mission, but this one to come up with and implement an all of the above strategy to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels and invest in clean and renewable energies at every level of our lives.

I am also committed to preserving open space in our region, and for more than a decade I have been pursuing the creation of a “Rim of the Valley Corridor” addition to the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area that would more than double its size. In 2016, following the completion of a long awaited study by the National Parks Service, I introduced legislation to make this expansion a reality and ensure that future generations can enjoy the incredible natural beauty of our region.

Education

edu

The future of our nation hinges on educating young people to compete in a global marketplace. All families deserve access to a quality and affordable education, from Pre-K all the way through college.

I believe that every student who wants to attend college should be able to – and no student should be turned away because their families cannot afford to send them. Too many young people are leaving school burdened by large loans which will take decades to repay. I support ideas to lessen that burden by lowering interest rates, allowing borrowers to defer payments, making community college free for those who cannot afford it and are willing to work, and even forgiving loans for those who pursue careers in understaffed fields.

We must also ensure that all children are able to learn in a safe environment, free from discrimination based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.

LGBT Equality

LGBT

The Supreme Court’s decision in June of 2015 to make marriage legal for all couples across the country was a huge step forward for true equality for the LGBT community in America. But the fight for equality continues, since a couple that is married today can still be fired tomorrow simply because of whom they love.

As vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I strongly believe everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, should be treated equally under the law. That’s why I have fought to fully integrate all LGBT service members in the military and to ensure that LGBT families receive equal treatment in adoptions. I am also a strong supporter of the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex.

Campaign Finance Reform and Voting

Campaign-Finance

The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission was a devastating blow to our democracy. Corporations are not people and unregulated independent expenditures drown out the voices of all but the wealthiest Americans.

We need to reform our campaign finance system to ensure everyone’s voice is heard equally; not just large corporations. That is why I have introduced a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and allow states to set up a public financing system if they choose. Both are critical steps to reduce the influence of money in politics, and protect our democracy.

Immigration

Immigration-Reform

America has always been a beacon of opportunity around the world, and for centuries people from all around the globe have traveled over land and sea in search of the American Dream.

We are a nation of immigrants, but our immigration system is outdated and broken. I support comprehensive immigration reform that will fix our broken immigration system by securing our border, providing a path to citizenship for those who are already here, requiring civics education and the payment of any back taxes, and reforming and improving the legal immigration system.

I have also supported President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which uses existing authority to stop the deportation of people who came to the United States as children. Fixing our immigration system is a necessity, both to make our laws more humane and for our economic competitiveness.

National Security

National-Security

As the Ranking Member, or top Democrat, on the House Intelligence Committee, I believe our government’s highest responsibility is to ensure the security of our nation. In today’s dangerous world, it’s not enough to have the world’s strongest military or most capable national security apparatus. One of my goals in Congress is to articulate and pursue a smart, progressive course on national security and foreign policy which keeps us secure, while staying true to our core values as a nation.

We must expand cooperation among our allies and partners across the world to fight terrorism and defeat ISIS. That’s why I have supported our military efforts in Iraq and Syria, our efforts to counter ISIS propaganda by empowering the voices of our Muslim allies, stronger efforts to counter violent extremism at home, and efforts to improve Homeland security. That’s why I also believe America must speak with a clear voice about human rights – including all genocides, like the Armenian Genocide and the one ISIS is waging against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

We face threats from terrorist organizations including ISIS and al Qaeda, as well as from nations like Iran, North Korea, and a newly aggressive Russia. We must confront these threats using all the tools in our arsenal — diplomatic, economic, and military. I supported strong sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, freedom of the sea exercises in the South China Sea, an international coalition to constrain North Korea’s dangerous and provocative actions, and the Iran Nuclear Deal which dramatically lengthened Iran’s potential breakout time, required vigorous inspections and required Iran to export most of its highly enriched uranium and pour concrete into the core of their plutonium reactor.

As Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee, I have helped strengthen our efforts to gather information on those who would attack us, even while I have helped lead the way on issues like privacy and civil liberties, pushing to end the bulk collection of American’s phone records while also maintaining the capabilities we need to keep Americans safe. I also helped write and pass the Cybersecurity Act, which will help to secure public and private networks from attacks by hackers by improving information sharing.

Gun Violence

gun

With more than 30,000 Americans killed each year with guns, and with mass shootings in places like Orlando, San Bernardino, Aurora, and Newtown, gun violence is nothing short of an epidemic. Congress must act, and I support passing long overdue reforms to reduce gun violence, including universal background checks for all gun sales, banning assault weapons, and passing “No Fly No Buy” legislation so that known and suspected terrorists can’t purchase powerful weapons. I was proud to join a sit-in on the House floor in June 2016 in support of these reforms, and I will keep doing all I can to see that we do not stand by and allow our fellow citizens to be gunned down.