The rising cost of health care is the number one issue I hear about from Texans on the campaign trail. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, and that’s unacceptable. Our current system is one of sky-high costs and inefficiencies. We must create a public option to make Medicare available for all those who want it. The best health care I’ve ever had was when I was on military-provided Tricare, similar to Medicare, and I believe that kind of high-quality care should be made available to all Americans. Every child should be covered, period.
We can and must protect the progress made by the Affordable Care Act while making much-needed improvements. We cannot go back to the past when insurance companies were able to discriminate against those with preexisting conditions or sell junk plans that leave folks vulnerable when serious health issues or injuries occur.
As your senator, I will stand up for Texans against special interests who put profits over people. Far too many folks here in Texas struggle to afford their prescriptions. I will advocate for measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs like allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, I believe we must hold Big Pharma interests accountable for their part in the opioid epidemic that has ravaged so many communities here in Texas and beyond.
I will oppose any effort to privatize, dismantle or undercut Medicare, including raising the eligibility age. Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements – they are promises made to every American. I will also oppose any “age tax” insurance companies seek to impose against older Americans.
I support federal law codifying Roe v. Wade so that reproductive rights are not subject to the whims of an increasingly partisan court system. It’s unacceptable that in 2019 a woman’s right to make medical decisions about her own body is under assault. I have had two difficult pregnancies, and I am grateful that during that time the government wasn’t standing between me and my doctor during very personal discussions. Politicians should not legislate a woman’s most intimate decisions.
Texans suffer from one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the developed world. We must support organizations that are providing our communities with sorely needed women’s health care services. I am opposed to efforts to shutter clinics that provide critical care to women all over Texas, especially in rural areas where loss of access to these clinics often means loss of health care.
We must provide support for women and families by increasing access to sex education, affordable over-the-counter contraception, and cost-effective childcare.
For decades, career politicians have refused to fix our broken immigration system, and the consequences of their finger-pointing and inaction directly affect our day-to-day lives in Texas. We need to roll up our sleeves, collaborate with our border communities on solutions, and bring some common sense to the issue.
That means starting with permanently ending child separation, ensuring asylum seekers are not treated as criminals and their claims are properly processed, securing the border with effective procedures and technologies instead of wasting billions on an ineffective wall that would require robbing our military construction budget while seizing land from Texans, and building a path to citizenship for undocumented residents that prioritizes our security and reflects our core values as Americans — such as human dignity and our respect for the right of mankind to the pursuit of happiness.
The increasing spread of anti-immigrant, white nationalist ideology is a serious threat to our safety, as proven by the shooting in El Paso that targeted Hispanic members of our community. I took an oath to support and defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, so I want to be crystal clear: we must mobilize against this epidemic of domestic terrorism here at home. I will always stand against this type of hateful rhetoric that has real consequences, and will call on elected leaders who amplify white nationalist rhetoric and racist dog-whistles to take ownership of the impact of their words and reverse course.
As the mother of two little boys, climate change is one of the top reasons I decided to run for Senate. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to the health and safety of our communities, the world we are leaving for the next generation, and our national security. We cannot wait any longer to take action.
In Texas, we are witnessing firsthand the effects of climate change. We’ve seen devastating hurricanes like Harvey, and multiple catastrophic, “500-year” floods in a matter of a few years. The status quo is not sustainable.
We must set aggressive goals for the expansion of clean, renewable energy, and invest in clean energy manufacturing and sustainable transportation. Texas has the opportunity to be America’s leader in wind and solar energy, and we should use our natural, renewable resources to create jobs here in our state.
We also must modernize our energy grid so it is equipped to handle increased load during peak usage.
Every child, regardless of where they come from or how much money their family makes, should have access to an affordable and quality education. I will advocate for Texas public schools and teachers, because I believe an investment in strong public schools is an investment in our nation’s future. Teachers, educators, and school staff deserve to be treated with respect and to be paid salaries worthy of the critical service they provide to society.
Far too many Texans struggle from crippling student loan debt. We must put an end to the government profiting off loans by lowering interest rates on student debt, while also ensuring all higher education — from apprenticeship programs to vocational training to degree programs — is more affordable for current and future students. Texans I’ve spoken to have told me that the requirement for an immediate start to repayment of student loans upon graduation or disenrollment has led to underemployment. Every student loan should have a grace period of at least several months during which the loan does not accrue interest, and that period should be paused if the individual enrolls in another course of training like pursuing a certificate or vocation.
While a college degree is one avenue for achieving financial security, we also need to encourage support for and investment in vocational programs. Vocational programs expand trades sectors, which often provide secure, high-paying union jobs. Those working in these jobs have always been and will continue to be the backbone of our nation and the driving force toward improving our country’s infrastructure.
I believe the country and our economy are stronger when our workers and their families are strong. Growing up, my mom worked three jobs just to pay the bills, and too many Texans face the same struggles today. That’s not the American dream. We need to raise wages and work to lower the cost of housing to ensure workers can provide for their families, and use tax credits and incentives to support small businesses instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship their jobs overseas.
My stepfather, who raised me as his own, was killed in a workplace accident. Because of the safety standards won by the labor movement, fewer families have to go through that devastation. I am grateful for the hard-fought victories of the labor movement that have created safer and fairer workplaces, and will protect that progress as a senator — I’ll always support the rights of workers to unionize and collectively bargain for safe and healthy working conditions, fair wages, and to secure benefits and pensions. In addition, I will fight efforts to cut pensions, Social Security, and Medicare.
I believe in the promise of our country and the American dream, and that’s why it’s important to acknowledge that the scales have shifted to favor the rich and powerful over the working families that are left to contend with obscene medical costs, high rent and bills, student loan debt, and more. I opposed the 2017 tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and would vote against any legislation that benefits corporations and the extremely wealthy while hurting working families trying to make ends meet.
As a United States Air Force veteran who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, I understand what our military and their families go through in a way that most politicians in DC can’t. We have a responsibility to the next generation that will wear our uniform: to give them the most stable global environment we possibly can.
I will support responsible national security policies that recognize the value of seeking diplomatic solutions and employing strategic use of humanitarian assistance and trade negotiations, while insisting we reserve the deployment of American troops as a last resort. I believe a healthy State Department is our military’s first line of defense, and our relationships with our allies are fragile and critical to maintain.
In addition, I know firsthand how difficult the transition back into civilian life can be. As your senator, I will always seek to make good on our promise to our service members by ensuring they receive quality health care, housing assistance, and help starting careers or businesses as they return from serving our country. I will stand against efforts to privatize the VA while supporting initiatives to streamline services for veterans to get better care when they need it. With record-high suicide rates and deployments than can strain family relationships, it’s critical we provide adequate mental health care to address the unique struggles of those who serve.
My military service informs my view on government. When I think about my fellow soldiers who were with me the day my helicopter was shot down by the Taliban and how we worked together to complete our mission and get to safety, I think about how our government could take some cues from what we learn in the military. Unity, teamwork, and a shared mission is the only way to succeed.
Multiple mass shootings have devastated Texas in recent years, and I believe it is well past time to take action to finally end the epidemic of gun violence.
We must pass common-sense gun safety legislation to require background checks on every single gun sale, including closing the gun show loophole — a proposal that a recent Washington Post-ABC News survey found was supported by 88% of gun owners.
We must also stop the sale of assault weapons to the public, pass red flag laws limiting access to firearms for domestic abusers — including closing the “boyfriend loophole” — and those who would commit acts of domestic terrorism, and fully fund the CDC to reverse the damage of the decades-long ban on gun violence research.
I am also calling for state and local officials to end open carry. The reasons gun owners like me have for wanting to protect our Second Amendment rights — chief among them protecting our families — are not served by open carry. Open carry itself is an assault on every bystander within range, as we feel the need to flee and cover our children without the freedom to call law enforcement for help. We must empower people to “see something, say something.”
The gun violence epidemic in this country reaches beyond the tragic mass shootings into our homes through domestic violence, accidental shootings, and suicides. As your senator, I will use my perspective as a mother, responsible gun owner, and combat veteran in my work to pass urgently-needed legislation to protect our communities.
Whenever someone tells me they don’t understand why a bill passed or decision was made in Washington, I always tell them to follow the money. That’s because far too many of our elected leaders make decisions about what legislation to support or oppose based on who is writing the biggest campaign checks — from the gun lobby to private prisons to Big Pharma — instead of what is best for their constituents.
Americans are sick and tired of watching DC politicians put special interest donors and political games over the needs of the people. It is time to clean up our broken system and return the power back to people. That’s why I am refusing to accept any corporate PAC money and am proud to be endorsed by End Citizens United.
Once elected, I will make it a priority to overturn partisan gerrymandering schemes that further polarize our politics, fight the increasingly-common voter suppression tactics designed to keep people from exercising their right to participate in our democracy, and pass comprehensive campaign finance and ethics reforms that ensure Washington is accountable to the voters — and no one else.