Education: The future of our nation is dependent upon an educated workforce. During my time in the State Assembly, as part of the budget, I authored the first K-12 class size reduction so that our children could get the direct attention they deserve. Ensuring that our children have access to a quality education remains a top priority of mine in Congress. States and local school district must be given the flexibility they need to meet their needs without onerous regulations and mandates from government bureaucrats. At the same time, it is important that appropriate accountability measures be put in place to ensure that our nation’s schools and teachers are preparing students for the knowledge-based, technologically-rich world that awaits them. Furthermore, it is vital to keep education funding in the classroom and spend it directly on our student. Only then can we get the results that our children deserve. I will continue to support state and local innovation in our educational system to give our children the best chance to succeed.
Public Safety: Making our communities, cities and neighborhoods safe for our children and residents of the 31st Congressional District is one of my top priorities in Congress. It is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to keep violent criminals off our streets. That is why I supported efforts to make FEMA grants available to our first responders and support legislation that will not only protect our communities, but also provide the essential services to some our most vulnerable citizens to offer support services and assistance to victims of violent crime.
Jobs & the Economy: Job creation is vital to our economic recovery. While there have been some modest signs of improvement, the sad fact is that millions of Americans remain out of work, are struggling to find full-time work, or have dropped out of the labor force altogether. Job creation is essential to our economic recovery and my top priority in Congress. To get more Americans back to work, it is imperative that Congress take common-sense steps now to establish a better economic environment for job creators. These steps include increasing our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy by opening up new markets for American-made goods, reforming the tax code, paying down our massive national debt and removing unnecessary and burdensome regulations on job creators. I look forward to helping our economy grow and create jobs by restoring the United States to its position as the world leader in innovation and the best place to do business.
Taxes: Since coming to Congress, I have been a tireless advocate of lower taxes and a believer that Americans deserve to keep more of their hard earned dollars. Of course, as a society, we need to provide essential services to our communities most vulnerable citizens. But as our economy continues to recover from a deep and prolonged recession, I believe that raising taxes on all Americans will only hinder economic growth and create additional burdens for American families, who have seen their wages and home values fall, while the cost of energy and many consumer goods continue to climb. For small businesses – which produce a net of two-thirds of all new jobs - higher taxes will further hinder their ability to expand and create jobs especially during this tepid economic recovery. To encourage economic growth, I will continue to use my voice and my vote in Congress to ease the tax burden on every day, hard-working Americans and job creators.
Budget, Deficit, Debt: Since President Obama took office, out-of-control federal spending has sent our national debt soaring in excess of $16 trillion, putting both our long term future prosperity and the short term economic recovery of our great nation at risk. In order to move forward and encourage economic growth, it is essential that we get our nation’s fiscal house in order. During my time as Budget Chairman in the State Assembly, I balanced the budget with a rainy day surplus of over $300 million while fully funding education. Further, during my time in Congress, I have voted to cut billions in wasteful Washington spending, cosponsored the Federal Balanced Budget Amendment, and will fight against more reckless borrowing in order to protect primary services for those in need. It’s time to balance the budget without gimmicks, without tricks, and without borrowing trillions from other countries. The government must put an end to reckless spending, prioritize federal dollars, and implement meaningful measures, including a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, to get our debt under control.
Second Amendment: I am an adamant defender of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Congress must not hamper with the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. If we are to honor and uphold the Constitution, this right cannot be infringed upon. While those who use a firearm to commit a crime must be punished, legislation to limit gun rights for those who obey the law will do nothing more but damage our liberties. I believe our focus should be on increasing public safety through enforcement of current laws and and by working in Congress to support research into the root causes of gun violence in our nation that will include expansions in our understanding and support for those suffering from mental health.
Healthcare: I believe it is important that Congress help ensure that current and future generations of Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. I opposed the President’s health care law, however, because I have serious concerns about its cost, tax increases, large cuts to Medicare, restrictions on patient choice, as well as constitutional concerns about its mandate for all Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance. Instead of costly government mandates, I believe we need free market reforms that will increase patient choice and rein in spiraling healthcare costs. These include allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines, allowing small businesses and the self-employed to pool their resources to purchase health insurance through Association Health Plans, improving health care delivery, and reforming the current medical liability system, which forces doctors to either quit practicing medicine, or pay excessively high premiums which raises the cost of providing patient care. I will continue to pursue such common-sense solutions to improve health care quality and affordability for all Americans.
Energy & the Environment: Energy independence is vital to our nation’s future prosperity and security. I believe the American people deserve to have an “all of the above” plan that increases the supply of American-made energy in environmentally sound ways, increases alternative forms of energy, and encourages energy and conservation. Increasing access to American-made energy ranging from natural gas to wind technology will create new job opportunities here at home, lessen our dependence on oil from unfriendly nations, and help reduce the burden of high gas prices on American families. The United States has long been the world’s leader in innovation and technology. I am confident that we will find solutions to meet the needs of our nation while upholding our commitment to our environment so that future generations of America will continue to enjoy our country’s pristine and unmatched natural beauty.
Transportation & Infrastructure: Essential to a prosperous economy is a functional, efficient, and safe transportation system. Nowhere is this more evident than in Southern California, where our roadways are a vital conduit for transporting billions of dollars worth of goods and services. Despite our need for an efficient and fluid transportation system, our region is facing a crisis in transportation characterized by dramatic growth in commuter and truck traffic, limited transportation funding, and high infrastructure improvement costs. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have been a consistent advocate for transportation funding and relief for our region. As Congress considers major highway and infrastructure legislation during this session, I will continue to work on federal policies to address Southern California’s growing transportation and water infrastructure needs.
Medicare & Social Security: As our nation’s budgetary difficulties are likely to continue for many years, a great deal of discussion has taken place in Congress about the future of Social Security and Medicare. I believe we must protect these programs for the more than forty million current beneficiaries and for the millions of Americans who will one day rely upon these crucial programs. Any reforms to these Social Security and Medicare must reflect our commitment to those who have spent their entire lives paying into the system, but also ensure that younger workers may achieve financial security and health care in retirement. Because of the importance of these programs, I will closely analyze all alternatives for reform to ensure we keep our promises to today’s seniors, while ensuring the long-term viability of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.
Immigration: There is no doubt that America is an open and welcoming society. Our nation has benefited from the experiences and contributions of the millions of immigrants who have come to our shores seeking increased opportunities and a better life for them and their families. Some of our greatest and recent innovators including the founders of Google and Yahoo! came to this country through legal immigration. At the same time, I recognize that our nation's immigration system is flawed and in need of reform. I am focused in Congress on protecting public safety, American jobs and education. Any immigration reform must start with a commitment to protect American jobs for those here legally and a making sure that both our Northern and Southern borders and all of our coast lines are secured to ensure that we can keep our neighborhoods and children safe from the devastating effects of human trafficking, drug trafficking, terrorism and gang violence.
Size of Government: While federal spending and interference in the private sector has grown in recent years, our economy has continued to struggle to recover and create jobs. Of course we all agree some federal services are needed to get our most vulnerable citizens the help they need. However, big government spending and mandates continue to crowd out private investment, innovation and economic growth. I believe we need a smaller government that restores more autonomy to states and local governments who know their citizens best. While there are areas in which the federal government must invest in – such as national defense and major transportation infrastructure – Congress has a duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively, wisely and without waste or outright fraud. I am confident that the federal government can eliminate such wasteful spending while preserving programs that keep our nation secure, maintain and restore our essential infrastructure and ensure that our most vulnerable citizens get the services they need.
Ontario Airport: The Ontario International Airport is a vital component of our community's transportation infrastructure, serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and portions of north Orange County and east Los Angeles County. The airport serves over 5 million passengers a year, with 93,000 flights on an annual basis. In addition, this facility generates $5.4 billion in economic benefits to the Inland Empire and is directly attributable to over 7,000 jobs. With the increasing congestion at Los Angeles Airport (LAX) and with LAX having no possibility of expanding, it is vital that we maintain a strong and vibrant Ontario airport, which has faced many challenges in recent years. I believe that transferring control of the airport to the city of Ontario will improve service to local residents who utilize its services, relieve the strain that is being placed on other airports around Southern California, and bolster our region’s economy.
Agriculture: Agriculture plays a pivotal role in our nation's economy. We in California enjoy so many fresh foods locally grown due to our wonderful weather and soils. Unfortunately, agriculture has been an overlooked profession that has dwindled in practice over the years. Those who continue to take part in farming are faced with many difficulties and obstacles. As a nation founded and sustained by farmers I believe we must ensure that federal farm policies are properly balanced to meet the needs of those who produce our food and help hard-working American families continue putting food on the table.