As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have fought consistently for robust investments in education, innovation, infrastructure, and the other things that make our nation strong, while also working to promote fairness and fiscal responsibility in the federal budget process.
I believe we are at a tipping point in the short history of campaign finance reform: We can either stand by the common-sense reforms enacted after the Watergate scandal, or we can cede control of political campaigns entirely to the wealthy and monied interests. The responsible choice is clear.
As a former educator and the son of a teacher, I have always viewed education as one of my highest priorities in Congress. I believe strongly that quality education is the essential key to our economic competitiveness and prosperity, and that current efforts to cut education funding in the name of reducing the budget are dangerously misguided and counterproductive.
The wise stewardship of our natural resources is critical to our nation's national security, public health, and quality of life, and I am a staunch supporter of efforts to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat from environmental contamination.
I believe that we can meet the new and renewed national security challenges we face while emphasizing America's role as a force for global peace and stability and as an exemplar of democratic values.
Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have tried to advance commonsense reforms that protect our communities from harm while still allowing responsible, law-abiding citizens to own and use guns. Our current laws are failing us, and I refuse to believe that this issue is too complicated or too politically divisive to be addressed comprehensively and effectively.
As the senior Democratic Member of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, I strongly support adequate funding for a broad range of programs designed to promote affordable housing, homeownership, and community development.
We must ensure that our government makes good on its obligation to provide them with adequate health care, educational and career opportunities, and other support services. We must also ensure that those who continue to serve on active duty have the support they need from back home, whether it is adequate protective equipment, compensation for extended or repeated tours of duty, or sufficient training and recuperation time between tours.
We must maintain our roads, highways and interstates, and bridges, which are critical to our economic prosperity as well as our quality of life. But new and widened roads alone cannot solve the traffic congestion and other problems that have become a part of daily life for many Fourth District residents -- we must also develop a true multi-modal transportation strategy in order to keep pace with our community's needs.