Education & Research - Major provisions of my Teaching Fellows legislation, which encourages our nation's best and brightest students to become teachers, were enacted as part of legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act in 2008. I authored a bill in 1993 to establish the Advanced Technological Education program at the National Science Foundation, which upgrades training for jobs in high-tech fields. I also sponsored the Price Education Affordability Act, enacted in 1997, which allows families to deduct the interest on student loans and to withdraw money from an IRA for education expenses without penalties. I am a longtime advocate of increased federal investment in biomedical, environmental, and other research, much of it based in North Carolina.
Foreign Policy - I am co-chairman of the House Democracy Partnership (formerly the House Democracy Assistance Commission), a 16 member-panel I initiated in 2005, that works directly with leaders of emerging democracies in every region of the world. I have taken the lead on pushing legislation to regulate use of private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the Bush Administration, I introduced legislation to require the implementation of a realistic strategy to bring our occupation of Iraq to an end.
Homeland Security - I have worked to ensure that all the people responsible for protecting our country receive the funding and support they need to do their jobs, including our first responders who would be at the forefront of responding to any terrorist attack or natural disaster. Read more at my subcommittee's website.
Campaign and Election Reform - At the beginning of the 110th Congress, I served on the House Ethics Task Force, which passed sweeping ethics reforms, establishing an independent Office of Congressional Ethics to hold members accountable for misconduct. My "Stand By Your Ad" Act, which requires candidates to appear in their ads and take responsibility for the ad's contents, was included in the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act. I am currently working to extend the "Stand By Your Ad" bill to Internet ads and automated phone calls and to reform the presidential public financing system so that more candidates will participate. I also helped author legislation that enables local jurisdictions to "buy out" inaccurate voting machines and replace them with new, improved equipment. That legislation was included in the Help America Vote Act, signed into law in 2002.
Housing - I worked in Congress to help make home financing available to many more low-income families through a program that successfully demonstrated how to make more families eligible for mortgages. I have also successfully pushed for increased housing opportunities for senior citizens and first-time home buyers. And I initiated the 1988 Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act, requiring lenders to disclose the full terms of home equity loans to consumers.
Transportation - I have persistently advocated for expedited construction and expansion of US 1, US 64, NC 55, and the Raleigh Outer Loop and have pushed for an improved rate of return on North Carolina's federal gas tax money. I am also a longtime proponent of transportation alternatives to ease clogged roadways in the Triangle.
Environment - I strongly support efforts to protect the environment, promote wise stewardship of our natural resources, and address global warming. I voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would establish a market-based incentive system to reduce carbon emissions and invest in clean energy solutions that would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. In addition to supporting improvements in the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, I secured planning and construction funds for the state-of-the-art Environmental Protection Agency facility in Research Triangle Park. I also helped push the Army Corps of Engineers to raise the Falls Lake dam level to ensure Raleigh's future water supply, and I have secured grants for stream restoration and wastewater processing in North Carolina communities.