White Plains, N.Y.
Bachelor's degree, political science, UCLA, 1978.
United States representative, 2009-present; California state senator, 2000-08; California state assemblyman, 1996-2000 and 1982-92.
In 50 years of experience with gun laws, we have found them extremely effective at disarming law-abiding citizens. We have found them extremely ineffective at disarming criminals, madmen and terrorists. Fortunately, we know what works. Executing murderers works. Locking up other gun predators until they are old and feeble works. Confining the dangerously mentally ill so they can be treated works. Responsible armed citizens who can return fire works. These laws protected us well for many decades. But beginning in the 1960s, under relentless attack by leftist politicians, our governments abandoned them. Today, we are reaping the whirlwind.
No, I support a healthy, competitive market where families can have the widest possible choice of health plans, the freedom to choose the one that best meets their needs and a supportive tax structure that assures basic health care is within the financial reach of every American.
It should respect the rule of law and the constitutional authority of the federal government to make and enforce our immigration laws. As Attorney General Sessions recently said, if our immigration laws are not to be enforced, then our borders mean precisely nothing. Our immigration laws are essential to promote assimilation – the glue that holds together a nation drawn from every continent. Regulating the flow and setting the conditions of immigration assure that uniquely American traditions and values – a common language, a common culture, and a common devotion to American constitutional principles – are preserved. If we were to tolerate, much less reward, illegal immigration, we undermine the process of assimilation that our immigration laws protect and make a mockery of the millions of legal immigrants who have obeyed those laws and done everything our country has asked.
The tax reform bill has lowered the average federal income tax burden of families in the 4th Congressional District by $1,900 a year. The reform’s lower tax rates more than compensate for the cap on state and local tax deductions for the vast majority of families. You can see the direct effect on your family by visiting taxplancalculator.com and inputting your own tax information. But more importantly, changes to business taxation are already restoring competitiveness to American exports and returning hundreds of billions of dollars of offshore capital back into this country, resulting in higher wages, better job opportunities and faster economic growth than we’ve seen in a decade.
The unfinished business of the tax cut is to restrain spending, and this is where Congress is failing. I have headed a task force for the largest caucus within the Congress that will balance the budget while making the tax cuts permanent by fundamental reforms in our service delivery systems.
I do. I abhor marijuana, but I believe our laws have utterly failed to suppress its use and have created a violent, underground market that is a threat to public safety. One deputy pointed out that if he gave $20 to two high school students at random and instructed one to buy marijuana and the other to buy alcohol, the one buying marijuana would always be the first to return. Regulating marijuana in the same manner as we regulate alcohol would be more effective at keeping it out of the hands of young people and would remove the criminal element from the industry. I believe that we should assure that every person knows the risks and dangers of marijuana, vigorously enforce drunk and drugged driving laws, but ultimately leave it to the judgment of legal adults whether to use it – as we do already for alcohol, tobacco, skydiving, bungee jumping and every other risky pleasure.
According to the system trustees, Medicare will be insolvent in 2029 and Social Security in 2035. Since Americans have made all their investment and retirement plans based on the promise these systems will be there for them, it is essential that we restore them, and that any changes be phased in gradually so that those at or near retirement are protected.
For Medicare, I support phasing in a premium support plan based on the popular Medicare Advantage program. Beneficiaries would choose from a wide range of pre-negotiated plans and Medicare would underwrite the cost based on age, health and income.
For Social Security, I support slowly phasing in a higher retirement age to reflect the much longer productive lifespan those entering the workforce can expect, and offering the option to new enrollees to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes themselves for higher returns.
Master’s of public administration, concentration in international relations, Princeton University, 2010; bachelor’s degree, economics, Principia College, 2004.
Program analyst, USAID, 2012-15; policy adviser, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Department of Defense, 2010-12; staff, Congressional Commission for Wartime Contracting, 2009-10; Iraq country coordinator, U.S. State Department, 2005-08.
I am horrified each time the news reports on more children or churchgoers killed in another mass shooting. Like a lot of people in our district, I grew up hunting with my family, and respect the rights of responsible gun owners. But when I ask my gun-owning friends and family if they are supportive of universal background checks, bans on assault weapons, and 10-day waiting periods, they nod their heads. California gun regulations do not hinder responsible gun owners, they prevent criminals from obtaining weapons. That is why I would push for the nation to enact the same, common-sense legislation we have in California. I believe that Americans are less divided on this issue than it appears, and that most of us can agree on a set of gun safety measures to protect our families and communities from this awful violence.
Ensuring access to quality and affordable health care should be something we can all agree on, regardless of party. Instead, this Congress has created instability and threatened to take coverage away from millions of Americans with its attempt to repeal the ACA. I am committed to the goal of universal coverage, and have outlined three steps to get us there. First is to stabilize the ACA exchanges, by restoring funding for enrollment and mandating that the administration make continued cost-sharing payments. Second is to get spiraling health care costs under control, beginning with price transparency legislation that would require insurers and providers to disclose the true costs to deliver care. Finally, we should ensure real competition and give people better coverage options by allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare. As your congresswoman, I would work with legislators in both parties to make quality health care more accessible and affordable for all.
We must reject politically motivated attempts to divide our nation by race or background and instead pursue wise policy solutions. When our current Congress fails to pass immigration reform or a DREAM Act, they create uncertainty for the economy and millions of people. I will work in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, because our community depends on immigrants, and we must work together to build a consensus that can get support from both parties. A piecemeal approach won’t work and only serves to further divisions. First, we need to establish an efficient and transparent way for people to come into our country and contribute to our economy. We also need a DREAM Act that ensures those who came to this country as children and have known no other home for most of their lives have a clear path to citizenship. This is common sense, and we cannot afford to play political games with people’s lives.
The tax bill amounted to a historic giveaway to wealthy political donors, at the expense of the middle class and future generations of Americans. In 2018, families with incomes below $25,000 will see just $40 from the bill, while the highest-earning households receive an average income tax cut of $32,650. And it gets worse over time: by 2027, 86% of the tax bill’s benefit will go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. The CBO recently determined that the tax bill will add $1.8 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, meaning that America is going further into debt in order to finance a wealth transfer to the rich. And now politicians who voted for this scam, like our congressman, are using the deficits it creates as an excuse to threaten programs like Social Security and Medicare. For me this is not just a fiscal issue, but a deeply moral one. I will never support unfair legislation that hurts middle-class Americans and future generations in order to further enrich the ultra-wealthy.
It is time for Congress to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. Marijuana should be creating tax revenue for better schools, cleaner environments, and safer roads, not filling our prisons at an enormous cost to the public. Yet even as California and other legalized states work to bring the cannabis trade into the economy, federal prohibition makes it difficult to properly regulate issues from environmental impacts to product safety. It also creates public safety risks, as entrepreneurs are forced to operate in a cash economy because of restrictions on banking. It is in California’s interest to carefully manage the growth of this industry, something that’s not fully possible as long as we operate with uncertain threat of federal prosecution. Ultimately, we cannot lose sight of the human cost of the “war on drugs” as enforcement has a disproportionate, negative impact on our communities of color.
Social Security and Medicare are a promise made to all Americans: that by paying into these programs throughout your working life, you are assured health care and a secure income in old age. Here in the 4th District 166,000 people, almost one in four of our neighbors, receives Social Security. Yet with Baby Boomers approaching retirement, the Social Security Trust Fund is set to run out by 2034. I support a simple fix. Currently, income is subject to Social Security tax only up to the first $128,400. Lifting that cap so that all Americans pay in at the same rate would extend the life of the Trust Fund for decades, ensuring its benefits are there for workers who are counting on it for retirement. And to lower the cost of health care for seniors, I strongly support legislation to permit Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate down the cost of prescription medications, just as it does for other medical services.