Tuesday night, President Obama laid out a bold plan to get our economy and our country back on track. As I watched his speech, I felt energized and eager to work with the President on much of his agenda, including –
- Extending unemployment insurance benefits and the payroll tax cut. With 20% unemployment in parts of the 2nd Congressional District, these are urgent priorities.
- Preventing foreclosures. Our economy and consumer confidence can't recover unless we help millions of struggling American families find a way to stay in their homes. Letting responsible homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates is a great first step, saving average homeowners $3,000 a year.
Reviving American manufacturing. It’s about time we ended tax deductions for outsourcing jobs. And what a great idea to re-direct this funding to cover moving expenses for companies that bring jobs home! Let’s stop rewarding the shipment of jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs in America.
- Accountability for bad actors on Wall Street. I applaud the President’s creation of a Financial Crimes Unit to investigate and prosecute cases involving abusive lending practices and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis.
- Tax fairness as part of a sensible debt reduction plan. President Obama correctly framed this as a choice: “Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else—like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.” It’s not class warfare, it’s fairness and basic math.
- Clean energy as the cornerstone of a new green economy. The President made a strong case for energy efficiency and renewable energy including a long-overdue end to massive subsidies for the oil industry and using those funds to “double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising.”
President Obama is doing a great job overall, but I don’t agree with him on everything. In Congress, I’ll push for a much faster end to the war in Afghanistan. I'll oppose natural gas “fracking” and off-shore drilling, and I'll urge the President to "double down" even more on clean energy.
One thing I've learned from my work as a state legislator and my 12 years in local government is how to respectfully disagree and firmly push for change, while also working with people of all political persuasions to advance points of agreement. That’s the working spirit President Obama is calling for from this polarized Congress.
With your continued support, by this time next year I hope to be putting my shoulder to the wheel in a new Congress that works with the President to move our country forward!