Protecting Retirement and Empowering our Seniors
Unlike many in Congress, I am completely opposed to cutting Medicare and Social Security. These are essential programs funded with money that our Seniors have worked hard to earn. In fact, I’d like for these programs to be enhanced, with more funding for Medicare and a significant cost of living increase for Social Security. Those two improvements will strengthen these programs to better reflect the expenses our Seniors incur in their daily lives.
It’s time to ensure once and for all that our Seniors can live with dignity, freed from economic insecurity created by the careless actions of Washington politicians.
As a lawyer who used to sue nursing homes, I strongly support increased oversight of nursing homes and senior living communities. We need to increase the quality of healthcare throughout the district to ensure our Seniors can live safe, productive and healthy lives.
Strengthening our Schools
As I travel across the district, I frequently hear that our local schools require more funding and support to provide the highest quality of education to the next generation. Our local school boards need a productive partner in Washington; a partner that embraces the value of a good education for every student. We must work to eliminate discrepancies in quality of or access to education. Those discrepancies undermine the strength of our communities.
We also must increase access to higher education and vocational training. I support the creation of opportunity for every Floridian by making higher education and vocational training affordable. I will support legislation to lower the cost of education significantly and open up higher education and vocational pathways for job retraining. These efforts will be especially focused on veterans who wish to enter the civilian workforce, rural communities, and other important groups in our district.
Important Federal Research Appropriations
Our nation prospers when the federal government invests in scientific knowledge. For many decades, Congress has encouraged a healthy partnership with America’s top research universities. Important institutions like the University of Florida help the entire nation when our leaders in Washington support robust appropriations for basic research and the applied sciences. Those funds are used to train and educate the next generation of American scientists and engineers. By nurturing and encouraging valuable relationships between the federal government and the educational community, Congress will allow our region to continue making major contributions to agricultural developments and scientific advancements on the world stage. As your Congressman, I will be a strong spokesman for the University of Florida and our state’s other institutions of higher learning during the research budgeting process. I will advocate for new budget priorities that reinforce our country’s leadership in engineering and the physical sciences. For example, I will advocate for more funding to identify the best methods of teaching math and science to our elementary and high school students. With one more ally on Capitol Hill who believes in the value of science and scientific research, North Central Florida will continue to lead the way in technological innovations, valuable public health improvements and key enhancements to our national security.
Saving and Improving Lives With Better Healthcare
My highest priority will be working with representatives on both sides of the aisle to enact significant legislation to reform the Affordable Care Act into a system that makes sense for Florida families. These reforms would provide Floridians more choice by establishing a Medicare Public Option for every American. Other measures will address the weaknesses of the ACA while keeping sensible parts of the legislation intact. For example, we must continue to ensure that nobody is ever denied healthcare because of pre-existing conditions. An outright repeal of the ACA, without a quality replacement, would be a disaster for families in our district.
I’m also committed to increasing access to quality healthcare in the rural parts of our district. As a resident of a rural community myself, I understand the critical need for better healthcare services in these communities. I will not allow Congress to continue to neglect rural Florida.
Last but certainly not least, I’ve personally witnessed the ravages of the opioid crisis in our district and throughout our nation. Other than empty promises, Washington has failed to address the harm that opioid addiction is doing to our communities. I will support a real plan that will save lives and restore hope for those families affected by this horrific crisis.
Investing in our Infrastructure
Our roads, bridges, seaports, airports, and government buildings should be fully-funded as part of a Made in America jobs plan to generate thousands of good jobs for hard-working Floridians. This plan will increase the ability of our district to compete economically. It will improve the quality of life for every resident of the district.
As your Congressman, I will immediately work with congressional leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties and with President Trump to generate significant investments to improve the infrastructure in our district. The strong folks living in our Gulf Coast communities have overcome unexpected business closures, crippling restrictions on commercial fishing, powerful hurricanes and catastrophic oil spills. Oftentimes we come back stronger than ever, but we deserve our fair share of investments by our federal government. When I go to
Washington, I will bring our tax dollars home to strengthen Florida communities.
Airport expansion is a high priority for me. There are counties in this district with only a grass-covered airstrip. We must improve the ability of our businesses to transport goods by air and create low-cost options for air travel by all our local residents.
Good Jobs and Economic Opportunity for All
Many communities in our district have fallen behind other parts of Florida and the nation when it comes to economic opportunity. Everyone I meet wants better access to good jobs with living wages that can support Florida’s working families. I believe that government should be a productive, proactive partner with the private sector to remedy the lack of such jobs in many communities. We need to make targeted investments and create a fairer tax code to fuel Florida job growth. Congress ought to help create an environment to attract new industries to our district; ones that are tailored to our local workforce. Small businesses are the engine that drives job creation, and we must reduce the bureaucratic red tape that makes it harder for our small and medium-size businesses to be successful.
Additionally, we should index the minimum wage and support policies such as paid family leave and sick leave to help lift up the middle class and working families while reducing dependence on public assistance. I’m a strong supporter of organized labor. I recognize the contributions that our labor unions make towards a secure economic future for Florida families. I will demand that all federal contracts use local union labor and pay prevailing wages. But unions alone cannot create economic security. We need long-term middle and working class tax relief to ensure Florida families can keep more of the money they earn.
Honoring our military and our veterans
The men and women who have served and are serving in our armed forces deserve our utmost respect and our unfailing support. Congress and Washington bureaucrats have neglected the needs of our brave military and precious veterans for far too long. As your Congressman, I’m going to hold them accountable. The VA healthcare system needs productive reform and our soldiers and their families need better pay and benefits that reflect the sacrifices they are making on behalf of our nation.
Additionally, we need more funding for veteran job training and placement programs that help our veterans integrate into the civilian workforce. We must put their unique skills, strong work ethic, leadership, and patriotism to work with good jobs and good employers.
I will do everything in my power to ensure that Tyndall Air Force Base and other defense-related institutions in our district are fully-funded and continue to make a positive economic impact in our district. I will instruct my legislative staff to train local businesses to compete for lucrative defense contracts.
Supporting Farming, Logging, Fishing, and Agriculture
Farming, Logging, Fishing, and Agriculture is at the heart of Florida’s 2nd district, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and significant economic development. They are the lifeblood of many of our rural communities. As your Congressman, I promise to champion our local agriculture and fishing industries, supporting a farm bill that works for North Florida and North Central Florida, as well as environmental policies that make it easier for our local industries to be successful and sustainable. I will oppose oil drilling off the coast of Florida that would endanger our local fishing and tourism industries. You can count on me to oppose tariffs that undermine our ability to export Florida agricultural products to the global market.
Standing for Florida Values
As your Congressman, I’ll never forget where I come from or the Florida values that were instilled in me by my parents, my grandparents, and my teachers. Officials in Washington desperately need some common sense and straight talk…fresh from Florida. I’m going to give it to them, while fighting every day to protect our way of life.
I believe in religious freedom, individual liberty, local control, our great Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I will defend both our Second Amendment rights and our civil rights from attacks by political extremists. I will protect the rights of all American families to choose how they want to live and raise their children. Floridians know better than Washington bureaucrats, and I’ll be the strongest advocate for Florida values Congress has ever seen.