Campaign Finance Reform
Like Theodore Roosevelt, I firmly believe that “there is no enemy of free government more dangerous and none so insidious as the corruption of the electorate.” Therefore, unlike my Democratic and Republican opponents – both of whom have made their careers on the back of corporate money – I will never accept a dime of corporate money.
Action must be taken now to end the culture of corruption that has disgraced our political system.
In addition to taking the #NoCorporatePAC pledge, I will also support efforts to:
- Overturn the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United, Buckely v. Valeo, and McCutcheon v. FEC via constitutional amendment
- Require “dark money” groups to disclose their major donors when engaging in political activity or funding political ads
- Create a federally operated “corporate registry” that would require all companies doing business in America to disclose their real and beneficial owners
- Subject digital advertisers to the same disclosure rules as TV, mail, and radio advertisers
- Ban former members of Congress from lobbying their former colleagues
I support the Green New Deal. Climate change is the defining issue of our time. Our generation will be judged, and we will ultimately judge ourselves, on whether we save our planet from ruin.
Addressing the climate crisis begins with cutting carbon pollution roughly in half by 2030 and decarbonizing the entire U.S. economy no later than 2050. Doing so will be a challenge, but it need not be a burden. Just as America’s race to the moon generated remarkable advancements in science and technology and created hundreds of thousands of jobs, so too can our fight for planetary survival ignite a new era of job creation and technological innovation. And Pennsylvania, which is the third-highest carbon polluter in the nation, has an opportunity to lead the way.
I support Governor Jay Inslee’s six-part Climate Mission Agenda, which includes:
- The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan which sets rules to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2045;
- The Evergreen Economy Plan, which creates 8 million family-wage, union jobs by investing $9 trillion in infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovation over the next 10 years;
- The Global Climate Mobilization Plan, which places climate action at the heart of U.S. foreign policy;
- The Freedom from Fossil Fuels Plan, which ends corporate welfare, holds polluters accountable for harming the environment, and transitions the U.S. economy off of fossil fuels;
- The Community Climate Justice Plan, which confronts environmental inequality by prioritizing investments in communities most impacted by climate change; and
- The Growing Rural Prosperity Plan, which bolsters America’s farming communities, improves forest health, and protects America’s public land.
An Economy Of Hope
The political and moral health of America rest on the promise of equal access to economic opportunity.
Today, however, the American economy is defined not by equality, but by radical inequality. Wealth and income disparities are at heights not seen since the Gilded Age. Median wages for US workers have stagnated for nearly 50 years. Working families struggle to pay for child care. Racial and gender disparities persist. Life expectancy is in decline. And millennials—despite being the most educated generation ever—are destined to become the first generation in American history with less affluence than their parents.
Meanwhile, companies like Amazon—which doubled its profits from $5.6 billion in 2017 to $11.2 billion in 2018—continue to pay zero dollars in federal income taxes. This is outrageous.
In short, America is in desperate need of an economic course correction. A good place to start would be investing in infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives Pennsylvania a D+ grade on our roads, bridges, waterways, electrical grids, and other infrastructure. Instead of giving away billions of dollars of tax cuts to corporations, we should invest in our aging roads and bridges. Not only will this create jobs now, but it will help prepare our economy for the future.
As your representative in Congress, I will promote common good capitalism that offers Americans the ability to pursue their own form of happiness.
- Creating good jobs and raising the minimum wage.
- Providing small businesses with tax and regulatory relief and improving their access to capital.
- Adopting a fair tax system and closing corporate loopholes.
- Ensuring equal pay for equal work for minorities, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Advocating for paid family leave policies.
- Revising the childcare tax credit to give more relief to working class families.
- Implementing job training and apprenticeship programs, particularly for those without college degrees.
Student loan forgiveness
As someone who owes six figures in student loans, I know full well the heavy burden that student loan debt imposes on graduates and families. Studies show that of the 44 million Americans with student loan debt, nearly 90% struggle to make monthly payments. We can’t buy a home, get married, save for retirement, or contribute to charity. We are less likely to pursue advanced degrees and less likely to start our own businesses. Bankruptcy isn’t an option, and when we die, our student loan debts are passed on to our loved ones.
The student loan system is rigged against us. As your representative in Congress, I will strongly support legislation addressing the student loan crisis. The time has come to free students and families from the mental and financial strains of student loans and allow them to become full and active participants in the American economy.
As the son of a public school teacher and a graduate of Hershey High School, I understand that an investment in America’s future is synonymous with an investment in America’s public schools. It is the teachers who are the hope of the nation.
- Prioritize debt-free education for all Americans.
- Expand access to student loan forgiveness programs and cap interest rates for students and parents.
- Invest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving institutions (MSIs).
- Increase opportunities for trade school and apprenticeship programs.
- Support higher teacher pay and increase funding for Title I schools.
I believe we must strive for a more compassionate America. That’s why we must pass legislation like the Equality Act, which creates a nationwide standard for non-discrimination. We must take up the legacy of Dale Jennings, the rioters at Stonewall, Nancy Wechsler, and so many others to make sure that the voices of LGBTQ+ Americans are heard in the halls of government so that policy can respond to the unique difficulties faced by LGBTQ+ people. From healthcare, to housing, to sexual violence, the LGBTQ+ community has been ignored and marginalized by our society for far too long.
Ending the gun violence epidemic
A few months ago, I visited a group of students at a local high school in Central Pennsylvania. When I asked them what issues concerned them the most, a young girl raised her hand and said, with icy impartiality, “being shot.”
With more than 365 mass shootings in 2019 alone, with roughly 11,000 people in the U.S. killed in firearm assaults each year, with our children living in fear of being murdered at school, the time has come, at long last, to adopt meaningful, commonsense gun safety legislation.
My suggestions do not restrict a law-abiding person’s right to buy a firearm, nor do they authorize the government to knock on your door and confiscate your guns. Instead, they are designed solely to limit one’s ability to commit mass murder.
- Implementing universal background checks.
- Closing gun show loopholes.
- Enacting red flag laws.
- Banning high-capacity magazines.
- Requiring waiting periods on gun purchases.
- Imposing a ban on assault-style weapons.
I believe that every American deserves access to affordable healthcare, and I am proud to be a member of the party that passed Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act.
As your representative in Congress, I will be a strong advocate for sensible healthcare reform. I will engage industry leaders to seek new ways to improve our healthcare system. I will oppose any effort to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions. And I will do my very best to ensure that small businesses and families across the Commonwealth have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.
- Build Community Health Centers across the country to provide more Americans with access to primary care and resources to maintain healthy lifestyles.
- Lower the cost of prescription drugs.
- Create a robust public option that allows any American to enroll in Medicare.
- Expanding access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion.
- Invest heavily in mental health treatment programs.
With an average of 13 overdoses per day, the opioid epidemic is the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania. In 2017, nearly 5,500 Pennsylvanians lost their lives to drug addiction—more than any other state. Across the Commonwealth, mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends wake up each day bearing the heaviest of burdens—wondering if their loved ones will be able to get the help they need, or fall victim to the nondiscriminatory disease of addiction.
As your representative in Congress, I will make combatting the opioid crisis a top priority. Partisan politics will not do; instead, we must treat opioid addiction as the public health crisis that it is and fight for the resources that our communities need to save lives.
- Conduct more research into alternative painkillers, including medical marijuana.
- Increase funding for state and local governments and nonprofit programs to boost treatment options and harm reduction services.
- Expand access to the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone (known by its brand name, Narcan).
- Promote evidence-based rehabilitation over ineffective incarceration.
- Crack down on those who incite and profit from the opioid crisis.
The national security threats facing America today are immense. As your representative in Congress, I will be on the front line of protecting America’s national security interests.
In January 2019, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) issued a report to Congress warning that China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are currently capable of launching cyberattacks against America’s critical infrastructure, such as energy or electrical systems.
Cyberattacks are not the only threat to America’s national security. With President Trump withdrawing from two of the most significant peace agreements in world history—the INF Nuclear Treaty and the Iran Nuclear Deal—America now faces the possibility of a 21st century nuclear arms race.
Equally dangerous is the prospect of biological warfare. The weaponization of a biological agent such as anthrax, smallpox, or a virus not yet known could cause catastrophic damage to humankind.
- Sustain a strong International Affairs Budget to ensure diplomacy and maintain relationships with allies across the globe.
- Promote democracy as a means to reverse the rise of authoritarianism abroad.
- Put an end to endless war and prioritize future threats like biological war and climate change.
- Prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
We all use digital devices today. But our laws have not kept pace with our advancements in technology. I will work to change that.
I believe that we all have a right to control our personal information. Companies like Facebook and Google should never be allowed to take and sell our data without our consent. And if they do, they must be held accountable.
I also believe strongly in the principle of net neutrality. Internet service providers (ISPs) must treat fairly all data that travels over their networks. ISPs must also refrain from discriminating against or in favor of particular apps, sites, or services.
As your Congressman, I promise to be your strongest ally in the fight for personal privacy, freedom of speech, and an open Internet.
- Advocate for personal privacy and net neutrality.
- Implement a “downgrading tax” on tech giants, thus rending surveillance capitalism a prohibitively expensive business model while also redistributing wealth to journalism, public education, and innovation that benefits society.
- Regulate the Attention Economy to curb the negative effects of smartphones and social media.
- Ban campaign advertisements on social media.
I am a strong supporter of unions—history has shown that the growth and decline of unions in the United States mirrors the growth and decline of America’s middle class. I believe that all workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
Union members in the Tenth District can count on me to be a dedicated ally in the fight to:
- Protect union rights.
- Support prevailing wages and Project Labor Agreements.
- Defeat the radical ideologues who seek to put unions out of existence.
Veterans & Military Families
With my younger brother currently training to become an officer in the U.S. armed forces, few issues hit as close to home for me as supporting and protecting the brave men and women who serve our country.
As Americans, we have a moral obligation to support our service members. This is particularly true in Pennsylvania, which is home to nearly one million Veterans. As your representative in Congress, I will be a champion not only for Veterans, but for the parents, spouses, and children who care for their loved ones once they return home.
- Fully fund the VA, increase clinical pay, and cut red tape to make it easier for healthcare personnel to be hired.
- Provide more sustainable housing options for Veterans and their families.
- Increase transparency and streamline resolution of disability claims and appeals.
- Invest in transition programs and support community organizations that help with reintegration.