On The Issues
Flint Water Crisis
When I first learned about high lead levels in Flint’s water, I immediately turned to federal agencies and community partners to secure millions in federal relief to the city—an effort that continues today. Working with Republicans and Democrats, I led the fight in Congress to deliver $170 million in aid to help remove pipes and expand health services for families exposed to lead. I have also pushed for accountability when it comes to the failed state decisions that led to this man-made crisis, including passing bipartisan legislation to strengthen public warning notifications when it comes to unacceptable levels of lead found in drinking water.
In the richest nation in the history of the world, everyone deserves access to clean drinking water. These actions to aid in Flint’s recovery are huge steps forward, but more needs to be done. I’ll continue to fight for more state and federal resources to help Flint’s families.
Jobs and the Economy
My top priority has been and continues to be job creation and strengthening our economy here in Michigan. Everyone who works hard and plays by the rules should have a fair opportunity to succeed. That’s why I believe we need to reinvest in the middle class by making smart investments to fix our crumbling infrastructure—our roads, bridges, highways, water systems and ports—while investing in small businesses that seek to locate and create jobs in Michigan.
Michiganders are working harder than ever but aren’t getting ahead. That’s why I’ve supported legislation that would raise wages and ensure workers can get the skills and workforce training they need to compete. Congress needs to get to work passing legislation I’ve introduced that supports manufacturing here in America, not overseas. I continue to champion the ‘Make it in America’ jobs plan in Congress to revitalize our nation’s manufacturing base and help create high-skill, high-wage jobs for Michigan and for America.
Increasing Access to Affordable Health Care
I believe health care is a human right. Yet many Michiganders continue to face year-after-year premium increases, high costs of prescriptions, and other barriers to affordable health care. That’s why I support expanding Medicare, which will help bring premiums and health care costs down by allowing young people to buy into the program, and enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Congress should be working to lower the cost of premiums and prescription drugs, not trying to take away health care from Americans. That’s why I voted against Republican efforts in Congress to take away health care from millions of Americans, actions that have resulted in higher premiums and raised the price of prescription drugs.
Protecting our Environment and Great Lakes
Protecting our environment and Great Lakes is vital to protecting our health and way of life here in Michigan. We are blessed with some of the most precious natural resources in the world—they are integral to our livelihood and economy—and they must be protected. Whether it’s protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species like Asian carp, stopping the threat of Canadian nuclear waste on the shores of Lake Huron, or ensuring clean water for communities I represent, we must protect our environment and water resources.
I’ve led the fight against a proposed permanent Canadian nuclear waste storage facility that, if built, would be located less than a mile from Lake Huron and threaten our Great Lakes. When Donald Trump sought to eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which protects our Great Lakes from invasive species and pollution, I worked with Republicans and Democrats to restore full funding to this essential program. We cannot afford to jeopardize billions of dollars in economic activity that are generated by the Great Lakes each year in the boating, fishing and tourism industry. We must protect our natural resources now and for future generations.
Investing in Education and Opportunity for our Kids
Every child—no matter where they may live—deserves a quality education. Investing in education, including K-12 and higher education, must be a priority because it will mean that Michigan remains competitive in a global economy. Ensuring that our children have the opportunity to go to college or get a technical certificate will mean that our state and country will have a well-trained workforce to attract the high-skilled, high-paying jobs of the twenty-first century.
In Congress, I introduced a comprehensive package of bills to help address a lack of positive opportunities for our children. My legislation would invest in after school programs in communities like Flint, Saginaw and Bay City. Providing a safe after school space and a summer job will help to provide opportunity for our kids in mid-Michigan. My legislation would also allow schools greater flexibility in offering various extracurricular activities that align with a child’s school curriculum like physical fitness, art, music and STEM education. It also supports federal grants to ensure that young adults have the opportunity to get a summer job directly linked to their academic or occupational learning. Congress should invest students to make our educational system the best in the world.
Strengthening Mid-Michigan Communities
In Congress, I worked tirelessly to secure almost $240 million in existing federal funds to help clean up our neighborhoods, removing abandoned homes and blight. These funds continue to help revitalize and spur investment in cities like Flint and Saginaw, strengthening our neighborhoods and creating opportunity.
I also continue to fight for additional federal resources so that cities have the necessary resources to fight violent crime. I have supported federal grants to help local, state and federal law enforcement coordinate intelligence and get criminals off the street with additional personnel on the ground. When we received these federal grants in the past, Flint’s homicide rate dropped by over 50 percent during a four month period. Additional resources and law enforcement will help to make our community safer and greatly reduce violent crime.