Access to affordable health care is critical to quality of life in the Capital Region and to the success of American small businesses trying to compete in a global market that gets larger every day. The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is far from a perfect law. That is why we have to respond to challenges in our health care system and fix the parts of the ACA that don’t work while moving forward with the provisions that do. As the health law’s implementation proceeds, we are seeing seniors who no longer have to choose between prescription drugs or putting food on the table. Sick or injured Americans are no longer being dropped from their plans simply because they are unwell or have a preexisting condition. Women can no longer be discriminated against simply based on their gender. And young adults can stay on their family's plan. Our spiraling health care costs are now growing at the slowest rate in decades. In Congress, I will continue to work with local and state leaders to improve the health care delivery system, focus on prevention and fix what's broken.
Clean Energy Jobs
I first ran for Congress a few years ago because our nation had no clear comprehensive energy policy. I believe in an “all of the above” strategy for energy production that creates jobs, greens our environment, and decreases our crippling dependence on fossil fuels. But I also believe that energy efficiency should be our fuel of choice on the demand side. To make this happen, we must promote policies that foster smarter outcomes, increase clean energy development and deployment, and help small businesses and homeowners cut costs. We are in the middle of a global race on clean energy and innovation and finishing in second place is not an option.
When Women Succeed America Succeeds
We cannot get serious about supporting the American middle-class and those struggling to enter it without supporting women in the workplace. We must enact policies that guarantee fairness in equity along gender lines. From increasing the minimum wage, to ensuring equal pay for equal work, to providing paid leave for new mothers, Congress must step up to the plate and support our mothers, sisters, and daughters.
Expanding the Middle Class
As I meet with New Yorkers in communities across the Capital Region, the top concern I hear every day is jobs and the economy. Since the Great Recession, we have steadily been adding jobs, but we can do better. Republicans and Democrats in Washington must come together to work with private sector businesses to create quality American jobs. I support policies that re-shore manufacturing jobs, invest in infrastructure, and provide incentives to small businesses that encourage growth and expansion.
Reducing our debt and annual deficits is a goal on which we can all agree, but we must allow our moral compass to be our guide in this endeavor and avoid short-sighted, irresponsible budgeting tactics that cost jobs and harm our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. In short, we cannot balance the budget on the backs of our seniors, veterans, and children.
I support an ambitious budget that invests where we must and cuts where we can, and reverses reckless sequestration-driven cuts that only serve to hurt the poor and sap the economy. Washington must move away from political theater and budget fights that lead to government shutdowns. That is no way to solve our problems. Instead, we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work – toward a responsible budgeting process that focuses on economic growth and ensures billionaires and major corporations pay their fair share.