2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
I believe the Second Amendment is clear; “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Gun control advocates from across the country are trying to take away the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to own and use a firearm. These actions are a threat to our freedoms and I have strongly opposed legislation that would infringe upon our Second Amendment rights.
The most basic role of government is to defend Americans and to ensure every citizens’ right to defend themselves. That’s why I have voted for and co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act as well as the Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act.
During my time in Congress, I have received an “A” rating by the NRA. I believe the right to bear arms is a fundamental principle upon which the founders built our nation and the reason we must preserve it for future generations.
The Fourth District is home to the most diverse and most productive agricultural communities in the state. From beans, Christmas trees and cattle to milk, mint, and poultry, we are fortunate to have thousands of family-owned farms to feed our communities and people around the world.
Growing up, I remember visiting my grandparents’ small farm in Indiana and helping my grandfather at sunrise. As I meet with farmers across the Fourth District, I often reflect on the hard work and values instilled by my grandparents. While the technology may change, the hard working nature of farmers does not.
In the face of unfair trade practices, I have supported countering cheap foreign imports like cherries from Turkey, as well as opening and expanding markets like dairy in Canada and pork in China. This is also why I am a strong supporter of President Trump’s new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, the USMCA.
As your voice in Congress, I will stand firm against out of touch proposals, and educate my colleagues to ensure the tireless work of over 15,000 farmers in mid- and Northern Michigan is not taken for granted. I will work diligently to make certain Michigan farmers are able to sell their products to more consumers around the world, ensure federal regulations do not impede farm operations, and preserve federal farm programs for generations to come.
In an increasingly complicated world, the combination of a strong defense and smart diplomacy is key to international stability and keeping our nation secure. Congress must ensure that our military remains the most effective and capable fighting force in the world to protect our freedoms and prevail whenever and wherever we are challenged. But, most of all, Congress must make sure the military has the necessary resources and superior technology to protect our brave men and women who wear the uniform, our most important asset.
It is no coincidence that providing for the common defense is listed in the first line of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States – this must continue to be the top priority of the federal government. I am committed to a strong national defense in order to respond to challenges from nations like China and Russia, deter rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and defeat violent extremists who know no borders.
Over a decade ago, our country faced a financial crisis. We have made incredible progress in the decade since that time. With the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and trade agreements like the USMCA, we have removed barriers and opened more markets for America’s job creators.
Free markets, free enterprise, innovation, and entrepreneurship are the foundation for economic growth and job creation in America and Michigan. Democrats in Washington are committed to enacting an increasingly radical Socialist agenda that will undermine these basic concepts which have historically placed America at the forefront of the global marketplace.
I believe our country must provide the next generation of Americans with the skills they need to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy. The skilled trades and the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math offer many opportunities for employment. That’s why I supported the STEM Education Act and programs in the skilled trades.
I also believe that students who wish to pursue careers in skilled trades and other non-traditional degrees should have access to financial aid, just like those who attend four-year universities. For that reason, I'm committed to expanding access to current financial aid programs to those students.
When I was a school administrator, I saw first-hand how empowering parents and students with choices makes a difference in their lives. That's why I will continue to be a champion of school choice in education so that children’s education is in the hands of their parents and not merely a product of their zip code.
As a father who recently sent his youngest off to college, I know skyrocketing tuition and other costs are on the minds of parents and high school students throughout mid-Michigan. That’s why I'm fighting for accountability and transparency in higher education. I've also been a consistent advocate for grants and other financial aid that helps Michigan families fulfill their education goals.
Finally, I'm proud to say that Michigan is home to some of our nation's premier research universities. I will continue to be their advocate in Congress and ensure that they have the funding to continue producing the scientific advancements that make the United States the world leader in innovation.
Our national debt is more than $23 trillion which is unsustainable over the long term. That is why I voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that would rein in spending and fix our country’s red ink.
Michigan residents understand how to balance their checkbooks. The government should do the same.
GREAT LAKES PROTECTION
The Great Lakes support fishing, boating, and tourism, and they are also 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. We must do everything we can to protect these resources to ensure that our outdoor heritage and economy can be enjoyed for centuries to come.
I have continually been a proud supporter of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. After speaking with President Trump on the way to a campaign rally, he agreed to support this essential program which helps clean and restore the Lakes. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have fought for this funding year after year.
I have also worked to support efforts at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam to keep invasive species like the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. These invasive fish could severely jeopardize our economy, recreation, and tourism. I will continue to support efforts to stop Asian Carp.
There is no question that America is a global leader in health care from breakthrough medical devices, to novel new cancer treatments, and everything in between. However, the future of health care in America has been put at risk by proposals that would put your health care in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
At its core, our system is about American families having the ability to choose the plan that best meets their needs. We also need to make sure we continue to create new treatments that help all Americans live longer, healthier lives.
I voted to repeal the Medical Device Tax, so important devices like heart pumps, stents, inhalers, and others are not taxed, making them more affordable for Americans.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have also voted in support of record funding at the National Institutes of Health to increase research into cures and treatments for cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Many have lost family members to these horrible diseases and it is my hope that we will get closer to cures, so Michigan families have more time with their loved ones.
I also voted for the 21st Century Cures Act which expedites the drug approval process, provides more resources for mental health, and creates the Center for Oncology Excellence to win the fight against cancer.
Finally, I voted for Right-To-Try legislation. This legislation offers hope for terminal patients and allows them to try experimental treatments instead of waiting for years for bureaucrats to approve new drugs.
We can accomplish the kind of health care reform the American people want without having a government takeover of our system and without forcing citizens into a one-size-fits-all healthcare system.
For those of us who have blown out a tire on the way to the store, we know the poor condition of our bridges and roads. Across Michigan, vital infrastructure is deteriorating and this impedes our ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. From highways and harbors to rail and rural broadband, it is clear that both above- and below-ground infrastructure needs significant investment. While this is a shared responsibility with all levels of government, I strongly support federal investment that enhances our infrastructure for generations to come.
Soo Locks: When I was first elected, one of the most important infrastructure projects I kept hearing about was a new lock at the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie. Critical supply chains that support billions of dollars in economic activity and millions of jobs in the agricultural, automotive, manufacturing, and mining sectors rely on the Locks.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I was able to break through over 30 years of delays and Congress officially committed to funding the new Soo Locks project for the first time in 2019. Ensuring the Soo Locks are safe, reliable, and efficient is vital to the economy and national security of the United States and I have helped make historic progress for our state.
America is the greatest nation on earth. Every year thousands of law-abiding individuals seek the opportunity to live here and pursue the American dream.
We are a nation of immigrants. My grandparents were immigrants. Unfortunately, our immigration system is broken. Congress must reject extreme ideas like open borders and get realistic about modernizing our immigration system for those legally seeking to come here and those already here. Immigration reform must take a common-sense approach that protects our security and economic interests and provides a long-term solution that is clear, understandable, and enforceable.
A porous border that allows thousands of unknown individuals to illegally cross into the United States is a detriment to our homeland security. I strongly believe that securing our borders and reforming the broken status quo of our immigration system is vital for the future of our country.
THE OPIOID CRISIS
The opioid crisis has touched every family in some way and continues to be a major concern for communities throughout mid and northern Michigan.
I have met with health care professionals, legal experts, law enforcement, first responders, as well as victims of the crisis and their families.
In meeting with them and hearing their concerns, I have taken action and backed multiple pieces of legislation that will help slow and end the crisis.
First, I have supported efforts to secure our nation’s borders and stop the flow of illegal drugs including powerful synthetic opioids from places like China.
Second, I’m proud to have voted for sweeping bipartisan legislation while in Congress that provides new tools to battle this epidemic. Congress must continue to invest in innovative ways to prevent and treat Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Finally, I have voted for legislation that funds research into non-addictive pain treatments that help those who are injured avoid addictive opioids and offer new hope to those who are already living in pain.
This is an epidemic and I am working to end it.
I believe we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable Right to Life. Life begins at conception and we must protect human life, the foundation of our civilization.
I support the Born-Alive Act, which would require doctors to care for babies who are born. I also believe parents must be notified if their child is having an abortion, and that we should do more to protect unborn children in the womb when a heartbeat is detected.
Our way of life is based on the belief that every human life has value, that’s why my pro-life record goes hand-in-hand with my strong support of adoption as a way to provide loving and safe homes for children. Unfortunately, far too many children - over 100,000 - are waiting in foster care programs throughout the United States for families to adopt them.
I will fight to help all children still in foster care. They deserve the right to grow up in a safe and loving home. We must continue to promote adoption and work to make loving families aware of the many programs available to help them adopt a child.
There is much that we as a nation can do to encourage adoption and ensure that our country values human life.
Increasing access to broadband in Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District remains one of my top priorities in Congress. Access to high-speed Internet is critical for the expansion of businesses as they look to compete in a global economy. Perhaps even more important, without reliable high-speed internet service, students throughout our communities don’t have access to important educational resources they need.
I’m proud to have supported legislation that provides hundreds of millions in rural broadband funding. I have used my time in Congress to meet with the citizens of Michigan’s Fourth District to discuss new ways to expand rural broadband and have voted for several pieces of legislation that would advance broadband infrastructure and ensure that our businesses and students are equipped with the tools they need to thrive in today’s society.
From the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, generations of young Americans have answered the call to duty. The sacrifice that the men and women of our military make define us as a nation. Their dedication and commitment, along with that of their families, ensures our freedom. We should never take them for granted. That’s why I supported giving our military the largest pay raise in a decade.
Just as we support our service members, we must also support our veterans to ensure they receive the benefits they earned defending our country. That is why I:
- Voted for the VA MISSION Act, which provides much-needed funding and accountability at the VA, including making it easier for those who have failed our veterans to be fired.
- Voted for our veterans to receive a COLA increase because we can never do enough to thank them for their service.
- Worked to protect and strengthen veterans during their transition back to civilian life with assistance for them to begin their own businesses or find jobs in the private sector.
- Supported community programs that help homeless veterans and work to prevent veteran suicides.
I will continue to fight for those who risk their lives to keep our nation safe and secure.