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We’re at a critical juncture in our country today. Too many  issues have gone unaddressed for too long, hurting our economy and working families. We can’t afford to keep the same failed policies and play the same partisan games that caused these problems in the first place. I believe that we can expand economic opportunity, help working families and small businesses, spur job growth and be fiscally responsible. It will take leaders that that are focused on results, not rhetoric.

In Congress, my priorities will include:

EconomyGetting People Back To Work and Helping Struggling Families

To strengthen the middle class and help struggling families we must do more to create jobs and grow the economy. This means helping our small businesses and local industries that can support good paying jobs for years to come, including aerospace, manufacturing, high-tech, sustainable agriculture, clean energy and health care. We must reward businesses that are creating family wage jobs and invest in the training and skills of our workers to ensure they are prepared for these jobs. To help families struggling to make ends meet, I fought and secured $200 million in job training funds to help low-income individuals receiving nutrition assistance get the skills and training they need to get a job.


SecurityStrengthening Economic Security for Women and families

Today women make up 47% of the workforce and women are the primary or sole income earner for 40% of families in America. It’s simple, when women succeed, America succeeds. I’m fighting for strong, common-sense policies that addresses the economic challenges facing women and families today. We must do more to help women balance work and family by broadening medical and leave policies, expanding access to affordable child care, ensure equal pay for equal work and raising the minimum wage.


Innovation Creating an innovation-based economy

The key to long-term economic growth and prosperity are policies that encourage entrepreneurship and support innovation. Nowhere in the country is the impact of innovation on the economy more visible than in Washington’s 1st Congressional District. The people in this district build the world’s best airplanes, grow the finest food and design world class software.
What’s more, we need to leverage our colleges and technical schools that can help incubate innovative companies such as the next generation of local farmers and local manufacturers. We need smart tax policy that rewards companies that decide to start or expand their business here at home, whether it’s manufacturing, technology, health care or agriculture. Helping these businesses thrive will lead to good paying, family wage jobs for the families of the 1st Congressional District.


InfrastructureInvesting in our transportation.

Investing in our transportation infrastructure is how we keep our economy moving. Billions of dollars of worth of freight and goods moves through our region, as do hundreds of thousands of workers. They all depend on safe roads, bridges and transit. As we saw in May of 2013 with the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit river, this infrastructure is fragile and any disruption to it has large, broad consequences to our economy. The bridge collapse was a wake-up call. Congress must move forward to pass a bipartisan transportation funding bill. It’s critical that we maintain, repair and ensure the safety of our infrastructure by investing in key corridors like I-5, our bridges, rural roads and rail infrastructure. These corridors are the backbone of our economy.


EnergyBuilding a Clean energy future

For our economy to fully recover, we need to take control of our country’s energy future. We need a balanced approach to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This means investing in clean, renewable energy. Doing so will help develop a new sector in our economy, and address the security challenges we face because of our dependence on foreign oil. It’s urgent that we take meaningful steps now to begin the transformation to an economy based on clean and renewable energy sources.


ChoiceProtecting choice for women

I firmly believe that medical decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, and not by politicians. The recent assault on women’s health care is unacceptable and I will fight against any attempt to reduce access to birth control or reproductive health services.


Social SecuritySocial Security

Social Security has been a building block of our middle class. It’s created a social safety net and a basic level of financial security for seniors. It’s an investment we’ve all made and a promise I’m committed to protecting for all of our seniors.

Those who say Social Security is in immediate danger are using scare tactics to dismantle it. The truth is, it’s a good system. It’s worked so well that Social Security funds have been used for other purposes, which needs to stop. But there are long-term financial concerns, which is why I support raising the income limits, or ‘scrapping the cap.’ I also oppose raising the retirement age and will fight any attempts to privatizing Social Security.


EnvironmentProtecting our natural resources and quality of life

What makes living in the Pacific Northwest so special is the natural environment that surrounds us. The 1st congressional district is home to some of our nation’s most beautiful forests, mountains and waterways. We also have some of the most fertile agricultural land. Taking care of our natural resources and protecting our environment is critical to protecting the quality of life we cherish. This means policies to keep our air and water clean. We must also manage our water responsibly as it is critical for our local farms and for generating the electricity that powers our economy.

I believe strongly that climate change is not just a challenge we must tackle to avert disaster, but that it is an opportunity to build a new clean energy economy and preserve our quality of life. The 1st Congressional District can be a leader in this new economy creating thousands of good paying jobs here.


Buffett RuleBuilding a fair economy

We must build an economy that works for everyone, where prosperity is widely shared and everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. This means raising the federal minimum wage to lift millions of Americas out of poverty. We need tax reform to ensure everyone is paying their fair share. I support the Buffett rule, which would ensure that those making a million dollars or more per year do not pay a lower tax rate than middle class families. This is why I voted to let the Bush tax cuts for high wage earners expire in 2013. I will fight to eliminate the unfair loophole that allows hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate on their income than other professions.


Fiscal ResponsibilityRestoring fiscal responsibility in government and trust in our financial system

Restoring fiscal responsibility in government and trust in our financial system
Congress must stop lurching from one fiscal crisis to the next. This is the least efficient and most expensive way to budget. The time has come to restore fiscal transparency and sanity in Congress. We must move forward by passing a responsible budget that cuts wasteful spending and prioritizes job creating investments in our infrastructure, research and education. This means looking closely at where we are getting a good return on our investments and making tough decisions to cut in places where we are not.

At the same time, we must restore trust and integrity to our financial system. This means better oversight of financial institutions and more balance between the needs of our communities, working men and women, and those of the financial sector. I’m fighting for modern day Glass Steagall legislation to help protect our economy against the recklessness of Wall Street.

For far too many working families today, a safe and secure retirement is out of their reach. I believe those who have worked hard their whole lives deserve the promises made to them after their years of service and work. We need to look at innovative policies to turn back the trend of employers rolling back or eliminating retirement benefits. We should be making it easier for employers to help their workers build a secure retirement.


ImmigrationReforming our Immigration System

Our immigration system is broken. We have an historic opportunity to fix our nation’s broken immigration system so it works for businesses, families and our economy.

Immigration reform is especially important for the 1st Congressional District. We have a border, a vibrant agricultural industry, world-leading tech and advanced manufacturing businesses and workers, families, students and entrepreneurs who are all hurting because our current system is so dysfunctional.

From business, labor, farmers, workers, law enforcement, to faith leaders – they all agree, the time is now for immigration reform.

As one of the lead sponsors in the House of Representatives of a bipartisan comprehensive immigration proposal, I’m actively fighting to get this done. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, my proposal will create jobs, grow the economy and reduce the deficit by nearly $200 billion in the next decade. It creates an earned path to citizenship for those who are here and working. It will make our nation safer, while also eliminating backlogs, reuniting families and will meet the demands of our nation’s economy today and into tomorrow.

To spur job growth and drive our economy forward, we must pass immigration reform.


PrivacyProtecting our digital privacy

The revelations of secret surveillance programs monitoring the communications data of millions of Americans, whether they were suspected of any wrongdoing or not, was deeply troubling and represented a constitutional violation of the 4th amendment. We must rein in the NSA. I’m proud to cosponsor bipartisan legislation to end the bulk collection of American’s communications data and reform our government’s surveillance programs.


Health CareEnsuring affordable, high-quality health care

We must do more to improve and fix the Affordable Care Act. However, we cannot go back to the days of when someone could be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or people couldn’t get the lifesaving treatment they needed because of lifetime limits, or when you could be charged more for coverage for simply being a woman. Health care reform needs to be a continuing conversation—there is more to do to ensure quality, affordable health care for everyone. We need to support health care innovation and new technologies to lower costs, and allow individuals to choose between public and private options. We must make it easier and more affordable for small businesses to provide health coverage for their employees. That’s why I introduced legislation to expand the small business tax credit to help small businesses cover their workers.


EducationStrengthening Education and workforce training

A well-educated workforce is vital to our economic success. And a quality education system is the key to creating this workforce.

I will fight for policies that strengthen our education system focused on closing the achievement gap, raising standards and giving our teachers the support they need and deserve to help ensure that every child gets a chance to reach their full potential.

We must rein in the rising costs of college tuition and increase aid for middle class families to ensure everyone gets a fair chance. The 1st Congressional District is fortunate to be the home of great community and technical colleges and extended campuses of some of our state’s best public universities. Last summer, when college student loan interest rates doubled, I worked across the aisle to find a bipartisan compromise that rolled back these costly rate hikes.

Working closely with these institutions, we can bolster the workforce that local manufacturing and agricultural employers in the district need. It is essential that we focus on increasing opportunities for current and future workers to get the skills they need to for the jobs of today and tomorrow. This is why I fought for and secured $200 million in job-training funds to help low-income individuals on nutrition assistance get the skills and training they needed.


MedicareProtecting Medicare

Medicare is a cornerstone of our nation’s health care system. I am committed to protecting it and will fight against any efforts to privatize or dismantle Medicare. The focus instead should be on controlling the rising costs of care and improving the level of care seniors receive. I support allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices to bring down the costs for seniors.


AgricultureSupport for our farmers and farm workers

Agriculture represents $49 billion of economic activity and supports 160,000 jobs in Washington state. The 1st Congressional District has an especially vibrant agriculture sector. We are home to thousands of farms that grow everything from dairy to berries, providing nutritious food to customers all around the globe. Strengthening our farms is critical to ensuring a healthy economy in the 1st District. As a member of House Agriculture Committee, I helped craft a bipartisan Farm Bill that provides tremendous support for our growers of fruits, vegetables and organic growers, while also reducing the federal deficit. I am committed to continue being an advocate for our local farmers, working to cut regulatory red-tape they have to deal with while still protecting our natural resources.

To grow and thrive, our farmers and farm workers desperately need comprehensive immigration reform and I am a lead sponsor in the House of Representatives of a bipartisan proposal that will help farmers have the workforce they need and protects farmworkers and their families.