“This crisis has highlighted a lack of leadership from our federal government. I’ll always be a leader for Virginia families in Congress.”
It is enormously clear that more needs to be done to address this pandemic. The bills coming out of Congress are a start, but American families need more relief and they need it now. Our first responders and workers on the front lines need PPE, paid family leave has to be available to everyone, and workers who have been laid off or are unemployed need to make sure they have the support they need to weather this crisis.
This pandemic has highlighted existing inequalities in our society. The numbers we have seen on racial disparities in the cases and deaths are staggering, and more research must be done so we can take action immediately.
We are headed toward a recession that will require bold leadership to solve. Every option should be on the table in the months to come as we work through what may be an unprecedented financial crisis. And particularly for our rural communities, we need to make sure that we’re bailing out main street and not wall street – and that any relief prioritizes workers and employees, not CEOs and shareholders.
Finally, Republicans in Congress and the President must stop playing political games in the face of an international crisis. It is unacceptable that Republicans are still trying to take away people’s health care during a pandemic, trying to limit a woman’s access to reproductive care, and that the President would delay sending stimulus checks just to get political points. In Congress, I’ll never play political games and will always put people first.
“Growing up, our family struggled with access to affordable healthcare and I still struggle to afford healthcare for our family of five. We can’t afford the status quo any longer. It’s time to make sure we are prioritizing patients and families who need care — not big drug companies and insurance agencies.”
Right now, too many people can’t get coverage or the healthcare they have is too expensive. We’ve made progress with the Affordable Care Act, but it’s not enough. That’s why we need to introduce a public option so that everyone can have affordable healthcare.
We need to make sure Medicare can negotiate drug prices as part of a plan to lower drug costs, and our rural communities deserve more than one provider or plan. Women’s healthcare must no longer be treated as an afterthought – we need to prioritize universal prenatal care and family planning services so that all of our kids – regardless of zip code, income, or race – are able to have a strong start.
“I will always be a staunch advocate for women’s health and autonomy in Congress. From issues like paid family leave to abortion access, I’ll never back down from making sure women have equal rights.”
My grandmother died getting a back alley abortion, and in Congress, I’ll fight to make sure we never go back to a time when women put their lives at risk to receive essential healthcare. Every woman, regardless of race, income, or zip code, should have access to quality healthcare including mammograms and birth control.
Our current Congressman, Denver Riggleman, voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, once said that the problem of sexual assault on college campuses can be solved by “educating females” and has attacked a woman’s right to choose throughout his time in Congress.
It’s time we had a champion for women representing us. I’ve spent my entire career as an advocate for women in the military and internationally, and I’ll continue that fight in Congress.
Getting Big Money Out of Politics
“As a Marine, I pledged that if necessary, I would give my life to this country, our constitution, and our democracy. In Congress, I’ll take that same care with defending our democratic institutions from special interests and foreign adversaries.”
We need to strengthen our democracy by fighting back against corporate special interests. Right now, too many leaders in Washington are bought and paid for by special interests like the NRA or Big Pharma, and that’s why I pledged on day one of my campaign to never take corporate PAC money.
We need to overturn Citizens United, and in Congress, I’ll work to pass meaningful election reform that gets unlimited money out of politics and increases transparency.
“I fought for every American to have the right to vote – not some Americans. We need to make sure everyone can trust that their vote counts and their voice will be heard on Election Day.”
Our democracy depends on making sure all Americans can make their voices heard on Election Day but too often, voters – especially voters of color and young voters – face long lines, election mismanagement, and more. We need to end partisan gerrymandering so that everyone knows their vote will count and their voice will be heard. We need to expand access to early voting and vote by mail so that everyone can participate in our democracy. In Congress, I’ll work to make sure everyone can easily participate in our elections.
“My daughter shouldn’t have to worry about the weapons of war my husband carries in the battlefield showing up in her schools.”
As a Marine, I have personally carried an assault weapon and I have seen firsthand what an assault weapon does to a human body. I trained for six months with that weapon — taking it apart and putting it back together, cleaning it, knowing it inside and out — before I was ever given a live round. Even when I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying that weapon daily, I went to the range every week and practiced with that weapon to make sure I was current.
The fact that my daughter worries about the weapons of war I have carried into combat and my husband still carries into combat appearing in her schools is unacceptable. There are common sense gun safety measures we could pass with bipartisan support, including universal background checks and closing loopholes, if we had more Representatives in Washington who weren’t beholden to the gun lobby. I will always fight for common sense gun safety measures that will make our schools, places of worship, and communities safer.
Jobs and the Economy
“We need to work to build a stronger, more inclusive economy right here in the 5th district, from our growing tech industry in Charlottesville to our farmers in Southside.”
All across this district, I hear from people who are worried their kids won’t have access to good-paying jobs in their communities, and that they’ll have to move away to find work. We need to make smart investments in our infrastructure, education system, and renewable and clean energy industries to make sure people all across this district have access to good-paying jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. We need to invest in our community colleges and trade schools, so that we can build a workforce that supports the needs of our local businesses.
We also need to make sure everyone has the tools they need to be successful in a changing economy and increasingly connected, global world by making smart investments in our infrastructure. Like too many people in this district, I don’t have access to broadband internet at my house in Earlysville, even just 25 minutes north of Charlottesville. Educating my kids from home during a pandemic, accessing telehealth resources, and even applying to vote absentee are all made more difficult without high speed internet, and it’s time we invest in our rural communities so that they have the same opportunities as our larger cities.
Climate Change, Energy, and Environment
“We need to prioritize taking care of the earth while taking care of the people on it.”
Our climate crisis is one of the largest and most existential threats facing our democracy. We have immense opportunity in Virginia’s 5th district to transition into clean energy and make sure we are investing in a more sustainable future. I will support bold action to combat climate change while capitalizing on an enormous opportunity to grow the economy and create good-paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
I’ll always fight to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, while urgently moving toward clean energy like wind and solar.
Climate change is also not an issue we can solve alone. President Trump has abdicated our leadership on the world stage on this issue and we must rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and treat this issue with the seriousness we treat all other threats to our national security.
“In Congress, I will always stand up for the equality of all persons, full stop.”
I have taken on the military bureaucracy on issues like military sexual assault — and won. I have spent my career working to increase women’s participation and equality both domestically and internationally, and that will be no different in Congress.
I support the Equality Act that passed the House, and I’ll always stick up for members of the LGBTQ community in Congress. Bottom line: in Congress, I will be an advocate for the dignity of all persons.
“We need to restore America’s standing on the world stage with bold leadership in Congress that isn’t afraid to hold any Executive accountable.”
It is clear now more than ever that we need strong leadership in Congress when it comes to our foreign policy. Members of Congress like Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria right here in Virginia, as well as Elissa Slotkin, Mikie Sherill, and Chrissy Houlahan nationally, have filled a void for expertise and steady leadership in times of uncertainty and chaos.
I strongly support Senator Kaine’s efforts to reexamine and replace old AUMFs with AUMFs more suited to modern warfare and conflict resolution. While President Trump makes critical decisions without a clear strategy in place, we need Members of Congress with the expertise to hold him accountable.