When legislation is passed in Washington, it happens via a complicated process of negotiation, compromise, and reconciliation. Even when a Representative writes and sponsors a bill, it is inevitable that the bill will change as it moves through committee, then the full House and is reconciled with a Senate version. So while some candidates will tell you about their ideal policies, there is little to no chance that ideal will ever become law. When you send me to Congress, you won’t be sending Congress a memo on your preferred policies. You’ll be sending a real person, to serve as a responsible steward of your interests. I intend to have as much influence as possible on the bills that come out of Congress, and I will bring Alabama common sense to that negotiating table. Below I share with you my core values and how I bring those values to bear on discussions of policy.
An Ounce of Prevention
Too often government is tasked with cleaning up messes rather than preventing them. As responsible adults, we understand that many problems can be avoided by planning ahead and intervening as soon as we see trouble on the horizon. This is true for so many aspects of our lives. We build levees before the storm so that we can weather it safely. We invest in the healthy development of our youngest children so that they will be ready to succeed in school. We seek diplomatic solutions so that we don’t have to put military lives at risk in armed conflict.
Divided We Fall
American politics has grown more divisive, but the promise of America has always been – and continues to be – that despite our many differences, we are fundamentally one nation. That’s why I reject any attempt to dismiss one group of citizens as less American than another. We are all equally protected under the law, and we must fight together against the violation of any citizen’s rights.
It’s your money
We are all accountable for our actions and government is no exception. As taxpayers, we have the right to know exactly how our dollars are spent, and the right to demand a change when it’s needed. We are also entitled to the very best available research on what is causing our problems and which solutions have been most effective. Government agencies should not be allowed to hide relevant information just because it’s inconvenient or unflattering. We deserve the truth. After all, we’re paying for it.
Keeping our Promises
As a country, we have made promises to one another. We have promised our elders that they will not grow old in poverty. We have promised our children that they will be healthy, nourished, and prepared for the world ahead of them. We have promised our disabled sisters and brothers that we will make a place for them and support their wellbeing. If we are to keep our integrity, we must keep these promises. We must fully fund Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. These things make us the great nation we are today.
Serious Family Values
America is strong when families are strong. But in recent times, raising a family has gotten harder. Wages have fallen, housing is more expensive, and families are more spread out. To keep families at the center of our community life, we must support them with paid parental leave, affordable child care, and great public schools. And when families are at the breaking point, the community must step up and provide additional services like home visiting and foster care to bridge the gap from today’s crisis to tomorrow’s promise.
True American Honor
America is a global leader because of the talented and dedicated women and men who commit themselves to its service. We can wave flags on holidays to show our appreciation, but that isn’t enough. These brave women and men deserve more. They deserve excellent healthcare for body and mind. They deserve job training and supports for spouses and children left behind. It’s the least we can do to show our appreciation.