Our future economic vitality is dependent on supporting an economy built on manufacturing, clean and domestic energy production, re-building America's infrastructure and investing in a modern, energy saving electric grid. These programs will directly stimulate our economy and help small businesses - the real job creators - to regain their confidence. I support the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank which would leverage private sector funds to invest in national transportation and infrastructure. I will also promote legislation to increase domestic manufacturing capabilities. A strong manufacturing base leads to good paying jobs for the middle-class and helps strengthen our national security by being less reliant on foreign countries for industrial and consumer goods.
Republicans in Congress are attacking the approximately 48 million seniors and disabled Americans that rely on Medicare. Republicans, including Pat Meehan, voted to turn Medicare into a voucherprogram which will force seniors to purchase insurance from for-profit companies and to pay these companies approximately $6,000 more per year for their health care. Instead of supporting taxpayergiveaways to Big Oil, companies that ship jobs overseas and billionaires I will fight to ensure that seniors continue to receive the benefits that they've earned in Medicare.
I will always protect a woman's right to choose. I will never make an exception when it comes to the lives of our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters. Pat Meehan voted to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, a leading national provider of mammograms, routine gynecological checkups, cancer screenings, health education, family planning, and preventative health care procedures for over five million people across the country each year. He falsely claims this was a "moral" choice. Voting to strip funding from an organization whose sole purpose is preserving the health of women of the last 90 years is not a "moral" choice. Click here for "Women for Badey."
To remain a leader in the global economy we must continue to invest in America's education system. I will support efforts to provide for universal access to early childhood education programs, investing in and supporting the recruitment of high-quality teachers, making sure that access to school funding is fair and equitable. I will also support legislation that gives states flexibility to use local solutions to improve their schools. We must promote investments in scholarships and financial aid packages for students from working and middle-class families so they will be able to continue their educations at colleges, universities and community colleges.
The Social Security Act that President Franklin Roosevelt signed in 1935 is a success story that protects Americans economic security and independence when they get older or become disabled. Every American pays into Social Security during their productive years - in effect, pays it forward to their parents' generation so that they can live with some measure of decency in their golden years. Our children will do the same for us; and so it goes, from generation to generation - it is more than just about money; it is a common bond, a pact that we make as citizens to each other. If Republicans succeed in dismantling Social Security it will be a breach of trust to American seniors who have been paying into the program all their lives. Social Security faces long-term challenges and I am willing to work hard to keep our commitment to seniors and people with disabilities.
The 21st Century presents new and different military challenges. We waste billions on overseas military spending that is doing nothing to make us safer as a nation, but is doing a lot to cripple our economic security here at home. In the long run, this cycle of massive overseas military spending and domestic spending cuts will weaken us militarily. Bringing our troops home from Afghanistan now and closing select non-essential overseas bases will free up hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure, developing green energy and improving access to education. It will create jobs here at home, reduce the deficit, and strengthen our nation from the inside out. We need to be smart about our security. In order to remain the most powerful nation on the planet we must remain economically powerful, and reduce our present unsustainable, non-essential overseas military spending. Investment in special operations forces, cyber warfare/defense and 21st Century solutions along with global partnerships that encourage all countries to scale back their own military spending should be a priority.
Environment and Energy
We must move forward with energy policies that limit our exposure to fluctuations in global energy prices and instead focus on promoting domestic energy production. I will support legislation that invests in clean energy jobs like solar, wind, geothermal, hybrid vehicles and next generation battery technology. At the same time we must ensure that our environment is protected by enforcing the standards of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. I believe that the Halliburton Loophole, which exempts the fluids used in the natural gas extraction process of Hydraulic Fracturing from the protections of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts, should be repealed.