Affordable, quality healthcare for all.
At a time when Donald Trump wants to cut Medicare by over $500B, I’m the candidate in this race with hands-on healthcare experience who has stood up to the pharmaceutical companies who are ripping off families and seniors - and I will fight him every step of the way. I will not rest until we acknowledge that living in the greatest country in the world comes with the responsibility to take care of our neighbors and to make healthcare a human right. That means:
- Using collective bargaining power to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
- Prioritizing the opioid epidemic, and holding the drug companies accountable.
- Acknowledging and investing in mental health care.
A world-class education for every student.
Generations ago, America made a commitment to give every child the education they need to obtain a good-paying job. It’s time to restore that commitment. Betsy Devos has looted our education system, and let corporations siphon taxpayer money from our schools. I’m a proud product of Novi public schools, and the one candidate in this race with a STEM education. I’ve created thousands of good-paying jobs, and can advocate for the resources teachers and students need to prepare our kids for a changing economy. That means:
- Preventing for-profit charter schools from receiving a single dime of tax-payer money.
- Reducing crushing student loan debt for parents and students.
- Empowering every student to pursue higher education or community college, and making it impossible to work full-time and still feel poor.
A return to decency.
In Donald Trump’s America, we’re being divided into two camps, and pitted against each other every day. But in this country, we are better than that. We know that decency and strength are not opposing values. We can have both. I’m a lifelong progressive who has fought special interest groups, created jobs, and delivered healthcare to working families. I’m also the son of Ford Motor Company’s first female engineer, and the father of two little girls, ages 1 and 5. I want to see them grow up in a world that feels safe and empowering for women. That means:
- Preventing the use of tax-payer money to sweep bad behavior underneath the rug.
- Demanding that women receive equal pay for equal work, and access to affordable child care and family leave.
- Fighting tooth-and-nail for common-sense gun legislation, and reversing the tide of Citizens United so that the NRA and large corporations can no longer drown out the voices of families.
Prioritize Public Education
Strengthening public education begins with not privatizing education. Instead, it’s time we reinvest in public education so every child - no matter their background - can attend a great public school with excellent teachers in modern facilities. I’ll fight Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration every step of the way as they continue to try to undermine and disinvest in public education.
To prepare our children to compete in the 21st century economy, we must make science, technology, engineering, and math a cornerstone of public education curriculum. Our education system falls behind the rest of the modern world when it comes to STEM. We owe it to our children to prepare them to compete in this global economy.
Vocational Education & Community College
Bring vocational education back into the classroom. A four year college is not the path for everyone, nor should it be the only path to a good job with good wages. I want to ensure that all children with all different learning styles, skills, and interests can get ahead. Let’s invest in putting quality vocational and technical training back into our public schools. We can expand apprenticeship and vocational educational programs in high school and community colleges so Michiganders who don’t go to college and get the skills they need. We want our kids to graduate with real skills for real jobs that actually exist.
It’s time to make quality higher education accessible and affordable for anyone who wants to earn a degree. One of the biggest barriers to higher education facing students is the rising cost of tuition and the fact that student debt now exceeds credit card debt in America. We can refinance our cars and our homes, but it’s nearly impossible to refinance student loans. I’ll take on special interest education lenders and fight for students to be able to refinance their loans and make education more accessible and affordable for all. I’ll also fight for low-cost or 2-years of no-cost community college for those who graduate with a C+ average, so higher education and lifelong learning can be a reality for anyone who is willing to work hard and further their education.
The U.S. shouldn’t just be a global participant in addressing climate change, we should be a global leader. Our President’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord shows that he clearly does not share this view, so now it’s up to us to do more at home. Man-made climate change is real, and while President Trump and members of the Republican party deny it, it does not change the fact that this is an urgent issue that requires swift and immediate action. I’ll use my STEM background to both understand the problem and advocate for solutions. Climate change impacts our national security, our economic strength, and our children’s health. For that reason, I have taken a pledge to refuse campaign money from the fossil fuel industry.
Energy Jobs & Fuel Economy Standards
A healthy planet and a strong economy are not mutually exclusive. I’ve built my career as an entrepreneur in the tech industry and I know the infinite potential of using technology to solve problems and create jobs. Especially here in Michigan, our history of automotive innovation can be harnessed for a future in green automotive innovation. I know what entrepreneurs in the tech industry need to succeed. I’ll harness this experience and go anywhere and do anything to bring green energy technology to Michigan so we can create both jobs and a healthier planet. I’ll fight for tax incentives and to reduce barriers for entrepreneurs working towards green solutions. I’ll also support tax credits for companies working to reduce their carbon footprint. I’ll continue pushing for more robust clean vehicle and fuel economy standards.
As we accelerate toward a clean energy future, I will push for policies to protect American workers and their communities as they transition away from fossil fuel jobs. I’ll be their advocate for investing in family-sustaining jobs that drive prosperity for everyday workers and the towns they call home.
Here in Michigan, the Great Lakes are our way of life and they must be protected. As the father of two young daughters, I want them, their children and their children’s children to know the pristine natural beauty of these lakes that I did while growing up. One in five Michigan jobs already depends on the Great Lakes, but if we invest in keeping our lakes healthy we will increase property values, tourism, and add even more jobs to the economy. I’ll stand for investing in maintaining high water quality standards and controlling invasive species, like Asian carp. I’ll advocate against any deal that allows oil to keep flowing into outdated pipes and jeopardizing our Great Lakes. I’ll stand up to Trump, Congressional Republicans, and anyone else who tries to eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration initiative.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Our immigration system is broken, but an expensive, ineffective, taxpayer funded wall is far from the answer. America should continue to be a place of hope and opportunity, where you can work hard and make a better life for your family. That’s what my parents did. My mother spent the first 16 years of her life in a refugee camp, but she taught herself math and science and came to America. Here, she became Ford Motor Company’s first female engineer. I’ll advocate for an immigration system that is practical and fair, that strengthens border security and cracks down on employers who break knowingly break the law. Let’s focus our resources on detaining and deporting criminals and those who threaten our national security, not parents trying to reunite with their children.
We must protect and provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers. DREAMers came to this country when they were children through no control of their own, and many of them have never known another home. They pay taxes and contribute to our country, and many of them serve in our military. It’s time we give them the stability and path to citizenship they have earned.
Jobs & Economic Growth
Good Paying Jobs
I will go anywhere and do anything to bring jobs to the hard working families of Michigan’s 11th District. As the only candidate in our primary who has created good-paying jobs, I want to strengthen Michigan’s skilled workforce and build an environment ripe for startups and attracting job creators. Let’s make Michigan a place where our children can get a job, build a company, and want to stay.
It’s time to renegotiate trade deals so they work for American workers. My parents came to this country in search of the American Dream. They built a life for themselves here working as engineers for Ford Motor Company for 30 years, until they were both laid off on the same day 2001. My family, like countless others, has known opportunity, and we’ve known what it means to have the rug pulled out from underneath them because of unfair trade deals. We must stop companies from shipping good jobs overseas and bring back jobs to Michigan. I’ll stand up to any President and any Congress who gives companies incentives to ship jobs to other countries. Instead, I want to reward companies that reinvest and actually create good jobs here at home. It’s time to renegotiate trade deals so they work for American workers. Far too many companies ship jobs overseas to countries with lax labor and environmental standards. I want to reward reinvestment in domestic manufacturing and the U.S. workforce, in an effort to enhance—instead of degrade—environmental and labor standards around the globe.
There is a skills gap in Michigan, so we need to train our workforce for real jobs that actually exist. We also must train our existing workforce for jobs in need of employees, whether or not they have a college degree. Nearly 40% of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need. I’ll work with other members of Congress, businesses, educational institutions, and labor leaders to identify and address these shortages. It’s time to incentivize businesses to treat workforce development like an investment in business and our communities, not another budget line item; especially when online platforms make it easier than ever to train employees.
The issue of equal pay is an economic issue. It is unacceptable that in 2018, women still struggle to earn equal pay to their male colleagues. This is not just a strain on a woman’s ability to provide for herself and her family, but a drag on the economy and families, as a whole. Closing the gender pay gap will be a top economic priority, and I’ll fight to end wage discrimination and provide more family supports, like paid family leave and affordable childcare. It’s also past time to tackle safety and equality, not just in the office, but on campus and in the public square. Whether it is equal pay, workplace conduct rules, or physical well-being, we need to do more to ensure that workers are both in safe work environments and treated fairly.
Affordable Care Act
Every American has the right to affordable, quality health care. I will join the front lines in Congress in the daily battle to protect the gains we’ve made with the Affordable Care Act and the coverage it extends to millions of Americans. We need to continue to protect the Children’s Health Insurance Program so no family will have to ever worry that lack of insurance will keep them from caring for their children. But we need to do more.
I will work with Democrats and Republicans to find solutions to reduce the costs of premiums, something I have first hand experience doing. In 2012, my brother Dr. Sanjay Gupta helped me start Rise, a health care company that uses technology to shrink the cost of quality health care. First Lady Michelle Obama asked Rise to be her team’s official technology partner and, through this public-private partnership, we delivered health coaching to lower-income areas of the country.
We must fight Trump’s proposed $554 billion budget cut for Medicare which will increase the cost of health care for seniors. We should start allowing anyone over the age of 50 and all of our veterans to opt into Medicare, and we need to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs, which is a huge cost driver in the system.
Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world and many people who need the prescriptions the most, cannot afford to fill them. Other countries drive a much harder bargain with drug companies. In contrast, the U.S. allows drug companies to pretty much set their own prices. I’ll support prohibiting anti-competitive “pay for delay” deals that keep generic drugs off the market and to allow individuals, pharmacists, and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from licensed pharmacies in Canada and other countries with appropriate safety protections
Decisions about reproductive health and abortion must be made by a woman and her doctor, not by politicians. In rural and low-income areas, Planned Parenthood is often the only means for women and men to get reproductive health care. We must protect Planned Parenthood’s funding so that these communities can continue to get access to the care they need.
The opioid epidemic ravaging our communities is a crisis that requires immediate action. We must remember that many of these people that become addicts are not criminals: they are our parents, neighbors, children, and friends. In Congress, I’ll fight to take action against drug companies and prescribers that are helping to create this problem. I’ll also build partnerships with prescribers and the medical community to rethink our prescribing practices in a way that’s safe for patients. We must also improve disposal techniques for unused prescriptions to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands.
I have seen firsthand how medical marijuana can be an important component of treatment for patients dealing with long-term chronic illnesses. I supported the decision when Michiganders voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2008 and I will support the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana when it appears on the ballot this fall. Legalizing marijuana will allow our law enforcement officials to focus on greater public safety issues while driving millions in tax revenue to the state and creating new business opportunities for the state.
The brave men and women who risk their lives every day deserve to be cared for when they return home. Far too many veterans are left waiting for their benefits when they return home, and we must ensure they have access to quality care without the wait time. It’s important to provide our veterans with the mental health services they need so we can reduce the rates of PTSD and suicide in veterans. The inefficiency of the Department of Veterans Affairs is shameful and reforming it should be the immediate priority of all members of Congress.
No veteran should face unemployment when they return home. The men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country have unique skills that should be connected to jobs here at home. Sadly, the Trump administration has advocated for budget cuts that would result in thousands of veterans losing access to programs like career development, job training, and job search assistance. I’ll fight to safeguard and improve investment in these programs, as well as support tax incentives for veterans’ employment and improve skills training programs.
We must end hunger and homelessness among veterans and their families. In addition to helping veterans acquire good jobs where they can earn good wages, I’ll push to end housing and food insecurities faced by too many veterans. I’ll fight Trump’s proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and rental assistance programs. I’ll work with local leaders, nonprofits, and community based organizations to work towards solutions to end veteran hunger and homelessness here in Michigan.
Fixing our Infrastructure
Michigan put the world on wheels and it is unacceptable that many of our roads are barely fit to drive on. The people and businesses of Michigan have been burdened for far too long by our crumbling roads, bridges, and pipes. There is no greater example of the failure of government in infrastructure than the suffering and fear faced by Flint residents still to this day. While we have yet to see a concrete infrastructure plan from the Trump Administration, I’ll fight to ensure any deal includes plans to help rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure and that we have a common sense plan to make it safer.
We can’t let our region’s lack of public transportation hold us back any longer. It’s time that our region has a safe, reliable, and efficient public transportation system for the convenience of our citizens and to attract new businesses and job creators.
Gun Violence Protection
The gun violence epidemic plaguing this country is an issue of national security. Every day we lose an average of more than 90 family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to senseless gun violence. This can be prevented. I support the Second Amendment and Michigan’s tradition of responsible gun ownership for hunting, sport, and self-protection that spans generations. With rights come responsibilities, including responsibilities to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers, and potential terrorists. To keep our communities safe, I will stand up to the gun lobby that stands in the way of these common sense reforms.
Safe Workplaces & Congressional Conduct
The son of Ford’s first female engineer, I want my two daughters to grow up in a world that’s as welcoming and safe for women as it is for men. I am the first candidate to propose legislation that would require candidates for Congress to disclose any lawsuits brought against them when they file their financial disclosure statements at the beginning of their campaigns, protecting the anonymity of victims with a signed nondisclosure agreement.
I also support legislation that prohibits members of Congress from using taxpayer money to pay off those with accused him of sexual harassment or abuse; that increases transparency; and that makes it illegal to impose non-disclosure agreements.
My campaign is firmly rooted in the belief that we ALL belong. I’ll fight to ensure that we uphold the gay marriage ruling in the face of Trump’s conservative Supreme Court, and work towards implementing protections that prevent employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual or gender identity. I’ll also oppose any so-called “religious liberty” bills that actively promote discrimination against LGBTQIA families and individuals.
Role of the U.S. in Foreign Affairs
America must continue to lead the world, but we should not have to shoulder that burden alone. Our allies need to pay their fair share and American workers should not have a to pay the price of American leadership. America’s leadership rests on the strength of our moral example, the vibrance and appeal of our diverse culture, the effectiveness of our diplomacy, and the prowess of our military. We must carefully cultivate and protect those resources.
Our diplomacy is strong in part because it is backed by a military that is second to none. But the US should only use military force when our security is threatened, after we have exhausted all diplomatic efforts, and whenever possible, on a multilateral basis, in conjunction with allies.