On The Issues

Our leaders' values are expressed by their actions and policies, and these actions have a profound impact on American families. When our families thrive, our country thrives. Families depend on our elected representatives to fight to ensure this prosperity. I will make sure that hardworking Americans can support their families, secure future success for their children, and be ready for any challenges we must face.

Income inequality is the largest internal threat facing our country. Through the uneven distribution of wealth, we have allowed our economy to work only for those fortunate enough to be born into money while destroying the ability for people to better their lives through effort. This can be fixed with a three-pronged approach.

First, we must raise the minimum wage, ensuring that a household can be supported by a single wage earner. Second, we must institute a more just tax structure. The recent Tax Cut Act of 2017 included a temporary tax deduction for working Americans. We must make those cuts permanent for incomes below $400,000, and ask those doing disproportionately well to pay their fair share. Lastly, we must prepare for the future by ensuring that every American who wants a job can find one. Our world leadership is based largely on our economic success, and only through working for a future of meaningful, well-paying jobs can we ensure that success.

Every policy we enact has an economic impact. By understanding these interconnected ideas, we can forge a better future and ensure America’s prosperity for all its citizens.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Healthcare is a fundamental human right, and our failure to provide it is a blemish on our country. It is time the United States take a leadership position on public health instead of lagging behind.

This transition begins with a public option. By allowing Americans to buy into the Medicare and Medicaid system we cannot just provide healthcare for millions who need it, but also ease the inevitable transition to a public health care system.

That transition must begin now. Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control for both consumers and providers. I will support legislation to bring a public health care system modeled on Medicare and Medicaid to all Americans. Every day we delay this is another day where Americans can’t work, can’t care for their families, and can’t improve their lives. Seeing a doctor should never come with a risk of bankruptcy. I will make sure it never does again.

The workforce of tomorrow requires a robust education system today. This includes controlling the escalating costs of college, offering alternative opportunities to repay student loans, and ensuring our states have the facilities and people they need to educate their citizens.

Local leaders should remain in the lead on education policy for their jurisdictions, but the federal government needs to provide better direction. We must ensure that a child born in Thomaston receives the same educational opportunity as a child born in Peachtree City. We can do this by setting academic standards, emphasizing critical thinking skills, enhancing teacher pay and facilities budgets, and partnering with businesses on programs like the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training.

The federal government’s impact on education can be tremendously positive, but only if we focus on levelling the playing field and ensuring that every American has the opportunity to learn and use their God-given gifts to the best of their abilities.

Our nation is at it’s most secure when we are at our most prosperous. As a lifelong Marine Corps Officer I understand the intertwining of politics, diplomacy, economic success, and military action. The world is constantly changing, and we must be able to adapt to that shifting defense environment.

We are no longer the sole power in the world. As the current administration, understaffed and inexperienced, has allowed our global diplomatic reach to wither, other countries have taken a larger role in world affairs. China’s economic power and military power have allowed them to challenge the United States for supremacy in Asia. North Korea has become an unquestioned nuclear power and must be treated as such. The asymmetric threat of fanatical terrorism remains despite decades of fighting.

Maintaining our position of leadership will require more than new airplanes or bigger bombs. It requires a focus on changing environments, diplomatic outreach, recognizing enemy capabilities, and our own economic strength.

I have spent my life in military service. I know firsthand that no veteran returns home from war unscathed and that mental, physical, and emotional toll of warfare requires specialized care. We have chosen to neglect our veterans for too long, and that must end.

The Veterans Administration must receive the funding it needs to care for our veterans. As battlefield care has improved survival rates, it has also strained the VA beyond its capabilities. This will require an investment in equipment and facilities, but also in doctors, nurses, and other caregivers to help our wounded veterans recover and continue to live fulfilling lives.

When brave patriots go to war, they are willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms and rights we enjoy. It is time that the United States assumes the debt we owe them, and care for them upon their return.

There is no larger external threat to the United States than the changing environment of Earth. Whatever term you want to use, the reality is that we have added uncertainty and disruption to the long-term climate of our planet, and we must deal with the consequences.

This impacts every facet of our lives. Economically, changing agriculture patterns will alter population centers and global trade. As resources that were once abundant dwindle, conflicts will break out where there was once peace. Our infrastructure will have to be rebuilt to accommodate changing temperatures, sea states, and energy needs.

This is the challenge of our lives. Meeting this challenge will require collaboration from business, government, activists, and every citizen of this country. We cannot afford to fail in this effort, but only unity of effort will bring us success.

The core of our democracy rests in the power of the vote. Restrictions have been placed on this right since the birth of our country. These restrictions are, and have always been, an attack on basic human rights.

This abuse of voting rights must end. Unfortunately, the federal government’s ability to do so is hamstrung by a coalition of opposition in Congress, state legislatures, and in our court system. But there are steps we can take that will both ensure every citizen can vote and encourage them to do so.

Georgia, like many states, does not offer a no-fault, vote-by-mail system. This change must be enacted at the state level, but the federal government can encourage this transition by paying for vote-by-mail in any state that requests it. This system, used to great effect in Washington State, allows people to vote for the candidate of their choice, when they can, when they are ready, and it provides a paper trail in case of a required recount.

Securing our vote and expanding its usage must go hand in hand. Election day being a national holiday is meaningless without easing ballot access or ensuring people have paid time off to vote. Vote-by-mail reforms achieve security, increase participation, and reduce cost. Election participation is vital to a healthy democracy, and we must emphasize growing the vote.

National Impact, Local Focus

My views are shaped by the values I learned growing up and practice as an adult. Following these values of unconditional love, selfless care for our neighbors, and endless hospitality is challenging, but the rewards never end. If you want to dig further into any of these issues at a town hall, a forum, or a meeting with your group over coffee let us know. Whoever you are, whatever your views, I want to meet, hear, and discuss with as many members of this district as I can. Talk to us, and we'll schedule meetings with as many people and groups as we can. If you have more specific questions, we want to hear them. Please let us know, and we'll figure out how I can help you as your representative.