Here in South Jersey, we have a strong farming history and these family farms help spearhead more than $1 billion in economic activity to the state. It is imperative that we promote policy that will protect this industry and its huge contribution to our economic success.
Education is the essence of American opportunity. A quality education levels the playing field and makes the system fair, but has become unaffordable for so many families. The skyrocketing costs of a college education are saddling many with outrageous student loan debt, which stops young families from becoming first-time home buyers and stagnates economic growth. We must get serious about this financial crisis, and reduce the existing burden while also reforming the system for future generations.
In Congress, I will strongly defend the civil rights of every person. There is nothing more American than standing up for civil rights and ensuring that every American is treated equally regardless of race, religion, color, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
The stakes are especially high in South Jersey after thousands of people lost their jobs during Atlantic City’s downsizing, and the region is still recovering. We need a new direction to promote prosperity by recognizing the unique opportunity available with sports betting to bolster our local gaming industry, and help alleviate the serious economic security concerns that face our families.
I’m proud of the work we have done in New Jersey to tackle income inequality by passing laws to ensure equal pay for equal work, reversing inequities that had women only making 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. Now, I want to champion that policy in Washington and require equal pay for every woman in America! The time is woefully long overdue.
We need commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence, while also protecting every law-abiding citizen’s Second Amendment right to own firearms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. A responsible gun owner myself, I’m aware of the critical need to close the political divide on this issue and enact real reform.
I support many commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence, such as banning assault weapons and bump stocks, requiring universal background checks for every gun sale, and strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System by requiring federal and state agencies to keep updated records. Other reforms I stand behind include passing legislation to crack down on illegal gun trafficking, prohibiting any individuals with a mental illness from gaining access to guns, and increasing the prosecution of individuals prohibited from purchasing guns who violate that restriction. I believe that with reforms like these, we can reduce gun violence while keeping American citizens’ Second Amendment rights intact.
As a Dentist, I have a firsthand understanding of the American healthcare system and the need to make it both accessible and affordable. Instead of working to address the root problem of the high cost of healthcare, Congress has increased costs on all of us, and are even trying to make it tougher for those with preexisting conditions to get the coverage they need. Together, we must focus on reforms to the Affordable Care Act that protect our families and small businesses, and work to lower the high cost of healthcare and prescription drugs.
America is a place of hope and opportunity where you can work hard, support your family and create a better life. That dream has become increasingly harder to reach because of our broken immigration system, and we need new approaches that are tough, practical, and fair. We need comprehensive reform that must start by strengthening border security and cracking down on employers that knowingly circumvent the law. Additionally, by requiring employers to verify workers we will reduce the hiring of unauthorized workers, increase the accessibility of visas for high-skilled workers, and allow law-abiding immigrant families to come out of the shadows, pay taxes, play by the rules, and earn their citizenship. We need realistic approaches to protect children that came here as minors and grew up identifying as American, and policies that treat them fairly.
As a close ally of the United States, Israel is a vital partner in the Middle East as they help us combat threats against our liberty both at home and overseas. This special relationship is built on a mutual commitment to the values we hold as inalienable in both of our democracies: human rights, rule of law, and the freedoms of speech and religion. Together we face shared challenges and close economic, political, and diplomatic ties, and our partnership promotes regional peace. As Congressman, I will fight to continue this partnership as it is imperative to our national security.
Hardworking American men and women are struggling to make ends meet and need a raise in the minimum wage. However, Congress has failed to act for more than a decade. As Congressman, I will support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, lifting the wages of more than 1.2 million men and women in New Jersey and 1/3 of the workforce in our nation. This is a moral issue for me, as it is a question of protecting the economic security of our families.
I strongly support net neutrality. The attacks on net neutrality directly drive up costs for consumers, shortchange innovation, and limit our freedom. Net Neutrality protections require internet service providers to give their subscribers equal access to every website, saving consumers money; if repealed, Internet Service Providers would be given license to charge separate outlandish rates for basic services that Americans use daily. This is unacceptable, and I will fight to keep net neutrality, and a free and open internet, for generations to come.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority recently called reigniting expansion of casino gaming to North Jersey a “top priority,” despite voters’ rejection of this failed ballot question in every single county and by more than a 3:1 margin statewide. It is no surprise that our fight against North Jersey gaming is not over. Just as Atlantic City is experiencing new-found economic momentum and excitement over our victory to bring sports betting to South Jersey, the wolves are back at our door. And we will not back down. As Congressman, I will fight against North Jersey casinos and will never let it happen! We must not allow anyone to breathe life into this failed idea, and I guarantee they will face the wrath of our region as we stand united to protect South Jersey families.
For years, I have fought to protect our shore-based economy, and I authored a law to prevent offshore drilling in New Jersey. In response to our efforts, Congress is pushing a radical scheme to financially punish New Jersey taxpayers with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal fees. You can count on me to block this irresponsible legislation, which violates our state’s rights, puts our shore in peril, and would blackmail our residents. This will never happen, not on my watch!
As a cornerstone of America’s safety net, Social Security enables millions of Americans to retire with an invaluable peace of mind, and Medicare is an effective tool that provides greater healthcare access to millions of low-income Americans, preventing greater poverty. Social Security and Medicare are two of the most successful public programs ever created, and have shielded generations of older Americans from poverty. House Speaker Paul Ryan has been working to dismantle our seniors’ economic security by privatizing Social Security and cutting Medicare. These programs are a handshake agreement between the federal government and senior citizens that must be honored, and I will not stand for any attempts to undermine this commitment. Paying these benefits today is not enough; we must ensure the long-term solvency for future generations. As Congressman, I pledge to:
Our families need a tax cut, but Congress failed us with an irresponsible plan that rewards corporate billionaires and the wealthiest Americas at our expense. Worse yet, the plan includes provisions that brutally hit New Jersey property taxpayers with the loss of critical income tax deductions. As a state lawmaker, I have always fought for tax cuts that benefit our families and small businesses that create local jobs. It is time for a real middle-class tax cut that benefits hard-working South Jersey families and small businesses.
There is no commitment more important to our country than that of defending it, as millions of brave men and women have done. Our veterans are the heroes of our nation and deserve to be treated as such for being staunch defenders of our freedom. It is shameful that returning veterans often lack job opportunities, access to education, and critical healthcare services, and it is even more shameful that some of our heroes face a homelessness epidemic. As Congressman, I will fight to reverse these failures and I will work tirelessly until this is no longer the sad reality for the brave men and women of our military.
As it is embedded in our constitution, I believe the right to vote is universal and inalienable for all Americans. I fully support the Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would restore vital voter protections lost in the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has documented 148 separate instances of voter discrimination between 2000 and 2014. We must eliminate this injustice and ensure that our citizens will not be intimidated or discriminated against when exercising their right to vote.
I’m strongly and unequivocally pro-choice: I support Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose. Any efforts to weaken or undermine that right will face my fierce opposition. Proudly, I have consistently voted in the New Jersey State Legislature to support critical women’s healthcare funding that provides preventive health services, cancer screenings, and prenatal care for low-income women.