HOLDING TRUMP AND CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS ACCOUNTABLE
As a former federal prosecutor for 27, years I spent my entire career holding powerful people and organizations accountable for their wrongdoing. I took on Wall Street and big pharma executives, drug kingpins, lobbyists and even Members of Congress-- on both sides of the aisle. I made them answer to the American people for their wrongdoing.
Donald Trump and his executive branch appointees continue putting democracy at risk with their dangerous positions and policies. Barbara Comstock and too many of her colleagues in Congress simply won’t hold them accountable by providing the necessary checks and balances our constitution demands. That is simply unacceptable. I will do it differently.
We need representatives in Congress who are there to actually serve the public, and who aren’t afraid to do what’s right and stand up to Donald Trump.
I have the courage and experience to fulfill my constitutional obligations and hold the president and his administration accountable for their reckless and unlawful actions that endanger all of us and our democracy.
I was a public servant for almost three decades and took my oath of office seriously. I spent an entire career holding people accountable. I know how to do that. That’s what public servants do. And that’s what I'll do when I am in Congress.
All Americans should have access to affordable quality healthcare, but too many in Washington would rather spend time posturing and pandering, rather than engage in a frank discussion about how to improve the Affordable Care Act.
I am the only candidate running to represent VA-10 in Congress who has actually addressed fraud in our healthcare system, driven down the cost of healthcare nationally and saved taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.
At the Department of Justice, I created the nationwide Healthcare Fraud Strike Force that continues to successfully prevent Medicare dollars from being stolen, as well as swiftly arresting and prosecuting criminals who prey upon the Medicare system.
I have seen first hand how the government has failed to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma directly affected senior citizens; I have seen the costly disconnect between the efficient practice of medicine and government regulation; I know that more than ten cents of every Medicare dollar is being lost to fraud. We need to eliminate the fraud and pass the savings on to taxpayers by bringing down the cost of healthcare. I know how to do that.
I believe affordable healthcare is a basic human right, and I support the Affordable Care Act while acknowledging its flaws. As your Congressman, it will be one of my highest priorities to continue to reform and improve the efficiencies of our nation’s healthcare system, reduce the cost of healthcare, improve the quality of services and fight the rising costs of prescription drugs.
COMMON SENSE GUN REFORM
As a former federal prosecutor, I am the only candidate in this race who has actually taken guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. I know what gun laws are effective and I know what new laws we need on the books to provide law enforcement and citizens with the tools they need to keep all of us, especially our kids, safe.
Proactively preventing crimes before they take place is probably the most challenging job for the men and women of law enforcement. We need “Red Flag” laws that will help them take guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals before they harm others, Law enforcement and citizens must be empowered to promptly seek the removal of guns from those who pose a danger to themselves or others. Several states have enacted “Red Flag” laws that would allow anyone who has proof that a gun owner poses a threat to others to seek an immediate court order to remove those weapons temporarily. Known as "Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” they have proven to be an effective tool to assist law enforcement in proactively diffusing situations before the guns are used to harm innocent people. Domestic violence murders have dropped dramatically in those states that have passed such laws.
Without Republican support, a similar federal bill lies dormant in Congress. Contrary to the protestations of the NRA and Republican leaders, The Gun Violence and Restraining Order Act (H.R. 2598), co-sponsored by 60 Democrats would actually save lives. Imagine how different things would be today, the lives that could have been saved, if those who had contacted law enforcement about the Parkland, Florida, shooter had been empowered to seek immediate removal of his weapons from a court?
By far, the most effective measure to stop mass shootings is to curb the manufacture and sale of assault weapons. From 1994 through 2004 when the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect, there were 15 mass shootings involving a disturbed lone gunman, with 95 fatalities. But since its expiration there have been 27 mass shootings with fatalities more than tripling to 350. What else has more than tripled since the expiration of the ban? The number of assault weapons being manufactured and sold. One solution to ending these senseless massacres of innocent people, including children, simply has to begin with halting the availability of assault weapons. We need a new ban to keep these murderous weapons out of the hands of human powder kegs.
Universal background checks, smart gun technologies and the banning of bump-stocks and high capacity magazines are popular solutions that will surely save lives. But other impactful steps must be taken. Keeping weapons of war away from civilians and empowering citizens to use the courts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous actors will surely save innocent lives.
In Congress, I will stand up to and force the NRA to stand down, as well as their bought and paid for puppets in Congress. I will work tirelessly to enact common sense gun safety legislation that Americans want and need once and for all.
Immigrants are a vital and important part of the fabric of our great country and of Northern Virginia. Our Constitution, written in part by first generation immigrants, enshrines certain inalienable rights that protect us all and guarantees the unbiased application of due process, free from prejudice and fear. My father, a World War II vet, was a first generation immigrant, as was my mother’s father. My wife, Monique, is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. Their experiences and journeys, which I have learned and lived in rich detail, continue to guide me.
We need compressive immigration reform. In 2013 a bipartisan group of eight Senators (commonly known as “The Gang of Eight”) introduced the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” which passed the Senate with a strong majority 68 - 32. The Republican House, including Barbara Comstock, refused to act on the bill. We need strong leaders in Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation that both strengthens our borders and provides a path to citizenship for those immigrants who have established a durational and bona fide presence in the United States.
For national security reasons alone we need a strong border security program as envisioned by the Gang of Eight legislation. Strong borders, however, do not require a massive physical wall along our country’s border. In addition to the wall's negative and costly factors, various independent studies have concluded that it would be neither economically feasible nor particularly effective in preventing illegal immigration.
The DACA and TPS programs must be renewed. Congress’ inability to enact legislation which continues to protect the legal status of Dreamers and those immigrants holding Temporary Protected Status, such as El Salvadoran, Sudanese and Haitian refugees, is unacceptable and symptomatic of the dysfunction and lack of compassion that pervades this Republican Congress. Unlike Barbara Comstock, I will not remain silent. I will continue to champion the need to protect the legal status of Dreamers and TPS immigrants and for the bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform that most Northern Virginians want and that is essential for the safety of our country.
JOBS CREATION & THE ECONOMY
The American dream iremainsattainable, but the path toward that dream has been altered due to globalization and rapidly changing technology. We must keep up with the pace of this change by offering Northern Virginians more skills, better jobs, and higher wages.
As your Congressman, I will fight to start a skills revolution so our students and workers have the education, training and knowledge needed to compete in today’s complex global economy. I will fight to support middle class working families who need higher paying jobs, lower taxes and better employment opportunities so they can earn enough money to afford to live and work in Northern Virginia. I will fight to get the federal funding back to our district for much-needed infrastructure projects to repair and improve our roads and public transit systems, and to create clean energy jobs for workers installing solar panels, manufacturing wind turbines, and building battery operated cars. Lastly, I will fight to prepare our youth to work in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields, to combat the tide of jobs outsourcing overseas, and ensure our future prosperity.
CLEAN ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT
Today, climate change is affecting our national, economic, food, and water security, and we must take decisive action to reclaim control of our energy future. The threat of climate change has proved itself as one of the defining issues of our time, and we are already feeling it's undeniable consequences.
As your Congressman, I promise to support policies that will increase our energy independence, lower our energy expenditures, and transition the country toward cleaner, more cost-effective energy sources. More specifically, I will support aggressive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, develop green jobs and reinstate the Paris Agreement.
In Congress, I will fight to protect Northern Virginia families and communities from pollution by leading our transition to sustainable energy consumption and production. Investing in clean energy sources will safeguard our economic and national security, and will improve our overall public health. Perhaps most important, by becoming more energy independent, we can transition away from foreign energy sources, and lighten America's footprint in volatile regions of the world, eventually extricating ourselves from decades-long oil wars, and removing the United States as a scapegoat and pretext for violence in treacherous conflict zones.
I will oppose hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling and construction of new large fracked gas pipelines. I support legislation that assists green energy power grid customers like net-metering.
PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY AND FIGHTING TERRORISM
I am committed to protecting our core values as Americans, and as a member of Congress, Homeland Security will be one of my top priorities. The realities of terrorism have hit too many Americans and we have endured more than a decade of post-traumatic stress after the attacks on 9/11 by extremists motivated by hatred and bloodshed. I know that unchecked corruption breeds instability and sews the seeds of terrorism. In order to ensure our future well-being and establish peace and stability in the Middle East, we must impose a multi-pronged strategy to curbing the growth of terrorist organizations, and stopping the spread of extremist values at home and abroad. That includes being a moral leader in the world and winning the hearts and minds of those subjugated by corrupt regimes by respecting the cornerstones of a vibrant democracy: a free press, adherence to the rule of law, an independent judiciary and the dignified treatment of people of all walks of life. A sane immigration policy that both protects our borders and provides a path to citizenship for those who have lived in the United States for an extended period and have shown themselves to be reliable and productive assets to our country and our economy is equally paramount.
As your Congressman, I will be committed to fighting terrorism at home and around the world by thwarting immediate threats to our safety and security. I will work tirelessly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to prevent radicalization here in the United States, and will collaborate with our allies in the Middle East and Europe to destroy ISIS, counter international terrorist threats, and assert long-term, sustainable peace and stability over our allies’ territories.
As a country we must be better about putting the need of our veterans first. We can never fully repay the debt we owe our service men and women, but we must do all that we can to ensure their smooth and successful transition to civilian life when they return home from service. Prompt access to quality medical and mental health treatment is mandatory. We cannot privatize these services.
In Congress, I will continue to fight for policies that help our service men and women transition smoothly from the battlefield to life at home. I will press for reform of the Department of Veterans Affairs—the recent scandals in healthcare at the VA are an example of government bureaucracy and corruption of the insidious kind—and ensure that our service men and women have timely access to quality healthcare services when they need it most. Finally, I will fight for better services and support on behalf of military families who serve alongside our armed forces. It’s high time we treat our national heroes and their families with the compassion and respect they deserve.