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Important Issues

As your representative in Congress, I am dedicated to working for the people of El Paso. During my first term in office I have focused on cleaning up corruption in Washington, lowering health care and prescription drug costs, defending our nation’s values, and advocating for our service members and their families.

Scroll down to see where I stand on the issues and learn how I am taking the lead to solve some of America's most pressing challenges.

Civil Rights

America was built by diverse individuals and ideas, and we must work to ensure that federal policies reflect that reality. I believe our government should ensure all Americans are treated fairly and with respect irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sex, or identity. I was proud to vote for the Equality Act, a landmark bill to ensure federal protection from discrimination based on sex and gender identity for all Americans and the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure worker protections regardin wages.

As Vice Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, I will continue to uplift the extraordinary contributions of women and minorities, and work to achieve pay equity, universal access to quality health care, strong protections against discrimination, and respect for human rights at home and across the globe. View Issue Related News

Defense and National Security

El Paso is home to Fort Bliss Army Base, a major power projection site and strategic asset for our national defense. For many Soldiers, we are the last stop before they deploy, and the first to welcome them home when they return.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I take great pride in working with our military leaders to ensure our service members, their families, and the civilians who work alongside them have the support and resources they need. Each year, I help craft the National Annual Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide our military the authorities and oversight necessary to achieve our collective security. See the priorities I fought for in the FY20 bill here.

Our military represents some of the best innovation and leadership in the world. Our national security is strengthened by the support and participation of surrounding communities and society at large, from research and testing, to industry and VA partnerships. We must further strengthen these relationships for mutual growth and sustainability. View Issue Related News

Economy and Jobs

As a border community, El Paso is dependent on trade. In fact, about a quarter of our jobs are linked to trade and the region sees about $80 billion worth of goods flow through our ports of entry. In Congress, I am committed to working to expand our economy and ensure that it benefits everyone. We must invest in small businesses, labor standards, and reform the tax code to boost job growth so that families need not worry about making ends meet. I am proud to support measures such as the Raise the Wage Act, which raises the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024; the Paycheck Fairness Act, which provides for equal pay for equal work; and the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which strengthens laws to protect workers’ right to organize a union and negotiate higher wages. View Issue Related News

Education

I believe education is the surest path to success. From pre-k to college and beyond, it is imperative that Congress makes high-quality education accessible and affordable to all. We must prepare El Pasoans for the workforce and make sure that they can get jobs in this ever-increasing global economy. I am committed to ensuring that every student coming out of our public schools has the best possible education and tools they need to obtain a higher education. I am also committed to uplifting our teachers and making sure they have a salary that reflects their invaluable work.

We must also address the teacher shortage that currently exists and ensure young El Pasoans are being prepared to enter the 21st century workforce. That is why I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Fellowships to Prepare the Next Generation of Teachers Act, which would provides fellowships for graduate students who are pursuing doctoral teaching degrees in the fields of STEM, special education and English language. View Issue Related News

Environment and Energy

The renewable energy sector has expanded steadily over the past decade and is now crucial to how we power our country. However, countries all over the world have begun to invest in renewable energy technology. With foreign competition growing and climate change threatening our environment, it is more important than ever that the United States begin to heavily invest in renewable energy like wind, solar, and other sources to remain a global leader.

Similarly, our natural resources are precious and must be safeguarded. We have a responsibility to take bold action to address the warming climate and must consider the impacts of all policies on nature and wildlife, as well as the input of the American people. 

Too often, minority communities have borne the brunt of irresponsible environmental policies while also being inappropriately excluded from decision making. I believe in energy and environment policy that benefits all communities and preserves public lands for public uses. We must work together to promote research and development in clean energy, bolster nascent green energy technologies, protect wild public lands, and keep our environment healthy in perpetuity. I was proud to sponsor the Department of Defense Climate Resiliency and Readiness Act to ensure that one of the largest producers of greenhouse gasses priotizes necessary developments in renewable technologies, builds on the success of NetZero pilots, and makes judicious use of taxpayer dollars. I also introduced the Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act (TECRA), to modernize the use of sanctions, a key foreign policy tool, to meet one of our most pressing global challenges: climate change. View Issue Related News

Gun Violence Prevention

El Paso knows far too well the consequences of our nation’a growing gun violence epidemic. On August 3, 2019, a domestic terrorist killed 22 people and injured another 26.

In the wake of the mass shootings that have shaken families across our country, it is clear we can do more to curb gun-related violence in our communities. I support common sense gun reforms such as closing the gun show loophole, requiring universal background checks, and banning assault weapons. In fact, one of the first bills I cosponsored was the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This legislation would provide universal background checks on gun sales. This bill passed the House in Febrruay 2019 and the Senate has still not acted on the measure. I will keep fighting for more reforms that will ensure our kids have a future. Enough is enough.
View Issue Related News

Healthcare

Healthcare is a right every El Pasoan should enjoy. However, El Paso County still has one of the highest uninsured rates in Texas. With out of pocket costs and premiums soaring, it is crucial for Congress to come up with solutions for everyday Americans. I was proud to vote in the 116th Congress for several healthcare bills, including the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. This bill would strengthen the Affordable Care Act, bolster protections for El Pasoans, and contains an amendment I introduced to ensure Navigator programs, which help Americans navigate the healthcare marketplace, meet the needs of vulnerable populations. Additionally, I voted for the Elijah Cummings Lower Prescription Drug Costs Now Act. Too many El Pasoans are having trouble with the rising cost of prescription drugs and this bill would give the Department of Health and Human Services the tools it needs to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies over the price of drugs.

As Vice Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, I will continue to advocate on behalf of women’s health care. Texas currently has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and I am committed to improving women’s access to affordable, high quality health care. I am proud to cosponsor bills like the Healthy MOMMIES Act, which would extend Medicaid coverage for pregnancies from 60 days to a full year after giving birth. We need to break down healthcare barriers to ensure women have safe pregnancies when they choose to do so. View Issue Related News

Immigration

Our nation’s diversity is our strength. As a third-generation El Pasoan, I know firsthand the importance of our immigration and the beautiful relationship we share with our sister city, Ciudad Juarez. Congress must work toward comprehensive immigration reform to ensure every person is treated with dignity and respect. Cruel policies, such as family separation and metering at ports of entry, are not the answer.

I am proud to have hosted many of my colleagues to the border. In fact, many of my colleagues – nearly 20% of Congress -- have visited the border region. It is important for members of Congress to see the border firsthand in order to legislate effectively. I will do all I can to uphold our border values in Congress.

The Democratic House is steadily making progress towards comprehensive immigration reform. I was glad to support the Dream and Promise Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and DED holders. I also put forth my own legislation the Homeland Security Improvement Act, that would strengthen oversight and accountability measures at DHS by creating an Ombudsman for Border and Immigration Enforcement Related Concerns. Both meausures passed the House in 2019. View Issue Related News

Senior Citizens

In my time in Congress, I have worked to protect health care benefits to all. Our seniors deserve no less. I am proud to cosponsor bills that will boost Medicare for seniors and ensure that Social Security is solvent for the good of our nation, like the Social Security 2100 Act. This bill would expand beneifts for current and future Social Security recipients; cut taxes for over 10 million seniors, and ensure the system remains solvent through the end of the century. If you need help with your benefits, please call my El Paso office at 915-541-1400 to speak to a caseworker. View Issue Related News

Veterans

Veterans served courageously and selflessly to keep our nation safe. It is only right that we honor our commitments to them when they return home to our communities. Supporting the El Paso VA, its clinics, and our 50,000 strong El Paso veterans community are a top priority for me. I am also proud to have voted for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, an effort decades in the making to bring parity in healthcare benefits to our Vietnam Veterans affected by herbicide exposure during service. From modernizing healthcare and patient records, to addressing the suicide epidemic, and ensuring women who served are fully included and supported at the VA, there is always room for improvement. That is why I was pleased to vote for the Deborah Sampson Act to improve access to women veterans’ medical care.

I deeply value input from our district’s veterans and the opportunity to learn from their experiences. Veterans and their families are always encouraged to reach out to my team to share their experiences regarding their experiences. I invite all veterans to join me in discussion at my quarterly veterans town halls and round tables. We can and must do more to support our veterans, who have served our country and defended the freedoms we enjoy each day. View Issue Related News

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