When the brave men and women who serve our country return home, they deserve access to the best possible services and programs our nation can provide. Our commitment to our veterans can’t end when they return home, which is why I work to make sure no veteran is left behind. That’s why I’ve worked to pass multiple pieces of bipartisan legislation to ensure that veterans have access to the vital resources they have earned and deserve, whether that be access to quality health care, job-training opportunities, or GI funds to go back to school.
Our veterans deserve the highest quality health care, which is why I was proud to introduce the Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act to address the opioid epidemic and reform pain management practices at the Tomah VA and throughout the VA system. I worked on a bipartisan basis to pass the bill into law in 2016 and I’ll continue to fight to provide veterans the care they earned and deserve.
I also authored legislation to create the Veterans History Project, a program run through the Library of Congress, which has recorded and archived more than 110,000 stories from veterans to preserve them for future generations.
Providing affordable, quality health care has been one of my goals since I was first elected. That’s why I’m proud to have helped shape and pass the Affordable Care Act–resulting in health care coverage for more than 200,000 Wisconsinites and guaranteeing health care for the more than 2.5 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions. I have and always will fight back against partisan attacks to repeal the Affordable Care Act and continue to build upon the work we’ve done.
The rising cost of prescription drugs is one of the biggest concerns for families throughout Wisconsin. That’s why I was proud to vote for legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the ability to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. We must level the playing field for patients when it comes to the price of prescription drugs and hold pharmaceutical companies accountable.
Wisconsin knows a budget is about priorities. Every day, Wisconsinites have to budget responsibly and expect their government to do the same. With that in mind, I’m working to restore fiscal accountability and discipline in Congress, starting with my own office.
Ever since working with Senator Proxmire on his “golden fleece” awards, I have kept an eye on wasteful spending. I have given back over $2 million from my office budgets to pay down the federal debt and fight tirelessly to preserve programs Wisconsinties worked hard for like Medicare and Social Security down the road and not saddle our future generations with debt.
I fought tirelessly to ensure the Paycheck Protection Program has the oversight it needs to ensure its going to Wisconsin small businesses — not billionaires and big corporations like the LA Lakers or Shake Shack.
In order, for our communities to thrive, our children deserve the best education from their first day of kindergarten through their high school graduation and beyond. That’s why I strive to work across the aisle to help strengthen our educational programs and ensure we have the best teachers for our children. Education is the key to unlocking our economic future and remaining competitive in the global economy. Building a 21st-century workforce right here in Wisconsin begins with expanding educational opportunities for everybody.
With the Third Congressional District being home to 14 colleges and universities, I know that education is a critical component to the future of our children and grandchildren–especially when it comes to reducing the cost of higher education. Students should not be punished for seeking higher education. I have worked in Congress to lower the cost of education, help graduates refinance their loans, and increase access to grants.
Ensuring that students have the resources they need to grow and explore their future is vital-from increasing PELL Grant funding to reforming how we measure success in K-12. I’m committed to making sure our students have access to the education and training they need to prepare them for the future.
Jobs & Economy
Supporting economic growth and opportunity starts by creating good-paying jobs and strengthening our middle class. If we want to remain the leading nation in innovation and creativity, we need to train a workforce that can compete on the global stage.
While education and workforce training is a key component to getting people ready to participate in the modern economy, we also need to be sure that there are jobs available for them. Small businesses represent over 96% of our nation’s businesses and were responsible for 64% of new jobs created in the last decade. Ensuring that small business owners have the tools to keep the shelves stocked and the payrolls balanced will be vital to providing the jobs that will spur Wisconsin’s future economic growth.
Social Security and Medicare are benefits earned through decades of hard work. I have and always will fight any attempts to cut these vital programs and make sure Social Security and Medicare remain strong for today’s seniors as well as for future generations. I also strongly oppose privatizing these vital programs.
I’ve also worked hard to lower the costs of prescription drugs, especially for our seniors. Last year, I helped shape and pass bipartisan legislation to help level the playing field so folks can pay fair prices for the prescription drugs they need without sacrificing other necessities. This legislation gives Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, creates an out-of-pocket drug limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, and extends Medicare coverage for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing.
From roads and bridges to waterways and broadband, investing in infrastructure is critical to our rural businesses, schools, economies, and so much more. In Congress I’m working to invest in rural broadband and expand access for our communities. Whether starting a business or staying in touch with family and friends, reliable access to the internet is important for all of us in the Third Congressional District. I also helped pass a sweeping infrastructure package that included funding for flood mitigation, investments in renewable energy, repairing roads and bridges throughout Wisconsin and the country, and fixing the digital divide.
Along the Mississippi River, we have experienced the impacts of climate change first hand. This is why we must commit to bold actions to combat climate change now in addition to mitigating the worst effects in Western Wisconsin. In the last few years, Western Wisconsin has been hit with devastating floods, particularly communities in the Kickapoo watershed area. We need to be smart about building up the resiliency of communities prone to flooding by investing in updated flood maps and ensuring funding is available for community and regional mitigation efforts.
Family farms have never had a stronger champion on their side. I understand the importance of making sure our farmers are adequately supported. I may be biased, but I believe Western Wisconsin is home to the best farmers in the world. All throughout Western Wisconsin there is a deep history of farming, and family farms remain the backbone of our community. No matter what, they are always there supporting and lifting one another up.
In Congress I make sure that our farmers get the support they need to continue the Wisconsin Tradition of farming. I’ve been fighting for years to make sure our agriculture programs are supporting our family farms and are not just helping the largest agribusinesses.
I’ve also worked tirelessly to make sure our trade policy reflects the needs of our family farms. I know that if our farmers and workers are able to compete on an even playing field, they’ll succeed. That’s why I fought to improve the USMCA to stop cheating in Canada and will fight to end the trade war that has closed markets for our farmers so they are able to ship Wisconsin farm products around the world.
We know times have been tough for our Wisconsin farmers — in particular dairy farmers. With three farms closing a day I have tirelessly fought to stop aid programs targeted at the top and worked with farmers on to improve mental health services through these trying times.
Sportsmen and Conservation
Some of my best memories growing up were of fishing, hunting, and camping in the great outdoors of Wisconsin. It’s vital that we ensure those same opportunities are available for future generations.
From deer to walleye, hunting and fishing in Wisconsin Natural areas have been a large part of my life. It is a passion that I have passed down and enjoyed with my sons. Hunting is a rich part of the Western Wisconsin tradition and I want to ensure that it is still available for future generations.This means making sure that hunting land, and our waterways remain pristine for wildlife to flourish
The Mississippi River, local wildlife refuges, and other scenic outdoor spaces are as important to our hunting, fishing, and sporting traditions in Wisconsin, as they are vital to our local economies. I’ve made preserving and protecting our natural heritage a central part of my work in Congress. I’m working hard to make sure that our natural treasures are protected for future generations to enjoy and that our hunting traditions can be passed down to the next generation.