This campaign is first and foremost about you and your family. It’s about making our country and our communities better places to live, work and thrive for all of us.
As a breast cancer survivor, I understand the importance of having access to affordable, quality health care. During my treatment three years ago, while my daughter was struggling with a serious pre-existing condition, we were notified by our insurance company of 20 years that they were not going to cover us the following year. Since then, we have had three different insurance plans, but we’ve been fortunate to have coverage.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, my daughter and I were able to keep our doctors and receive the care we needed.
Just like my daughter and me, all Americans, regardless of medical history, should be able to access the treatment and care they need and should be able to do so without going into extreme debt. I will fight every day to make that a reality for everyone in our district and across America.
By contrast, Peter Roskam has voted dozens of times for bills that would cause millions of American families to pay more and get less from their health care coverage. Roskam voted in favor of the AHCA, the most recent House health care bill, which would have:
- Raised costs, cut coverage, and weakened vital protections for those with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, epilepsy, and mental health disorders.
- Created an “age tax” by letting insurers charge those over age 50 five times more than they charged others for premiums.
- Cut Medicaid, causing an estimated 392,000 working Illinoisans to lose health care coverage altogether.
Respected organizations like the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Cancer Society and Catholic Health Association all agree the AHCA would have been disastrous to our American health care system.
As your Congresswoman, I will advocate for sensible solutions that improve access to care while decreasing costs. Ensuring the health of our families should not be a partisan issue. I will work with anyone who shares these goals:
- Create a “Medicare-for-All” Public Option: Creating a public option that would compete with private insurance companies on the healthcare exchange is the best way to give Americans more choices for quality, affordable health care.
- With a “Medicare-for-all” option, every American would have the option to buy into Medicare on the health care exchange, but would also be free to choose private insurance or continue to receive health benefits through their employer. This is a choice available to people who want it.
- A study by the Congressional Budget Office found implementing this public option would save taxpayers $158 billion over 10 years and extend coverage to the millions of Americans who remain uninsured.
- Reduce the Cost of Prescription Drugs: We must reduce the high costs of health care in our country, including the cost of prescription drugs. Bringing those costs down is crucial to expanding access to lifesaving treatments and making health care more affordable. In order to lower prices, I will work to:
- Allow Medicare Part D to negotiate lower drug prices just like the Veterans Health Administration does now.
- End price gouging by hospitals.
- Crack down on drug companies that hike prices for life-saving medications like EpiPens and insulin.
- Protect Programs for Seniors: I’m fully committed to protecting and enhancing Medicare and Social Security for current and future generations to ensure our seniors have the health care and income support they need to live with dignity.
I have been a fierce advocate for the environment all of my life. As Energy and Environment Outreach Coordinator for the Obama campaign, I organized volunteers around the country who advocated to protect the environment and invest in clean energy to boost economic growth. After my election to the Illinois Environmental Council in 2014, I was a strong advocate on important environmental issues that directly impact the 6th district and the entire state of Illinois.
The Earth’s climate is changing–that is a fact. How we deal with it and what kind of environment we leave to our children is up to us. When Trump withdrew U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accord last year, he sent a clear message on where he stood on the issue. By continuing to dismantle important environmental protections, the Trump administration is enacting policies that benefit billionaires and large corporations at the expense of everyone else’s health. I won’t let that continue.
Climate change is an economic issue. Extreme weather has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past 10 years. In the coming decade, these costs are expected to skyrocket to $360 billion per year. To put this in perspective, just $70 billion a year could eliminate college tuition costs for the millions of students who attend public universities.
When in Congress, I will work to:
- Rejoin the Paris Climate Accord: To protect our children and grandchildren, America must again take a prominent role in reducing carbon emissions. American leadership was essential to shaping the Paris Climate Agreement, and it’s just as critical to implementing and enforcing it.
- Reinstate the Clean Power Plan: The Clean Power Plan is key to reducing carbon emissions and other pollutants from power plants.
Innovation has always been an American hallmark, We should focus on developing new energy technology that supports both environmental sustainability and economic growth. We can combat climate change and create millions of jobs by becoming a clean energy superpower that leads the development of solar, wind, and fuel cell technology.
Energy efficiency is key. Investing in and installing energy efficiency technology creates thousands of good-paying jobs–the kind we need and can create here in the 6th District.
- Invest in Efficiency and Renewable Energy: We need to enact policies, including targeted goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy production, that will stimulate private investment in energy innovation. This will create good-paying jobs and enhance America’s position as a leader in the clean energy industry, attracting investment and new companies.
Thanks to my parents’ sacrifice and hard work, a value they instilled in me at a young age, I was the first in my family to graduate from college. Because tuition was affordable, I was able to pay off my loans without going into extreme debt.
Unfortunately, for too many families today, the opportunities I had are simply not a reality. With education costs rising faster than most incomes and the rate of inflation, it’s getting harder and harder for families to afford higher education. The spiraling cost of education has forced far too many students to take out loans that turn into overwhelming debt after graduation.
For many, affordable higher education and the American Dream, are simply out of reach. But we can fix that.
By 2020, approximately 35 percent of job openings will require a bachelor’s degree. Another 30 percent will require an associate degree or other certifications. One of our top priorities should be investing in the future of our workforce by encouraging higher education and training without the fear of crippling student debt. I support making higher education more affordable by implementing policies that:
- Allow Borrowers to Refinance Student Loans: We should allow loan recipients to consolidate and refinance their student loans at current, historically low interest rates, and should expand the availability of income-based loan repayment plans.
- Remove Barriers to Higher Education: Every student should have the option to graduate from a community college or an in-state public university without the burden of excessive loans. I will advocate for:
- Increasing the number and dollar amounts of Pell Grants available to lower- and middle-income students, with the goal of making community college and in-state public university tuition debt-free for these grantees.
- Making it easier to transfer credits from community colleges to four-year universities, creating a more affordable path for students to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Career and Technical Education
Blue collar and technical jobs have always been the cornerstone of our communities and can provide workers in the 6th District a high enough standard of living to support their families. We need to provide our young people with the opportunity to learn skills and trades needed in today’s workforce. As your Congresswoman, I will:
- Create a National Strategy for Career Readiness: Too many students aren’t prepared for a career after high school or college. We need a new, comprehensive, national program for career readiness. We should partner high schools with trade schools, community colleges and employers to make sure our students learn the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
- Support Worker Training Programs: Our economy is changing at lightning speed, largely due to technological advances. While these advances are often beneficial, they are also causing massive challenges for our workforce. We need to develop and invest in retraining programs to ensure Americans whose jobs are at risk because of automation are able to learn new skills and successfully reenter the workforce.
Preschool and K-12 Education
Every child deserves access to quality education. Period. I am determined to stand up to Donald Trump, Betsy Devos, Bruce Rauner and their disastrous agendas to divert federal funding away from public schools. As your representative, I will:
- Expand Access to Early Childhood Education: Studies show children who attend preschool go on to earn higher incomes and enjoy healthier lives as adults. We need to ensure every family has access to quality, affordable early childhood education, and that’s why I support proven programs like Head Start.
- Support Smart Investments in K-12: No child’s future should be determined by their zip code. While state and local governments have the responsibility to fund K-12 programs, the federal government can and should make investments in our children’s future by supporting lunch and after-school programs for underprivileged children.
Three of my grandparents worked in factories, earning a solid middle-class wage and supporting their families. They embraced the American Dream, which always has been based on the idea that if you work hard, you can get ahead. But millions of Americans still feel insecure about their economic situation. I will work to make sure that the same kinds of good-paying jobs my grandparents enjoyed are available not only in the Illinois 6th Congressional District, but nationwide.
Creating Good Jobs
Good-paying jobs are essential to the middle class. But wages have stagnated while major corporations are earning record profits, and the stock market is hitting all-time highs. As your Congresswoman, I will advocate for policies that:
- Raise Wages: I support increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Every hard-working Illinoisan deserves a living wage and should be able to support themselves and their families while saving for the future.
- I will also fight for equal pay for equal work so that no one faces wage discrimination because of their gender, race or sexual orientation.
- Improve Family Leave Policies: I support guaranteeing workers paid family leave so that no American has to make the unacceptable choice between their family and their career.
- Invest in Education and Training: The U.S. will need to fill an estimated 3.5 million skilled manufacturing jobs over the next decade. That’s why I support job training initiatives, including tax incentives for employers and partnerships between community colleges and employers. These policies will help students prepare for good jobs, help workers train for stable careers, and ensure businesses have the educated workforce they need in today’s changing economy.
My husband is a small business owner so I know first-hand that small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Illinoisans have significantly benefited from entrepreneurship. Organizations like 1871, which is Chicago’s center for technology and entrepreneurship, have helped hundreds of startups grow into successful companies. To help support small businesses, part of my economic agenda includes supporting legislation that will:
- Cut Red Tape: We must pass tax relief and reduce overly burdensome regulations on entrepreneurs and small businesses. Small businesses must be able to compete with large corporations.
American infrastructure is in disrepair. While countries like China are investing more in their infrastructure, our failure to do so has hurt our economic competitiveness. Most important, ignoring our crumbling roads, bridges and airports puts public safety at risk. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the U.S. a D+. It estimates that we need to nearly double our investment in infrastructure over the next 10 years to improve our grade. In response, I will work to:
- Invest in Infrastructure: I will support bipartisan efforts to invest in rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure, which will create high-paying construction jobs in the short-term and spur private investment and economic growth in the long-term.
- Congress has always had a major role in funding surface transportation. We need to repair and improve our highways, roads, and bridges, reduce congestion, and slash the “pothole tax” that drivers silently pay each and every day.
- We must lower transportation costs and increase economic opportunity by expanding public transit options.
Illinois is one of the highest-taxed states in the country. We need to reform the federal tax code to reduce the burden on middle class and working families and make sure they get – and keep – their fair share.
For too long, lawmakers like Peter Roskam and Donald Trump have put their wealthy and corporate campaign donors ahead of the middle class. As Chair of the House Tax Policy Subcommittee, Roskam helped design and then voted for the Republican tax bill, which hikes taxes on millions of middle-class families and homeowners over time while giving tax cuts to big corporations and the ultra-rich.
By favoring corporations and the ultra-rich, Roskam has put many homeowners, students, and families with medical expenses at risk of paying higher taxes. Forty-five percent of his constituents rely on State and Local Tax deductions to reduce the burden of paying their state income and local property taxes. But Roskam failed to stand up for that 45 percent. He also voted to raise taxes on families with student loans and significant medical expenses – all while adding an estimated $1 trillion to the federal deficit.
I am committed to making the tax code fair and putting money back in the pockets of working people, families and small businesses. I will fight to close loopholes for multinational companies that move jobs overseas, and end tax breaks for special interests. Core components of my legislative agenda will be to:
- Provide Tax Relief to Working Families: For too many years, middle-class families have been squeezed by rising costs for everything from childcare and health care to housing and college. We need to keep and expand the tax incentives that make childcare, health care, home ownership, and education more affordable.
- Simplify and Cut Taxes for Small Businesses: Small businesses are the backbone of America, and they must be able to compete with the large corporations. We need to simplify and cut taxes for small businesses so they can grow and hire more workers.
- Restore Fairness to the Tax Code: We need to get rid of the “carried interest” loophole that allows Wall Street money managers to pay a lower tax rate than working people and the middle class. We also need to close loopholes that let multinational companies shift their profits to tax havens and move jobs overseas. And we should make sure that large corporations and billionaires with large estates pay their fair share in taxes.
I am proudly pro-choice and stand with Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide essential health care to women nationwide.
Women must have the freedom to make decisions about their own reproductive health without fear of government encroachment. The Affordable Care Act expanded access to health services that are critical for women, including: maternity care, annual wellness exams, birth control and screening and counseling for sexually transmitted diseases. I will fight any attempts to repeal these services.
I will work to prevent Republicans like Peter Roskam from dragging our country backward by denying women rights to basic health care, equal pay and a life without fear of domestic violence and sexual assault. Roskam has a terrible record on each of these issues. He has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He’s voted against equal pay for women. And he’s voted against the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
As your Representative, I will:
- Improve Access to Women’s Health Care: Each woman, no matter how much money she makes or how she gets her insurance, should have access to the full range of reproductive health care. I will support and sponsor legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights and fight to continue federal funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood.
- Fight for Equal Pay and Treatment in the Workplace: We need to fight for workplace equality, from equal pay and benefits to ending discrimination against pregnant women and primary caregivers. We need stricter laws to ensure employer accountability. And we should also pass federal legislation that guarantees primary caregivers paid leave and fair treatment when they return to their jobs.
- Confront Violence Against Women: We should continue to provide comprehensive support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, but it’s not enough to address the problem after it occurs–we must improve and expand our prevention efforts as well. I will work to increase education programs that cover issues like consent and bystander intervention, and I will advocate for implementing domestic violence prevention programs in secondary schools, colleges and universities. We also need to strengthen legislation that will protect women from gun violence in domestic abuse situations.
Gun violence is a growing epidemic in our country. Too many Americans have suffered from gun violence, and will continue to suffer, until Congress stands up and says enough is enough. It is time we held our elected officials accountable and tell them now is the time to pass comprehensive gun legislation to protect the lives of our American citizens.
As your Congresswoman, I will fight to:
- Pass Universal Background Checks. I believe the single most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence is to expand criminal background checks for gun purchases over the internet, at gun shows, in newspaper ads, or between friends and family. 92% of Americans, including 87% of Republicans, support expanding background checks on all gun purchases.
- Vow to not take money from the NRA. Unlike Peter Roskam, who has received over $20,000 from the NRA, I vow to not take a penny from them and gun lobbyists.
- Close the Boyfriend Loophole. Congress must close the boyfriend loophole, which will ensure anyone convicted of domestic abuse is unable to purchase firearms. Currently, federal law prohibits individuals convicted of gun violence from owning a gun; however, it excludes current or former partners who do not live with the person or have a child together. I believe anyone convicted of domestic violence should be unable to purchase a gun.
- Repeal the Dickey Amendment. The Dickey Amendment prevents the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence in our country. This is a public health epidemic that needs solutions and we shouldn’t be preventing research on how to tackle this serious issue.
- No Fly, No Buy. We should prevent anyone on the FBI’s “No Fly List” from purchasing guns. If you are too dangerous to fly on a plane, then you are too dangerous to own a gun.
- Ban Bump Stocks. I believe Congress should ban the production and sale of bump stocks because there is no reason an individual should be able to unload ammunition at the firing speed of a semi-automatic weapon unless they’re in the military and at war.
- Ban the Sale of Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines. After Congress let the 1994 federal assault weapons ban lapse in 2004, gun violence in our country has been on the rise. While banning the sale won’t prevent all forms of gun violence, we could have prevented mass shootings such as the Parkland School shooting, Orlando Pulse Nighclub shooting, Las Vegas shooting, Texas church shooting, and many more.
- Prevent Concealed Carry Reciprocity Laws. I will oppose any efforts by the Republicans in Congress to pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity laws which would mandate that each state recognize the concealed carry permit of every other state even though standards for issuing permits vary wildly from state to state, and 12 states don’t even require a permit to carry a loaded, concealed firearm. What this means in real terms is that dangerous, untrained individuals will be able to carry loaded, concealed firearms into bustling public places. People prohibited from gaining a concealed carry permit in a state with strong gun laws, such as Illinois, will be able to apply for, and receive, a permit in a state with weaker gun laws.