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Priorities

Agriculture is the heart of the Illinois 17th District, the proud home to thousands of farms. The agribusiness economy is the economic engine that drives our state, with farmers adding huge value to our economy, and that’s why we must work to support and enhance agricultural innovation and a strong agricultural workforce.

We must make it possible for the next generation of farmers to be competitive by ensuring access to existing markets and creating new markets for our exports. By passing reasonable long-term farm bills, ensuring access to reliable crop insurance, and promoting new technologies and opportunities, we can ensure that future generations are excited about their prospects in the agribusiness economy.

Our farmers need federal support when appropriate, but not federal interference. Our economy relies on advocating for sensible environmental policies that recognize farmers as the best stewards of their land and standing up for farmers when policies seek to turn back the clock on the advances we have made. With innovative thinking, our farmers can be leaders on both environmental and conservation issues.

Bipartisanship is not selling out our values, or the needs of our district, to make political gains. True bipartisan cooperation is putting the needs of our district forward for consideration and working with others to find ways to give where it doesn’t matter as much to gain where it matters the most.

Finding ways to ensure that the needs of the Illinois 17th district come first, before party, before politics, and before special interests, is the key to moving our regional economy ahead to keep pace with the national growth trends.

A strong, robust economy is vital to our long term health and vitality as a nation. That is why we must commit to fighting for business and employment opportunities for every individual in our District. Each person in our nation deserves a job to provide for his or her well-being and have the dollars to create the life they want.

Dollars are the seeds we can plant to grow our lives, our families, and our communities.

Community health starts with individual prosperity for each one of us. We need the government to remove barriers so innovative ideas can flourish. Economic growth guarantees tomorrow will be better than today. The growth of our economy will keep food on our tables, a roof over our heads, and allow us to give back to others.

American workers, including the workforce in the Illinois 17th District, are potentially the best workers in the world. American workers suffer from unfair trade and labor practices creating good-paying jobs in China and elsewhere overseas, and that needs to cease immediately. We need financial policies and trade practices that create American jobs, return our supply chain to American soil, and grow the American economy. 

Manufacturing is a vital segment of our nation’s and the 17th Congressional District’s economy. We must preserve our country’s role as the global leader, as a robust manufacturing sector provides growth and opportunity for the American workforce.

Manufacturers need the necessary tools and resources to thrive. It should be the role of the government to implement a framework that allows for innovation and manufacturing to prosper. The 17th Congressional District of Illinois needs someone who will work with those at the Federal and State levels to provide manufacturers with the ability to succeed.

Enhancing and empowering Americans to start and grow small businesses is a vital component of our long-term economic success as a country. Small businesses create two-thirds of the growth in jobs in the American economy. Nurturing the growth sector of the economy and expanding access to markets to make the export of American products more competitive is what will create jobs and ensure economic opportunity and success for future generations.

Making sure all children have the access and opportunity to a high-quality education is a top priority for Americans looking to the future. Maintaining a competitive workforce requires the development of skilled tradespeople, trained management and logistical leadership, and cutting-edge technology and research to position us at the head of the pack. And most importantly, an educated and knowledgeable citizenry is necessary for a strong and stable nation to thrive, so our efforts at sustaining the humanities, arts, and social sciences are critical as well.

For our educational experience to be world-class, we need to ensure schools have dedicated and sustainable funding sources that provide resources and training for our educators, properly equip classrooms, and maintain local control over curriculum and leadership, and encourage parental engagement.

At the post-secondary level, we need to hold higher education accountable for ensuring that it is affordable and focused on high-quality teaching. Ensuring that educators are equipped and supported to adapt to new teaching modalities and the changing demands of the high-tech world is critical for the long term success of our institutions of higher education.

As the most prosperous nation to ever exist, Americans deserve access to quality healthcare, and it’s up to our leadership to make care more accessible at a reasonable cost. America needs market-based healthcare, giving customers more choice, and keeping costs down.

Patients and their doctors should be responsible for healthcare decisions, not insurance companies or Washington bureaucrats.

We should have laws that encourage employers to offer health insurance plans with more flexibility for the consumer, and work for innovative solutions to help self-employed workers—including farmers—because as our “gig-economy” grows, healthcare access should not hold back bold business ideas that grow small- to mid-sized business and strengthen our communities.

Immigration policy must begin with securing our borders. America is a land of opportunity, giving so many immigrants a better life and strengthening the fabric of who we are as a county. America is also a nation founded on laws, and our laws need to be enforced to keep our country strong and united.

Congress needs to work to repair this broken system by enacting new immigration laws that protect us and provide a legal pathway to citizenship for those willing to comply with our rules. Children who were brought to America illegally at an early age need a legal path to become citizens, and they need to be in line with those who have waited patiently to come to America legally.

Growing up on the border between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, I have a firsthand understanding of immigration. I’ve witnessed illegal border crossings with my own eyes, and I’ve watched my brother-in-law struggle with his student visa after marrying my sister. He was forced to get in line, pay a lot of money, and to wait for three years before he was able to return to this nation legally. Now he is a successful business owner who pays his taxes and contributes to society.

We must make the necessary investments to keep our nation’s infrastructure system strong. This work also creates jobs and can boost the region’s economy. It is imperative the federal government provide local and state governments with the flexibility required to meet the needs of very diverse states across our nation as well as long-term certainty when it comes to funding, so they can plan and deliver projects. I am committed to fighting for transparency, local control, and streamlined processes so projects can get done in a timely fashion while maintaining safety standards. Whether roads, bridges, railways, transit, ports, airways, or locks and dams on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, improving new and existing infrastructure is vital for economic growth and job creation.

Just like households must do, the Federal Government needs to live within its means. Our national debt is $19 trillion and growing, and we continue to have a government that taxes, borrows, and spends too much. As your Congresswoman, I will fight to control spending to address the national debt, ensuring that our children and grandchildren are not forced to pay for the mistakes of today’s generation.

National Security is the primary function of the federal government. The men and women in uniform are the ones who protect our unique democratic society. America needs to lead the world in defense. We need leadership that will arm our military with the resources and training they need to defend our nation from potential domestic attacks on our water and energy and to provide strong national defense from foreign threats.

As a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, I understand the importance of national defense, and I’m committed to a strong military and to honor the brave men and women who serve this nation. It is vital to provide our military with the training and resources they need to handle the mounting security challenges and threats around the world.

A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay is one of the most basic contracts that can exist in the modern workforce. When it comes to organized labor, we need representation that supports the rights of workers to organize if they choose to. It is vital that we support collective bargaining.

Management and labor succeed when they work together and are encouraged to have an open, direct, fair, and honest relationship because that is what creates a successful enterprise long-term.

A basic element of the American work landscape is the idea that people are best when they are working together to improve themselves and their community. Trying to find ways to unite to create more and better jobs, increase production and economic growth, and elevate income is pro-worker and pro-middle class.

One of the most pressing issues facing the American workforce is training workers to prepare them for high-tech jobs. American manufacturing can lead the world in high-tech applications and to make sure our workforce is prepared to stay at the front of the pack. To do that, we must fully fund trade schools, apprenticeship programs, and workplace safety training.

Science has shown and is continuing to present research that a fetus is a human being with completely unique DNA that can feel pain early in development. The Declaration of Independence declares individuals are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” including the right to life. We must protect the most vulnerable, including babies in the womb.

We need to support and expand access to women’s healthcare for Federally Qualified Health Clinics and Rural Health Clinics (which do not provide abortion but provide other critical health services for women). Adoption must be an easier option for mothers.

I’m unapologetically pro-life. I am also pro-women’s rights, especially the rights of female babies who are still in the womb.

The American Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, and I’m committed to protecting the rights of responsible gun owners who use guns for hunting and protection. I also support efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and those who would commit acts of mass violence. We need a holistic approach to stopping violence by involving community leaders, law enforcement, gun manufacturers, and mental health professionals. We need to fund law enforcement fully, so they have the tools they need to enforce the laws already on the books and to stop violence before it starts.

America stands with the State of Israel. This importance of the long-standing United States-Israel strategic relationship is clear. The State of Israel is the only true democracy in the Mideast, and Israel shares our American values.

The continued relationship between America and the State of Israel is important to the interests of both nations. Together we pursue human dignity and freedom. Together we remain committed to education and innovation, science and technology, commerce and economic development, independence and self-determination, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.

The State of Israel is a vital ally of the United States, and we need a Member of Congress who will work to strengthen our ties and to support our friendship.

The violence and destruction of property in the wake of protests throughout America this summer underscores the need to invest in public safety. We can’t follow the liberals’ reckless agenda of defunding law enforcement agencies. We must do a better job of keeping our communities safe. We need Congressional leaders who support good law enforcement and are committed to protecting people, property, and communities.

Trade is paramount to the 17th Congressional District. Free trade strengthens our economy by expanding investment opportunities, opening new markets for our industries, and creating jobs. Over 1.7 million jobs are directly dependent on trade in Illinois, according to Trade Benefits America. While 4% of U.S. exports come from large companies, small businesses are responsible for the remaining 96%. To facilitate trade that benefits American workers, it is essential to strengthen dialogue with our trade partners, to have clear agreements, and enforceable free and fair trade laws. I am committed to ensuring Illinois has access to free and fair trade, while also ensuring the United States’ trading relationships are a high priority. Expanding access to emerging markets is crucial for creating opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, farmers, and service providers to sell more American-made goods and services around the world.

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