Policy Priorities

As I get my campaign underway, I keep hearing from my neighbors about a few key issues that matter most.

I’m running for Congress because our representatives in Washington—and the massive corporations that paid to put them there—have forgotten people like you and me. It is putting our families at risk. Since the Pandemic began, 28 million Americans got sick, 600,000 people died, and 78 million lost their jobs. At the same time, America’s billionaires made more than $1.6 TRILLION.

When a handful of people can accumulate so much wealth in the face of so much tragedy, something has gone wrong in this country.

Economic opportunity used to be the engine that drove our country forward. The possibility of a better life for oneself and one’s family was a powerful motivator and for most of American history, it was an equalizer. We need economic opportunity to play these roles again.

We have to start using the levers of government to ensure that everyone has the tools and resources to build their own American dream. We need to insist on:

  • Stable jobs with good pay and meaningful benefits
  • The right of employees to collectively bargain
  • Investments in infrastructure that benefit everyone and businesses of all sizes
  • Investments in educational and training opportunities
  • Real support for small businesses in the form of grants and tax breaks

We need bold leadership that is unafraid of supporting decisions that make real differences. When members of Congress, like my opponent, fail to increase the minimum wage, they hold down wages for our lowest-paid workers and hold wages stagnant for the middle class—even as the cost of living goes up year after year.

When members of Congress fail to invest in infrastructure, communities like ours cannot compete against places like New York and Beijing.

When members of Congress fail to provide tax incentives to small businesses to expand operations and hire more workers, they can’t compete and wind up having to shutter their doors forever.

I often represent everyday Ohioans in my job. When big corporations run roughshod over people and small businesses, I hold them accountable. I represent victims and fight for justice for them in court.

Correcting injustices after-the-fact is important, but it isn’t a solution. I’ve learned first-hand that lawsuits alone will not fix a rigged system. Our representatives in Washington have created a system that punishes victims and rewards villains.

Just look at our tax system. Fortune 500 companies and their billionaire owners regularly pay less in taxes than you and I. Following Congress passing the 2017 Corporate Tax Cuts, 26 major corporations have paid no income taxes whatsoever for three straight years.

The billionaires that own these companies have done much the same. Elon Musk of Tesla, the second-richest person in the world, didn’t pay a penny in income tax in 2018. Not to be outdone, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the richest person in the world, paid zero income tax twice. And when they do pay taxes, they pay nothing compared to us. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, the sixth-richest person in the world, only paid just 0.1% annually in taxes from 2014 to 2018. He paid less than 10 cents for every $100 he made. All while you and I pay on average more than 24% in taxes each year.

Clearly, our tax system isn’t fair.

I agree with Senator Sherrod Brown that before we raise taxes, we first need to slam shut the corporate loopholes that only exist for the billionaire class.

We need to rethink the tax breaks we give to companies with no strings attached. Washington delivered billions in corporate bailouts and tax cuts that should have saved and created jobs, but then let these companies put Americans out of work. GM got a $49.5 billion taxpayer-funded bailout and still shipped the jobs at its Lordstown plant overseas. If these giant corporations refuse to invest in American workers, we should refuse their requests for handouts. These dollars should go to support small business owners so they can expand & improve operations, train and hire more people, and increase the pay and benefits for employees. We should invest in businesses that invest in us.

When my brother Chris was 18, he was in a rollover car accident. He suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him a quadriplegic. My family thought we had great health insurance, but the insurance companies fought us every step of the way. Even with insurance, our monthly out-of-pocket bills amounted to more than $20,000. After my father passed away, the insurance company cut off our coverage altogether; Chris’ care was costing them too much money. They abandoned us because we were just numbers on a spreadsheet. Back then a pre-existing condition like quadriplegia would disqualify you from coverage. We had nowhere to turn. What happened to us wasn’t a fluke. My family’s experience is far too common. Fortunately, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) eliminated the use of pre-existing conditions to disqualify people from coverage. It also allowed tens of millions of families to gain access to health insurance, and increased health care offerings in the marketplace for folks from all walks of life. The insurance companies did not take this lying down. They have fought tooth-and-nail to repeal these lifesaving provisions because it hurts their bottom line. Their advocacy has lead to gaps that continue to make health care inaccessible to many. Insurance companies are still holding people hostage. They use people’s need for medical care to extort high copays and premiums and charge uncompetitive prices. We must make medical care less expensive, more accessible, and better quality. We can do this by:
  • Strengthening and expanding Medicare
  • Providing more resources for state run insurance programs.
  • Lowering prescription costs by compelling pharmaceutical companies to come to the negotiating table.
  • Passing laws that prevent price gouging and require lower out-of-pocket maximums.
  • Providing incentives for new insurance companies to enter the marketplace to drive down prices and improve the quality of coverage.
We need a system that focuses on patient care, not padding the pockets of executives. My opponent, Dave Joyce, has been in lock step with the insurance companies every step of the way. He voted over 30 times to repeal the ACA without offering a replacement. If Joyce had been successful, he would have done to millions of Americans and thousands of Ohioans what the insurance companies did to my family: cut off their insurance coverage and left them to fend for themselves. Our families deserve better healthcare and we all deserve better than Dave Joyce.