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Issues

Social Security & Medicare

When Jim was seven years old, his father was killed in a farming accident. With the help of Social Security survivor benefits, his family was able to avoid financial ruin. Jim has a great appreciation and understanding of the commitment that we have to our seniors and those that need help during tough times. While Republicans in Congress say that we do not have the money to fund Social Security, Jim supports lifting the cap on contributions to reach full funding of Social Security.

Jim has made a promise to always stand up and protect Social Security and Medicare and will make sure that the programs our seniors need are there for them.

While Jim also opposes gutting and revamping our current Medicare program, he supports using the power of the federal government to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs for Medicare—just like we do for the VA. There are ways to reform these plans without hurting the people that need them most.

Fighting for Our Jobs and Economy

Jim grew up on an Iowa farm so he knows how important agriculture and manufacturing are to the health of our state, our communities and our families. That’s why he’ll work to make sure we’re investing in the workers and small businesses that can rebuild our economy, secure our future, and ensure that all Iowans have a chance to share in the success that those investments create.

Republican priorities are out of touch with Americans. Rather than help make college more affordable they hand out money to Wall Street corporations and Big Oil. It is time Congress prioritized people in the economy instead of corporations. Jim will do just that by working to rein in tax loopholes for corporations and reinstate Glass Steagall to prevent too big to fail banks from destroying the economy again.

Agriculture is the backbone of the Iowa economy. Jim grew up on a family farm and understands that our connection to the land goes beyond just dollars and cents. In Congress Jim will work to ensure re-authorization of the Renewable Fuels Standard. As someone who lived farm values, Jim understands the need to maintain the land for future generations of farmers. In congress Jim will work to enhance conservation efforts as well as to work for investments in agriculture education including the use of vocational farms.

It is time to take steps forward to build renewable energy infrastructure. Reliable access to energy sources is both a national security and economic issue. Our long-term goal must be investment and development of renewable energy sources like wind and ethanol, which not only decreases our dependence on foreign energy sources but also creates jobs and fosters economic growth.

As Americans, the best investment we can make is in the infrastructure of our country. This will create sustainable jobs right here in Iowa. Whether we are talking about market roads or interstate highways, we must ensure that Iowans have access to the best system of roadways possible.

Standing Up for Workers and Families

As the father of two boys, Jim knows that parents have to choose too often between caring for a sick child and supporting their family. That’s why he’ll fight for paid family leave—because the common cold should never be a tragedy.

The best way to help families is to make sure that women are paid the same as a man for doing the same work. In 2016 it is outrageous that women would not receive the same pay as a man and Jim will support the Equal Pay Act.

Jim understands that to protect workers and their rights we must promote and strengthen labor unions. Jim will fight to protect worker’s rights to unionize and collectively bargain.

Jim supports a raise to the minimum wage so that we can build an economy that rewards hard work instead of punishing it, reduce the growing threat of vast income inequality, and rebuild our middle class.

Jim will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose and ensure that vital health care centers, like Planned Parenthood, stay funded and open to provide women with important health services they need.

 

Cutting Waste

Jim has the experience to cut the waste out of Washington. During his time in the Pentagon, Jim worked to establish the Army Office of Business Transformation. This office implemented business best practices within the bureaucracy of the Army. Jim negotiated with the Generals, the defense industry, and members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on both sides of the aisle to create good policy and save tax dollars. In less than 4 years, this office was able to save $3.5 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money without cutting programs and services essential to the daily operations of the Pentagon. Jim believes by implementing best business practices across the federal government we can save a significant amount of tax dollars.

Keeping Our Promise to Our Veterans and Service Members

Jim’s unit, the 1-113 Infantry Battalion, served the longest deployment of any unit in the Iraq war.  He enlisted after 9/11 because he wanted to serve his country, and as our Congressman he’ll ensure that our country continues to honor its commitments to the men and women who, like him, put everything on the line to defend the freedoms we enjoy at home.

Jim strongly believes that we have no greater responsibility than to take care of those who carry the emotional and physical scars of battle. Currently, the Veterans Administration has a backlog of cases extending more than a year. This is unacceptable. Jim will work starting the day he is sworn in to ensure that the VA is given the resources it needs in order to update its systems. No veteran should ever have to wait for his or her government to keep its promise.

Jim was able to attend college with help from the GI Bill and other services available to veterans. He will make sure that we protect and continue to expand programs to help train veterans for jobs when they come back home and make sure that they are highly qualified to enter the workforce.

While Republicans have consistently voted against veterans and programs to help them when they return home from their service to our country, Jim will do everything he can to stand up and fight for the services and programs that serve our veterans.

 

Overturning Citizens United

Our campaign finance system is broken. Jim supports an amendment to the constitution that would overturn the Citizens’ United decision to give power back to people, not major corporations trying to buy elections. We can’t address many of our other challenges until we have Representatives in Congress who aren’t beholden to special interest donors and secretive outside groups willing to spend millions of dollars from unknown sources.

 

Environmental Policy

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to both our National Security and Iowa’s economy. Iowa must continue to be a leader in production of clean, renewable energy, which will create jobs while helping to fight climate change. Investments in wind and solar and a Renewable Fuel Standard that helps drive ethanol production are keys to keeping Iowa at the forefront of a clean energy economy.

With the rise in unpredictable weather events like catastrophic floods that threaten farmers’ livelihoods, Iowa has the most to lose by not acting on climate change and the most to gain by remaining a leader in clean energy production and protecting our environment. Republicans in Washington have consistently denied the science behind climate change. Sarah Palin even compared her scientific credentials to Bill Nye’s! They don’t have the answers to the problems facing Iowa because they prefer to pretend those problems don’t exist. Fortunately, we know the solution: Iowa must remain a leader in clean energy production and environmental protection.

Jim is ready to take action on policies to help protect our environment because he has done it before. During his time serving at the Pentagon in the Obama Administration, Jim oversaw the Army Office of Business Transformation. The Federal Government is the largest user of energy in the country, and within the government the Department of Defense is the largest user. Under Jim’s leadership, the Army was the first government agency to achieve a ten percent reduction in energy usage and is on track to hit both short and long term goals for energy consumption reduction. Jim was able to work with the Army to get buildings LEED certified resulting in a greener operation as well as one that cost fewer taxpayer dollars.

 

Environmental Protection Plan

  • Take action against Climate Change by supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, because Iowa has the most to lose from a changing climate and the most to gain by being a clean energy leader
  • Restore the tax credit for wind energy to its full amount. Our government should not be rewarding oil companies with huge tax credits while limiting wind tax credits that will move our nation toward a clean energy future where we don’t rely on other countries for our fuel.
  • End tax breaks for Big Oil so that we can invest more into clean energy initiatives and programs that benefit working families
  • Strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard. Politicians like Ted Cruz believe that the RFS should be dismantled to protect big oil companies. We must work to strengthen and enhance the RFS not remove it.
  • Protect and strengthen the Clean Air Act from attacks by Republicans who would make it easier to pollute our air. Our children deserve clean air to breathe.
  • Work with farmers across Iowa to find ways to limit runoff into waterways and protect them from pollution so that Iowa families have safe, clean water that is fishable, swimmable, and drinkable