Why I am running
I am running to fight for you!
I have spent my life in public service. After 9/11, I dedicated my career to national security and I went on to serve at the CIA, the White House, and the Pentagon, where I worked on some of the world’s toughest problems. I approach elected office from a service perspective: as your elected Representative, my job is to fight for you and your families in Washington. I hope to earn your confidence and support.
In my first term in Congress, I have spent my time working on the issues that I hear about most from people across the district. Among my legislation, I worked to pass the bipartisan Real Time Benefits Act and the Lower Drug Cost Now Act –– both of which tackle the out-of-control prices of prescription drugs. As part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, six of my provisions related to PFAS protection, monitoring, and remediation were passed and signed into law by the President. As a result of my PFAS Monitoring Act, communities across the country will be required to monitor for PFAS contamination. I have focused on ways to help better provide for our veterans after they transition to civilian life, which is why I led the bipartisan PAWS Act which helps veterans get connected with service dogs and the bipartisan Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act, which will help expand the number of registered apprenticeship programs veterans can access with their benefits.
Our work is just beginning. There is much to be done to reform America’s healthcare system; strengthen Michigan’s middle class; and bring decency and integrity back to politics. I am running for re-election to continue working for the people of Michigan’s 8th district.
I first ran for Congress in 2017 after watching my then-Congressman vote to gut the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare is a deeply personal issue for me. When my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer she didn’t have health insurance. Like so many Americans, she had gone years without insurance because she could not afford it, due to her pre-existing condition. The same week my family was dealing with my mom’s terminal diagnosis, we started preparing for the possibility that she would have to declare bankruptcy. So when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and celebrated it at the White House, something inside me broke. I turned to my husband Dave, and I said, “No. You don’t get to do this. You don’t get to ignore your constituents, vote against their interests, and keep your job.” In the military, we have a term for this — it’s called dereliction of duty. It’s a fireable offense. In November 2018, voters in Michigan’s 8th district agreed, and we flipped a seat that had been held by Republican lawmakers for nearly two decades.
Over the past two years, I have heard from thousands of folks across the district about what matters most to them. I have tried to do more listening than talking. After hundreds of events in the community, thousands of conversations, and some good old-fashioned Saturday door-knocking, this is what I’ve heard: the American middle class — the backbone of the American success story since World War II — is under direct threat. Between stagnant wages and the rising cost of everything, working families are getting squeezed. People here are working harder for less.
I can promise you this: I will fight to preserve the American Dream in Michigan. I will work every day to make sure that we have world-class, affordable education that prepares our kids for well paid careers in Michigan. I will fight to ensure that all people have access to affordable health care and prescription drugs. I will make sure our kids are safe and healthy by protecting against threats to our environment, our security, and the very real threats posed by our aging infrastructure — and I will fight to bring real economic opportunity to our communities here in Michigan. There’s a lot of work to do, and I hope you give me the chance to continue fighting for the working families of Michigan’s 8th District.
Over the course of the campaign, I hope to meet as many of you in person as possible. I want to hear directly from you. After all, the job of a U.S. Representative is to represent you. So if you have questions or feedback for me, please send me a note and let me know what’s on your mind.