Protecting the American people, and growing New Jersey’s economy
Burlington County Times
October 19, 2018
As a father and grandfather, I’m focused on securing a better future for the next generation of Americans. I hope to earn your support to grow South Jersey’s economy by fighting for good jobs and higher wages, affordable educational opportunities, health care and retirement security, a strong nation and safe neighborhoods.
My life has been devoted to fighting for working families, seniors, veterans and students. I know the struggles our families face because I’ve been there myself: I attended community college, raised my first child as a single dad while struggling to find affordable child care, put two children through college, and have a son who’s a veteran and a Dreamer in my family.
Almost 40 years ago, my electrical apprenticeship set me on a path toward a fulfilling, family-sustaining career. Today, many students may want to follow a similar, apprenticeship-based route but are not afforded the opportunity to learn applicable construction skills. I recently introduced the Pre-Apprenticeships to Hardhats (PATH) Act with a Republican colleague to expand access to pre-apprenticeships and provide the educational foundations needed to move on to a high-quality registered apprenticeship program. It will help us break down barriers so all students, no matter where they live or who they are, can get on the path to a good-paying career.
In addition to making higher education more affordable and accessible, I consider two of my top priorities protecting the American people and growing New Jersey’s economy. I have been a leading advocate for raising the minimum wage and securing equal pay for equal work, and I am always focused on protecting and strengthening Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee for four years, I’ve ensured the base won’t be targeted by BRAC. Additionally, I worked with my New Jersey colleagues, Democrats and Republicans, to get the KC-46 fleet stationed at our base. These refueling tankers will bring new jobs and growth to our state and make our base an indispensable starting point for national security missions on the East Coast.
I’m also working to keep our communities safe from gun violence and compassionately address the disease of addiction that’s impacting too many families. I am proud to be vice chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic in Congress, where I am focused on battling the stigma of addiction and finding solutions for this national emergency.
Additionally, we must improve our health care system and lower prescription drug costs. That means standing against the despicable repeal efforts in Congress that would deny coverage to millions of people and raise costs on seniors and working families, while giving tax breaks to billionaires. Instead, we need to work together and make smart reforms that lower costs and improve outcomes. And we must protect the hard-fought reforms that ended discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and ensure funding for women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood.
Lastly, as another campaign season nears its ends, I must emphasize that I believe our leaders should be determined by the voice of the people, not the finances of a select few. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision placed a huge amount of power in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and corporations. I support a repeal of that decision and efforts to renew transparency and accountability in our elections, and I am proud to be endorsed by End Citizens United. If you elect me to Congress, I will work to preserve the true meaning of democracy.