Protect Our Nation
For much of my time in Congress, I have served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. My seat on the committee is unique: we don’t have a military base in our district, nor any major defense contracts. That means I can play an important and unique oversight role in the committee, and bring new issues to the committee that may not have been addressed traditionally.
The defense budget is one of the largest lines in the federal budget, taking up more than half of federal discretionary spending. As stewards of taxpayer dollars, I believe we have a responsibility to ensure your money is spent in ways that actually keep our nation safe. I have fought wasteful spending from the failed Littoral Combat Ship to the faulty F-35 to the bloated spare parts budget that fills warehouses with expensive parts that will never see the light of day.
I have also been an advocate for prioritizing human and civil rights in our national defense. We can and must close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Over my work in the committee, I took a tour of the facility, and saw just how dilapidated it was. It now stands as a symbol to be used by our enemies for recruitment efforts, a rallying cry for groups like the ISIS, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. We have the most secure prisons in the world here on American soil - it’s time to close down this broken facility and end this broken strategy. I have also conducted oversight of our Intelligence Community as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. I am working to ensure our civil rights - the rights that make American life unique and worth protecting - are never compromised in the name of national security. I am committed to ensuring our military and intelligence efforts reflect the values that we hold dear.
I have worked on a number of other issues in the House Armed Services Committee:
I have secured funding for diseases affecting our service members. You can read more about that here.
I introduced legislation that was signed into law providing service women with access to adequate quantities of birth control for their deployment. You can read more about my work for women’s equality and rights here.
I led efforts to finally lift the ban on transgender service members. You can read more about my work in LGBT rights here.
I have also worked to protect our service men and women from the threat of sexual assault in their ranks. You can read more about my work on that issue here.