On The Issues

Josh is currently serving his second term in Congress on behalf of families in the Central Valley where he’s fighting to protect our access to health care, create good-paying jobs, and reform our broken immigration system. He’s also focused on securing and growing the Valley’s water supply.

Housing and homelessness

Washington has not taken the housing crisis seriously. Our rents keep going up and up in the Valley – in Modesto they’ve shot up more than $400 in the past five years. We need more affordable housing so our families can live the American Dream.

We also know that homelessness is a huge problem in our communities. I believe we must tackle this problem head on. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Fighting Homelessness through Housing and Services Act, which not only provides funding for transitional housing, but will also tackle its root causes by investing in mental health and substance abuse services and provide job training opportunities for our homelessness neighbors.

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Protect our environment

The Central Valley has some of the most productive soil and land in the world. I believe we must be good stewards of our water, air, and land resources to make sure their use is conserved for the next generation.

Like many of our kids in the Central Valley, I grew up with childhood asthma because of our high air pollution. We can and must improve our adherence to clean air and water standards and invest in our children’s health.

I strongly believe in the scientific consensus that climate change is real and man-made. I will fight back against the Trump Administration’s dangerous attempts to undo international agreements on climate change like the Paris Climate Accord. We also must go further, we must  incentivize investments in clean energy sources and move away from polluting fossil fuels. The fastest growing industry in our nation is wind energy and solar’s not far behind – the future of our economy is in green energy. I believe the Central Valley can lead the way and create the good-paying jobs right here at home.

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Veterans

My grandfather served two tours in Vietnam and Korea, and I grew up hearing stories about his tours abroad. I understand the need to take care of veterans like my grandfather who served and sacrificed to protect our country. We need to make it easier to get VA care, invest in job training, and expand job placement services for veterans. I’ve worked to provide our troops with high quality mental health care and substance abuse treatment while they serve and after they come home. In Modesto especially, too many of the men and women who serve our nation don’t get the care they need. I’ve worked to pass legislation that will support our Blue Water Vietnam Veterans and to help veterans experiencing mental health crises. I’ve also helped dozens of veterans solve issues with the VA.

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Create more good jobs for the Valley

I’m tired of seeing the Valley’s economy fall behind. Our unemployment rate is double the unemployment rate in the Bay Area.

In my business career, I helped entrepreneurs and small businesses develop their ideas and create high-paying jobs. As your Representative, I’ve worked to help small businesses and working-class Americans have the opportunities they need to be successful. I’m focused on:

  • Building on our success in agriculture by working to make the Valley the agricultural technology capital of the nation

  • Working to make college and technical training programs more affordable and accessible in the Valley

  • Investing in infrastructure so new companies have a strong foundation and so we get our commute times down

  • Funding apprenticeship programs that teach students the skills local companies need. We need to make sure our graduates have pathways to careers that have a future.

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Build a sustainable water future for the Valley

Water has been the critical issue for our community since my great-great-grandfather began farming in Manteca more than 170 years ago, and we will never solve our problems by shipping it to Southern California. For too long, politicians have haggled over our water crisis instead of working to solve it.

My first bill in Congress was the SAVE Water Resources Act, a real 21st Century solution to solving our water issues. Working with Republicans and Democrats, I wrote this bill to make sure we’re securing and growing our water supply to get ready for the next drought.

I’ve also introduced bipartisan legislation to bring more money to water research. This isn’t a problem that’s going to be solved by doing things the way we always have – we’re in a time of record droughts and need new innovative solutions to guarantee we have water for our families and our farmers.

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Create quality public schools for all Valley kids

I went to public schools in Turlock and Modesto (go Panthers!), and I firmly believe in the power of public education to create opportunity, because that is what it did for me. I am committed to ensuring that every child in the Central Valley has access to a world-class education to prepare them for any future.

Now, the same public schools that gave me a head start are threatened by Secretary Devos and the Trump Administration. I will:

  • Work to make trades education more accessible to show our kids that a four year degree isn’t the only path to the middle class

  • Fight against the Trump and DeVos scheme to privatize our education

  • Work to modernize our schools not only with new technology but also investments in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) and computer science.

  • Fight to increase teacher pay

  • Ensure access to affordable, equitable, high-quality universal pre-kindergarten education.

  • Fight to make college more affordable and accessible. Too many students are crippled with high debt loads right as they start their careers. I will fight to make community college and vocational training programs tuition-free and invest in our public universities so more students have access.

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Fighting corruption

Corporate greed and Super PACs are corrupting our political system. Corruption in DC stands in the way of getting some of the most important things done like lowering prescription drug costs. I was proud to help lead the For the People Act – the most sweeping anti-corruption bill since the Watergate Era. We need to clean up our election system and make Congress work for our families, not special interests. In fact, the first piece of legislation I wrote and passed through the House cracks down on lobbying and makes sure our government works for the people. I also introduced the No Health Care, No Raise Act to guarantee Congress doesn’t get a raise until every person in our country has health care.

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Fair and humane immigration reform

The Central Valley is a land of immigrants. We have over 10,000 Dreamers in our community who are our friends, classmates, and neighbors – they’re American in every way but on paper We should be providing them a pathway to citizenship. I was proud to cosponsor and vote to pass the Dream and Promise Act to help provide a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers. I’m also proud to be leading legislation like the ENLIST Act, which says that if you serve in our Armed Forces, you should be able to work towards citizenship. I know we can help our Dreamers, we just need the political will do it.

I also believe we need comprehensive immigration reform that includes securing our borders. We must make real investments in enhanced technology at our southern border and at our ports to protect our country from drug smugglers and human traffickers. That’s why I voted for $13.8 billion to provide more border security technology and enforcement officers. We have to keep our country safe, and we must do it in a humane way that upholds our values.

 

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Fight for Health Care in the Valley

I was raised right here in the Valley, and I know how important issues like affordable health care are to our families. When my brother needed surgeries as a child for his pre-existing condition, my parents could afford his treatment thanks to their health insurance.

I will continue my work to improve our health care system, not devastate it by:

Lowering costs

Insurance premiums on the ACA marketplace in Stanislaus County rose 24% in 2018. We must provide short-term relief by increasing competition on the marketplaces by letting people buy into Medicare, curtailing prescription drug prices, and bringing more people into the marketplace. America spends far more on health care than any other country, but we’re less healthy. The big drug companies jack up prices on life-saving medicines that can be bought for a fraction of the cost in Canada.  And for too many working people, premiums, co-pays, and deductibles are so expensive that they can’t even afford to use the insurance they have. It’s time to attack high costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and doing more to pay providers for the quality of care, not just the volume.

Expanding access

San Francisco has almost twice as many doctors per capita as the Central Valley. I hear from folks all the time about the lack of doctors in the Valley. That’s why I’m working to make sure we attract more doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals right here in our community. I also believe long term we should double down on the part of our health care system that works best by opening Medicare up to all Americans.

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