Issues

Net Neutrality

The Internet must remain equally accessible to everyone, and equally functional for everyone.  People in their homes, employees at work, children at school, startup tech companies, small ISPs, and content providers like Netflix and Hulu must all have equal opportunity to connect to, and make equal use of, the Internet.  Attorney generals across the country have filed lawsuits to prevent the rollback of the Federal Communications Commission rules that would have protected the free flow of data and information.  State and local officials have joined companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft in a call for restoration of the protections that would prevent large telecommunication corporations from filtering and prioritizing Internet traffic.

The ability to freely communicate across an open Internet is too important to academic and scientific research, political discourse, personal communication and entertainment, and the overall economy to be sacrificed for the profits of large ISPs.  Congress should act to restore, through specific and explicit legislation, the rules that the FCC has voted to repeal.  Once in Congress, I will pursue such legislation.

Infrastructure

The nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of repairs, upgrades, and improvements. There is broad, bipartisan support for significant investment in America’s highways, bridges, ports, and airports. The Trump administration’s efforts at developing its $1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan falls short in the method through which it is proposed to be funded.  Placing so much reliance on corporate resources, as proposed, would create a situation where the projects are much more likely to be undertaken in areas where those corporate players could make a profit.  Urban centers would get more attention, as would high income areas.

That isn’t the Second Congressional District of Oklahoma.  We are a rural district and one that, unfortunately, has a high poverty rate.  That means it would be likely that we’d see the tax dollars we pay go to areas that have much less need than we have for investment on bridges and highways here in eastern Oklahoma.  Infrastructure is essential to a vibrant economy that creates jobs and puts people to work and we have a major need for that kind of public investment our state.  I’d be an aggressive supporter of any infrastructure proposal that meets the needs here at home and on guard against anything that would unduly redirect resources to private pockets or areas that have less need than we do here in eastern Oklahoma.

Special Counsel Investigation

Questions about Russian activity designed to influence elections inside the United States, the extent of their efforts, and how successful they were need to be answered.  The investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller is indispensable to the process of discovering what took place and, more importantly, what needs to be done to secure future elections, including the one coming up this November

Many members of Congress are clearly reluctant to do more than make vague, and not at all reassuring, comments that they don’t believe there is any danger of Mr. Mueller being dismissed.  Congress should, at a minimum, pass a resolution that expresses its desire to see the investigation carried through to its logical and appropriate conclusion.

Second Amendment

A string of tragic events has forced Americans to begin having conversations about issues related to the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, those conversations aren’t taking place among American leadership.  When it appears that they might, the vitriol starts, and people retreat to the comfort of their established thoughts and opinions.  Whatever anyone happens to believe is the best way to solve the problem (right or left, Republican or Democrat, Second Amendment rights advocate or not), we are all left to witness the paralysis of our elected officials.

What I have proposed in many meetings, at town halls, and at events across the district is to break that paralysis by avoiding discussions of bans and other divisive topics and, instead, consider something for which there is overwhelming public support; stronger and more thorough background checks.  They are a proven method of reducing violence carried out with a gun.  It is my hope that this would have a genuine, rational conversation about how to increase our level of safety without infringing on our rights under the Second Amendment.