Healthcare is by far the greatest issue facing our country at the current time. I want to be a leader in reigning in Pharmaceutical companies that are price gouging the American People. If we can bring down the cost of medicine, we will successfully be able to make healthcare coverage more affordable, expand the reach of those who are covered, and increase the quality of care in the industry.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our Criminal Justice system is currently broken. We are in a system of punishment rather than one of rehabilitation. I will submit bills designed to remove and reduce mandatory minimums. Mandatory minimums hamstring our judges to issuing pre-prescribed sentences, rather than empowering them to use their ability of leniency based on the merits of the individual cases. I trust our judges to rule competently and independently. Why doesn't our congress?
The immigration system in this country is in dire need of reform; once again the issues that plague it can be traced to Executive overreach. Unlike other judicial bodies, our immigration courts are a component of the Executive branch. This lack of independence cripples the ability of our immigration courts to ensure due process and fair representation for those seeking asylum and immigration to our great nation. Our courts are ruled by quotas rather than careful reflections on the merits of each case. I will fight in Congress to establish the immigration court system as an independent judicial body.
Term Limits in Congress
I believe the framers had the right ideas when they crafted our legislature. I will be a leader in Congress fighting for term limits for our representatives. As a matter of principle, I am committing myself to only seeking 3 terms of service. I believe creating term limits in our legislature will lead to a more vibrant, responsive, and healthy democracy. History has shown that when congressmen are no longer burdened by re-election, they gain freedom from monied interests to speak to their convictions and challenge their parties when necessary.
For far too long the Congress of the United States has ceded its powers to the executive branch of the United States. I will be a vocal opponent of this continued expansion regardless of the party the President represents. I will seek a repeal and replacement of the Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) with formal declarations of war. Congress has not declared a formal war since World War II. Instead, we have issued AUMF’s as reactionary measures, often to justify rushed responses to developing situations. These AUMFs have never yielded the satisfactory results they intended because they lacked the scopes and cool thinking that declarations of war carry. Every time the United States has issued these Authorizations, we become embroiled in protracted and destabilizing conflicts that worsen the standing of the United States on the world stage. Lebanon, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Libya; All of these military actions have left their region destabilized and US troops in an extended commitment.
The Framers of the constitution would agree with my assessment. Its why they chose to empower Congress with the power to declare war. "The Executive should be able to repel a sudden attack and not to commence war." Our Founding Fathers "never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war." Yet this is what we have done in practice by allowing open-ended authorizations.
I am in favor of creating a system of automatic voter registration for all Texans. No one should ever be worried about if they missed a deadline to register, or having their voting registration expunged due to inactivity. Voting is a civil right and moral duty.