Growing Our Economy
I support efforts to bolster small businesses and local manufacturers to help grow our economy. I voted against the Republican tax bill, which will hurt middle-class families, balloon the national debt and lavish tax breaks on those already atop the economic ladder. I discuss my concerns in this interview on PBS NewsHour.
Combating Tax Loopholes that Ship U.S. Jobs and Tax Dollars Offshore
Tax dodging by large multinational corporations is not a victimless offense. The failure to close these tax loopholes means we are forced to borrow more from foreign creditors, like China and Saudi Arabia, or make hard-working families and small businesses pay the difference.
I have been a strong advocate for closing tax loopholes that allow multinational corporations to avoid paying their fair share. If they do not pay their fair share, it puts a greater burden on small businesses and families. Legislation I have offered, such as the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act and the Corporate EXIT Fairness Act, would crack down on the abuse of offshore tax havens and curb incentives for shipping U.S. jobs and profits overseas.
American Families Need a Safety Net
Our system is not ready for the next recession. Economics experts know that during periods of prosperity and growth, we must ensure that our unemployment insurance system is ready for the next recession. Unless we are, the problems will only intensify. Well-functioning unemployment insurance is our first line of defense in keeping economic downturns from spreading or worsening. Recent recessions would have been far worse without unemployment insurance, including the extended benefits that my colleagues and I fought to continue until jobs were available. We need more action from Congress to ensure this vital protection is there when our constituents need it most.
With my strong support, Congress enacted legislation to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a powerful consumer advocate. Consumers need protection from financial predators. When your family is counting on something--a home, a job, or a retirement plan--we should not let big government get in your way, but neither should we let other powerful forces, such as Wall Street banks, health insurance monopolies, or pharmaceutical giants, interfere.
Opposition to Bank Bailouts
Without oversight, consumers lose. I voted against all of the Big Bank bailouts. While the Wall Street Reform bill should have done more -- much more -- about those Wall Street interests that are paid too much and taxed too little, it represented a modest but important step toward preventing future bailouts.
Keeping the Internet Open
As a longtime advocate for a free and open internet for all, I have consistently supported net neutrality, which provides a level playing field for small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete, while protecting consumers from exorbitant fees for faster service. I am strongly opposed to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s repeal of the net neutrality rules. On multiple occasions, I urged him to remove this proposal from the FCC’s agenda and am sponsoring a congressional resolution to override the FCC's decision.
I was also one of the first members of Congress to oppose the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and urged the House Judiciary Committee to reject the bill’s overly broad language that could harm free speech and threaten cybersecurity. For Texas, the Internet continues to be an engine for economic growth and I continue to support net neutrality. We must ensure that we balance the goal of fighting copyright infringement with protecting the freedom of expression and creativity that has contributed to the success of the Internet. I remain committed to encouraging innovation and to promoting an unfettered internet for consumers and our many tech startups in the district.
San Antonio Missions National Park Expansion
In 2014, President Obama signed into law legislation that included my bill to expand San Antonio Missions National Historical Park by 137 acres near Missions San José, San Juan, and Espada. The inclusion of more historical areas within the boundary of the park allows the National Park Service to protect significant cultural resources, including labores, original Spanish farm fields near Mission San Juan. In 2015, Congressman Doggett joined the National Park Service, Bexar County, and local leaders to ceremonially expand the Missions National Historical Park boundary. As San Antonio approaches its Tricenntenial, we continue to celebrate the the successful addition of all five San Antonio Missions to the UNESCO World Heritage List, which will boost our local economy.