Civil Rights & Justice
Protecting our civil liberties and ensuring that our justice system is fair to all Americans are my top priorities in Congress. We live a one of the greatest nations on earth because of the freedoms that our citizens enjoy.
In order to preserve our free and open democracy, protecting civil rights of our fellow Americans is crucial. The ongoing fight for social justice and equality is part of our history. Over the last century, we saw our nation come together and provide equal rights for all our fellow Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
Congress has made progress in recent years. Under President Obama’s leadership, we enacted the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which restored workers' rights to challenge illegal wage discrimination in the federal courts. In 2010, the federal government overturned the discriminatory military policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We must build on these great achievements by making sure our legal and political process protects civil rights.
Part of having a well-functioning justice system is granting our law enforcement officials the tools they need to keep our communities safe. At a time when municipalities are faced with steep budget cuts, Congress must continue to support efforts to assist our state and local law enforcement agencies. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am fully supportive of providing police officers will the federal funds they need to effectively do their jobs.
Congress must also implement common-sense gun laws that prevent illegal firearms from falling into the hands of criminals. I remain firmly committed to working with our local law enforcement agencies in their efforts to combat gun trafficking and the gun violence that results from it.