Jim's Priorities

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Affordable Health Care

I believe every American has the right to visit a doctor when they're sick, and every American has the right to quality, affordable health insurance. I believe no American should ever have to take out a second mortgage just because a loved one gets sick. Healthcare should not be a privilege for the rich only, but a right for all Americans.

President Donald Trump attacked our healthcare system by stopping direct payments to insurers. He did this to drive up premiums and mislead the American public into believing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is slowly dying — which it is not. This is unacceptable. It is a failure of leadership. And it is a disgrace. It hurts millions of Americans solely to use the end-results to mislead the American public.

The ACA is not perfect, but it has provided affordable coverage to more than 500,000 people in Louisiana who were previously uninsured. We need to protect these gains and build on them to help the millions of people whose plans remain insufficient.

In Congress, I will work across the aisle to improve the access and affordability of health care under the ACA and to lower the costs of prescription drugs, and I will oppose any proposal that does not protect Louisianans from higher premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, or obstacles to coverage due to pre-existing conditions. 


Protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

In Congress, I will fight against Republican efforts to privatize and defund Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

The recent Republican tax bill will add at least $1.5 trillion to our national debt, with 86% of its benefits going to the top 1% and corporations -- in other words, to the people who are already doing really well. And now Republicans in Congress, led by Paul Ryan and Steve Scalise, are using that added debt as justification to take away vital programs from the people that need them most, programs that give us the resources to pursue the better society we are trying to build. This is plainly wrong.

They're using that added debt as justification to cut or freeze funding for education, for health care, for infrastructure, for public safety. They're using that added debt to make life harder for the working men and women of Louisiana and the rest of the country. 

I will stand up against all efforts to gut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 


Unions and Workers' Rights

I fully support unions. I believe all workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively for better wages, benefits and working conditions. As Congressman, I will support legislation to protect workers’ freedom to negotiate with employers, penalize companies that violate workers’ rights and strengthen workers’ ability to form strong unions.

I believe that all Louisiana workers deserve a living wage, and that no one working full time should have to struggle to make ends meet. We need to strengthen and protect our workforce, help small businesses grow, and bring good, well-paying jobs to the First District. 


Sensible Gun Reform

As a gun owner, I support the Second Amendment. But as a father, I believe we need more than "thoughts and prayers" to address the epidemic of gun violence that is tearing apart our schools, families and communities. We must take an evidence-based approach to stopping mass shootings.

This debate is also about the health of our democracy. The purpose of Congress is to represent the people — not the corporate lobbyists in Washington, D.C. The corporate gun lobby is far too powerful. The NRA is a lobbyist organization and gives millions of dollars to Republicans (and some Democrats) — including nearly 30 million dollars to Donald Trump in 2016. We see members of Congress unwilling to support any initiative that is not pre-approved by the NRA, all for the purpose of corporate profit at the expense of American lives. This is unacceptable.

After the Parkland school massacre President Trump claimed he supported new gun control laws, including banning bump stocks. He then withdrew his support due to pressure from gun lobbyists on Capitol Hill who oppose all reforms and want to dismantle existing laws to make us even less safe.

Until we rid Congress of politicians owned by gun lobbyists, our schools will continue to be vulnerable to gun violence. The next Parkland massacre is just around the corner — but there are simple things we can do to make these hideous events less likely.

Right now, we should:

✓ Close the gun show loophole
✓ Outlaw bump stocks
✓ Improve background checks
✓ Restrict large capacity magazines
✓ Restrict assault rifle-style weapons like AR-15s

We need leaders in Congress who are willing to stand up to gun lobbyists and pass common-sense gun reform.