WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE - LOWERING COSTS FOR FAMILIES
As a husband and father of two, Mike knows first-hand the challenges that rising costs pose for families. He has taken decisive action to ease supply chain shortages, promote domestic manufacturing, and lower costs from the gas station to the grocery store.
Decades of underinvestment in U.S. infrastructure left our supply chains vulnerable to pandemic-style shocks, which is why Mike helped pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen our supply chains, modernize our ports, repair our railways, and rebuild our roads. These actions will help get goods to market faster and cheaper.
Mike also supported the CHIPS and Science Act to bring microchip production back to America. This legislation will make a $52 billion investment in our domestic chip industry, creating good-paying jobs here at home, reducing our exposure to foreign supply chain disruptions, and lowering the costs of everyday goods.
Mike believes it is wrong that Big Oil is making record profits while we are paying record gas prices. He helped write the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, which the House of Representatives passed, to stop corporate price gouging and lower gas prices. Mike also supports the President’s action to open our strategic oil reserves, increase supply, and lower prices.
Mike also helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act to lower the costs of prescription drugs and health care, reduce energy costs, and more. For the first time, Medicare will negotiate lower prices for the highest cost drugs in Medicare, saving more than $100 billion over 10 years. It is also going to lower energy costs for consumers with $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs, energy efficiency tax credits, clean vehicle tax credits for middle- and low-income families, and more.
Lastly, Mike was also proud to vote for the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act to strengthen competition in our meat and poultry sector and the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to promote fair business practices among shipping carriers and streamline the process of getting goods off of vessels and onto shore shelves.
Mike will continue to use every tool at his disposal to promote competition, produce goods here in America, and lower costs for families.
ACCELERATING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Our district is home to more than 50 miles of beautiful California coastline and other cherished lands and waters like San Onofre State Park and the San Elijo Lagoon. Unfortunately, the climate crisis threatens our natural treasures, with extreme heat waves, longer droughts, year-round wildfires, and rising sea levels and storm surges driving unprecedented coastal erosion.
As a longtime advocate for climate action and member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Mike led aggressive legislation to protect our environment and grow our economy at the same time
Mike helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes the single largest investment in climate action in history, with $370 billion in investments to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The bill will also lower energy costs for consumers with $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs, energy efficiency tax credits, clean vehicle tax credits for middle- and low-income families, and more.
Mike worked across the aisle to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and fought for provisions to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, invest in the supply chain for batteries, provide $1.5 billion for clean hydrogen manufacturing, invest $550 million in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, and much more.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manufacture the cars of the future here in America, Mike introduced legislation to transition America to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), expand charging infrastructure, and convert Park Service and Forest Service fleets to ZEVs. He supported bills to ban new offshore drilling along our coast and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Following the October 2021 oil spill off the coast of Orange County, Mike led the effort to advance legislation ending new drilling and strengthening oversight of offshore drilling companies.
Our district is on the frontline of the climate crisis, which is why Mike secured critical resources to protect our environment, including $30 million prevent more coastal erosion in Encinitas and Solana Beach, $5 million for flood protection in Oceanside, $9 million to restore beaches in San Clemente, and more. Mike has also secured more than $50 million for local water recycling and desalination so that our community has reliable drinking water for generations to come.
In our district, we also face environmental threats from the decommissioning San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Since the first days of his campaign for Congress, Mike has focused on increasing transparency and accountability at San Onofre and getting the waste off our beach as quickly and safely as possible.
Mike created a SONGS Task Force of experts and community leaders to study the problem and recommend solutions. He helped form the first bipartisan Congressional caucus to address our nation’s spent nuclear fuel crisis and introduced the bipartisan Spent Nuclear Fuel Prioritization Act to prioritize moving nuclear waste out of highly-populated, environmentally sensitive areas like San Onofre.
Mike secured $40 million for the Department of Energy to begin finding a new location for our nation’s spent nuclear fuel and led legislation to spur innovation and research in the storage, transportation, and disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Mike has received national attention for his work addressing our nation’s spent nuclear fuel crisis and has been credited with bringing renewed attention to this issue.
With two young children at home, Mike will always work to protect our planet for future generations.
HONORING OUR VETERANS
As the representative for Camp Pendleton and thousands of veterans in our district, Mike is proud to serve as Vice Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and Chair the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, where he has been able to make important progress for our veterans.
During his first two terms in Congress, Mike worked across the aisle to pass 18 bipartisan bills into law to provide our veterans with the support they deserve, including housing, employment opportunities, education programs, and much more.
His bipartisan bills that were signed into law include:
The Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act was introduced with Reps. David Scott (D-GA), Zeldin (R-NY), and Barr (R-KY) to help maintain liquidity in the veteran home loan market. The legislation was signed into law in 2019.
H.R. 2196, a bill to expand veterans’ access to STEM scholarship programs, was introduced with Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) and signed into law in 2019.
The Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2019 was introduced with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to improve the VA's Specially Adapted Housing program.
An amendment to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was introduced with Reps. Mark Takano (D-CA) and Phil Roe (R-TN) to expand the list of orders that qualify for residential lease termination to include a stop movement order issued by the Department of Defense in response to a local, national, or global emergency.
The Vet Center Eligibility Expansion Act was introduced with Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) to expand eligibility to receive counseling from VA Vet Centers.
The Homeless Veteran Coronavirus Response Act was introduced with Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to expand and strengthen Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services for homeless veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill was later amended to include other bipartisan bills Levin introduced to strengthen and expand services for homeless and unemployed veterans, and was renamed the Dependable Employment and Living Improvements for Veterans’ Economic Recovery (DELIVER) Act and finally the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020.
The Veterans Economic Recovery Act of 2020 was introduced with Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) to create a rapid retraining program to provide unemployed veterans and reservists with 12 months of educational benefits to pursue training in high-demand occupations.
The Reducing Veteran Homelessness Act was introduced with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to ensure that homeless veterans and their families receive the resources and services they deserve.
The Fry Scholarship Improvement Act was introduced with Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL) to expand Fry Scholarship eligibility. The bill passed the House as part of the Ryan Kules Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act.
The Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William "Bill" Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act was introduced with Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) to improve the Transition Assistance Program for servicemembers returning to civilian life.
The Housing for Women Veterans Act was introduced with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to direct a portion of VA homelessness funding to women veterans. The bill passed as part of the Deborah Sampson Act.
The Protect the GI Bill Act was introduced to strengthen protections against predatory, for-profit schools.
The Veteran HOUSE Act was introduced with Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) to expand HUD-VASH eligibility to veterans with Other Than Honorable discharges.
The Pandemic Assistance for Student Veterans Act was introduced with Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) and others to minimize the impact and disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic on student veterans.
The Brian Tally VA Employment Transparency Act was introduced with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to require VA to provide transparency to individuals filing tort claims against the department.
The Training in High-demand Roles to Improve Veteran Employment (THRIVE) Act was introduced to improve veterans’ job training and education benefits
The Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act was introduced to protect education benefits for veterans amid the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.R. 3665, which was introduced to rename the San Diego Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center after U.S. Army CPT Jennifer M. Moreno, a highly-decorated combat veteran from San Diego who was killed in action during a deployment to Afghanistan in October 2013.
The Supporting Families of the Fallen Act to increase the maximum coverage amount available under life insurance programs for military families.
He also led the historic and comprehensive Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (H.R. 7105) to strengthen and expand benefits for veterans, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mike believes we owe it to every veteran to provide high-quality health care and has fought against efforts to privatize the VA.
Ensuring safe and quality housing for our veterans and their families has been one of Mike’s top priorities. Mike strongly believes that even one homeless veteran is one too many, and he’ll work tirelessly until veteran homelessness is an issue of the past. No one who sacrifices so much to serve our country should ever have to worry about having a place to live.
As the grandson of a World War Two veteran, Mike believes that we owe it to the men, women, and their families who have the honor and courage to serve our country to guarantee the absolute best care and services. He will continue to use his position on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to advocate for local veterans and pass bipartisan legislation on their behalf.
HOLDING WASHINGTON ACCOUNTABLE
Mike believes it’s critically important, now more than ever, that we strengthen accountability and transparency in government and campaigns. He also believes that we must protect the truth, defend our democracy and put our country over our political party.
Since he began campaigning in March of 2017, Mike has not accepted a dime of corporate PAC money and is proud to have the continued endorsement of End Citizens United.
One of the first bills Mike supported in Congress was the For the People Act, which would expand voting rights, secure our election system against foreign interference, and remove the corrupting influence of “dark money” from American politics. He also signed on to legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, make elections more transparent, and make sure every eligible voter can participate in our elections. He supports targeted exceptions to Senate rules in order to overcome Republicans’ filibuster of voting rights and civil rights legislation.
Mike also cosponsored the No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act to exclude Members of Congress from receiving retirement benefits if the member is convicted of specified campaign finance violations relating to the use of campaign funds for personal use, including conspiracy to commit such an offense.
Mike believes that Congress has a responsibility to secure our election systems against foreign interference and prevent further attempts by foreign powers to influence the results of our elections. He supported $425 million that was allocated in the 2020 appropriations package for election security.
Mike will continue to fight for more transparency and accountability in Washington.
ACHIEVING WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION
Mike believes we must ensure that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential, regardless of the neighborhood they come from, and that our education system must prepare students for the jobs of the future. He believes that our teachers are heroes and should be at the core of any plan to improve public schools.
Mike has fought for our local public schools, working to make sure they receive the resources they need to hire and keep excellent teachers, reduce class sizes, and invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. Mike believes we need to focus on training and retraining teachers, especially in STEM, special education, and bilingual instruction. Mike believes that we must address an increasingly dire teacher shortage by improving college loan forgiveness programs for those who need it most, addressing affordable housing accessibility, and making it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom and provide mentorship.
Since he was elected, Mike has promoted policies to help guarantee that any student can afford college. He authored legislation to provide stronger protections for students if their college or university shuts down, to make the student loan process more transparent, and to expand the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for graduates who work at Veteran Service Organizations. All of those bills were included in the College Affordability Act, a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that makes higher education more affordable and strengthens the quality of colleges and universities.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike joined legislation to allow 2020 graduates to defer federal student loan payments, fought for more relief funding for schools like San Onofre Elementary and Mary Fay Elementary that qualify for the federal Impact Aid program, and helped secure more than $44 million in federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, more than half of which went directly to students in the form of emergency cash grants to help them pay for housing, food, and other essentials. And throughout the pandemic, he fought for more state and local funding to help schools educate safely and reopen when appropriate. Local school districts in North County San Diego and South Orange County received $125 million in federal relief from the American Rescue Plan to help reopen safely.
Mike will always look out for public schools, our heroic teachers, and students who are struggling to afford higher education.
COVID-19: PUBLIC HEALTH & ECONOMIC RESPONSE
From the first days of the pandemic, Mike worked to mitigate the public health and economic crises caused by COVID-19 and provide relief for families, local small businesses, and countless others in the 49th District and across the nation.
Mike immediately converted his monthly town halls into a virtual format and invited local public health experts to answer his constituents’ questions and make sure they had the information and resources they needed. He also created a COVID-19 resource guide to help families and small businesses better understand the new resources that were available to them.
Mike worked to pass multiple bipartisan relief packages to bolster the nation’s public health response to the virus, support those who lost their jobs, and help local small businesses stay afloat.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, he helped pass the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act delivered $2.2 trillion in aid for hospitals and frontline medical professionals, more than a billion for San Diego and Orange County governments, a $600 weekly increase in unemployment benefits, direct cash assistance for those in need, $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers on payroll, and much more. He also supported the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to ensure the Paycheck Protection Program worked for the smallest local businesses and increased funding for testing and health care workers.
Despite those early legislative successes, it was clear that additional relief was needed to limit the spread of the virus and protect our economy. Mike fought to pass the HEROES Act, a comprehensive bill that met the scale of the crisis we were facing. While then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked that relief, Mike continued to advocate for state and local funding to help maintain essential services, increase funding for testing and vaccine development, provide another round of Paycheck Protection Program and direct cash assistance, feed hungry families, get veterans back on their feet, and much more.
After months of pushing for bipartisan compromise on another relief bill, Mike helped pass legislation that included $600 in direct cash assistance, a $300 per week increase in unemployment, $325 billion for small businesses, $32 billion for vaccine procurement and distribution, $82 billion for schools, and much more.
Under President Biden, Mike was proud to help pass the American Rescue Plan Act, which included $20 billion to distribute vaccines, $1,400 direct payments, stronger unemployment benefits, $27.5 billion in rental assistance, $7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, strengthened SNAP benefits, and provided more than $105 million for state and local governments and nearly $125 million for school districts in North County San Diego and South Orange County.
The American Rescue Plan also made the child tax credit fully refundable for 2021 and increased the annual amount from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child, which benefited 124,800 children in the district.
Because of the courage of our frontline workers and the support of landmark legislation like the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, our schools and businesses have reopened, most Americans are vaccinated, and our country is moving forward once again.
CREATING JOBS FOR THE FUTURE
The 49th District hosts vibrant biotechnology, IT, clean energy, and tourism industries. Since he was sworn into Congress, Mike has worked to bolster these fields and grow our economy. He has secured hundreds of millions in federal grants to support local employers and passed legislation to create the jobs of the future right here in America.
Mike proudly supported the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create good-paying union jobs repairing our roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes, and building energy transmission lines. It invests in clean energy manufacturing and zero-emission vehicles to make sure that the jobs in the clean energy industry are good-paying American jobs and includes a Buy America requirement to ensure that all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects are built with American iron, steel, and construction materials.
Mike also supported the CHIPS and Science Act to bring microchip production back to America and turbocharge innovation here at home. That legislation will make a $52 billion investment in the domestic chip industry to grow our economy, research new technology, and protect national security.
To support mom-and-pop businesses and strengthen our local tourism economy, Mike signed onto legislation to reauthorize the Brand USA public-private partnership, increase the amount that a bank can invest in Small Business Investment Companies, give small businesses more opportunities to compete for federal contracts, and reauthorize the Small Business Development Center Program.
Mike believes that no full-time American worker should ever live in poverty, which is why he cosponsored legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, implemented at a pace that allows employers to adapt their business plans. That bill also ties additional minimum wage increases to wage growth and ensures that all workers receive the full federal minimum wage or more by phasing out the subminimum wages for tipped workers, youth workers, and workers with disabilities. He has also cosponsored legislation to expand coverage under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and protect union jobs.
Mike will continue to support our local industries and ensure that the jobs of the future are created here in America.
WOMEN’S HEALTH AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
Mike will always defend a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. Only a woman, her family, and her doctor should be able to decide what is best for her health.
Mike believes the decision by the right-wing majority on the Supreme Court to throw out decades of judicial precedent and eliminate an established Constitutional right to abortion is appalling. He is an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade into law and will continue to fight for reproductive rights.
Mike also proudly cosponsored the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act to ensure reproductive justice for women with Medicare and Medicaid. He will continue to defend Planned Parenthood, which provides essential preventative and reproductive health care services like cancer screenings, STD testing, and low-cost birth control to millions of American women, and he is honored to have the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Mike is a vocal advocate for equal pay for equal work and has fought to rectify wage discrimination against women. He cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act to end pay discrimination against women and the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act to help end workplace discrimination and harassment.
Mike has been fighting for federal legislation that specifically bans sexual harassment and believes the federal definition of domestic violence must be updated to include stalking and dating violence, which would help prohibit stalkers and violent dating partners from accessing firearms. Mike also cosponsored the SAFE Act to protect the economic security of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Finally, Mike will continue to work toward ending military sexual assault, which is one of the priorities of his service in Congress.
TREATING IMMIGRANTS WITH DIGNITY
Mike is the grandson of Mexican immigrants on his mother’s side. Having not graduated high school themselves, his grandparents sent all five of their daughters to college. At age 50, his grandfather, Rosendo Bringas, became an American citizen, and it was among the proudest days of his life.
Mike wants to preserve the values and aspirations of so many immigrants like his grandparents, who dream of the uniquely American opportunity for self-improvement. Mike believes that immigrants should be treated with dignity and respect.
Mike proudly cosponsored the American Dream and Promise Act to protect DACA recipients, many of whom serve in our military, on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, or make incredible contributions to our country in other ways.
Mike worked to prevent the Trump Administration’s hateful immigration policies throughout his time in office. He cosponsored several pieces of legislation to prevent family separation at the border and help families who had been separated reunite, including the Keep Families Together Act, the Reuniting Families Act, and the REUNITE Act.
He also cosponsored the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, and the Homeland Security Improvement Act. Mike opposed efforts to ban entry into the United States on the basis of race or religion and co-sponsored the NO BAN Act.
Mike supports more funding for smart border security technology, but he knows a wall from sea to shining sea along our southern border isn’t going to make us any safer – it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. He has been to the border, toured ports of entry, and met with immigration officials. He knows what they need is 21st Century infrastructure and better technology, and he voted several times to provide funding for modern technology.
Ultimately, Mike believes that members of both parties need to come together on comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.
STANDING FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS
Mike has always been a strong ally for the LGBTQ+ community. He believes that no one should face discrimination or harassment based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, and that no one should face hostility because of their sexuality.
Mike co-sponsored and voted for the Equality Act, which provides anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people throughout society, including in employment, housing, credit, education, public services, and more.
Mike supported and cosponsored a House resolution to oppose former President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the Armed Forces, and he was glad to see the Biden Administration reverse that decision. He knows that any qualified person with the courage and dedication to serve our country should not be discriminated against due to their gender or gender identity.
Mike is also an advocate for the equal treatment of LGBTQ+ couples who hope to adopt a foster child. He cosponsored the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), and marital status in the administration and provision of child welfare services, and to improve the safety, well-being, and permanency for LGBTQ+ foster youth.
Finally, he believes that our country has a role to play in helping protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world, and he will work with the Biden Administration to advocate for them.
PROVIDING AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR ALL
Mike believes that every American should have access to affordable, quality health care, and that nobody should have to choose to pay for rent or groceries instead of seeing a doctor or paying for a prescription.
Mike is committed to expanding access to affordable health care, which includes protecting and strengthening Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), protecting those with pre-existing conditions, and lowering prescription drug costs. All options should be on the table - including addressing the Medicare eligibility age - to ensure individuals and families get the medical support they need.
Mike is a cosponsor of the Protecting Pre-existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act to improve health insurance access and affordability, and to undo the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the ACA. This includes strengthening tax credits for middle class families, requiring plans to cover all essential health benefits, ensuring broad coverage of prescription drugs, and funding outreach and education.
Mike believes that many ideas to improve the ACA must be explored, including the implementation of a “public option,” early buy-in to Medicare coverage within health insurance marketplaces, and the hiring of new full-time federal enrollment assisters to help Americans enroll.
Mike has also cosponsored legislation to lower prescription drug costs. He supported and voted for the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which establishes a fair prescription price negotiation program, protects the Medicare program from excessive price increases, and establishes an out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare part D enrollees.
PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE
Mike is a strong proponent of legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country. He is proud to be endorsed by Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and other advocates for gun safety.
One of the first caucuses he joined as a Member of Congress was the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and one of the first bills he signed onto was the bipartisan Background Checks Act to require universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers, with narrow exceptions for gifts to family members and temporary transfers for hunting.
Earlier this year, Mike helped pass the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to expand background checks, fund community-based intervention programs, and encourage states to adopt red-flag laws. These programs will make us safer, and Mike was proud to vote for them.
But Mike knows that we have more work to do to reduce gun violence and keep our communities safe. He worked across the aisle to introduce the Prevent Family Fire Act with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), which would encourage safe firearm storage and prevent accidental injuries or deaths by implementing a small tax credit for storage devices like gun safes.
Mike has also worked to institute an assault weapons ban and expand Brady background checks to all gun sales, including those made over the Internet and at gun shows. He cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2021, and Jaime’s Law.
He also helped secure $25 million in appropriations legislation for federal research at the Center for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health into the nation’s gun violence epidemic to help us understand and solve this critical issue.
Mike will not give up until we have ended this epidemic of gun violence and made sure that all of our communities are safe.
PROTECTING ANIMAL WELFARE
Mike believes that the way we treat animals reflects the values that we hold, which is why he has been such a strong advocate for the protection of wild and domestic animals, and the protection of the habitats of threatened and endangered species.
Throughout the Trump Administration, Mike stood up to protect endangered species and their habitats. He cosponsored the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened wildlife, the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act to block new offshore drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines, and he cosponsored the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
Mike was also proud to vote for the Great American Outdoors Act, landmark legislation he cosponsored that provides permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Mike also cosponsored a variety of legislation to eliminate cruel treatment toward animals in the United States, including the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act of 2019, and the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2019. He also signed onto the WOOF! Act to prevent licenses from being issued to dealers of dogs who have had their license revoked, and the Big Cat Public Safety Act to ban private ownership of big cats like tigers, lions, and leopards.
Mike will work with the Biden Administration to reverse actions by the Trump Administration that undermine animal welfare. These actions by the Trump Administration include overturning the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent shooting or trapping wolves while at their dens with cubs, using airplanes to scout for grizzly bears to shoot, trapping bears with cruel steel-jawed leghold traps and wire snares, and luring grizzly bears with food to get a point blank kill.
DEFENDING OUR SENIORS
Mike is fighting every day to make sure older Americans can retire with dignity and never go without health care or fall into poverty and homelessness.
He believes that we must preserve and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, essential programs that reflect our shared commitment to support retirees. He knows we must oppose all Republican efforts to privatize Social Security or raise the retirement age — an unfair idea that will hurt retirees who worked hard throughout their lives to earn their benefits. This is why Mike cosponsored the Social Security Fairness Act and the Social Security 2100 Act to protect and strengthen benefits for Social Security recipients and future retirees.
Social Security benefits are a lifeline for millions of Americans, keeping them and their families out of poverty. In 2013, Social Security kept over 22 million Americans out of poverty, including over a million children (under age 18), over 6 million adults (between the ages of 18 and 64), and nearly 15 million people ages 65 and older. More than 10 million older Americans depend on Social Security for the majority of their income.
Mike also cosponsored the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act and invests in important programs like Meals on Wheels.
Mike also introduced a bipartisan bill to improve nursing homes. The bill requires nursing homes to report their medical directors to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which must publish this information on the online Care Compare tool. Currently, some nursing homes do not provide a full public report of who their medical directors are, leaving families without critical information they need as they search for quality nursing homes.
Older Americans have paid into programs like Social Security and Medicare for decades and we cannot let them down. Mike will continue to be a vocal advocate for our seniors for as long as he serves in office.
OPPOSING THE TOLL ROAD EXTENSION THROUGH SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY
Mike and his family are longtime residents of South Orange County, and he has opposed the Toll Road Extension since the idea was first announced.
In a statement to the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Board, Mike said, “I do believe that we need to mitigate traffic in the area. But I do not support any of the proposals for the Toll Road Extension. The Extension would encroach on existing communities, schools, and on protected open space. I think it’s really important that we come up with other creative solutions, particularly an expansion of public transit or perhaps arterial roads that can also help to alleviate traffic. I also want to make sure that we remain environmentally responsible and don’t impose too much harm to our local neighborhoods.”
Following allegations of overspent and misused public funds by the TCA in 2019, Mike pushed Governor Gavin Newsom to make sure that ethical and transparency measures were in place to protect taxpayers.
Mike will continue to do everything he can to prevent a Toll Road Extension.
Mike has a strong history of supporting public safety and law enforcement, and he is proud to have the endorsement of leading law enforcement organizations like the California Fraternal Order of Police and the Orange County Police Officers Research Association (PORAC). He knows that we can support law enforcement and improve policing at the same time.
Mike has never supported defunding the police, and he never will. Instead, Mike believes we should increase funding for police in a way that helps them stay safe, do their jobs more effectively, and earn the trust of the communities they serve. Mike worked with local law enforcement to secure federal funding for patrol car cameras for the Oceanside Police Department, a priority for local police and community members who want more transparency and accountability.
Mike also cosponsored the Invest to Protect Act, a bipartisan bill to authorize $50 million a year for five years to help strengthen and modernize smaller police departments, including a number here in San Diego and Orange counties. He stood with members of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) and the Carlsbad Police Office Association (CPOA) to call on Congress to pass this bill, and he will continue to push for that funding.
Mike has also worked to stop dangerous drugs like fentanyl from crossing the border and reaching our communities. He has repeatedly supported funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, which assists law enforcement in critical drug trafficking areas, including the Southwest Border and through San Diego and Orange Counties. He also supported legislation to withhold foreign aid for any countries that allow the production of fentanyl, and to help global law enforcement agencies identify, track, and detect synthetic drugs.
Mike will continue to work across the aisle to support local law enforcement and keep our communities safe.
As we continue to manage COVID-19, Mike is working hard to help prevent future pandemics.
Mike is fighting for action to combat so-called superbugs, strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, which the World Health Organization has warned is one of the top ten threats to global health. The rapid global spread of superbugs is making infections increasingly difficult to cure with existing antimicrobial remedies. These superbugs infect three million Americans and kill more than 35,000 people every year, according to the CDC. Mike introduced the bipartisan Saving Us from Pandemic Era Resistance by Building a Unified Global Strategy (SUPER BUGS) Act, which directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of State to work with our allies around the world to develop and commercialize new antimicrobial drugs that can cure infections from superbugs.
Mike also introduced the Biomedical Innovation Expansion Act to provide the National Institutes of Health with more than $1.6 billion to help address superbugs. The bill also provides resources through the NIH Innovation Fund and increases support for all current NIH Innovation Fund activities to 2030.
In addition to his leadership on superbugs, Mike has cosponsored the:
Preventing Future Pandemics Act to address public health risks that wildlife markets pose
Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act to create a grant program in support of state and local health department immunization systems
And the Medical Supplies for Pandemics Act to reform the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and increase domestic manufacturing of important public health supplies
Mike has voted to increase investments in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies that protect public health, and he will continue to support additional federal investments for the work our health agencies do to prevent and better prepare for future pandemics.