During my time in the Mississippi legislature, I have been one of the leading advocates for Mississippi consumers. While in the Senate, I authored an amendment to prevent power companies from charging ratepayers for projects before those projects go online. Although the amendment failed and the bill passed, my concerns proved well founded as the Kemper County project has cost the state and ratepayers millions of dollars with no appreciable benefit.
I also sponsored the Insurance Policyholders Bill of Rights, a series of policyholder protections that were ultimately adopted by the Mississippi Insurance Department. I worked to institute a hurricane wind loss mitigation program intended to reduce insurance premiums for homeowners and business owners who rebuilt their homes and offices in a way that was more wind resistant than before. While insurance issues remain, these efforts have helped attract more companies to Mississippi and today, more companies write policies on the Coast than when I took office.
If elected to the United States Senate, I will oppose any effort to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the watchdog agency established in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis.
Whether it’s making sure that the mortgage industry follows the rules or protecting Mississippians from unfair business practices, I am committed to fighting for consumers.
Real Tax Relief for Working Families
During this campaign, I have spent a lot of time talking about real tax relief for working families. That’s because the recent tax overhaul passed by Congress has failed on its promise to put money in the pockets of American workers. Unfortunately, most of that money has instead gone towards tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% and large corporations. To make matters worse, the new tax plan will likely be paid for by cuts to essential programs like Social Security and Medicare and additional strain on our national debt. In the United States Senate, I will work for real tax relief for working families not "trickle down" proposals that sound nice but don’t offer any real help.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
I am fortunate to be married to one of the most talented lawyers I have ever known. We are blessed with two amazingly talented daughters. I know the worth of these women. In the workplace, they deserve to be treated fairly. That is why every year since 2013, I have sponsored a bill that would make equal pay for equal work mandatory in Mississippi. I am committed to extending the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to make sure people doing the same work with the same qualifications are paid equally regardless of gender.
We must prepare our children to compete in the 21st Century economy. This means investing in programs, tools and innovations to help all students get ahead. In Mississippi and elsewhere, we have far too many children who are slipping through the cracks because their public school is poorly funded or because their school house has slipped into such a state of disrepair as to be dangerous. We must do better.
We must also make sure we have adequately invested in programs that prepare employees for the jobs today’s employers are looking to fill.
I believe that we can do more to ensure our students and workers have the tools they need to succeed and that our federal dollars make it to the places where resources are most needed. This means making education a budget priority in Washington.
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans received health coverage for the first time. We need to improve this plan not weaken it.
I will support efforts to deliver better health care to underserved Americans including better options and facilities in rural Mississippi and protection for those with preexisting conditions. I will also look for opportunities to provide affordable plans to working families who don’t have coverage and make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
I will oppose any effort that does not drive down medical costs, including insurance premiums and co-pays for Mississippi families.
Roads and Bridges
Our crumbling infrastructure is a quality of life and safety issue for Mississippians.
In April, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, announced the closure of more than 100 roads and bridges. This is unacceptable.
Congress needs to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package that revitalizes our national infrastructure. I will be focused on this issue from day one.
We should expect our government to shoot straight with us. That includes disclosure of lobbyist and special interest involvement in the law-making process. I have consistently authored bills for increased openness in government including measures to make it easier for citizens to access government records, bills calling for more robust open meetings laws and proposals to require more complete campaign money disclosures from lobbyists and candidates. I also cosponsored a bipartisan law that requires government contracts to be posted for public review.
I believe when Washington does its work in secret, people suffer. That’s why I will support efforts to make government more transparent and accessible.