For far too long our Congress has consisted of millionaires. The Center for Responsible Politics did a study of 534 members from Congress from 2012 and found that over half had a net worth of $1 million or more. The median net worth of House members was $896,000. The net worth for Senators was $2.5 million. These members don’t represent the interest of working-class Americans. In a time when corporations are bringing in record profits the average American and Oregonian workers are struggling to get by.
To address these serious disconnects in our country, here are the core issues where Chris Vaughn will fight for members of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District.
Medicare for All
In 2018 research by the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University funded by the Koch brothers determined that Medicare for All would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. That is $2 trillion less than our current system.
We need to end the nightmare of GoFundme healthcare and provide coverage for all United States Citizens. Way to many Americans don't have health insurance. And millions more have insurance but often can't afford the copays or out of pocket expenses. People are often denied coverage on proceduers by the insurance companies. Medicare for all will also provide mental health, addiction treatment and counseling.
Green New Deal and fighting the Climate Emergency
We have the solutions to slow down and reverse the climate emergency. We need to act now for our children and grandchildren. Planet Earth isn't going to wait for us to solve climate change. Planet Earth will continue on with or without humans. If humans want to be a part of the equation we need to act now. Rejoining the Paris Agreement and implementing a Green New Deal would be a start. Transferring oil industry subsidies to sustainable green technology will help as well.
Just like President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal put American workers back to work during the Depression of the 1930’s The Green New Deal will put Americans back to work today. We can provide good paying jobs and stop letting other countries take the lead.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Keeping Families Together
We need comprehensive immigration reform that provides balance between allowing immigration for those fleeing violence or persecution and keeping our borders safe and secure. Family separation is inhumane and draconian and should never be an option. I will fight to end this and have families reunited. I will fight to end for profit detention centers. I will fight for a streamlined process for asylum seekers and immigrants that would decide cases in months not years. DACA recipients should be allowed to remain in our country and have a path to citizenship. The process for migrant workers should include security for fair pay, safe housing and working conditions.
The COVID-19 Crisis
The Trump Administration and Congressional reponse to COVID-19 is a disgrace. The Trump Administration early on, via the CDC, banned any testing by anyone other than the CDC. This severely hampered our response by making testing so scarce that we didn't know exactly how the virus was spreading. According to experts we could have utilized research and university laboratories to do testing and could have had 350,000,000 test kits available in one month. But Trump wasted valuable time by going through for profit companies. Now we still don't have enough tests available to safely start relaxing isolation policies.
The economic package that Congress has passed is also equally a disgrace. It hasn't provided nearly enough money for the average American let alone the least well off. The program for relief of small business is a red tape nightmare. The lack of staff at the state levels isn't able to handle the crush of unemployment claims.
In the short term I am advocating for proposals that would pay out $2,000 per month over the next few months. In the long term I am advocating that we switch to something like the German model for dealing with economic relief. In Germany 95% of workers are still employed even though they are isolating just like us. In the German model the companies keep paying the workers that are isolating 60% of their income. It's similar to unemployment but the worker doesn't need to apply. Also the worker remains employed and the program costs about the same as unemployment but it's much easier to implement.
FDR's Second Bill of Rights
During the State of The Union speech in 1945, President Franaklin Delano Roosevelt, proposed a Second Bill of Rights. This proposal would give certain social and economic rights to all Americans. This Second Bill of Rights never came to fruition. I will fight for a Second Bill of Rights for all Americans. These rights would make sure that Americans have employment with adequate compensation to provide for clothing, housing, food and leisure. A farmers right to a fair income, freedom from unfair competion and monopolies, housing, Medicare for All, social security and education. A just society doesn't pay workers a wage that isn't livable. A just society doesn't allow it's citizens to languish in tent cities by the side of the freeway. A just society doesn't allow family farmers to be swamped by huge corporations. A just society doesn't allow people to die because they have no health insurance. As a working-class American I understand the issues Americans face on a daily basis. I will fight for a Second Bill of Rights.
Sensible and Strong Gun Safety Laws
We need to have stronger gun safety laws, including background checks for all gun sales, and red flag laws to remove guns from domestic abusers and stalkers. Ban the 3d printing of guns. Guns should not be confiscated from current law abiding owners but future sales of assualt weapons should be banned.
We need to end corporate welfare. It is unacceptable that huge corporations such as Apple, Amazon and Boeing pay no, or almost no, taxes. Taxpayers should not have to provide welfare to these corporations. CEO pay should be capped at 40 times the pay of the lowest paid worker. Currently taxpayers are forced to subsidize companies like Walmart that pay workers such a low amount that a full time worker doesn't even make a living wage.
Reform the VA
By reforming the VA and providing Medicare For All our veterans will be able to get the best medical care. Veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and with a Medicare for All health system will be able to get any health care needed as well as mental health and substance abuse counseling.
End Gas and Oil Company Subsidies
We need to end the billions of dollars in welfare the gas and oil industries receive every year. I will fight to have these subsidies turned over to development of green energy technology that will help us transfer from a fossil fuel economy to a sustainable one.
End Citizens United
We need to reverse this disastrous Supreme Court Decision. Corporations aren’t people. Corporations should be capped at contributing no more than an individual limit. We need to get big corporate money out of politics.
Free Higher Education and Trade Schools
We should guarantee free public college or trade schools for all. Student loan debt should be cancelled and the corrupt loan system should be reformed going forward. We currently have a corrupt student loan system where students that borrow relatively low amounts have massive penalties piled onto their loans making for massive loans that the student never intended and can't possibly pay back.
The system for student loans is corrupt and needs to be changed. I will fight to end the student loan system that doesn't allow for bankruptcy, charges high interest and outrageously high penalties. Student loan debt should be cancelled and the corrupt loan system should be reformed going forward. We currently have a corrupt student loan system where students that borrow relatively low amounts have massive penalties piled onto their loans making for massive loans that the student never intended and can't possibly pay back.
End For Profit Prisons and Prison Reform
For profit prisons encourage abuse and incarceration. I will fight to end the warehousing of humans for profit. By providing Medicare for All, prisoners can get the mental health and substance abuse counseling they need. We need to provide education and trade school programs to prisoners to help them reform. We can borrow the best ideas from other countries that have systems that work, such as Norway.
Ensure equal pay for women, end sexual discrimination and violence in the workplace. Fully fund Planned Parenthood.
Fight to end disparities in health, financial and educational services.
End discrimination of LGBTQ in the workplace, schools and sports.
Native American Tribes
I will fight to end the system of paternalism that exists. I will fight for Native Americans to protect their treaty and sovereign rights.
I will fight for social justice. Americans should be compensated a living wage by their employers. Americans should have adequate time off work to spend time with and care for there families. This should include paid vacation time, paid Family Medical Leave and mandatory sick pay. Up until the COVID-19 Crisis American companies were making record profits but many of those companies were not adequately sharing those profits with thier workers through wages or benefits. All Americas should have a safe place to call home. Social sevrices need to be adequately funded to provide housing services for those in need. This should include public housing as well as vouchers for rentals.
Just like I believe in a woman's right to make medical decisions for her body, I also support the right of everyone to make the choice on what vaccine, if any to put in their body. I am not against vaccines but believe we all should have a choice.
Cannabis & Psilocybin Legalization
Marijuana is safer than alcohol. I will fight to legalize marijuana on the national level. I believe that minorities are disproportionately affected by laws against marijuana use. All prisoners that are only incarcerated for violating marijuana laws should be released. I support the legalization of psilocybin to be administered by licensed service providers.
Local Choice on Water Issues
I support local solutions to water issues. Whenever locals are able to get together to find solutions I think this is the best option. I support local efforts in communities such as Harney County and the Klamath Basin. Water issues are going to be even more important as climate change provides stress to our water supply.
Labor Unions, Trickle-Down Economics and the Fight For $15
Many Americans today feel like the American dream is out of reach for them. Some younger voting age Americans probably don't even know what the American dream was. Since the 1980's trickle-down economics has ravaged our middle class and many working class Americans. Not only did trickle-down economics help shift huge amounts of wealth from working class Americans to the wealthiest ones but the lack of tax revenue has reduced much of our infrastructure to a dangerous point. Labor unions have been destroyed by laws and rules that took away a level playing field. Our huge budget deficits are partly caused by trickle-down economics and the slashing of the tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. In the 1950's and 60's labor unions were strong and we had a great economy with living wage jobs. This was despite the fact that corporations and wealthy individuals had higher tax rates at the time providing proper revenue for infrastructure projects. I will fight to return the tax rate to the levels of the 1950's and 60's. I will fight to level the playing field for labor unions. Big companies should not be allowed to have a monopoly. No companies or banks should be in the too big to fail category. They should be broken up if need be. I will fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage, although the wage will need to be even higher in some cities or regions. I would fight to cap CEO pay at 40 times the amount of the the lowest paid worker.
FDA, USDA and Consumer Safety
Our government should work to protect consumers not cater to corporate interest. The FDA has increasingly allowed drugs that haven't been properly tested or had suspect testing. The USDA has been shrinking from its duties to protect consumers. They're increasingly moving inspertors out of processing facilities and monitoring by security camera instead of having inspectors on site. Some states have criminalized whistle blowers in agricultural industries and food processing plants. I will fight for a federal law that will protect these whistle blowers. We need to know that our food supply is safe.
I will fight to ban chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids that have had adverse affects on humans and wildlife. There needs to be proper oversight of companies like Monsanto. Monsanto lied for years about the safety of Roundup weed killer. They told farmers and landscape companies that it was completely safe yet they knew it was causing cancer to many. I will fight for proper environmental protections and the safety of workers and consumers. I will advocate sustainable and organic farming whenever possible.
Migrant workers should get the same wage protections that American citizens get. Many of these workers are here to do essential jobs especially in agriculture and food production. They are often exposed to chemicals and pesticides. I will fight for robust implementation and enforcement of the 2015 revised Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS). I will fight to ban the use of chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids that adversely affect migrant and immigrant labor, as well as wildlife. Workers should also have access to medical care and safe housing when provided by the employer.
Voters across the country are being denied the right to vote by the lack of polling stations, mainly in inner city and marginalized communities. Voters want a paper trail when they vote. Voters want safe voting free from potential hacking. This is why I am advocating that the enitre country adopt a vote by mail system like the system being used in Oregon. In vote by mail voters get to vote at their leisure and have several weeks to fillout their ballot and turn it in. They get a paper trail. The system is free of potential hacking since electronic voting booths aren't needed. Voters don't need to take off work or wait in line to vote.
Central and South America
For far to long we have meddled in the affairs of Central and South America. I would advocate for moving away from a position of colonialism and paternalism to one of mutual respect, cooperation and partnership.
We have diplomatic and economic relations with China, a Communist country, but we don't have relations with Cuba, a Communist country 90 miles from our borders that poses absolutely no threat to the United States. I will fight for and advocate to end the economic embargo of Cuba and have diplomatic and economic cooperation.
The war in Iraq was unnecessary. Iraq had nothing to do with 911 and was no threat to the United States. The war also took the focus off Afghanistan and that was where the real issues were. The agreement that Barack Obama made with Iran was a good one and should have been kept. Israel has a right to exist and so does Palestine. I would advocate for a two state solution. The kurds have been one of our strongest allies in the Middle East. I would advocate for continued economic and military support to help protect them. In general the Middle East should be left alone.
Citizens of Puerto Rico are American citizens but are often treated as second class. I am in favor of making Puerto Rico the 51st State so they will have adequate representation in Congress.
The War Powers Act
I support Congress using it's authority in regards to the War Powers Act. The President of the United States doesn't have the power to keep American soldiers engaged in endless combat and wars.