Despite our divided government, I have found that through honest debate and discussion we can often find common ground.
While my first priority is to serve the best interests of Michigan’s 7th district and uphold the Constitution, I also look for opportunities to move good ideas forward by working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Read below to learn more about my record of bipartisanship.
Legislation Signed Into Law
- Post Office Dedication: I introduced a resolution with wide bipartisan support from my Michigan delegation colleagues to rename a Jackson post office as the "Officer James Bonneau Memorial Post Office Building." Officer James Bonneau was shot and killed in 2010 while responding to a domestic disturbance. The President signed the legislation into law on December 16, 2014.
- Saving Taxpayer Dollars: I Introduced the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act with Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) to require federal agencies to take action to identify and close out thousands of expired grant accounts with a zero balance. The President signed this bipartisan, bicameral legislation into law on January 28, 2016.
- Helping our Heroes: I introduced the Medal of Honor Priority Care Act to elevate living Medal of Honor recipients from Group 3 to Group 1 when enrolling for their VA health care benefits. H.R.272 was included as part of a larger Veterans Health Care and Benefits bill, which was signed into law by the President on December 16, 2016.
Bipartisan Legislation Introduced
Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform: Introduced H.R. 540, the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act, a bipartisan effort to curb abuses in the Civil Asset Forfeiture system, raise the level of proof, and increase transparency.
Student Loans: Introduced H.R 701, the Helping Families Save for Education Act, with Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) to increase the amount individuals can contribute from $2,000 a year to $10,000 and increase the age of eligibility from 18 to 22.
- Government Accountability: Introduced H.R. 598, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act, with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) to make it easier to evaluate federal government spending by requiring federal agencies to identify their programs and provide basic information on what the program does and how much they cost.
- Criminal Justice Reform: Introduced H.R. 5042, the Federal Prisons Accountability Act, with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) to increase transparency and accountability within the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) by requiring the BOP Director to receive a presidential appointment and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
- Protecting our Most Vulnerable: Lead cosponsor on H.R. 4843, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act, bipartisan legislation to strengthen efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect by strengthening and requiring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to better ensure states are meeting current child welfare requirements. The legislation was signed into law on July 22, 2016 as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
- Tackling Opioid Abuse: Introduced H.R. 5142, Jessie’s Law, with Reps. Ann Kuster (D-NH), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and additional bipartisan support to ensure doctors have access to the information they need so they can safely treat their patients and prevent unknowingly prescribing powerful opioid medications to those struggling with addiction.
- Caring for our Veterans: Introduced H.R. 5343, the VA Transparency Enhancement Act, with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) to enhance transparency requirements at VA hospitals to ensure our veterans have access to timely, high quality care.
- Increasing Transparency: Introduced H.R. 5226, the Regulatory Integrity Act, to require federal agencies to post, in a central location, all communications they issue during the proposed rule stage so that the public can fully participate and trust that the rulemaking process is neutral and unbiased. The bipartisan legislation passed the House on September 14, 2016.
Bipartisan Amendments Introduced
- Wasteful Defense Spending: Offered a bipartisan amendment with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) to H.R. 5293, the fiscal year 2017 defense spending bill. Our successful amendment would stop future funds for the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund, a program which has been poorly run and is lacking in oversight. I also worked with Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) to cut $50 million from the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund as part of the House-passed fiscal year 2016 defense spending bill, H.R. 2685.
- Expanding Resources to Combat Heroin and Opioid Epidemic: Offered a bipartisan amendment with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) to increase funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and enhance partnerships at the local level to combat this epidemic. The amendment was included in the House-passed Financial Services and General Government funding bill for fiscal year 2017, H.R. 5485.
- Assisting Returning Veterans: Offered a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 2029, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, to boost veterans’ job training and services to help them transition into the civilian sector. The amendment was included in the final House-passed version of the bill.
- Eliminating Wasteful Foreign Aid: Offered an amendment to H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). to provide the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction with the ability to conduct effective audits to ensure the proper use of the remaining American taxpayer dollars appropriated for reconstruction efforts. The amendment was included in the final House-passed version of the bill.
- Protecting Hospitals from Government Overreach: Offered an amendment to the H.R. 2685, Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. to protect hospitals that administer TRICARE from government overreach by reiterating that treating private hospitals as federal contractors is poor public policy. The amendment was included in the final House-passed version of the bill.
To learn more about my legislative and voting record, please visit here.