I believe in the value of open and honest debate about the most solemn act a democracy undertakes: using its military in an armed conflict. I am deeply committed to holding my colleagues and the executive branch to a strict standard of scrutiny as we debate policies that are going to put our men and women in harm’s way. We must also honor the sacred contract between a grateful nation and our veterans who made selfless sacrifices in defense of freedom and democracy.
Since first coming to Congress, I have been fighting for the farmers and ranchers of Minnesota's First Congressional District. Agriculture production is vital to the economy of southern Minnesota and farming is the heart of our rural communities. As a member of the House Agricultural Committee, I have worked to ensure that the farm policies being made in Washington make sense for southern Minnesota's farmers and ranchers.
Possibly the most elemental concept of our nation is that of individual liberty, or a right to live our lives however we choose. This extends to applying to any school we like; buying certain products at the grocery store; even putting whatever we want in our bodies.
A strong economy is very important to our district and to my work in Congress. Learn more about my views on this issue.
As a former teacher at Mankato West High School, I know that maintaining a strong education system is the backbone of our democracy. We need to ensure our schools have the funding they need to provide quality instruction in all subjects, like math, language arts and information technology. We also need to make sure important support services like counseling and professional development for teachers and principals are funded.
America needs to transition to a clean energy economy and southern Minnesota is uniquely positioned to lead the way in this transition. I firmly believe that American ingenuity will allow us to meet our energy needs, create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. By working towards a sustainable and renewable energy economy we can ensure a brighter future for all Americans.
As both a hunter and a fisherman, I understand firsthand the importance of protecting the natural wonders of southern Minnesota and the United States. Our environment is a resource that we must use and protect responsibly.
As a 24-year veteran of the Army National Guard, I served to safeguard the personal freedoms of all Americans. My military service coupled with nearly two decades of teaching has convinced me that America must remain engaged in a changing world. While this requires our nation to provide leadership abroad, we must also never lose focus on building our infrastructure and growing our economy here at home.
Openness and transparency are key components of our democracy and economy.
Health care is important to our district and my work in Congress. Learn more about my views on this issue.
Our immigration system is broken and I believe Congress has a responsibility to try to fix the problem.
The United States' position in the world is largely due to scientific progress achieved over the last century. Government funding is central to many of America's most important technological breakthroughs, and remaining competitive in the fields of science and technology is vital to maintaining our global leadership in an increasingly high-tech world.
As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I know the importance of having a robust transportation system that creates livable communities and gives citizens and businesses the ability to move about the country with ease. And, as we continue to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, I know that investments in our transportation system can create jobs right away, while also helping to foster long-term economic growth.