We need to bring an end to the extreme rhetoric and partisanship that is dominating Washington and prohibiting anything from getting accomplished. Party extremism has pushed our government to the brink of failure because Congress has been placing politics before sound policy. Based on my past successes, I know I can be effective in working across party lines on bipartisan legislation.
In Congress, first and foremost, I will be a voice calling for reason in search of practical solutions to our most pressing problems. I will work with anyone who loves this country as much as I do to get us moving forward again.
In my leadership roles in state and federal government, I reached out and worked regularly with Republican leaders and legislators. As Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, I worked with Illinois House and Senate members on both sides of the aisle to establish the state’s first bipartisan Veterans’ Caucus. Through my work with these legislators, we were able to set up the Veterans’ Cash Grant Program, which has helped to fund non-profits ranging from the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton to the John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic and the Southern Illinois University Students with Disabilities Program.
I did the same in Washington, D.C. as the Assistant Secretary for Veterans Affairs. I worked with Republican leaders on the new G.I. Bill, Caregivers legislation, outreach to Native American Veterans, and the needs of women Vets. I have a proven record of success in working across party lines at varying levels of government.
One of my top priorities once elected will be to bring reason and leadership back to Congress. The extreme partisanship found there is preventing us from addressing the key issues and challenges facing our nation. We must balance our commitment to our values with compromise for the greater good. Members need to represent their districts rather than any rigid personal or political ideologies. Too many Members are placing partisan rhetoric ahead of the national interest. This is true of both Democrats and Republicans. I will always remember that my oath of office will be to serve the people of the United States and not any political party of interest group.