I believe that certain goals are broadly shared among the residents of our district. For example, we all want affordable health care, a clean environment, and good schools for our children. As a representative, my job will be to identify our shared goals, and then use the best available data and science to achieve them. I will approach our problems with an open mind about the best solutions. I am committed to practical, workable problem-solving that helps the people in our community. Below I elaborate on where I stand on some important issues.

Healthcare: I believe healthcare is a human right, and that we should be working towards a system in which everyone has healthcare coverage.

  • Since I began my campaign in April, I’ve talked with thousands of residents of CA45, and I’ve found that almost all of us share the same goals when it comes to healthcare reform—we want broader (ideally universal) coverage, cheaper rates, affordable copayments and prescription drugs, and a system that emphasizes primary care and prevention (as opposed to waiting until emergency care is needed).
  • Of course, I will oppose efforts to cut Medicare and Medicaid, as Donald Trump and Mimi Walters have proposed (over $4 trillion in cuts were proposed in the latest House budget), and will work to strengthen and protect these lifeline programs. But this is not enough.
  • We should explore every possible opportunity to achieve universal healthcare coverage. In the near term, this includes extending Medicare to those 55 and older, allowing all Americans the option to buy into Medicare or some other public option at an affordable price, and expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I also believe we need to empower Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
  • If elected to Congress, I will fight to reform our healthcare system so that it achieves these policy goals. We need a system that allows all of us—children, parents, grandparents, veterans, students—to sleep better at night knowing that a catastrophic accident or illness won’t bankrupt our families.

Immigration: I want my children to grow up in an America that represents the core values that drew my parents, and millions of immigrants just like them, to this country: the values of inclusion, diversity, and economic opportunity.

  • I am fundamentally opposed to Donald Trump’s travel ban, and any other immigration policies that discriminate against people based on their race, religion, or national origin, and believe that such policies are contrary to the spirit and the letter of our nation’s Constitution and its laws.
  • I also believe that Trump’s other immigration policies are a wasteful and immoral use of our tax dollars. Building a wall across our entire border with Mexico makes no sense when our own roads and bridges are in disrepair.
  • As a practical matter, we don’t have the resources to enforce against all violations of our immigration laws, so we need to be smarter about how we spend federal tax dollars. Indiscriminate deportations break up families, increase crime, and heighten distrust of law enforcement in immigrant communities. At the same time, we ought to ensure that there is some pathway to citizenship in place for undocumented immigrants who are productive and law-abiding members of our society, especially those who were brought over at a young age and grew up here. I strongly oppose Trump’s decision to unilaterally end DACA and would do all I can to protect these young people, who are American in all but official status. My ultimate goal is an immigration policy that is both humane and efficiently uses our resources.

Climate Change: This is the defining issue of our lifetimes, and we must take action.

  • I support measures to begin immediately limiting carbon emissions. There is a scientific consensus that climate change is real, manmade, and potentially an existential threat, and so we must take that consensus seriously and stop denying basic, proven facts. We owe it to our children and future generations to take immediate and significant steps to curb the acceleration of climate change that we are seeing.
  • At a bare minimum, we must reverse course on Donald Trump’s reckless decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and the EPA’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan. But we must also take more proactive steps. I support tax incentives to encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency; and government investment in research into breakthrough technologies such as batteries that could dramatically our shift away from fossil fuels.
  • America did not become the greatest economy on earth by looking backwards. The clean energy revolution is well underway. When it comes to energy, this administration is stuck in the 19th century, while other nations such as China are racing ahead into the future. The energy transition, if we take advantage of it, is not only a moral imperative but an enormous economic opportunity.

Education: Investing in the future.

  • Education is one of my top priorities for domestic spending. I believe we should significantly increase federal investments in education at the primary, secondary, and university levels.
  • I support efforts to achieve universal pre-K, which studies have shown to lead to not only better educational outcomes but better adult health.
  • I believe college should be debt-free, like it used to be, when a student working a part-time job could pay off her college costs and graduate with minimal or no debt. I support the expansion of existing federal programs offering student loan forgiveness. I also believe we must be more creative in developing new relief programs for students burdened by debt, as we’re facing a potential student loan crisis in the coming years. Having worked in public policy during the 2007-08 mortgage crisis, I am all too aware of the problems that debt can create, not just for struggling households but also for the broader economy.
  • Federal education funding should not be tied to any requirements related to “school choice” or charter schools. I oppose efforts to use taxpayer money to fund private schools (i.e., charter schools and vouchers).

Women's Issues: Protecting women’s health care and autonomy.

  • The government should not be regulating the personal healthcare decisions of its citizens, and that includes women and their reproductive health. I oppose efforts to reduce funding to Planned Parenthood and the essential health care services it provides.
  • I also believe strongly that we should take steps to ensure that women are treated more fairly across our society, including in their healthcare and in the workplace. On healthcare, in addition to supporting bills such as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would have cut funding for Planned Parenthood, Mimi Walters has specifically voted against maternity coverage, maternity leave, pregnancy leave, and a ban on gender-based insurance price discrimination. She has also voted against workplace protections for women and against laws preventing gender-based wage discrimination. I think she was wrong in all of these votes, and would seek to protect and further advance policies that seek to establish a level playing field for all Americans, regardless of their gender.

Economic Policy: Creating good-paying jobs that support a middle class standard of living.

  • I’ve devoted my career to the goal of building an economy that works for people of all backgrounds. As a young lawyer at the SEC, as a senior Congressional advisor, as a policy director at the Center for American Progress, and as a law professor at UC Irvine, I’ve fought for nearly two decades to protect hard-working Americans by making our economy and our markets operate better and more fairly for everyone.
  • I strongly believe in investing in priorities that have long-term value, to ensure a better future for the children of Orange County. As a nation, we need to invest in education, environmental protection, infrastructure, scientific research, and other areas that produce long-term benefits for all of us. Too often, we’ve abandoned our obligations to “pay it forward” to future generations. It’s time to reverse course, and start to put meaningful resources back into these priorities, creating more jobs for Orange County residents in the near term and restoring the foundations of the American Dream in the longer term.
  • We need to explore various policy solutions that will help reduce the steep income and wealth inequality that threatens the stability and well-being of the United States. This includes improving and, where appropriate, expanding (rather than eliminating, as the House GOP has proposed) the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. I also support efforts to strengthen the ability of workers to join together and collectively bargain for their employment contracts, to help address the asymmetric bargaining power held by large employers.
  • We must proactively support the formation of small businesses and enable them to flourish. Small businesses in Orange County are a major engine of economic growth and job creation. I support the expansion of existing federal tax credit and business loan programs targeted at small businesses.

Preventing Gun Violence

  • There are 33,000 gun deaths each year in the United States. Restrictions on gun access for domestic abusers, the mentally ill, those on the terrorist watch list—these are all common-sense gun reforms that we must get behind as a country. My wife Jane runs the Domestic Violence Clinic at UCI’s Law School, and has seen first-hand what happens when we fail to pass legislation that protects our most vulnerable populations. We must do better.
  • Instead of trying to reduce the horrific toll of gun violence, Mimi Walters has cosponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill, which would actually override California’s own common-sense restrictions on who can carry weapons in public. I believe this bill is a threat to public safety. My wife Jane and I wrote more about our opposition to this bill in an Orange County Register op-ed.
  • We should treat gun violence as public health issue, and use data to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from gun violence. This means adequate funding for research on the issue, which has far too often been blocked by the gun lobby.
  • Mimi Walters has an A rating from the National Rifle Association and has consistently voted against reforms that would save lives.

Foreign Policy/Trade

  • We are currently investing in bombs over diplomacy and that is a recipe for alienating our allies and bankrupting our nation. We should be smarter about how we approach foreign policy. Whether it’s in dealing with Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, Iran’s nuclear development, or North Korea’s belligerence, we must recognize that diplomacy can be a long, difficult, and intensive process, but one that can pay dividends over the long run.
  • We also should be mindful of the interests and concerns of our allies, who want to see a stable, consistent, and thoughtful approach to dealing with the many problems around the world. We should keep in mind Teddy Roosevelt’s advice—“speak softly and carry a big stick”—which has served us well in the past.
  • On trade, I believe we need bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to help ensure that American priorities and values are reflected in the legal frameworks that govern potential trade disputes in our global economy. However, existing trade agreements (including NAFTA) do not always reflect these American priorities and values, particularly in the areas of worker rights and environmental protection. We should seek to modify these agreements to better represent the interests of all Americans and not just the shareholders of large multinational corporations.