Tell me what issues are important to you! I'm talking to voters across the district about their concerns, things that make it difficult to get ahead, and what they want to see from their representative. As I hear from you, I’ll continue to update this page on issues that matter to South Carolina’s 2nd District. Please reach out and tell me your story and how your representative in Washington can help.
One thing I’ve heard from families across the 2nd District over and over again is how hard it is to make ends meet because of ridiculously high healthcare costs in our country. People are foregoing needed medical treatment because the cost is simply too high, even with insurance. Others are struggling to pay for the medical costs of caring for aging or ill family members.
One big increase in healthcare costs is prescription drugs. Since 1960, the per person cost of prescription drugs (inflation-adjusted) in America has increased from $90 to $1,025. A simple, straightforward way to tackle soaring pharmaceutical drug costs is to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies. This is the way free markets work, after all—buyers and sellers negotiate prices. The majority of Americans (96% of Democrats, 92% of Republicans, and 92% of Independents) are in favor of allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.
Why is Medicare forbidden by law to negotiate with drug companies? Because too many of our representatives have been bought by drug companies. In 2003, at the behest of drug companies, Congress added a provision to the Medicare Modernization Act that forbids Medicare from negotiating drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. Representative Wilson voted for this prohibition. I want to repeal it.
The costs of higher education are burdening our workers and preventing their full participation in the American marketplace. The average college graduate who borrows in South Carolina leaves with $30,891 in debt. families in the 2nd District have told me that high levels of student debt are holding them back from buying their first house, starting a family, and saving for retirement. That’s not good for South Carolinians and not good for our economy.
What can we do about it? First, we can increase Pell Grants to bring them in line with today’s college costs. Representative Wilson co-sponsored a bill that would have cut $15 billion in financial aid, making college even less affordable for South Carolina families.
Second, we need more transparency about college costs and student outcomes so that students and families can find the program that’s right for them. Congress can and must make more information about student debt levels, graduation rates, job placement, and earnings after graduation available. You ought to be able to compare colleges like products on Amazon.com.
Third, we need to invest in our community colleges, job training, and apprenticeships that lead to good-paying jobs and cost less than college.
My hometown is a small town in the rural part of the 2nd District, and I believe strongly in making sure voices in our rural communities are heard. In my conversations with local leaders, educators, and small business owners in our rural communities, the need for rural broadband is often a priority. More than half-a-million South Carolinians are left out of the digital economy because they lack access to high-speed internet. Small business owners cannot grow their businesses. Students don’t have the access they need for assignments. Families cannot take advantage of telehealth opportunities, which are crucial for healthcare access in places that lack access to transportation and local health facilities.
My twin brother served our country in the United States Army in Iraq as an enlisted soldier. There should never be any doubt that we fully support our country’s heroes. That means that in addition to providing troops with the proper equipment, support, and care while active, we have to provide them with the support and care they need when they return home.
I’ve seen too many veterans struggle with lost paperwork, delays, and barriers to getting the treatment they need and benefits they’ve earned. We need to strengthen our Veterans Affairs Department and make sure our veterans get they care they need every time.
The people you send to Congress should work for the voters, not lobbyists or corporations. That’s why I support overturning Citizens United which lets giant corporations dump unlimited sums of money into our elections and why, unlike our current congressman who has taken the majority of his money from corporations and special interest PACs, I’m not taking ANY corporate PAC money. Because I want to represent you, no one else.
South Carolinians know how precious our natural resources are. We camp, hike, swim, hunt, and fish. As a coastal state, our communities stand to lose the most from climate change, rising sea levels, and devastating storm systems. I support investing in clean energy that promotes job growth and infrastructure that increases efficiency and increases our resilience to the impacts of climate change. I oppose offshore drilling and seismic testing that could be disastrous to our coast and economy.
Democracy only works if every American has a full and equal opportunity to vote. That’s why I support automatic voter registration, protecting our voting systems from foreign interference, and ending partisan gerrymandering that allows politicians to choose their voters rather than allowing voters to choose their representatives.
Families in our district are being squeezed by stagnant wages and rising healthcare, education, and childcare costs. Increased access to affordable, high-quality childcare is essential for economic mobility and the future of our state. We must invest in our children, and I support increasing the childcare development block grant to increase access to affordable high-quality childcare. We also need to help relieve the financial pressures of family caregivers caring for aging parents and disabled family members.
Supporting families also means supporting all families. I believe everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law, regardless of who you are or who you love.
I believe Congress has the responsibility to be good stewards of your tax dollars. We must protect taxpayers from waste, fraud, and abuse. Cost overruns and poor performance must have consequences. My opponent has long defended government boondoggles that line the pockets of corporate donors. I will take on this pay-to-play culture and hold contractors accountable when they waste taxpayer dollars.