Issues

Deferred Action of Child Arrivals (DACA)

It is my goal when I get to Washington to fight for legislation that allows these young people who came here as children, through no fault of their own. Many have worked hard and stayed on a straight and narrow path, to stay in this great melting pot of a country. I believe this serves our best interests.

The idea behind DACA is a worthy goal. However, it was the right idea done the wrong way. It's time to make things official. We must stop using Dreamers as a political tool. Enough is enough.

Legislation is imperative, so that Dreamers can be legally recognized, without anyone being able to take them from their true home. We can do better, and we will.

These young people need an advocate in congress. I will be that advocate.

Healthcare

We need a free market, patient-centered health care system. When no one is held accountable, and there’s no competition, quality of care suffers and prices skyrocket. We have to reevaluate how the government is to interact with the healthcare market. The employer-based health insurance deduction lowers wages and hides the actual costs of healthcare. As a result, healthcare is overused without any measurable improvement in health outcomes. It becomes prepaid healthcare, instead of insurance. There is no need for check-ups and sick-call to be covered in our health plans. If it were removed, then healthcare premiums would drop significantly. For those at the poverty line, we can create a state ran HSA (Health Savings Account) plan. That account can cover the healthcare needs of that person, without paying out monthly to doctors for patients they aren’t treating. Those individuals can go to any doctor and use their HSA card to get the care they need. Access to care is the key. Many of the best doctors refuse to take Medicaid. If you’re paying with an HSA account, then that doesn’t matter. To the doctors, it’s as good as a cash transaction.  

To be concise, we have a 5-step plan to move things in the right direction for healthcare.

  1. Block grant Medicaid payments to states.
  2. Allow states to authorize programs like Health Savings Account issuance for those in need
  3. Reduce regulations on insurance companies, so that premiums will lower.
  4. Allow out-of-state practitioners to use communication technology to treat patients around the nation.
  5. Root out the cronyism in the FDA.

Medicaid continues to grow without improving Americans’ health. When Medicaid enrollees increase drastically, as they did under Obamacare, we reduce the quality of care for our poorest and neediest patients. We need to stop propping up dangerous doctors who feed off Medicaid patients. Without Medicaid patients, many of these doctors would go out of business. We need to block grant Medicaid payments to states, so that we can experiment with programs like the HSA solution. Allow states get the money to provide healthcare to those in need. There is no need for ‘big brother’ to make those decisions. Medicare also needs to have the ability to negotiate drug prices and create formularies that are more common. The drug companies have all the power in dictating prices. It’s time that our government start negotiating on the prices. Let free markets do their job.

Technology is always changing, and one promising idea could create amazing opportunities for access to healthcare. Tele-medicine is an option that could save Americans quite a bit on their check-ups and sick-call needs. Technology can be used to have doctors treats from anywhere in the nation. The biggest barrier to this is state-by-state licensing. Doctors must have licenses in the state that their patient is in. With common sense legislation we can open a wide door to access, which is what really matters.

The over-regulation in the pharmaceutical industry is turning our pharmaceutical market into an oligopoly. The corruption couldn’t be more obvious when homeopathic products can make unfounded medical claims, while Insulin prices skyrocket. Getting drugs through the FDA approval process requires a fortune, and there is little to no opportunity for smaller drug companies to compete. Most of the newest drugs come out of the largest manufactures, because they can afford the long expensive approval process. This means that they buy research drugs from smaller companies, and push them through. Sometimes, if the drug makes one of theirs obsolete, then they will just shelf the new drug without ever sending to market. Because competition on Insulin and other drugs is so low, there doesn’t need to be collusion. One of the big 3 can just raise prices, and the others will follow. The current system only allows for a race to raise prices, instead of a race to lower them. That’s not the free-market. That is cronyism.

Education

Parents have the right to choose the school that works best for their child: There are many options such as: traditional public schools, public charter schools, virtual schools, private schools, or home schooling. School choice is about liberty, competition, and giving our children more opportunity.

We also need to push policies that strengthen our teachers. Good teachers make inspirational students. Standardized testing is forcing our teachers into tunnel visioned teaching. Amazing teachers who could inspire students are having harder times, because they are judged by standardized test scores. You cannot sum up any student or educator with a single year-end test.  Teachers are public servants, and our hard-earned tax dollars should go towards rewarding the teachers that shape our children for the better. Good teachers are investments in our children's future.

We should also be considering options for vocational programs inside of our schools. We should be partnering with the titans of industry to fund and develop certification programs for our children. If our children are certified in machining, writing computer code, plumbing, etc. then they will be employable upon graduation. The programming can be flexed as the workforce needs are scarce or in excess. College is hard to pull off for working class families. Many college graduates don’t even end up doing anything related to their degree. For many, a 4-year degree is the right choice, but it’s not the only one. Vocational training is a solid choice for many. Imagine our 18-20 year old’s making an electrician’s salary.

Instead of raising the minimum wage, we need to be raising the minimum skills of our population. An estimated 5-7 million job openings are available for medium-skilled sectors that are not being filled. American employers don’t need English majors; they need technicians, data analysts, and manufacturing specialists. These skills are obtained through on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and trade schools. If we begin cooperating with these industries, then we can match our children with careers that are in demand.

Immigration

Do we supply the workers required for this new economic reality?

It is time for the United States to resuscitate the Bracero program. During World War II, we solved our tremendous labor shortage by bringing in workers from outside of our borders to supplement the American workforce. Through a series of laws and diplomatic agreements, we granted them work visas, and they came and enabled our factories to produce war material and the crops needed to feed the country and our soldiers.

 Thankfully, we are not fighting a world war. We have created another economic miracle. To prevent it from slowing down due to a shortage of workers, we must do two things:

1) Train our youth for the skills required, making top-notch vocational education available, and

2) Bring in foreign workers who cannot find better than marginal employment in their home countries and who want to work to improve the lives of their families. Here are the points that, when implemented, would create a win-win solution.

Congress should create a new worker’s visa , which would be given to applicants at the U.S. consulates and border crossings. Offices throughout the country would issue visas to people already here, making them eligible for the legal immigration status.

Under this plan, recipients of the visas would have a limited time to secure employment or leave the country, reapplying if they choose. Applicants must present proof they have no criminal past. Employers must have a federal taxpayer identification number. Visa recipients would receive special social security numbers. They would pay all taxes, which would be deducted from their paychecks. They would not be eligible for any tax refunds.

Certainly, they would not be eligible for any social services such as food
assistance or housing assistance. Even though they are paying into Medicare and Social Security they would not be eligible to collect benefits under this visa.

The applicants would have to purchase health insurance when they receive the visas. If they drive, they would need a driver’s license. The visas would be valid for one year and would be renewed only if the recipients have not had any legal problems and continue to be gainfully employed, proof of which they would have to tender every year.

There would be no limit on the number of visas allocated. Instead, there would be a formula for situations in which a specified number of visa holders have not yet found jobs, triggering a moratorium on new visas until the number has been achieved.

This program would eliminate the need to sneak in across the desert or the Rio Grande, or to be smuggled in the back of a truck, risking their lives and the lives of American border agents. If visas are not being issued, workers would know jobs are not available so they will not try to sneak in. If visas are being granted then they would apply and receive permission to enter this country legally, offering an opportunity for a new life in America. This will save lives and free up our resources at the border to go after the drug smugglers and human traffickers.

It also means applicants would not need to bring their families here because they can return home as often as they like. This was the experience with the original Bracero program. Foreign workers’ children would not be filling the schools here. Instead, those workers would pay for their children’s educations in their home countries with the money they send back. While looking for work they would not be counted in the unemployment statistics.

It is important to remember that the people working here also are consumers. If we don’t increase our consumption, the economy will again stagnate. We must look at these immigrants as consumers as well as producers.

These workers would be eligible to apply for permanent residency and eventual citizenship based upon the normal requirements, with the proviso that appropriate visa numbers would be made available. If they’re granted citizenship, they would be able to bring along only their spouses and children. We want to give them a vested interest in the success of the program and in the success of the United States. They want this, too.

I am well aware that many people feel that Congress, and our country, are too divided to reach any agreement to fix our broken immigration system. But I still believe that there are ways to bridge these seemingly irreconcilable differences, and I am determined to try.

Flood Policy

We will fight to ensure that Harris county gets its fair share of federal funding for flood prevention. I also want to ensure that the emergency services broadband system is being executed by the contractors effectively. The First Responder Network Authority uses communication providers to give first responders access to the technology they have asked for, to better communicate and collaborate after disasters. 

End Destruction of Economic Freedom

Big government leads to the destruction of economic freedom. We must reduce government intrusion into our lives, while demanding that it functions with great efficiency, minimal waste, and answerable to the people it represents. It must protect our Constitutional and God-given rights, and provide equal justice for all.

Proper Use of Your Tax Money

The purpose of taxes is to fund the government, to deliver clearly defined services to the people, and to defend this great nation. The socialists want to use the taxing power to punish success, to redistribute income to their perceived constituents, and to remake society in ways that will make them a permanent majority. We have seen it in Venezuela, and we cannot allow it to happen here. 

National Security

The Mexican and South American drug cartels will not terrorize the American people, or immigrants whom are guests in our country. They terrorize the Latin American people south of the border, and have become more entrenched than ever. We cannot allow them to win. Many immigrants have fled to America in search of asylum from the cartels. We need to secure our border in a smart and effective way. This doesn’t require some big expensive wall, but it does require technology, and a well trained force at the border. We also need to cripple the human trafficking that has plagued our country, as well as our district. The premiere law enforcement agency that fights against human trafficking is I.C.E. – I support their fight against human trafficking, and removing the most dangerous of criminals in our county.

Cyber warfare is the biggest treat to our nation today. Due to zero-day exploits such as Stuxnet, we have to be vigilant in supporting our intelligence agencies that fight this type of terror. It’s a scary thought that a power grid can be taken down by some line of computer code. Technology is a two edged sword, so we must always stay one step ahead in cyber warfare.

Economy

Big government leads to the destruction of economic freedom.  We must reduce government intrusion into our lives, while demanding that it functions with great efficiency, minimal waste, and answerable to the people it represents. It must protect our Constitutional and God-given rights, and provide equal justice for all.

The purpose of taxes is to fund the government, to deliver clearly defined services to the people, and to defend this great nation.  Some want to use the taxing power to punish success, to redistribute income to their perceived constituents, and to remake society in ways that will make them a permanent majority.

Some politicians want to destroy entry level jobs by pricing them beyond the economic value by imposing a minimum wage of $15 per hour closing many job opportunities to young people. My opponent has said that she would go for even a $40 minimum wage. This couldn’t be more misguided. We all wish that we could get paid high wages, but raising the minimum wage isn’t the solution. The answer to making a livable wage is changing the way we educate, and subsidize higher/skilled education.

Veterans

The VA has made improvements, but is still far from where it needs to be.  After the VA scandal, Congress passed new reforms, but the Veterans Administration still has too much control over our veterans' care, and veterans are still hamstrung by red tape and bureaucracy. Vets should have the choice to get care wherever they choose. The VA needs to get back to focusing on service-connected ailments and outsourcing the rest. We also need to expand our research into treatment that works. PTSD has affected so many of our service-people, and we should be doing more to find solutions. We see the results of throwing prescriptions and empty programs at people who need real tools to heal and cope. It may not be “cool” to talk about veteran’s healthcare this election cycle, but it’s still just as relevant. We need to stop forgetting those who put everything on the line for us. Day one as Congressman, we will hire a Wounded Warrior Veteran as our VA case worker for the district. We need people who understand the problem, to be solving these problems on the ground.

Energy

Houston has been a long time leader in the energy industry. We must protect the energy jobs in the district, which employee so many of us. We need to loosen the regulations that drive down job opportunities in the district. It’s time that we ramp things up even further. The port has recently expanded, and we’ve already seen the benefits of it. We need to be drilling and frac’ing to expand our own oil and gas production. Legislating our use of fossil fuels will only hurt those who are impoverished, and in the middle class. Taxing carbon will just add dollars at the pump, and on our electric bills. For many hard working Americans, this will hurt their pocketbook. Normal working people can’t afford carbon taxes. It’s time that we stop allowing the green lobby to co-opt our politicians. Elon Musk wanted to reduce carbon emissions, so he went and made a cool electric car that people would want to buy. Again, the free market always wins.  

Let’s use our money to create better infrastructure, instead of fighting the energy industry. We need competitive technologies that bring clean technology to market. We will not legislate clean energy’s market share, but we also won’t legislate against it. If it provides value, and is competitive, then it shouldn’t be ignored. The government cannot be the arbiter of the energy you consume. Then the energy market could go the same route as the pharmaceutical industry.

Local Projects

Working with those recovering from addiction has been a humbling experience. As your congressman I will continue to be active in the recovery community. There is far too much to live for, and we can’t continue to lose our loved ones to drug addiction. Leadership needs to stay in belly of these issues. Addiction is a disease that requires treatment, but it also requires support. I am committed to foster that support among the leaders in the district. I believe it is also important to expand the opportunities in the district. We would like to work with investors to start some tech incubators in the district, so that individuals have the opportunity to make their ideas a reality.