Priorities

Making Washington Work Again

Washington is broken, and we need to change the way it operates. It is the one thing I hear across the political spectrum. I believe a new generation of leaders is needed to enact the change that is so needed.

Powerful lobbyists have too much sway in the halls of Congress, drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans. As a senator from Utah, I will roll out the red carpet for citizens, not special interests. The most harmful influences in Washington right now are corporations and special interests. We saw it in the tax reform bill — while everyone supports real tax reform, Congress pushed through a package favoring the top incomes and biggest corporations. I support efforts to overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that gave rise to unchecked and unaccountable campaign contributions.

We can make our Federal Government work for us, but we need leaders in Congress willing to push a reform agenda. I’ve done it at the local level, and I will do it in Congress.

Working across party lines on the Salt Lake County Council, I co-authored a substantial ethics reform package which capped campaign contributions, provided more transparency and implemented a gift ban. I’ve walked the walk.

I’ll support transparency regarding taxpayer-funded payouts that hushed up sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, and as Utah’s first female U.S. Senator I will push for a change of culture we so desperately need going forward.

DACA & Immigration

I simply cannot imagine how we can tear families apart, forcefully deporting those who have come to the United States as children. Utahns traditionally believe in keeping families together. I support comprehensive immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship for those here, secures our borders, and restructures the process for new immigrants. Bipartisan legislation encompassing these goals has been proposed by Republicans and Democrats alike, from former President George W. Bush, to Senators Durbin and Graham more recently.

Utah has always been a welcoming state for those from other nations. I’m thankful for the friendships I have developed with refugees from Tibet and Africa, who now call Utah home after emigrating under the U.S. State Department’s relocation program. We are strengthened as a community by diversity and the influence provided by our international refugees and those who ultimately join us as citizens.

Health Care

Access to affordable, quality health care–for all–will guide my work as a U.S. Senator.

My primary focus as an elected official on the Salt Lake County Council has been health, mental health parity and substance abuse. I have worked tirelessly on the opioid crisis and strongly support increasing federal funding for treatment and access to both life saving and treatment drugs.

Quality health care access is a critical priority and I fear we are moving backwards not forward under our current Congress. Many Americans are one injury or illness away from financial ruin and we must continue efforts to decrease the number of the uninsured and the underinsured. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a step that addressed coverage, but we still have work to do to address rising health care costs. I will strongly defend the advances–especially in coverage–that arose from the ACA, while striving towards fixes that address spiraling costs.

Earlier in my career, I worked to support access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Both are vital in assuring that low income adults and children receive health insurance. These programs are both compassionate and fiscally responsible for providing primary and preventative health coverage prevents higher costs down the road.

Protection for Utah’s Valuable Natural Resources

As Utahns, we value our lands and must act as stewards to ensure that future generations have the same access to the natural beauty of the state. Our recreation areas are becoming more crowded as we see growth in Utah and the word is out on our special lands.

While I oppose the shrinking of Grand Staircase and Bears Ears National Monuments and believe federal lands should remain protected, I also believe we need to work to find cooperative solutions. Utah’s all Republican Federal delegation failed when it did not reach a compromise on a federal lands bill prior to President Obama’s designation of Bear’s Ears. If the delegation had listened to all sides, negotiated and found a legislative solution, President Obama would not have moved forward with the Bear’s Ears designation.

I support increasing Payment in Lieu (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding to compensate local governments for the large amount of federal land in their areas. As a Senator from Utah, I will work tirelessly to lessen the divide between the environmental community and the counties as I am in a unique position to do so as an ally of many in each party. With leadership, compromise can be obtained in many areas, lessening the cost of lawsuits and negative impact on all parties. As a County Council Member, I am in a unique position to work with County leadership to ensure that they grow with an eye towards future stability.

Tax Reform & Economic Prosperity for All

I do not support the recently passed tax reform package as it heavily favored corporations and the very wealthy at the expense of Utah families, and will add $1.4 trillion to our Federal debt. Any individual tax relief that is provided will be eliminated in eight years, while the decrease in the corporate tax rate will remain in place. Additionally, Congress failed to simplify the system, instead creating more complication and headaches as we prepare our tax forms.

Our nation’s economic policies are not supporting Utah’s working and middle class families. Fair wages and working conditions are becoming rarer. Deep pockets are calling all the shots in Washington. We need real tax and economic reform that is based on providing lasting breaks to hard-working families and small business creators, while incentivizing sectors that will amp up job and wage growth.

In the U.S. Senate, I’ll fight for renegotiated trade agreements which support U.S. workers and bring about a free and fair trade.

Supporting Utah’s Economy and Health In All of Its 29 Counties

I am offended when Utah’s federal and state leaders boast about our state’s strong economy while ignoring that many areas are suffering and in need of support.

As your Senator, I will prioritize and actively work towards making the Federal government a true partner in supporting economic vitality throughout Utah–especially in counties with negative growth and job loss.

The Unique Needs of Rural Utah

As I’ve traveled across the state and spoken with residents and community leaders, I’ve seen firsthand the pain and cost to many communities, due to closing coal mines and decreased resource extraction. We must ensure that residents in every city and town have the opportunity to thrive and provide for their families. It’s a failure of our government when young people have to leave their homes to find jobs and opportunities elsewhere.

As our state modernizes, it is imperative to engage rural communities in this new economy. In the U.S. Senate, I will support programs that focus on training, physical infrastructure, job creation, the location of new industries to areas with negative job growth and assistance to those impacted by economic decline.

Our agriculture, ranching and resources industries are anchors in our economy and need to be supported in their responsible contributions to our economy.

Unfortunately, suicide and drug use rates are often the highest in rural communities. Access to quality health care is limited and can require costly long-distance travel for care. I will prioritize access to quality health care for all Utahns and will take on the difficult challenge of suicide and drug abuse.

Economic Progress In Urban Areas

Utah’s Wasatch Front benefits from a diversified economy that has resulted in low unemployment and robust economic growth. We must continue to encourage sectors that are on the rise, such as technology and innovative industries. We should also leverage our advantages — an educated and committed workforce, recreation and tourism, quality transportation and infrastructure. Additionally, Utah’s small businesses are the backbone of our success, and federal policies need to support, not hinder, their success.

Environment, Climate Change & Air Quality

Utah’s unique landscape and environment make it the most special state in the nation. Not only does our land provide access to recreation for Utah families, it’s also a key driver of our economic success. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful state that provides so many recreational opportunities. Federal environmental protections are crucial to supporting that quality of life. The rollback of EPA regulations threatens our unique landscape. Federal protections are also key to ensuring our health. I will be a watchdog against measures that negatively impact our health and harm our environment.

Salt Lake County’s unique geography and minimal regulatory environment have resulted in among the worst winter air quality in the nation. On the Salt Lake County Council, I took this issue head on, creating a multi-jurisdictional Air Quality Subcommittee, in an effort to increase collaboration and drive towards sustainable solutions. I’ve been a strong supporter of alternative energy, cleaner fleets, and environmental protections. In my early days on the Council, I was the first to impose green building standards.

For there to be the robust progress that Wasatch Front residents are demanding, each sector of our community will have to give. Polluting industries will need to reduce their emissions (which calls for tighter state regulations and no EPA waivers); drivers will need to make other choices at times; development will need to be designed to minimize commuting and buildings will need to be more energy efficient; we will need to invest in additional and affordable rail; and alternative fuel vehicles will need to be embraced, including in large machine and trucking industries.

And I oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement combating climate change. Climate change is a real threat to our future, health and our economy.

Fairness and Dignity for All Utahns

Working in our communities, I’ve seen first hand that Utahns believe in fairness and dignity for all, despite the heated rhetoric on the national stage.

I’m proud to have led the effort for domestic partner benefits–as a Democrat working with a majority-Republican County Council–a full decade before marriage equality was achieved nationwide. Utah has an amazing history of strong women and I’ll strive towards guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, and I’m proud to have led a creative effort to enshrine freedom from domestic violence as a fundamental human right in County governance. We recently passed paid parental leave for our employees. I will work to bring the technology, infrastructure and opportunities that the rest of Utah enjoys to our Native American reservations, while protecting sacred grounds and practices. And I’ll oppose the continued efforts to roll back America’s progress on civil rights in everything from employment to voting and beyond.