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The Greenfield Agenda for Iowa – Family, Farms, Future

“This is a bareknuckle fight for hard-working families and the kitchen-table issues to many Iowans worry about most: economic security, affordable health care, and a good education for their children.”

Put More Money in People’s Pockets

Career politicians are touting the soaring stock market and fat tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy as major successes for ALL Americans, but we know it’s table scraps as usual for the Middle Class. Bottom line -- wages have not kept up with staggering increases in the cost of living -- from education, to health care to food and housing.

Instead of the same old bait and switch promises we’ve been hearing for too long Iowa, it’s time our Representatives take every action possible to build up the bank accounts of hard-working Iowans rather than the coffers of big donors.

That means increasing the federal minimum wage. It means significantly lightening the financial burden caused by the out-of-control cost of health care. Rebuild our infrastructure with projects that will actually deliver results. And invest heavily in education and career-training opportunities that will ensure our workforce and our children can go toe-to-toe with anyone else in a world economy.

Stabilize, Then Expand Basic Health Care Coverage to Every American

Health care should be a no brainer for all Americans, not a perk just for the wealthy, those with the right job or members of Congress! Unfortunately, despite tremendous improvement in the uninsured rate since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, 30 million Americans still lack access to quality health insurance. Ensuring universal health care coverage in this country must be a priority. To do so, everyone – from members of Congress to non-profits, activists, and everyday citizens -- must first continue to do everything we can to defeat attempts to repeal, replace, and undermine the ACA. Then we must work to stabilize our health care markets, particularly in rural areas where there is often only one provider. Finally, we must work with experts and activists to determine the best path forward to guarantee every American has access to universal, affordable health insurance.

Taking Back Our Government

If we’re going to take our country back, it starts with getting undisclosed, dark, special interest money out of our campaigns. It is impossible to separate the fundamental unfairness in our economy, from the fundamental unfairness of the campaign finance system that controls our politics today. Our elected representatives will not champion economic solutions that work for everyone, until the average voter's voice is truly equal to that of special interests and the super-wealthy. That’s why I have refused to take corporate PAC money and I challenge anyone running for Congress to do the same. And it’s why fixing our broken campaign finance system will be among my top priorities in Congress. We need a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, to get dark, undisclosed special interest money out of our political process. In the meantime, Congress should immediately pass legislation that mandate disclosure on all contributions and political advertisements, especially digital advertisements that provide shadowy donors outsized influence on today's elections. It’s time to take our country back, to make it a government of “We the People,” again.

When Farmers and Small Towns Succeed, Iowa Succeeds

I grew up on a family farm in a small town. My parents, my siblings and I poured everything we had into that land, and every one of us took extra jobs off the farm to save it during the 1980s farm crisis. Many other families weren’t as fortunate. Rural Iowans look around today and can’t help but feel like they’re being ignored. It’s time to change that, right now.

We need to invest in our rural infrastructure -- roads, bridges, broadband Internet, schools, and hospitals. We must pass a farm bill next year that favors family farms instead of global agribusinesses, which is why I will ask for a seat on the House Agriculture Committee if I am elected. We need to level the playing field for the small businesses, so that mom and pop shops can once again flourish in our small towns. And we need to control the cost of college, vocational, and skills training so students from rural Iowa can leave to earn a degree and afford to come back, without the crushing levels of student debt that so often drive them to higher-paying jobs in urban areas and out of state.

Make Our Public Schools Great

We not only need to create more high-wage, high-skilled jobs in Iowa. We’ve got to make sure our students have the skills they need to get those jobs and compete in a global economy. Investing in education at all levels -- from Pre-K to vocational school, college, and skills training -- is critical to ensuring Iowa’s economy is one where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. It starts with making college and vocational training more affordable. Students should be able to borrow money for their education at the same rate the big banks do – that’s just common sense. And we should allow for debt refinancing when economic conditions change. But at the same time, we should be investing in apprenticeships, job training programs, and community colleges for those students who will not attend a four-year college.

Protect Social Security and Medicare

Social Security and Medicare benefits aren’t “entitlements.” My mother and father, your parents, you and your loved ones, have paid for these programs paycheck-by-paycheck, week-by-week, year-by-year all of their lives. For politicians or anyone else to put these benefits up for negotiation is an insult to every hard-working American. They’ve been earned them by sweat and sacrifice. Yet after handing over more than a trillion dollars to major corporations and the richest Americans, House Speaker Paul Ryan says “Next, we need to look at cutting entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”

That’s wrong, and this one’s personal. Social Security survivor benefits saved my family from poverty after my first husband's sudden death in a workplace accident. That's why protecting programs like Social Security and Medicare isn’t just about politics for me. These investments, funded by American workers for more than 50 years, are the financial bulwark underpinning the strongest middle class in the world. I will vehemently oppose attempt to weaken, defund, or privatize Social Security and Medicare.

Strengthen our National Security and Caring for Our Veterans

The primary responsibility of our federal government is ensuring the safety of our citizens, and as a member of Congress and the mother of a soldier on active duty in the U.S. Army, no duty of mine will be more important. We must ensure the military and law enforcement agencies have the resources they need, and in working with our allies, we develop and execute a smart, tough, effective strategy consistent with our national interests. We owe it to the men and women who so bravely serve the country in our armed forces to ensure our military is used efficiently and effectively, on missions with clear goals and exit strategies. Our service men and women have put their lives on the line every day to defend our freedoms. They have done everything we have asked of them. They deserve the best care our country has to offer. To do so, it means cutting the red tape and bureaucratic backlogs at the VA, to put the care of our veterans, first.

Women’s Health Care is Non-Negotiable

Under Republican leadership, women’s health care funding has been decimated. Planned Parenthood has been under constant attack. Just last year, four Planned Parenthood clinics closed, right here in Iowa. That’s unacceptable. I’ll fight back against attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and similar clinics at the federal level. Women have the right to make their own reproductive health care choices, and any attempt to infringe on that right is not only unacceptable, it’s unconstitutional.

Ensuring Equality and Human Rights

I was honored to host weddings for family members in the wake of the 2009 Varnum decision that legalized same-sex marriage in our state, and Iowa’s role in paving the way towards nationwide marriage equality makes me so proud. I have seen the inequality, the injustice and the heartache members of the LGBTQ community have endured. Although we have made progress, there is still much work to do on behalf of human rights – from standing up for workplace non-discrimination laws to protecting all those who wish to serve in the military. I'll be on the front lines of the ongoing fight for equality.

Theresa is running for Congress with the same farm kid values and plain-spoken, get-it-done attitude she has demonstrated throughout her life. She knows it will take Iowa values - mixed with a heavy dose of can-do common sense - to overcome the problems we face here and in Washington.

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March 17, 2018Team Democracy
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