Flag-burning amendment (2006):
The flag serves a unique role as the symbol of ideals upon which America was founded and it deserves our protection.
Estate Tax Repeal (2006):
It is important to ensure that family farmers and small business owners are not unduly burdened by the estate tax, and that these individuals can pass on the enterprise that they have built to their children.
I have voted for a permanent increase in the exemption under the estate tax to $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples. This will exempt virtually all small businesses and family farms, and ensure tax fairness.
Minimum wage increase to $7.25 (2006):
The minimum wage should be increased. Many minimum wage earners are women who struggle to put food on the table and to pay for basic necessities for their families.
Opening the Arctic Wildlife Refuge of oil drilling (2006):
This “quick fix” would only rob us of one of the most beautiful regions on Earth while doing almost nothing to reduce our nation’s energy problems, and as such, I oppose opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. We must devote ourselves to finding alternative sources of energy.
Increased federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (2006):
If research on these cells holds the promise of preserving life by curing disease, it is an opportunity that we should take.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (2003):
I did not vote for the Medicare bill that passed in 2003. This bill has done very little to help struggling seniors afford their prescriptions. The single most effective thing we can do to lower the costs of prescription drugs is to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower costs.
Extend $70 billion in Bush administration tax cuts (2006):
Tax cuts should be targeted to working families and small businesses, not to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and large corporations that send our jobs overseas.
Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (2006):
Marriage has historically been defined by state and federal laws, and we do not need a constitutional amendment that separates classes of people. What we really need is more tolerance and acceptance.
Adoption (2001)/renewal (2005) of the USA PATRIOT Act:
I do believe that the PATRIOT Act has some good aspects. It has helped promote information sharing among law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
I do, however, have serious reservations about the specific bill that the House considered to reauthorize the expiring parts of the PATRIOT Act. In updating the PATRIOT Act, I believe that Congress should have followed the bipartisan model for intelligence and anti-terrorism legislation.
Including a health exception to the late term abortion ban (2003):
While I voted for a ban on partial birth abortions, unless it was necessary to save the life of the mother, I also supported including the health of the mother as a reasonable exception in the legislation.
Iraq War resolution (2002); funding for the war (2006); timetable for withdrawal (2006):
I do not believe that “stay the course” is an effective strategy, and would like to see a new plan in Iraq.
Given the recent Iraqi elections and the possibility of a unity government, it is time for us to begin a strategic draw down and redeployment of our military forces. As a result, I have with few exceptions opposed continued funding for the war in Iraq.
Immigration reform (2006):
Ultimately, I opposed the House’s bill. Although it contained border protections that I fully supported, it was a poorly drafted bill that didn’t come close to living up to the 9-11 Commission Recommendations. I voted for an alternative that does.
In the end, I believe that it’s important to get tougher on immigration and border security and to deal with the situation in a realistic and workable way. One way to address the immigration issue is to change our trade policies.