Joe Hoeffel on the Issues
As a public servant of over 25 years, I have the experience and the grit to help advance an agenda that reflects the progressive values we so dearly need in our country today. When I get back to Congress these issues are the ones that I find most pressing and the ones I will be fervently fighting to address.
There has been an average of one mass shooting a week since the beginning of 2018. This is simply unacceptable in our society. The massive continuing threat of gun violence must be addressed immediately by our Congress. When I last served in Congress the assault weapons ban was still in effect. Since the ban was lifted we have seen a 37% increase in mass shootings. I will work to address this issue by fighting for the following policy changes:
- Immediately reinstating the assault weapons ban and expanding it to include more dangerous weapons
- Close the gun show loophole which allows buyers on the secondary market to avoid background checks
- Empower Federal Courts to temporarily seize weapons owned by those making threats of violence, with a due process hearing to follow to determine if the weapons should be returned.
Social and Economic Justice
The election of Donald Trump has seen a stark increase in divisiveness and marginalization. The Trump administration’s insistence on targeting those with the least power must be stopped and Congress has the power to fight back against these inhumane acts. Along with this, we must address the ever-increasing economic inequality that plagues our country and disproportionately impacts people, and especially women, of color.
- Put an end to implementing mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders, these guidelines are racially biased and do irreparable harm to communities of color
- Institute a minimum wage of $15.00 and make sure that the minimum raise will rise with inflation over time
- Pass The DREAM Act immediately and work to create a path to citizenship for military veterans, and young people who have known no home other than this country
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was one of the great legislative achievements of the Obama Administration. Destroying it, as our current President and his Congressional minions want to do, would be a giant step back for our country. I will fight to preserve the ACA and will help lead the charge to improve our nation’s healthcare system further by:
- Pass Medicare for All: Opening up Medicare to all citizens is the surest path to insure that nobody suffers needlessly because they are unable to afford healthcare.
- Pass legislation that requires pharmaceutical companies to negotiate prices with Medicare, just as they do with the VA. This will lower costs for our seniors and for those most in need.
Everybody knows that in today’s economy a first-rate education is required to progress in life. We do not do enough to prepare young people for the world they will inherit and, worse, we saddle those that do go to college with exorbitantly high amounts of debt that take a lifetime to pay off. We can, and must, do better if our country is going to continue to be the beacon of hope and opportunity it has been for so many.
- Pass tuition-free community colleges and trade schools for all students
- Fight for fairly funded public schools; kids should have the same opportunity and the same high quality of education no matter where they grow up
- Institute interest-free student loans for college students and a debt forgiveness program that forgives all debt for those who work in public service after five years.
Throughout his career in public service, Joe Hoeffel has fought for reproductive rights for women and he will continue to do so. He believes firmly that it’s their body and their choice and will stand against any attempts to limit those rights.
- FIght to make emergency contraception available in the ER
- Fight against attempts to deny women access to birth control or other necessary medical treatment due to the religious beliefs of employers or service providers
Keeping us Safe
Tensions and danger in the international community are nothing new and our country has always strived to face these challenges in a way that keeps us safe and respects the global community. In the age of Trump diplomacy has taken a backseat to insults and twitter rants from our President. We need a Congress that is ready to face these issues and work to restore our place in the global community. Joe Hoeffel’s years of service on what is now the Foreign Affairs committee prepares him for this work. On day one he will fight to
- Restore full funding and staffing levels to The State Department
- Craft policy that will restore our place in the global community
- Work towards a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors that guarantee the security and recognized borders of that great ally and the independence of the Palestinian people.
The reckless tax plan that Trump and the Republicans in Congress have passed is going to be disastrous to our economic stability and our federal budget. Joe knows from experience that our country’s budget and economy work best when taxes and government spending are more in line with our needs and that a better balance is struck between military and domestic spending. Simply put, to fund the progressive programs our country needs most we must reorder our policies for both taxation and spending. Joe will fight to:
- Repeal the Trump Tax Plan that was a $1.5 trillion dollar give away to corporations and the wealthiest 1%.
- Decrease military spending to more reasonable levels. Spending three times more than China and nine times more than Russia annually is simply too great an expenditure that leaves a hole in our domestic budget
- Make sure the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share so that the spending we need in education and healthcare become possible.
The Environment & Climate Change
No matter what else we do addressing the issue of climate change and protecting our environment is an absolute necessity both for now and future generations. We simply must put greater emphasis on the world we are passing on to our grandchildren and the generations beyond. At every level of government Joe Hoeffel has fought to protect our environment through protecting open spaces, fighting for clean air and water, and for the reduction of greenhouse gases. Joe will continue this battle in Congress by:
- Fighting to make sure the EPA has the resources and leadership necessary to protect the environment rather than corporate greed.
- Fighting for renewable energy sources and greater emphasis on modern infrastructure which will reduce our carbon footprint.
- Protect our coastline and other areas from dangerous and disruptive drilling that only furthers our dependence on fossil fuels.