Why I Am Running
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America is the shining light for the world to follow; however, we have some challenges that we need to solve if we are going to remain the world’s superpower. Our primary challenges are to bring jobs back to America, and getting the economy moving again. The American Dream has been shattered for many people who are struggling to make ends meet. They’re worried about their future, and that of their children and grandchildren. I will work hard to bring back Honesty and Integrity to Congress, and leave them an America that is financially stronger and independent. I will work to reduce and eliminate the growing debt that we can never repay.
I'm a free enterprise advocate. I will push for legislation that will lower taxes and stimulate and encourage economic growth. I firmly believe that raising taxes stifles growth, weakens the economy, and will put more people out of work. Our economy works best when the government gets out of the way, businesses have money to invest and add jobs, and when individuals have more of their income to spend. My pledge to you is to fight bigger government, higher taxes and wasteful spending.
I believe we urgently need health care reform and everyone should have access to quality healthcare. I'm opposed to the Affordable Care Act. 2017 will see the full implementation of Obamacare which is resulting in huge deductibles, higher penalties for non-compliance and higher premiums. This law raises taxes, increases government spending and lowers the quality of care, especially for the elderly on Medicare. I support policies that will strengthen the private market system, drive down cost and make it easier for people to purchase affordable insurance.
Second Amendment and Gun Ownership
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
What could be clearer? The 2nd Amendment needs to be fully restored to reflect the original intent of our Founding Fathers. It is the individual's right to bear arms. But with the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia we are now one Supreme Court pick away from losing our Second Amendment rights if a Democrat is elected President in 2016.
This right was most recently affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark ruling on personal gun ownership, District of Columbia V. Heller in 2008, the court declared a Washington D.C. handgun ban unconstitutional. The high court further affirmed the 2nd Amendment by overturning the Chicago ban on handguns in McDonald V. Chicago 2010. It was the first Supreme Court case to decide whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
Our strength as a nation has been built on the immigrant experience in America. I welcome legal immigration to this country. However, we are a nation of laws. As such, government should not adopt policies that encourage illegal immigration, a violation of our laws. I support ending federal funding to those cities that have declared themselves sanctuary cities. Providing driver's licenses, citizenship to babies of illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities and in-state tuition to illegal immigrant families will continue to act as a magnet in drawing more people here in violation of the law and will impose unfair cost on taxpayers. I oppose amnesty, and believe we should strengthen our border enforcement and institute an employment verification system with stiffer penalties for companies that continue to hire illegal immigrants.
Energy and Environment
I support common-sense environment policy that will help reduce pollution and preserve our precious open spaces. If we do not act now, future generations will have to clean up the mess we are creating. In order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we need to abolish the Department of Energy, and drill in this country where we can. We need to support reasonable and appropriate development of alternative energy sources such as: wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal and improve hydroelectric facilities. I oppose a national cap and trade program because of the higher cost that families and businesses would incur. It will also drive more companies out of this country, leaving more Americans unemployed.
I am passionate about improving the quality of education in this country. We need to abolish the Federal Department of Education, end Common Core, and return control to the states and local communities. Accountability and high standards are paramount. I support continued education, training and testing of our teachers to help assure the highest standards possible for our children. I support choice through charter schools and a voucher system. Not all children will go to college. For them, we need to offer trade schools or a career in our military as an alternative.
As a proud member of a military family, with combat veterans going back to WW1, family members buried in the Battleship Arizona in Pearl Harbor and in the Veterans Cemetery in West L.A., I'm uniquely aware of the important sacrifice our men, women and families make by serving in our military. I have been a vigorous supporter of the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care VA Hospital and the West L.A. VA Hospital. We need to protect them from the threats posed by private developers. I will be a strong advocate for legislation providing benefits to our returning service members, as well as, benefits for the families of those killed in action. I believe we should never forget the sacrifice of all our service members by keeping better track of returning military personal so they get the services they deserve. That includes providing them with first-class medical care and other benefits to which they are entitled. I have already been acknowledged as a strong advocate for veterans and the sacrifices they have made. Since the deaths of forty two veterans and the scheduling scandal at the Phoenix VA facility I am also a supporter of the VA Choice Card program which allows veterans to seek medical care outside a VA facility.
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. States should be free to make their own laws in this area, so long as they reflect the people's will as expressed through them directly, or as expressed through their elected representatives.
I'm pro-life. However, in the cases to save the mother's life, rape, and incest that decision should be left up to the mother and her family in consultation with her doctor. I also believe there are good people on both sides of the issue and we should work together to support birth control and adoption as a preferred alternative to abortion.
The recent nuclear deal between Iran and the Obama Administration will be a disaster for this country, Israel and the world. Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, in the face of endless calls for "Death to America" from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during negotiations, caved to the Iranians on every point. The sanctions have been lifted, the centrifuges keep spinning and Iran received $150 billion that had been held since the 1979 hostage crisis. Iran has been purchasing conventional weaponry in violation of the toothless agreement. Most recently Iran has launched two ballistic missiles with ranges of 850 miles. Israel is 600 miles from Iran at the nearest point.
Since announcing several years ago that Isis is the "JV squad" the Obama Administration has allowed Isis to take over half of Syria and two thirds of Iraq. Isis has moved into Libya and occupied most of the inhabited northern part of the country including Ben Ghazi. Isis has a working relationship with many terrorist groups in Africa including Al Shabob in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Isis militants are spreading throughout Europe by infiltrating the flood of Muslim refugees now invading that continent. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence for the Obama administration has announced that Isis has cells in all fifty states.
I strongly support any action that Israel chooses to take to protect herself. I believe that America should always continue to support previous administrations policy towards Israel to assure consistency in our friendship. Israel has made enormous sacrifices in an attempt to secure peace - including unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East. She continues to live everyday under the threat of terror, yet she shares with America a dedication to democratic ideals, a respect for faith, and a commitment to peace in the region. Until a lasting peace is achieved, I support the security barrier erected by Israel, which has been proven successful in protecting Israeli civilians from terrorist attacks.
For a broader statement of Mark Reed's policy on Israel, and how it contrasts with Brad Sherman's tacit support of the current Obama/Israel policy click here.