Present employment: Congressman representing the people of Maine’s Second District
Highest level of education completed: Bachelor’s degree
Previous elected public office(s) held: State legislator
Statement: I am running for reelection to continue to provide thoughtful, independent leadership for my fellow Mainers in the Second District. While partisanship, dysfunction and corruption are at an all-time high in Washington, I have prioritized working across the aisle to find common ground, get things done for my constituents and make government work for the people. I believe that’s what’s best for the country and my constituents.
With prices rising steadily over the past year and a half, I’ve taken a number of steps to prevent inflation from getting worse and to drive down costs for Mainers. I was the only Democrat to vote against both of the Biden Administration’s massive spending bills, the American Rescue Plan and the Build Back Better Act, because I knew they would make inflation worse. To help drive down prices at the pump, I helped pass legislation that increases our oil and gas production here at home and promotes American energy independence and successfully pressed the administration to make releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. I’m also working with Sen. Collins to provide additional assistance to struggling Maine families who will have trouble affording heating oil this winter.
If Maine voters send me back to Congress next year, I am committed to keeping up the fight against corruption and self-dealing in politics. I’ve led an effort in this Congress to build support for a ban on members of Congress trading stocks. We hope to pass that legislation through the House by the end of the year, and I hope to build on that fight to generate support for a lifetime ban on members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists. These are two common-sense fixes to make sure elected officials are working for the public interest, not lining their pockets while in office.
I’ll also continue to prioritize delivering for middle class people and rural communities. After years and years of work, we finally passed prescription drug reform into law, which will cap seniors’ drug costs at $2,000 a year, allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and limit the amount drug companies can raise their prices every year. I helped secure federal funding for rural communities throughout Maine, from training young Mainers to be loggers and welders and helping lobstermen cover the costs of unjust new federal regulations to rebuilding crumbling small-town infrastructure like wastewater treatment facilities. And as a strong supporter of Maine law enforcement, this month I helped pass a bill through the House to provide funding for small-town police forces to start rebuilding their ranks with grants to recruit, train and hire new officers.
As I have throughout my career, I’m always working to make sure my fellow veterans have access to the care and benefits they’ve earned through service. Last Congress, I led the effort to get the VA to build a new long-term substance use and mental health treatment facility at Togus. The building and design process for that facility could begin as soon as this coming year. I’ve also passed legislation through the House to protect the Maine Veterans Homes in Machias and Caribou, as well as the emergency and residential care facilities at Togus.
Whatever the issue, I’ll continue to make decisions based on what’s right for our district, not what’s best for party leaders in Washington. I’m the most independent Democrat in Congress because I listen to you, my constituents, when I’m making decisions. I hope to have again earned your vote over the past two years and I would be honored to continue to serve you in Congress.