It has been and will continue to be my distinguished honor to represent the families, seniors and entrepreneurs of Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District. Over the years, I have been a strong, independent voice for western Pennsylvania in Washington, fighting to represent Pennsylvania values.
I have challenged the leadership of my Party and broken with the Bush Administration routinely. Whether it is fighting for fair wages for local workers, helping local entrepreneurs expand their business and create new jobs, ensuring the Erie VAMC stays open to provide quality care to local vets, breaking down the barriers to higher education, preserving the beauty of Presque Isle State Park, or making sure local families can afford to fill their cars with gas and pay their home heating bills, I am committed to building the economy of the future right here in northwestern Pennsylvania.
As a leader on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, Medicare and trade, I have put my position to work for communities in our region and fought for lower taxes, tougher action on illegal imports and increased resources for healthcare providers. In fact, since the 104th Congress, I have had nearly 50 different legislative measures enacted into law and directed over $150 million to critical local projects.
As a strong advocate for lower and fairer taxes, I've held the line on government waste, saying no to taxes that hurt employers and working families and no the Wall Street bailout. I've also fought to eliminate the marriage penalty, increase the child tax credit, and create tax incentives to increase access to higher education.
Having introduced legislation that will help employers make capital investments and create jobs, I believe Congress must be vigilant in enacting policies that will close loopholes that ship jobs overseas.
I've long advocated for fair trade and a strong U.S. trade policy. I have supported local manufacturers and have sponsored and fought for legislation to strengthen domestic trade laws to better protect U.S. companies against unfair foreign trade.
And, despite my opponent's accusation, I was not even in Congress when NAFTA was enacted in 1993 under the Clinton Administration. In fact, I called for the renegotiation of the flawed trade pact in 2005 and have sought a new agreement that will strengthen, not hinder our trading relations as well as include enforceable labor and environmental standards in the agreement.
As our country continues to battle record high energy prices, I believe the federal government must embrace a strong, effective comprehensive energy plan that deploys domestic energy sources, like coal, oil shale and natural gas in an environmentally-friendly manner. I have long worked to get new energy industries like Hodge Foundry in Greenville and GE - Erie County's largest employer off the ground as an advocate for tax incentives that boost the use of renewable energy like wind. I have also endorsed the "Drill Here, Drill Now" pledge and believe we must take the appropriate steps to encourage environmentally sound drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
As a strong, independent voice for Pennsylvania in Washington, I ask for your vote again this Tuesday, November 4th. Together we can truly make a difference and build a better future for our region.