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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Political Philosophy for Ellen O. Tauscher
My record speaks for itself. It shows what we have accomplished, and what we will continue to pursue.
Introduced the State Infrastructure Banks for Schools Act to provide local schools with low interest loans to fix or replace schools and libraries. Voted for H.R.1 the Leave No Child Behind Act to increase federal education funding while giving school districts unprecedented flexibility in how they use these funds; increase student achievement while holding individual schools accountable for student performance. Won $500,000 to fund a pilot program at Diablo Valley College to recruit and train local students to be teachers with particular focus on curriculum development and new teaching methods. Fought attempts to reduce Impact Aid Funding for Travis Unified School District. Supported the initiative to hire 100,000 new teachers to reduce class size. Voted for the Ed-Flex Bill to give states greater flexibility to use federal education dollars.
Introduced the ACCESS ChildCare Bill to provide parents accessible, affordable and quality childcare. Authored an amendment to the 2001 Budget Resolution for a $7.5 billion expansion of the Dependent Care Tax Credit to give working families + whether both parents work or if one parent stays home + the flexibility to meet their own child-care demands. Introduced the Infant Crib Safety Act to prohibit retail stores, day care centers and hotels from selling, leasing or using cribs that no longer meet current safety standards. Wrote the ChildCare Sourcebook, a comprehensive childcare reference guide for parents. Founded the ChildCare Registry, the first service to provide background verification and screening of childcare workers.
Led effort in the House to develop and pass an Aviation Security bill to provide for great security and uniform security standards on airplanes and at airports, including 100% baggage screening at airports. Named Legislator of the Year by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for her leadership on local transportation issues and her effectiveness in improving our roads and transit systems. Sponsored the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act to keep longer and heavier trucks off highways and roads to make travel safer and to save billions in infrastructure damage. Hosted five transportation summits with key constituencies to reach consensus on a Bay Area transportation plan. Helped draft the Aviation Authorization Bill and the Transportation Appropriation Bill, which provides billions of dollars in Bay Area airport improvements, including funding for the Livermore and Buchanan Field radar towers. Negotiated a landmark $84 million for transportation and transit projects in the 10th Congressional District and around the Bay Area region.
Proposed a "trigger" mechanism (supported by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan) in the 2001 tax bill to institute spending caps in the budget and temporarily freeze the next phase of the tax cut from going into effect if there is no budget surplus, thus ensuring that the federal budget does not go into significant deficit. Received the Taxpayers for Common Sense first ever "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" award for fiscal responsibility by a legislator. Voted to repeal the estate tax. Voted to eliminate the marriage tax penalty. Voted for the Taxpayer Relief Act, which provided a $500 per child tax credit for working families. Voted for the Regulatory Right to Know Act which requires the Office of Management and Budget to submit annual reports to Congress on the costs and benefits of federal regulations to the private sector. Co-sponsored the bi-partisan Balanced Budget Amendment.
Authored the Nuclear Threat Reduction Act to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, reduce the alert status of nuclear weapons and increase funding for nuclear nonproliferation programs. Secured funding for Travis Air Force Base to invest in airlift capability and to modernize the C-5 aircraft fleet; secured over $1 million for Travis' Air Mobility Operations Group Global Reach Deployment Center. Convened first responders, military, hospitals and local governments in two Homeland Security Summits to guard against and provide coordinated response to potential terrorist attacks. Appointed ranking Democrat on the Special Oversight Panel on Department of Energy Re-Organization to recommend and oversee policy decisions related to the national laboratories. Served on the FY 2004 Defense Appropriation Authorization Conference Committee to negotiate funding priorities for national defense programs. Introduced a House Resolution in support of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Worked to improve housing conditions at U.S. domestic and foreign military bases. Sponsored legislation to expand military voting with a pilot program permitting military personnel and their families living oversees to vote electronically.
Co-sponsored the Medicare Rx Now Act of 2003 to provide all seniors with affordable prescription drug coverage through Medicare. Lead sponsor of the Small Business Health Insurance Act to provide tax credits to small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees. Convened a task force of government agencies and the travel industry to work cooperatively in stopping the spread of SARS + severe acute respiratory syndrome and to raise public awareness of the virus. Co-sponsored the Patient's Bill of Rights to ensure that HMOs follow basic rules that provide for quality of health care. Voted to provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare recipients. Voted to allow seniors the right to choose their health care provider. Co-sponsored the 100% Deductibility for the Self-Employed Act to allow 100% income tax deduction of health care premiums for the self-employed. Co-sponsored the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage Act to require health insurance coverage of contraceptives. Supports a woman's right to choose.
Honored by the Semiconductor Industry Association for her leadership in promoting policies that stimulate growth in America's technology sector. Received the Cyber Champion Award from the Business Software Alliance. Was named one of twelve "tech savvy" Members of Congress by Business Week magazine.. Co-sponsored the Security and Freedom Through Encryption Act (SAFE) to allow the US computer industry to export generally available software and hardware. Co-sponsored permanent extension of the R&D Tax Credit. Co-sponsored the Enhanced Protection for Inventors and Innovators bill to provide enhanced protections for inventors and innovators, protect patent terms and reduce patent litigation. Co-sponsored the Technology Training for Teachers Act.
Led the fight in the House against a measure to exempt the Defense Department from provisions of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. As a conferee, fought water diversion legislation that would have reduced water quality and quantity to area residents. Introduced a bill to reauthorize the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund of the Clean Water Act. Supports re-authorization of Cal-Fed funding for ecosystem restoration of the San Francisco Bay Delta. Original co-sponsor of the Community Revitalization and Brownfield Cleanup Act to fund brownfield restoration. Co-sponsored the Public Resources Debt Reduction Act to eliminate government subsidies that virtually give away America's public resources, such as timber, minerals, water, grazing lands, and oil and gas deposits. This legislation will save taxpayers $1 billion annually. Restored funding for important groundwater cleanup work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Secured funding for the Alameda County Agricultural Enhancement and Open Space Plan that will balance open space, wildlife habitat and agricultural viability.
Voted for the largest increase in VA medical care to expand outpatient care, improve the quality of care and make services more accessible. Fought for and won restoration of full-time hours at the medical clinic at Travis Air Force Base. Voted to require a joint plan from the Secretaries of Defense and the Veteran's Administration to provide appropriate health care to Gulf War veterans and their dependents that suffer from the Gulf War Syndrome. Co-sponsored the Truth in Recruiting Bill to provide all persons retiring from the Armed Services are entitled to all benefits promised to them when they enlisted. Voted for the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act to provide a cost of living adjustment in rates of compensation paid for service-connected disabilities, to improve the VA housing program and provide other veterans benefits
Crime and Safety
Introduced the American Handgun Standards Act to apply the same quality and safety standards to domestically made junk guns and Saturday Night Specials that are currently applied to imported handguns. Original co-sponsor of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Co-sponsored the Children's Gun Violence Prevention Act to require child safety locks on all new guns and authorizes criminal penalties against a person who keeps a firearm and ammunition to which a child obtains access. Voted to extend instant background check requirements to people purchasing guns at gun shows. Sponsored a bill to fund "Smart Kinds Safe Kids", a program to teach elementary students personal safety skills.
Lead sponsor of the Small Business Health Insurance Act to provide tax credits to small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees. Voted to increase business meal deductions from 50% to 60%. Voted to increase the deduction for the purchase of business equipment. Voted to eliminate capital gains taxes on small businesses. Voted to increase contribution and benefit limits for retirement plans. Voted for permanent normal trade relations with China. Introduced the ACCESS Childcare Bill which provides a tax credit to businesses that provide childcare. Supported the Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act which streamlined small business federal paperwork requirements and helped small business owners avoid penalties for late or incomplete filings. Voted to accelerate the 100% deduction of health care costs for self-employed.
Fought Pentagon's attempts to weaken employment rights of Department of Defense military and civilian employees. Support an economic stimulus plan that includes relief for unemployed workers including extended unemployment benefits and medical coverage. Advocating for a Permanent Resource Center in the Bay Area for former Department of Energy employees exposed to toxins and other health hazards on the job. Co-sponsored legislation to overturn President Bush's executive order and restore the right for federal agencies to engage in project labor agreements to ensure fair wage and safe working conditions. Voted to continue the ergonomic standards put into executive order by President Clinton. Voted for the Democratic Patients' Bill of Rights. Have consistently voted to preserve the 40 hour work week. Have consistently voted to preserve Davis-Bacon. Have consistently voted to protect OSHA from funding cuts. Have consistently voted to preserve the National Labor Relations Board. Support an increase in the minimum wage.
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