On the Issues

Child & Family Wellness

Where you live shouldn’t determine how well you live — especially not for our children. One of my top priorities has always been to fully invest in our children and families so they have the resources needed to thrive. 

This begins by making sure our children are healthy from their earliest years. My Child Health Outreach and Mentorship Program Act helps states enroll more children in health care coverage by expanding the outreach and enrollment grant program. Specifically, the bill authorizes $100 million in federal funding for CHIP outreach and enrollment grants dedicated to providing more children with health coverage. Keeping our children healthy and ensuring that any child can see a doctor without their parents worrying about the cost is a fundamental principle I’ve always fought to ensure. 

I know that New Mexico’s children face far too many burdens during their formative years. The science is clear: growing up in poverty can have lifelong consequences, and it is our responsibility to invest in children and families so every kid has an equal and fair shot at life. We need bold leaders who are willing to transform our government and systems so that children are cared for. This is why I support universal health care and have voted to fund health, nutrition, food security, and safety programs that give our kids the best shot at life.

As a proud former Head Start child, I will always be an advocate for programs that make a difference and improve our kids’ opportunities, including expanding Wi-Fi services to buses to bridge the digital divide, allocating more than $34 million to update and expand rural schools in New Mexico, and making sure students have safe spaces in libraries to explore and learn. 

New Mexico proudly ended the cruel practice of lunch shaming but students across the country are still forced to go hungry or are ostracized if they are unable to afford a school lunch. We are the richest nation in the world and must end this practice. The data is clear: Children cannot learn when they are hungry and they cannot succeed when they are sick. This is why I’ve continued to champion the No Shame Act to end this senseless policy. 

Keeping our kids healthy means stopping senseless mass shootings that are taking the lives of individuals of all ages, but disproportionately impacting young people. Two of the proudest votes I’ve taken in the U.S. House were to close dangerous loopholes that allowed criminals or individuals intent on doing harm to access machine guns designed to take life. We need gun comprehensive gun safety laws that get weapons of war off the street and keep us all safe in our communities. 

Investing in our children also means they have the educational opportunities that best fits their needs and goals. Currently, a college education is out of reach for far too many or it leaves young people saddled with unmanageable debt for decades. This must change. I am a proud supporter of multiple pieces of legislation designed to dismantle the skyrocketing costs of higher education. Despite a growing economy, I know we still need greater resources to encourage young people to build their lives and careers in New Mexico through technical training and apprenticeships. 

That begins with providing opportunities for people to have meaningful futures that are not dependent on the traditional models of higher education. My DOE ACCESS Act, legislation I’ve championed in Congress, expands training programs so young people can learn the technical skills needed for well-paying jobs at New Mexico’s National Labs. 

My Record on Child & Family Wellness

  • Authored legislation to provide funding for educational materials and training for pregnant women making pain management decisions during pregnancy.
  • Secured more than $100 million to expand enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Proudly supported the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion, which helped New Mexico’s uninsured rate go from the highest in the nation to one of the lowest.
  • Worked closely with colleagues to introduce the Alleviating Adverse Childhood Experiences Act – legislation to improve early childhood home visiting services for children in at-risk or vulnerable situations. 
  • Introduced the Save for Success Act to reform the American Opportunity College Tax Credit to increase its impact and encourage saving for college.
  • Introduced legislation to allow the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program to reimburse schools that place Wi-Fi technology on school buses carrying students.

Veterans & Military Families

Our nation’s veterans and their families have served with honor and distinction. In exchange for their service to our country, we have a responsibility to uphold the sacred commitments we have made to them as they transition to civilian life and beyond. Protecting health care, supporting quality and safe housing needs, and creating programs to help veterans secure meaningful work are all critical to uplifting veterans after their service to our nation. 

We must ensure that our government provides the best care for our veterans. Despite reforms and new investments, veterans still face unacceptable delays when seeking treatment and medical care at VA hospitals. This is why I’ve worked tirelessly to reform the system, meeting regularly with Veterans Affairs officials to demand progress on clearing their case backlog.

During my time in the House, I have made it a key mission to fight for access to health care for our veterans. I have held the Albuquerque VA accountable for failing to provide our veterans with timely and high-quality care. I have worked with the Trump administration to make the VA Choice program work better for all of our rural veterans. And I have tirelessly to ensure our veteran programs also work well for Tribal veterans.

My Record on Supporting Veterans & Military Families

  • Championed the Wage Adjustment For Veterans Enrolled in School Act to ensure that veterans using the GI Bill to fund continuing education receive the minimum wage of the locality where they work. 
  • Co-sponsored the Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act to improve skill training for veterans seeking manufacturing jobs and to encourage manufacturers to hire returning veterans.
  • Co-sponsored the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a bill that assists veterans suffering from depression and behavioral health concerns.
  • Championed passage of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act, which addressed failures that left veterans without adequate health care by providing new resources to Veteran’s Affairs to hire additional medical personnel and reduce the backlog of patients.
  • Introduced legislation to support veterans who are experiencing homeless on Tribal lands by providing rental assistance.
  • Secured funding for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Angel Fire.

Economic Opportunity

In Congress, it has been my mission to help foster new opportunities for New Mexicans that support the unique needs of our communities. I am proud to support policies that strengthen unions, support farmers, increase production in our renewable energy sector, and invest in our national labs and bases. Together, we can ensure that New Mexico is a state that offers its residents a robust economy that supports the middle-class.

I was born into a proud union household – one that always understood that working people and unions built the middle class in our country. Throughout my tenure in Congress, and if elected to the U.S. Senate, I will pursue policies that support working people by directing investments into New Mexico and finding new ways to grow our state’s economy.

For generations, agriculture formed the heart of New Mexico’s economy. Our farmers carry on a proud tradition through the operation of family ranches and farms – work that feeds our communities and boost our economy. In Congress, I have worked to extend federal protections and funding for traditional land use, such as acequias and land grants, to help keep small farms viable for generations to come.

Partnering with my colleagues in the New Mexico Congressional delegation, I’ve successfully defended funding and the missions of our bases and labs – economic drivers in our state that have provided new opportunities for science, innovation, and development. The National Labs have invested in our communities, and I am proud to invest in them. 

Despite a growing economy, we still need to encourage our young people to build their lives and careers in New Mexico. That begins with providing opportunities for people to have meaningful futures in our state. The DOE ACCESS Act, legislation I’ve championed in Congress, expands training programs so young people can learn the technical skills needed for well-paying jobs at our National Labs. 

Our energy sector is a major driver of economic opportunities in New Mexico. We must aggressively invest in an energy sector that expands renewable energy projects. We have an opportunity to lead the country in renewable energy production and hire thousands of New Mexicans in the process. This is not an investment we can afford not to make in our state.

I also believe in creating an economy that works for the American worker. Far too often, we’ve seen the deck stacked against workers who are trying to build a life for themselves in New Mexico. This is why I support raising the minimum wage, enacting tax policies that put more money back in the pockets of New Mexico’s working families, and protecting the right to form unions and negotiate for better pay and benefits.

My Record on Creating Economic Opportunities:

  • Women should earn equal pay for equal work. I was proud to cast a vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the persistent wage gap between men and women – a wage gap that is significantly wider for women of color.
  • I introduced the DOE National Laboratory Jobs ACCESS Act to expand training programs for technician positions at National Labs, including Los Alamos National Labs and Sandia National Labs.
  • I support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
  • Voted for the Raise the Wage Act to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in more than a decade. Individuals who work hard deserve wages that reflect the value of their contributions to our economy and society, which we accomplish by paying workers a salary they can live off of. 
  • Along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act to correct harmful trends that have left the American worker struggling with stagnant wages and decreased opportunities as corporate profits continue to rise.
  • Proudly support the Social Security 2100 Act to protect our Social Security system and improve the benefits for current and future generations.
  • A sweeping infrastructure package will boost the middle-class while repairing our country’s crumbling roads, schools, hospitals, and electric systems and jumpstarting our transition to a green energy economy. As a core component of any infrastructure package, I’ve championed legislation to invest in broadband infrastructure to connect rural communities with high-speed Internet. Democrats’ LIFT America Act – legislation I’ve advocated for in Congress – will invest more than $17 billion for energy infrastructure.
  • Homeownership is a silver bullet for families’ stability and prosperity. To protect home-owners from bad actors, I supported the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009. This legislation ended the unfair and irresponsible mortgage and lending practices that played a major role in past housing crisis.

I co-sponsored the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The comprehensive credit card reform legislation protects New Mexican families by leveling the playing field between credit card companies and consumers and increasing protections against unfair and misleading credit card practices.

Equality for All

Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who they love and how they identify. But we know that discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, and queer people exists in our country despite the progress that has been made to codify what should be the innate rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in law.

One of the proudest moments I had serving in Congress is when I voted for both the Equality Act and an expanded Violence Against Women Act that included real protections for LGBTQ+ women. The Equality Act, which is legislation that congressional Democrats have championed for years, bans discrimination in housing, education, the workforce, and other aspects of everyday life for LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Long before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that recognized same-sex marriage is as a right of all Americans, I spoke out against the unfairness of our government stopping individuals in love to join in marriage. Ensuring marriage equality was the first victory in our continued fight for justice for LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Still, being an effective ally for the LGBTQ+ goes beyond just voting for legsilation, laws, and policies that expand equality. As allies, we must also speak out against the injustices and violence members of the queer community face each and every time it occurs. Our country is facing a crisis of violence against trans women, with black women being disproportion targeted for bigotry and murder. That is unacceptable, and we need dedicated resources to stop attacks against trans individuals.

My Record on Equality:

  • Proudly voted for the Equality Act to ban discrimination based on sex, gender, orientation, and identity in the workforce, housing, and education.
  • I voted for the Violence Against Women Act to expand protections for all women who face violence.
  • I support the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, which would mandate reviews of the status of any former United States Armed Service members who were discharged because of their sexual orientation.
  • I support the LGBT Equality Day Resolution, which designates June 26 as a moment to honor the anniversary of 3 significant victories won at the Supreme Court for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.
  • When the Trump administration sought to ban transgender individuals from serving in the United States Armed Forces, I joined with colleagues to demand a reversal of this bigoted and hateful policy that put our national security at risk.
  • I’ve co-sponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act and signed onto a congressional amicus brief to prevent the bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • President Trump’s right-wing judges have continued to rule against the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. When in the U.S. Senate, I will vote against any judicial nominee who does not believe in the equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

Bases and Labs

The groundbreaking work completed at New Mexico’s National Labs and military bases is vital to our nation’s security and scientific advancements. I’ve been proud to serve as the co-chair of the Congressional National Labs Caucus, the Clean Up Caucus, and the Tech Transfer Caucus to showcase the importance of New Mexico’s National Labs to my fellow members of Congress. 

The National Labs are strong partners in our communities – and I’ve championed increased cooperation between our neighbors and the labs to benefit our economy and local businesses. In Congress, I’ve worked to expand opportunities for New Mexico small businesses to partner with the labs and advocated for Los Alamos National Labs to contract with locally-owned businesses. 

As the current National Labs workforce reaches retirement age, thousands of jobs will begin to open up. To help New Mexicans fill these jobs, I introduced the DOE National Laboratory Jobs ACCESS Act to expand training programs for young people to gain the technical skills needed to build a career in science, innovation, and research.

I’ve also worked to ensure that New Mexico’s bases and labs live up to their obligations as responsible community neighbors. I introduced legislation to require the Air Force to clean up PFAS contamination at Holloman and Cannon Air Force Bases and help those whose livelihoods are affected by that contamination.

My Record On Bases And Labs

  • New Mexico’s National Labs are on the cutting-edge of innovation that will have significant impacts on science, medicine, and technologies – research that should be shared with the world. I introduced theIMPACT for Energy Act to encourage the commercialization of technologies developed at our National Labs to help spur new advancements in these critical fields. 
  • Secured robust funding for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Labs.
  • I’ve written and championed the DOE National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act to expand training programs for technician positions at National Labs, including Los Alamos National Labs and Sandia National Labs.
  • The Department of Defense must work as good neighbors to our New Mexicans. Along with my congressional colleagues, I’ve demanded the DOD allocate funds to clean up PFAS contamination around New Mexico’s Air Force Bases.

Immigration

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I stand by those immortal words – inscribed on one of the most enduring symbols of America. Our immigration policies must be crafted with compassion, commonsense, and a sense of reality – three things that are often missing in policies adopted by the current administration. 

I have long-championed comprehensive immigration reform and have used my position as the highest-ranking Hispanic in Congress to give voice to the urgent need to address our broken immigration laws. Our immigration system must be fair and just, encourage legal immigration, and welcoming toward those of all backgrounds, religions, and races.

We cannot allow cruelty – whether in the guise of religious bans or bigotry – to have any say in our country’s policies on immigration.

We’ve watched in horror as parents are separated from their children, kids are left without care or comfort, and dozens have died from sickness, neglect, or abuse in detention camps and facilities. This is an abomination. To combat the Trump administration’s policies, I have acted to safeguard the legal rights of refugees and migrants to seek asylum and ensure those seeking their version of the American Dream are treated with dignity and respect.

I was proud to support the American Dream and Promise Act to provide security and a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers – the young individuals who are American in every way but on paper. We should advance policies that welcome DREAMers, TPS recipients, migrants, and refugees because we know that our country is made better because of its diversity. 

My Record on Immigration:

  • Voted for the Humanitarian Standards Act to force the Trump administration to fund basic humanitarian standards of care for refugees and migrants, including regular and quality health care, access to legal counsel, adequate living conditions, regular showers, hygiene products, and nutritious meals. 
  • Introduced legislation, along with Sen. Cory Booker, that would remove non-violent marijuana convictions as grounds for deportation for immigrants living in the United States.
  • I proudly voted to pass the American Dream and Promise Act, which protects DREAMers and Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure recipients.
  • To address President Trump’s immoral policies toward migrants and refugees, I called for a full Congressional investigation into the deaths of the children in federal custody at the border, demanded an immediate end to policies that separate families, voted against funding for President Trump’s border wall, and voted to support legislation demanding individuals in CBP, ICE, and U.S. government care receive medical, legal, and humanitarian care.

Criminal Justice

Our criminal justice system is not just – laws are applied unequally and unfairly, targeting minorities with disproportionate severity. This must change. In Congress, I’ve been a leader in calling out these injustices and bringing real reform to our court and prison systems. 

It is my strong belief that corporations should not profit from human suffering. This is why I’ve rejected private prison money in my Senate race and support ending for-profit prisons who’ve faced countless allegations of abuse against incarcerated individuals.

Creating a more just criminal justice system begins with our courts. We must end the unfair and discriminatory cash bail system that punishes lower-income individuals with prolonged detention before they’ve had their day in court. We must trust judges to distribute equal and fair verdicts by ending the use of mandatory minimums – an inherently racist policy.

We must also change our country’s approach to marijuana convictions. While violent offenders should be judiciously apprehended, we cannot continue to support a justice system that robs young people of a future because of minor, non-violent marijuana arrests. 

My Record on Criminal Justice:

  • I strongly support legislation from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and Sen. Kamala Harris to bar the denial of federal public benefits for marijuana use and says that immigrants cannot be deported or have their citizenship denied solely for a marijuana infraction. This legislation would also decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.
  • I support legislation to vacate minor marijuana convictions nationwide, which will give young people and minor offenders new opportunities to work and contribute to their communities.
  • Introduced legislation, along with Sen. Cory Booker, that would remove non-violent marijuana convictions as grounds for deportation for immigrants living legally in the United States.
  • Was a supporter of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries’ bill, the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed, Safely Transitioning Every Person Act, which propels formerly incarcerated individuals toward success, while enacting reforms to improve public safety and reduce recidivism rates. The legislation authorizes $375 million over five years to develop new education, vocational training, and mental health counseling programs.

The FIRST STEP Act also modifies the three strikes law to make it more humane, increases judicial discretion to reduce sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders, and provides retroactive relief for thousands unjustly sentenced during the crack-cocaine era.

Women

There is no one I respect more than my mother, Carmen. She is a trailblazer and a local school district employee who served New Mexico’s children. My mother helped shape me into the person I am today, and I am so grateful for her guidance and support. 

I want every woman and girl living in the United States to have the same opportunities as my mom – and it’s why I’ve championed issues like equal pay, stopping violence against women, and supporting a women’s right to choose. Women continue to face barriers in our society, and it is the responsibility of all leaders to dismantle the burdens that get in the way of equality. If elected, I will be a champion in the Senate for policies that uplift women and girls. 

This is not just a talking point for me. I have always prioritized bringing diverse and female voices to the leadership table while in Congress. The senior-most advisors in my congressional office have been women since my first days in the House, and I currently have a leadership team that is 87 percent women and people of color. Actions speak far louder than words when it comes to a commitment to gender and diversity, and I’m proud of my record lives up to that commitment. 

Abortion is a key part of women’s health, equality, and economic security. But politicians continue to pass laws with the goal of making it more difficult ― if not impossible ― for women to get an abortion.

With increased threats to abortion care, we need to protect women’s health and ensure that abortion remains safe and legal. Medical decisions should be made by patients and doctors, not politicians. This is why I am a proud cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act which would prohibit states from imposing medically unnecessary on safe, legal abortion care. I’m proud that New Mexico does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states. 

For too long, politicians have interfered in women’s health decisions by banning insurance coverage for abortion and creating medically unnecessary regulation. I am committed to taking bold action against federal and state abortion restrictions. This is why I am a cosponsor of the Equal Access for Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Woman Act. This bill would repeal the Hyde Amendment and requires health insurance plans to include coverage of safe, legal abortion care. 

Enabling women and couples to determine whether or when to have children has contributed greatly to improved public health. The widespread use of contraceptives has been the driving force in reducing unintended pregnancies. Family planning has also improved maternal and child health and helps women participate fully and equally in society. I am proud to have fought for the largest-ever funding increase to the Title X program – the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with birth control and related preventive health services.

My Record on Supporting Women and Women’s Rights

  • Women should earn equal pay for equal work. I was proud to cast a vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the persistent wage gap between men and women – a wage gap that is significantly wider for women of color.
  • Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act was a top priority for House Democrats. We strengthened protections for women who face violence at the hands of their partners and worked to ensure our laws support survivors. Critically, we have now finally been able to add a provision providing new support for Native women who face disproportionate levels of violence.
  • One of the proudest votes I have taken was for the Equality Act, which bars discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals based on their gender identities, sexuality, and orientations. I’ve also spoken out forcefully for the need to secure justice for trans women who are often abused, harassed, or face violence because of their gender identity.
  • Secured $400 million for the Title X health program, which funds the health care needs of more than 15,000 women in New Mexico.
  • Proud co-sponsor of the Equal Access for Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Woman Act and the Women’s Health Protection Act.
  • Authored legislation to provide funding for educational materials for pregnant women making pain management decisions during pregnancy to reduce the risk of addiction in expectant mothers and their babies.
  • Author of the State Public Option Act, the only universal health care coverage legislation that explicitly repeals the anti-choice Hyde Amendment. 
  • I am proud to receive a 100 percent congressional ranking from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign.
  • I introduced the Save for Success Act to increase the ability of working families to save for college. The legislation makes higher education more achievable by allowing families to claim up to $250 of the AOTC every year they save for their child’s future education. 

My Child Health Outreach and Mentorship Program Act helps states enroll more children in health care coverage by expanding the outreach and enrollment grant program. Specifically, the bill authorizes $100 million in federal funding for CHIP outreach and enrollment grants dedicated to providing more children with health coverage and allows trained parent mentors to be eligible for these grants. Women with children deserve support to help keep their families healthy and safe, and I am proud to lead on new ways to make sure children always have the health care they deserve.

Labor

As the son of a union ironworker, I know unions and working individuals are the backbone of our economy. Not only have unions led the fight for living wages and safety protections, but their advocacy created our country’s middle-class and continues to provide economic security to families like mine. I have always proudly stood with labor as we’ve fought together to protect and expand workers’ benefits, protections, and create new good-paying opportunities for Americans.

Today’s economy presents both new challenges and new opportunities for working people in America. To create a robust and equal economy, we must invest in clean energy and industries that will provide good-paying jobs. I was proud to partner with Sen. Elizabeth Warren to put forward legislation to correct inequalities and burdens on the economy and to create new rules that benefit the American worker. This legislation takes significant steps to reverse harmful trends that have produced record corporate profits but stagnant wages for American workers. 

Good-paying jobs, quality health care, and investments in our communities are critical for working Americans. I was deeply proud to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act, an increase in the federal minimum wage, and legislation to bolster pension protections for workers. As a senator, I’ll be a strong voice for universal health care, strong unions, and an economy that benefits us all. This is how we work together for working Americans.

My Record on Supporting Labor

  • Women should earn equal pay for equal work. I was proud to cast a vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the persistent wage gap between men and women – a wage gap that is significantly wider for women of color.
  • Voted for the Raise the Wage Act to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in more than a decade. Individuals who work hard deserve wages that reflect the value of their contributions to our economy and society, which we accomplish by paying workers a salary they can live off of. 
  • Unions are the backbone of our economy and continue today to lead the fight to create an economy that is equal for all workers. To support these efforts, I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.
  • Along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act to correct harmful trends that have left the American worker struggling with stagnant wages and decreased opportunities as corporate profits continue to rise.
  • Proudly voted for the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, which would create a Pension Rehabilitation Trust Fund and help working Americans keep the pension funds they’ve earned after a lifetime of service. 
  • Proudly support the Social Security 2100 Act to protect our Social Security system and improve the benefits for current and future generations.
  • A sweeping infrastructure package will boost the middle-class while repairing our country’s crumbling roads, schools, hospitals, and electric systems and jumpstarting our transition to a green energy economy. As a core component of any infrastructure package, I’ve championed legislation to invest in broadband infrastructure to connect rural communities with high-speed Internet. Democrats’ LIFT America Act – legislation I’ve advocated for in Congress – will invest more than $17 billion for energy infrastructure.
  • Highest-ranking co-sponsor of Medicare for All

Conservation & Public Lands

New Mexicans are deeply connected to our public lands, and I have spent my career advocating to protect them. From securing funds for environmental clean-ups in New Mexico to advancing the cause of environmental justice to creating and protecting public lands, my work always considers how to protect our natural resources for New Mexicans. 

As the Trump administration has systematically attacked public lands across the country by selling or opening up these natural treasures to industries intent on destroying their pristine beauty, we need leaders who will stand up for our environment. That is the type of leader I have been – and will continue to be – for New Mexico. 

In New Mexico, water is life. As a young boy, I remember waking up early on our small family farm to work the community acequia to bring precious water into our land. We must make sure our federal laws respect our ways of life and treat water like the life-giving resource is it. This is why I introduced legislation to ensure greater consultation and respect between the federal government and New Mexico’s land grants and acequias.

My Record for Conservation and Public Lands 

  • I led200 Members of Congress in introducing the ANTIQUITIES Act to protect America’s treasured national monuments against the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on public lands.
  • In a significant win for sacred land in New Mexico, I secured a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the greater Chaco Cultural Heritage Area to protect that sacred land from desecration. This will build on the momentum to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act to withdraw the federal lands around Chaco Canyon from further mineral development permanently.
  • I worked closely with the Obama administration to designate the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area as a national monument – protecting this beautiful region for future generations.
  • The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Conservation Act, legislation I championed in the House, established 10 permanent wilderness areas within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
  • I helped pass the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which invested more than $312 million in New Mexico to protect public lands and open spaces and increase recreational opportunities across the state.

Energy

We have a duty to support responsible, clean energy policies that protect our environment and encourage innovation. I know firsthand how important these policies are to New Mexico and our economy, families, and environment. When I served as the Chairman of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, I worked with my fellow commissioners to develop a renewable portfolio standard to support clean energy production in New Mexico.

Renewable sources are critical to securing our country’s energy needs now and in the future, and I’ll continue to ensure New Mexico is a leader in the clean energy economy to the benefit of our families, workers, and environment.

My Record on Energy and the Environment

  • Highest-ranking co-sponsor of the Green New Deal – a bold legislative effort to transition the United States to a clean energy future, take decisive actions to combat the climate crisis, and promote a platform of environmental justice. 
  • Championed the Clean Energy Standard Act, legislation that will put the United States on a path toward net-zero emissions by the 2050s, increase the production of renewable resources by more than 25 percentage points, and prevent 30,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the U.S.
  • I authored the IMPACT for Energy Act to establish a nonprofit foundation that will channel investments to support the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies that address our energy challenges.

Tribal Sovereignty & Native Communities

The United States has a solemn treaty obligation to Native peoples. 

I’m proud to partner with indigenous peoples as we work to secure quality health care, infrastructure investment, economic opportunities, and uphold sovereignty rights for Native Americans in New Mexico.

To create true partnerships with Tribal communities, it is incumbent that our governments recognize the pain and indignities Native Americans in New Mexicans and across the country have suffered through racist policies that linger to this day. We must also continue rectifying and providing recourse for those injustices as a guiding policy principle. This is done by listening to Tribal elders and communities and showing respect and appreciation for the culture, public service, and contributions of Native Americans in every facet of our state and history. I extend my gratitude to the warriors who served our nation in its time of need. Native Americans serve in the United States military at higher rates than any other ethnic group in the country, including heroes like the Navajo Code Talkers – warriors who were instrumental to the United States’ success in World War II. 

In Congress, I have worked to clean up contamination left behind by our nation’s nuclear legacy, improve the standard of living in Tribal communities, protect sacred lands, and honor the treaties between the federal government and tribes. In the Senate, I will be a strong voice for the proud Tribal communities in New Mexico and beyond.

I know the federal government has a responsibility to consult with Tribes on projects that impact their lands or sacred sites and fulfill its obligations in a manner that respects Tribal sovereignty.

It’s simply unacceptable that Native individuals have shorter life expectancies and worse health outcomes across the board. This is why I have advocated tirelessly for adequate funding for the Indian Health Service, culturally competent care across our state, and putting an end to discriminatory practices within our health system. We must continue to improve upon the IHS system of care. 

We must also take decisive action to stop the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. Native women face murder rates ten times higher than the national average and nearly 60 percent of Native women face sexual violence in their lifetime. Tragically, New Mexico has more cases of missing and murdered indigenous women than any other state in our union. Together, we’ve made progress. Congress improved AMBER Alert systems on Native lands and I’ve proposed an expansive broadband invest package that will connect Indian Country with the high-speed, broadband Internet needed to dutifully prevent Tribal lands. 

My Record on Tribal Sovereignty & Native Communities

  • Led the New Mexico Congressional Delegation to re-introduce the Native American Voting Rights Act to remove barriers to the ballot box faced by Native Americans.
  • Sponsored the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act of 2019, which would bar the export of Tribal heritage items and increase criminal penalties for people caught trafficking cultural patrimony.
  • Co-sponsored the Remove the Stain Act of 2019, which would rescind Congressional Medals of Honor granted for actions during the Wounded Knee Massacre. 
  • In a significant win for sacred land in New Mexico, I secured a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the greater Chaco Cultural Heritage Area to protect that sacred land from desecration. This will build on the momentum to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act to withdraw the federal lands around Chaco Canyon from further mineral development permanently.
  • Introduced the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Amendments of 2019, which would reauthorize the existing Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund until 2045 and expands eligibility so former uranium workers and downwinders receive the benefits they deserve. 
  • Led the effort to pass the Ashlynn Mike Amber Alert In Indian Country Act of 2017 to secure new resources to help Tribal and state police search for missing and murdered indigenous women. 
  • Proud co-sponsor of the Not Invisible Act, which would improve intergovernmental coordination to identify and combat violent crimes committed in Tribal lands against Native Americans. 
  • Introduced legislation to support Native veterans who are experiencing homelessness by providing for rental assistance.
  • Proud co-sponsor of the Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act, which would improve health care by providing the Department of Veterans Affairs coverage of care Native American veterans receive at urban Indian health centers.
  • Co-sponsor of the Native American Suicide Prevention Act of 2019
  • Introduced a sweeping broadband infrastructure package that would provide $5 billion to improve broadband infrastructure in rural and Tribal communities. 
  • Introduced legislation to support Native veterans who are experiencing homelessness by providing for rental assistance.
  • Proud co-sponsor of the Health Care Access for Urban Native Veterans Act, which would improve health care by providing the Department of Veterans Affairs coverage of care Native American veterans receive at urban Indian health centers.

Foreign Policy

The United States is stronger and safer when we prioritize principled, rational, and prudent policies that match our values. We need a foreign policy that prioritizes democracy, diplomacy, development, in addition to defense. This administration has left global engagement as an afterthought, choosing to align the United States with counties we know seek to undermine us or do us harm, rather than our allies. It is my belief that our policies should promote democracy and end the cycle of perpetual war that has cost the lives of American service members, innocent civilians, and our standing in the world.

I believe Congress should reassert its authority to oversee and conduct oversight of our nation’s foreign policy. In this Congress, I voted for an amendment to finally retire the 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used to justify war and military actions in the Middle East for far too long. To protect future generations from an endless cycle of unsupported conflict, I believe that any future AUMFs must include a sunset clause and a clear and specific expression of objectives.

American service members have served with distinction in Afghanistan, but the time has long passed for the United States to withdraw its forces. As a freshman member of Congress, I voted for an amendment that would have required the Obama administration to provide Congress with the outline of an exit strategy to responsibly withdraw from Afghanistan. 

Our foreign policy must always be grounded in a responsible set of values – and not used to extract misguided economic policies or to further trade wars that do nothing to advance our country’s security. 

We must approach our relationships with allies and trading partners responsibly, and with strong policies that protect the American worker, labor standards, and the environment. Since my first days in Congress, I’ve only supported trade plans that put the needs of our economy and national security first. President Trump is attempting to undermine both with his reckless trade wars with China, Mexico, and other countries that have only hurt New Mexican families by raising prices on everyday items like food products, technology, and other household goods. 

My Foreign Policy Record

  • The ongoing civil war in Yemen is a humanitarian crisis. I voted to direct the president to withdraw all United States Armed Forces from conflicts in or affecting Yemen, involvement that was never authorized by Congress. 
  • I was proud to vote to end the 2001 AUMF, which has been used as a justification for unchecked military action for decades. 
  • Voted to demand that the Obama administration provide an exit strategy from Afghanistan that would preserve U.S. security and Afgan and U.S. lives.
  • Signed onto legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives opposing unnecessary conflicts and violence with Iran.

Health Care

Health care should be a right for all, not a privilege for a few.

Under the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion, New Mexico’s uninsured rate is no longer the highest in the nation. I voted in favor of the ACA in 2009 and since then I have fought hard to defend it from Republican repeal efforts. I will continue to fight to improve the ACA, to lower the cost of coverage, and to increase access to high-quality doctors.

Insurance companies shouldn’t be able to gouge you and your family on premiums, copays, and deductibles. And pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t be forcing New Mexican families to make decisions between paying for their prescription drugs or paying their rent.

That’s why I am a co-sponsor of Medicare for All – because Congress must send a strong statement to the health care industry that things need to change – now. And as scientists continue to produce safer and better life-saving medications, I support giving Medicare the ability to negotiate lower drug prices.

That’s also why I wrote legislation to allow consumers to buy into Medicaid – because I support using a public option to increase competition and drive down costs. I believe a strong Medicaid program is not simply a safety net for the poor, it’s a ladder to the middle class, and I’ll continue to be its champion in the U.S. Senate.

My Record on Health Care

  • Highest-ranking co-sponsor of Medicare for All in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Author of the State Public Option Act, the only universal health care coverage legislation that explicitly repeals the anti-choice Hyde Amendment
  • Proud supporter of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion
  • Demanded accountability from corporations to put an end to surprise medical billing
  • Cosponsored the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2017 to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate covered part D drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Voted to bring more generics to market to lower costs of life-saving prescription drugs for families.

Lead author of the Opioid and Heroin Abuse Crisis Investment Act of 2016, which authorized $1.5 billion in federal funds that have been distributed to all 50 states to address addiction. New Mexico has been able to use this money to reach approximately 10,000 individuals struggling with opioid use disorder per year.

Behavioral health

Mental health is physical health. 

After previous administrations needlessly tossed New Mexico’s behavioral health system into crisis, communities across our state suffered tremendously. I have spent years working to help undo this damage to ensure all New Mexicans have access to the mental health services they need. 

As substance use disorder continues to destroy lives, I will continue to fight for expanded prevention services, high-quality treatment opportunities, and robust recovery programs. I was successful in securing more than $1 billion dollars in nationwide funding to combat the opioid epidemic — and millions of these dollars ended up in New Mexico.

I will continue holding opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in pumping unnecessary prescription drugs into our communities and will not rest until mothers, fathers, and families are no longer losing their children and loved ones to a substance use disorder. 

My Record on Substance Use Disorder/Behavioral Health

  • Authored the Opioid and Heroin Abuse Crisis Investment Act, President Obama’s $1.1 billion proposals to address the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic
  • Supported Medicaid substance use disorder treatment via telehealth options
  • Pushed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to identify beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D with a history of opioid-related overdose and include them in its system for monitoring those potentially at-risk for substance use disorder 
  • Expanded the number of patients providers are allowed to treat for opioid use disorder 
  • Allowed clinical physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists to prescribe buprenorphine 
  • Extended theResidential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women grants which help new moms struggling with a substance use disorder
  • Supported the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act of 2019 and the Maternal Opioid Treatment, Health, Education, and Recovery Act of 2018.