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Magenta last won the day on April 25

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  1. Bloomfield Declares Candidacy for the Senate Alexander Bloomfield announced his candidacy for the US Senate in his hometown of Romeo, Michigan. “My name is Alexander Bloomfield and I am running to be the next Senator from Michigan. I am the current Representative from Michigan's 10th congressional district and prior to that I was an economics professor at MSU. The congressional record will show that I have been a vocal voice on the House floor and in the press, working to bridge divides and make legislation better. I have both agreed and disagreed with members of my party in votes and on the floor because I believe that people of my district want smart and independent representation, not blind partisanship. This is part of why I'm running for Senate. I believe that the people of Michigan want a thoughtful Senator, not a partisan one. They want a Senator who is willing to disagree with their party but if they do stand with their party, they should be able to articulate responsible reasons for doing so. They want a Senator that can explain what they're doing and why. The people crave thoughtfulness and effectiveness. I'm going to deliver on that and I have already been doing so in the House. In my time in the House, I've been vocal on nearly every bill that has come before the House. I've debated for and against bills sponsored by my fellow party members and those on the other side. I've worked to improve the language of bills related to sexual assault and argued forthrightly about reforming our immigration and refugee systems to be more fair, transparent and in line with the wishes of the American people. I've explained through the press and in the House chambers why I'm for or against a bill, and explained my reasoning publicly for every bill I've introduced and what my bills will seek to accomplish. I believe that is something the people of Michigan want and it's part of why I believe I can win. Some people have said that I can't win and that Debbie Stabenow can't be beat because she's been in office too long. I disagree with that, or else I wouldn't be running. Debbie Stabenow is vulnerable despite being an eighteen-year incumbent because she hasn't had a strong challenge since her election in 2000. She rode anti-Bush sentiment in '06, Obama's coattails in 2012, and is hoping to coast in again on partisanship this year. We don't need to let that happen. Stabenow is also vulnerable because she hasn't been particularly loyal or committed to serving and representing the people of Michigan. A quick journey to opensecrets.org will show you that over half of her campaign contributions are coming from out-of-state. (https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/geography?cid=N00004118&cycle=2018) I don't think the people of Michigan want to reward a Senator taking so much money from New York and California with a fourth-term in office. Yet despite all of her lengthy time in office, longer than some people here have been alive, Debbie also has an unimpressive record and a lack of accomplishments. She's been in the Senate for eighteen years and has only had five bills that she personally sponsored become law, and two of them were to name federal buildings! (https://www.congress.gov/member/deborah-stabenow/S000770?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Stabenow%22%5D%2C%22bill-status%22%3A%22law%22%2C%22sponsorship%22%3A%22sponsored%22%7D) Let's contrast that with my one-term in office where I was able to get a substantive bill that I introduced, the Made in America Act, signed into law. That law will empower the people to know if the products they buy are truly made in America, encouraging people to purchase those products if that's something they want to do, thereby rewarding manufacturers for doing so. This will help drive more business towards American businesses and create jobs in the long-term. I've also introduced bills to lower business taxes for investing in infrastructure, encouraging insourcing from overseas into the US to create new jobs, and promoting education and transparency in drug pricing and financial loans. I will seek to bring this mentality into the Senate. I'm also concerned with the ideological and partisan nature of trade that we've seen in recent years. There's little to no acknowledgment of the trade-offs that are involved in the trade deals. The effects of these deals, whether pro or con, are rarely acknowledged. The lack of transparency, the public being unable to honestly judge the merits of a proposal, in these deals are deeply concerning. Our government is supposed to negotiate on our behalf, for the most broad good of all, but we are denied the information needed to judge our government's performance. As a Senator, I will work to make that end and ensure that any trade deals we make in the future are clear and provide more information to the people. We must also deeply reconsider the trade deals we have and which ones we want to continue. As your Senator, I will not knee-jerk reflexively support or oppose any trade deal, instead I will do my best to judge each proposed deal on its merits and do my best to ensure the good effects ultimately outweigh the bad. That's what the people of Michigan want in their Senator, and that's what I will work to deliver. The people of Michigan also want freedom. They want financial freedom and political freedom. We want to know that our hard work will be rewarded financially and that we have actual choices in our lives. Too many times in the past we've seen government regulations and programs that were passed on the promises of reducing costs and increase choice ultimately drive up costs for taxpayers and decrease choice. As your Senator, I will always keep in mind the necessity of preserving freedom and advancing its cause where possible. Ladies and gentlemen, I am campaigning to be your next Senator because I believe that you want a Senator who is fresh and thoughtful. I believe you want a Senator that clearly explains himself, what he believes and why. I believe you want a Senator who doesn't coast on national sentiments or national interest groups or is financially beholden to out-of-state, instead I will be a Senator whom is loyal to you. I will be a Senator who seeks to make substantive accomplishments for the people of Michigan. I will work to balance the interests of businesses, labor, and the people. I will be a Senator who supports trade deals that work for you. I will be a Senator who works to get more information into the hands of the people. I will be a Senator who expands freedom, not restricts it. I will be your Senator who works!”
  2. Bloomfield Introduces BRAVE Act to help Veteran Funeral Expenses "I am pleased to have introduced the BRAVE Act. It will increase certain funeral benefits from $300 to $749 and then index those benefits to inflation. It will also index Death From Service-Connected Disability to inflation as well. It is not a fun thing to think about, but it is necessary and I believe it is a disservice to our veterans to have their benefits eaten up by inflation. This bill is already gathering bi-partisan support and I urge the Speaker to bring this bill to the floor in the next docket so that it can be considered and passed quickly."
  3. Bloomfield Encourages Railroad Investment and Bringing Jobs Home "Today, I introduced two bills, 1) to address our infrastructure and 2) to address tax changes and hopefully encourage businesses to repatriate jobs from overseas back to the US. First, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act will make a tax credit for short line and regional railroads permanent, rather than allow it to expire. This credit is a boon for smaller railroads and for the environment. It rewards railroads for investing in themselves and properly maintaining their track. It helps our environment by encouraging more freight to be transported by rails and reduces stress on public highways. Secondly, the Bring Jobs Home will create a tax credit for businesses that insource to the US. A company that relocates to the US has expenses in doing so, and they should be encouraged and rewarded for doing so through the use of a tax credit related to those expenses. It's simple common sense to reward something you want more of. Similarly, this bill removes tax deductions related to expenses incurred for relocating outside of the US. It does not make much sense to reward, through a tax deduction, moving operations out of the US. Certainly, in a globalized economy businesses may need to relocate out of the country, but there is no reason to financially reward them for doing so. I encourage Congress to take up these bills. Smaller railroad operators should have the certainty of knowing their track maintenance tax credit will be sustained and people should know that businesses will be rewarded for relocating into the US."
  4. Bloomfield Introduces Bills to Increase Transparency and Information "I am please to announce that I have submitted a number of bills to the House of Representatives with the aim of increasing the amount of information in the hands of the people, just as was done with the Made in America Act which recently passed the House and Senate. First, I have introduced the BuyAmerican.gov Act. This bill would create a publicly accessible website with information pertaining which government agencies are using waivers to exempt themselves from various Buy American provisions of federal law. There are laws on the books which require federal agencies to buy American-made goods whenever practical, with various exemptions mostly related to cost and item availability. Many exemptions are granted on cost alone and the American people should be able to know what agencies are taking the various exemptions and why. With publicly available information, they can see and judge for themselves if their government is exempting itself from its own provisions in appropriate or appropriate ways, in appropriate amounts or excessively. Secondly, I introduced the Liberty for Drug Price Information Act. This bill would allow pharmacies to inform their customers if a prescription drug may be less expensive via some other manner, such as out of pocket, rather than buying it through their health benefits plan. I believe that more information in the hands of consumers is generally a good thing. Pharmacists should not be silenced by any organization from sharing price information that they may have available. Third, I introduced the Financial Literacy to Financial Freedom Act. This bill would enable universities and other institutions of higher education to require additional financial counseling prior to disbursing a loan. Currently, universities are only required to give first-time borrowers one session of counseling. In many circumstances, this counseling is short and quickly forgotten in the whirlwind of activity that is transitioning to college or university. In short, it is insufficient. By allowing for more counseling to be required, first-time borrowers will be able to be given more information or have the same information presented again which will enable it to remain in borrower's memories better. More education about terms and responsibilities of loans will hopefully inform borrowers more effectively, so that they can avoid long-term debt. I urge my colleagues in the House to consider these three bills and pass them through the House. The people deserve to know how the government is exempting itself from Buy American provisions and why. They deserve to know if they can purchase medicine for a lower price, and not have pharmacists gagged by contract from sharing price information. They deserve to know the long-term effects of taking out education-related loans and what is involved in paying off that debt. These three bills will put more information in the hands of the people about their government and several matters that can profoundly influence their lives."
  5. Bloomfield: Let's Take a Measured Approach to Trade "Let me address several of the bills I introduced. The REAL Tuna act would strengthen our domestic supply of tuna by ensuring higher quality fish are not replaced by less quality fish. It will protect our domestic fishermen from being undercut by foreign fisheries skirting labeling issues. Let them compete under proper labels. Similarly, the JAWS Act will protect our domestic seafood industries from competing with those nations which continue to allow the practice known as 'shark finning.' If foreign seafood sellers want to sell in the US, then they'll need to join us in following the same rules that we apply to ourselves. The Made in America Act will allow for a voluntary labeling program to be implemented. It will allows manufacturers wish to label their products with an American Star to signify that they utilize American manufacturing and are proud to do so. It would be nice to see the American Star be as ubiquitous as the 'Made in China' stickers and stamping seem to be. The PATRIA Act will impose a ban on petroleum products from Venezuela. That country has been curtailing human rights and proper democratic practices for far too long and we have largely looked the other way. Or we have been content to 'tut-tut' them as "isn't that the way things always go under communists?" without taking any concrete action. The PATRIA Act is a straight-forward measure with a clear punishment and remedy approach. The stick is impose a ban on one of their most important exports and give them to power to correct themselves. If they correct themselves, then the punishment will be lifted. A number of these bills I introduced are to protect or otherwise bolster American industry. Yet, I do believe in trade and wish to see some progress in improving our trade relations with Cuba. Some argue for immediately and fully lifting the Cuban embargo and immediately normalizing all trade relations. This is the wrong approach and would result in a victory for the Castro regime. Normalizing relations with no demanded changes was the approach largely utilized against communist China and it has not resulted in China improving their human rights record. We should instead utilize a marginal, step-by-step approach with Cuba; certainly, normalizing and having free trade relations with Cuba should be the ultimate goal, but that goal should not be the starting point. The Encouraging Improved Cuban Relations Act of 2017 calls for the President to enter into negotiations of settling outstanding claims of the Cuban government seizing lands that did not belong to them and improving human rights conditions in Cuba. If those negotiations are successful, then we should consider taking further steps of lifting the embargo, improving telecommunication systems, and allowing unfettered tourism and remittances to Cuba. That Raul Castro plans to step down in 2018 would be a great time for the regime to give up their grip on the island and allow for truly fair, open, and multi-party elections."
  6. Bloomfield Introduces Bills to Address Student Debt "I recently introduced two pieces of legislation to address the looming issue of student loan debt. The first bill is the Help Students Repay Act. This act, which is already starting to gather bi-partisan support, is a rather uncontroversial one. One of the best ways to reduce debt and interest payments is to get ahead and start paying down the principle, rather than making small, minimal payments into perpetuity. Yet currently, there is no option allowing someone who is repaying their federal student loans to accelerate their repayment plan without penalty. The Help Students Repay Act will allow borrowers, who wish to do so, to get ahead of their student loans and repay their loans ahead of schedule without penalty. It would be rather cynical to penalize those trying to get out of student loan debt by making proper payments, or flatly prohibit it, as is the current practice. The other, more controversial but I believe necessary change, is the University Co-Signers Act. This bill would require that any university receiving federal loans from students would be required to be co-signers to those same loans. This change will force universities to change their current practices, wherein they have no compulsion to ensure that students will be able to repay the loans they receive. Universities will need to consider the programs and degree paths they are offering. They will be forced to consider how many students they funnel into career paths that the universities know full-well will be unable to repay their loan debt. Universities will be forced to consider if it makes sense to keep charging higher and higher tuition when they'll be responsible for loan repayment if that repayment can not be made. It is possible that certain, less 'lucrative' or 'practical' course programs will be removed from universities. Hopefully, it will encourage students to consider if they need to take out six figure debt in order to pursue their dreams, when maybe that dream doesn't need a university degree in the first place. We have to break the cultural expectation where, no matter your career path, dreams, or long-term goals, you're "supposed to" go to a university. This societal expectation artificially increases demand as well, driving up the price of universities. Most importantly, we have to break the cycle of perpetually increasing university costs. Universities increase tuition rates, which causes greater demand for loans, the government then grants those loans, which in turn allows universities to increase tuition rates again because they know the students will be able to pay. This cycle will continue indefinitely because universities have no incentive to freeze or decrease costs so long as they know the loans will be given out and it doesn't matter to a university if the loans are repaid or not. This cycle must change and the University Co-Signers Act can provide that change."
  7. Bloomfield Praises TPP Withdrawal "The President's decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership was the right one. Many aspects of the negotiations and various criticisms of the aspects of the agreement being made by trade representatives were prohibited from being shared publicly. A bill back in 2012, sponsored by Senator Wyden of Oregon, which would have allowed members of Congress access to such information as provided by US Trade Representative was never passed. In 2015, Senator Rand Paul objected to the fast tracking of the TPP due to the secretive nature of these negotiations. There was a bi-partisan basis and consensus to be skeptical of the TPP and that viewpoint prevails due to the President's decision." "As a matter of general thought, free trade is good. Knowing what you're actually agreeing to when you sign a deal is even better."