Issues

Issues

John Upchurch is a fresh start to the past two decades of ineffective, do-nothing Washington politics. The 6th Congressional District needs a real-world, experienced advocate to stand up to Washington insiders and serve our diverse community.

“We must not ignore our greatest generation that has been asked to tighten its belts and now depends on us for support and care.”

John Upchurch has worked in our community as an attorney, businessman and respected civic leader for many years and has raised his family and lived among us his entire life.

The District needs a home-grown representative we know and trust and who has lived with the local issues that define us. We need someone who will take on the bully, President Trump, and who is a voice of reason with common sense solutions.

  • Ban Assault Weapons

    The ability of almost anyone to be able to buy an assault weapon has enabled numerous tragedies across our country.   Arming teachers and fortifying schools to prevent the next attack are not answers.  The time has come to flatly ban the sale of Assault Weapons. We MUST finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is constitutionally protected, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence, with our schools a prime target. We need to expand and strengthen background checks. We urgently need to keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons- off our streets. We must deny violent criminals and those with mental health issues access to guns. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. While I agree that the Second Amendment to the Constitution allows the right to bear arms, there are limitations.  The First Amendment “Right to Free Speech” allows all of us to speak the truth in any way we like; however, if one falsely yells “fire” in a crowded movie theater, and in the ensuing panic a person is trampled to death, that person is responsible for that death.   This issue should be the subject of a “Manhattan Project” level, bipartisan Commission, charged with the responsibility of coming up with a comprehensive package of integrated solutions to this vexing issue.

  • Social Security

    Of concern to many of our senior citizens is the erosion of their purchasing power.  Our senior citizens are living on less and less every year. Over the past 3 years, the Cost of Living Adjustment was 0% in 2015, and only .3% in 2016 and 2% in 2017.  Inflation within our economy more than eclipsed these increases in benefits. Further, this impacts the economy of District 6, as approximately 25% of our district’s population receives social security benefits.  Social Security is more than just a retirement program, as it also provides important life insurance to young survivors of deceased workers and provides disability insurance protection. We will fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits.

  • Small Business

    As a small business owner, I understand the pressure to make payroll and keep the business profitable.  The engine of our economy is based on the backs of small businesses throughout our great country, generating three-fifths of all new jobs.  Small business owners want rules and regulations that are clear and concise.  We will cut the red tape that holds back small businesses and entrepreneurs. From the Federal Government down to the local level, the regulatory requirements to open and expand a business need to be clear. Ease of access to the Small Business Administration for support and loans after a disaster is critical. If a small business can’t resume operations shortly following a natural disaster, it probably won’t survive.  By robustly supporting small business and entrepreneurship, we can grow jobs faster in America.

  • Health Care

    We are going to fight to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable health care. Americans should be able to access public coverage through a public option, and those over 55 should be able to opt in to Medicare.  It is unacceptable that the United States pays, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and that too many Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 cannot afford to fill their prescriptions. A lifesaving drug is no good if it is unaffordable to the very people who need it most. The largest pharmaceutical companies are making billions of dollars per year in profits at higher at higher margins than comparable industries; meanwhile, they charge Americans thousands of dollars for new drugs— at much higher costs than overseas. We are committed to investing in the research, development, and innovation that creates lifesaving drugs and lowers overall health costs; however, the profiteering of many pharmaceutical companies is simply unacceptable. We will tackle runaway prescription drug prices and address mental health with the same seriousness that we treat physical health.

  • Combating the Opioid Crisis

    We must confront the epidemic of drug addiction, specifically the opioid crisis,  by vastly expanding access to prevention and treatment, supporting recovery, helping community organizations, and promoting better practices by prescribers.  We need an increase in federal funding to help implement stronger task forces, better awareness, stronger penalties on illegal sales and use, and tougher restrictions on granting unnecessary prescriptions. For those who are addicted, we need better treatment programs and awareness. We need to get opioids off the street and protect our loved ones.

  • Immigration

    I believe we need to urgently fix our broken immigration system, which tears families apart and keeps workers in the shadows. We must create a path to citizenship for immigrants who are working, obeying the law, supporting their families, and contributing to their communities. We should end the forced and prolonged expulsion threat now facing DACA Dreamers, the children of undocumented immigrants actually born and raised here. We must  defend against those who would exclude or eliminate existing avenues to legal immigration. We are a nation of immigrants, who are famously greeted by the Statue of Liberty. Let us maintain that rich heritage, which makes us a beacon of freedom and opportunity to the world.

  • Building 21st Century Infrastructure

    We need major federal investments to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and put millions of Americans back to work in decent paying jobs in both the public and private sectors. The climate emergency and the need to expand the middle class demand that we make the most ambitious investment in American infrastructure since we created the interstate highway system. We will put Americans to work updating and expanding our roads, bridges, public transit, airports and rail lines.

  • Education

    We must fully invest in our public education system, ensuring every child has access to a quality education regardless of their zip code. We must make college more affordable by expanding financial aid programs, lowering interest rates for all federal student loans while working on a plan to provide free community college for families.

We must focus on the interests of the hard-working citizens of this country, stop the giveaways to the wealthy and the special interests and instead emphasize wage fairness for women and protecting the innocent children who represent our future.

We must fight for balance and fairness. The lack of real tax cuts for the middle class and the subsidies given to Wall Street is just plain wrong. The Carried Interest is an example of a lie by Republicans and President Trump to help special interest hedge funds get rich.

The strength of our economy depends on the working people of America and the market they represent. Lasting prosperity cannot be achieved if wage earners and families are impoverished, and we should seek the ways and means to assure proper education, training and opportunity to participate in a growing economy, as well as a fair wage and a fair tax treatment.

We must not ignore our greatest generation that now depends on us for support and care. The senior citizens of our community have been asked to tighten their belts as the Federal Government allows Wall Street and big business to make record profits and reduce their tax burden. Recent annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments have been below even the modest inflation rate we’ve been experiencing, and that needs to change.

It is unconscionable that many Republicans continue to defend the president’s alienating and crude statements while he visits another of his properties and plays a round of golf. We must restore dignity and decorum to our discourse in Washington. George Washington wrote at length of the obligation of the president to maintain the dignity of the office. Mr. Trump has made a mockery of this revered principle.