Shay’s positions reflect his commitment to ensuring the security and wellbeing of all citizens in Congressional District 2, by the strengthening our border and national defense, improving our healthcare and educational systems, expanding job opportunities and our economy, and protecting our constitutional right to bear arms. Because of his personal experiences, Shay will also fight to improve the support of our veterans, and work to end our nation’s opioid and suicide epidemics.
We must ensure that our military has the necessary resources to defend and protect American citizens and their interests here and abroad. Fort Huachuca, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and the 162nd AZ Air National Guard Wing at Tucson International are critical to that mission. With his long history of fighting for them as a member of the DM50, Huachuca 50, Air Guardians, and the So. Arizona Defense Alliance, Shay will ensure that Congress continues to support both bases and the missions they execute, including (amongst many) a flying mission at DM, and unmanned air vehicles at Fort Huachuca (see https://www.dothaneagle.com/townnews/military/report-fort-rucker-eyed-for-additional-drone-training/article_ebe9c6c0-54b8-11e9-aebe-eb7662b48e2c.html about the possibility of UAS (drone) training being moved from So. Arizona to Fort Rucker in Alabama).
It is time to strengthen security at the border and apply common sense solutions to our immigration crisis. This includes increasing the legal and controlled immigration of highly skilled laborers who will pay taxes and help grow our economy. We must also increase resources for our Border Patrol force so that they can perform their jobs safely for themselves, their families and those they are apprehending in carrying out our nation’s immigration laws. Further, we need to increase research funding for the Department of Homeland Security to speed the flow of advanced technologies to the border in support of our Border Patrol agents on the front line.
We can continue to grow jobs in Arizona by reducing regulations on America’s industry and business sector and increasing investment in federal research at Universities like the UA. The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates that regulation in the US costs between $74-$110B annually, and a George Mason University study shows that federal regulation across 22 industries has cost the US nearly $4 trillion in GDP growth since 1980. Ideas such as eliminating a regulation for every new regulation implemented are a good start in decreasing these costs to American business and increasing job creation. Increasing federal research funding for our universities will likewise increase overall economic growth in America and Arizona - Federal research funding resulted in the creation of the Internet, drones, and companies like Google (which grew out of a $4.5M National Science Foundation grant in the mid 1990’s to two Stanford graduate students to today vying for the title as the world’s most valuable company). Locally, from 2013 to 2017 Arizona public university commercialization efforts resulted in 122 start-up companies, creating thousands of local jobs and increased tax revenue.¹ And UA research alone has an economic impact of billions and tens of thousands of jobs.
We must reform healthcare so that it protects those with pre-existing conditions and provides affordable coverage for all Americans without spending $32 trillion in taxpayer money to provide “free healthcare”. While spending $3.7 trillion annual for healthcare (the highest in the developed world) is unacceptable, single payer, one size fits all and free for all services quickly become valueless – and the American people must retain the option of keeping their private healthcare plan and provider.
Now is the time to support our veterans by reforming the VA and providing them with the healthcare they’ve earned and been promised including mental health and suicide prevention services. There are many innovations in this arena that should be supported and accelerated, including the outstanding work of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and its collaborations with the state’s universities.
Congress must protect our Second Amendment by resisting efforts to restrict the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. While we protect 2nd Amendment rights, we must also expand mental health services for our citizens!
We must support Arizona’s college students by making a post-secondary education more affordable for all students by lowering student loan interest rates. Graduates will be better able to pay off their investment in their education, increase their return on that investment and reduce defaults. Students should be given broader options for income-based payment programs, including making the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program functional.
We must do more to support the University of Arizona and So. Arizona’s other post-secondary education institutions with concerted action encouraging investment in new education technologies, the development of innovative partnerships between universities and colleges with business and industry, and the expansion of online education. As a member of congress, Shay will work diligently to bring research funding to the University, creating opportunities for students, producing entrepreneurial spinoffs, and advancing the state of the art in healthcare, technology, business and social sciences.
We must protect programs critical to our seniors such as Social Security and Medicare. Social Security will not be privatized, and we must defend against any modifications to Medicare that threaten the quality and availability of healthcare for our senior citizens. Over 63 million people, or more than 1 in every 6 U.S. residents, collected Social Security benefits in June 2019. These benefits are modest (averaging $1500 a month or about $17K a year) but are especially critical to elderly women and citizens of color and to the 1 in 4 of American seniors for whom it provides 90% of their income.
It is time to fight the suicide and opioid crises. Because these issues have touched Shay’s family personally, he is committed to increasing support for community organizations whose mission is to help those battling these issues and their families. As happened with Shay’s brother Scott, more than 2 people die in Arizona every day from opioid overdoses and while the Opioid Action Plan is a good start, Arizona needs additional federal resources to combat this ongoing crisis. Shay has lost family members to suicide and will tirelessly fight this national and state crisis – annually, 40,000+ people die in the US by suicide, and nearly 1300 annually in Arizona alone – that’s 1 Arizonan every 7 hours. Shay will dedicate his time in public service to connecting federal, state, local, philanthropic and educational resources to create solutions to this public health crisis.