Chellie On the Record
Supporting Maine's Small Businesses
Chellie has a long history of small business development that includes both owning her own small businesses and advocating for common sense solutions to strengthen small businesses in Maine. During her time in the Maine State Senate, she was co-chair of the Maine Economic Growth Council and proposed a bond issue to provide funds to small businesses. As a Member of Congress, she has supported legislation to provide tax incentives for small business job creation, voted to exempt small businesses from capital gains taxes and voted to authorize $29 billion for small business loans.
Learn more about Chellie's leadership when it comes to fighting for small businesses, and watch the new TV ad, "Small Business" »
Standing up for our veterans
We made a commitment to the men and women who serve our country in uniform, a commitment that we haven’t always lived up to. In Congress I’ve fought to make sure that Maine’s veterans get the benefits and care they deserve. I’ve written and supported legislation to make it easier for veterans suffering from PTSD to get care and ensure that Maine Guard and Reserve retirees get their full pensions. And when a former Togus employee came to me to say that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield had used find print to deny $500,000 in veterans claims, I went straight to the president of the company and demanded that they make good on those claims, and he agreed.
Cracking down on the big banks and credit card companies
One of my most important jobs in Congress is to stand up to protect consumers, families, and small businesses in Maine. That’s why I helped lead the fight to pass a new law to crack down on credit card companies for deceptive lending practices, which have ruined the credit and savings of so many. Now, credit card companies can’t raise your rates whenever they feel like it, they can’t rip you off with hidden fees buried in fine print, and kids can’t get credit cards without parents’ permission.
Our economy lost 8 million jobs when the risky schemes and speculative investments of the big Wall Street firms finally collapsed. It’s time to hold these bad actors accountable and regulate them in a way that will protect us from another disaster. That’s why I fought to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent watchdog agency whose sole mission is to protect consumers and regulate big banks and credit card companies. The CFPB will be able to require credit card companies and big banks to explain their terms in plain language that everyone can understand and do away with fine print and hidden fees.
Cracking down on companies that ship jobs overseas
I know that for too many Maine families times are tough right now and that’s why my top priority is protecting and creating Maine jobs. I’ve worked hard to support economic development at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, in Biddeford’s mill district, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and on Maine’s working waterfronts. In Congress, I fought to end tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and will vote against any unfair trade deals that cost us jobs.
Fighting for Maine manufacturing jobs
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I led a fight to stop wasteful spending on a new jet engine that would take jobs from the Pratt and Whitney plant in Maine and send them to a foreign owned company. Supporting the world class workers at Bath Iron Works and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is also a top priority for me. Both yards have a well deserved reputation for high quality work delivered efficiently, often ahead of schedule and below budget. I believe supporting BIW and PNSY not only protects Maine jobs, but is also the most efficient use of taxpayers’ resources.
Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
I have long been a passionate opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Congress I’ve fought to stop the wasteful spending and bring our troops home. The $7 billion a month we are spending in Afghanistan can better be spent here in this country, reducing the deficit and creating jobs. Even though Democratic leaders, including the President, urged me to vote for supplemental funding for the Afghanistan war, twice I have said no. In Congress, I led efforts to stop the funding and demand that the Administration present a concrete timeline and plan for withdrawal.
A clean energy future
America can build a home-grown solution to our energy problems that that will create good paying manufacturing jobs right here in Maine that can’t be exported, while reducing our dependence on oil. Maine is perfectly positioned to lead this new clean energy revolution, which is why I have fought for programs that promote onshore and offshore wind, tidal power and biomass energy in Maine.
With some of the oldest houses in the country and an overwhelming dependence on home heating oil, staying warm can be a real struggle for many Maine families. That’s why I have worked to bring programs to Maine that help homeowners reduce their heating bills through affordable energy efficiency improvements.
Learn more about Chellie's leadership when it comes to environmental issues here.
Health care reform
This year Congress passed and the President signed a major reform of our health care system. I don’t believe the reform went far enough and we can still do much to improve it—but it’s a start.
The reform law will prevent insurance companies from cancelling policies when you get sick or refusing coverage because of preexisting conditions and allow children to be covered under their parent’s policy until they are 26. The law also requires full coverage of many preventative care procedures.
Standing up for women
I was proud to lead the debate on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which helps bring justice to victims of wage discrimination, and was the first bill President Obama signed after taking office. I also proudly supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, which gives women equal pay for equal work. And I remain strongly opposed to any attempts to limit a woman’s right to choose or reproductive health choices.
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