Michael believes a resilient agricultural sector is vital to a strong economy. This is certainly true in Colorado, where farming and ranching are a proud tradition and generate more than $40 billion in economic output each year. As a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Michael is working to bring the diverse voices of Colorado to the debate in Washington.
Michael believes in an all-of-the-above strategy that transitions Colorado to cleaner sources of energy while growing the economy. He recognizes this moment in our country as an opportunity to modernize our energy system, transition to low-cost renewable sources of energy, increase energy independence, and provide reliable and affordable energy for every American.
Michael knows climate change is not a problem we can push off to the next generation. He believes in a comprehensive approach to combat climate change that includes commonsense actions to reduce carbon pollution and increase the resiliency of our communities, all while growing the economy.
Michael believes protecting public lands and wild places is an integral part of Colorado’s heritage. It’s why he brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to protect the Hermosa Creek watershed, and why he has stood up for sacred places and critical wildlife habitat across the country. From hiking to hunting, Michael also recognizes that outdoor recreation is vital to Colorado’s economy.
Michael believes the economy does best when everyone has an opportunity to contribute to and share in our country’s prosperity. Over the last 40 years, America has continued to thrive as the most innovative, dynamic economy in the world, and Colorado has been at the forefront of our economic leadership. At the same time, the basic American bargain—if you work hard, you can get ahead—has eroded for too many people.
As the former superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Michael understands the importance of a high-quality education to a child's chances of success. Yet more often than not, our schools are failing to prepare the next generation for the 21st century. In the Senate, Michael works to transform public education to give schools more flexibility to innovate and to modernize higher education so students are not burdened by crushing debt.
Michael believes we need to work together and make the tough decisions necessary to put our nation's fiscal house in order. Since his first days in the Senate in 2009, he has been leading the fight for a comprehensive, bipartisan solution to our nation's unsustainable long-term deficits. Michael has pushed for a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and demonstrates that we are all willing to make the sacrifices necessary to cut spending while paying for the critical investments our country needs to succeed—just as our parents and grandparents did for us.
As a member of the Senate Committees on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) and Finance, Michael is working to make our nation's health care system more responsive to the needs of families in Colorado. Michael believes every American should be covered with an affordable, high-quality health care plan. To accomplish this, he is fighting to continue the progress made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while also working to decrease costs, support rural communities, invest in research and innovation, and fight the opioid epidemic.
Michael knows our broken immigration system hobbles our economy, reduces our global competitiveness, and keeps millions of hardworking families living in the shadows. He is fighting for commonsense solutions that reflect two bedrock American values: we are a nation that respects the rule of law, and we are a nation of immigrants.
Michael firmly believes in equal rights for all people, no matter where they come from, what they look like, how they worship, or whom they love. He proudly stands on the side of justice and equality, ready to fight to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly. Michael is also advancing policies in Congress to protect voting rights, improve the justice system, and end the gun violence epidemic.
Michael believes in a strong, thoughtful security policy that advances U.S. interests abroad while protecting our nation at home. In an increasingly connected world, threats to our nation’s security are often global. Events on the other side of the world can affect the economic and physical security within our borders. Whether defending against the threat of terrorism, cyberattacks, weapons of mass destruction, or climate change, Michael believes we must use all of our foreign policy tools to strengthen our national security.
Even though Colorado has been a national leader in growth, job creation, and innovation during Michael’s time in the Senate, too many rural communities have not shared fully in that success. Michael believes our nation’s long-term prosperity depends on a thriving rural America and that we have an obligation to support locally-driven efforts to maintain the health and heritage of Colorado’s rural communities.
Colorado is home to over 400,000 veterans, and Michael is committed to making our state the best place for servicemembers, veterans, and their families to work, live, and retire. Michael believes veterans deserve timely access to high-quality care in the manner that makes sense for them. Too often, veterans are prevented from accessing their full benefits because of outdated regulations and an unaccountable bureaucracy. Michael has worked across the aisle to introduce commonsense reforms, making it easier for veterans and their families to receive the care they deserve.
Like many Americans, Michael knows that Washington is broken, and he has worked since 2009 to make Congress more functional. Michael has fought to hold lawmakers accountable to their promises and the rule of law. He supports overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and placing commonsense limits on campaign spending. Michael also believes that democracy depends on transparency and public access to information, and has lobbied federal agencies to swiftly comply with the Freedom of Information Act.