CAMPAIGN
ISSUES

Jobs

Nothing is more important than ensuring every hardworking Michigander can make a living. Gretchen believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to make a good living in the town they grew up in and that no one should have to move to find work with all of the possibilities here at home for new and revitalized business.

It used to be that people around here could get a job that paid a decent wage and had benefits, a job that meant people could afford a few weekends a year at a cabin at the Lake. Bad trade deals, automation and outsourcing have hurt our way of life. We can get it back, but we have to be smarter about job training. We need to grow jobs by making it easier to open small businesses, diversifying our job market with high-tech and green jobs, and expanding local trade schools and apprenticeships. We can reward businesses large and small for investing in local products and support community college programs that train students in growing technical fields.

Congressman Walberg has voted for every bad trade deal that has come up during his time in Congress, he even agreed that “outsourcing is necessary and good for our economy.” He is just plain wrong.

While Gretchen was working to attract new companies and to revitalize downtown into one of the best small towns in America, Walberg was taking campaign contributions from Wall Street and putting their profits over creating jobs in Michigan. Gretchen has actually cut red tape to help small businesses in Saline. When new business came to town, she would bring everyone around the table to make sure that any barriers could be addressed at the same time. From small business like the local florist downtown to international investments from companies like Liebherr, Gretchen has always found new ways to bring jobs to her hometown.

It’s time we have someone like Gretchen standing up for us in Washington and fighting to create opportunity at home, not overseas. In Congress, Gretchen will stand with working families against politicians like Tim Walberg who put their donors ahead of the people they were elected to represent.

The wealthy and well connected have a Congress that fights for them already. I’ll be a Congresswoman who fights for you, your family, and what’s best for our country.
– Gretchen Driskell

Healthcare, Social Security, and Medicare

Every Michigan family deserves the security of knowing they will never go without affordable healthcare for their children and themselves. We cannot afford more overhauls to our healthcare system that place the burden on hard-working families. We have to protect our seniors and protect every worker who has paid into our systems for decades. Gretchen will work tirelessly to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare, including opposing efforts to raise the Medicare and Social Security eligibility age.

Congressman Walberg voted in favor of the ACHA, which increases prices, premiums, and copays for everyone; even people who already have insurance. It really hikes prices for people age 50 and older. The AARP calls it “harmful legislation,” that would mean “increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs.”

Time and again, Congressman Walberg has demonstrated his hostility to Social Security, calling it a ponzi scheme and voting for a budget which would recklessly phase out Social Security and Medicare as we know it, shifting costs to seniors and the sick.

Gretchen believes we have to do everything we can to lower the cost of healthcare for all Americans, including lowering the astronomical cost of prescription drugs. The current Walberg-backed bill hurts people in Michigan. We deserve better.

“Whether it’s opposing bad trade deals or protecting Social Security and Medicare, I’ll do what’s right – not just what the corporate special interests want. We’ve had enough of the already.”
-Gretchen Driskell

Trade

As mayor of Saline, Gretchen saw firsthand what happens when Congress says yes to bad trade deals. We cannot afford to see more businesses and manufacturers shut down and take jobs away from our hometowns. For too long, the middle class has suffered from the decisions of people in Washington who choose special interests and Wall Street brokers over job creation here at home. Congressman Walberg has voted for every trade deal that’s ever come in front of him without worrying what that vote does to his constituents. Gretchen stood against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threatened to outsource Michigan jobs and as your Congresswoman, she’ll stand against any deal that takes good paying jobs away from Michigan.

Over his long career, Congressman Walberg has put the special interests that fund his campaigns ahead of working families by voting for every foreign trade deal he’s had the chance to in Congress; including the Colombia Trade Agreement, South Korea Trade agreement, Panama Trade Agreement, and the Peru Trade Agreement, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. Walberg once said that NAFTA created jobs–when it actually cost Michigan 43,600 jobs. Congressman Walberg has called outsourcing “necessary and good” for the American economy; showing how completely out of touch he is with Michigan.

Gretchen, on the other hand, knows how difficult it is for families when the jobs they depend on get cut or shipped overseas for lower wages. She worked hard to keep the former Ford auto plant open in Saline during the economic downturn and ensured that plant kept providing local jobs even as it changed management. She’ll never back down from protecting our jobs and protecting every Michigander’s right to make a living in their community.

I’m sick and tired of being told that the next trade deal will be different. It’s time to stop outsourcing American jobs and start creating them instead.
– Gretchen Driskell

Education

Gretchen understands that a strong economy requires an excellent public school system that prepares our children to be successful in the 21st century economy, regardless of their background or zipcode. We have to invest in our children and in Michigan’s future. This starts with investment in our children’s earliest years through early childhood education and through high quality public schools. But it’s more than that. We need to bring back shop classes, vocational training, and basic business education to our high schools so that everyone learns the value of working with your hands and has the knowhow to open their own business.

A fundamental piece of investing in Michigan’s public education system starts with expanding access to skills-based training that allows Michigan students and workers to make a living in whatever way they choose. We need to start treating vocational training and technical skills with the respect they deserve. In Congress, she will continue to advocate for public education and ensure that our schools and teachers have the resources and support they need to provide an excellent education for our children.

Finally, we have to address the financial burden of a secondary education. Too many families are struggling under the burden of college loans or believe a four year education is out of reach due to skyrocketing costs. We have to ensure that every Michigan student who wants to pursue a college degree has affordable access to higher education and that no child should receives fewer opportunities because of their circumstances.

As mayor of Saline, Gretchen made having good public schools a top priority. While Congressman Walberg has voted to slash education funding at all levels, Gretchen has been a longtime advocate of ideas to make higher education more affordable while preparing our students for careers and encouraging them to stay and use those talents here in Michigan as jobs open up in the skilled trades. When our children succeed, our communities succeed. If we invest in public education, we’ll see more local graduates building businesses and creating jobs right here at home. In Congress, Gretchen will work ensure that every Michigan child has a chance to succeed.

“Bad trade deals are a sweetheart deal for special interests and a raw deal for our workers. We’ve got to stop them.”

I’ll fight for workers and against bad trade deals. Period.”

– Gretchen Driskell