Priorities

 

For media and resources, please visit dougjones.com/resources.

No matter who you are or where you live, we all want the same things. “One Alabama, for everyone” is more than just a slogan. It’s the core of what Doug is trying to do both in Alabama and in Washington -- bring folks together to make real progress on the things we all care about. That’s what he’s done since the day he was sworn in as Senator, and what he’ll continue to do as long as he serves the people of Alabama in the Senate.

Watch Doug talk about One Alabama here:

 

We’ve already accomplished so much together, but we still have a ways to go. Read more about what Doug’s done during his time in the Senate and about his priorities for the future:

 


22 Bipartisan Bills Passed 

Doug made a promise to the people of Alabama to work across the aisle to get things done, and he’s kept his promise. As Senator, Doug has led or co-led 22 pieces of bipartisan legislation that have been signed into law. He was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce three times in 2020 for his bipartisan voting record, leadership and support of the free enterprise system.

  1. Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act — Drafted with input from a group of engaged high school students, this law requires the review, declassification and release of cold case records related to unsolved criminal civil rights cases to help deliver justice for the victims’ families.
  2. Rural Health Liaison Act — Streamlines communication and efficiency across departments and agencies that serve rural communities to improve the coordination of federal health care resources.
  3. Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act — Removes a significant barrier to federal resources for farmers roughly 60 percent of whom are African-American, who live and work on heirs’ property—land that was often passed down among families—by allowing them to obtain USDA farm numbers.
  4. FUTURE Act — Provides permanent funding for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions of higher education around the country.
  5. Military Widows Tax Elimination Act — Repeals an unfair law that prevented many military spouses from receiving their full Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs survivor benefits.
  6. Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited Act — Creates scholarship programs for members of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) to help address a shortage of pilots in the military.
  7. Rapid Coverage for Coronavirus Vaccines and Treatments Act — Requires insurance companies to fully cover effective coronavirus treatments or vaccines as they become available.
  8. Taxpayer Identity Protection Act — Protects American taxpayers from identity theft tax refund fraud by expanding the IRS’s IP PIN program.
  9. RBIC Advisers Relief Act — Removes unnecessary compliance costs that hindered Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) from their mission of supporting economic growth and creating jobs in rural communities.
  10. Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans Act — Encourages investment, cuts red tape, and helps create jobs by clearing up ambiguity around the definition of high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) loans.
  11. Bill to amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act — Expands grants for low- and moderate-income families to install or maintain wastewater systems, helping address the rural wastewater and sanitation crisis.
  12. Jobs Plus Recovery Act — Supports people recovering from opioid addiction and substance use disorders by providing access to career training and services designed to reduce the likelihood of relapse.
  13. Synthetic Drug Awareness Act — Requires the Surgeon General to report to Congress on the health effects of new psychoactive substances, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl, to help better inform lawmakers’ approach to addressing addiction and drug abuse at the federal level.
  14. Residential Decentralized Wastewater System Improvement Act — Creates grants that will help families in the Black Belt, and in communities across the country facing a sanitation crisis, obtain adequate wastewater infrastructure for their homes.
  15. National FFA Organization's Federal Charter Amendments Act — Updates the Future Farmers of America’s (FFA) charter to ensure that it continues to provide quality agricultural education and programs for students in the 21st century.
  16. Supporting Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act — Makes it easier for the families of the U.S. Marines and other American personnel who were killed in the 1983 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon to gain restitution for the deaths of their loved ones, including the families of 35 victims from Alabama.
  17. Gold Star Families Tax Relief Act (passed unanimously) — Provides tax relief on the survivor benefits received by children who lose a parent during military service.
  18. United States Public Health Service Modernization Act — Ensures that when health care workers are deployed in response to a natural disaster, additional health care professionals are on standby, ready to fill any gaps and to provide continuous care.
  19. Aging Together Act — Establishes a new grant program for activities that improve the health and wellness of our elder Americans.
  20. Nursing Where It’s Needed Act — Creates more incentives for nurses to work in rural and underserved areas, helping address the critical nursing shortages some health care facilities face.
  21. Bill to amend Title 10, U.S. Code to provide for the inclusion of homeschooled students in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) units, ensuring that the 1.5 million American children in home-schooling today can participate in the citizenship and leadership program.
  22. Moratorium on Coronavirus Evictions Act – Passed into law as part of the CARES Act, this legislation established a 120-day moratorium on evictions, fees, and penalties related to the nonpayment of rent for properties that have federally backed mortgage loans. 

Education  

Every child in Alabama deserves access to a quality education, regardless of his or her gender, race, socioeconomic status, or where he or she lives. From pre-K to college to job training and apprenticeships, our students need to be well prepared for the future. This pandemic has magnified many of the challenges Alabamians face in accessing a high quality education. We know the critical role our teachers and our schools play in our communities, and we need to ensure that teachers, students, and parents have the tools, resources and support to prepare our young people for the future.

  • Doug introduced the bipartisan Reopen Schools Safely Act to help Alabama schools and colleges cover the costs of protecting students, teachers and faculty from COVID-19.

  • Doug has championed making the FAFSA application less burdensome so all students have a fair shot at getting a postsecondary education. He introduced bipartisan legislation that would reduce the number of questions from 108 to between 17-30.

  • Doug is dedicated to supporting our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. Alabama is home to 14 HBCUs, more than any other state in the country. Doug is proud to have secured a 30% increase in federal funding for HBCUs over the last two years.

  • Doug reaffirmed his commitment to supporting HBCUs and introduced the bipartisan FUTURE Act, which was signed into law in December 2019. The FUTURE Act permanently renewed funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. The bill will also take an important first step towards simplifying the FAFSA application to make the process less intimidating for students seeking a higher education.

  • To combat the teacher shortage crisis facing rural Alabama and other communities across the country, Doug introduced legislation to help recruit diverse teaching candidates from within their own communities.

  • Doug understands that high school and college students face immense challenges and stressors. He has introduced several bipartisan bills that would give schools and students the necessary resources they need to alleviate these difficulties.

  • Doug is pushing to close the “Homework Gap” by ensuring that every Alabama household has access to high speed internet. Every student should be able to access the internet at their homes, but that’s out of reach for far too many. In Alabama 475,000 people lack access to high-speed internet; 226,000 have no internet access at their home. Access to the internet is such a fundamental necessity of American life that it’s really become not just a need or a privilege, but a right.

TAKE ACTION: ADD YOUR NAME TO STAND WITH DOUG ON EDUCATION

Health care  

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on how connected Alabamians are—that our health depends on our neighbor’s health, that the health of the economy requires a healthy community. We all want access to quality health care we can afford. Every Alabamian deserves high-quality, affordable health care, and we have to protect access to health care for those with pre-existing conditions. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Doug is working across the aisle to expand access to medical care while keeping costs for hard-working Alabama families low.

  • Doug helped pass critical COVID-19 relief packages into law to help save lives and livelihoods, securing crucial funding for Alabama hospitals, businesses and workers.

  • Doug got more resources for hospitals and community health centers into the CARES Act, along with loans and grants for small businesses that made it possible for them to retain their workers and keep their doors open.

  • Doug introduced the bipartisan Nursing Where It’s Needed (WIN) Act, aimed at addressing the nursing shortage in rural and underserved areas. It was passed into law as part of the CARES Act and will incentivize nurses to work in rural and underserved areas.

  • Doug introduced the bipartisan Rapid Coverage For Coronavirus Vaccines And Treatments Act, which mandates that insurance plans cover the costs of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. This legislation was signed into law as part of the CARES Act.

  • Doug introduced the Rural Health Liaison Act, a bill designed to improve rural health care by boosting communication and efficiency. The legislation achieved bipartisan support and was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • In a bipartisan effort with Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, Jones helped secure more robust payouts for Alabama hospitals by fixing the Medicare Wage Index formula, which helps close a decades-old payment gap for our state’s hospitals.

  • Doug remains committed to Medicaid expansion in Alabama, which could bring health care to as many as 340,000 Alabamians and generate much-needed funds for our rural hospitals. Doug has introduced a bill that would reset the clock for states that did not initially expand Medicaid, allowing states like Alabama to enjoy the full benefits of opting into the program.

  • Similarly, Doug is committed to protecting the nearly one million Alabamians who live with pre-existing conditions and whose health care would be jeopardized by a repeal or gutting of the Affordable Care Act. Doug has spoken out against attacks to repeal the law, including the latest partisan lawsuit that would render the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

  • Doug is committed to addressing the disproportionate maternal and infant mortality rates among Black women and their babies. He introduced two bills in the Senate to increase access to maternal care. One of the bills, the Healthy Maternal and Obstetric Medicine (MOM) Act, would expand Medicaid coverage for mothers for one year postpartum. Another bill, the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act would create a new program to decrease implicit bias in medical providers and to provide additional funding to identify high-risk pregnancies.

TAKE ACTION: DEMAND THE SENATE PROTECT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Jobs and the Economy  

We all want the opportunity to earn a living with a good wage and a secure retirement.

We need to build a strong economy for Alabama, one that both attracts new businesses while supporting the industries that have been in our state for generations. Our small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and we have to help them through this pandemic. These businesses provide opportunities for Alabamians to make a living wage and have access to equal opportunity.

  • Doug introduced the Paycheck Security Act to help keep workers on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Doug’s legislation would authorize grants to cover wages up to $90,000 for employees, and would help small businesses cover the costs of rent, mortgages and utilities.

  • After concerns about delays in the distribution of stimulus checks and small business loans, Doug urged the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration to speed up payments to small businesses and workers.

  • Doug has introduced multiple pieces of legislation designed to bring overseas manufacturing jobs back to Alabama and America. Doug introduced the Build Health Care Equipment in America Act to incentivize the reopening of idle factories and put them to use producing critical health supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Doug successfully added his bill incentivizing private investments in American semiconductor manufacturing to the Senate draft of the National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation would help bring semiconductor manufacturing jobs back from overseas (particularly from China).

  • As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, Doug’s work includes common-sense reforms that facilitate access to capital, reduce unnecessary regulations, and support new and growing businesses.

  • Doug supported a bipartisan bill that eases regulatory burdens for small, community banks.

  • As part of an effort to expand and introduce new apprenticeship programs nationwide, Doug is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act.

  • Doug is strongly opposed to the current trade war, which is harming Alabama’s automotive and agricultural industries. Doug is committed to standing up for Alabama’s farmers and manufacturers who are vulnerable to the effects of the high tariffs and has introduced several pieces of legislation to protect Americans from the Administration’s trade policies that hurt auto manufacturers and farmers.

  • Alabama is one of the nation’s most likely states where workers could lose their jobs to automation. In order to train workers for the jobs of tomorrow, Doug introduced the Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act to provide American workers with the tools they need to gain new skills and prepare for new jobs. This legislation would help retrain workers who may lose their jobs to automation.

TAKE ACTION: PROTECT ALABAMA FARMERS AND INDUSTRY

Rural Issues  

With all the chaos in Washington, some politicians lose sight of the issues that plague rural communities—but not Doug Jones. From the pandemic’s ripple effects throughout our state, to the troubles at the Post Office, our rural communities need a strong voice in Washington who puts their interests first. Doug is committed to making sure that no Alabamians are left behind, no matter where they live. From protecting rural hospitals and addressing nursing shortages in rural areas to working to improve rural internet access to taking on the challenges facing our farmers, Doug has a proven record of addressing the needs of rural Alabamians.

  • Rural communities in Alabama need access to high quality, affordable health care, which is why Doug supports expanding Medicaid in Alabama. This would have a tremendous impact on Alabama’s rural hospitals – 88 percent of which were operating in the red and struggling to keep their doors open prior to the pandemic.

  • Doug worked across the aisle to successfully make the case to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to change the unfair Medicare wage index, which disproportionately hurts Alabama’s financially strained hospitals.

  • Doug introduced the SAME Act to give states that haven’t expanded Medicaid the same levels of federal Medicaid matching funds as the states that expanded Medicaid after the passage of the ACA.

  • In order to improve the coordination of federal resources for rural health care, Doug introduced the bipartisan Rural Health Liaison Act, which was signed into law as a part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • Doug’s Nursing Where It’s Needed (WIN) Act to address nursing shortages in rural and underserved areas was signed into law as part of the CARES Act. And in order to address high infant and maternal mortality rates, Doug introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce the number of maternal deaths and improve the quality of care for moms, especially in rural communities, during pregnancy and after childbirth.

  • Doug co-sponsored the bipartisan Broadband Connections For Rural Opportunities Program Act, designed to increase broadband access in rural communities, which increased the USDA rural broadband loan program from $25 million to $350 million annually.

  • Doug also co-sponsored the Community Connect Grant Program Act, included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which allocated $50 million in broadband grant money for rural, underserved households and businesses.

  • Doug was an original cosponsor of the Next Generation In Agriculture Act, which was included in the 2018 Farm Bill, and works with small and upcoming farms to ensure that future generations have the education and support they need to thrive.

  • Doug was an original cosponsor of the Assist Socially Disadvantaged And Veteran Farmers And Ranchers Act, which helps to ensure equitable access to USDA programs for historically underserved farming communities. This became law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • Doug is working to improve the sanitation crisis in the Black Belt, expanding funding for wastewater grant programs, including up to $15,000 for households in rural areas to install and maintain wastewater systems.

ADD YOUR NAME: SAVE RURAL HOSPITALS

Veterans and Military Families  

Those who serve our nation in the armed forces deserve more than our thanks and gratitude. Veterans should have access to the best medical care and benefits possible when returning to civilian life, and Doug is committed to standing up for our veterans and their families to ensure they have the support and resources they need.

  • Doug introduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate the “Widow’s Tax” on veterans’ spouses. For decades, the military Widows Tax prevented military spouses from receiving their full survivor benefits if their family was enrolled in the survivor benefits programs. Doug’s bill received a record number of bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, and his legislation was included in the annual defense authorization bill signed into law by President Trump in December 2019. There are over 2,000 military surviving spouses in Alabama who will benefit from this legislation, and over 67,000 nationwide.

  • Doug also worked to secure paid parental leave for federal employees in the National Defense Authorization Act in December 2019. This change will provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave for over 50,000 federal workers and servicemembers in Alabama.

  • Doug also introduced the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, which provides tax relief on survivor benefits for children who lose a parent during military service. This legislative fix was finally signed into law in December 2019.

  • Following a report that revealed substandard care at VA-run nursing homes–including facilities in Alabama–Doug filed an amendment that requires the VA to publish annual reports on the quality of care in their nursing homes. The amendment was cosponsored by Senator Cassidy (R-LA), and was signed into law by President Trump in 2018.

  • Doug’s bipartisan bill to require Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs to accept homeschooled students was also passed into law in 2019.

ADD YOUR NAME: RESPECT OUR VETERANS

Civil & Human Rights  

We’ve seen an awakening all over this country about the urgent need for equal justice. Alabama’s come a long way since the days of John Lewis marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, but Doug knows there are more bridges yet to cross. Doug is committed to standing up for the rights of all Alabamians and all Americans, as he’s done his entire career. Doug is working to bring people together and combat hate and discrimination of any kind – from protecting the right to vote to advancing civil rights.

  • To help victims of hate crimes seek justice, Doug introduced the bipartisan Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018, cosponsored by Senator Ted Cruz. This unanimously passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Trump in early 2019.

  • Not only did Doug sign on to co-sponsor the bipartisan Equality Act, he also took to the Senate floor in June of 2019 to express his support for this important legislation. The Equality Act would finally guarantee protections for the LGBTQ community from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and other federal programs and services.

  • Doug co-sponsored the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would help protect students from bullying, harassment, and discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Doug co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which extends and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the first piece of legislation to make wage discrimination illegal.

  • Doug was an original co-sponsor of the Deceptive Practices And Voter Intimidation Prevention Act Of 2018, which would make it a federal crime to spread election-related disinformation in an attempt to deter eligible voters from reaching the ballot box.

  • Doug is committed to funding local police departments, and wants to see law enforcement work hand-in-hand with communities to rebuild trust. In order to keep the important national conversation on police accountability and law enforcement reform moving forward, Doug co-sponsored the Justice in Policing Act because we cannot let this historic moment pass.

ADD YOUR NAME: DEMAND THE SENATE PASS THE EQUALITY ACT