Priorities

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:

 


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.

  • Doug’s push for better rural broadband access is closely tied with education. He remains adamant that internet access is key to ending the “homework gap” between rural and urban school districts – and allowing rural students to be able to access the same resources online as their urban counterparts. 

  • Doug is dedicated to supporting our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. Alabama boasts 15 HBCUs, more than any other state in the country. Doug is proud to have helped secure a 14% increase in federal funding for HBCUs in the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill, bringing funding from $244.7 million in 2017 to $279.6 in 2018.

  • Doug reaffirmed his commitment to supporting HBCUs and introduced the bipartisan FUTURE Act, which reauthorizes funding for all minority-serving higher education institutions and provides continued support for HBCUs, whose future funding faced an uncertain future.

  • In December 2019, Doug’s bipartisan bill – the FUTURE Act – was signed into law and permanently renewed funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions. The FUTURE Act will also increase Pell Grant funding and take an important first step towards simplifying the FAFSA application to make the process less intimidating for students seeking a higher education.

  • Doug also co-sponsored the Save The Internet Act, which seeks to reinstate net neutrality and safeguard a free and open internet.

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

Health care  

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 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 Senator 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 cosponsored the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act, which would provide federal agencies with the resources to treat opioid addiction and help those recovering from substance abuse disorder effectively re-enter the workforce.

  • Along with the nation as a whole, Alabama has clear racial disparities in maternal health and maternal mortality. Doug is working to address the maternal mortality crisis and co-sponsored Maternal Care Access And Reducing Emergencies Act.  

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. These businesses provide opportunities for Alabamians to make a living wage and have access to equal opportunity.

  • 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, it’s easy for politicians to lose sight of the issues that plague rural communities. Doug is committed to making sure 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, which would have a tremendous impact on Alabama’s rural hospitals – 88 percent of which are operating in the red and struggling to keep their doors open.

  • 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, which would ensure that holdout states receive the same levels of federal Medicaid funding as the states that have already 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 also introduced the Nursing Where It’s Needed (WIN) Act to address nursing shortages in underserved areas. 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 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 deserve 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 deceased service member was enrolled in any additional 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 passed by Congress 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 workers in Alabama.

  • Doug also introduced the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, which would provide tax relief on survivor benefits for children who lose a parent during military service.

  • 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.

ADD YOUR NAME: RESPECT OUR VETERANS

Civil & Human Rights  

For his entire career, Doug has been committed to standing up for the rights of all Alabamians and all Americans. 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. Doug believes that no one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.

  • 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.

ADD YOUR NAME: DEMAND THE SENATE PASS THE EQUALITY ACT