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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 6

Photo of Doris Matsui

Doris Matsui

U.S. Representative
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Support clean energy technology and minimize flood risk in Sacramento.
  • Improve access to affordable healthcare and expand mental health safety nets.
  • Ensure equal access to education, reduce student loan debt, and invest in STEM.

Experience

Biography

Congresswoman Doris Matsui has represented the city of Sacramento and its surrounding areas since 2005.  As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she serves on the Health, Environment and Climate Change, and Consumer Protection and Commerce subcommittees and is the Vice Chair on the Communications and Technology subcommittee. She is committed to strengthening Sacramento’s flood protection, ensuring quality, affordable health care for all, promoting a clean energy economy, and creating a vibrant region where families can live, work, and play.

Sitting at the confluence of two rivers, the Sacramento area has one of the highest flood risks in the country.  Congresswoman Matsui is a stalwart champion for increased flood protection, levee improvements, keeping flood insurance rates affordable, and rebuilding smarter and more resiliently in the face of a changing climate. She was at the forefront of the effort to build the Joint Federal Project at Folsom Dam by working to secure $1 billion for this critical project that became the model of cooperation and efficiency. In addition, she worked rigorously to federally authorize the Natomas Levee Project. More recently, the Congresswoman was instrumental in securing $1.8 billion last year to help strengthen the Sacramento region’s levees and raise Folsom Dam. She also fights to preserve the region’s water rights and resources within the ongoing Bay Delta Conservation Plan. With climate change being a primary cause of more intense and unpredictable weather patterns her role in securing funding for flood control and infrastructure projects is even more critical. 

Congresswoman Matsui passionately works to increase public transportation options in Sacramento. She is engaged in the planning and execution of an intermodal transportation center in downtown Sacramento and secured federal funds to extend Sacramento’s light rail system, including helping to provide critical federal resources to link Sacramento and West Sacramento. She also helped secure passage in the U.S. House of autonomous vehicle technology in the 115th Congress and plans to continue to lead in the effort to safely deploy intelligent and automated transportation technologies that will transform how we conduct business, transact and travel.

She has worked tirelessly to improve access to high-quality, affordable, accessible health care and was instrumental in crafting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. She is a leader in Congress on the rapidly growing issue of telehealth and is the author of the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2014. A $1.1 billion federal investment, the Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration will revitalize the community-based mental health system by creating a network of high-quality, evidence-based Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in communities across the country. Congresswoman Matsui is the co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Aging and Families, where she addresses the full spectrum of issues that affect seniors, from retirement security to long term care. Congresswoman Matsui also serves on the bipartisan Telehealth Working Group, helping to open up reimbursement for telehealth within the Medicare program.

Congresswoman Matsui has been a leader in Congress on promoting policies that address the climate crisis.  Under her leadership as a co-chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), the Caucus has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable infrastructure, tax incentives for clean energy, and blocking harmful directives from the Trump Administration that would undermine protections for human health and the environment. She has also authored a number of legislative proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions while boosting clean energy manufacturing and financing to help smaller clean energy companies grow and create jobs. This includes commonsense new legislation, H.R. 978 that preserves higher fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards as well as a bill that ensures our healthcare system is ready and able to rapidly respond to the climate crisis.  She also sponsored legislation that allows her constituents to participate in the clean energy economy through specifically designated treasury bonds that fund renewable energy and energy efficiency programs at the Department of Energy. Thanks in large part to her efforts, the Sacramento region has been transforming into a clean-tech capitol, with over 200 companies in the region.

Congresswoman Matsui is also a leader on technology and internet policy. She is a Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Spectrum Caucus, having authored laws that facilitated record-breaking spectrum auctions. She continues to focus on promoting the deployment of next-generation wireless technologies, such as 5G. She is also a leading proponent of net neutrality and ensuring access to the free and open Internet, previously writing legislation that would prohibit so-called Internet fast lanes from harming consumers, small businesses and innovators. As the co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional High Tech Caucus, she advocates for policies to expand the innovative use of technology across every sector of the economy. She also is an ardent supporter of advancing STEM education, especially for women and girls.

Because she has always felt the arts connect innovation with creativity and passion, Congresswoman Matsui has been a strong supporter of the arts not only in the Sacramento community but nationwide. She currently serves as a Member of the Board of Regents for the Smithsonian. She is also on the Council of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Council of the National Museum of American History. She has previously served on the National Symphony Board and the Arena Stage Board.

Before coming to Congress, Doris Matsui served as Chairwoman on the Board for the KVIE public television station in Sacramento, and in leadership capacities for the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento Children's Home, and the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra.

After growing up on a farm in California’s Central Valley, Congresswoman Matsui met her husband, the late Congressman Bob Matsui, while attending the University of California at Berkeley.  During President Clinton’s first term in office, she served as one of eight members of the President’s transition board.  She later served for six years as Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Doris Matsui:

I remain hopeful that we can move a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will modernize our highways, dams, and bridges for the 21st Century. In 2013, I voted for the Water Resources, Reform, and Development Act which received bipartisan support to authorize a variety of water infrastructure projects that protect against flooding and provide other improvements.  In addition, we must be aware of the impact of climate change on our infrastructure. Climate change is real, and the number and severity of California wildfires are evidence of that. That’s why I am leading the way with Congressman Mike Thompson on legislation to update our power grid and transmission systems so that our crumbling energy infrastructure will not cause widespread wildfires. It’s also why we need big structural changes to our economy. I support the Green New Deal because it is a bold vision for what our future economy could and should be – 100 percent carbon free.   

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Doris Matsui:

Our challenge is not only to expand coverage, we must do something to address costs. Health care is unaffordable for too many Americans. The Trump Administration has rolled back regulations and promoted things like junk insurance plans, which can discriminate based on health status and leave consumers exposed to high unexpected medical bills. The protections we established in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) help keep Sacramentans healthy and I have fought hard against attempts to eliminate them. We’ve reinstated our own individual mandate, banned the sale of junk insurance plans, expanded enrollment outreach and made ACA exchange plans more affordable. 

 

To address our nation’s mental health crisis, I introduced the Excellence In Mental Health & Addiction Treatment Expansion Act. This bill would increase the number of states that may conduct Medicaid demonstration programs to improve access to community mental health services.

 

While those living in cities like Sacramento probably live near a healthcare provider, we know that is not always the case in rural areas. To ensure that no one in rural areas is left behind, I introduced the Telemental Health Expansion Act. Telemedicine is a promising new technology that will improve access and reduce healthcare costs. I will push hard to see that this bill becomes law. 

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from Doris Matsui:

 

In July of 2019, I traveled with my colleagues to Ursula Central Processing Center in Texas, and I was sickened by what I saw. Children were fenced in cages. They had hives and rashes – many were unaccompanied. In the adult facility, there were no showers or drinking water. The U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) is 

only allowed to detail asylum seekers for 72 hours, yet many were held there for over 60 days. We need to remember that these are people – human beings like us. We cannot stand by and allow anyone to be treated like this by our government. 

 

I support legislation that provides alternative and humane pathways for immigrants to come to the United States, as well as measures that support the stabilization of the regions they traveled from. I cosponsored the Dream and Promise Act last summer to create a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, protecting California’s 200,000 Dreamers and 70,000 individuals with Temporary Protected Status. I also called for an end to private prisons that profit off of the pain of innocent families.

 

I cosponsored the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, requiring CBP to conduct initial health screenings by a medical professional and set medical care standards for detained undocumented immigrants. 

 

I cosponsored the Homeland Security Improvement Act to provide oversight of border security activities and improve CBP and ICE training for officers and agents. I also cosponsored the Keep Families Together Act that limits the separation of families at or near ports of entry to the United States. 

Questions from The Sacramento Bee (3)

In an era of polarized politics, which issues show the most promise for bipartisan agreement?
Answer from Doris Matsui:

Voters will not and should not accept partisan-gridlock. I’ve worked hard to advance bipartisan solutions to address some of our country’s most pressing issues that affect people right here in Sacramento. Over the last two years, I have secured more than $2 billion for flood control projects in Sacramento. I also remain hopeful that we can move a bipartisan infrastructure bill that will modernize our highways, dams, and bridges for the 21stCentury. And, we must do more to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs and the President has indicated a willingness to act. We need to hold him to his word. 

Should the federal government help California with its homelessness problem? If so, how? If not, why not?
Answer from Doris Matsui:

The State of California is in a state of emergency when it comes to homelessness. Tackling this issue head on requires us to be sober and realistic in our expectations but ambitious and multi-faceted in our approach. We need the federal government to be a good faith partner with state and local governments on this issue, and unfortunately under President Trump, he has continued to disparage, mock, and stigmatize homelessness and mental health issues. Homelessness in our city and state won’t be solved in a year or a decade. It will take time and dedication. It will take a coordinated wrap-around social services approach to be a safety-net and springboard for those experiencing homelessness. 

Should federal income taxes be reduced again? If so, for whom? If not, why not?
Answer from Doris Matsui:

Unfortunately, the republican tax plan passed under the previous Congress hurt California families by subjecting them to double taxation – federally taxing money paid to states, counties, and cities through taxes. That’s why I voted to repeal the SALT tax deduction cap for the next two years – boosting the Golden State’s cap to $20,000 after the first two years. This will put money back in the pockets of Sacramento families. 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $611,909

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
American Crystal Sugar
$10,000
2
American Cable Association
$9,000
3
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and employees
$7,000
4
Honeywell International
$6,000
5
Employees of Sutherland Capital Management
$5,600

More information about contributions

By State:

District of Columbia 37.89%
California 28.20%
Virginia 9.35%
Pennsylvania 3.10%
Other 21.46%
37.89%28.20%9.35%21.46%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.21%)
Small contributions (0.79%)
99.21%

By Type:

From organizations (69.44%)
From individuals (30.56%)
69.44%30.56%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

During her time in Congress, Doris has accomplished much for the Sacramento region, for Sacramento families and for the nation as a whole.  As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she crafts legislation to address critical issues facing our nation today, including health care, energy policy, technology, consumer protection, food safety, environmental quality and American manufacturing.  Through her committee work, and through legislation, Doris has been able to support local clean-tech businesses and health care organizations, helping create good jobs for Sacramentans.

The geography of Sacramento and its surrounding areas results in the region having one of the highest risks of flooding in the country.  Doris has worked to improve our levees, increase flood protection, and make it affordable for residents to have flood protection insurance.  She has been a fierce champion for the region’s flood protection priorities, securing hundreds of mllions of dollars in federal funding, project authorizations, and changes to policies that will help protect Sacramento for years to come.

Doris has always worked to make health care affordable and accessible to all.  As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she helped craft the Affordable Care Act, and has worked tirelessly to ensure that residents understand their rights and options for health care.  She is also a long-time supporter and advocate for mental health.  She authored bipartisan legislation, the Excellence in Mental Health Act, to expand the mental health safety net.  This legislation was one of the few bills that passed Congress in 2014 and was signed into law, a major victory that will invest an additional $1 billion in mental health care across the nation.

Doris recognizes that the technology policies that are enacted today, will shape our economy and our world tomorrow.  She is at the forefront of the fight in Congress to expand access to affordable high-speed Internet services, and is a leading advocate for preserving net neutrality, ensuring the Internet stays open and free for all.

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