Issues

It's not rocket science ... just good progressive policy


Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

If you are innocent of wrongdoing, the United States government should not spy on your phone calls and e-mails. This is a simple belief, rooted in the clear language of the Fourth Amendment:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.”

Yet through the misguided PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act, the NSA has reportedly been gathering the phone records of millions of innocent Americans – including deeply private details such as what numbers you dialed, where you were when you placed a call, and more.  This is wrong-headed and unconstitutional, and it wastes law enforcement resources spying on innocent Americans rather than pursuing the guilty.  

Education

​As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the power of education to transform lives.  As a lawmaker, I understand the potential for education to provide the foundation for lasting economic growth.

We must make the necessary investments in education – from pre-kindergarten through college and beyond – and we must sustain these investments for the long haul.  We must also staunchly oppose those who would take money out of our public schools in the form of vouchers.

Economy

As an educator and a scientist, I know that investing in education, research, and infrastructure are the keys to a stronger, more secure middle class.  These are the investments that kept the American Dream alive in the 20th century – investments such as the GI Bill, which made it possible for a young Frank Lautenberg to go to college, build a business, and join the United States Senate.

But the American Dream, and Sen. Lautenberg’s vision for our country, are under attack in Washington today.  They are threatened by a worldview that gives ever-greater privilege to the ...

Energy

Before I was elected to Congress, I was a research physicist – which meant, more than anything else, that I studied energy:  how it is created, how it is transported, and how we as humans can harness it to run our world.

I served as assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, New Jersey’s largest alternate energy research facility, which is studying how to create clean and near-limitless fusion power.  I also designed and patented a “solar pond” that efficiently captures sunlight and stores heat.

No one serving in the Senate today has this ...

Environment

​As one of the only research scientists in the U.S. Congress, I have fought to advance the overwhelming consensus of my fellow scientists:  that global warming is real, that it is caused by humans, and that it demands immediate action from lawmakers. We can no longer allow Republicans to deny obvious phenomena.  Doing so is hurting our future. 

In 2009, I fought to add strict new limits on greenhouse gases to the House-passed cap-and-trade bill.  As your senator, I will keep fighting every day to see that these limits become law.

Health Care

America’s health care system is one of our greatest strengths and one of our greatest liabilities.  Our doctors are capable of providing the very best care in the world.  Our pharmaceutical companies have created miracle drugs that no other nation could have conceived.  Yet we pay far more for health care than any other nation on the planet, with no measurable payoff in lives prolonged or health improved.  Worse, we leave millions of our citizens uninsured – an appalling situation that is only partially addressed by the Affordable Care Act.

This state of affai ...

Homeland Security

To protect our homeland in the 21st century, we must have with a deep understanding of the science and technology underlying nuclear, chemical, biological, and cyber attacks.  Too often, though, Congress seems to write laws to protect us from the imagined threats we see in Hollywood movies – leading to a policy response that is mismatched to real-world dangers and that imposes serious costs in dollars, lives, and lost civil liberties.

As a former nuclear weapons intelligence analyst for our government, I understand the real threats posed by nuclear weapons.  That’s why ...

Preventing Gun Violence

Every day, more than 80 people are killed by guns.  Some of these are murders; some are suicides; some are accidents.  Each death is a tragedy, and each death stains our national conscience because we as Americans have failed to take the steps necessary to end gun violence.

We must finally require universal background checks before any purchase of a firearm.  We must ban military-style assault rifles, which are weapons of mass murder that have no use in sport or self-defense.  We must establish national gun registration laws, similar to the law already in place in ...

Protecting LGBT Rights

​I believe in equality under the law – period.  In today’s America, protecting LGBT rights is the frontier in our struggle for civil rights for all.

Here’s where I stand.  You should never fear harassment at work or school because of your sexuality.  You should never lose your job because of who you love or how you express your gender.  You should be able to marry the person you choose, and your marriage should be recognized by the federal government and by every state in the nation.

Workers’ Rights

America was built by workers.  Every family home, every country store, every county courthouse, every interstate and rural road was built by an American worker who put in an honest day’s work in pursuit of the American Dream.

If we are to keep the American Dream alive in our time, we must protect the rights of workers to organize for safe working conditions and a secure future.  We must finally pass the Employee Free Choice Act to ensure that collective bargaining remains a fundamental American right.  We must build on New Jersey’s success and guarantee every worker ...

Wall Street

​These days, most stock trades aren’t made by human beings. They’re made by supercomputers that flip stocks in fractions of a second. That isn’t investment.  It’s speculation, helping Wall Street bankers get rich quick. And every dollar the computers win is a dollar you lose.  Even worse, high-speed trading is destabilizing our financial system.  It helped cause the “flash crash” that once destroyed a trillion dollars of wealth in minutes.

Social Security

Social Security has been one of the most successful government programs in U.S. history.  Today more than 44 million seniors benefit from the program , and without it, 21 million of them would be in poverty.   In New Jersey alone, it is estimated that 357,000 seniors are kept out of poverty by the program.

Climate Change

Climate change not only poses a major challenge we must confront as an international community but also a problem the residents of each state, including New Jersey, must confront. Superstorm Sandy is among the latest in a series of extreme weather events that have hit the United States – including devastating wildfires in Colorado, severe tornadoes across the Midwest, and record-breaking temperatures that triggered massive droughts in 2011-2012.