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Lloyd Doggett

He is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Health, working to lower the costs of prescription drugs and make healthcare more accessible and affordable. He also serves on the Select Revenue Subcommittee. In addition, he is a member of the House Budget Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation. A progressive champion for those without a lobbyist

He was born, raised, and educated in Austin – the only place he has ever called home. After graduating at the top of his class at UT Austin’s College of Business Administration, where he also served as student body president, he graduated with honors from UT’s School of Law. It was his untiring work ethic that distinguished his 11 years of service in the Texas Senate.

He worked to keep public education affordable for all and opposed deficit financing schemes, supporting “pay as you go” budgeting believing you can care for people and be careful with their tax dollars. He authored the Texas Sunset Act, requiring periodic review to modify or abolish ineffective state laws and bureaucracies. He also authored the law that created the Texas Commission on Human Rights to prohibit discrimination.

Elected in 1988 to serve as Justice to the Texas Supreme Court, he wrote opinions supporting the right to a trial by jury and authored an important rule bolstering the public’s access to information.

Lloyd Doggett served as Chair of the Supreme Court Task Force on Judicial Ethics and was recognized as an “Outstanding Judge in Texas” by the Mexican-American Bar of Texas, awarded the James Madison Award from the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, and received the First Amendment Award from the National Society of Professional Journalists

Doggett’s wife, Libby, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education during President Obama’s Administration. They have two daughters: Lisa, an Austin physician; and, Cathy, who works in education. The Doggetts have four grandchildren, Ella, Clara, Zayla, and Canyon.

While serving in Congress, Rep. Doggett has sought to do the most for those with the least, those who cannot afford a lobbyist. The awards he has received reflect his commitment. Just a few examples include:

In 2021, the Capital Area Progressive Democrats awarded Doggett the Emma S. Barrientos “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In 2021, Austin Chronicle readers awarded Doggett with his 12th “Best in Austin” award. In 2018, the Commissioned Officers Association of the United States Public Health Service gave him its “Public Health Leadership” award. In 2016, he received the AARP Champion Legislative Leadership Award for his efforts to preserve seniors’ access to healthcare. He earlier received the national AARP Legislative Achievement Award for his leadership on Medicare. And for his work ensuring families have access to health care, he received awards from the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers.

In 2015, for his leadership on issues important to all children, Rep. Doggett was awarded the “Congressional Champion for Real and Lasting Change” Award from Save the Children. He has also been named “Champion of Children” by the First Focus Campaign, a national, bipartisan child advocacy group, and recognized by the National Children’s Alliance. In 2011, he received the American Bar Association’s Justice Award for his work on legislation that assists with funding for legal services to the disadvantaged. He also received the “Legislator of the Year” award by Voices for Adoption for his work on his bipartisan Child Family Services Improvement Act, which the President signed into law.

In 2006, for his work protecting the environment, Doggett was honored by the Texas League of Conservation Voters with its inaugural “Environmental Champion” award. The same year, for his efforts on behalf of small business and economic development, the Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce honored Doggett with its Business Advocate of the Year in government award.

Criminal Justice Reform

In 2020, millions of Americans joined together as one voice, to protest racial injustice and make it clear that Black lives matter. I am an original sponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House but remains blocked by the Republican obstruction in the Senate.

In 2018, with my support, Congress passed the First Step Act to reform federal sentencing guidelines and invest in rehabilitation efforts, including vocational and job readiness training, addiction treatment, and trauma care services. But as it was named, this was merely a first step.

Our criminal justice system is far too broken to freeze at the First Step. Sentencing guidelines still tie the hands of judges and disproportionately impact communities of color. For-profit companies still own much of our prison system as well as detention facilities separating immigrant families and abusing young children. As part of our commitment to criminal justice reform, we must ensure the safety and fair and humane treatment of those who are in prison or detained.

Helping Small Businesses and Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

Small businesses are the driving force in our Nation’s economy and we need to clear the highway for them, I have supported legislation making it easier for small businesses to raise capital and cut some of the red tape that makes it harder for start-ups to get off the ground.

I have voted against tax schemes that favor multinationals at the expense of small businesses—I seek a level playing field.

These centers have aided thousands of small businesses. The New Markets Tax Credit is another important tool for attracting capital to underserved communities that badly need it. As a member of the Congressional STEM Education Caucus, I know the key role that science, technology, engineering, and math play in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader globally.

Finally, on behalf of small business and entrepreneurs locally, I work to obtain federal funding to supplement important local efforts. I voted for several coronavirus relief packages that are providing support for our local small businesses.

Supporting Education

Students should be able to receive all the education for which they are willing to work. We need a stronger commitment to education from pre-K to post-grad. Our economy and democracy depend on it.

During the pandemic, students have experienced many challenges. I worked with my Democratic colleagues to secure federal funding to public elementary, secondary schools and universities to help cushion the pandemic’s blow.

Students’ futures are at stake. The cost of higher education continues to grow higher and higher, and if Republicans have their way, the amount of student financial assistance will shrink until it disappears. Between 2004 and 2012, the average Texas student debt balance grew by 61 percent. This must change.

I authored the successful American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) that provides up to $10,000 over four years to reimburse higher education expenses for students and their families. For the first time since higher education tax credits were created, my tax cut expanded the definition of a “qualified education expense” to include textbooks, making them more affordable. I also introduced a bill removing a major financial and logistical barrier to students securing higher education opportunities. My Tax Free Pell Grants Act expands the usage of Pell Grants on a tax-free basis and improves coordination with the AOTC.

As a strong advocate for student debt reduction, my work has resulted in simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and their families may now use earlier tax data to complete the FAFSA, and the form is now available in October instead of January. These improvements mean that applications may be filed months earlier than previously possible, making applying for aid easier and more reliable. Recognizing the need for further simplification, I introduced the Equitable Student Aid Access Act, which proposes important changes to the federal aid model.

I remain a strong supporter – and sponsor – of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act.” Senator Warren, a former UT Law professor, is a friend committed to reform. Her student loan bill would have directed the Secretary of Education to refinance the unpaid principal, accrued unpaid interest, and late charges on some Direct Loans and Education Loans. Participation would be fully voluntary, and would have been paid for by closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest few.

Ensuring Retirement Security

Your retirement nest egg faces many threats. I am working to ensure seniors can enjoy a safe and healthy retirement that they worked a lifetime to earn. AARP honored me with its Champion Legislative Leadership Award for my efforts to strengthen seniors’ access to healthcare.In the wake of the 1929 stock market crash and bank failures, President Franklin Roosevelt actually understood how to “Make America Great Again.” It wasn’t through stirring hate or fear mongering; he didn’t settle for the “every person for themself” approach. Instead, he established that pillar of retirement safety, Social Security. In more than eight decades, Social Security has never been a day late or a dollar short.

Despite these benefits, the drive to dismantle Social Security remains a real threat. Some see privatization as an option, a tantalizing prize for a host of Wall Street financial interests. But privatizing will only reduce solvency and endanger benefits for millions of current beneficiaries.

My longstanding efforts to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards were finally successful. The Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act will ensure more seniors are protected from identity theft.

Lowering the Price of Prescription Drugs

Because of pharmaceutical price gouging, a diagnosis of cancer or other dreaded disease or condition is too often a prognosis for financial ruin or hardship, even for those who have insurance. I have made lowering the price of prescription drugs a top priority as Chairman of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee. My first hearing as Chair tackled the topic of rising drug costs, and I continue to hold hearings and conduct oversight on this pressing issue. I authored the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act, the most comprehensive and bold prescription drug reform legislation in Congress, which has been endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and dozens of consumer groups. At Senator Sanders’s request, I also filed companion legislation to his Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act and have partnered with him for years in working to rein in Big Pharma monopoly power. I also founded and chair the Prescription Drug Task Force, which is working to stop prescription drug price gouging like the outrageous hike in the cost of EpiPens.

I have filed several other bills to shed light on the cost of development and pricing practices, to end pay-for-delay deals, and filed a bill with Senator Warren to ensure reasonable prices on taxpayer-funded drugs.

As pharmaceutical drug prices continue to soar, we need federal legislation to reform the broken system of incentives and loopholes that allow companies to get away with sky-high prices. Partnering with Senator Warren, I have urged the President to use his existing legal authority to provide much-needed relief. For example, when pharmaceutical companies use taxpayer-funded research to develop budget-busting drugs, the Administration should use existing law to ensure that people are given access to the medicine at a fair, reasonable price. After all, an unaffordable drug is 100% ineffective.

Achieving a Pro-Family Immigration Policy

During the Trump years, my vote was always: not one more dime for Trump’s wretched anti-immigrant policies.

We are a nation of immigrants and immigration has always made us stronger. Immigration reform will grow our economy as more individuals can fully participate in our economy and more students complete their education. It will also continue to culturally enrich our state and country. Passing comprehensive immigration reform should have been accomplished years ago, but remains stalled with the Republican hold in Congress and the White House. In addition to blocking progress on the Dream and Promise Act, Republicans have introduced a string of anti-immigrant bills. As a consistent sponsor of the Dream and Promise Act, I am fighting not only for a secure future for these Americans in all but a piece of paper, but also for broader immigration justice for the many more who have been barred from applying for citizenship for far too long.

As we work to rectify the injustices of Trump’s cruel and inhuman treatment of immigrants, we must keep hope alive in our work striving for a just, humane immigration system.

Protecting Vulnerable Children

As one of the senior Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee, I successfully authored the “Protect Our Kids Act,” which created the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect. After holding its first field hearing in San Antonio at my request, the Commission held field hearings around the country to create a coordinated national strategy to ensure every child has a happy, healthy upbringing and earlier this year, released its comprehensive report. For my efforts, I was honored with the Congressional Champion for Real and Lasting Change Award from Save the Children. I was horrified by the Trump Administration’s decision to tear children from their mothers at the border, treating young infants whose families were legally seeking asylum with intentional cruelty. I vigorously fought family separation as a policy, and I worked to respond to many of the heartbreaking individual stories which came to me from the border. Our humanity and compassion toward vulnerable children should know no borders.

Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes and Policing Wall Street

I have been a strong advocate of tax reform, including tax law simplification and protecting individuals and small businesses from bearing the burden dodged by multinational corporations.

I voted against the Trump-GOP tax scheme because it hurt middle-class families and gave giant multinationals tax breaks for shipping jobs abroad and hiding profits in offshore tax havens. The Joint Committee on Taxation – Congress’ official, nonpartisan tax scorekeeper – found in the first year after the Republican tax law multinationals paid an effective tax rate of just 7.8%. That’s far less than the percent paid by a teacher, firefighter, or nurse.

To level the playing field, I authored legislation – the “No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing” Act – to ensure big corporations do not get a tax break for shipping jobs overseas and to close the loopholes that let multinationals book profits from selling to American consumers in an offshore haven. President Biden included key elements of my bill in his Build Back Better Act to end these incentives for outsourcing, making the tax code fairer for workers and businesses in the United States.

I am a strong supporter of the expanded Child Tax Credit, which lessens the tax burden for working families and has helped to lift so many children out of poverty. We passed this relief as part of the American Rescue Plan, and it’s already slashed child poverty by almost 30%. These are the investments we can make in our future by requiring multination corporations and the very wealthiest few to pay their fair share.

Enacting Campaign Finance Reform

As a sponsor of several campaign finance reform bills, including House Democrats’ broad reform package, H.R. 1, I am working to reform a political system awash with secret corporate money, which distorts congressional priorities. We will not be able to enact real reform on a number of fronts until we pass effective campaign finance laws. I have supported a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case.

Climate Crisis

Our planet is at stake, now more than ever. That is why I have joined as a sponsor of the Green New Deal – a resolution offering important broader goals, with the hope for continued work to implement its provisions into legislative language.

Normally, Texas weather is either hot or hotter. Increasingly, we just have hotter. By the turn of the century, Texas can expect about 100 days that reach 100 degrees or more annually — what a world we are bequeathing to our children and grandchildren.

We need to act now at all levels to keep our world livable. That is why I introduced the Green Transportation Act, which directs cities and states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. Because many parts of the country are not accounting for transportation emissions, this represents an important step in seeking to reduce pollution by mandating the tracking of emissions and creation of local plans to reduce them, while providing federal support.

If we want to change the climate, we need to change the political climate. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement was an historic mistake. I am pleased that the Biden/Harris Administration has reversed course. This is a necessary step to reducing our carbon emissions and restoring American leadership on climate change. A warming planet will overwhelm our Gulf Coast, expand the Sonoran desert into much of Texas, and hasten the spread of disease. We need an agenda governed by sound science that truly reflects the consequences of inaction. Together, and by reaching out to our neighbors, we must act now to create a sustainable, green economy, reduce carbon emissions, and increase renewable energy. For my work, the Sierra Club has endorsed my re-election.

Promoting Healthcare and Reproductive Freedom

The Affordable Care Act helps ensure doctors and big insurance companies treat families fairly in everything from finding a doctor to receiving a diagnosis and receiving treatment. It’s not right that high medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. Following a May 2019 Health Subcommittee hearing I convened on the predatory practice of surprise medical billing, the No Surprises Act, which was modeled off of my End Surprise Billing Act, was signed into law in December 2020 and took effect January 2022. As Health Subcommittee Chairman in the House Ways & Means Committee, I am working to secure affordable health care for all Americans.

It is deeply unacceptable that Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents, and shameful that GOP leaders will not expand access to Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. That is why I authored the COVER Now Act, legislation to allow counties to access federal funds in states that refuse to expand Medicaid.

I have also authored legislation to expand Medicare coverage to include hearing, vision, and dental care. Because I believe health care is a right, not a privilege, I support Medicare for All and endorse approaches to build toward that goal, including lowering the age for Medicare. I also filed the Stop the Wait Act, fighting for fairness for people with disabilities and ending burdensome waiting periods before collecting disability payments and receiving Medicare coverage.

The Republicans’ repeated attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act risk the health of American families. While the Department of Justice sought to destroy the entire ACA, I opposed Republican efforts to sabotage health care. Republicans merely offered a “Trumpcare” health plan, attempting to replace Obamacare with “I don’t care.” I firmly opposed Republicans’ “NothingCare” proposals. Instead of repealing Obamacare, Congress needs to work together to ensure health care is affordable.

The pandemic has deepened existing inequities and exposed the urgency of our work for health care access. I convened a hearing on the benefits of telehealth featuring an Austin physician. I recently introduced a bipartisan bill to ensure patients who have benefited from expanded telehealth access during the pandemic can continue to use it.

Texas Republicans are interfering with individuals’ constitutional right to make their own health care decisions. I have a 100% pro-choice lifetime voting record and have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. We must defend reproductive freedom for all Texans and all Americans.

Serving Those Who Protected Us: Our Veterans

In a prior Congress, I helped passed legislation in the House, the Wounded Veteran Job Security Act, to ensure that wounded veterans returning from service are not forced to choose between keeping their job at home and getting needed treatment. As I visit with Texas veterans, I understand the need for prompt, nearby care, which is why I worked to expand veterans’ health facilities so Texas veterans don’t have to drive long distances for the basic health care they have earned. We must work to improve the VA, not to end, “privatize,” or dismantle it.

Resisting Trumpism

An overwhelming majority of Americans made their choice clear: Donald Trump, a constant threat to our values, lives and democracy, had to go. I voted to impeach Trump. Twice. I am inspired by the many I represent who are committed to creating a more respectful and inclusive community, resisting hate and intolerance.

Trump lowered the high office daily. But the beauty of our Nation is that we never only look out for just ourselves. We look out for each other and we stand together. While some will seek new ways to divide us, we must work together to defeat the many challenges we face.

Trump could not get away with his misconduct — one outrage after another — without the unflinching support of his many Republican enablers in Congress.

More than just defeating Trump, we must defeat Trumpism. We need to march, not just on the streets, but find ways in our daily lives to promote change. We must fight to promote equality, to preserve our democracy, and demand accountability. We will never yield to those who would drag us backward into a past that we will never accept.

Passing Common-Sense Gun Legislation

With a Democratic majority in the House, I worked with my colleagues to pass H.R. 1446, background checks bill. But too many Republicans, backed by the gun lobby, continue to block action in the Senate. Republicans are making almost every place we go less safe.

Civil Rights

I am committed to fighting for equal rights for all Americans. Here in Texas, we are the #1 target of GOP voter suppression, and home to a movement to reinvigorate voting rights nationwide.

In the face of ruthless attempts by the GOP to undermine our democracy with racist voter suppression bills, we must push back and ensure our voices are heard at the ballot box. The House passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, but so far Senate Republicans have blocked the passage of these bills crucial to restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

As an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, I am encouraged by the bill’s passage in the House, and I recognize there is much work to be done to protect our LGBTQ+ neighbors from discrimination. I’ve served as Vice Chair of the Equality Caucus, pressing for further progress to achieve true equality.

Pandemic Relief

Since the onset of the pandemic, I have worked to ensure business owners, artists and musicians, public schools, families, and working people receive the help they need as we recover from the devastating and unequal effects of COVID-19. As Chair of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, I gaveled in our first hearing featuring an Austin physician focused on ensuring vaccines are delivered faster and more equitably.

With my support, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, which has ensured more vaccines, unemployment assistance and critical funds for those in need. As part of this plan, which not a single Republican voted to support, parents began receiving direct payments in July through an expanded child tax credit, which has helped slash child poverty by roughly 30%.

When Governor Abbott refused to release federal funds to public schools, I led the Texas congressional delegation in urging the Administration to ensure the money is spent directly to support our students and teachers. By taking on Governor Abbott and standing up for Texas students, we successfully unlocked billions for Texas students.