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U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez is proud to represent Ohio’s 16th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the son and grandson of Cuban immigrants who fled the Castro regime, Congressman Gonzalez cherishes the opportunity to serve his country and his community as a member of the world’s greatest legislative body. Congressman Gonzalez serves on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and on the Financial Services Committee, where he is the vice chair of the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. He is also a proud co-chair of the House China Task Force.
Congressman Gonzalez was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he played wide receiver under Coach Jim Tressel, before becoming a first-round draft pick for the Indianapolis Colts. After five seasons in the NFL, Congressman Gonzalez attended Stanford Business School and launched a career in the technology industry before returning home to Northeast Ohio.
Congressman Gonzalez and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Rocky River with their two young children, Alexander and Caroline.
Jobs and the Economy
My top priority as the representative for Ohio’s 16th district is to empower our Northeast Ohio economy, bring jobs to our area and make our region a destination for young families and small businesses. Despite recent job growth across the country and in our state, Northeast Ohio has a skills gap of 14,000 jobs in advanced manufacturing. We need to do a better job connecting our workforce to a new era of manufacturing jobs and capitalize and expand on our economic recovery by focusing on reforms that will carry us into the 21st century. I believe we do this by promoting fair trade, streamlining our tax and regulatory environment, improving access to capital and reworking our welfare system.
Congress needs to work in a bipartisan manner to solve our nation’s biggest problems, including healthcare. Our current healthcare system is not working for Ohio or our nation, but a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act without an alternative plan in place is not an option. Ohioans deserve a healthcare system that puts decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors. It needs to be more affordable, more accessible and higher quality. No family should ever go bankrupt from a healthcare emergency.
Thus far, neither side of the aisle has been able to put forth any policy that will accomplish these goals and get signed into law. I intend to be a leader in moving the healthcare conversation forward and bringing new ideas to the forefront. To this end, I support a healthcare system that expands health savings accounts to put more power in the hands of patients, institutes total price transparency to create a true market-based system, reduces the price of prescription drugs while incentivizing innovation and increases competition between insurance companies by removing artificial state boundaries and providing more flexibility to the states in designing the plans that best fit their needs. I also support protecting people with preexisting conditions and retaining the Medicaid expansion that has helped Ohio fight back against our ongoing opioid crisis.
I am proud to be the grandson of Cuban immigrants who did everything to ensure they came to this country legally, hiding in Cuba as part of an underground railroad while they awaited visas to come to the U.S. I firmly believe people coming to this country should do so legally, following the rule of law, just as my grandparents did.
There is however, more we can do to fix our current legal immigration process. We must fix the backlog we have in our courts to process cases faster and make it easier for people to get here legally. We also must secure our southern border to stop the trafficking of people and drugs that pour into our country every day. Once we have done this, we will need to find some sort of solution for the population of illegal immigrants who have entered our country illegally and without a means of becoming full legal members of our society. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to accomplish these goals.
In our state the opioid epidemic has taken a toll on too many families and their loved ones. Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths at more than double the national rate, and this number is still increasing every year. In 2019 alone, more Americans will die from opioids than in the entire Vietnam War.
To fight back against this crisis, we must improve our border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs across our southern border through modernization of our ports of entry, equipping border patrol agents with better technology to detect heroin and fentanyl, and physical barriers to deter trafficking. We must also cut off the money supply to cartels, identifying and blocking the shell companies traffickers use to hide their illicit money and activities here in the U.S.
The Great Lakes are a critical part of Northeast Ohio, not just for recreational purposes, but also for our growing economy. Besides holding 18 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, the Great Lakes support more than 1.5 million jobs and generate $62 billion in wages, much of which is based in our community. I am proud to support Great Lakes legislation that promotes cutting edge research and ensures we have the knowledge and tools to keep our lakes and fisheries healthy for generations to come.
Science, Space and Technology
Northeast Ohio is on the cutting edge of technological innovation in the United States, especially where it comes to aeronautics research, thanks to our numerous universities and our very own NASA Glenn Research Center. The research done here in our district is vital to supporting the U.S. aviation economy and ensuring our country remains a global leader in aviation research.
Over the last 60 years, NASA has inspired and changed the world, and our state has played a leading role in making that possible. With continued support, our country can continue to lead the world in improving our understanding of air transportation, the solar system and the galaxies that lie beyond.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure the United States remains on the cutting edge of technological innovation across the globe. In an era of an emerging China, it is even more critical we maintain our dominance in aviation in space while cautiously establishing a more stable U.S. – China relationship.
As your representative in Congress, I have made it my promise to lead in working to bring new jobs and a stronger economy to Northeast Ohio. One of the major pillars to accomplishing this is promoting free and fair trade. With manufacturing at Northeast Ohio’s core, our economy relies on trade partners to produce and export numerous top-quality products. In 2017 alone, Ohio exported $50.1 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world with the majority of that going to Canada and Mexico.
I believe that passing the USMCA is the single most important near-term piece of legislation that Congress can realistically pass between now and the end of the year. For Northeast Ohio, the outcome is clear: across our industries, from agriculture to manufacturing, the USMCA would mean more jobs, higher wages, and a stronger economy. Congress has a responsibility to consider this trade agreement that will inject needed certainty for Ohioans.
With a robust Ohio National Guard and several military sites located throughout our great state, Ohio has a role to play in ensuring our national security. I firmly believe that our military leaders must always have the vital resources they need to win any conflict, including land, air, sea and cyber capabilities that keep all Americans safe. While the progress we have made against ISIS has been truly remarkable, we must continue to fight back against radical Islamic extremism wherever it exists. Additionally, we must continue efforts at nuclear proliferation to prevent both Iran and North Korea from developing or obtaining nuclear weapons that could put our nation at risk.
America has the most talented and remarkable military on the planet, and I am proud to represent Northeast Ohio’s strong community of veterans. My grandfather fought in World War II, and through him, I know there is never enough we can do to say thank you to our vets for their service and their sacrifice for our freedom. We owe it to the men and women who wore the cloth of this nation to provide the best services and assistance possible when they return home and to civilian life. This includes improving the Department of Veteran Affairs, expanding mental health treatment options, and ensuring educational and workforce opportunities for our veterans to ensure they are well-equipped to thrive in our job market once they transition back into civilian life.
For too many veterans, navigating the world of veteran benefits can be a maze of paperwork and unknown opportunities. My office is here to help. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance navigating the VA system, please reach out to my Canton office at 330-599-7037
Our federal spending is completely out of control and as a new father, I am concerned about the mountain of debt that we are passing on to the next generation of Americans. We are quickly coming to a point where the interest in our debt and the growth in our entitlement programs will consume more than 75 percent of the total federal budget. Additionally, by 2025, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that we will spend more on paying off interest than we will spend on our national defense. This is simply unsustainable. I am committed to working to put Congress back on the right track to better manage our spending and put our country on a path towards success and economic growth for generations to come.
Financial services firms play an important role in our economic ecosystem because of their universality. Almost every American in some manner is touched by the industry whether it is by applying for a credit card, taking out a mortgage loan, financing education through a student loan, or opening their first bank account. There are many components of our economy that we should be excited about as a country. Unemployment rates are at a historical low, we have seen stronger GDP growth, and small business optimism remains very high. However, there is still a portion of the country who is not fully experiencing these gains in real terms due to wage growth and other issues.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, one of my top goals is to work with my colleagues to expand access to credit through financial technology and more innovative solutions. On the committee, I am privileged to serve as the Ranking Vice Chair on the Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion, which provides oversight of the financial services industry for the purposes of increasing minority engagement and employment. Through this, I am fighting to bring a better understanding to the financial services industry of all segments of the population it serves, while also ensuring that the best and brightest possible applicants are brought in across the industry.