- Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who announced a 2020 presidential bid Monday, will likely use his military experience to differentiate himself on national security and defense issues as he faces a competitive Democratic field.
- The Harvard-educated Marine veteran is emphasizing jobs, climate change and national security as core issues he'll address.
Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who announced a 2020 presidential bid Monday, will likely use his military experience to differentiate himself on national security and defense issues as he faces a competitive Democratic field.
But the Harvard-educated Marine veteran will also emphasize his proposals for creating jobs, protecting the environment and improving health care during his long-shot run to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
Moulton, 40, was elected to Congress in 2014. After November's midterm elections, he received national attention for leading a failed effort to deny Nancy Pelosi the House speaker's gavel. Though considered a more moderate candidate, several of Moulton's stances are clearly left of center.
Here is a brief look at his policy priorities:
Moulton signed on as a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal in February, but has since criticized the plan's approach. In recent weeks, he said he wants to reframe it as a jobs package to boost the economy.
In an op-ed for The Des Moines Register earlier this month, Moulton said he originally signed on to the Green New Deal when it was an "open framework" in order to turn it into a jobs package that will reduce climate change.
"While our country marches forward, Washington is anchored to the past," Moulton said Monday in a video announcing his presidential campaign.
"It starts with growing our economy, with the new jobs, the green jobs, the tech jobs, the advanced manufacturing jobs that are going to make us the world leader in the next century," he said. "It starts with tackling climate change and making sure that we have a planet without an expiration date."
The congressman has also said he wants to invest more in nuclear energy.
Moulton, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and sponsor of the Faster Care for Veterans Act, is calling for new arms control measures and reduced spending on current weapons systems.
In his announcement video, Moulton vowed to cut "massive weapons programs we don't need so that we have the money to invest in the future."
Calling current weapons programs "costly" and "outdated," Moulton is pushing for increased funding of newer technologies for troops, including autonomous, hypersonic and cyberweapons.
While he supports strengthening relations with NATO, Moulton wants to rethink troop placements in Japan and Germany, and has suggested building new alliances to counter the "growing threats" of Russia and China, citing a potential Pacific NATO to counter China.
Moulton also wants the country to increase investment in diplomatic and foreign aid funding to "help us avoid the next wars."
Moulton wants to overhaul the country's electoral system, which includes abolishing the Electoral College, automatically registering people to vote and making Election Day a national holiday. He also opposes the filibuster, saying that the Senate should just require a simple majority to pass legislation.
"Everyone should be able to vote, and every vote should matter. But the uncomfortable truth is, those rights have never truly been guaranteed here in the United States. It's time to fix what's broken," he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in March. "To change the country, we need to fundamentally change how government works: We need to abolish the filibuster and the electoral college."
He's also called for granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., restoring voting rights to former felons and implementing a cyberwall to reduce interference in American elections.
On his website, Moulton also calls for a new voting rights act to "enact automatic voter registration, put a stop to gerrymandering and confront voter suppression across America."
Moulton isn't a fan of "Medicare for All," the policy proposal that has caught fire within the Democratic Party thanks in large part to democratic socialist candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Moulton does, however, support creating a public health-care option so people would have a choice between public and private insurance.
"If I'm elected, I'm not going to force you off your private health care plan," Moulton said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Moulton said he believes every American should have access to affordable health care, but that a single-payer system is "not perfect." He cited his issues with the VA's government-run health-care system as part of the reason why he does not support a sweeping public health-care option.
A number of Democratic presidential candidates have voiced support for a single-payer health-care system. Sanders earlier this month unveiled an updated Medicare for All bill that would create a government-run system to provide insurance to every citizen. Fellow candidates Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts co-sponsored the proposal.
Though some Democrats support a public system, Moulton is not alone among the party's presidential hopefuls in his criticism of socialized medicine. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has also hesitated to support Medicare for All, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has pushed for a public option.