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Congresswoman Hillary J. Scholten is honored to serve the people of Michigan’s Third Congressional District, a diverse district that is anchored by the urban centers of Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Grand Haven, and includes suburbs, farmland, and miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline.
Congresswoman Scholten is a fourth-generation West Michigander, a mom, a Christian, and an attorney who proudly served in the U.S. Department of Justice. Her great-great-grandparents emigrated to the United States to find opportunity in West Michigan. Ever since, her parents, grandparents, and extended family have put down deep roots in this community—committed not only to building a better life for themselves and their families, but devoted to creating a better community for all.
A foundation of faith has motivated Congresswoman Scholten’s career in public service and her desire to continue to serve West Michigan in Congress. Inspired by her mother, a dedicated community servant who spent most of her career as a public school teacher at a high-poverty elementary school, Congresswoman Scholten began her own career as a social worker. She worked with people affected by issues of housing and homelessness. During this time, she worked with individuals in the LGBTQ community who were facing homelessness and housing insecurity—often because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In the early part of her career, she gained insight and expertise into how systems work and far too often don’t for those on the margins in society.
Congresswoman Scholten obtained her law degree from the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and then went on to clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in their special unit focused on immigration issues. Following her clerkship, she joined the Justice Department through the Attorney General Honors Program, where she continued to work on matters of immigration and civil rights.
Congresswoman Scholten now serves as the first woman and mother ever to represent Michigan’s Third District in Congress. Bringing new voices to the table is key to making sure our representation is equitable and reflective of the district. She’s building one of the most diverse teams to ever serve West Michigan, both in Washington, D.C., and at home in the district. Service is at the heart of what drives Congresswoman Scholten’s mission to deliver for the district every single day. She’s focused on providing responsive, effective, down-to-earth, accessible representation that meets the practical needs of the district. This includes securing critical infrastructure investments and eliminating transportation barriers in isolated communities, supporting our small business community, improving K-12 education and higher education, and fighting for West Michiganders’ fundamental rights at the federal level.
West Michigan is Congresswoman Scholten’s home. She and her husband, Jesse, are raising their two boys and the family dog, Smoky, on the southeast side of Grand Rapids. You’ll often find her on the sidelines at her kids’ sporting events, walking Smoky, or in line at the grocery store. At the end of the day, Representative Scholten is committed to rolling up her sleeves and getting to work on the issues that matter to working families across the district, because they matter to her and her family, too—that’s what representation is all about.
The American healthcare system features some of the world’s greatest advancements in technology and pharmaceutical research, but for too many the system is broken. Nobody should have to rely on charity or a kickstarter for cancer treatment. No parent should have to make the choice of putting food on the table or paying for a prescription for their child.
In Congress, I’ll work to find common-sense solutions to bring down the costs of healthcare and lower the cost of prescription drugs. I support policies that will ban insurance companies from raising rates on people when they get sick, denying people coverage for having a pre-existing condition or dropping them when they get sick. I will work tirelessly to prevent insurance companies from increasing premiums and deductibles while reducing coverage. I’ll fight for paid family and medical leave, so when someone is sick, they stay home and keep us all safe. I’ll vote to cap the cost of critical prescription drugs and insulin, and I will defend the Affordable Care Act and work every day to expand on it.
As a woman, a mother, and a person of deep faith, I approach the issue of reproductive healthcare and freedom with the utmost reverence, thoughtfulness, and respect for the issues involved. That’s why I fundamentally believe that the choice of when and how to become a mother, or how to handle a complicated or life-threatening pregnancy belongs with women themselves, and not detached politicians. I will always protect a woman’s right to choose.
For the first time in our lifetimes we have watched the Supreme Court take rights away. Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, we’re seeing every day exactly what that right protected for the last 50 years– a 10-year-old rape victim being denied the healthcare her doctors recommend, women forced to go into sepsis with a miscarriage, individuals with autoimmune disorders not being able to access the gold standard medication they need. In Michigan, in particular, our healthcare is uniquely vulnerable. Over the last few months we’ve gone through a whiplash of watching our protections be taken away, and then reinstated in the courts here in Michigan.
Protecting reproductive health care choices is fundamentally a matter of privacy and freedom from government control. It is a kitchen table issue, a worker’s rights issue, a child welfare issue, and a healthcare worker protection issue. As the first mom and woman to ever represent this district in Congress, I promise that I will always be a steadfast supporter of a woman’s God-given ability to make her own healthcare decisions.
Jobs and the Economy
We can – and we must – continue fighting to create well-paying jobs with good benefits in West Michigan. As Americans are getting squeezed with higher prices, we need to do everything we can to put money back in Michiganders’ pockets.
That means we need to lower the cost of prescription drugs so people can keep more of their paychecks. We need to invest in renewable energy – and tap our nation’s oil reserves right now – to bring down the cost of energy. We need to invest in Michigan’s semiconductor manufacturing capability and stand up to China when they threaten our global supply chain, so we can control costs by making things in Michigan.
Building an economy that works for everyone means investing in the small businesses that fuel our West Michigan economy, especially as they work to recover from the devastating impact of COVID-19. It means investing in our infrastructure, making sure Michigan gets its fair share of road money, and fixing our roads the right way. And it means fighting for fair wages and the right for workers to collectively bargain.
My mom was a special education teacher in Grand Rapids Public Schools – growing up, I saw what a good, public education could mean, especially for families struggling to get by. As a mom of two school-aged kids myself now, I see firsthand every day how important it is that we refocus our efforts to build up our classrooms. These last two years have left some kids an entire grade level (or more) behind and our teachers strained.
That’s why I’ll work to strengthen Michigan public schools to make sure our students are prepared and ready to engage in a 21st-century economy. I’ll work to make sure our highly skilled and talented educators are compensated fairly and get the support they need to equip our kids with the fundamentals they need to be successful. I’ll work to support opportunities for learning from pre-k to affordable college for those who wish to attend. I’ll also work to create and expand job training, apprenticeship programs, and skilled trade programs so that Michiganders who don’t go to college can get the skills they need to work hard and get a good paying job. And I’ll work with parents, teachers, and administrators to ensure that no matter what happens with COVID-19, our classrooms stay open, and our kids keep learning.
Social Security and Medicare
As the daughter of a public school teacher and local newspaperman, I don’t have to look far to see a generation of Michiganders who worked a lifetime paying into Social Security and Medicare expecting the benefits to be there when they needed them. We have to live up to that promise. I’ll fight efforts to raise the retirement age, or to cut or privatize our social safety net. Instead, I’ll work to make these programs more efficient by cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse, and letting Medicare negotiate the cost of drug prices.
Energy and the Environment
Part of what makes Michigan so great is our Great Lakes, great outdoors, and beautiful natural resources. I come from a long line of conservationists, and we are a camping, hiking, and fishing family. Being good stewards of the environment means both creating jobs and keeping our state – and our families – safe from dangerous pollution. In Congress, I’ll work to protect our drinking water from PFAS and other toxic chemicals. I’ll fight to curb climate change before it’s too late. I’ll stand firmly in defense of our Great Lakes. And I’ll lead the charge to invest in a new energy economy with tax credits for renewable energy innovations to create good paying jobs while reducing our reliance on foreign oil and lowering the cost of energy for all of us.
Roads and Infrastructure
Every Michigander knows that our roads are a danger to our safety and a strain on our pocketbooks. In Congress, I’ll be proud to work to get the standards and weight limits for our Michigan roads in line with the rest of the country; advocate for Michigan’s fair share of road funding from the federal government; make sure the roads get fixed the right way, with the right materials. The first time.
Voting Rights and Democracy Protection
The right to vote and the integrity of our elections–the very foundations of our democracy–are under attack. It has never been of greater consequence that we stand up against these attacks by passing federal legislation to secure our democracy and defend the right to vote, including: ending voter suppression and expanding vote-by-mail and early-vote nationwide; ending partisan gerrymandering; and protecting against attempts to subvert or overturn the results of our elections.
Common-Sense Gun Safety Reform￼
I believe that the primary role of a Member of Congress is to represent the American people. While the vast majority of Americans support common-sense gun reform measures, we continue to see no action from Republican leaders. Our elected officials have the power to take action — it’s time they use it.
As a mother of two young boys, I won’t accept this new normal of active shooter drills in our schools and senseless gun violence in our country. I’m proud to have been recognized by Moms Demand Action as a Gun Sense Candidate for my commitment to common-sense gun safety reforms like universal background checks, safe gun storage laws, and red flag laws.