| 2nd Amendment | Abortion | Americanism & Family | Agriculture | Border Security | Budget, Deficits and National Debt | Children & Youth |  Corruption in Washington | Economy | Education | Healthcare | Immigration |  Israel | Law & Order | National & Homeland Security | Taxes | Term Limits | Trade | Values | Veterans |

- 2nd Amendment: Our second amendment is not something that can be thrown away, I promise that I will advocate for the right for law-abiding citizens especially our Military Veterans and retired law enforcement professionals to keep and bear arms. Additionally, I’ll never support nor vote for any gun legislation that restrains law-abiding citizens from legally procuring or owning firearms. We have a background check system in place, but like many things, the government has dropped the ball and failed our students and communities. I say we review those policies and initiatives to ensure recent gun crimes and atrocities which have cost lives can’t happen again, to include ensuring that the information in the database is up to date and accurate.

 

- Abortion: I'm unapologetically Pro-Life and believe we need to defund planned parenthood once and for all. No taxpayer dollars should ever go to fund such a heinous act. Nothing says it better than our Pledge of Allegiance: “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” born and unborn. That’s the America that as your Congressman I pledge to strengthen, to honor—and to help heal. 

 

- Americanism & Family: Create a Culture of Hope & Optimism: Our best days aren’t behind us, the “Shining City on the Hill” is still within sight. We must only lift our heads. We must put our Great American Families First and instill the American Values that our founding fathers fought so hard to achieve for this country and generations to come. To do this, we need to get back to the basics of American culture. Honor, respect, and dignity are so often replaced by politics. We are an exceptional people who believe in hard work and strong family values. We need to restore optimism within the region and ensure that our youth have a booming economy and the skills they need to succeed.

 

- Agriculture: The 1st District is in many respects rural, with many natural resources, dotted by farms and other potential agriculture lands. These natural resources represent monetary investments, jobs, and independence for many Tennesseans. As a nation, we need to promote agriculture and rural stability and prosperity by ensuring our nation has a safe, renewable and affordable food, fiber, and forestry supply system. This is vital to our nation’s national security in a world with a population on the rise which brings to bear more competition for scarcer resources. It’s in our vital national interest to protect and promote agriculture and protect the land and those who farm it. 

 

Moving forward we should responsibly exploit our districts agriculture potential, we can further prosperity, by eliminating ridiculous regulatory burdens that encumber agricultural production, harm rural communities, constrain economic growth, hamper job creation, which increases the cost of food for Americans. I propose we identify bad legislation, regulations, and policies and eliminate them once and for all and put in safeguards to prevent the negative effects of future bad choices made in Washington.

 

As the Trump Administration suggests we need to “identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote in rural America agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life.”

 

- Border Security: Like many Tennesseans, I support President Trump’s efforts to “build the wall,” and “it will be a beautiful wall” but we must also stand and support the men and women who defend our battered borders with the best training and the best resources to do their job. Because a nation that fails to protect its borders is one that is failing to protect its people. Bottom line we must protect our borders to protect our citizens.

 

- Budget, Deficits and National Debt: The Federal government has wasted Trillions of our hard-earned dollars and have borrowed and squandered Trillions more. Now more than ever we need a Balanced Budget Amendment, included in this amendment should be language that would force any future Congress and Presidential Administration to pass a budget vs kicking the can down the road bypassing temporary spending measures or in other words "continuing resolutions" and "omnibus" legislation. If we Americans lived like our government in Washington, bankruptcy would have been a milestone we would have reached many decades ago. This madness must end, if we want our nation to have a chance at prosperity for generations to come, we must act now. 

 

- Children & Youth Health: There are four areas of major concern, catastrophic illness, intellectual disabilities, immunization, and before and after school care programs. Every child has the right to a good education and a safe place while parents work. More importantly, no family should have to bury a child due to an inability to pay mounting medical bills.

 

- Corruption in Washington: One major concern from Washington is the career politician, which is why I support term limits and have signed a term limits pledge from U.S. Term Limits and promised the folks in the 1st District to serve no more than three (3) terms. We should look to apply terms limits to elected officials and staff alike.  We need to slam shut the revolving door from the public to the private sector and back again. We need to improve ethics laws and regulations and limit the amount of time a person may stay in one office and also require individuals to remain away from federal government employment for the amount of time they hold elected office or were employed as a staffer.

 

- Economy: The most efficient market is a free and fair market. All consumers should have the freedom to decide, government interference should be minimal. Additionally, $21 Trillion in debt is a disgrace with no end in sight, Congress for decades has failed us, a balanced budget amendment is needed more than ever.

 

- Education: A quality education starts with having effective and common-sense policies that guide not dictate. The saying “the government nearest the people governs best” rings true when it comes to education, we need to return authority back to the states and local boards of education. We need to empower parents as every child has the right to have a good education and a safe learning environment that’s free from politics and indoctrination. We need to work to lower College/University cost, improving higher education by expanding options and support school choice, no child should have to suffer in a failing school. Academic excellence starts by hiring and retaining the best educators and not keeping ones that are failing their students. College campuses should be open to debate and discussion, all ideas and thoughts should be welcome and never shut down by any group. Administrators shouldn’t be allowed to bar one group or speaker because they lean one way or the other politically, students and student groups have the absolute right to “Free Speech,” there should never be a small area termed “free speech zones” as every place on campus should be a free speech zone.

 

- Healthcare: Health care reform begins by repealing “Obamacare,” not just promising to do it like we’ve heard for the past several years and not by just doing away with the "individual mandate" as the latest tax bill does. Once “Obamacare” is repealed, we put in place a patient-centered, market-based system that will lower cost and improve quality by allowing for and encouraging competition across state lines, and above all empower Americans whereby they control the dollars and decisions regarding their health care.    

 

- Immigration: I'm committed to solving the problems that stem from having open borders, sanctuary States and Cities, as well as all the related problems such as human trafficking, illegal drugs, guns, gangs and the issues caused by having cheap undocumented labor. Congress and the Administration must implement practical solutions to America’s broken immigration system and porous borders. Rather than taking a do-nothing approach, lawmakers should seek a common-sense approach. Without serious changes, the illegal population will only grow and the burden to the American taxpayer will increase. On the other hand, with a few pieces of legislation, a willing Congress working with the Trump Administration can enact responsible immigration reform and finally achieve comprehensive immigration reform.

 

Bottom line, immediately Build a Wall where we can and use Technology everywhere else, with the goal to have an entire wall across the southern border. We need to end the Sanctuary States and Cities and punish lawmakers who disregard this and hold them criminally liable for the crime’s illegals commit inside their borders. Additionally, we need to end the VISA Lottery, End Chain Migration, Stop Rewarding those who’ve Broken our Laws and End Birthright Citizenship. Bottom line, we should only allow for legal immigration where we the American people decide whom to let in.

 

- Illegal Immigration (Additional Notes): Enforcement of U.S. immigration law is often a contentious and an emotional issue, but it’s clear, the federal government has failed to put in place a realistic legal immigration system and has done little to deter or stop illegals. Due to these long-term failures, the United States currently finds itself with a population of between 11 and 12 million illegal immigrants. If we’re to improve as a society the federal government must faithfully execute immigration laws, and we must begin the process of removing criminal illegal immigrants and deter future illegal immigration.

 

Illegal immigration severely damages our nation’s unskilled laborers, the middle-class and those trying to get into the middle-class. With a job market saturated with millions of illegals it dramatically reduces wages in numerous sectors such as construction, manufacturing and the hospitality sectors and many others. Particularly hard hit are low skilled laborers, those with only a high school education and minority communities which include African Americans and legal Hispanic immigrants and other recent legal immigrants. A large portion of the population of the 1st district are unskilled workers and those with a high school education or less, they have been hard hit by the illegal population living in the U.S. and especially the district.

 

 

- Israel: I'm 100% Pro-Israel! The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was overwhelmingly passed by the 104th Congress on October 23rd, 1995 and became law on November 8th, 1995 my senior year of high school. It took the U.S. 22 years, 6 months and 7 days to finally move our embassy to Jerusalem and I'm glad we finally got it done. I've served in the Middle East and have been to the region many times in my 20-year military career and I'll always stand with Israel, our staunchest ally in that region. Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem was one of President Trump's campaign promises and I'm glad he delivered on it.

 

- Law & Order: First and foremost, Democrats and the left in this country for too long have attacked the “Men & Women in “Blue” who protect us daily here at home. They’ve extended their identity politics to encompass our nation’s law enforcement professionals, this needs to end, it only hurts the brave men and women who are sworn to protect us and thus hurts the communities they serve. The Police aren’t the enemy, the left has done those they purport to serve a true disservice and they should be held liable for the carnage they’ve caused as a result, just look at Chicago.          

 

- National & Homeland Security: Our nation’s armed forces must be ready to act anytime and anywhere in the world, especially where our vital national interests are threatened, this includes meeting our commitments to our allies and responding to natural disasters. This starts by equipping our Armed Forces by giving our military leaders the resources they need to keep us safe and maintain our freedoms. I've served 20 years and 29 days in the U.S. Army and retired in 2016, I've held numerous leadership positions and have served overseas on numerous occasions which includes serving the White House and the Vice President in a Diplomatic capacity when traveling abroad as well as having served multiple combat tours. Bottom line, this is an area I have a lot of experience in.

 

- Taxes: We must simplify the tax code and institute a Flat Tax, we need to end class warfare and corporate welfare. Remember the latest tax bill only gives a temporary reduction in rates to everyday working-class Americans, I feel we can do better. We truly need to fundamentally overhaul the tax system, and work to alleviate the harm caused by the current tax system, a Flat Tax will significantly strengthen the economy and grow the shrinking middle class. The current tax system significantly disadvantages the working poor, the middle class and our nation’s small business owners. Real tax reform when done correctly will go a long way in restoring prosperity, increasing jobs, and will grow wages. A Flat Tax will alleviate the burdens placed on the folks trying to give their-selves and their families a fighting chance. For decades, we’ve heard congress rail that something needs to get done, but if something was done it would be one less thing to campaign on. Congress has failed us, I say congressional leaders need to work with President Trump on tax reform (as it's one of his priorities), as well as a priority for hundreds of millions of Americans both on the left and right, but sadly we’ve seen zero effort from Congress. I understand it’s a complicated issue, but simply saying it’s complicated isn’t an excuse, “We the People” demand action, if we want to grow the economy and middle class, create good paying jobs this is an area that needs to be at the forefront.

 

- Term Limits: Washington is full of career politicians who know very little of what it's like in the Districts and States they purport to represent outside of what some advisor tells them. Congress itself is full of lawyers and professional politicians all of whom are out of touch multi-millionaires. It's time we have people representing us who knows how the real world works, folks I understand fully the issues faced by those who live in the 1st District. I believe in real Term Limits and have signed a Term Limits pledge to that effect and promised to serve no more than three terms (six years).

 

- Trade: We need to commit ourselves to advance free and fair-trade policies, for America and American workers to benefit in international markets. Remember, we declared our independence because our trade was stifled by King George. We have some of the best and brightest innovators and have a market for our goods and technology needs to be kept open but done so in such a manner that we don’t lose value in overseas markets, plus nations like China shouldn’t be allowed to manipulate their currency which lowers the cost of their goods, plus we must guard against intellectual property theft, when we don’t, this hurts American workers in the end.

 

Values: In the Army, we had what is called the "Army Values" and the acronym is LDRSHIP, which stands for "Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity & Personal Courage" or in other words "Leadership." I will apply these values to my duties in Washington.

 

  • Loyalty: I will be loyal to the citizens of the 1st District.

  • Duty: I will fulfill my duties in a manner fitting a Tennessean and a Soldier.

  • Respect: I will respect my Constituents and their will and will never vote against their interest, in other words, I will vote the way they want me to vote.

  • Selfless-Service: I will place my role in Congress and the needs of my Constituents ahead of my own interest.

  • Honor: I will never do anything that will bring shame on my Constituents, my family or myself.

  • Integrity: I will never conduct business in secrecy and will always be open, honest and on the up & up in all I do.

  • Personal Courage: I will not bow to pressure from those in positions of power, influence or leadership nor will I give into the moneyed class.

 

Veterans: They served us, now we need to serve them, let’s ensure our Veterans get all the care and benefits they've earned, need and deserve. Congress took way too long to pass the Veterans Choice Act, we need to ensure that it’s protected but this is only a starting point. Congress should ensure the VA is never privatized but ensuring Veterans have a choice when it comes to where they receive care is important. Additionally, protecting Veteran educational benefits is very important, I used the "G.I. Bill" to help me complete my education as have countless other Veterans. As I always say "An educated public is an employable public" and the more Veterans we can help get a degree or technical training the better off our nation will be. We can and must do better, I’m personally invested in this issue as a Veteran of more than 20 years of service in the U.S. Army and I’m enrolled in VA Healthcare.

Paid for by Todd McKinley for Congress 

Todd A. McKinley’s military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply an endorsement(s) by the Department of the Defense or the Department of Army.