On the Issues
Throughout his Senate career, Senator Levin has advocated for openness and accountability in government. He believes it is important for the people of Michigan to know his legislative record and where he stands on the issues.
Many of the issues on which Senator Levin works are related to his committee assignments. As the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Levin works on issues concerning national security and the Department of Defense. On the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Levin has led in-depth investigations into the financial crisis, the credit card industry, offshore tax havens and more.
This section of the website contains Senator Levin's positions on some of the major issues facing Michigan and our country such as job creation, consumer protection, education, energy and the environment, the Great Lakes, and national security. Several of the issues listed below have sub-topics, which can be accessed by clicking on the main issue.
Michigan is known for quality cars and stunning Great Lakes, but less well known is the fact that agriculture is our state’s second biggest industry. Michigan produces a greater variety of crops than all but two states, ranging from corn and soybeans to tart cherries, apples, beans, blueberries, asparagus and other specialty crops.
A strong domestic auto industry isn’t just important to Michigan; it’s crucial to rebuilding the U.S. economy. Manufacturing, and especially auto manufacturing, generates jobs with good pay and benefits, and the economic spin-offs from those jobs are vital to other sectors of the economy.
The financial crisis of 2008 cost millions of Americans their jobs, their homes and their financial security. It has endangered businesses large and small. And it was the result not of the normal ups and downs of the economy, but of recklessness and irresponsibility among mortgage lenders, Wall Street banks, credit rating agencies and government regulators.
Most of us believe education is the key to our country’s future. But we can’t just say that; we have to back our words with action. Since coming to the Senate, I have tried to increase educational opportunities for Michigan families.
Michiganians know that protecting the environment is vital to human health, and that we must preserve the natural beauty and resources that are important not just to our state’s identity, but to our economy. We also know that finding and developing clean sources of energy is a key to creating economic opportunity for our state, and a vital part of our national security strategy.
Careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars is one of my most important duties, and so is ensuring that the burden of federal taxes is fairly shared. That means ensuring federal dollars are spent wisely and that tax policy promotes economic opportunity for all Americans.
The Great Lakes are central to Michigan’s identity and to the health and prosperity of Michigan residents. They are also an immensely valuable natural resource for the entire nation. Protecting that resource has been a top priority of mine since coming to the Senate.
Our strength as a nation depends on a social safety net that is consistent with American values. Such a safety net is a necessary complement to a vibrant, dynamic and growing market economy. Since coming to the Senate, I have supported programs that serve the elderly and disadvantaged and help families who are hurt by the ups and downs of the economy through no fault of their own.
Oversight of government operations is one of Congress’ most important duties. Careful, thorough review of complex but significant issues can yield important insights into how our institutions are performing and valuable information for policy makers. I take that role seriously, and as chairman of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, I have led investigations into government waste, fraud and abuse and have lifted the veil on wrongdoing and failures of government regulation in financial markets and other institutions.
The most urgent challenge for the 113th Congress is to help restore the jobs that were lost in the recession. I supported the steps taken in 2008 and 2009 to prevent a depression and begin our economic recovery, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; federal assistance for the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler; the HIRE Act and Small Business Jobs and Credit Act; and emergency unemployment benefits.
Our nation’s commitment to equality under the law for all citizens, and to a justice system that protects the community while ensuring fairness for all, are the hallmarks of our democracy. As a lawyer who began my public service career as the first general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, I understand why it’s important to fight for equality under the law. I have supported laws that protect Americans from the damage that crime can do in their communities, and for a justice system free from discrimination.
As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, helping craft U.S. defense policy is one of my most important duties. Our national security policy must maintain a military capable of defending the United States, its allies and its interests around the world; fully support the men and women of our military and their families in keeping with their sacrifices; make careful use of taxpayer dollars; take full advantage of the productivity of U.S. workers and the innovation of U.S. companies; remain firmly grounded in American values; and recognize that our security challenges cannot be solved by the use of force alone.