US-India Global Review

28 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 cation. What are your main solutions for this area of con- cern? According to Pew Research, the average 2016 graduate owed $37,172 in student loan debt. This debt is held with high interest rates by the federal government, making it incredibly difficult for low and middle-income graduates to get ahead. That’s why I am a cosponsor of the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculating Act, a bill that would allow both graduate and undergraduate stu- dents to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates, pro- viding students with the flexibility and certainty to pursue their dreams. Whether it be by decreasing their debt burden or improving existing educational programs, I am committed to ensuring that all students have access to a high- quality, affordable education. My bill, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, accomplishes this by increasing funding and flexibility for state and local governments to administer career and technical education programs that equip students with the skills to obtain good-paying jobs. Congressman Ro Khanna, D-California Came To Congress To Make Effective Changes What do you consider your main achievement in the year since you were elected and why? The unanimous passage of the VET TEC Act, H.R. 1989, by the House. I was the lead Democrat on this bill introduced by Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy – a fellow Californian – because I viewed it as a great way to help our veterans. The bill allows the GI Bill to cover the cost of technology courses for veterans so that they can join the tech field and prepare themselves for 21st- century jobs. I came to Congress because I wanted the opportunity to make effective changes, and as a representative from Silicon Valley on the Armed Services committee, passing a bipartisan, tech-related, bill was a proud moment. What is your approach to dealing with the Trump admin/GOP majorities in all branches of government and how have you cooperated with the majority and what have been the results? I regret the choices this Administration has made in its first year. Its priorities and values do not reflect the mainstream of America. That is why I steadfastly opposed the travel ban, discrimi- nation against brave transgender servicemembers, and numerous attempts to take health care from millions of Americans. I will not compromise on those issues. However, I have been able to work with Republicans, at times, to pass common-sense bills like the VET TEC Act. I also visited Kentucky and spent a day with Rep. Hal Rogers, a senior mem- ber and former Republican chair- man of the House Appropriations Committee, to find ways both sides can work together to expand tech jobs across America in areas like his district that have not pros- pered as much from the technolo- gy revolution. How do you see the future of the Congressional actions in the coming year? Apart from any other issues that you iden- tify, could you talk about hate crime, DACA and healthcare as you see it. I think that Republicans will attempt to pass their tax cuts for the wealthiest and most profitable corporations. I hope that Americans urge their representa- tives to oppose legislation in which 80% of the benefits will go to the top 1%. As for DACA, I will push for Congress to work out a legislative solution that reinstates this important program. How are you preparing for re- election and what is your fundraising situation and what Congressman Ro Khanna