Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Welcome to the new KNPR.org!

If you have questions, feedback, or encounter issues as you explore, please fill out our Feedback Form.

Susie Lee

Name

Susie Lee

Occupation

Member of Congress

Political Office

House of Representatives-- Nevada's third congressional district

Political Affiliation

Democrat

How would you describe yourself to voters?

I’m a mom of two wonderful children, a lifelong education advocate and non-profit leader, and an avid outdoorswoman. My life story motivated me to begin my career in service. I grew up as one of eight children in Canton, Ohio and put myself through college, only to see my father lose his job—and never find one again. My career has been dedicated to giving our future generations the opportunities that this great country offered me and to ease the struggles of our working families, and provide security and dignity to all. In order to accomplish these goals, my top priority has been to cut through the dysfunction in Washington and bring people together to address our state’s most pressing challenges. During my three years in Congress, I have been a moderate voice for our community and state and have worked tirelessly with both Democrats and Republicans to make progress for Nevadans. Now, more than ever, I see my running for re-election as one of the last lines of defense for our great democracy.

What do you see as the top issues in this campaign?

My top priority is seeing our state’s recovery from the pandemic through to the end. COVID-19 rattled our economy and put unnecessary burdens on the shoulders of our working families. That’s why I took swift, decisive action to stand up for southern Nevadans and ensure we passed the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan. These legislative endeavors were critical to making sure our small businesses could keep their doors open and that Nevadans could still provide for their families and have access to health care and other vital services.

I’m also committed to ensuring that the cost of living goes down for Nevada families. Nevada is recovering at the fastest rate compared to any other state in the country. Two years ago, we had an unemployment rate of 34 percent—now, we’re hovering around six percent. It’s obvious that our economy is rebounding but that we’re still paying the price of the pandemic. Southern Nevada families shouldn’t have to struggle to make ends meet, and that’s why I will continue to fight each day in Washington to bring prices down and deliver relief directly to my constituents.

Reproductive rights are also on the line in November, and a Republican majority in Congress will waste no time in banning abortion altogether—including in states like Nevada where abortion is protected. This isn’t just about anti-choice politicians regulating women’s bodies—it’s about the repealing of fundamental freedoms, which, if Roe v. Wade is struck down by the Supreme Court, will hang in the balance at the ballot box. The vast majority of Nevadans support Roe, as does the vast majority of Americans, and I continue to stand in solidarity with them. I will never stop fighting to codify abortion rights into federal law and will continue to push back against anti-choice extremism.

What are the three greatest challenges facing Nevada, and how would you address them in Washington?

Our economic recovery is strong, but uneven, and we must do more to make sure our economy bounces back stronger than before. The American Rescue Plan helped save thousands of small businesses and over 100,000 jobs across southern Nevada, but we can do more to create jobs, bolster our workforce, and give our businesses another much-needed boost. As a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I was proud to have helped broker a bipartisan deal on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is not only making historic investments in our state’s infrastructure, but has put us on track to create thousands of good-paying, union jobs to support our state’s transition to a clean energy economy. We must also continue to support our restaurants and small businesses, which are the backbone of our communities. That’s why I voted to pass the Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act to replenish funding for our restaurants and support other small businesses impacted by the pandemic. I will continue working across the aisle to ensure we deliver additional relief for our businesses, create jobs, and ensure our economy continues to flourish.

The western United States is currently experiencing a historic drought that has Lake Mead sitting at its lowest level yet. As we face the effects of climate change, we must create innovative solutions to fix our water shortage. That’s why I ensured that my Large-Scale Water Recycling Act was included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Our water shortage, if not addressed, will spell disaster for our economy and our children. Drought cannot become our new normal. I will continue working with our neighboring states in the West to ensure that we can keep clean, safe water in the Colorado River for generations to come.

The pandemic only exacerbated long standing issues in our health care system. Nevada is currently facing a dire doctor shortage, which means that many of our families are going without the care that they need, especially mental health care. In fact, all 17 counties across our state have some type of Health Professional Shortage Area designation because of the lack of providers. I introduced the bipartisan Improving Access to Health Care in Rural and Underserved Areas Act to provide additional support for primary care providers in our rural areas through continuing medical education and peer-to-peer clinical support. The cost of prescription drugs are also taking a toll on Nevada’s families. I voted to pass the Affordable Insulin Now Act to cap the price of insulin at $35 a month for the 37 million Americans living with diabetes—but we must do more and bring the cost of all prescription drugs down. I am dedicated to bringing the cost of medication down and will continue to work across the aisle to deliver sensible solutions to our families. Lack of access to mental health care is at a crisis level. We must collectively work to address barriers that prevent practitioners from coming online in Nevada and continue to innovate to provide access. That’s why I introduced the Virtual Peer Support Act, to allow for online peer counseling.

Inflation has reached its highest levels in more than 40 years. What should Congress do to address the rising costs of living?

Rising prices at the pump, at the grocery store, and in the pharmacy are top of mind for southern Nevadans. This is a multifaceted issue that is a consequence of the pandemic and of current events around the world— especially Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s why I voted for the America COMPETES Act so that we can begin making more critical goods here in America to combat shortages, strengthen our supply chain, and ensure that our country can outcompete any other nation in the world.

Whilehardworking Nevadans are struggling to make ends meet, we’re seeing corporations, including Big Oil, making record profits, while raising prices. I joined my colleagues to call for hearings to hold Big Oil accountable for lining their pockets by increasing prices at the pump.

I’m working with my colleagues to bring supply chains back to the U.S. and to hold corporations accountable, and I’m also working to address longstanding cost of living issues, like lowering the price of prescription drugs and keeping health care premiums affordable, and expanding access to affordable child care.

Would you vote to support/oppose a federal law that guarantees women across the country the right to an abortion?

I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act to guarantee the federal right to access abortion care, free from political interference and dangerous restrictions. When Senate Republicans blocked the Women’s Health Protection Act, it was a loss for all women across America. The stakes have never been higher, and that’s why we must end the filibuster rule that allows a minority of Senators to overrule the will of the majority in the Senate. I will continue to be an advocate for abortion rights and support the necessary steps to ensure that we codify Roe’s legacy into federal law.

One of my top priorities is to protect reproductive rights at the federal level. Protecting these fundamental rights at the federal level has never been more crucial since a leaked opinion showed that the Supreme Court is poised to strike down Roe v. Wade. If the Supreme Court does strike down Roe, it will be a loss for women across America with grave consequences. We cannot allow lawmakers to coerce women into having a future that they neither wanted nor prepared for.

Republicans in Washington will stop at nothing to continue their assault on our most fundamental rights. Nevada voters voted two to one to protect a woman’s right to choose back in 1990. But if Republicans take back control of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said a federal ban is absolutely “possible” if Roe is overturned.