McGrath supports term limits, police reform and Equality Act

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Amy McGrath supports term limits, a well-planned military pull out from Afghanistan, a national police database as part of police reform and the Equality Act.

As part of WNKY’s ongoing political coverage of the 2020 election, McGrath joined Soky Sunrise via Zoom and answered questions on a variety of topics.

McGrath is challenging Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who she said has been in office too long. McConnell previously appeared on Soky Sunrise.

“I am 100 percent for term limits. Look this isn’t a red or blue thing, it’s just what we need to do,” she said.

McGrath also addressed equality for LGBTQ people.

For several years, many people in Bowling Green have been trying to convince city leaders here to pass a fairness ordinance to protect people who who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer from housing and employment discrimination. A local civil rights leader gave an impassioned plea to city commissioners comparing a fairness ordinance to the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently issued rulings that extended civil rights employment protections to LGBTQ people.

McGrath supports codifying federal law extending that protection to education, healthcare, housing and financial credit through the Equality Act that is currently stalled in the Senate. The act passed the house and has been sitting in the Senate since May 2019.

“Yes, the Equality Act is something we need to do. I think it’s right,” she said.

“We’re in 2020. This is a country where we don’t discriminate against people and in the military, I served with people from all walks of life –  different religions, different ethnicities, and at the end of the day, you know what we cared about? ‘Can you shoot, can you drive the tank, can you drop the bomb’ not who we married, not those things. It was ‘are you competent, are you somebody we can count on, are you somebody of integrity where if I get shot down are you going to be somebody that has my back. Can I count on you.’ Those are the things that matter, and I think it’s about time in this country that we have equality for everyone,” McGrath said.

Before the coronavirus appeared in the United States, the country’s economy was thriving. The virus which caused states to shut down businesses and reopen in limited capacity has changed the country’s economy.

The first step toward improving the economy is to have a solid coronavirus response, McGrath said.

“The first thing we have to do is get the coronavirus under control. Other countries have been able to do it. We need a national testing and tracing plan that’s robust. And look, we’ve got 220,000 Americans dead in nine months. … . My plan is immediate aid for state and local governments, immediate aid for people right now, extended unemployment insurance for those people who are thrown off of their job from no fault of their own and then a national testing and tracing plan because it is so important to get this under control so that we can get our economy back. That also means aid to schools.”

As American troops are being pulled out of Afghanistan, the former Marine fighter pilot, said removing American troops from Afghanistan has to be done in a way that does not leave America open to danger.

“I think the goal is to be out of Afghanistan. I think the problem is, and I have lost friends in Afghanistan, we want to make sure that that does not become a safe haven for people that would harm America.

“So pulling everybody out without a functioning government there to pick up the pieces, I’m not sure that’s in our best interest, and I’m not sure that’s in the interest of those of us that fought there and those of us that had friends that died there.

“There’s got to be a reason that we did that. We were there to bring security. We were there so that we protect America. And I think that’s really important. That said, we should not be there forever,” she said.

McGrath said it’s time for Congress to get involved in the decision making process about military force.

McGrath also addressed veterans affairs.

“Veterans need not to be politicized by this president or any other president, first and foremost,” she said.

“I think we need more veterans in Congress. I think we need veterans in Congress because we need Congress to step up and authorize the use of military force around the world, and I think veterans are the ones who are going to stand up say ‘do your job’ in that arena.

“I think we need more veterans in Congress because we understand the value of making sure that we protect the VA. We don’t try to privatize it. We fund it. We make sure that it’s doing its job in terms of healthcare and in terms of the benefits that veterans have earned.

“I think it’s really important that we tackle veteran homelessness and that we tackle veteran mental illness,” she said. “A lot of veterans have PTSD. We’ve got to get serious about it.”

Part of that plan includes removing marijuana from the list of Scheduled 1 drugs and making medical use available to veterans and others who have a need for it, she said.

McGrath also addressed police reform.

“I do think there is a role for the federal government. One example is a national database for police forces and for police officers. So in other words, if you get dismissed from one police force, the next police force that you apply to should know about that. There should be a database. I think this is common sense. Look, you don’t get kicked out of the U.S. Army and then get to roll into the Navy,” she said.