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Eric Swalwell is a four-term California congressman who emerged on the political scene in 2012, when as a 31-year-old he ousted a veteran Democrat who had represented his House seat for four decades.
Though Swalwell represents California’s Bay Area, he was born in Sac City, Iowa — a key early-voting state he’s visited some 15 times in the past two years. Swalwell, now 38, comes from a Republican family, and his parents still have a Trump-Pence magnet on their refrigerator. His first job was at the Alameda County prosecutor’s office, where he worked for seven years.
The California Democrat is twice married, once divorced. He has two children, a son, Nelson, and a daughter named Kathryn, who he calls “Cricket.” Here’s where Swalwell stands on five issues.
Swalwell has co-sponsored numerous gun control-related bills in Congress, including a bipartisan measure to expand background check requirements. In February, Swalwell introduced the “No Guns for Abusers” Act, which aims to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals with a history of domestic violence.
The congressman penned a USA Today op-ed last May calling for a ban on military-style assault weapons, and pushing for a federal buy-back program. (Swalwell’s call for the weapons ban landed him on the cover of the NRA’s magazine, “Freedom,” with the headline “Gas Bag in the House.”) The congressman reiterated his stance on guns at a town hall on ending gun violence in Sunrise, Florida, this week.
Swalwell published an op-ed in support of Medicare for All last month, writing that the policy is “the obvious solution to a health care system that still drives people to financial ruin.” Swalwell also co-sponsored a Medicare for All bill that House Democrats introduced in February.
In March, Swalwell told Morning Joe that he supports “coverage for all” but is not in favor of eliminating private insurers, as some of his competitors are. (A page that was once dedicated to the issue on his website (now his official presidential campaign site) is currently not working.)
Swalwell would advocate for no-interest federal student loans as well as debt-free college, according to his campaign website. He’s introduced a number of bills in Congress on these issues, including several that would enhance student loan forgiveness and deductions.
At a February “Politics and Eggs” breakfast in New Hampshire, Swalwell proposed a “college bargain” system that would allow students to help pay for their schooling through part-time work-study or volunteer jobs.
Swalwell has voiced support for the Green New Deal, the progressive climate action bill that House Democrats introduced in February. He has also expressed strong disapproval of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Swalwell has been critical of the president’s immigration policies, recently tweeting that he’d like Trump to show more “compassion” by visiting the Central American countries many migrants are fleeing from to witness the violent conditions there.
The congressman supported the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 (the bill died in the House), as well as legislation to protect so-called “Dreamers,” immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors.
Courtney Vinopal is a general assignment reporter at the PBS NewsHour.
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