Fighting for Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care
Xavier has fought for affordable health care for decades, driven by the belief that health care should be a right for everyone.
Today as California Attorney General, Xavier leads multi-state efforts to defend our state’s cutting-edge affordable health insurance policies.
He’s leading a coalition of states to protect health subsidies: he successfully corralled fellow Attorneys General to get the green light from federal appeals court to intervene in House v. Price, — a critical lawsuit that could determine whether the Administration continues to support health care subsidies. And he sued the Administration over its plan to end cost-sharing payments that help make subsidies available. He has also worked to protect women’s health rights, suing the Administration over attempting to limit access to contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And he has relentlessly prosecuted statewide sex trafficking rings.
In Congress, Xavier played a leading role in some of the biggest national battles for health care reform. He was an early supporter of single payer health care and helped draft the ACA, crafting language on lower costs for modest income seniors in Medicare and protecting health care access for Californians by ensuring that they received the correct Medicare reimbursements, specifically. As a senior Member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he tackled health care’s costs, payments to health programs and looked after seniors’ health, leading House Democrats to prevent a 20 percent cut to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in 2015, for example.
His work to promote affordable care began as an attorney in 1984, advocating for Californians with mental illness — an issue he again tackled in the late 1980’s as California Deputy Attorney General.
Protecting the Environment
Xavier is committed to tackling climate change, making our drinking water safe and our air clean. He seeks to protect vulnerable populations, while working to ensure a sustainable climate.
Today as Attorney General for California, Xavier has led a coalition of states to stop the Administration’s effort to ease restrictions on methane emissions. He has sued the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to provide documents he requested on whether EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest in making environmental decisions. He has challenged the EPA’s illegal delay of important air quality standards. And much more.
With oversight and enforcement of two critical state environmental laws—the California Environmental Quality Act and the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Xavier also investigates and prosecutes civil and criminal violations of environmental laws on behalf of the state and client agencies.
Fighting to protect our climate is nothing new for him. As a Member of Congress, Xavier opposed legislation that would have turned a blind eye to greenhouse gas emissions, worked to clean the Los Angeles River and preserve green space in Los Angeles neighborhoods and supported clean energy initiatives.
Standing up for Immigrants
Xavier has been a national and state leader for decades on immigration reform.As the son of immigrants who grew up hearing about his father being turned away from restaurants because of signs that read, “No dogs or Mexicans allowed,” Xavier works to reverse discrimination wherever he sees it and to advance equal protection for immigrants under the law.
He believes everyone who works hard deserves a chance to get ahead and views our rich and diverse heritage as key to our state’s strength and prosperity.
As California Attorney General, he has led the national effort to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, sued the Trump Administration over its effort to curb funding for sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten local law enforcement’s ability to protect our communities and joined amicus briefs to oppose the Administration’s discriminatory travel ban. He has also worked to build trust between communities and law enforcement by modernizing California’s police force to ensure officers are trained to work across neighborhoods to protect everyone.
Xavier’s work as a leading immigrant rights’ advocate stems back to his tenure in Congress, where he stood up for immigrants before most lawmakers were talking about how to fix our broken immigration system, earning him the elected role in 1997 as Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, from which he helped give Latino families a voice.
Also while in Congress, Xavier rallied support for multiple versions of a DREAM Act. He launched the first-ever bipartisan immigration working groups in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009, which he then restarted in 2013. In 2015, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials honored Xavier with the Edward R. Roybal Award for public service. And in 2016, the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies awarded Xavier an annual Lifetime Achievement Award for advocating policies in support of immigrants from the Asian Pacific Islands.
Fighting for Workers
Xavier has long advocated for Californians who have been wronged or unfairly targeted financially, working to help our most vulnerable communities, from young people to students to hardworking families.
As California’s chief law enforcement officer, Xavier has announced multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of Californians disadvantaged by over-the-counter medicines that failed to meet quality standards, fought wire fraud scams, predatory student loan lending, compromised credit card information and more. He has secured millions of dollars in debt relief for students who attended predatory for-profit colleges and continues to fight to protect retirement security for seniors. And he is holding Equifax accountable for its breach of personal data – demanding that victims of the breach get the help and support they need and deserve.
In Congress, Xavier fought to protect the Social Security benefits of Californians who paid into the program and earned their chance to retire with dignity. In 2016, he worked on the fiduciary rule that today requires financial planners to put their clients’ best interests ahead of their own financial interests. And he fought against tax cuts that would benefit the wealthiest Americans and caused record Federal budget deficits at the expense of hardworking people.
Strengthening Public Safety and Delivering Criminal Justice Reform
Xavier believes our communities are best-served when there is trust and communication between Californian families and law enforcement.
He envisions a state in which parents can go to bed at night knowing their kids are safe from violence, in which discrimination plays no role in law enforcement and citizens respect the rule of law.
Today as the chief law enforcement officer of California, Xavier encourages all communities and law enforcement to build trust in each other, as a way to guarantee the safety of families statewide. He works to help law enforcement harness technology, so California can get ahead of the curve on cybersecurity and use cutting edge tools to keep individuals, including our men and women in uniform, safe.
Under his leadership, California’s Department of Justice has modernized its police force, sponsored state legislation to require an assessment of 2015 and 2016 data related to officer-involved shootings and has explored options for bail reform. Xavier has also sued the U.S. Department of Justice over trying to restrict funding for so-called sanctuary cities and jurisdictions on behalf of California.
As a U.S. Representative of Los Angeles for two decades, Xavier held routine town hall meetings with residents to make sure he understood their fears and anxieties and heard their ideas to improve community safety. He also met with state officials to understand the constraints and challenges facing law enforcement to combat crime.
He supported funding for so-called sanctuary cities and jurisdictions, for example, because he saw first-hand how important it was for his constituents to trust and work with police officers to keep families safe and prevent crime. He advocated for gun safety measures, as a way to curb violence that had historically plagued parts of California. And he put his own ideas into legislation, too, introducing a bill in 2008 called the National Crime Gun Identification Act, for instance, which aimed to prevent firearm owners from manufacturing semiautomatic guns lacking microstamping technology to help police officers crack down on crime.