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Carl's Priorities


Carl believes in governing in a fiscally responsible manner while developing commonsense solutions to address the issues facing our Nation - and when it is necessary, transcending party lines to get things done for the common good. At his core, he believes in people before politics

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He is principled and pragmatic, believing that our elected officials should uphold the morals and values that are expected of our Nation’s leaders. His campaign platform is to return respect to Washington and rebuild the Nation’s belief that elected officials should be, and can be, leaders of character, leaders who value honesty and integrity.   

​His positions on some of the major current political topics are listed alphabetically below: 

Climate Change and Clean Energy

Climate change poses the largest environmental challenge we face - it threatens our economy, our water and food supply, and our national security. We must include environmental impact considerations in every act of Congress. We can use our federal legislative powers to provide funding that spurs innovation that combats climate change, while also driving economic growth. By investing in cutting-edge technologies, we can improve the efficiency of renewable energy, curb methane and carbon emissions, and secure America’s place as the global leader in clean energy. 


I will support legislation that builds a competitive clean energy economy that puts workers and communities first, accelerates the transition to clean energy, prioritizes a modernized renewable energy infrastructure and enforces emissions reduction programs. But these efforts must also ensure that clean energy solutions have minimal environmental impact. This means scrutinizing every aspect of technologies such as electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines, from production to disposal. By prioritizing environmental stewardship throughout the lifecycle of clean energy technologies, we can effectively mitigate potential harm and pave the way for a sustainable future that safeguards our planet and natural resources for future generations.

Sustainable Energy

Criminal Justice Reform

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world—higher than China, Russia, or Iran—whether measured in total prisoners or percent of population. Virginia has an incarceration rate of 749 per 100,000 people - the 17th highest rate of all states, and a higher rate than the U.S. average overall. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the U.S. spends $81 billion annually on mass incarceration, a figure that may be an underestimate, with the Prison Policy Initiative suggesting the actual cost is closer to $182 billion. With one in three working-age adults in the U.S. having an arrest or conviction record, barriers to employment hurt our economy and exacerbate labor shortages. 

We must reform our criminal justice system. This means reevaluating mandatory minimum sentences, enhancing police accountability, and investing in initiatives addressing the root causes of crime, including poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse. Prioritizing reentry is paramount. Returning citizens confront significant challenges in securing safe and affordable housing, facing nearly 10 times higher rates of homelessness compared to the general public. Limited housing exacerbates difficulties in finding employment, accessing healthcare, and reintegrating into society. As your representative, I will advocate for policies and legislation aimed at addressing racial and socioeconomic disparities, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment, strengthening reentry programs, and implementing community-based crime prevention strategies.


Economic Growth

I believe every American should have the opportunity to succeed and prosper in the 21st-century economy. My priorities include making healthcare more accessible and affordable, addressing the student debt crisis, raising the minimum wage to ensure fair compensation for hard work, and making housing more affordable by expanding access to affordable housing options and combating predatory practices in the housing market. I believe investing in infrastructure is an investment in the economy. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act presents a crucial opportunity to enhance our Nation’s transportation, water, electricity, connectivity, and aviation infrastructure, revitalize local economies, and ensure good-paying jobs are created in the process.


To ensure economic fairness, I will support measures to hold corporations and the wealthy accountable for their fair share of taxes by closing loopholes and implementing progressive tax policies. Addressing inflation and corporate monopolies are also essential to create a competitive economy and marketplace where small businesses thrive and consumers benefit from fair prices and choices. Together, let's build an economy that promotes fairness, opportunity, and sustainability and benefits all Americans, not just a privileged few.



Investing in education is crucial to unlocking our Nation's potential and addressing our most pressing challenges. I will advocate for greater federal investment in education to strengthen our schools and promote access to quality education for all students. Examples include increasing tax deductions for out-of-pocket expenses teachers incur and providing educators who work a full school year with tax credits and student loan forgiveness. I will also work to correct the formula used to distribute funding under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act so that Virginia receives equitable federal funding for special education. Investing in education is an investment in our Nation’s future.

School Bus & Children

Foreign Policy and National Defense

America must continue to serve as a beacon of liberty and global leadership, advancing peace, security, and prosperity worldwide. This entails cultivating and nurturing strategic alliances with like-minded nations, employing a comprehensive approach across diplomacy, foreign aid, intelligence, and economic strategies. We must lead global intelligence efforts, strengthening partnerships to address emerging threats and combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction while fortifying our national infrastructure. Upholding democratic principles is paramount, safeguarding elections and protecting against threats to our safety, privacy, and prosperity, including cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns. We have a moral obligation and a national security imperative to safeguard our nation and the world. Central to our mission is the modernization of our military, a vital step that entails prioritizing investments in cutting-edge technology while streamlining outdated programs and unnecessary expenditures. We must ensure our courageous servicemen and women receive the training, equipment, and unwavering support they need during deployments and the care they rightfully deserve upon returning home. 

American Flag on Pole

Gun Safety

I support the Constitutional right of Americans to own guns, however, we must pass legislation that requires responsible common-sense gun ownership and that keeps guns out of the hands of those who would use them for violent crimes. Gun safety reforms should encompass universal background checks, bolstering mental health resources, and advocating for wider adoption of red flag laws. By striking a balance between protecting the Second Amendment and implementing sensible gun ownership requirements, we can better secure our communities from the scourge of gun violence.



As a Nation, we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other developed country, yet our health outcomes in areas such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and chronic disease management often lag those of other developed nations. Our healthcare system needs reform.


I will support legislation that expands healthcare coverage and reins in costs so that people can afford to stay healthy without going into debt. I will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs and advocate for greater transparency and accountability around prescription drug pricing. I will develop solutions to ensure our rural communities have access to equitable, affordable, high-quality health. I will support innovation in health technology that allows for better treatment options, empowers medical professionals, enhances patient care, and saves lives. 

Patient with Healthcare Nurse


Our Nation’s immigration system is broken. Stringent eligibility requirements, limited immigration quotas, and massive backlogs in our nation’s immigration courts hinder legal pathways and leave millions of immigrants in limbo. Immigration reform and addressing barriers to legal immigration are crucial for reducing illegal migration. As Americans, we must acknowledge immigrants’ vital role in our communities, labor force, and economy, including their significant tax contributions. In Virginia alone, immigrants contribute billions in taxes and hold tremendous spending power. They fill essential jobs in healthcare, STEM, agriculture, construction, hospitality, and other industries that are essential to our state’s economy. 

As your representative, I will advocate for bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform that will strengthen border security and increase pathways to legal citizenship at the border and for the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already living, working, and paying taxes in the U.S. and across the Commonwealth. By embracing immigration reform that combines security with compassion, I believe we can build a system that upholds our values, strengthens our borders, and honors the contributions of immigrants who have enriched our society for generations.

Image by Nitish Meena


Our Nation's infrastructure is in dire need of attention, with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rating U.S infrastructure at a concerning 'C-'. In Virginia, our infrastructure received a 'C' rating in 2022, ranking the Commonwealth 38th overall in the nation. To propel Virginia's economy forward, we must prioritize robust and sustainable infrastructure investments. This entails enhancing broadband access, expanding transportation networks, and supporting industry workforce initiatives to fuel long-term economic growth. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act presents a crucial opportunity to tackle our infrastructure challenges, create jobs, and enhance transportation, water, electricity, connectivity, and aviation infrastructure. As your representative, I am committed to championing the implementation of the IJJA and advocating for sustained infrastructure investment, ensuring Virginia's prosperity and competitiveness in the 21st-century economy.

Image by Ed 259


As a former Army Officer and the son of two Veterans, I understand the sacrifice of service and believe that each Veteran deserves the benefits and support they have earned. As an accredited attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I have spent over a decade representing Virginia’s veterans and their families to ensure they obtain the benefits, support, care, and recognition to which they are entitled. This experience has highlighted the challenges many Veterans and their families face, including health problems, employment issues and struggles around accessing their benefits—immediately after service but also in the years that follow. Post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, hearing loss, illnesses caused by toxic exposure, and other injuries can show up years later and affect any stage of life. Struggles transitioning to civilian life can cause serious problems, including depression, homelessness, and increased risk of crisis. 


We must honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country by ensuring they have access to vital services, benefits, and assistance. I will work to lower healthcare costs, expand access to high-quality care, and expand access and improve the quality of mental healthcare for Veterans and their families. I will strongly advocate for policies and funding to alleviate Veteran homelessness, address mental illness and trauma, reduce Veteran suicide rates, and provide expanded services and support for justice-involved Veterans and Veterans navigating addiction and recovery.


Women's Healthcare

Every woman should have the right to make her own healthcare decisions. To uphold this fundamental principle, I will fervently support legislation that codifies this right and safeguards unhindered access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraception and safe, legal abortion.


"In this critical election to fill Virginia’s 7th Congressional seat, it’s vital that we vote for a candidate who brings Virginians together, not divides them.  Carl Bedell is that candidate.  Not only did Carl serve our nation honorably as an Army officer, he has dedicated his professional career to assisting veterans and their families.  Having worked with Carl when he was appointed by then-Governor Terry McAuliffe and reappointed by Governor Ralph Northam to Virginia’s Board of Veteran Services, I personally observed Carl work across party lines to ensure Virginia’s veterans receive the support they deserve.  Carl brings a common sense approach to government, needed in Congress more today than ever.  Your vote for Carl is a vote for sanity in government, for unity, and common sense.  He has my complete endorsement."

Tom Herthel
Retired Air Force Officer
Retired Deputy Commissioner,

Virginia Department of Veterans Services

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