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Tulsi Gabbard's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (HI) - District 2, Democratic
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Tulsi Gabbard has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I realized that whether or not I would choose to have an abortion ought to have no bearing on another woman's ability to do the same. And the government has absolutely no business telling either of us what we could do in that intensely personal situation. " (
  • "I am honored to have the support of pro-choice leaders not only in Hawaii, but nationally who know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for a woman's right to choose, which is one of the core Democratic values of our state." (
  • "A woman's decision to end her pregnancy is one of the most fundamental, difficult, and soul-searching decisions in her life. I do not want government to have the power to force a woman to go through with a pregnancy or punish her if she does not. I will oppose all efforts to repeal Roe v. Wade or undermine our reproductive freedom." (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Hawaiian Reporter "[...]the tax proposal, which would cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and raise taxes on almost everyone else. This is a budget we can't afford, and Hawaii needs a Representative who will stand up to this kind of class warfare." (
  • "Too many politicians in Congress are more interested in handing out billions in tax breaks and subsidies to big corporations than in supporting small businesses--the true backbone and job creators of our economy--and helping them to launch the next generation of entrepreneurs." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Tulsi is fighting to reform America's broken criminal justice system by working to reduce mandatory minimums for certain non-violent offenders, recidivism rates, crime rates, and the social and economic cost of an over-criminalized society." (
  • "Our criminal justice system today is unsustainable and ineffective--the United States incarcerates more of our citizens than any other country in the world, with staggeringly high recidivism rates, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "We must take the $2.5 billion a week we are pouring into Afghanistan to prop up a corrupt government and invest those resources in rebuilding our own economy here at home." (
  • "[...] Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced more than $1 million in federal funding for programs aimed to incentivize and further generate economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.636 "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015" (
  • "Though I support elements of the Ryan budget that seek to eliminate waste and reduce the deficit, and provide increased funding for national security, the draconian cuts to key programs like Medicare, Social Security, and nutrition assistance found in the Ryan budget, along with a likely increase in taxes for hard-working middle-class Americans in order to lower taxes for the ultra-wealthy, are not acceptable and result in hurting our kupuna and families." (
  • "Here are just a few examples of simple, common sense steps we can take to create good jobs: Provide tax credits for businesses that hire workers who have been unemployed for more than six months." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I have long called for updating No Child Left Behind, and this bill helps to address many of the current challenges in our education system, including overly stringent standardized testing requirements that have put unnecessary pressure on schools, teachers, and students for years without effectively improving education for our keiki. The bill gives states more flexibility to determine the best way to measure success in their schools, and provides support for innovation, teacher quality, STEM education, and more." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "Since entering the House, Tulsi Gabbard has been steadfast in rebutting calls to build the Keystone XL pipeline. She’s instead used her leadership platform to advocate for increasing America’s renewable energy supply." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I will work to ensure that Hawai`i becomes the destination of choice for green energy startups, including wind, solar, biomass and wave energy technology. As a Congressional representative, I will work to provide tax and other incentives for green and high technology businesses to locate here." (
  • "I support initiatives that expand renewable energy tax credits and the use of public-private partnerships to implement affordable energy and water conservation measures. Hawai‘i is fortunate to have an abundance of natural energy resources: sun, wind, ocean, geothermal, and the ability to grow a variety of bio-based fuel." (
  • "As the state continues to move toward its goal of generating 100% clean energy by 2045, this grant will help to begin long overdue work to modernize our grid, which is necessary as we work toward increasing our use of solar power, reducing our carbon emissions, strengthening our energy security, and improving our electrical infrastructure." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • Honolulu Civil Beat "I will also work to promote federal policies that encourage and incentivize the creation of sustainable communities where people live and work, thus reducing commuter driving time and air pollution." (
  • Rated 95% by League of Conservation Voters (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • United Press International "You have these local law enforcement officials using military-grade weapons, military equipment in a way that is far beyond what is necessary." (
  • "We owe it to the American people to work together to try to get sensible gun control legislation actually passed--and in order to do that, it must be a bipartisan effort. Majorities in both parties agree with the vast majority of the American people--we need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. However, we must also ensure that any action we take does not compromise the rights to due process guaranteed to every citizen." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Honolulu Civil Beat "I support universal health care. The challenge is how will we be able to provide universal health care without bankrupting our country. While I generally support the Affordable Care Act, it doesn’t do enough to control the ever-spiraling health care costs." (
  • "While I continue to have serious reservations about the Affordable Care Act, and feel strongly that improvements must be made, repealing the ACA is not the answer at this time." (
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Immigration is a federal issue affecting all fifty states and it is not only a mainland problem. However, current immigration laws have had a negative impact on the people of Hawai"i. If all unauthorized immigrants in Hawai"i were removed, the state would lose $2 billion in economic activity, $900 million in gross state product and about 8,460 jobs, according to economic analysis firm The Perryman Group." (
  • Rated 100% by the National Council of La Raza (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • After being sworn into Congress in January, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard expressed strong support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which would have repealed DOMA, […]" (
  • "Everyone deserves equal privileges, benefits, and rights and no one should be discriminated against because of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. The present two-tier system is inherently discriminatory. Therefore, I favor one legal status for all couples, regardless of sexual orientation: civil union." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We’ve learned from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that the best way to defeat the terrorists is through strategically placed, small quick-strike special forces and drones — the strategy that took out Osama Bin Laden. We also know that civilian casualties are much lower with this strategy than with conventional strategy. However, we must improve safeguards to avoid civilian causalities." (
  • "Rather than continuing the nation-building strategy in Afghanistan, we should focus on using small, quick-strike forces and other precision capabilities to eliminate the direct threats that al-Qaeda and other terrorists pose to the United States. These emerging threats come from terrorists and organizations that are not loyal to any one country, and cannot effectively be addressed by deploying a large, immobile troop presence." (
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Honolulu Civil Beat "I think Simpson-Bowles is a good place to start for discussion, but I would not accept any cuts to Medicare or Social Security." (
  • "Tulsi is committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security, preserving the safety net that cares for those most in need. The Alliance for Retired Americans gave Gabbard a 93% grade because she has voted/pledged to protect social security from privatization." (
  • Rated 93% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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