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Eric Swalwell's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CA) - District 15, Democratic
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Eric Swalwell 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 am a strong supporter of women's rights and the ability of women to make their own healthcare decisions […]" (
  • "I am 100% pro-choice and support the right of women to have full access to contraception and reproductive health services." (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
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

  • "I voted against H. Con. Res. 25 and H. Con. Res. 96, the budgets proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. These budgets would end Medicare as we know it, repeal the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, impose drastic spending cuts, and give massive tax reductions for corporations and upper-income persons." (
  • "I support a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. Many wealthy people have vastly increased their wealth through a federal tax policy that puts a lower tax rate on investment income like dividend and interest from stocks and other assets." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing to urge the Subcommittee to maintain resources for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program and fund it at $250 million. This program has been critical for state and local law enforcement in combating drug abuse in our nation's communities." (
  • "Swalwell is a former prosecutor and understands the effort devoted to the war on drugs, but he believes that local law enforcement officials should have the opportunity to devote more resources to other, more serious matters without federal interference." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "With this budget, we can address and fix these problems for the families we represent. We can expand access to child care and cut taxes for families paying child care. We can pass and expand access to community colleges with tuition-free community colleges. We can see paycheck progress by making investments in transportation and infrastructure." (
  • "We need five years, at least, to give priority for roads, bridges and tunnels, and local transportation funds. I support Measure BB, which will extend BART to Livermore. It will buy highway improvements, more pedestrian and bicycle access, and increase access to transit and Wheels." (
  • "The federal government also has to carefully review its spending to eliminate old, wasteful programs, update current ones for the 21st century, and make strategic investments to promote economic growth in the future. Spending reductions should be targeted and smart, not across-the-board cuts (e.g., sequester) which reduce all programs equally regardless of merit. We can cut foolish spending without cutting foolishly." (
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.622 "State and Local Sales Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2015" (
  • "I will level the playing field for contractors and the self-employed and believe a self-employer's tax contribution should be no higher than an employee's. I also support deferral of all federal government taxes for the first year of any new small business." (
  • "For America to create jobs and succeed in the global economy of the 21st century, the federal government must have policies that support economic growth. That means we must change our federal tax code to reward companies that create jobs in this country and not encourage any to ship jobs overseas." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "With education, we should think globally but allow decisions to be made locally. In this changing economy, we need flexible standards that reflect regional needs." (
  • "I will work to repeal President Bush's NCLB Act. In this changing economy, we need flexible standards that reflect regional needs. Not nationalized standards, that would expect the same of Birmingham, Alabama as Hayward, California." (
  • "Swalwell supports the state's participation in Common Core." (
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" (
  • "Swalwell voted against the Keystone XL pipeline. 'It's bad for the environment. It uses America as a middle person. Canada exports the dirtiest fossil fuel, and it is burned around the world. We should spend our efforts on renewables.'" (
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

  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing on behalf of the 80,000 Americans employed by the U.S. wind industry – representing jobs in all fifty states – to ask that you promptly extend the current law Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Wind now provides power to over 15 million American homes, as well as to many thousands of farms and businesses." (
  • "The long-term solution is to invest in clean sources of energy. Much more can be done. Our national labs are leading the way." (
  • "My amendment presented a clear choice: a forward-thinking energy policy focused on renewable energy and energy-efficiency or one that is frozen in the past of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, House Republicans chose the past over the future. We should be securing our energy independence and investing in better, safer, more affordable energy. Today's shortsighted decision puts that future at risk." (
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" (
  • "We need to move forward now at this moment to take the necessary steps to combat the warming of our planet before these impacts become inevitable.I represent the East Bay in California, where people understand the effects of climate change and are willing to do whatever is necessary to take the big steps, do the big things, take some risk to address this and grow our economy." (
  • "Thank you for your leadership in responding to the serious challenge of climate change. We applaud and support your Climate Action Plan, the joint announcement with China establishing ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, and the national commitment to the Green Climate Fund. These actions are critical to protect Americans from the most dangerous effects of climate change." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support common sense reforms to prevent gun violence and make Americans safer. We need to keep dangerous weapons out of civilian hands, improve our background check system, make sure the mentally ill receive the treatment they need, and provide schools the required resources to keep our children secure." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "All any victim's family expects is that we do the most that we can to make sure it doesn't happen again. No one here on the floor thinks we're going to reduce every instance of gun violence. But damn it, isn't that why we came here -- to try?" (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While I was not in Congress when it became law, I support the goals of the Affordable Care Act and will work to strengthen and improve it." (
  • "U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today voted against the Republicans 46th attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and roll back patient protections, and in support of a plan that will keep the President's promise that if you like your health care you can keep it." (
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

  • Signed a letter stating "We believe it is undeniable that detention in a secure facility is detrimental to mothers and children and is not reflective of our values as a Nation. Children require special protections and should not be laced in jail-like settings." (
  • "For too long, too many hard-working immigrants and their families have lived in fear. If House Republicans will not act, the President should bring certainty to these families. As a former prosecutor, I believe we should focus on removing violent criminals from our country, not breaking up families." (
  • "There are good reasons to ensure we aren't deporting victims or witnesses of crimes. However, there is no reason to shield felons from removal. Federal and local officials must find a way to work together to make necessary corrections to our immigration practices for our public safety and the memory of Kate Steinle." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today's decisions march us closer toward equality for all. With DOMA, the Supreme Court struck from the books a discriminatory law that drew a distinction between the love of same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. And today, the distinction has greatly narrowed, but we still have work to do." (
  • "Let the wedding bells ring across the land. Today's Supreme Court ruling affirms that love is love. In all 50 states, men and women can marry the person they love, share their lives together, and have it recognized under law, with the benefits that come with the institution of marriage." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "With the death of Osama bin Laden and many top Al-Qaeda leaders, the United States is safer today than even a year ago. However, terrorism is still a top concern and I am committed to focusing our security priorities toward the continued hunt for Al-Qaeda leaders and the dismantling of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks. This includes continued funding for the training and equipment of our special-ops forces that are successfully defeating Al-Qaeda and providing the US a strong national defense." (
  • "To defeat ISIL, I support U.S. led airstrikes and the building of a real, substantive coalition of regional allies who will stand up to defend their own countries and existence." (
  • "[…] I want to make clear that I stand in strong opposition to putting troops on the ground. […] Any resolution to authorize force must have clear language limiting the scope and duration of American involvement." (
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

  • "Social Security is one of our most successful government programs, lifting seniors out of poverty and offering most seniors the only means of retirement income. To ensure the long-term viability of the program, I support lifting the cap on wages above $110,000 and also support raising the retirement age gradually and tying it to life expectancy rates." (
  • "I am also opposed to any effort to privatize Social Security or reduce benefits for current retirees." (
  • Rated 100% by the 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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