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Ted Lieu's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: State Senate (CA) - District 28, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House - District 33
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Ted Lieu has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2014 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

California Congressional Election 2014 Political Courage Test


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.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am 100% pro-choice and honored to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood.

In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles

It is not reasonable to answer the above two questions with just yes or no answers because these are vastly complicated areas in an immense budget. Would I support reducing defense spending by reducing some troop levels? YES. Would I support reducing spending that is critical to maintaining our technological edge? NO. Would I support simply increasing taxes? NO. Would I support increasing taxes in certain areas but lowering them in others? Maybe. It would depend on the specifics.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I support a Clean Money system. I also believe the US Congress should pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That's why I introduced legislation to place a measure on the statewide ballot to allow California voters to tell Congress that real campaign finance reform must happen, including disallowing corporations to be treated as human beings.

Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles

California's existing death penalty law doesn't work. There is a racial disparity on who gets sentenced to death. I support efforts to reform current law.

Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Do you support lowering taxes as a way of promoting growth in the economy?
Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

It makes little sense to answer the above tax and spending questions with yes or no answers. Would I support federal stimulus for a bridge to nowhere? NO. Would I support federal stimulus to help reduce congestion on the 405? YES. Would I support a tax credit for making socks? NO. Would I support a tax credit for Film & TV production? YES. My answers will depend on specific issues. That's why limited forms like this make it difficult to have intelligent responses.

Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

This answer would depend on the reforms. Do I support reforms that put an even more incessant and suffocating obsession on testing? NO. Do I support reforms that will reduce class sizes? YES.

I believe respect for the education profession starts with student success; and student success depends on adequate education funding and quality educators.

As a Member of Congress, I will fight for more resources and funding, including co-sponsoring legislation and amendments and lobbying my colleagues to ensure that we can attract and retain the highest quality education professionals and provide the necessary classroom tools, resources and facilities.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
NoDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles
YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

I believe the federal government should set greenhouse gas reduction goals. This is working in California not just for carbon emissions, but also for renewables and efficiency. I was proud to support California?s landmark renewable portfolio standard, as well as its most recent increase to 33% by 2020.

As a Member of Congress, I will continue to champion policies that discourage fossil fuel use and encourage renewables and efficiency. I would also reintroduce the Waxman-Markey bill to tackle climate change.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

As a legislator, I have voted regularly to support the ACA, including the creation of the health exchange, setting a minimum level of benefits and expanding MediCal. Additionally, with the increase in health insurance marketing to communities whose first language is not English, I authored and passed a law to ensure that when insurers advertise in a language other than English, the documents must also be in that language. However, the ACA is not perfect and I would support bills to make it better.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

Looking for a better life and opportunity, my parents immigrated to the United States when I was three. With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, I would attend college and then law school. I am in public service because I want to ensure that the opportunities provided to me and my family are open and available to everyone. Comprehensive immigration reform must happen.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I have been on the frontline in the fight for marriage equality. As an Assemblymember, I voted to support all landmark marriage equality bills, voted YES every time to expand domestic partner benefits and I was a proud co-author of HR 5, which sought to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
Should the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

No elected official could reasonably answer just YES or NO to the previous question. Should we bomb North Korea now because they are hostile to the US and have nuclear weapons? NO. Should we use military force to prevent other rogue nations from getting nuclear weapons? It depends on the circumstances. It also depends on my review of classified information.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

I oppose any effort to privatize social security.

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland Security
g) International aid
h) Medical Research
i) Scientific Research
j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

It is impossible to answer the above questions in this limited format. Would I support increasing education funding so schools can do more rigid testing? NO. Would I support increasing education funding to reduce class sizes? YES. Would I support increasing funding for space exploration to the moon? NO. Would I support increasing funding for space exploration to Mars and other planets? YES. Without specifics, it is impossible to answer the above questions in any meaningful manner.

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
a) Capital gains taxes
b) Corporate taxes
c) Excise taxes (alcohol)
d) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
e) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
f) Income taxes (low-income families)
g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Inheritance taxes
j) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

It is impossible to answer the above questions in this limited format. Would I support increasing corporate taxes across the board? NO. Would I support closing corporate loopholes that allow inversions? YES. How much revenues we need also depends on the state of the economy and the state of the budget. Are there cuts being proposed? If so, where? How much are the cuts? What are the tradeoffs? Do we need more revenues? To answer the above questions in the abstract is impossible.

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

Climate Change: I believe global warming is the single greatest threat to California and our nation's future.

Economy: We need to continue growing our economy and creating jobs

Social Justice: Expanding Civil Rights and ensuring Marriage Equality for the entire nation.

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