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Walter 'Wally' Herger, Jr.

Wally Herger, Jr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Walter 'Wally' Herger, Jr.
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Pamela; 9 Children
Birth Date: 05/20/1945
Birth Place: Sutter County, CA
Home City: Chico, CA
Religion: Mormon
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Wally Herger, Jr. refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

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 2010, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-life Inferred Answer Abortion Issues: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. H Amdt 209 to HR 1815. 109th Congress. An amendment numbered 12 printed in House Report 109-96 to lift the current ban on privately funded abortions at U.S. military facilities overseas. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger. voted NO on 25 May 2005. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. H Amdt 509 to HR 3962. 111th Congress. An amendment printed in Part C of House Report 111-330 to codify the Hyde Amendment in H.R. 3962. The amendment prohibits federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 7 November 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 3660. 106th Congress. To amend title 18, United States Code, to ban partial-birth abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger. voted YES on 4 May 2000. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 760. 108th Congress. To prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 4 June 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. S 3. 108th Congress. A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 2 October 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape. e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered. g) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures."
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 0 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 100 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • National Taxpayers Union. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the National Taxpayers Union 90 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 5638. 109th Congress. To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the unified credit against the estate tax to an exclusion equivalent of $5,000,000 and to repeal the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 22 June 2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 8. 108th Congress. To make the repeal of the estate tax permanent. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 13 April 2005. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006. 22 June 2006. "Mr. HERGER. Mr. Speaker, all across America following the death of a loved one, people of modest means are all too often faced with the grim prospect of selling a family farm or small business just to pay the taxes that come due. Such was the case in my own family when my cousins had to sell the farm that had been in our family since the early 1900s just to pay the taxes. This is simply wrong. I rise in strong support of the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act. Like many others in the House, I continue to strongly support permanent repeal of the death tax. Americans should not have to pay this onerous double tax on savings and capital." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter 'Wally' Herger Jr. supported the interests of the Club for Growth 82 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 1424. 111th Congress. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 10 March 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009. 27 January 2009. "Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to this bill with the firm belief and hope that we can do better. We are currently undergoing a severe economic downturn. My own State and district have been badly impacted. And I share our new President's desire to move quickly on an economic recovery measure. However, I cannot support a bill that claims to provide $275 billion in tax relief when $80 billion of that is going to people with no income tax liability. You can't cut taxes for someone who doesn't pay taxes. Mr. Chairman, we can do better by focusing on tax relief that creates incentives for economic activity. Finally, I can't support an $825 billion bill that won't fully take effect until 18 months or 2 years down the road, or even longer. Mr. Chairman, people in my district need help today. We can do better by passing fast-acting tax relief that will create jobs this year, plus extended unemployment benefits for those out of work. I urge my colleagues to vote 'no.' Mr. Chairman, we can and must do better." (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. 7 February 2008. "Madam Speaker, I wish I could share the enthusiasm of my colleagues about tonight's bill. I truly do. But right now Americans need to know their jobs will be around tomorrow. Regrettably, this evening's bill doesn't have much in the way of tax relief to spur job creation and should have gone much further. What concerns me more is the expanded redistribution of money through tax rebates that will, I believe, have next to zero positive effect on our economy in the short or long term. And, unfortunately, at more than $100 billion, it can hardly be called 'free money.' In Congress's hurry to act in reaction to negative economic news, we have truly missed a golden opportunity to enact lasting, pro-growth tax relief. Such relief would benefit all Americans, create new jobs, and drive economic prosperity. I support tonight's legislation, but I believe we can and must do more as a Congress to foster economic growth." (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Tax Freeze and Spending Cuts Best Pathway to Job Creation. 8 September 2010. "The two things most responsible for holding back our economic recovery and job creation are out-of-control spending and looming tax hikes on American small businesses. Unfortunately, the President today reaffirmed his commitment to raising taxes on small businesses at the beginning of next year and adding billions more to the debt through new spending. But over 2.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since the failed $812 billion stimulus took effect, and the President's own former top budget advisor recently declared that raising taxes now would "make an already stagnating jobs market worse.' Indeed, how can business owners plan to expand and hire new workers when the largest tax increase in history is staring them in the face? I believe we need a new approach to spur job creation and get our fiscal house in order. The House Republican plan would immediately cut spending by $100 billion to give entrepreneurs and investors greater confidence that Congress is serious about addressing our alarming debt. Second, it would encourage job creation by assuring small businesses that they have won't to send more money to Washington come January. I hope President Obama and Speaker Pelosi will recognize the failures of their tax and spend approach and enact these important proposals in a bipartisan fashion." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Business and Employment Issues: Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves. d) Support proportional increases of Social Security benefits based on the cost of living index. e) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits."
  • Walter Herger. Herger Commends President Bush for Addressing Retirement Security. 8 February 2005. "As President Bush has said, for today's retirees and those near retirement, nothing is going to happen to Social Security. Benefits won't change. But Congress will have to look at all other options on the table, because there is no silver bullet. One option we need to consider is personal retirement accounts. As Secretary Snow said, people deserve a chance to do better than they would under Social Security. Such a system would work like the Thrift Savings Plan - which is available to Congressmen and federal employees. Workers could choose to safely invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in TSP-like personal retirement accounts, and build a nest egg for their own retirement." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Crime Issues: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. H Amdt 497 to HR 2181. 105th Congress. An amendment to add a new section which provides that in further consideration of death sentence recommendations, life imprisonment shall be imposed instead, if the court has any doubt that a defendent actually committed the offense. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 25 February 1998. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes."
  • Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants 30 percent in 2005-2006. (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education Issues: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. HR 1. 107th Congress. To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 23 May 2001. (votesmart.org)
  • Home School Legal Defense Association. 1999-2000. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the Home School Legal Defense Association 80 percent in 1999-2000. (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Environment and Energy Issues: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. HR 2454. 111th Congress. To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 26 June 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "c) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil). f) Support domestic oil exploration in areas that are currently restricted. g) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels. i) Support research and development of nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source."
  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of Environment America 13 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger signed Americans For Prosperity: No Climate Tax. 9 February 2010. (www.noclimatetax.com)
  • Walter Herger. Herger: EPA's Attempt to Circumvent Congress Recklessly Endangers our Economy. 8 December 2009. "I believe that the EPA's finding is a flawed policy decision of historic proportions. As Congress continues to debate damaging "cap and tax' legislation, this agency has taken it upon itself to sidestep the legislative process and use the administrative process to impose a rule that will burden American businesses and manufacturers with crippling regulation during a serious economic downturn. The Clean Air Act was clearly never intended to regulate emissions on such a scale. Congress wrote this law four decades ago to reduce the small levels of truly harmful pollutants. The EPA's latest bureaucratic assault on our economy is a political ploy to add momentum to the Copenhagen Climate Negotiations as the release of disturbing email messages from England's Climatic Research Unit have brought into question the validity of the "science' advocates have depended on to justify such overarching policy." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Gun Issues: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2003. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 5 percent from 1991 and 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Walter Herger a grade of A. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 4296. 103rd Congress. To make unlawful the transfer or possession of assault weapons. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 5 May 1994. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 6842. 111th Congress. To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 17 September 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns." Gun Issues: e) Other or expanded principles: "I firmly believe the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of citizens -- as individuals -- to keep and bear arms, and would strongly oppose any law or regulation that would infringe on that fundamental right."
  • Walter Herger. HR 1025. 103rd Congress. To provide for a waiting period before the purchase of a handgun, and for the establishment of a national instant criminal background check system to be contacted by firearms dealers before the transfer of any firearm. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 10 November 1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010. 29 June 2010. "Mr. HERGER. I thank my friend from Wisconsin for yielding. Yesterday, the Supreme Court delivered a victory for our constitutional freedoms by upholding the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms. To fully honor the Second Amendment, we must also be vigilant against regulations that place unnecessary burdens on manufacturers of guns and ammunition. The requirement for manufacturers to pay Federal excise tax biweekly is costly and does not improve tax compliance or public safety. H.R. 5552 is a commonsense bill that doesn't add to the deficit and will help ensure law-abiding Americans have access to American-made firearms. It is supported by the NRA and a number of hunting and conservation groups. I urge the passage of this legislation." (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Herger Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Individual Gun Ownership Rights. 26 June 2008. "Congressman Wally Herger issued the following statement today after the Supreme Court rejected the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and declared that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual right to own a firearm: 'The Supreme Court's decision to protect gun ownership rights is a victory for individual liberty in our nation. The Court correctly concluded that the architects of our Constitution designed the Second Amendment to guarantee that all Americans have the right to own a gun for protection and for hunting and other recreational activities. The deeply restrictive DC gun ban violated this fundamental right by keeping virtually any firearm out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. And at the end of the day, it provided nothing of substance to address crime in our nation's capital. I'm very pleased that our nation's highest court got this historic decision right.'" (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Issues: Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. HR 3962. 111th Congress. To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on 7 November 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "b) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts. e) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage. g) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government."
  • American Public Health Association. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 11 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Affordable Healthcare for America Act. 24 June 2010. "Mr. Speaker, ironically, the bill before us today uses the same bill number as the Democrats' health bill that passed the House in November of last year. It's ironic, because Republicans argued for months that the Democrats should address the flawed Medicare physician payment formula in their health care overhaul. After all, if they could find more than one-half trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, you would think they could find a couple dollars to fix the SGR; except, they didn't, allowing them to shield the true cost of their trillion-dollar government takeover of health care. It's one of the many reasons we should replace that flawed law with reform Americans can afford, and then we can address a true long-term fix for our doctors." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Immigration Issues: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "f) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship." Immigration Issues: i) Other or expanded principles: "Regarding d), I support enforcing the law and penalizing those who knowingly violate it, but at the same time recognize that the current verification system is deeply flawed and unworkable. I am a cosponsor of reform legislation introduced by Texas Congressman Sam Johnson that would establish a new employer verification program for newly-hired employees. Once a system is in place, it would increase existing penalties on those employers who knowingly fail to comply. For those employers who appropriately follow the law, they will not be liable for wrongful hires."
  • National Latino Congreso. 2007-2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the National Latino Congreso 13 percent in 2007-2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 67 percent in 2007-2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Statement of Congressman Wally Herger: "On President Bush's State of the Union Speech." 23 January 2007. "In addition, I commend the President for discussing his Administration's increased commitment to border security. I also applaud him for recognizing the need for a temporary lawful guest worker program. We are a nation of laws, and our immigration policy cannot in any way provide an incentive for individuals to continue to enter our nation unlawfully. As Congress debates this issue later this year, I will work to ensure our new policy is balanced and amnesty free." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer International Policy Issues: Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Walter Herger supported the interests of Peace Action West 8 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Herger: Increase of Troops in Afghanistan the Right Call for National Security But Victory Must Be Our Timeline. 1 December 2009. "I'm encouraged by President Obama's decision to follow the recommendations of his top general in Afghanistan and will increase troop levels as part of a counter-insurgency strategy. This mission is of the utmost importance to the United States and our national security. A stable Afghanistan that partners with us against al Qaeda and like-minded extremists will significantly bolster our security, while the potential return of the Taliban to power-the same group that harbored Bin Laden and allowed al Qaeda to plot 9/11 from Afghan soil-would invite these terrorists back into the country and represent a serious setback to our security." (herger.house.gov)
  • Walter Herger. HR 4899. 111th Congress. Supplemental Appropriations Act. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on Limiting Afghanistan Military Funding to Withdrawal and Other Specified Purposes on 1 July 2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 4899. 111th Congress. Supplemental Appropriations Act. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted NO on Requiring Timetable for Withdrawal from Afghanistan on 1 July 2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Now Is The Time For Action In Afghanistan. 15 October 2009."'In a speech in August, President Obama again made it clear that our mission in Afghanistan is a 'war of necessity' and that we would not back down. Unfortunately, just two months later, the President is considering the possibility of abandoning the counter-insurgency strategy before it has been fully implemented. General McChrystal has offered his straightforward assessment of the situation in Afghanistan. He stated that without a substantial increase in troops and supplies, we risk 'mission failure.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Speech at the Roll Out of the Global Hawk "Block 20". 25 August 2006. "As we approach the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, we are reminded once again of the terrorist threat we face, and why military success in Iraq and Afghanistan is so important to our future security." (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Herger: Supporting Our Troops Should Be The Only Option. 10 March 2010. "Congressman Wally Herger, (R-CA) issued the following statement after the House rejected a resolution that would have directed the President to remove all American forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2010. The House voted on this measure after Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leadership were pressured by the far left of their party to provide an opportunity to express opposition to President Obama's surge strategy. 'Thankfully, the House rejected the ill-conceived measure. It is dangerous and irresponsible to hold a vote questioning the mission of our troops while they are in the midst of a particularly critical stage of President Obama's surge strategy. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership should be getting behind our men and women in uniform instead of handing our enemies a propaganda opportunity. The only thing that offering this resolution accomplishes is undermining our troops and their families that are doing the hard work of freedom and keeping America safe. We can't afford to allow Afghanistan to again become a safe haven for terrorists that wish to kill our citizens and threaten our way of life. We must not turn our backs on this vital mission to U.S. security. The counterinsurgency strategy was recommended by generals on the ground and has already had important successes. While there is hard and dangerous work ahead, the surge has resulted in the capture of key Taliban leaders, the routing of Taliban forces, and the liberation of key areas of the country that were strongholds of the Taliban. The Speaker should be putting a resolution on the floor that lauds our troops and reinforces our commitment to their critical mission in the War on Terror, rather than provide a platform for a fringe movement that can do nothing but damage the morale of the men and women fighting to protect the American people.'" (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Social Issues: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Walter Herger. 2008. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election Political Courage Test. Selected NO for: "a) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?" Selected YES for: "b) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?"
  • Walter Herger. H J Res 88. 109th Congress. Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 18 July 2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. HR 3396. 103rd Congress. To define and protect the institution of marriage. Project Vote Smart Summary: Walter Herger voted YES on 12 July 1996. (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Herger Strongly Opposes State Court's Misguided Decision on Marriage. 16 May 2008. "Yesterday's ruling by a one-vote majority of the California Supreme Court dealt a serious blow to the principles of representative government. Justice Corrigan put it well in her dissenting opinion when she noted, 'This court can overrule a vote of the people only if the Constitution compels us to do so. Here, the Constitution does not. Therefore, I must dissent.' In 2000, an overwhelming majority of Californians approved Proposition 22 to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Yet in a blatant display of judicial activism, four unelected judges chose to substitute their own views for those of more than four million California voters and undermine the institution of marriage. Because California is the most populous state in the country, this ruling will have a major impact on the national debate over marriage laws, and it could affect future cases challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Walter Herger. Herger: Activist Ruling Just the Beginning of Fight to Protect Traditional Marriage. 4 August 2010. "Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA) issued the following statement after a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8, which California voters passed in 2008 to ensure that marriage in the state consists of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional: 'This is simply another example of judicial activism and legislating from the bench. The will of the people, made clear at the ballot box, has been completely ignored. This fight is just beginning and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the will of the people will be upheld and that traditional marriage--defined for millennia and across the world as the union of one man and one woman--remains uncompromised and the central institution of the family in our society.'" (votesmart.org)

Key

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.

California Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Dilation and extraction or "partial-birth" abortion procedures should be legal.
Xg) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures.
h) Other or expanded principles.

Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.
1) Budget Priorities
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Greatly Decreaseb) Arts
Greatly Increasec) Defense
Slightly Decreased) Education
Greatly Decreasee) Environment
Slightly Decreasef) FEMA
Maintain Statusg) Homeland security
Slightly Decreaseh) International aid
Maintain Statusi) Law enforcement (Federal)
Greatly Decreasej) Law enforcement (State)
Maintain Statusk) Medical research
Maintain Statusl) National parks
Maintain Statusm) Public health services
Maintain Statusn) Scientific research
Greatly Decreaseo) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increasep) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Eliminateq) United Nations
Slightly Decreaser) Welfare
s) Other or expanded categories

Regarding g) above, I support "greatly decreasing" many areas of the Homeland Security budget, but because the Homeland Security function also includes funding for border security and enforcement (for which I have supported and do support funding increases), I indicated "maintain status." Regarding l), I believe the condition of our National Parks is an important and pressing issue, particularly given the maintenance backlog, but I believe the NPS can better manage their existing budget (e.g. put more resources toward on-the-ground projects and maintenance and less toward land purchases and overhead).

2) Defense Spending
Greatly Increasea) Armed forces personnel training
Greatly Increaseb) Intelligence operations
Greatly Increasec) Military hardware
Greatly Increased) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Greatly Increasee) National missile defense
Greatly Increasef) Pay for active duty personnel
Greatly Increaseg) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Greatly Increaseh) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increasei) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories
3) Taxes
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.
Family Income Taxes
Eliminatea) Less than $12,000
Greatly Decreaseb) $12,001-$40,000
Greatly Decreasec) $40,001-$100,000
Greatly Decreased) $100,001-$180,000
Greatly Decreasee) $180,001-$350,000
Greatly Decreasef) $350,001 and above
g) Other or expanded categories
Other Taxes
Greatly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Eliminateb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Decreasec) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Eliminatef) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Deductions/Credits
Maintain Statusa) Charitable contribution deduction
Maintain Statusb) Child tax credit
Maintain Statusc) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Statusd) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Statuse) Mortgage deduction
Maintain Statusf) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

While I support continuing these tax benefits in the absence of fundamental tax reform, I believe we must replace the current system with one that is more fair, less costly and less burdensome on American taxpayers. To that end, I am a supporter of the "Taxpayer Choice Act," which would give taxpayers a choice between participating in the current system (including the existing credits and deductions) and an alternative system that replaces all of these special benefits with a simple, tiered flat tax at two separate rates (depending upon income).

Yes4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
Yes5) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
6) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Xa) Support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
b) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
Xc) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
Xd) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
e) Support prohibiting ads containing candidates' name that are paid for by third parties from airing 60 days before a primary and 30 days before a general federal election.
f) Support instant run-off voting (IRV).
g) Support designating Election Day as a national holiday.
Xh) Support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations.
Xi) Support limiting the President's use of signing statements in order to prevent an alternative interpretation of the bill.
j) Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
k) Other or expanded principles

I believe the best way to improve our campaign finance system is through efforts to create and foster full transparency.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
Xa) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xg) Support strict penalties for internet crime (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
h) Require that crimes based on sexual orientation be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs.
Xb) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
Xc) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Allow teachers and professionals to receive federal funding to establish charter or magnet schools.
e) Increase funding for the Pell Grant program.
f) Decrease interest rates of Stafford Loans.
Xg) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
h) Ban university financial aid officers from owning stock in or accepting gifts from student loan lenders.
i) Require universities to disclose financial relationships with lenders.
j) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
k) Eliminate all federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
l) Other or expanded principles

Regarding j) and k), I support legislation that would let states opt out of many requirements of No Child Left Behind in order to pursue alternative, performance-based education strategies.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today’s job market.
Xb) Reduce government regulation of the private sector.
c) Encourage employers to offer child care services, flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
d) Increase the federal minimum wage.
e) Support the right of workers to unionize.
f) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
g) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
h) Include gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Xc) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
d) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
e) Strengthen fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
Xf) Support domestic oil exploration in areas that are currently restricted.
Xg) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels.
h) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
Xi) Support research and development of nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source.
j) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws.
k) Support international mandatory emission targets to limit global warming.
l) Support international voluntary emission targets to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
Xa) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns.
b) Ban the sale, ownership or possession of handguns except by law enforcement and other government officials.
On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories.
Maintain Statusc) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Slightly Decreased) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Other or expanded principles

I firmly believe the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of citizens -- as individuals -- to keep and bear arms, and would strongly oppose any law or regulation that would infringe on that fundamental right.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Implement a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans, regardless of income.
Xb) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
c) Allow the importation of prescription drugs into the United States.
d) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xe) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
f) Support expanding child healthcare programs.
Xg) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
Xb) Establish English as the official national language.
Xc) Support a temporary worker program.
d) Support harsher financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
Xf) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship.
g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship.
Xh) Support merit-based visas over family-based visas.
i) Other or expanded principles

Regarding d), I support enforcing the law and penalizing those who knowingly violate it, but at the same time recognize that the current verification system is deeply flawed and unworkable. I am a cosponsor of reform legislation introduced by Texas Congressman Sam Johnson that would establish a new employer verification program for newly-hired employees. Once a system is in place, it would increase existing penalties on those employers who knowingly fail to comply. For those employers who appropriately follow the law, they will not be liable for wrongful hires.

International Aid
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international aid.
Xa) Support the United States granting aid to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Support the United States granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Eliminate United States aid for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid granted by the United States should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles
International Policy
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international policy.
Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Yesb) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesc) Should the United States impose greater international sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesd) Should the United States support the Lebanese government against insurgent forces?
Yese) Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?
Nof) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
g) Discuss your proposals for Iraq.

Regarding e) and f), I continue to support General Petraeus's strategy for securing Iraq. The sooner we can secure the country and provide an environment in which a new democratic government can take root that can provide security for Iraqi citizens, the sooner our troops can come home. Premature withdrawal would create a terrorist safe haven, embolden Iran and increase the threat it poses in the region, and make Americans less safe.

Regarding b), while I support the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinian government must also renounce terrorism and recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Yesh) Should the United States apply greater economic and diplomatic sanctions against North Korea if it fails to abide by its agreement to suspend its nuclear program?
Yesi) Should the United States increase financial support for Afghanistan?
Yesj) Should the United States increase military support for Afghanistan?
Yesk) Should the United States trade nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes?
Nol) Should the United States decrease financial support for Pakistan?
Nom) Should the United States decrease military support for Pakistan?
Yesn) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan?
Yeso) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Yesp) Should the United States provide economic and military support to the Transitional Government of Somalia?
Yesq) Should the United States use sanctions to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses?
Yesr) Should the United States support the creation of an independent nation of Kosovo?
s) Other or expanded principles
International Trade
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.
Noa) Do you support the United States imposing economic sanctions on China?
Undecidedb) Do you support the United States imposing trade sanctions on Venezuela?
Yesc) Do you support the United States involvement in free trade agreements?
Yesd) Do you support the United States involvement in intergovernmental organizations dedicated to trade?
e) Other or expanded principles

Regarding a), China must be required to play by our international trading rules so American businesses can compete on a level playing field, and I support reasonable efforts to do so. However, we must proceed in a balanced way, so as not run afoul of our own trade obligations and instigate undue trade retaliation against other American products, which could harm American businesses and consumers.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.
Yesa) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Yesb) Should law enforcement agencies have greater discretion to monitor domestic communications, to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yesc) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Undecidedd) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yese) Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to United States national security?
Nof) Do you support the creation of a federal identification card system?
Yesg) Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?
Yesh) Should the United States expand its missile defense shield?
i) Other or expanded principles

Regarding g), I support utilizing the National Guard if it is critical to our national defense. I also support increasing the size of our active duty force to minimize the need to call upon the National Guard.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Noa) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Yesb) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines?
Nod) Do you support federal funding to create lines of stem cells from new embryos?
Noe) Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?
Nof) Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
Undecidedg) Should the federal government regulate internet gambling?
h) Other or expanded principles

Regarding c), I support research into alternative methods of stem cell development.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
Xa) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves.
b) Ensure the viability of Social Security by increasing the payroll tax.
c) Decrease benefits paid to retirees.
Xd) Support proportional increases of Social Security benefits based on the cost of living index.
Xe) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
f) Other or expanded principles

Regarding c), I believe we need to maintain the promise we made to current retirees, but because the problem with Social Security is so severe, fixing it for the future will require all options to be on the table.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
Xa) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
Xb) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
c) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
d) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
e) Other or expanded principles
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.

1) Restoring fiscal discipline and a balanced budget, including a reform of our federal entitlement programs to make them sustainable for the future;
2) Reforming health care in a way that reduces costs for every American by fostering greater competition, transparency, and accountability; allowing Americans to bring their insurance with them when they change jobs; eliminating the unfairness in the tax code that gives a preference to employer-sponsored health care, among others; and
3) Reforming our tax code to make it fairer, simpler and less burdensome for American families and to enable America to continue to lead the world economically.

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