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Maxine Waters' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CA) - District 43, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Maxine Waters 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

  • "The Republicans came to power in Congress saying they were going to focus on job creation and economic growth, but the introduction of this bill reveals their obsession with pushing an extreme social agenda that further restricts the right of women to access health services, including abortions, and have a say over their own bodies." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/585736/congresswoman-waters-judiciary-democrats-hr-3-is-a-full-fledged-assault-on-women-and-families-across-the-nation#.VbJ47XUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/2#.VbJ5ZnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/42053#.VbJ6LnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I am very pleased with Attorney General Holder's announcement today that federal prosecutors will no longer pursue draconian mandatory minimum prison sentences in cases involving low-level, non-violent drug offenders who have no ties to large-scale gangs and cartels." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/806613/congresswoman-waters-commends-doj-urges-passage-of-mandatory-minimums-legislation#.VbJ9HXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Although the Justice Department's policy shift is a welcoming step towards more 'smart on crime' initiatives, the fight is far from over as long as mandatory minimums still remain in law. Mandatory minimum sentences have not reduced drug use and have contributed to exploding prison populations throughout the United States." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/812216/rep-maxine-waters-introduces-bill-to-remove-mandatory-minimums-from-federal-law#.VbJ8x3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We want green jobs, but they have not developed as we have talked in the Congress or the president has talked about. I'd love to have solar panel development going on down in my district but it is not happening. So, what we want to do is we want to make sure that there's a big investment in the infrastructure […]" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/636505/cnn-cnn-newsroom-transcript/?search=solar#.Vnxo6GwViko (votesmart.org)
  • "The CBC budget also makes critical investments in affordable housing programs, including fully funding public housing and fully restoring Section 8 housing choice vouchers lost due to sequestration." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/961629/concurrent-resolution-on-the-budget-for-fiscal-year-2016#.VbJ9YnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Congresswoman Waters recently led efforts to secure assistance for communities that are still reeling from the effects of the recession. She led a group of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) lawmakers on the Financial Services Committee in securing $4 billion within the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 for unemployed homeowners and devastated communities dealing with the foreclosure crisis." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/483289/congresswoman-maxine-waters-minorities-continue-to-face-unemployment-crisis#.VbJ7JXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/38274 (votesmart.org)
  • "Well, to tell you the truth, we came out with a piece of legislation that perhaps did one really good thing and that was to protect the middle class, the American taxpayer, and avoid them having increased taxes and make the tax deductions, the tax credits, taxes for them permanent, instead of them having to have their taxes increased because we were going to go over the fiscal cliff, we stopped it and that's the one good thing that came out of this." http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/01/04/maxine-waters-post-obama-tax-hikes-the-rich-must-be-taxed-more-n1478936 (townhall.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VbJ_C3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I am pleased that the President swiftly vetoed legislation that would have authorized the building of the Keystone XL pipeline." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/953936/waters-applauds-president-obamas-veto-of-keystone-xl-pipeline-act/?search=xl#.VbJ_dXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • "We want green jobs, but they have not developed as we have talked in the Congress or the president has talked about. I'd love to have solar panel development going on down in my district but it is not happening. So, what we want to do is we want to make sure that there's a big investment in the infrastructure […]" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/636505/cnn-cnn-newsroom-transcript/?search=solar#.Vnxo6GwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 93% by Environment America http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/30#.VbKAbXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 90% by League of Conservation Voters http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/30#.VbKAbXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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.R. 2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/26496#.VbKBN3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/46345 (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 93% by Environment America http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/30#.VbKAbXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H Amdt 216 "72 Hour Background Check Amendment" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/8861#.VbKCNnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The debate over gun control has been brewing since the tragedy in Arizona almost two weeks ago that killed 6 people and left 14 injured, including my colleague, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. One of the Congress' fiercest gun control advocates, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, introduced simple and sensible legislation to ban the kind of magazine used in the shooting. I am proud to be a cosponsor of her legislation, even as I and my colleagues are being told by people both on and off the Hill that the legislation will go nowhere." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/580394/congresswoman-waters-reacts-to-shooting-at-gardena-high-school-in-her-district (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/37#.VbKBrXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor for H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/29181 (votesmart.org)
  • "It was just two months ago that House Republicans made their 37th vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Today, the House of Representatives voted yet again to do away with critical protections for patients and working families." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/806538/congresswoman-waters-statement-on-38th-house-vote-to-repeal-the-affordable-care-act#.VbKDdnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I rise to oppose H.R. 6079, the Republicans 31st attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.This bill is ridiculous. It is as ridiculous as the previous 30 votes to repeal health care reform. It is ridiculous because this bill is going nowhere. It will not be taken up by the Senate, and even if it were to pass the Senate, the President would veto it." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/724228/repeal-of-obamacare-act#.VbKD83UVhHw (votesmart.org)
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." http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/2015_5_27Family_Detention_Letter.pdf (grijalva.house.gov)
  • "While we should not welcome or extend citizenship to immigrants who commit violent acts, I oppose policies that would result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of hard-working individuals who enrich our neighborhoods, strengthen small businesses and contribute to our economy. Moreover, with generations of immigrants now living within the United States, it would be cruel to destroy homes and separate families." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/580462/issue-position-immigration-reform#.VbKS5nUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955 (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "As federal legislators who represent families across this nation, we believe that—like DOMA—state marriage bans deny our citizens the equal protection that the Constitution guarantees." http://www.democraticleader.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/258055-Brief-Appx.pdf (www.democraticleader.gov)
  • "I have fought against discrimination against LGBT Americans as well as voted against a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent marriage equality. Amendments to the Constitution are relatively rare, and previously they have been used to protect and expand liberties, not to limit individual freedoms." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/629821/issue-position-social-justice-lgbt-rights#.VbKTZXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/76 (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The American people are war-weary and not interested in another prolonged military effort in Iraq. I will continue to closely monitor the situation, but every conceivable effort must be made in working with the international community to negotiate peace, not a return to war." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/890012/congresswoman-waters-responds-to-iraq-crisis/?search=Iraq (votesmart.org)
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

  • Signed a letter stating "Given the state of popular opinion and the impending retirement savings crisis facing this nation, we respectfully urge you to include proposals to expand Social Security benefits for million of Americans to your policy brief at the upcoming Conference." http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/public/_cache/files/52b0f60f-d996-47d3-89a4-f186bc32545c/ssletter-edited-7-12-15.pdf (www.budget.senate.gov)
  • "We need to strengthen Social Security, not cut it. That is why I oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including increasing the retirement age. I also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/739243/progressive-change-campaign-committee-social-security-protectors#.VbKWhHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 99% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/26759/maxine-waters/53 (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.

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