Representative Peter A. DeFazio's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (OR) - District 4, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House - District 4
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Peter DeFazio has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Peter DeFazio is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "By failing to permit the District of Columbia to spend local government funds on abortion, we are sending the message that low-income women should not have access to the same medical services that middle- and upper-income women can access. Ultimately, this prohibition may threaten the health of medically vulnerable women and deny patients the right to access constitutionally protected medical services." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/637383/letter-to-democratic-members-of-the-house-and-senate-appropriations-committees#.VZxPM3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I support a woman's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions among a full range of options." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/27037/peter-defazio/#.VZxPlXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/7720#.VZxQGHUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Congress could balance the budget by making strategic cuts, ending wasteful subsidies, and ensuring that large corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/balanced-budget (defazio.house.gov)
  • "He acknowledged the mountain of debt we're going to leave to our kids and grandkids. We can reduce this debt in a fair way by asking the wealthiest among us, the large corporations, and others that get special tax breaks to pay their fair share." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/763707/defazio-responds-to-president-obamas-state-of-the-union-address#.VZxWKHUVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "One-third of the deficit is due to high unemployment. We need a strategy to put Americans back to work. That requires investment--investment in education, investment in our roads, bridges, highways, transit systems, jetties, levees, dams, and harbors across the country. That would put Americans back to work." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/769532/battle-of-the-budgets#.VZ6q33UViko (votesmart.org)
  • "If we take that $220 billion for payroll tax cuts and instead invest in the future of this country, we will be more competitive, more productive, and more efficient." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/795521/rebuilding-not-tax-cuts-creates-jobs#.VZ6ocHUViko (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We've been now, for a decade, living under the theory that reducing taxes creates jobs, especially reducing taxes on billionaires--you know, the job creators--creates jobs. It's not working too well, is it? No, it's really not working at all." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/625874/let-the-bush-tax-cuts-increase#.VZ6rSHUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "This payroll tax holiday put $15 a week back in the pockets of those fortunate enough to have jobs. While working families could use an additional $15 a week, it did nothing to help the 20 million people who are unemployed. This was yet another example of a failed attempt to generate jobs through tax cuts." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/795521/rebuilding-not-tax-cuts-creates-jobs#.VZ6ocHUViko (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must fully fund the No Child Left Behind initiative and higher education programs like the Pell Grant, so every student can enjoy a quality education and the opportunity to attend college." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/60327/defazio-responds-to-bushs-state-of-the-union#.VZ6i2HUViko (votesmart.org)
  • "The NCLB needs to be redrafted, providing opportunities to track student progress in a meaningful way rather than continue the short-sighted policies that do not provide schools the necessary flexibility to reach achievement goals. DeFazio strongly believes that Congress needs to fully fund NCLB. When the federal government imposes mandates on local schools, then the federal government should follow through on promised funding to fulfill those mandates. In addition, the annual testing mandate and 100% proficiency mandates are a flawed framework for measuring student achievement." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/education (defazio.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944 (votesmart.org)
  • "One of my first official duties with the House Transportation & Infrastructure Democrats was to speak in opposition to the Republican bill that approved construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline." https://www.facebook.com/RepPeterDeFazio/posts/10152984445869812 (www.facebook.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Just as we have an all-of-the-above national energy strategy, we need to have an all-of-the-above veteran employment strategy. As was outlined in a report released by the Solar Foundation today, the solar industry employs a higher percentage of veterans than the broader national workforce. These are good-paying, highly skilled jobs in a sustainable, renewable industry that increases national security through energy independence."http://votesmart.org/public-statement/851858/defazio-we-need-an-all-the-above-veteran-employment-strategy#.VZxRGnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "DeFazio is committed to promoting the development of renewable energy, helping reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, and putting an end to our reliance on foreign oil." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/natural-resources (defazio.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While DeFazio supports implementing strong domestic caps on greenhouse gas emissions, he believes the most efficient and effective way to cut greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate emissions." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/natural-resources (defazio.house.gov)
  • "DeFazio believes if we truly want to cut carbon emissions, the Obama administration and Congress should implement predictable regulations. This regulatory approach is far superior to implementing a carbon trading scheme that is rife with manipulation, fraud and marketplace boom-and-bust cycles." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/climate-change (defazio.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law abiding citizens to own guns for sport and personal protection. I believe it is within the purview of the individual states to set reasonable restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns. I voted against the assault weapons ban because a weapons specific ban is not the answer to keeping prohibited persons from illegally obtaining firearms. Instead, I voted for a nationwide point of purchase instant criminal background check system." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/27037/peter-defazio/#.VZxYcXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Gun violence has affected constituents in every Congressional district, and as their representatives, Members of Congress deserve the opportunity to vote on bills that would address this epidemic. Congressional silence is not a sign of respect, but rather an institutional indictment. We must right this wrong. You must allow a vote on substantive legislation to address gun violence." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/888676/letter-to-john-boehner-speaker-of-the-house-163-members-of-congress-demand-a-vote-not-silence-to-prevent-gun-violence#.VZxYa3UVhHw (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I have never pretended that the Affordable Care Act is perfect. From the day this law was enacted, I have made it clear that I am willing to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pass common sense fixes to the law. Today’s bill is an example of one of those fixes and that’s why I joined with Democrats and Republicans to make it easier for Oregonians who like their insurance plan to keep that plan." http://defazio.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/media-release-defazio-votes-to-help-oregonians-keep-the-health-plans (defazio.house.gov)
  • "I have always said the law is not perfect, and I have been vocal about needed improvements such as antitrust protections and individual mandate reform. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make common sense changes to the Affordable Care Act." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/health-care (defazio.house.gov)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We strongly support key reform elements that include: 1) broad and humane treatment of the 11 million aspiring Americans, including DREAMers, and an earned path to citizenship making it possible for them to fully integrate into the nation's social and economic fabric." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/818671/letter-to-speaker-john-boehner-and-leader-nancy-pelosi-comprehensive-immigration-reform-with-strong-labor-protections#.VZ6iq3UViko (votesmart.org)
  • "In 2005, I voted for a border security bill that put enforcement first by imposing significant penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants; requiring employers to verify the legal status of workers with federal officials rather than just glancing at documents presented; making it easier to deport immigrants caught at the border; and improving technology to secure the border. I am opposed to blanket amnesty proposals that would treat every immigrant the same, irrespective of how long they've been here."http://votesmart.org/public-statement/238803/defazio-responds-to-state-of-the-union-address#.VZ6j7HUViko (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In '96, I was one of only 67 to vote against DOMA. Just 18 years later, love has overcome. A great day for equality." https://twitter.com/reppeterdefazio/status/614477725873496064 (twitter.com)
  • "I’ve been fighting for equality for same-sex couples for decades. In 1996, I was one of only 67 Members of Congress to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act and publicly call the policy discriminatory and unconstitutional." https://www.facebook.com/RepPeterDeFazio/photos/a.10150239477324812.343727.94324364811/10153406946319812/?type=3&permPage=1 (www.facebook.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Unfortunately, over the last several decades Congress has outsourced its war powers to the executive branch, giving administrations unchecked authority to unilaterally commit U.S. forces to armed conflict. DeFazio has frequently introduced legislation, the War Powers Amendments Act, requiring the President to acquire Congressional authorization for any conflict lasting more than 60 days." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/national-security (defazio.house.gov)
  • "Right now, ISIL does not pose a credible strategic threat outside of the Middle East and the U.S. response must reflect that reality. We cannot allow the Dick Cheneys of the world to use the horrific beheadings by ISIL as a call to war, just like the Gulf of Tonkin incident or the alleged weapons of mass destruction capabilities of Saddam Hussein. These sectarian wars are based on thousands of years of history and the U.S. has no role in sorting them out." http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2014/09/peter_defazio_votes_against_ar.html (www.oregonlive.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Instead, some of my colleagues in Congress would prefer to manufacture a crisis in order to privatize the entire system, leaving seniors' benefits at the mercy of Wall Street power brokers. They want you to think the system cannot be fixed and that Social Security as we know it is doomed. We can prove them wrong. If every American pays their fair share into the system, we can make sure the government fulfills its obligation to America's seniors." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/950253/rep-defazio-statement-on-social-security#.VZxQiHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "DeFazio has long opposed privatizing Social Security which could divert Social Security revenues to risky Wall Street accounts." http://defazio.house.gov/issues/seniors-issues (defazio.house.gov)

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.

Oregon Congressional Election 2010 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.

Pro-choiceInferred Answer a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

I support a woman's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions among a full range of options.

1) Spending

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.

Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
c) Defense
Maintain Status1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Decrease2) Military hardware
Greatly Decrease3) National missile defense
Greatly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Decrease6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increased) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland security
Slightly Decreaseg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific research
Greatly Decreasej) Space exploration
k) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

c) eliminate cold war era programs like the F-22, Star Wars, new attack submarines, new nuclear weapons, and improve funding for basics for the troops.

k) slightly to greatly decrease

2) 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.

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories

d) Eliminate corporate tax loopholes and lower rates. I support a minuscule speculator tax on high frequency, non-productive trading, and on speculative derivatives products.

NoCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesCandidate Answer5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles

3) I voted to limit the exemption from taxation to estates of $7 million or less- establish progressive tax rates on estates above $7 million

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles

b) I don't support unnecessary regulation of the private sector, however, I don't subscribe to the Bush Administration's markets know best, deregulation at all cost philosophy. I voted against deregulation of the financial services industry which led to the savings and loan bailout, ENRON, and the 2008 Wall Street bust.

e) I have repeatedly voted against congressional pay raises and have refused to accept those pay raises while the government is deficit spending. Instead, I have linked my pay to Social Security COLA's and turned back the rest to fund community college scholarships for dislocated workers in southwestern Oregon.

Noa) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yesb) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Noc) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yesd) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yesf) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yesc) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yesd) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Noe) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles

a) I am not unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for certain crimes.

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yesb) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Nod) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles

Reform No Child Left Behind; fully fund any new mandates on public schools; fund a minimum of 40% of IDEA; give new teachers in rural, inner city, or poor districts an annual reduction in federal student loan debt. I personally fund scholarships at 5 community colleges in Southwest Oregon from congressional pay raises. By the end of 2010, I will have contributed almost $320,000 of salary toward 197 scholarships and debt reduction.

YesCandidate Answera) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesb) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Noc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles

Protect remaining old growth on federal lands - provide a predictable and sustainable timber supply through restoration forests and thinning of second growth.

e) I am supporting legislation that would dramatically strengthen the federal leasing to guarantee taxpayers a better return on oil and gas located on federal lands. The legislation would also impose tougher safety standards, in particular safety standards for off-shore drilling and deep water drilling, and strict liability standards.

(g) I do not support development of nuclear reactors with federal funds or subsidies.

YesInferred Answer a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations
b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles

I believe the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law abiding citizens to own guns for sport and personal protection. I believe it is within the purview of the individual states to set reasonable restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns. I voted against the assault weapons ban because a weapons specific ban is not the answer to keeping prohibited persons from illegally obtaining firearms. Instead, I voted for a nationwide point of purchase instant criminal background check system.

YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Noc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yese) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles

Currently, insurance companies can do collude to fix prices, limit competition, and deny benefits to protect their obscene profits. I introduced and successfully passed legislation to repeal the insurance company anti-trust exemption in the House passed health care reform legislation. Unfortunately, the Senate stripped it out. Earlier this year, my language to repeal the anti-trust exemption was passed as free standing legislation by a vote of 406-19.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations
b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles

In 2005, I voted for a border security bill that put enforcement first by imposing significant penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants; requiring employers to verify the legal status of workers with federal officials rather than just glancing at documents presented; making it easier to deport immigrants caught at the border; and improving technology to secure the border. I am opposed to blanket amnesty proposals that would treat every immigrant the same, irrespective of how long they've been here. I have voted for increased resources for border patrol agents to enforce immigration laws.

NoInferred Answer a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Noi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles

I supported the initial invasion of Afghanistan. But after eight years there is no meaningful government, police or security force in place, and there is corruption throughout the government. We need a new strategy.

The U.S. can handle any terrorist forces with a smaller troop presence and should let the Afghans work out the intra-tribal conflicts that they've been carrying on over for 600 years. I have urged the President to move toward a less expensive, less troop intensive strategy that would bring about a better result.

e) I only support non-military aid to countries for security interest purposes.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Nod) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles

I oppose a federal constitutional amendment that preempts states rights and imposes a federal definition of marriage.

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) As Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee I will work to:

* increase investments in America's transportation and other critical infrastructure to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and improve our long-term economic viability,

* strengthen Buy America provisions to help revitalize our manufacturing industry

2) We need a new trade policy. I voted against NAFTA and every other trade policy since being in office. These polices have resulted in the exporting of our industrial manufacturing base overseas chasing after the cheapest labor and costing us millions of jobs here at home.

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