Representative Raul Grijalva's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (AZ) - District 3, Democratic
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Raul Grijalva has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Arizona Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage Test

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles
YesIn order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate AnswerIn order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that we need to become much more fiscally responsible when it comes to our defense spending. We can improve our defense capabilities if we allocate resources more efficiently. However, I would not support any cuts that would compromise our military member's security or reduce support for them.

The wealthiest one percent of Americans undoubtedly contribute far too little in taxes. In addition to having this group pay their fair share of taxes, we need to get rid of the numerous loopholes within the tax code that allow them to evade paying what they already owe.

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

The current campaign finance system has failed the American people, plain and simple. As a result of the Supreme Court?s disastrous decision in Citizens United v. FEC, an already powerful class of wealthy contributors and corporations were granted even greater influence on elections. As a member of Congress, I have fought for a constitutional amendment that would unequivocally reverse the Citizens United decision, allow Congress to regulate big money in politics and ultimately restore the sanctity of our democracy by giving the power back to the people.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
YesDo you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that a strong middle class is essential to our economic stability and prosperity as a country. That's why I support lowering taxes for the vast majority of middle-class Americans in order to create jobs. I also support targeted tax benefits for small businesses when they increase employment, but do not support the corporate welfare we give powerful corporations year after year. The concept of "trickle-down economics" is a fallacy, and has been used by greedy corporations to cheat middle-class workers out of jobs and fair wages, ultimately driving working people into poverty.

YesInferred Answer Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations
  • "I believe that flexibility for states is vital in designing an effective curriculum and measuring progress. But accountability and attention to basic equity and fair resource allocation must be a constant with any federal funding. Title 1 support for poor children, educational protections for disabled children, funding for English as a Second Language programs, and other standards that ensure equal access to education must be followed and not left solely to the discretion of states." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/28253/raul-grijalva/ (votesmart.org)
  • "Providing substantial federal support for education at each of these levels is a fundamental task of government." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/617881/issue-position-education#.VXhzo3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Other or expanded principles

I believe that flexibility for states is vital in designing an effective curriculum and measuring progress. But accountability and attention to basic equity and fair resource allocation must be a constant with any federal funding. Title 1 support for poor children, educational protections for disabled children, funding for English as a Second Language programs, and other standards that ensure equal access to education must be followed and not left solely to the discretion of states.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
YesDo you support increased regulations on the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that human-induced climate change is one of the biggest threats the world faces, and we need to start treating it as such. In order to directly address the problem, we should be dramatically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and instead be making major investments in renewable energy. We have a moral obligation to protect our environment from the avarice of corporations so that future generations are able to live healthy lives and enjoy the outdoors. In addition, the renewable energy industry has the potential to create thousands of American jobs and give a boost to our economy.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles

It's time for Congress to step up and pass the common-sense gun legislation that the vast majority of Americans (including gun owners) want to see implemented. That means expanding background checks and ending the gun show loophole so that criminals aren't able to get their hands on deadly weapons so easily. Unfortunately, the gun lobby continues to give millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Republicans in Congress under the condition that they obstruct any attempt to pass sensible gun control legislation. Ultimately, it's the American people who pay the price.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955 (votesmart.org)
  • "I support a comprehensive immigration reform package with features favored by a clear majority of Americans: * Requiring immigrants to obtain legal status and pay taxes by filing with the government, submitting to a background check and participating in a new employer verification system. * Making sure that undocumented immigrants who have no criminal history have a way of obtaining legal status in efficient and just manner." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1102828/issue-position-immigration (votesmart.org)
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations
  • "If we've learned one thing in the thirteen years since we rushed into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is that wars cannot be rushed. Conflicts cannot be won through cut corners and half-measures. We must be deliberate, and have a clear depiction of our allies and enemies alike. We must have assurances and participation from other nations in the region. We must have a clearly defined -- and achievable -- mission. Most importantly, it must be clear in our minds how we will bring hostilities to an end. On every one of these thresholds, the arming of Syrian rebels to confront ISIL fails to reach the mark. While I am deeply troubled by the violence spreading in the region, I will not cast a vote that only further complicates and intensifies the fight." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/928383/rep-grijalva-opposes-training-arming-syrian-rebels (votesmart.org)
  • "We have an ethical duty to take every precaution to prevent civilian casualties, especially outside of areas of conflict. I believe that Congress should increase oversight on President Obama's drone program and take a more active role in creating international drone use standards." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/28253/raul-grijalva/ (votesmart.org)
NoShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

We have an ethical duty to take every precaution to prevent civilian casualties, especially outside of areas of conflict. I believe that Congress should increase oversight on President Obama's drone program and take a more active role in creating international drone use standards.

A diplomatic or sanctions-based solution is always preferable to military action. I believe that an international response is needed to prevent nuclear proliferation in hostile countries, not lone action by the U.S. We should always exercise the highest degree of caution before entering into costly wars that risk the lives of our brave, young men and women.

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

Spending

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Increaseg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Slightly Increasek) United Nations
Greatly Increasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

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.

Greatly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increaseb) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Maintain Statuse) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusk) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories

Questions about tax policy shouldn't be framed as blanket generalizations. Instead of establishing a universal tax code for all businesses or other broad categories, the discussion should be about adopting policies that reward investment in America. We should also be fostering partnerships between the government and private sector in order to return offshored jobs and improve alternative energy manufacturing technologies here in the United States. Working people should not be overwhelmed by having to pay for our national budget while the richest one percent of the population sidesteps its obligations.

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.

One of my top priorities for the upcoming year will be to reinvest in public education, especially in underserved communities. Guaranteeing that all children, regardless of background, have access to a high-quality education is both good economics and the right thing to do. We should also make major investments in renewable energy and to repair our crumbling infrastructure. Such actions would create thousands of jobs and lay the foundation for a more sustainable economy- both environmentally and economically. These common-sense programs can be funded by ensuring that the wealthiest individuals and most powerful corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

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