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Barbara Boxer's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (CA) - Jr, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Barbara Boxer refused to tell citizens where she 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-choice Inferred Answer Abortion Issues: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Abortion Issues: h) Other or expanded principles: "I support the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that the right to privacy protected by the Constitution includes the right of every woman - in consultation with her doctor, her loved ones, and her God - to choose whether to bear a child or to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability."
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 2321 to S 1692. 106th Congress. To express the sense of Congress in support of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 21 October 1999. (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. S 3. 108th Congress. A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 21 October 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 3330 to S Amdt 3325 to HR 3043. 110th Congress. To prohibit the provision of funds to grantees who perform abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 18 October 2007. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 3896 to S Amdt 3899 to S 1200. 110th Congress. To modify a section relating to limitation on use of funds appropriated to the Service. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 26 February 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 30 September 2010. Planned Parenthood endorsed Barbara Boxer in the 2010 General Election. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer Introduces Legislation to Guarantee a Woman's Right to Choose. 7 April 2006. "For the past 33 years, Roe has preserved health and saved lives. It has enabled women to make their most personal and difficult reproductive decisions in consultation with loved ones and health care providers. And it has given them the dignity to plan their own families and the ability to participate fully in the economic and social life of our country." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act Of 2009--Resumed. 8 December 2009. "I have five male colleagues on the other side of the aisle who were on the Senate floor for at least an hour or so talking about this amendment, and one thing about each and every one of them, they want to make abortion illegal. There is no question about it. They want to take away a woman's right to choose, even in the earliest stages of the pregnancy, even if it impacts her health, her ability to remain fertile, or her ability to avoid a very serious health issue such as a heart problem, a stroke. They do not want to have an exception for a woman's health. No question, that is what they want." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown 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. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the National Taxpayers Union 5 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer: Providing Tax Relief for Family Farms. 30 August 2010. "I recently joined Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) in introducing legislation to exempt family farms from estate taxes. Our bill, the Family Farm Estate Tax Deferral Act of 2010 (S.3664), would completely exempt a small family farm from the payment of estate taxes unless or until the farm is sold to others or the land is used for non-farming purposes...Beyond the issue of family farms, I favor making permanent the 2009 levels of the estate tax, the lowest estate tax levels in effect since 1928. Under these rules, each couple could pass on $7 million of their estate completely tax-free. Estate value above that level would be taxed at a 45 percent rate." (votesmart.org)
Yes 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. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the Club for Growth 3 percent in 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Lauds New Assistance for Struggling California Homeowners. 19 February 2010. "I am pleased that President Obama recognizes that California and other states hit hard by the housing crisis still need additional resources. While there is still more to do, this investment will provide help to homeowners who are struggling during these tough economic times and are at risk of losing their homes. I will continue to work closely with the Administration and state officials to make sure these funds help keep families in their homes." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer: Helping Small Business Create Jobs. 5 February 2010. "I am pleased to let you know of President Obama's decision to create a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund to assist community banks in extending credit to small businesses so they can create jobs and expand. I introduced a similar proposal last October with Senator Jeff Merkley to provide capital to community banks, with requirements that they lend to small business owners and individuals." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Barbara Boxer. 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: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 9 February 2009. "But we believe that is the way to stimulate this economy and grow it, stop it from sliding, reverse it. We are going to try to do it. We still have a long road ahead of us, no question about it. This isn't easy, but we are on the path to do it. I hope the American people will listen to our President both today and tonight when he holds his press conference. I hope the people will listen to this debate because it is very clear where the sides line up. What we need to do is the right thing for America. Those choices are clear: Do nothing, hold out for your perfect bill, or embrace the compromise. I am embracing the compromise, and I urge my colleagues to do it. I hope more will do it from the other side. I think it will be such a vote of confidence in the future and confidence in this President and confidence in this country if we can pick up more votes on the other side. I hope we will. I am very pleased to have had this opportunity to speak." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Disapproval of Obligations Under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008--Continued. 15 January 2009. "So let me be clear. Let me be clear to my constituents. If Henry Paulson was going to get this money, this second tranche of money, if the Bush administration was going to continue to dole out this money, I wouldn't give them $3, let alone $350 billion. I wouldn't give them 30 cents. I wouldn't give them 3 cents. However, I have to say to all of those within the sound of my voice, as someone who wound up voting for the first tranche and feeling badly about it ever since: When President-elect Obama tells us that it would be irresponsible for him, in the face of this worst crisis since the Great Depression, to not have the ability to tap into these funds; when he tells us that he is fearful that there could be a great crisis, that there could be an emergency; when he asks us to trust him on this and put our confidence in him and that he is going to use these funds in a different way, he is going to use these funds to address the housing crisis, and that he is going to be transparent; and to quote him, 'Every penny that they spend, the public will know about,' I have a choice. I have a choice. I can say: Sorry, it was a horrible experience the first time and I am not going to give you this chance. I could say that. That is the easy thing. That is the easy vote. Voting no is the easy vote. Then I can go home and not worry about it. But how could I walk away from this President at this time? When he says to me and he says to us he needs a chance here, he needs this tool in his pocket to bring it out if he is in a crisis worse than the one now, I cannot walk away from that. So I say to my constituents I will vote for this, and I will do it because of the assurances I have gotten from the President-elect himself that it will be different, that he will use these funds judiciously, that he needs to make sure he has this tool in his pocket. I hope my constituents understand that after hearing that from this President, who got more than 60 percent of the vote in my State, that I feel he deserves my trust at this time." (votesmart.org)
  • Boxer, Barbara. Boxer Praises Passage of Economic Recovery Legislation. 13 February 2009. "U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today praised Senate passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $787.1 billion economic recovery legislation designed to save or create millions of jobs and stabilize an economy in crisis. The bill was passed by the House earlier today and will now go to the President for his signature. Senator Boxer said, 'In the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Congress has acted today to save or create jobs in California and across the nation. With so many Californians anxious about the economy, this legislation offers help and hope. This bill will put Californians to work now building the highways, bridges, transit and rail systems, and renewable energy sources of the 21st century.' The White House predicts that the legislation will save or create approximately 400,000 jobs in California." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Business and Employment Issues: Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Elections National Political Awareness Test. Social Security Issues: g) Other or expanded principles: "I believe that Social Security is the foundation of retirement security and is a promise that must not be broken. I oppose privatizing Social Security. I support expanding retirement security by giving individuals the opportunity to place a portion of their income in addition to Social Security in private retirement accounts."
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer: Protecting Social Security. 13 August 2010. "As you'll recall, five years ago President Bush proposed a risky plan to privatize Social Security by allowing Social Security savings to be invested on Wall Street. If this plan had been enacted, millions of seniors would have lost their life savings in the financial crisis. However, because we stopped this privatization scheme, no one lost a dime in Social Security. This year, some in Congress are again trying to cut and privatize Social Security. Please know that I will keep fighting to make sure that Social Security is there for all Americans, now and for generations to come." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Barbara Boxer. Social Security. "Today, I am releasing a new report -- prepared by my office with technical assistance from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service -- that should be a wake-up call to anyone who still thinks privatizing Social Security would be good for the American people.... So let us not take any action to destroy a system that has protected seniors, widows, and children for decades." (boxer.senate.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Crime Issues: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 1204 to S 1607. 103rd Congress. To provide for imposition of the penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of release rather than imposition of the death penalty. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 17 November 1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Crime Issues: m) Other or expanded principles: "I supported the 1994 Crime Bill, which included tougher sentences, truth-in-sentencing, and the death penalty for heinous crimes."
  • Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants 80 percent in 2005-2006. (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education Issues: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Education Issues: n) Other or expanded issues: "I am the author of the federal law to increase the number of local after-school programs, and I believe the federal government should increase funding for education, including putting more teachers in the classrooms. I support a tax deduction to help parents and students pay for the cost of college, and I have introduced a bill to allow those repaying student loans to pay lower interest rates."
  • Barbara Boxer. Issue Position: Education. "Senator Boxer supported the No Child Left Behind Act. Unfortunately, since its passage, the bill has been underfunded by billions of dollars. She will continue to make sure the federal government follows through on its commitment to fund education and to give schools the resources they need to improve and to meet higher standards." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Home School Legal Defense Association. 1999-2000. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the Home School Legal Defense Association 20 percent in 1999-2000. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. 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: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 18 December 2001. (votesmart.org)
Yes 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

  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 4825 to S 3036. 110th Congress. In the nature of a substitute. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted YES for cloture on 6 June 2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Environment and Energy Issues: m) Other or expanded principles: "I am the author of bipartisan legislation to ensure that polluters - not taxpayers and local communities - pay to cleanup their pollution. I have been the leading voice in the Senate in opposing the more than 300 environmental rollbacks of the last three years. I led the successful fight to stop the proposal to allow more arsenic in drinking water and authored the amendment in 2003 to prevent drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. U.S. energy policy should emphasize alternative and renewable sources of energy. In the Senate, I opposed the energy bill because it would have promoted more oil, coal, and nculear power - and it would have let MTBE companies off the hook from cleaning up the poisoned drinking water in California." "
  • Barbara Boxer. Issue Position: The Environment. "Throughout her career, Senator Boxer has fought to protect our air quality and to prevent efforts to gut current protections. She has authored legislation requiring all trucks in the United States to comply with Clean Air Act requirements, cosponsored legislation to clean up smog, soot, mercury, and carbon dioxide, and is fighting to insure that industries install modern pollution control equipment." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer: Senate Must Act Now to Combat Global Warming. 11 December 2009. "It is now clear that if we take our responsibility seriously to protect and defend our people from this threat, the Senate has a duty to act on climate change legislation that includes major components of the work done by the Senate Energy and Environment Committees." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer: Fighting Climate Change and Protecting American Families. 21 June 2010. "Last week I was proud to lead the successful fight on the Senate floor to reject a proposal by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that would have overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's scientific finding that greenhouse gas pollution is a danger to public health and welfare. On a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate defeated the motion to proceed to the Murkowski Resolution. As a result, the EPA can continue its efforts under the Clean Air Act to reduce the dangerous carbon pollution that causes climate change." (votesmart.org)
Yes 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. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100 percent from 1988 and 2003. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Issue Position: Public Safety. "Senator Boxer was an avid supporter of the Brady Law, which requires a criminal background check before the sale of a gun. She also strongly supported the assault weapons ban that was signed into law as part of the 1994 crime bill and supports reauthorization of this law which is scheduled to expire in 2004." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 1067 to S Amdt 1058 to HR 627. 111th Congress. To protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 12 May 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 1152 to S Amdt 1151 to S 1607. 103rd Congress. To restrict the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 17 November 1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 362 to S 254. 106th Congress. To regulate the sale of firearms at guns shows. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 20 May 1999. (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Barbara Boxer a grade of F--. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Gun Issues: k) Other or expanded principles: "I support common-sense gun safety measures to make our streets and communities safer. Specifically, I strongly support renewing the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, and I have introduced legislation to require that child safety locks be sold with every handgun and to ban junk guns."
  • Barbara Boxer. 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: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 20 November 1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. 29 July 2005. "Mr. President, this bill is part of the special interest agenda being pushed by the NRA and the Republican leader. First they managed to stall the reauthorization of the assault weapon bank, even though the bill saved lives and kept out police officers safer. Now they are looking to grant sweeping protections to gun manufacturers and dealers who recklessly sell guns that cause thousands of deaths in this country each year." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Health Issues: Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • American Public Health Association. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. MSNBC "The Rachel Maddow Show"-Transcript. 9 September 2009. "And I will fight for it [public option]. And let me tell you one of the things I'm going to do, I'm going to say to my colleagues who don't want to vote for this, whatever party they're in. If you don't vote for this thing, give up your health insurance. Because your health insurance is run by the public, it's a government-run plan. And if you don't think it's good enough for you then drop it and then don't offer it. But if you're going to keep it, you better give other people a chance. The president alluded to that tonight. And boy, I was happy, you know. I was glad because how can you say, 'Oh, this is a terrible thing and then keep the public option yourself.'" (www.msnbc.msn.com)
  • San Francisco Chronicle. Boxer will confront colleagues on their own public option. "Boxer said she intends to wage a fight for the public option in the Senate, where many believe it does not have the votes to pass. She said it would be limited to the new exchanges where only small businesses, the self-employed and individuals without employer-based coverage would be allowed to shop." (www.sfgate.com)
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Statement on Passage of Health Care Reform Legislation. 25 March 2010. "This legislation will bring community health centers to 10,000 communities, extend Medicare for nine years and create an insurance exchange that will allow consumers to purchase competitively priced health insurance." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration Issues: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. S Amdt 4087 to S 2611. 109th Congress. To modify the conditions under which aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States are granted legal status. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted YES on 23 May 2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. 2004. Project Vote Smart: California Congressional Election National Political Awareness Test. Immigration Issues: g) Other or expanded principles: "I oppose the Bush immigration plan because it will put downward pressure on wages, allow for the exploitation of workers, and result in more illegal immigrants. Instead, I support the bipartisan Craig-Kennedy plan to provide a path for temporary agricultural workers to become permanent residents."
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Blames Republican Leadership for Demise of Immigration Reform Compromise. 10 April 2006. "I believe that any compromise should increase our border security, create a path to legality for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the shadows, and adopt the reforms in the AgJOBS bill." (boxer.senate.gov)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 53 percent in 2007-2008. (votesmart.org)
  • National Latino Congreso. 2007-2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of the National Latino Congreso 94 percent in 2007-2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Statement on the Cloture Vote on Immigration. 28 June 2007. "I decided to vote yes on cloture today because I felt that if the policies in this bill were carried out properly, the result would be a strengthening of our border security, the rescue of our agriculture industry, and the acknowledgment that hardworking undocumented immigrants should have a path to legality if they follow the tough rules we have set out." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. 23 May 2006. "Under the program, all undocumented immigrants who are in the United States as of January 1, 2006, would be eligible to get on a path to legality. They would be required to pass criminal and national security background checks, demonstrate an understanding of English and U.S. history and Government, have paid their back taxes and pay a $2,000 fine. Moreover, orange card holders would have a continuing obligation to work, pay their taxes, and not to engage in criminal activity. The Feinstein orange card program establishes a realistic approach to dealing with the 10 to 12 million undocumented workers currently in the country. In conjunction with her AgJOBS amendment, Senator Feinstein has addressed two of the most important aspects of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. I urge my colleagues to vote for the Feinstein amendment. It is a workable solution to a difficult problem." (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. Barbara Boxer supported the interests of Peace Action West 60 percent in 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Statement on President Obama's Speech on Afghanistan. 1 December 2009. "I support the President's mission and exit strategy for Afghanistan, but I do not support adding more troops because there are now 200,000 American, NATO and Afghan forces fighting roughly 20,000 Taliban and less than 100 al Qaeda." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. MSNBC "Hardball With Chris Matthews"-Transcript. 20 October 2009. "But here's where I stand. I think the president is handling this just right, because he has already doubled the troops in Afghanistan. So, the question is, where do we go from here? And, before we send more brave men and women out there--that's tough terrain--we need to be clear as to what the function is. We have to make sure that we are not sending too many troops, rather than training more Afghan troops, because the--the people in Afghanistan dislike the Taliban immensely. And that's in our favor." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Social Issues: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barbara Boxer. HR 3396. 103rd Congress. To define and protect the institution of marriage. Project Vote Smart Summary: Barbara Boxer voted NO on 10 September 1996. (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Statement of Senator Barbara Boxer on California Supreme Court Decision. 26 May 2009. "Unfortunately, with this decision, I am concerned that we are back to square one on the issue of equal rights for same-sex couples. This ruling sets up a very unfair reality in California where some same-sex couples will have their marriages affirmed, while many more will be denied their fundamental rights. I remain committed to working actively with people across the state to make sure that same-sex couples have equal rights under the law." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Boxer Statement on District Court Decision on Proposition 8. 4 August 2010. "This historic decision is a step forward in the march toward equal rights and reflects a growing legal consensus that marriage equality is protected by the U.S. Constitution." (votesmart.org)
  • Barbara Boxer. Marriage Protection Amendment-Motion to Proceed-Continued. 6 June 2006. "Throughout our Nation's history, we have only amended the Constitution to extend rights and equality, and that is an important point. So I think we have established in this debate that the States are taking care of this issue, and they are coming out in all different places. That is the way it ought to be." (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.

Congressional Election 2004 National Political Awareness 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 of pregnancy.
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.
f) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as "partial-birth" abortion.
g) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
h) Other or expanded principles

I support the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that the right to privacy protected by the Constitution includes the right of every woman - in consultation with her doctor, her loved ones, and her God - to choose whether to bear a child or to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability.

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.
Budget Priorities
a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Law enforcement
i) Medical research
j) National parks
k) Public health services
l) Scientific research
m) Space exploration programs
n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
o) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

The federal budget priorities should be to invest in the future and safety of our people. As such, our top investments should be in health, education, infrastructure, law enforcement, and homeland security.

Defense Spending
a) Armed Forces personnel training
b) Intelligence operations
c) Military hardware
d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
e) National missile defense
f) Pay for active duty personnel
g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
h) Research and development of new weapons
i) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

I support maintaining a strong national defense. I voted to increase military pay 24 times, including the largest military pay raise in history. I support modernization of our forces and research/development. I have been a staunch crtic of waste and abuse in the defense budget and have voted against wasteful and unnecessary weapons systems.

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.
Taxes
Income Taxes:
Family Income
a) Less than $25,000
b) $25,000-$75,000
c) $75,000-$150,000
d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories
Retiree Income
f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories
Other Taxes:
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Deductions/Credits:
a) Charitable contributions
b) Child tax credit
c) Earned income tax credit
d) Medical expense deduction
e) Mortgage deduction
f) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

I support targeted tax reductions for middle-class Americans, such as a tax deduction for the costs of a college education and my bill to provide a tax deduction for the cost of health insurance. I also support business tax reductions that are aimed at putting Americans back to work and stimulating the economy, such as the bipartisan Ensign-Boxer "Invest in the U.S.A. Act" and the research and development tax credit.

4) Do you support permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
5) Do you support eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individual investors?
6) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
7) Other or expanded principles

I support targeted tax reductions for middle-class Americans, such as a tax deduction for the costs of a college education and my bill to provide a tax deduction for the cost of health insurance. I also support business tax reductions that are aimed at putting Americans back to work and stimulating the economy, such as the bipartisan Ensign-Boxer "Invest in the U.S.A. Act" and the research and development tax credit.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
a) Support public taxpayer funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
b) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Allow ads paid for by soft money that support or attack a candidate for federal office.
f) Allow issue advocacy commercials by corporations, labor unions, and non-profit groups which appear within 60 days of a general election and within 30 days of a primary election.
g) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
h) Do you support instant run-off voting (IRV)?
i) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
j) Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?
k) Should marriage be restricted to a union only between a man and a woman?
l) Other or expanded principles

I support and voted for the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law to lessen the influence of special interest money in the political process.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
f) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
g) Support additional criminal penalties if a fetus is killed in the commission of a federal crime against a pregnant woman.
h) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
j) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of white-collar crimes.
k) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
l) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
Xm) Other or expanded principles

I supported the 1994 Crime Bill, which included tougher sentences, truth-in-sentencing, and the death penalty for heinous crimes. I support mandatory minimum sentences, while also expanding drug treatment. I was the original House sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act, and I have introduced legislation to combat violent crimes against children. I also support the expansion of the COPS program to put more police officers on the streets and in our schools.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.
a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
d) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
g) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
e) Increase funding for block grants to states to aid in the hiring of additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
g) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
h) Support granting states limited control over Head Start programs.
i) Support changing the mission of Head Start to emphasize improving the math and reading skills of disadvantaged children.
j) Providing education is not a responsibility of the federal government.
k) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
l) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
m) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Xn) Other or expanded principles

I am the author of the federal law to increase the number of local after-school programs, and I believe the federal government should increase funding for education, including putting more teachers in the classrooms. I support a tax deduction to help parents and students pay for the cost of college, and I have introduced a bill to allow those repaying student loans to pay lower interest rates.

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
d) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
g) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
h) Allow workers to sell company stock and to diversify their company retirement funds into other investment options.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support increasing the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs, and expanding job training programs for displaced workers, especially for those who lose their jobs to foreign competition. I believe that outsourcing of American jobs is a growing problem that must be addressed. I am also opposed to proposed regulations that would take away overtime pay for millions of Americans.

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action.
a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
e) 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.
c) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
d) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
e) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
f) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
g) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
h) Support opening a select portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
i) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
j) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
k) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
l) Support the U.S. re-entering the Kyoto treaty process to limit global warming.
Xm) Other or expanded principles

I am the author of bipartisan legislation to ensure that polluters - not taxpayers and local communities - pay to cleanup their pollution. I have been the leading voice in the Senate in opposing the more than 300 environmental rollbacks of the last three years. I led the successful fight to stop the proposal to allow more arsenic in drinking water and authored the amendment in 2003 to prevent drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
U.S. energy policy should emphasize alternative and renewable sources of energy. In the Senate, I opposed the energy bill because it would have promoted more oil, coal, and nculear power - and it would have let MTBE companies off the hook from cleaning up the poisoned drinking water in California.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) Renew the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Establish a national database of ballistic "fingerprints" to track guns used in criminal activities.
j) Support legislation that would protect manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms from civil lawsuits by crime victims.
Xk) Other or expanded principles

I support common-sense gun safety measures to make our streets and communities safer. Specifically, I strongly support renewing the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, and I have introduced legislation to require that child safety locks be sold with every handgun and to ban junk guns.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health care.
a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
d) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
e) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
f) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
h) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under private managed care plans.
i) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
j) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
k) Allow 55-65 year-olds to buy into Medicare.
l) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
m) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
n) Other or expanded principles

I have introduced the Patient's Bill of Rights that will ensure that medical decisions are made by doctors, not HMO bureaucrats. I have also introduced a bill to provide a tax deduction for the cost of a person's health insurance. And I have proposed allowing individuals to join the same health insurance program as members of Congress.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Establish English as the official national language.
c) Increase the number of visas issued for agricultural workers.
d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for certain illegal immigrants who already reside in the United States.
f) Support the detention of asylum seekers from countries known to sponsor terrorism.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

I oppose the Bush immigration plan because it will put downward pressure on wages, allow for the exploitation of workers, and result in more illegal immigrants. Instead, I support the bipartisan Craig-Kennedy plan to provide a path for temporary agricultural workers to became permanent residents.

International Aid
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.
a) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
b) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

I believe that increasing the levels of foreign aid, including humanitarian assistance, is in the national interests of the United States by promoting democracy and human rights. Senator Gordon Smith and I have been leaders in the bipartisan effort to provide assistance to fight the global AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics.

International Policy
1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.
a) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
d) Discuss your proposals for the reconstruction of Iraq. What funding sources would you use to implement these proposals? (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)
e) Other or expanded principles
2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.
a) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
b) Should the United States use military force to destroy the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles
3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.
a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
b) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
c) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles
4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs"?
6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

U.S. foreign policy must always put the interests of the United States first. As the only global superpower, we have a responsibility to lead the world. We must not retreat into isolation. But we should lead international coalitions that share the risks and burdens. I believe that NATO and the United Nations must continue to play a role in ensuring stability and security throughout the world.

The fight against international terrorism should be a top priority of our foreign policy. I wrote the law, along with Republican Senator Rick Santorum, to expand U.S. diplomatic and economic sanctions against Syria in order to hold Syria accountable for its support of terrorist groups.

International Trade
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.
1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
4) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
5) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
6) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
7) Other or expanded principles

My efforts on international trade have focused on expanding foreign markets for California's agricultural products. I opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, and I believe that trade agreements must include provisions to protect workers and the environment.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.
a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
b) Should the United States adopt stricter rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
c) Should the United States grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
d) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
e) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

Since September 11, homeland security has been one of my top priorities. I wrote the laws placing air marshals on all high-risk flights, allowing pilots to carry guns in the cockpit, and creating an anti-terrorism training certification for flight attendants. I also helped to write a law strengthening port security and have introduced legislation to provide even more security at our ports. Also, I have introduced legislatoin to equip all commercial aircraft with defenses against shoulder-fired missles. I believe we must dramatically increase our funding for first responders.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) Invest a portion of Social Security assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of United States Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for when individuals are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits.
Xg) Other of expanded principles

I believe that Social Security is the foundation of retirement security and is a promise that must not be broken. I oppose privatizing Social Security. I support expanding retirement security by giving individuals the opportunity to place a portion of their income in addition to Social Security in private retirement accounts.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.
a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
e) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
f) Support legislation to detail how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet.
g) Regulating the Internet is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Impose regulations on "spam" emails.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

The high-tech industry is crucial to the economy of California. Last year, Senator Allen and I in a bipartisan effort were successful in pushing the Federal Communications Commission to make it easier for companies to provide consumers with access to high-speed wireless Internet connections. I authored the law that gives companies a tax deduciton for donating computer equipment to schools. I also wrote the law that prohibits companies from harvesting e-mail addresses from web sites for the purposes of sending spam. I support extending the Internet tax moratorium, and I believe more must be done to protect our children from pornography on the Internet.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
b) Increase funding for child care programs.
c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
f) Support housing assistance for low-income families.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

I support federal efforts to move people from welfare to work. To be successful, however, we must increase child care and job training opportunities.

On an attached page, disk, or via email, please explain in a total of 75 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.
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