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Ted Lieu's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CA) - District 33, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Ted Lieu has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/1516/ted-lieu#.VbEoi3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Legislation like H.R. 36 that limits abortion rights is actually about federal control over our most private and personal decisions. It's about violating a woman's conscience and her right to free agency over her own body. It's dangerous and unconstitutional." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/985580/congressman-lieu-statement-on-republican-efforts-to-restrict-abortion-rights#.VbEoKXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The bottom line of the Republican Budget? It shortchanges Californians. It does nothing to help families in Torrance who have seen their paychecks stagnate. Instead, it gifts yet another massive tax break to the top 1 percent." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/960959/rap-lieu-statement-on-gop-2016-budget#.VbEpYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "There is a growing, bipartisan consensus across the country that our marijuana policies must change. Despite the overwhelming support from scientists, doctors, and people across the nation for lessening restrictions on marijuana, the DEA still spends millions of dollars each year on domestic cannabis eradication. In 2014 alone, the DEA arrested 6,310 people under its cannabis eradication program for growing marijuana plants. This is a ridiculous waste of precious federal resources, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions have already legalized marijuana. It is time for the federal government to stop making marijuana use or possession a federal crime." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/985531/lieu-amendment-to-slash-and-redirect-marijuana-eradication-funds-is-adopted (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Mr. Speaker, unleashing the full potential of America means fully investing in the American people.Unfortunately, the Republican plan for our country is to slash investments in education, transportation and manufacturing." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/982473/the-first-100-days-of-114th-congress#.VbErJXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Rather than help the middle class, the Republican budget hurts ordinary Americans by giving a top 1% tax cut to the ultra-rich, which means the typical American family will end up paying more. In contrast, the Democratic plan for our country invests in the quintessential American propositions of a good education, better infrastructure, and bigger paychecks." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/982473/the-first-100-days-of-114th-congress#.VbErJXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Some of President Obama's tax reform proposals – including cutting taxes for middle class families in which both spouses work--are designed to encourage behavior change that results in increased job growth." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952126/daily-breeze-rule-change-in-congress-takes-reality-out-of-the-budget-guest-commentary#.VbEp_nUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/ (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against S. 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VbEzbHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As a Member of Congress, I will continue to champion policies that discourage fossil fuel use and encourage renewables and efficiency. I would also reintroduce the Waxman-Markey bill to tackle climate change." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE0s3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S.B. 2 "Increasing Renewable Energy" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/33859#.VbE3IHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE0s3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Last month, President Reagan's former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote a column in The Washington Post asking for action on climate change. Today, on Earth Day, I am introducing the Climate Solutions Act, which will tackle climate change by focusing on three areas: slashing carbon pollution, implementing bold renewable portfolio standards, and setting high energy efficiency standards." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/982484/climate-solutions-act#.VbE0M3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE4DHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Yesterday I received a briefing from the US Attorney General on all the elements of President Obama's executive actions on gun safety. I have reviewed those elements and I support President Obama's actions." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1040817/rep-lieu-statement-on-president-obamas-executive-actions-on-gun-safety (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of S.B. 374 "Prohibits Semiautomatic Rifles with Detachable Magazines" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/46168 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I applaud the Supreme Court for making the right decision and upholding the health insurance of millions of Americans. Today's ruling is a great victory that affirms this central principle: heath care in America is a right, not a privilege. The Affordable Care Act is working -- more than 16.4 million uninsured Americans now have health insurance since the law's passage." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/985508/congressman-lieu-statement-on-supreme-court-upholding-the-affordable-care-act#.VbEzrnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "And the Republican plan for a single mom in Calabasas? Rip away her health care by repealing every word of the Affordable Care Act." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/960959/rap-lieu-statement-on-gop-2016-budget#.VbEpYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE5gXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We write to encourage you to proceed with modernizing and streamlining the U.S. immigrant visa system, a policy you announced that you would pursue as part of the Presidential memorandum on executive immigration action on November 21, 2014." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/978864/letter-to-barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-us-immigration-visa-system#.VbE4sXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of A.B.1081 "Prohibits Excessive Detention of Undocumented Immigrants" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/41065 (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "We believe it is undeniable that detention in a secure facility is detrimental to mothers and children and is not reflective of our values as a Nation. Children require special protections and should not be laced in jail-like settings." http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/2015_5_27Family_Detention_Letter.pdf (grijalva.house.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "As federal legislators who represent families across this nation, we believe that—like DOMA—state marriage bans deny our citizens the equal protection that the Constitution guarantees." http://www.democraticleader.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/258055-Brief-Appx.pdf (www.democraticleader.gov)
  • Rated 100% by Equality California http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/1516/ted-lieu/76#.VbE5UnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The LGBT movement has made incredible strides and achieved victories that seemed impossible even five or ten years ago. However, there is great work left to be done as we continue to combat ignorance and bigotry. LGBT Americans still face significant barriers to marriage equality, equal access to education, and strong protections against employment discrimination." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1066983/issue-position-lgbt-equality (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE5gXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The Department of Defense reported this weekend that the United States continues to conduct airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria. I opposed the prior use of U.S. military force in Syria, I opposed U.S. airstrikes into Syria launched from Turkey in August, and I oppose this latest round of U.S. airstrikes." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1040451/congressman-lieu-statement-on-additional-us-airstrikes-in-syria (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/1516/ted-lieu/#.VbE8fXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/1516/ted-lieu/53 (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "Given the state of popular opinion and the impending retirement savings crisis facing this nation, we respectfully urge you to include proposals to expand Social Security benefits for million of Americans to your policy brief at the upcoming Conference." http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/public/_cache/files/52b0f60f-d996-47d3-89a4-f186bc32545c/ssletter-edited-7-12-15.pdf (www.budget.senate.gov)

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

California Congressional Election 2014 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-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am 100% pro-choice and honored to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood.

In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
YesInferred Answer In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations
  • "The bottom line of the Republican Budget? It shortchanges Californians. It does nothing to help families in Torrance who have seen their paychecks stagnate. Instead, it gifts yet another massive tax break to the top 1 percent." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/960959/rap-lieu-statement-on-gop-2016-budget#.VbEpYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "It is not reasonable to answer the above two questions with just yes or no answers because these are vastly complicated areas in an immense budget. Would I support reducing defense spending by reducing some troop levels? YES. Would I support reducing spending that is critical to maintaining our technological edge? NO. Would I support simply increasing taxes? NO. Would I support increasing taxes in certain areas but lowering them in others? Maybe. It would depend on the specifics." 2014 PCT
  • “In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • “The bottom line of the Republican Budget? It shortchanges Californians. It does nothing to help families in Torrance who have seen their paychecks stagnate. Instead, it gifts yet another massive tax break to the top 1 percent.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/960959/rap-lieu-statement-on-gop-2016-budget#.VbEpYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Other or expanded principles

It is not reasonable to answer the above two questions with just yes or no answers because these are vastly complicated areas in an immense budget. Would I support reducing defense spending by reducing some troop levels? YES. Would I support reducing spending that is critical to maintaining our technological edge? NO. Would I support simply increasing taxes? NO. Would I support increasing taxes in certain areas but lowering them in others? Maybe. It would depend on the specifics.

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

I support a Clean Money system. I also believe the US Congress should pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That's why I introduced legislation to place a measure on the statewide ballot to allow California voters to tell Congress that real campaign finance reform must happen, including disallowing corporations to be treated as human beings.

Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles

California's existing death penalty law doesn't work. There is a racial disparity on who gets sentenced to death. I support efforts to reform current law.

YesInferred Answer Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations
  • "In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "It makes little sense to answer the above tax and spending questions with yes or no answers. Would I support federal stimulus for a bridge to nowhere? NO. Would I support federal stimulus to help reduce congestion on the 405? YES. Would I support a tax credit for making socks? NO. Would I support a tax credit for Film & TV production? YES. My answers will depend on specific issues. That's why limited forms like this make it difficult to have intelligent responses." 2014 PCT
  • “In California – the eighth largest economy in the world – we put our fiscal house in order by investing in core priorities instead of giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952119/daily-breeze-south-bay-rep-ted-lieu-appointed-to-house-committee-overseeing-federal-budget#.VbEqvXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • “Mr. Speaker, unleashing the full potential of America means fully investing in the American people. Unfortunately, the Republican plan for our country is to slash investments in education, transportation and manufacturing.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/982473/the-first-100-days-of-114th-congress#.VbErJXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Mr. Speaker, unleashing the full potential of America means fully investing in the American people.Unfortunately, the Republican plan for our country is to slash investments in education, transportation and manufacturing." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/982473/the-first-100-days-of-114th-congress#.VbErJXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Do you support lowering taxes as a way of promoting growth in the economy?
Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

It makes little sense to answer the above tax and spending questions with yes or no answers. Would I support federal stimulus for a bridge to nowhere? NO. Would I support federal stimulus to help reduce congestion on the 405? YES. Would I support a tax credit for making socks? NO. Would I support a tax credit for Film & TV production? YES. My answers will depend on specific issues. That's why limited forms like this make it difficult to have intelligent responses.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations
  • "This answer would depend on the reforms. Do I support reforms that put an even more incessant and suffocating obsession on testing? NO. Do I support reforms that will reduce class sizes? YES.I believe respect for the education profession starts with student success; and student success depends on adequate education funding and quality educators. " 2014 PCT
Other or expanded principles

This answer would depend on the reforms. Do I support reforms that put an even more incessant and suffocating obsession on testing? NO. Do I support reforms that will reduce class sizes? YES.

I believe respect for the education profession starts with student success; and student success depends on adequate education funding and quality educators.

As a Member of Congress, I will fight for more resources and funding, including co-sponsoring legislation and amendments and lobbying my colleagues to ensure that we can attract and retain the highest quality education professionals and provide the necessary classroom tools, resources and facilities.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
NoDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles
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

I believe the federal government should set greenhouse gas reduction goals. This is working in California not just for carbon emissions, but also for renewables and efficiency. I was proud to support California?s landmark renewable portfolio standard, as well as its most recent increase to 33% by 2020.

As a Member of Congress, I will continue to champion policies that discourage fossil fuel use and encourage renewables and efficiency. I would also reintroduce the Waxman-Markey bill to tackle climate change.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

As a legislator, I have voted regularly to support the ACA, including the creation of the health exchange, setting a minimum level of benefits and expanding MediCal. Additionally, with the increase in health insurance marketing to communities whose first language is not English, I authored and passed a law to ensure that when insurers advertise in a language other than English, the documents must also be in that language. However, the ACA is not perfect and I would support bills to make it better.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

Looking for a better life and opportunity, my parents immigrated to the United States when I was three. With the support of hard-working parents and a country that provided limitless opportunity, I would attend college and then law school. I am in public service because I want to ensure that the opportunities provided to me and my family are open and available to everyone. Comprehensive immigration reform must happen.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I have been on the frontline in the fight for marriage equality. As an Assemblymember, I voted to support all landmark marriage equality bills, voted YES every time to expand domestic partner benefits and I was a proud co-author of HR 5, which sought to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
Should 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

No elected official could reasonably answer just YES or NO to the previous question. Should we bomb North Korea now because they are hostile to the US and have nuclear weapons? NO. Should we use military force to prevent other rogue nations from getting nuclear weapons? It depends on the circumstances. It also depends on my review of classified information.

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

I oppose any effort to privatize social security.

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.
a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland Security
g) International aid
h) Medical Research
i) Scientific Research
j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

It is impossible to answer the above questions in this limited format. Would I support increasing education funding so schools can do more rigid testing? NO. Would I support increasing education funding to reduce class sizes? YES. Would I support increasing funding for space exploration to the moon? NO. Would I support increasing funding for space exploration to Mars and other planets? YES. Without specifics, it is impossible to answer the above questions in any meaningful manner.

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.
a) Capital gains taxes
b) Corporate taxes
c) Excise taxes (alcohol)
d) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
e) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
f) Income taxes (low-income families)
g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Inheritance taxes
j) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

It is impossible to answer the above questions in this limited format. Would I support increasing corporate taxes across the board? NO. Would I support closing corporate loopholes that allow inversions? YES. How much revenues we need also depends on the state of the economy and the state of the budget. Are there cuts being proposed? If so, where? How much are the cuts? What are the tradeoffs? Do we need more revenues? To answer the above questions in the abstract is impossible.

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.

Climate Change: I believe global warming is the single greatest threat to California and our nation's future.

Economy: We need to continue growing our economy and creating jobs

Social Justice: Expanding Civil Rights and ensuring Marriage Equality for the entire nation.

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