Representative Susan Davis's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (CA) - District 53, Democratic
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Susan Davis 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?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

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

Issue Positions

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
  • "As a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus and a grandmother, Susan is committed to preserving a woman's right to choose and maintaining safe access to reproductive health services." (
  • "Susan is 100% pro-choice." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "How about a third approach to reducing the debt: growing our economy. It worked in the 90's during the Clinton Administration. There was a tax increase on the upper income individuals. […] Let's replicate that. We have already asked the wealthiest in the country to pay a little bit more." (
  • Voting in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (

Vote Smart's Research

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Recently, Congress passed and the President signed an economic stimulus package that seeks to head off instability in the subprime mortgage market and to prevent it from spreading into the larger economy. […] This stimulus package would speed relief to those who have been most heavily impacted by the recent economic slowdown and would put extra purchasing power into the hands of those who are most likely to increase economic activity." (
  • "It means jobs as well as increased transportation choices for people. […] Expanding the trolley will provide those options and help alleviate traffic on our streets." (
  • "With the nation's economy faltering, Congresswoman Susan Davis joined an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives to pass an economic stimulus package." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "An exemption from capital gains taxes for small business investments will spur small business spending and hiring. Also, the American Jobs Act has a provision which would reduce employers' contributions to the payroll tax for their employees. I support measures like these to encourage the growth of small businesses in order to reignite the American Dream." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Currently, NCLB relies too heavily on punitive measures and doesn't give provide enough support for those responsible for educating our children. Susan believes in a more constructive approach. The right way forward is to encourage student achievement by empowering educators in the classroom and by helping struggling schools succeed -- not simply by punishing them." (
  • "Susan supported the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act to end No Child Left Behind (NCLB), return local control back to states, and maintain the spirit of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by ensuring equal access to education for all children." (
  • "When I was a member of the school board in San Diego, federal safeguards helped us to ensure that federal funds went to the students in most need. There's no doubt that No Child Left Behind is not working and needs to be reformed." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Keystone will have virtually no impact on job creation and an unnoticeable effect on gas prices. The project is very high on environmental risks and very low on reward, and certainly not worth ignoring our environmental laws." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Susan believes it's time to make renewable energy a key component of our nation's energy policy, and San Diego is poised to be a leader on this front." (
  • "San Diego is a key player in the development of renewable energy […] With a consistent investment in these programs, San Diego could become a leader in this technology, and that means jobs for our region." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Climate change is already having a direct impact with severe weather incidents occurring in the United States and around the world. Throughout our history efforts to reduce pollution have had positive results on the environment." (
  • "Severe weather events from climate change, such as super storms and droughts, are causing real economic losses. Pollution also takes a health-related toll that increases health care costs. This misguided legislation would halt decades of success in reducing pollution." (
  • "Susan has cosigned letters to the EPA about concerns over the new Renewable Fuel Standards and Super Pollutants. She is also a vocal supporter of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaig.n to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "Instead the House is considering this bill that could force states to follow the concealed handgun standards of other states. The American people can't wait." (
  • "The assault weapons ban was a common sense, gun safety law that not only should be renewed but should be strengthened." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor for H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
  • "Susan supported the historic health care reform bill to put patients in charge of their health care needs." (
  • "While the individual mandate is about all Americans being responsible for their own health care, the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is about providing health care access to everyone. So many Americans are already benefitting from the new health care law." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Susan would like to see a combined approach to controlling illegal immigration that includes securing the border, enforcing the law in the workplace, creating legal channels for workers to enter the country, and a way to earn legal status." (
  • "As a longtime cosponsor of the DREAM Act, I’m so proud the House finally passed it yesterday in an effort to help the smart and talented students who are American in all but paperwork." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "A role of the federal government is to protect the rights of the people, not restrict them […] As long as the Defense of Marriage Act is still on the books, many Americans will be denied federal recognition of their marriages." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "Inequality has no place in the United States. The NOH8 campaign depicts the importance of never being silent in the face of discrimination." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • KPBS "The president has said the goal of the United States along with its allies is to degrade the military capabilities of ISIS, a strategy which is currently underway in Iraq. Congressional leadership would do well to educate members about the realistic short and long term threats rather than jockeying for political position." (
  • San Diego Union-Tribune "I think the public wants something done. […] I wouldn’t support the kind of brigades and divisions and the effort in Iraq or even Afghanistan for that matter. I don’t think we’re looking at a surge." (

Vote Smart's Research

  • "[…] Susan has opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and has remained steadfast in the effort to keep it viable for future generations." (
  • Rated 97% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Davis has worked to safeguard Social Security, opposing efforts in Congress to privatize it, and has fought to ensure its continued solvency for current beneficiaries and future recipients." (


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

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Congressional Election 2006 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.
Xb) 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 public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles

I strongly support a woman's right to choose. I support funding for family planning programs. I also support restoring the rights to access safe, legal abortions for military women as the right of every other American woman.

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.

Budget Priorities

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Increasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Law enforcement
Slightly Increasei) Medical research
Slightly Increasej) National parks
Slightly Increasek) Public health services
Maintain Statusl) Scientific research
Maintain Statusm) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increasen) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statuso) Welfare
Slightly Increasep) Emergency preparedness
q) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

Slightly Increasea) Armed forces personnel training
Slightly Increaseb) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increasec) Military hardware
Slightly Increased) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Greatly Decreasee) National missile defense
Greatly Increasef) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increaseg) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Statush) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increasei) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

Slightly increase research and development for communication and information technology.

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.


Income Taxes:

Family Income

Slightly Decreasea) Less than $25,000
Maintain Statusb) $25,000-$75,000
Maintain Statusc) $75,000-$150,000
Maintain Statusd) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories

Retiree Income

Maintain Statusf) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories

Other Taxes:

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories


Maintain Statusa) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increaseb) Child tax credit
Slightly Increasec) Earned income tax credit
Greatly Increased) Medical expense deduction
Slightly Increasee) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increasef) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

Must extend child tax credit to very low-income and individuals many of whom are serving in Iraq.

No4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No5) Do you support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent?
6) Discuss your proposals for balancing the federal budget. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

Repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent; repeal or reduce subsidies, especially for oil companies; control spending; institute pay as you go (PAYGO) budget enforcement rules.

7) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.

Xa) 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.
Xc) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
Xf) Require Section 527 organizations to register with the Federal Election Commission as Political Action Committees.
Undecidedg) Do you support instant run-off voting?
Undecidedh) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Noi) Do you support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman?
j) Other or expanded principles

I oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between an man and a woman. It is an issue that should be left to the states.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.

Xa) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with educational, vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
Xg) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of corporate crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Other or expanded principles

I support prosecuting children as adults based upon judicial discretion

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.

Xa) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xd) Allow doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xe) 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."
Xg) Support a federal law to standardize testing and penalties for steroid use in professional sports.
h) Other or expanded principles

I support funding drug demand reduction programs. We must reduce demand in conjunction with our foreign counter-narcotics efforts

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.
Xd) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
Xe) Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.
Xf) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
Xg) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
Xh) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
Xi) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
j) Other or expanded principles

Lower class sizes; student testing determined at the state and local level; incentive pay for teachers who get National Board Certification.

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.

Xa) 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.
Xc) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
Xd) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xf) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xg) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
Xh) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles

I support small business tax incentives to offset minimum wage increases.

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action.

Xa) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
Xc) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

Xa) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
Xb) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Support Clear Skies Act to reduce power plant emissions by setting a national cap on pollutants.
d) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
e) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
f) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
g) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
Xh) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
i) Support opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
Xj) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
k) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
l) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
Xm) Support the Kyoto Protocol to limit global warming.
n) Other or expanded principles

Set results-based measures for states and communities to meet environmental law standards; compensation for environmental regulations as reflected in local policy can be effective.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.

Xa) Reauthorize the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) 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.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
Xg) Require a license for gun possession.
h) Other or expanded principles

Require safety courses for gun ownership.

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) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
Xd) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xe) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xf) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
Xg) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
h) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
Xi) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
j) Other or expanded principles

I strongly oppose efforts to clone human beings. However, I support therapeutic cloning, commonly referred to as stem cell research, as it may yield cures for our most debilitating diseases.

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) Support a temporary worker program that would enable illegal immigrants to work in the United States legally.
Xd) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using government funded social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) Other or expanded principles

Our current immigration system is broken and changes are needed. We need to use the enforcement tool against those hiring illegal immigrants. I support immigration reforms that recognize our security concerns, economic concerns, and family values.

International Aid

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.

Xa) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) 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) International Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

International Policy

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.

Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Yesb) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Noc) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
Nod) Should the United States send more troops to Iraq?
e) Discuss your proposals for an exit strategy in Iraq. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

"I opposed using military force and believe the Bush administration has been grossly incompetent in conducting the post occupation. We must push the administration to clearly develop a transition policy where Iraqis confront violence from within. For any military solution to be successful it must include support for infrastructure development which has been missing under this administration. Contract fraud and abuse must be addressed so that the international community might aid in development efforts."

f) Other or expanded principles

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.

Yesa) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
Undecidedb) Should the United States use military force to dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
Noc) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Yesd) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Noe) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles

We must continue and encourage international aid and participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

Yesa) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
Nob) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
Yesc) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles

US participation in UN peacekeeping missions should be made on a case by case basis and should not compromise the military command structure of our armed forces.

Yes4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
No5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs?"
Yes6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
Yes7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.

Yes1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No2) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Yes3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes4) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
No6) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes7) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
8) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Undecideda) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Nob) 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?
Yesc) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yesd) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yese) Do you support the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody?
Nof) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

Congress must be vigilant in its oversight of the Justice Department - we must ensure that our efforts to protect our nation from terrorists attacks to do not illegally infringe upon the civil rights of American citizens. Homeland Security funding must be scaled to the level of need for protecting ports, military bases, airports, bridges, and borders.

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 individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Other of expanded principles

Deficit spending and reckless tax cuts for the wealthy are the biggest threats to Social Security solvency.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
Xb) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement government regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
Xe) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
Xf) 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) Other or expanded principles

Encourage public-private partnerships; Maintain moratorium on taxing Internet access.

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.
Xb) Increase funding for child care programs.
Xc) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
Xd) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
Xf) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
g) Other or expanded principles

Prohibit discrimination in hiring practices at all poverty aid organizations; Provide mental health services and residential treatment for the mentally ill homeless.

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.

In Congress, I will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. In education, I will work to close the achievement gap, improve teacher quality, and fully fund NCLB. Health care and prescription drugs must be more affordable; allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices; address Medicare reimbursement and Social Security solvency. Reducing global warming emissions must be a top priority. In the war on terror, take diplomacy off the back burner to create a positive mix with military and special forces operations.

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