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Ted Lieu's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Official Position: Candidate addressed this issue directly by taking the Political Courage Test.

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, but Vote Smart inferred this issue based on the candidate's public record, including statements, voting record, and special interest group endorsements.

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue, or we could not infer an answer for this candidate despite exhaustive research of their public record.

Additional Information: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position, from their answers or Vote Smart's research.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as candidates submit them. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Ted Lieu has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2020 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

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Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2020.

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. (votesmart.org)
  • "I am 100% pro-choice and honored to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? "Pro-Choice" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (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. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to set national budget policy that raises the wages of the middle class; protects Medicare and Social Security, and invests in infrastructure, education, and innovation." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 21% by National Taxpayers Union. (votesmart.org)
  • "Today, the House and Senate GOP cast their votes in favor of hurting middle class American families so that folks with estates worth $22 million can get a massive tax exemption." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "The irresponsible tax cuts you are pursuing will explode the federal deficit, violating the principle, enshrined in the 2010 Statutory PAYGO law, that tax cuts should be paid for. Under that law, your unpaid-for tax cuts, if enacted, will trigger automatic, across-the board cuts to Medicare, the farm safety net, and other programs. Given the lack of bipartisanship to date in your effort to provide massive tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class while adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit, it will be your responsibility to deal with these consequences." (votesmart.org)
  • "While poverty for seniors in this country is still an issue, Social Security has served as a reliable safety net for all seniors. Over 112,338 older Americans and people with disabilities in California's 33rd Congressional District and 22 million nationwide receive Social Security. For 90% of retirees and 70% of disability recipients it is their primary source of income. Social Security, if managed effectively, can serve every generation that has paid into it from my parent's generation to that of my children. Unfortunately, our Republican colleagues are trying to make it sound like our Social Security Trust fund is going bankrupt, despite having a $2.8 trillion dollar surplus, and are trying to slip in cuts and privatize the program. For my parents, my children and all Americans, I have pledged to do all I can to oppose Republican cuts to the benefits we have all paid for and preserve this program for generations to come." (votesmart.org)
  • "H.R. 1 is bold, transformative legislation to put the power back in the hands of the people and restore the people's faith that government works for the public interest, not the special interests. It is an historic package of democracy and anti-corruption reforms that will ensure that the American people come first in our democracy." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (votesmart.org)
  • ". @HouseDemocrats are voting today on the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act. Join us in sending a message to Trump and Senate Republicans that we need comprehensive police reform NOW." (twitter.com)
  • Rated 11% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Preserving the agreement in the Bipartisan Agreement Act of 2013 that required increased spending to be spread evenly between spending and non-defense discretionary accounts which have both been harmed by the ongoing sequester;" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to set national budget policy that raises the wages of the middle class; protects Medicare and Social Security, and invests in infrastructure, education, and innovation." (votesmart.org)
  • "We have just witnessed generational theft to benefit the super-rich and corporations. The GOP pushed through a bill that is deeply unpopular and will raise taxes on millions of middle class families." (votesmart.org)
  • "This bill is another important step in our fight against COVID-19. Democrats pushed for the stronger provisions in this bill that will help American businesses and health care providers. It has been made clear that we had to make improvements to the PPP, and in this bill, Democrats ensured $60 billion would go to small businesses that haven't had access to the program so far. Democrats also secured billions more for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides small businesses with alternative funds that can help cover long-term expenses like rent. On top of that, Democrats ensured hospitals and healthcare providers would get an additional $75 billion so they can have the resources they need to continue to save lives. Overall, Democrats are committed to protecting both our heroes of the moment, healthcare workers, and the backbone of our economy, local businesses." (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • "Ted Lieu's environmental priorities: Increase and expand renewable energy requirements for utilities as well as increased and expanded incentives for increased development in renewable energy." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Environment America. (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Environment America. (votesmart.org)
  • "We know that many of the mass shootings that occurred did occur with AR-15 style weapons. In addition we know that background checks, raising the age limit, and banning bump stocks are good things to do, not clear why we need yet another commission." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by the National Rifle Association (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Federation for American Immigration Reform (votesmart.org)
  • "On the complex issue of immigration, Trump believes that a huge, astronomically expensive wall on the US-Mexico border can solve problems that don't exist: that millions of 'illegals' voted in this past election and that millions more are streaming across the border." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Federation for American Immigration Reform. (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? "No" (votesmart.org)
  • "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." (votesmart.org)
  • "As I've said before, there are no good military options in North Korea. Launching a nuclear first strike against North Korea could endanger the lives of millions of our allies and American military personnel. I served on active duty in the Air Force and I know that diplomacy is our best bet to prevent a bloody and drawn-out conflict on the Korean peninsula. Trump's provocations are moving us closer to a dangerous war that would have dire consequences." (votesmart.org)
  • "While Sen. Lieu supports diplomacy, it must never be based on "trust." We cannot trust the current Iranian regime, which is controlled by an oppressive, theocratic, authoritarian government that continues to fund terrorists. All diplomacy with Iran on the nuclear issue must be based on verifiable, achievable objectives." (votesmart.org)
  • "I strongly agree with the President's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the US to go to war in Syria. While going after terrorists is authorized, both the Obama and Trump Administrations went far beyond the congressionally authorized use of force against terrorists." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Working with our allies and partners, we urge you to maintain and increase pressure on Iran and Russia to constrain their destabilizing activities. America must continue economic and diplomatic efforts to counter Iran's support for Hezbollah and other terrorist groups as well as Russia's support for the brutal Assad regime. We encourage full implementation of sanctions authorized in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a broadly supported bipartisan bill that you signed into law. Clear and sustained American action and close coordination with our allies and partners can send an important message of resolve to malign actors in the region." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill ("MTB") temporarily eliminates antiquated border taxes on imported products that are not manufactured or available in the United States. The MTB plays an important role in the operations of domestic manufacturers and other industries as it corrects, on a temporary basis, historical distortions in the U.S. tariff code by eliminating border tariffs on imported products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability. Such distortions undermine the competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States by imposing unnecessary costs and, in some cases, imposing a higher cost on manufacturers' inputs than the competing foreign imported finished product." (votesmart.org)
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-choice Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
I am 100% pro-choice and honored to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood.
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
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.
Yes Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
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?
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.
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?
Yes Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
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 Position Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
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.
No Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
No Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Yes Do you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
Yes Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
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.
Yes Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
No Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
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.
No Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
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.
Yes Do you support same-sex marriage?
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.
Yes Do 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?
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.
No Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
I oppose any effort to privatize social security.

SpendingIndicate 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.TaxesIndicate 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) 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
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
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.
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.
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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