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Sheila Jackson Lee's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office:
  • U.S. House (TX) - District 18, Democratic

Key


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.

Sheila Jackson Lee 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.

What is the Political Courage Test?

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. (votesmart.org)
  • "The administration just put a gag rule in place that bars Title X health care providers from referring patients for safe and legal abortions. It's an attack on Planned Parenthood and 1.6 million patients who may not be able to afford care anywhere else. #IStandWithPP #NoGagRule" (twitter.com)
  • "I oppose this bill because it is unnecessary, puts the lives of women at risk, interferes with women's constitutionally guaranteed right of privacy, and diverts our attention from the real problems facing American people." (votesmart.org)
  • "Right now, Republicans in the Senate are voting on the #TaxScamBill, which gives 62% of the benefits to the top 1%. Families earning $75000 or below get tax increase. Universities will be hurt, millions of Americans lose their deductions. They should vote no and #KillTheBill" (twitter.com)
  • "True to form, Republicans in Congress passed their tax scam and the results have been catastrophic but predictable: the tax scam has resulted in massive, unpaid-for-handouts for the richest among us and for corporations that have no compunction about shipping jobs overseas, to the detriment of the American workers." (votesmart.org)
  • "Proud to join w/ my fellow @HouseDemocrats in committing to protect & expand #SocialSecurity" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • "The #TaxScamBill endangers Medicare and Medicaid, compromises our military and blows a $4 trillion hole in the deficit. What possessed Republicans to pursue this destructive idea? Vote no and #KillTheBill" (twitter.com)
  • "Republicans have spent years rewarding wealthy donors & special interests while leaving working families behind. That ends now. We just introduced the #ForThePeople Act – a once-in-a-generation reform bill to clean up corruption in Washington @HouseDemocrats" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 80% by Common Cause. (justfacts.votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 - For the People Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (votesmart.org)
  • "It’s time to put pressure on @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell and @realDonaldTrump to take ACTION on the #JusticeInPolicing Act." (twitter.com)
  • "When are we going to get a long-term infrastructure bill? When are we going to stand up as Americans and not Republicans and Democrats? Democrats want to stand up with Americans to pass a long-term infrastructure bill." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 22 - Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "When the #GOPTaxScam explodes the deficit, Republicans will call for spending cuts to critical initiatives (e.g. SNAP, TANF, Pell Grants, CDBG) that the poor and underserved communities depend on." (twitter.com)
  • "In Oct. 2017, @realDonaldTrump's promised that the #GOPTaxScam's "lower business tax rate would likely give the typical American household around a $4,000 pay raise." A year later the verdict is in: corporate profits skyrocketed; wages have remained stagnant. @HouseDemocrats" (twitter.com)
  • "Unemployment at 17-yr-low. Wall Street profits booming. Why do corporations need a tax cut?" (twitter.com)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We write to urge that guidance be provided to financial institutions so that small businesses, nonprofits, and other eligible entities for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have full access to the forgivable emergency loans created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act." (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 266 - Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by the National Education Association. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance. (votesmart.org)
  • "#ThanksObama for helping double the production of renewable energy in America, so that our kids have clean air & clean water." (twitter.com)
  • "Climate change is real and poses a significant threat to the future of the only planet we have. That’s why I was proud to stand in support of #HR9 so that we can take action on climate change." (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 9 - Climate Action Now Act. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 93% by Environment America. (votesmart.org)
  • "We need to reform current gun laws. We respect the Second Amendment, but we understand that supporting universal background checks for all gun sales is not inconsistent with supporting responsible gun ownership. With rights come responsibilities." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Rifle Association (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "I am hosting a rally to fight to save the #ACA in the red state of Texas -- Today at 2pm at the Mickey Leland Federal building in Hou, TX" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 100% by American Public Health Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "Can you believe that being a woman used to be a "pre-existing condition"? Not anymore though, thanks to ACA. #ACA7" (twitter.com)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (votesmart.org)
  • "I'm at the border in McAllen TX getting real facts. There are more answers to border security than $15 billion wall." (twitter.com)
  • "H.R. 3354 provides billions of dollars to expand ICE detention facilities and begin work on the border wall. I believe both efforts and are wrong-sighted and ultimately against our values as a people." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by NumbersUSA. (votesmart.org)
  • "The U.S. Supreme Ct rejected the Trump appeal regarding their destruction of DACA. How much more rejection does the Administration have to receive to know they acted wrongly and have to fix what they have done to these innocent DREAMERS now. What is their solution?#DACA" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 0% by the Federation for Immigration Reform. (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (votesmart.org)
  • "Trump failing to certify Iran Nuclear deal; threatening North Korea. This President won't rest until we're in WW3. #Warmonger" (twitter.com)
  • "An #IranDeal blocks Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons. #LetDiplomacyWork" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 6% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "John #Bolton supports preemptive strike on North Korea, disavowing the Iran Nuclear Deal, and regime change in Iran. Recalls to mind Talleyrand who said of the French Bourbons: "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing."" (twitter.com)
  • "No # of missile strikes will end terror in Syria. If we are going to stop the killing, Trump MUST confront Putin who is propping up Assad" (twitter.com)
  • "It is inconsistent for @potus to withdraw American troops from Northern Syria and at the same time deploy troops to protect the #MBS regime in #SaudiArabia" (twitter.com)
  • Rated 6% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "The president's use of #tariffs are wrecking our #economy and I condemn this provocation of a trade war, begun by the President because he is unhappy with the flow of migrants at our southern border. This is an abuse of power!!..." (twitter.com)
  • "...he is hurting the American people. His trade war with escalating tariffs will only hurt Americans importing goods and states like #Texas. The President must reconsider this reckless decision." (twitter.com)
  • "...This will undoubtedly complicate efforts to debate and pass a great renegotiated #USMCA which will protect unions, working people, protect the climate and provide jobs. All he is doing is taking steps that will raise prices on consumers, destroying small businesses..." (twitter.com)
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.
X b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
X d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
X 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

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

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Maintain Status b) Arts
Maintain Status c) Defense
Greatly Increase d) Education
Maintain Status e) Environment
Slightly Increase f) Homeland security
Slightly Increase g) International aid
Greatly Increase h) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase i) Medical research
Maintain Status j) National parks
Slightly Increase k) Public health services
Slightly Increase l) Scientific research
Slightly Increase m) Space exploration programs
Maintain Status n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Increase o) Welfare
p) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

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

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.TaxesIncome Taxes:Family IncomeRetiree IncomeOther Taxes:Deductions/Credits:

Greatly Decrease a) Less than $25,000
Slightly Decrease b) $25,000-$75,000
Slightly Decrease c) $75,000-$150,000
Maintain Status d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increase b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increase d) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increase e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Increase f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increase b) Child tax credit
Slightly Increase c) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Status d) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Status e) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increase f) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
Yes 4) Do you support permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
Undecided 5) Do you support eliminating taxes on dividends paid to individual investors?
No 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

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

X 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.
X 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

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

X a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
X d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X e) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
X 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.
X 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.
X 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.
m) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
X b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
X c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
X d) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
X 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.

X 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.
X k) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
X 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.
n) Other or expanded principles

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

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.
X 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.
X f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
X 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.
i) Other or expanded principles
a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
X c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
X 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.

X a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
X 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.
X 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.
m) Other or expanded principles

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

X 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.
X 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.
X g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
X 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.
k) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health care.

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
X b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
X c) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
X 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.
X 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.
X 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

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.
X c) Increase the number of visas issued for agricultural workers.
X d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
X 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.
g) Other or expanded principles

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

X 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

International Policy1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

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?
Yes 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
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?
Yes d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Yes e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
No 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"?
Yes 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

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

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

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

No a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Yes b) Should the United States adopt stricter rules for student visa applications from nations known to sponsor terrorism?
Undecided 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?
Yes d) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Undecided e) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
No 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

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.
X e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for when individuals are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Other of expanded principles

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

X a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
X b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
X c) Implement regulation of Internet content.
X d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
X e) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
X 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.
X h) Impose regulations on "spam" emails.
i) Other or expanded principles

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.
X b) Increase funding for child care programs.
X 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.
X f) Support housing assistance for low-income families.
g) Other or expanded principles
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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