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Luis Gutiérrez's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)


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.

Luis Gutiérrez has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 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 2016.

  • Rated 0% by National Right to Life (
  • Abortions should always be legally available. "Support" (
  • "Under law, abortion is legal in the United States, despite all of the restrictions imposed and proposed by my Republican colleagues." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires for two reasons. First, it is fiscally irresponsible. […] Second, it is grossly unfair." (
  • "I support extending the tax relief for middle income Americans. I support allowing the tax rates to revert to their previous rates for higher income Americans." (
  • "So often, minorities and youth are casualties of a harsh institution that imposes incarceration and impedes rehabilitation. This bill is a comprehensive overhaul that will focus on crime and violence prevention on the front end while making strategic investments in young people rather than simply treating all young people with a one size fits all criminal justice approach." (
  • "Rebuilding our infrastructure is necessary and an economic engine. I support continued investment in capital projects." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Very simply, we support transportation and infastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place." (
  • "I support tax credits to encourage and reward small business that hire new employees. I also support reductions in capital gains taxes for small businesses." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires [...] We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. " (
  • "Accountability systems should capture rich indicators so that our youth are not just passing tests, but also learning to think critically and be creative problem solvers. And schools should have high standards based on a core curriculum (English, literature and math) that is tested in grades K-12 and comparable from state to state--which is why I support Common Core State Standards." (
  • "Generally, I believe President Obama and Secretary Duncan are moving our education policy in a positive direction. I strongly support continued efforts to raise standards and heighten teacher accountability." (
  • "I applaud @POTUS for rejecting #KeystoneXL & HUGE thanks to ordinary people who fought this battle & came out victorious #NoKXL […]" (
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "I strongly support tax incentives to encourage private investment in a clean energy economy. These efforts should build on the Obama administration's commitment to tax credits that encourage investment in energy efficiency and credits for investment in clean energy manufacturing." (
  • "I am proud to partner with community members to fight for a clean energy policy that supports investments in renewable energy." (
  • "As the world's largest producer of 'greenhouse gases' such as nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide, our nation must be actively involved in preventing further climatic change." (
  • "The American Clean Energy and Security Act: Caps emissions on carbon and other global warming pollutants and establishes a market-based system of tradable permits that gives industry economic incentives to reduce carbon emissions." (
  • "The very first legislation that I introduced in the House banned the domestic manufacturing and transfer of semi-automatic assault weapons." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence (
  • "[…] I have deep concerns about the expansion of self-defense laws, the proliferation of guns, the weakening of gun laws, and how this affects public safety." (
  • "[...] I voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or H.R. 3590, a historic piece of legislation which was passed in the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010." (
  • "Every American regardless of age, income, job status, health condition or geographic location, should have access to quality, affordable health care. For this reason, I co-sponsored H. R. 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act). Passage of this legislation would establish the United States National Health Insurance (USNHI) Program and would provide all individuals residing in the United States and in U.S. territories with access to quality health care and give them the freedom to choose from participating physicians and institutions within the program." (
  • "While not all policy riders are objectionable, many of those included this year are not only controversial but blatantly partisan. Included riders would block the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, roll back important clean air and clean water protections, and place new restrictions on women's access to a full range of medical and health services, among others." (
  • "Congressman Gutiérrez said he was confident that if the GOP's deportation-only legislation passes in Congress it will never become law because of the President's veto pen and sufficient votes to sustain a veto." (
  • "There is an estimated 11.5 million undocumented people living, working and raising families in the United States. We need to get those with no criminal records into the system, on the books, and the ability to earn legal status." (
  • Released a joint statement, "The people targeted for raids and deportation are most likely to be the ones who never had access to a lawyer or legitimate due-process for their asylum claims. If the raids conducted earlier this year exposed anything at all, it was that our immigration system is incredibly flawed when it comes to asylum [...]" (
  • "The main thing marriage needs defense from is an out-dated definition of marriage in American society. We need laws that reflect the many varieties and shades and circumstances of the American family as it really exists and not as some narrow or archaic definition constrains it. I have worked throughout my career for more inclusive policies, since before I was even a Congressman, so I see the Respect for Marriage Act as an important part of my work on civil and human rights issues in Washington." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaing (
  • "After years calling for an end to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost the United States over $100 billion per year, I had strong concerns about proposals to send additional soldiers back into Iraq and equipping rebels in Syria." (
  • Signed a letter stating "The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound. They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have. They can generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • Signed a letter stating "We also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part." (
  • "We should not be cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits that millions of our constituents paid into and depend on. Such benefit cuts should be off the table in current debt discussions." (
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) concerning abortion.

X a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Prohibit public funding of abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
i) Other

1) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories. Select one number (level) only.2) Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following defense-related categories. Select one number (level) only.4) Indicate how you would apply the expected federal budget surplus.

Greatly Increase a) AIDS programs
b) Arts funding
Greatly Increase c) Education (K-12)
Greatly Increase d) Environmental programs
Maintain Status e) Foreign aid
f) Housing projects
Greatly Increase g) Job training programs
Greatly Increase h) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase i) Medicaid
Slightly Increase j) Medicare
Slightly Decrease k) NASA
Slightly Increase l) Student loan programs
Maintain Status m) Welfare
n) Other
o) Other
p) Other
Maintain Status a) Armed Forces personnel training
Slightly Decrease b) CIA appropriations
Maintain Status c) Defense plant conversion
Slightly Decrease d) Development of new weapons
Slightly Decrease e) Military hardware
Maintain Status f) Military space shuttle missions
Eliminate g) National Missile Defense Program
Maintain Status h) Pay for active duty personnel
i) Other
No 3) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to require an annual balanced federal budget?
a) Social Security
b) Medicare
c) Tax cuts
d) Federal debt reduction
e) Other

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

a) Remove all legislative limits on campaign financing.
b) Establish spending limits on congressional campaigns.
X c) Provide public funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
d) Support legislation that would increase the federal limits on individual contributions.
X e) Strengthen and enforce legislation that encourages full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information.
f) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
X g) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
X h) Ban the unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money.
i) Pass legislation banning issue advocacy commercials by outside groups within 60 days of an election.
j) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making contributions to federal campaigns.
k) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Broaden use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
X c) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
d) Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X e) Expand funding for community policing programs.
X f) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal firearms.
g) Prosecute youths accused of a felony as adults.
X h) Increase funding for local Boys & Girls Clubs and other independent organizations in communities with at-risk youth.
i) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
j) Deport all permanent resident aliens convicted of a felony.
k) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.

X a) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
X b) Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
X d) Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills.
X e) Increase funding of federally-sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
f) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
X g) Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
h) Other

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

X a) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
X b) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
X c) Reduce government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X d) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
e) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
X f) Increase the minimum wage.
X g) Pass legislation that encourages employers to offer their employees the options of flex-time scheduling, comp-time and unpaid leave to attend to their family responsibilities.
X h) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide on-site child care.
X a) The federal government should consider race and sex in making government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs only if such programs do not include quotas.
c) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
X d) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the public sector.
X e) The federal government should prosecute cases of discrimination in the private sector.
X f) The federal government should include sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination laws.
g) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education.

X a) Support national standards and testing in reading and math.
X b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any publicly funded school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
d) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly funded school.
e) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
X f) Support creation of more charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
g) Give all federal education funding to states in the form of block grants and allow them to spend it as they see fit.
h) Support voluntary teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
i) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
j) Other
No 2) Do you support amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee the right to religious expression and voluntary prayer in public places, including schools?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.

a) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
X b) Strengthen the Clean Water Act.
c) Change the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the number of habitats eligible to be designated as endangered.
X d) Increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands.
X e) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.
X f) Encourage development of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
X g) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks.
h) Increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development.
i) Promote the selling of pollution credits between nations to encourage industries to decrease pollution levels.
X j) Impose stricter national air quality standards.
X k) Adhere to the United Nations treaty regarding global climate change.
X l) Strengthen the restrictions on clear-cutting on federal lands.
m) Other

Indicate which level of government that should have primary responsibility for the following services. Select one level only.

a) Border security
b) Civil rights enforcement
c) Education
d) Environmental cleanup
e) Job training
f) Law enforcement
g) Low-income housing
h) Medicaid
i) Medicare
j) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
k) Welfare
l) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Bosnia/former Yugoslavia.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.

a) The U.S. should lift the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
b) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina with a certain deadline for withdrawal.
c) The U.S. should maintain a military presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina without a certain deadline for withdrawal.
d) Other
a) The U.S. should resolve future disputes with Iraq through diplomatic means.
b) The U.S. should take unilateral military action if Iraq does not comply with all accepted UN resolutions.
c) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
d) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
e) Other
a) The U.S. should contribute more funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
b) The U.S. should contribute less funding and troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
c) The U.S. should participate in UN peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
d) The U.S. should not commit military troops to UN peacekeeping missions.
e) The U.S. should withdraw from the UN completely.
X f) The U.S. should pay its debt to the United Nations.
g) Other
4) Should the U.S. have diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba?
5) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

X a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
X b) Increase federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
X g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues in America.

a) The federal government has no responsibility in providing health care.
X b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to that of Canada.
X d) Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including health education and natural medicines and remedies.
X e) Support legislation to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
X f) Allow small business owners, the self-employed and workers whose employers do not provide health insurance to have the same deductibility for health costs as corporations and large employers.
g) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.
h) Establish limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X i) Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.
X j) Classify nicotine as a drug and cigarettes as drug delivery devices, which should be regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
X k) Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare health coverage.

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

a) Decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
X b) Increase the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (i.e. HUD housing, food stamps).
X c) Require the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reduce to six months the time between applying for citizenship and taking the oath of allegiance.
X d) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
X e) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
f) Children of illegal immigrants, born in the United States, should not automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
X g) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
h) Establish English as the official and recognized language of the United States government.
i) Other
The American people have consistently mentioned the decline of morals and ethics in America as a major problem facing the country. On an attached page, in fifty words or less, explain what you will do as a member of Congress to address this concern.

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.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which are managed by the government.
c) Invest Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to finance the program in its current form.
X e) Invest a portion of the budget surplus into the Social Security trust fund.
f) Increase the minimum age that determines when retirees are able to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
h) Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.
X i) Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on income above $68,400, which is currently exempt.
j) Other

1) Indicate the levels you support concerning taxes in the following categories. Select one number (level) only.Income Taxes:Other Tax Issues:

a) Retiree income over $40,000
b) Family income less than $25,000
c) Family income $25-75,000
d) Family income $75-150,000
e) Family income over $150,000
f) Alcohol taxes
g) Capital gains taxes
h) Charitable deductions
i) Child tax credit
j) Cigarette taxes
k) Corporate income taxes
l) Earned Income Tax Credit
m) Estate taxes
n) Medical expense deductions
o) Mortgage deductions
p) Other
q) Other
No 2) Do you support replacing the U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?
3) Do you support eliminating the Internal Revenue Service?
No 4) Do you support instituting a national sales tax?
Yes 5) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
No 6) Do you support requiring a super-majority vote in both houses of Congress to raise taxes?
7) Other

If you support term limits, how many terms should each serve?

No 1) Do you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?
Senator (# of 6 yr. terms)
Representatives (# of 2 yr. terms)
No 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No 2) Do you support broadening NAFTA to include other countries in the western hemisphere?
No 3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
4) Do you support the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes 5) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
Yes 6) Should a nation's human rights record affect its "most favored nation" trading status with the United States?
No 7) Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.

X a) Provide tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people who want to work.
X b) Increase funding of homeless shelters and low income housing projects.
X c) Increase funds for housing assistance for welfare recipients who need housing to get or keep a job.
X d) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
e) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through block grants.
f) Eliminate federal funds for welfare programs at the federal, state or local levels.
g) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
X h) Convert government-funded low-income housing projects into private housing, managed and owned by the residents.
i) Require that unwed teenage mothers live with a parent or guardian (if possible) and attend school to receive benefits.
j) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.

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