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José Serrano'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.

José Serrano has not completed the 2018 Political Courage Test.

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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 2018.

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-choice America (
  • "The government has no place in dictating what a woman can and should do with her body." (
  • Rated 100% by planned Parenthood Action Fund (
  • "Another misguided & deceitful budget proposal from @realDonaldTrump for FY2019. After giving a huge tax break to the rich, the Trump Administration is asking for cuts to key programs like #Medicaid, #Medicare & #FoodStamps." (
  • " The @RulesReps didn’t allow me to offer my amendment to the FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill to prevent the @DeptofDefense from using funds to send military lawyers to help @TheJusticeDept w/ immigration cases at the border. This would cost the taxpayer $3.3 million..." (
  • "I was also pleased to see his focus on fixing our electoral and campaign finance systems- which will improve our democracy and make it more responsive to all Americans." (
  • "As chair of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations subcommittee, Congressman Serrano more than quadrupled funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund. This fund helps provide economic development and financial services to underserved populations. In the 112th Congress, he has fought to prevent Republicans from enforcing crippling cuts on this important economic development program." (
  • "Transportation infrastructure is vital to the smooth functioning of our economy and society. The Bronx is part of a city which relies on public transportation to a far greater extent than others. Congressman Serrano has worked on behalf of the Bronx to make sure that federal funding helps preserve, upgrade, and expand the transportation choices available. He also advocates for lowering the greenhouse gas emissions of transportation options in the Bronx to reduce environmental harm." (
  • "The #GOPTaxScam raises taxes on 82 million middle class families while giving corporations massive tax cuts. We need to put families first, not big business." (
  • "To achieve such broad based success requires that the appropriate resources are provided at every level. School districts need to have the funding to hire good teachers and good support staff. Teachers need to have the resources to provide students with an engaging, high quality education, and a positive learning environment. Funding also needs to be provided for maintaining school infrastructure so that the teachers, the students and the other people in the building have a safe and well-maintained environment in which to do their work." (
  • "As a long time supporter of clean energy initiatives I am proud to sponsor the #offFossilFuels Act & look forward to continue advocating for #ClimateAction from #TheBronx & beyond." (
  • Unknown Position Position
  • "This #EarthDay let's recommit & #ActOnClimate. We must confront climate crisis, practice conservation & cultivate promise of clean energy " (
  • "Congressman Serrano believes clearing the air and improving the environment is a top priority in the South Bronx." (
  • "[...] guns are designed for killing and must be treated as such. Over the past decade, we have tried the pro-gun lobby's preferred policy of inaction on gun regulation. It is clear that this policy has failed our children and our nation. We must now begin the national conversation on how to limit guns in such a way that our children and communities are safe from these horrors." (
  • "For years residents of the Bronx have struggled to get quality, affordable health care. In 2009, Congressman Serrano proudly voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act, which will bring coverage within reach of millions of American families. As the law's reforms have gone into effect, the law's popularity has increased, and yet Congressman Serrano is still helping to defend it against political attacks that would undermine it." (
  • "Furthermore, Congressman Serrano vehemently opposed the building of a wall along the southern border, arguing that technology has afforded us more efficient ways of securing the border, while a wall only serves to send a negative message." (
  • "Congressman Serrano strongly supports a comprehensive immigration reform to address these issues, one that includes a path to citizenship for the undocumented, increases the number of people who can come legally to work and live in the United States, and is less punitive towards immigrants who have built lives here. Immigrants have helped to make the United States strong and Congressman Serrano thinks that we should continue to do what we can to welcome them and help them become integral parts of our society." (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • "He strongly advocates bringing our troops home and refocusing our efforts on promoting our core principles at home and abroad, reserving the use of military force for when there is no other option." (
  • "Congressman Serrano strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly called for the removal of our troops from Afghanistan. He believes that the United States should be constructive, not destructive, in its attempts to promote democracy and freedom around the world, and that military force is incapable of spreading our ideals. While military force often looks like a quick solution to difficult situations, more often than not it simply results in further suffering. " (
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.

1. Which of the following tax measures, if any, will you support if elected to the Congress in 1992?

Reducing the capital gains tax rate on profits from the sale of stocks, bonds and real estate.
X Permitting tax-free withdrawals from IRAs in limited circumstances.
Providing some kind of middle-class tax break.
Increasing the income taxes of those with incomes over $100,000.
X Providing a tax credit for first-time home buyers.
Repealing luxury taxes on limited items.
Providing a temporary investment tax credit.

Please evaluate the following general program areas and indicate the level of federal funding that you will support if you are elected to Congress.

Increase Spending Health Care
Increase Spending Unemployment
Increase Spending AIDS Research
Increase Spending Environment
Decrease Spending Defense
Increase Spending Education
Keep Spending The Same National Debt Payments
Increase Spending Drugs

If you are elected to Congress, how will you confront the issue of the national debt?

X Reduce governmental defense spending.
Reduce governmental domestic spending.
Raise personal income taxes for all citizens.
Raise personal income taxes for citizens with incomes over $100,000.
Raise corporate taxes.
Do nothing at the present time.

Which of the following measures designed to address the issue of unemployment do you support or oppose?

Strongly Support Extending unemployment compensation further.
Strongly Support Federal support of job retraining programs.
Strongly Support Federal grants to states for creating jobs in inner cities.
Support Mandating workfare for welfare recipients.
Strongly Oppose Minimizing governmental intervention and letting the market take a more natural course.
Strongly Support Federal investment in America's infrastructure.

Which of the following policies, if any, should be pursued by the federal government in the area of the United States/Japenese trade?

Restricting the overall volume of goods entering the United States from Japan.
X Imposing tariffs on goods entering the United States from Japan.
X Requiring Japan to eliminate its trade surplus with the United States over a period of five years.
Requiring reciprocal trade agreements between the United States and Japan based on equal dollar values.
Imposing no restrictions on trade between the United States and Japan.

Which of the following defense proposals do you support or oppose?

Strongly Support Reduction of the number of American military troops.
Strongly Oppose Continued funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

Do you consider the fact that many Americans do not have health insurance to be a problem, and if so, please note which of the following proposals you favor?

Elimination of private insurance in favor of a program administered and paid for by the federal government and run by the states, similar to the health care system in Canada.
Offering tax incentives to all small employers in return for guaranteed health insurance coverage of all employees and their families.
Implementation of a "play or pay" program where employers must enroll their employees and families in a basic health plan or contribute to a public fund that will provide health care for everyone without coverage.
Creation of a fund designed to provide health insurance to the unemployed and supported by additional tax levies on large employers.
A system of tax credits and vouchers to provide health insurance for the working poor and people of moderate income.
No reform necessary at this time.

If elected to Congress, which of the following proposals designed to change our nations' public education system will you support?

X Increased federal funding.
X Increased state and local funding.
X Improved teacher recruitment and training.
National curricula and standards.
X Smaller classes.
Increased national testing.
A "choice" or "vouchers" program.
No major changes are necessary at this time.

If elected to Congress, how will you confront the War on Drugs?"

X Provide federal funds to educate people about the dangers of drugs.
X Provide federal funds to help drug addicts overcome their addictions.
X Work with foreign governments to stop the export of drugs to this country.
Impose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug dealers.
Impose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug users.
Legalize the possession and use of drugs.

What is your opinion on the following environmental proposals?

Strongly Oppose Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
Strongly Oppose Amending the Clean Water Act's section on wetlands to provide landowners with greater rights.
Support Reauthorization of The Endangered Species Act in its current form.

Please indicate which of the following positions you support or oppose.

Oppose Parental or spousal notification prior to permitting an abortion.
Strongly Oppose Abortion should be illegal in all circumstances.
Strongly Support Federally funded abortions should be permitted.
Strongly Support Women should be able to get abortions if they want no matter what the reason.
Strongly Oppose Abortion should be legal only in limited circumstances, for example, when the life of the mother is endangered or in the case of rape or incest.

Which of the following anti-crime measures do you support or oppose?

Strongly Oppose Expansion of the number of federal crimes punishable by death.
Strongly Support A mandatory waiting period before the purchase of a handgun.
Support Increased federal spending for state and local police programs.
Strongly Support A ban on the sale and possession of assault-style semiautomatic weapons.
Strongly Oppose A limitation on habeas corpus appeals for death row inmates.

['Whare are your two top priorities if elected to the Congress?']

b. How will you finance (when necessary) each priority?
Priority 1: Education Priority 2: Reduction in defense spending

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