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Peter DeFazio'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.

Peter DeFazio 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. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We, the undersigned members of Congress, urge you to reject a policy agenda that would harm women, starting with your efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defund Planned Parenthood." (
  • "Cutting taxes for the wealthy at the expense of these programs is incomprehensible." (
  • "It's impossible to balance the budget with a massive increase in defense spending and massive tax cuts for the wealthy--that is, without slashing funding from programs that working Americans depend upon." (
  • Endorsed by National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. (
  • Rated 100% by Common Cause. (
  • Endored by End Citizens United (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Unfortunately, the SEC has thus far failed to act to promote transparency in the amount of shareholder money public companies are spending to influence elections and government policy." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • We need accountability and we need bold, unprecedented reforms to stop police misconduct. I've joined Rep. Barbara Lee and 213 of my colleagues in the House to support a bipartisan bill to bring justice to policing. It includes: Bold unprecedented reforms to end police misconduct, reform immunity laws, and ban racial profiling" (
  • "It's impossible to balance the budget with a massive increase in defense spending and massive tax cuts for the wealthy--that is, without slashing funding from programs that working Americans depend upon." (
  • "DeFazio has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on Pentagon waste and has sponsored amendments and legislation to require a full financial audit of the Defense Department." (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "Democrats have offered common sense proposals that would invest $1 trillion in the Nation's crumbling roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, harbors, and airports and put millions of people to work." (
  • "Tonight, President Trump said that investing in our transportation infrastructure should be one area where Democrats and Republicans unite. I agree--our crumbling roads, bridges, transit and rail systems, airports, and harbors impact every community across our country." (
  • "It also cuts taxes for large corporations and wealthy passive real estate and other investors, once again highlighting a dubious claim that cutting corporate taxes benefits workers in the form of more jobs and increased wages. In reality, previous corporate cuts have only led to stock buyback, dividends, and executive bonuses." (
  • "Mr. Speaker, I will vote in support of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This economic stimulus represents a wartime level investment in our nation as we continue our fight against an invisible enemy: COVID-19." (
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (
  • "The NCLB needs to be redrafted, providing opportunities to track student progress in a meaningful way rather than continue the short-sighted policies that do not provide schools the necessary flexibility to reach achievement goals. DeFazio strongly believes that Congress needs to fully fund NCLB. When the federal government imposes mandates on local schools, then the federal government should follow through on promised funding to fulfill those mandates. In addition, the annual testing mandate and 100% proficiency mandates are a flawed framework for measuring student achievement." (
  • "DeFazio is committed to promoting the development of renewable energy, helping reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, and putting an end to our reliance on foreign oil." (
  • Rated 0% by American Energy Alliance. (
  • Rated 90% by League of Conservation Voters. (
  • "DeFazio is committed to promoting the development of renewable energy, helping reduce emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, and putting an end to our reliance on foreign oil." (
  • "It is beyond time for the Senator McConnell and President Trump to pass these and other critical reforms to prevent gun violence and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals." (
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. (
  • Voted in favor of HR 1112 - Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. (
  • Signed a letter stating: " You have also stated in the past that, 'The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode' and recently said that 'Obamacare is dead.' We strongly disagree." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court. I have always said the law is not perfect, and I have been vocal about needed improvements such as antitrust protections and individual mandate reform. I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make common sense changes to the Affordable Care Act. " (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • Rated 1% by NumbersUSA. (
  • "Additionally, I am pleased that this legislation prevents the president from diverting defense funding to pay for an unnecessary border wall" (
  • "While there is no doubt that our immigration system is broken and we have real issues at our southern border that require comprehensive, bipartisan action by this Congress, the president has relentlessly pursued an ineffective border wall that will waste billions of dollars and do very little for our national security." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We urge you to respond to Texas's threat to your executive authority by directing the Attorney General to use all legal options to defend DACA and ensure that nearly one million DREAMers continue to contribute to our nation." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We respectfully request that the Portland Field Office refrain from targeting DACA recipients and their families, and avoid conducting massive and untargeted deportation raids." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. (
  • "Iraq was one thing, with Saddam Hussein in a relatively small country. Iran? Really, buddy? He hasn't seen any problem around the world that you can't change by regime change: North Korea, regime change; Venezuela, oh, that worked out really well a couple of weeks ago, regime change; now Iran." (
  • "I believe the agreement that was reached represents significant progress and it is in the best interest of the United States, Israel, and our allies for Congress to support it." (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "DeFazio has a long and consistent record opposing the war in Iraq." (
  • "He adamantly opposed the Obama escalation of the war and has repeatedly voted in Congress to bring a responsible end to the open-ended conflict." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We support your restraint to date in resisting the calls for a "quick" and "easy" military intervention, and for your commitment not to send combat troops back to Iraq." (
  • "The future of our country belongs to the people, not to the corporate elite. I don't care how badly they want it: I'm fighting back against the TPP. We still have time to stop this disastrous "free trade" deal -- all we need is for Congress to hear you loud and clear." (
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (
  • "The deal, if approved by Congress, will still subject Americans to the same failed trade policies first introduced in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)--the trade agreement that destroyed America's middle-income workforce and sent millions of jobs overseas." (
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.
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
Pro-choice a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
I support a woman's right to make her own reproductive health care decisions among a full range of options.

1) SpendingIndicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.2) 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.

Slightly Decrease a) Agriculture
Maintain Status b) Arts
c) Defense
Maintain Status 1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Decrease 2) Military hardware
Greatly Decrease 3) National missile defense
Greatly Increase 4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase 5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Decrease 6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increase d) Education
Maintain Status e) Environment
Slightly Increase f) Homeland security
Slightly Decrease g) International aid
Slightly Increase h) Medical research
Maintain Status i) Scientific research
Greatly Decrease j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
Maintain Status l) Welfare
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Increase b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status f) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increase h) Income taxes (high-income families)
No 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes 4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
Yes 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
c) eliminate cold war era programs like the F-22, Star Wars, new attack submarines, new nuclear weapons, and improve funding for basics for the troops. k) slightly to greatly decrease
d) Eliminate corporate tax loopholes and lower rates. I support a minuscule speculator tax on high frequency, non-productive trading, and on speculative derivatives products.
3) I voted to limit the exemption from taxation to estates of $7 million or less- establish progressive tax rates on estates above $7 million
No a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yes c) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yes d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
e) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
b) I don't support unnecessary regulation of the private sector, however, I don't subscribe to the Bush Administration's markets know best, deregulation at all cost philosophy. I voted against deregulation of the financial services industry which led to the savings and loan bailout, ENRON, and the 2008 Wall Street bust. e) I have repeatedly voted against congressional pay raises and have refused to accept those pay raises while the government is deficit spending. Instead, I have linked my pay to Social Security COLA's and turned back the rest to fund community college scholarships for dislocated workers in southwestern Oregon.
No a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yes b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
No c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yes d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yes e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Yes f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
Yes b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yes c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yes d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
No e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
Yes a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
a) I am not unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for certain crimes.
No a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yes b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
No c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
No d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yes e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
Reform No Child Left Behind; fully fund any new mandates on public schools; fund a minimum of 40% of IDEA; give new teachers in rural, inner city, or poor districts an annual reduction in federal student loan debt. I personally fund scholarships at 5 community colleges in Southwest Oregon from congressional pay raises. By the end of 2010, I will have contributed almost $320,000 of salary toward 197 scholarships and debt reduction.
Yes a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yes b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
No c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yes d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yes f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
Protect remaining old growth on federal lands - provide a predictable and sustainable timber supply through restoration forests and thinning of second growth. e) I am supporting legislation that would dramatically strengthen the federal leasing to guarantee taxpayers a better return on oil and gas located on federal lands. The legislation would also impose tougher safety standards, in particular safety standards for off-shore drilling and deep water drilling, and strict liability standards. (g) I do not support development of nuclear reactors with federal funds or subsidies.
b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
Yes a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
I believe the Second Amendment guarantees the right of law abiding citizens to own guns for sport and personal protection. I believe it is within the purview of the individual states to set reasonable restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns. I voted against the assault weapons ban because a weapons specific ban is not the answer to keeping prohibited persons from illegally obtaining firearms. Instead, I voted for a nationwide point of purchase instant criminal background check system.
Yes a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yes b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
No c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yes e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
Currently, insurance companies can do collude to fix prices, limit competition, and deny benefits to protect their obscene profits. I introduced and successfully passed legislation to repeal the insurance company anti-trust exemption in the House passed health care reform legislation. Unfortunately, the Senate stripped it out. Earlier this year, my language to repeal the anti-trust exemption was passed as free standing legislation by a vote of 406-19.
b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
Unknown Position a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
In 2005, I voted for a border security bill that put enforcement first by imposing significant penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants; requiring employers to verify the legal status of workers with federal officials rather than just glancing at documents presented; making it easier to deport immigrants caught at the border; and improving technology to secure the border. I am opposed to blanket amnesty proposals that would treat every immigrant the same, irrespective of how long they've been here. I have voted for increased resources for border patrol agents to enforce immigration laws.
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
e) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yes f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yes g) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yes h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
No i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
No a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
I supported the initial invasion of Afghanistan. But after eight years there is no meaningful government, police or security force in place, and there is corruption throughout the government. We need a new strategy. The U.S. can handle any terrorist forces with a smaller troop presence and should let the Afghans work out the intra-tribal conflicts that they've been carrying on over for 600 years. I have urged the President to move toward a less expensive, less troop intensive strategy that would bring about a better result. e) I only support non-military aid to countries for security interest purposes.
Yes b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yes c) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
No d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
Unknown Position a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
I oppose a federal constitutional amendment that preempts states rights and imposes a federal definition of marriage.
1) As Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee I will work to: * increase investments in America's transportation and other critical infrastructure to create jobs, stimulate the economy, and improve our long-term economic viability, * strengthen Buy America provisions to help revitalize our manufacturing industry 2) We need a new trade policy. I voted against NAFTA and every other trade policy since being in office. These polices have resulted in the exporting of our industrial manufacturing base overseas chasing after the cheapest labor and costing us millions of jobs here at home.

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