Card image cap

John Garamendi'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.

John Garamendi 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.

  • "Under this bill, fat cats win and you lose. Half of the money from this $1.5 trillion tax scam go to America's richest one percent. Meanwhile, taxes on the middle class will go up. Over 18,000 people in my district will no longer be able to deduct their medical costs. 128,000 of my constituents will be barred from deducting their state and local taxes. Graduates will be barred from deducting the interest on their student loans. And all of it is being done to allow multimillionaires, major corporations, and the Trump family to get a massive tax break." (
  • "In December, Congress passed and the President signed the largest tax scam in America's history. Our friends on the Republican side sold the tax bill to the American public as relief for middle-income families. President Trump went further to say that working families could expect a $4,000 to $7,000 raise due to the lowering of tax burdens on companies." (
  • "Every American who worked hard and played by the rules deserves to retire with dignity. All of us deserve the peace of mind that comes when basic necessities are covered through Medicare and Social Security. I have stood against Congressional Republican efforts to dismantle Medicare and privatize Social Security, because these institutions have done a remarkable job of ending desperate poverty among our seniors." (
  • Endorsed by National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As the fiscal year 2017 budget process begins, we urge you to reject proposals that would harm Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or domestic discretionary programs that protect the financial and health well-being of American seniors and their families." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As negotiations over the omnibus agreement continue, we urge you to resist any attempt to include a controversial campaign finance provision relaxing political party coordination limits. This change would be a travesty coming on the heels of last year's erosion of the limits on big donor contributions to the parties. Americans have a right to expect that political parties and candidates will answer to them, but this change in the law would only further surrender the party apparatus to the influence of millionaires and billionaires." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 1 - For the People Act of 2019. (
  • "House Dems passed the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act. It’s time for the Senate to take it up. Join us in sending a message to Trump and Senate Republicans that we need comprehensive police reform NOW." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • Rated 5% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "Every year, the House Armed Services Committee goes through an exhaustive, bipartisan process to set policy for our Armed Forces. This bill authorizes $716 billion in defense spending, by far the largest defense bill authored by the Committee. As a member of the Committee, I'm satisfied that we have produced legislation that provides our men and women in uniform the support they need to successfully prosecute our nation's armed conflicts and defend us against all the threats our country faces. Our Committee works the way the public expects Congress to work: A truly bipartisan bill, amended over long hours of debate and negotiations, in pursuit of shared goals. I'm pleased with many aspects of this bill. It provides our men and women in uniform with their highest pay raise in a decade. It requires certain ship components to be manufactured within the National Technology and Industrial Base, which further enhances our national security and creates domestic jobs. It makes needed reforms to laws that define the roles and responsibilities of the Coast Guard, and creates an independent commission to study military aviation safety in light of a series of recent incidents." (
  • "The FY2020 budget request represents a significant increase in defense spending," Garamendi continued. "I am concerned that the Department of Defense is overly focused on long-term readiness through modernization programs and is not placing enough emphasis on investing in near-term readiness accounts that support training and sustainment of existing weapon systems." (
  • "This is an important bill. When we couple this with the Buy American/Make It In America, we have an opportunity to really move forward the American economy, not only with the infrastructure jobs, but also with the manufacturing that could follow along." (
  • "If enacted into law, this extreme Tea Party-inspired budget would wreck havoc on my district and communities across America. Construction on levees in flood prone Sacramento Valley communities would be delayed. College students would shoulder even more debt. Agricultural researchers at UC Davis would see their groundbreaking work halted." (
  • "It should be easier for Americans to start a small business or work for themselves from home. Part of this means increasing high speed Internet access in our rural communities. In Congress, I secured $200 million in broadband Internet grants for rural California." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "I'm also fighting to make our tax system work for self-employed Americans, instead of creating massive windfall tax breaks for giant corporations that need it the least." (
  • "In December, Congress passed and the President signed the largest tax scam in America's history. Our friends on the Republican side sold the tax bill to the American public as relief for middle-income families. President Trump went further to say that working families could expect a $4,000 to $7,000 raise due to the lowering of tax burdens on companies." (
  • "There’s so much on the line for small businesses, families and health care workers that are struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. I’m heading back to Washington to vote for a bill that will provide much-needed financial relief to small businesses, support health care workers with additional PPE, and ramp up our nation’s testing program." (
  • "The legislation includes the following provisions to benefit Americans: Billions for businesses in underserved rural, urban and tribal communities. The legislation expands small business support beyond the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $50 billion for emergency disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion in emergency disaster grants." (
  • "Today, Rep. Garamendi returned to Washington, D.C. and voted to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a $484 billion emergency relief package to support small businesses, hospitals and health care workers, and to expand testing for COVID-19 nationwide." (
  • "The Sites Reservoir Project would increase storage capacity north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, improving resiliency in our statewide water system, and helping to advance California's renewable energy goals with the pumped-storage component planned for phase II of the project." (
  • Signed a letter stating "We are writing on behalf of the 80,000 Americans employed by the U.S. wind industry, representing jobs in all fifty states, to ask that you promptly extend the current law Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Wind now provides power to over 15 million American homes, as well as to many thousands of farms and businesses." (
  • "Congressman Garamendi is a passionate advocate for investments in clean energy" (
  • "Go after the carbon emissions, reduce those carbon emissions. Take whatever action we need to do and much of that is already under way certainly here in California with the cap and trade program." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Thank you for your leadership in responding to the serious challenge of climate change. We applaud and support your Climate Action Plan, the joint announcement with China establishing ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, and the national commitment to the Green Climate Fund. These actions are critical to protect Americans from the most dangerous effects of climate change." (
  • "You can debate whether this drought is or is not the result of climate change, but you cannot debate the fact that CO2 in our atmosphere is approaching 400 parts per million. This is a real problem. We need to address it with very strong, powerful legislation here in Congress, most of which has not been done." (
  • "Today at noon, I will make a statement about the need for gun safety reform via Facebook on my campaign page. #DisarmHate." (
  • "I'm a rancher and gun owner, and I value the Second Amendment, but there is no place for the sound of automatic weapons fire on our streets. I do not believe that massacres such as what happened last night should be the price we pay for our constitutional freedoms. I believe that Congress can and should take actions to make Americans safer, and this debate is long past due." (
  • "I'm sitting on the House Floor until the House can vote on gun safety. #NoBillNoBreak #NoFlyNoBuy" (
  • "This week I spoke at a rally against the Senate #TrumpCare bill that would increase the uninsured rate in California by 139%, and take us back to the dark days when insurance companies could charge exorbitantly higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions." (
  • "Under the Affordable Care Act, we have seen America's uninsured rate fall to the lowest levels in U.S. history. Millions of Americans now have access to quality health care. Seniors now have access to a free annual wellness check up to identify health problems early, and the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole will completely close by 2020, helping seniors afford life saving medications." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act. (
  • "When #women succeed, America succeeds. We need a living wage, equal pay for equal work, paid medical leave, good child care." (
  • "Absolutely not. I mean this is -- this is crazy -- among the many crazy things. And by the way, Mr. President, you are trying to keep your campaign promise of building a border wall. How about the rest of the promise, Mr. President? You said Mexico will pay for it. No, no. You're going to take that money out of the military, out of military preparedness, out of the necessary weapons and ammunition that our military needs so that you can build your border wall? Maintain just one half of your promise? Let's stop this. Let's be very, very rational here. First of all, a border wall $28 billion -- it borders on insanity to do that. And by the way, most of the drugs captured are captured on the high seas by the Coast Guard. Ten times more than are captured on the land. This is just beyond, beyond being foolish" (
  • "It is grossly irresponsible of President Trump to redirect money that's necessary to support and strengthen military installations around the world to pay for his vanity wall." (
  • "President Trump's administration has taken DACA recipients hostage and separated families in an attempt to force Congress to submit to damaging changes to our nation's legal immigration system," said Garamendi. "Fresh off the failure of the Goodlatte bill last week, Republican leadership attempted to pass a bill that's even worse--and they got the result they deserved. The bill explicitly takes DACA recipients hostage in exchange for President Trump's border wall. Even worse, the bill allows indefinite detention of migrant families, including children, without a guarantee of due process. I saw visited and investigated those facilities firsthand last Saturday: they are a moral outrage, and any immigration legislation must address this issue. This bill does not." (
  • "It's time for Congress to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that brings our country's 11 million undocumented people out of the shadows and creates a pathway to earned citizenship." (
  • Signed a letter stating, "We believe it is undeniable that detention in a secure facility is detrimental to mothers and children and is not reflective of our values as a Nation. Children require special protections and should not be placed in jail-like settings." (
  • "Today, the Trump Administration declared, contrary to all available evidence, that Iran has not been abiding by the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), thus reimposing sanctions on a nuclear program that does not currently exist. With this decision, President Trump has chosen to forsake years of careful diplomacy, worsen relations with our allies and adversaries alike, and weaken America's standing as a reliable negotiating partner." (
  • "Diplomacy should always be our first mission in international relations, and ultimately, is almost always the best way to resolve conflicts abroad." (
  • Rated 5% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "The sanctions are designed to punish Iran and North Korea for their ballistic missile activity, and Russia for its actions in Syria and for its interference in the 2016 presidential election." (
  • "Earlier today, the House passed the War Powers Resolution to limit the president’s military actions regarding Iran. President Trump has made clear he doesn’t have a plan to successfully de-escalate tensions with Iran and we cannot risk a deadly and expensive war." (
  • "Our current limited air strikes and special operations missions against the Islamic State have a clear purpose and are narrow and targeted in scope. We also continue to build regional support and our actions are being accompanied by the establishment of a more inclusive Iraqi government. There is no military solution to the ISIS threat, but I think a comprehensive plan to isolate and marginalize them will be effective." (
  • "Diplomacy should always be our first mission in international relations, and ultimately, is almost always the best way to resolve conflicts abroad." (
  • "I am troubled by the inclusion of a clause authorizing force against 'associated persons or forces.' There are many organizations that have complicated and conflicting allegiances and relationships, and associated forces language can be broadly interpreted to provide a legal foundation for military campaigns far beyond Congress' original intent." (
  • "The continued use of this open-ended and virtually unlimited AUMF effectively usurps the Article I power of Congress to declare war, limits public scrutiny, and irresponsibly shifts power to the Executive Branch. H.R. 1666 is the first step towards ensuring that Congress upholds its Constitutionally-required duty to be the branch of government that declares war. It would eliminate funding for activities in Afghanistan--with the exception of funding for intelligence activities and the United States Embassy--unless Congress votes on a resolution outlining the parameters for continued military intervention." (
  • "#USMCA includes the strongest possible enforcement mechanisms to support and protect American workers and improve market access for American farmers. I’m pleased this legislation has passed the House, and I will work to ensure it becomes law." (
  • "My district is home to 91,758 acres of walnuts, and growers across the Sacramento Valley have seen their prices drop $930 per ton (36%) since the President launched his trade war. As walnut prices continue falling due to retaliatory tariffs, California growers struggle to cover their production costs and are at risk of going out of business. The vital relief this USDA program offers will help local growers cover some of their costs. Thank you to Secretary Perdue for approving my request, and to my Congressional colleagues that joined me in this effort." (
  • "Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) applauded the United States Trade Representative for granting his request to impose tariffs on canned peaches and mixed fruits exported from the European Union. One June 4, 2019, Garamendi sent a letter with Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, calling for tariffs on European Union canned peaches and canned fruit mixtures." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5430 - United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act. (
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (

Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.