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Mark DeSaulnier's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Mark DeSaulnier 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.

  • "Health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. I support a woman's right to choose, her right to free contraceptives, and her right to make these choices without government intervention." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you generall support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?" "Pro-choice." (votesmart.org)
  • "Everyone should pay their fair share, that means high income Americans paying more than people making the minimum wage and just getting by." (votesmart.org)
  • In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • "Given the success of our nation’s Medicare program, Mark supports expanding it to cover all Americans. To do that, Mark is a proud sponsor of the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (H.R. 676), which would provide every American with Medicare coverage and is a step in the direction of universal health care." (desaulnier.house.gov)
  • "Social Security and Medicare represent our promise to seniors of a secure retirement, and Congressman DeSaulnier is committed to protecting these programs. As 76 million baby boomers approach retirement, Mark is focused on making sure we provide every retiree with the financial security they deserve." (desaulnier.house.gov)
  • "In order to ensure that the benefits owed to seniors are enough to cover basic living expenses, Mark is a strong supporter of the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 1205), which increases benefits across the board and sets a reasonable standard for future cost-of-living adjustments." (desaulnier.house.gov)
  • Rated 100% by the Alliance for Retired Americans. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "In addition to the looming $25 billion Medicare cut next month, enacting your tax bill will result in widespread chaos to the health insurance market. The Senate bill's elimination of the individual mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will increase premiums and 13 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage. Likewise, seniors and those preparing for retirement are rightly nervous that your recent pronouncement that "we're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit" means that cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits are the necessary next step to pay for the added deficits your tax cuts would produce." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We look forward to continuing to work with you to further strengthen the Medicare Advantage program and ensure millions of seniors have access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage choices." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • "Yes, Citizens United and related rulings allowed unlimited contributions from Super PACs to candidates. As a result, the influence of money in political campaigns has exploded. For example, in 2016 Super PACs spent over $1.8 billion dollars whereas in 2008, outside groups spent $338 million. I believe we need to get Super PACs and dark money out of our political system and that we need transparency, so voters know who is funneling money and trying to influence elections. We should move to a public financing system where politicians answer to their constituents and not special interests." (votesmart.org)
  • "Now more than ever, we need to come together as a nation to dismantle the systems that were built to disadvantage people of color. We don't need to study this endlessly -- as Senate Republicans are proposing -- to know that racism and police brutality are killing people. We need action to ban deadly chokeholds, hold problematic officers accountable, and show communities of color that we are serious about making a change. Anything less dishonors the lives and memories of Mr. Floyd and the countless others who have been killed needlessly," (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "As President Eisenhower warned, "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.' The bloated budget at the Department of Defense has become what President Eisenhower prophesized. It is long past time for the Pentagon to undergo an audit of its assets. After reports of $125 billion of waste at the DoD and years of repeatedly authorizing bloated defense budgets--this audit is a welcome first step," (votesmart.org)
  • "I also support reducing defense spending because our defense budget is bloated. The Department of Defense has never gone through a comprehensive audit. As a former small business owner, I know that is no way to run a business, let alone one of the biggest parts of our federal budget." (votesmart.org)
  • "The NDAA would give an additional $717 billion to the Department of Defense. For context, that is almost four times the entire budget for the State of California. Instead of giving funding unchecked to the Pentagon, where $125 billion in bureaucratic waste has already been identified, we should be spending on only the essentials while demanding a completed audit. I have not voted in favor of any of the annual bills to authorize defense spending and will continue to oppose the measure until the DoD has completed a full audit and I am confident taxpayers' hard earned money is spent in an open, transparent, and efficient manner that also ensures our troops' safety." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • "The Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed under President Obama helped get Americans back to work and brought us back from a recession faster." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? "No." (votesmart.org)
  • "However, the Trump tax cut, which benefits corporations and the wealthiest 1%, will cost $2.3 trillion over 10 years, according to the White House's own numbers. As a result, the Republican Majority is making cuts to other parts of the federal government and key programs like higher education, child nutrition, and special education. And, the Trump plan will increase our national debt." (votesmart.org)
  • "As a former small business owner, I know how critical @HouseDemocrats extension of the #PPP deadline is to helping small businesses recover from this pandemic." (twitter.com)
  • "@HouseDemocrats passed bipartisan legislation to help small businesses and their employees by making Paycheck Protection Program loans easier to use. I am proud to support this bill to put #FamiliesFirst." (twitter.com)
  • Endorsed by National Education Association. (votesmart.org)
  • "Witness the historic event of the President signing the Every Student Succeeds Act into law. This law improves national education standards to ensure that all students receive a quality education. #ESSA." (www.facebook.com)
  • "The federal role of educational oversight is an important one. While I strongly support states' rights to have flexibility, which has allowed California to adopt and implement the Local Control Funding Formula, there must be a federal backstop. Without it, state and local education agencies can discriminate against students and implement non-evidence based practices that harm, not help, our students." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by League of Conservation Voters. (votesmart.org)
  • "CA, the 5th largest economy in the world, has strong investments in renewable energy. During an @OversightDems hearing, I discussed with former Secretaries @JohnKerry & Chuck Hagel the benefits of investing in renewables on our economy, planet & national security." (twitter.com)
  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • "Yes, the effects of climate change are undeniable. As a former member of the California Air Resources Board, I have worked on and believe in policies that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. We have a duty and obligation to our children and our planet. That's why I am fighting Trump's effort to weaken current motor vehicle standards for emissions and fuel economy, and why I authored legislation to make sure California can maintain its high standards for air quality and greenhouse gas reduction." (votesmart.org)
  • "I have sponsored 4 bills to reduce gun violence and believe that we can adhere to the Second Amendment without putting the lives of our children and communities at risk. At a minimum, the federal government should emulate California gun law, where we have the strictest laws in the nation and the 9th lowest rate of gun deaths. To do that, we must implement universal background checks and ban assault weapons." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you generally support gun-control legislation? "Yes." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? "No." (votesmart.org)
  • "Health insurance is a right, not a privilege. I support the Affordable Care Act, and have voted over 60 times to stop Republicans in Congress from dismantling it and kicking everyday Americans off their health insurance. Trumpcare, which I strongly opposed, would have forced 23 million people to lose their insurance. I also advocate for federal universal health care, which would provide free access to health insurance for all Americans. I am the sponsor of the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act (H.R. 5258), which increases the number of Americans who receive federal subsidies to purchase health insurance." (votesmart.org)
  • "The President is not treating #Covid_19 with the urgency it warrants. We need to scale up testing, establish emergency paid leave, & protect health care workers immediately." (twitter.com)
  • "I am proud to support the FAMILY Act to create paid family and medical leave to help support working families. #paidleave." (twitter.com)
  • Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border? "No." (votesmart.org)
  • "Any immigration reform must be done comprehensively to ensure that we hold true to our country's values while being fair and safe. DACA recipients and their families deserve the respect of having their rights restored and having policymakers find a permanent solution with a pathway to citizenship. I support the Dream Act, to do just that. We must also protect those who came to the U.S. fleeing violence, disease, political turmoil, or other unsafe conditions. Refugees, asylum seekers, and people previously granted Temporary Protected Status deserve the full protection of the U.S., respect the Trump Administration has not given them." (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? "No." (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • "President Trump is telling our allies we are not a reliable partner, and destroying the credibility of the United States around the globe. This is even more troubling as we face heightened concerns in North Korea that call for trustworthy and delicate diplomacy." (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "As the previous administrations dating back to that of Richard Nixon determined, any military option could precipitate an unacceptable counter-reaction from Pyongyang, which today could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 other U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten our other regional allies such as Japan. Moreover, the Pentagon reported this year that only through a costly, bloody ground invasion would the United States be able to secure all of North Korea's nuclear weapons." (votesmart.org)
  • Endorsed by Peace Action. (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating, "In fact, with the introduction of Russian military equipment and personnel, and with increasing Western military efforts directed at both ISIL and Assad-regime forces, there is every possibility that violence will escalate. This would continue the devastation of the Syrian populace, worsen the refugee crisis, and risk an increasing probability of expanded military conflict in the region. For these reasons, it is time to devote ourselves to a negotiated peace, and work with allies, including surrounding Arab states that have a vested interest in the security and stability of the region, moving forward with both a peace plan and a coordinated assault against ISIL." (votesmart.org)
  • "We must be tough and smart while maintaining our principles, which means targeting and eliminating ISIS and other terrorist threats without engaging in another civil war on foreign soil." (desaulnier.house.gov)
  • "Every new development since @realDonaldTrump suddenly withdrew U.S. troops from Northern Syria is proving how disastrous this decision to abandon our allies has been. #Trump’s presidency is a threat to the security of our nation and the world." (twitter.com)
  • "‘The version of the USMCA passed by the House represents important progress in areas that affect Americans across the country,’ Congressman DeSaulnier said. ‘Although negotiations with Democrats made this legislation far better than what was presented to us by the Trump Administration, I do not have confidence that American workers and the environment are adequately protected. With the harm workers in my district suffered after NAFTA was enacted, we must do more to protect against outsourcing and simultaneously provide stronger environmental protections to combat the effects of climate change while the White House denies its impacts.’" (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We write today to urge you to strongly enforce Buy America provisions in government procurement policies and promote expanded Buy America rules in legislation advanced during your administration." (votesmart.org)
  • "The public isn’t fooled by the politically driven #tariffs @realDonaldTrump is proposing. American consumers are the ones who will be left with the check." (twitter.com)
  • "Mexico accounts for 17 percent of California’s exports and, according to @CAGoBiz, over 565,000 jobs in our state depend on trade with Mexico. California consumers will foot the bill for the #Trump Administration’s short-sighted tariff proposal." (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.
Pro-choice Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. I support a woman?s right to choose, her right to free contraceptives, and her right to make these choices without government intervention.
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Yes In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
Everyone should pay their fair share ? that means high income Americans paying more than people making the minimum wage and just getting by. I also support reducing defense spending because our defense budget is bloated. The Department of Defense has never gone through a comprehensive audit. As a former small business owner, I know that is no way to run a business, let alone one of the biggest parts of our federal budget.
Yes Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Yes, Citizens United and related rulings allowed unlimited contributions from Super PACs to candidates. As a result, the influence of money in political campaigns has exploded. For example, in 2016 Super PACs spent over $1.8 billion dollars whereas in 2008, outside groups spent $338 million. I believe we need to get Super PACs and dark money out of our political system and that we need transparency, so voters know who is funneling money and trying to influence elections. We should move to a public financing system where politicians answer to their constituents and not special interests
Yes Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
No Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed under President Obama helped get Americans back to work and brought us back from a recession faster. However, the Trump tax cut, which benefits corporations and the wealthiest 1%, will cost $2.3 trillion over 10 years, according to the White House?s own numbers. As a result, the Republican Majority is making cuts to other parts of the federal government and key programs like higher education, child nutrition, and special education. And, the Trump plan will increase our national debt.
Yes Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
The federal role of educational oversight is an important one. While I strongly support states? rights to have flexibility, which has allowed California to adopt and implement the Local Control Funding Formula, there must be a federal backstop. Without it, state and local education agencies can discriminate against students and implement non-evidence based practices that harm, not help, our students.
Yes Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
Yes Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Yes, the effects of climate change are undeniable. As a former member of the California Air Resources Board, I have worked on and believe in policies that protect the air we breathe and the water we drink. We have a duty and obligation to our children and our planet. That?s why I am fighting Trump?s effort to weaken current motor vehicle standards for emissions and fuel economy, and why I authored legislation to make sure California can maintain its high standards for air quality and greenhouse gas reduction.
Yes Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
I have sponsored 4 bills to reduce gun violence and believe that we can adhere to the Second Amendment without putting the lives of our children and communities at risk. At a minimum, the federal government should emulate California gun law, where we have the strictest laws in the nation and the 9th lowest rate of gun deaths. To do that, we must implement universal background checks and ban assault weapons.
No Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Health insurance is a right, not a privilege. I support the Affordable Care Act, and have voted over 60 times to stop Republicans in Congress from dismantling it and kicking everyday Americans off their health insurance. Trumpcare, which I strongly opposed, would have forced 23 million people to lose their insurance. I also advocate for federal universal health care, which would provide free access to health insurance for all Americans. I am the sponsor of the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act (H.R. 5258), which increases the number of Americans who receive federal subsidies to purchase health insurance.
No Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
No Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Any immigration reform must be done comprehensively to ensure that we hold true to our country�s values while being fair and safe. DACA recipients and their families deserve the respect of having their rights restored and having policymakers find a permanent solution with a pathway to citizenship. I support the Dream Act, to do just that. We must also protect those who came to the U.S. fleeing violence, disease, political turmoil, or other unsafe conditions. Refugees, asylum seekers, and people previously granted Temporary Protected Status deserve the full protection of the U.S., respect the Trump Administration has not given them.
Yes Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
While I support the concept, we must take the proper precautions and legalize at the right time. Currently, for example, there is no way to test a driver impaired by marijuana like there is a test for alcohol. For the sake of public health, we should have the proper processes and procedures in place first before any new problems are created. Additionally, we should require those who profit from the industry to pay the public health costs for those people who would otherwise need the federal government to cover the cost.
No Should the United States use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon?
No Do you support increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support?
Please explain in a total of 100 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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