Card image cap

Susan Davis' 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.

Susan Davis has failed to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2018 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 2018.

  • Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? "Pro-Choice" (
  • "Susan believes all individuals should have the information they need to make informed decisions about their health. As a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus and a grandmother, Susan is committed to preserving a woman's right to choose and maintaining safe access to reproductive health services. Sensitive decisions should be left up to the judgment of a woman and her doctor." (
  • In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? "Yes" (
  • "Finally, this budget paves the way for large tax cuts for those who don't need them, leaving the middle class to foot the bill in the name of $1.5 trillion debt. Is this what hard working families are expecting from their leaders?" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "·Preserving the agreement in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 that required increased spending to be spread evenly between defense spending and non-defense discretionary accounts which have both been harmed by the ongoing sequester;" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As we know all too well, Americans trust in government is nearing an all-time low.[3] Driving this historic mistrust is the public's belief that concentrated money in politics has undue influence on our political system. In fact, a recent survey found that Americans -- from across the political spectrum -- identified money in politics as the number one cause for dysfunction in Washington, D.C. [4] In the face of this reality, it would be unconscionable to exploit the must-pass FY18 omnibus spending agreement to further erode our nation's campaign finance system." (
  • "Finally, I have heard from a lot of my constituents who are worried about what this plan will do to the debt. I wish I could give them some words of encouragement. But the reality is -- this plan would create a huge $1.5 trillion-dollar hole in our debt. That's $1.5 trillion that we won't be able to invest in our country. What does that mean? What could $1.5 trillion do for education? What could $1.5 trillion do for infrastructure? For veterans? For health care? For you and your family?" (
  • Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? "Yes" (
  • "Instead of closed door negotiations, we could have found a bipartisan path to a simpler tax code while being fairer to the American people who deserve to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. We could have paired tax reform with ways to better grow the economy rather than the time worn failure of trickledown economics which is a "trickle' for the many and "waterfall' for the few." (
  • Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? "No" (
  • "Also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Susan wants the law to be more workable for teachers, students, and administrators. Currently, NCLB relies too heavily on punitive measures and doesn't give provide enough support for those responsible for educating our children. Susan believes in a more constructive approach. The right way forward is to encourage student achievement by empowering educators in the classroom and by helping struggling schools succeed -- not simply by punishing them." (
  • " According to the League of Conservation Voters, Susan has a 96% pro-environment voting record. As San Diego emerges as a national leader in solar energy, Susan is focused on nurturing prospect of clean energy made in America. She has taken on federal bureaucratic roadblocks that are preventing San Diego homeowners from using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to pay for solar energy renovations to their homes." (
  • Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? "Yes" (
  • "Scientific discovery has allowed us to understand new threats to the environment and human health in the form of toxic chemicals and the buildup of greenhouse gases causing climate change. Through speeches and her support of related legislation, Susan has spoken out about California's wildfires, drought and rising sea level -- all observable consequences of climate change. Susan has cosigned letters to the EPA about concerns over the new Renewable Fuel Standards and Super Pollutants. She is also a vocal supporter of President Obama's Climate Action Plan" (
  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes" (
  • Do you generally support gun-control legislation? "Yes" (
  • "Strengthening background checks nationwide: The President's executive actions provide new guidance on existing federal laws, clarifying that any individual in the business of selling firearms must obtain a license through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and therefore conduct background checks on prospective gun purchasers. These actions also include new measures and resources to make the background check system more efficient and effective." (
  • "Affordable Care Act Susan believes that all Americans deserve affordable, quality health care. With 50 million Americans lacking health insurance and millions more at risk of losing their insurance, Susan proudly supported the health care reform law. See Susan's Statement on Passing Health Care Reform. " (
  • Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? "No" (
  • "Shouldn't these questions be at the heart of any legislation we consider? Otherwise, it becomes a priority to build a wall instead of solving these overriding humanitarian crises. This administration continues to create problems and then scrambles to shift blame after public outcries. We saw it with the Muslim ban; we saw it with DACA; and now, these children are the latest victims. This Congress should have zero tolerance for intolerance." (
  • "Susan does not support amnesty. She believes undocumented immigrants need to come out of the shadows and pass various hurdles to earn the privilege of being allowed to stay in our country. Earned legalization does not mean people will be "cutting in line" as some critics have stated. These individuals will go to the back of the line and wait their turn." (
  • Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? "No" (
  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
  • Signed a letter stating: "Absent credible and accurate information confirming a material breach, we are concerned that withholding certification of Iran's compliance or walking away from the JCPOA would harm our alliances, embolden Iran, and threaten U.S. national security. We are further concerned that non-certification based on justificiations beyond the scope of the nuclear agreement would threaten global non-proliferation efforts and send exactly the wrong message to North Korea at the moment we are trying to diplomatically defuse that crisis." (
  • "In 2002, Susan voted against the original authorization for former President Bush to use military force in Iraq (H. Res. 14). She felt a unilateral use of force would isolate America from our allies around the world and reinforce the cause of our enemies. She believed all non-military options had not been exhausted and that there had not been sufficient planning for the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq in a post-Saddam Hussein era." (
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) regarding abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
X b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
I strongly support a woman's right to choose. I support funding for family planning programs. I also support restoring the rights to access safe, legal abortions for military women as the right of every other American woman.

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.Budget Priorities

Maintain Status a) Agriculture
Slightly Increase b) Arts
Slightly Increase c) Defense
Greatly Increase d) Education
Slightly Increase e) Environment
Slightly Increase f) Homeland security
Maintain Status g) International aid
Slightly Increase h) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase i) Medical research
Slightly Increase j) National parks
Slightly Increase k) Public health services
Maintain Status l) Scientific research
Maintain Status m) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increase n) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Status o) Welfare
Slightly Increase p) Emergency preparedness
q) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

Slightly Increase a) Armed forces personnel training
Slightly Increase b) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increase c) Military hardware
Slightly Increase d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Greatly Decrease e) National missile defense
Greatly Increase f) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status h) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increase i) Troop and equipment readiness
Slightly increase research and development for communication and information technology.

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.TaxesIncome Taxes:Family IncomeRetiree IncomeOther Taxes:Deductions/Credits:

Slightly Decrease a) Less than $25,000
Maintain Status b) $25,000-$75,000
Maintain Status c) $75,000-$150,000
Maintain Status d) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status f) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decrease f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Maintain Status a) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increase b) Child tax credit
Slightly Increase c) Earned income tax credit
Greatly Increase d) Medical expense deduction
Slightly Increase e) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increase f) Student loan credit
Must extend child tax credit to very low-income and individuals many of whom are serving in Iraq.
No 4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No 5) Do you support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent?
7) Other or expanded principles
Repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent; repeal or reduce subsidies, especially for oil companies; control spending; institute pay as you go (PAYGO) budget enforcement rules.

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

X a) Support public taxpayer funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
b) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
X c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
X f) Require Section 527 organizations to register with the Federal Election Commission as Political Action Committees.
Undecided g) Do you support instant run-off voting?
Undecided h) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
No i) Do you support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman?
I oppose a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between an man and a woman. It is an issue that should be left to the states.

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

X a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
X c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with educational, vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
X f) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
X g) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of corporate crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
I support prosecuting children as adults based upon judicial discretion

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

X a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
X b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
X d) Allow doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
X e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
X g) Support a federal law to standardize testing and penalties for steroid use in professional sports.
I support funding drug demand reduction programs. We must reduce demand in conjunction with our foreign counter-narcotics efforts

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

a) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
X d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
X e) Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.
X f) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
X g) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
X h) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
X i) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
Lower class sizes; student testing determined at the state and local level; incentive pay for teachers who get National Board Certification.

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

X a) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
X c) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
X d) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
X f) Increase the federal minimum wage.
X g) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
X h) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
X a) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
X c) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) Other or expanded principles
I support small business tax incentives to offset minimum wage increases.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.

X a) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
X b) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Support Clear Skies Act to reduce power plant emissions by setting a national cap on pollutants.
d) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
e) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
f) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
g) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
X h) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
i) Support opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
X j) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
k) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
l) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
X m) Support the Kyoto Protocol to limit global warming.
Set results-based measures for states and communities to meet environmental law standards; compensation for environmental regulations as reflected in local policy can be effective.

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

X a) Reauthorize the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
X b) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
X f) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
X g) Require a license for gun possession.
Require safety courses for gun ownership.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health care.

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
X d) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
X e) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
X f) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
X g) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
h) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
X i) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
I strongly oppose efforts to clone human beings. However, I support therapeutic cloning, commonly referred to as stem cell research, as it may yield cures for our most debilitating diseases.

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

a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Establish English as the official national language.
c) Support a temporary worker program that would enable illegal immigrants to work in the United States legally.
X d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using government funded social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
Our current immigration system is broken and changes are needed. We need to use the enforcement tool against those hiring illegal immigrants. I support immigration reforms that recognize our security concerns, economic concerns, and family values.

International AidIndicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.

X a) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
X b) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) International Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

International Policy1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

Yes a) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Yes b) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
No c) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
No d) Should the United States send more troops to Iraq?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
Undecided b) Should the United States use military force to dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
No c) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Yes d) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
No e) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
Yes a) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
No b) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
Yes c) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
Yes 4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
No 5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs?"
Yes 6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
Yes 7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles
"I opposed using military force and believe the Bush administration has been grossly incompetent in conducting the post occupation. We must push the administration to clearly develop a transition policy where Iraqis confront violence from within. For any military solution to be successful it must include support for infrastructure development which has been missing under this administration. Contract fraud and abuse must be addressed so that the international community might aid in development efforts."
We must continue and encourage international aid and participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
US participation in UN peacekeeping missions should be made on a case by case basis and should not compromise the military command structure of our armed forces.

International TradeIndicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.

Yes 1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No 2) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
Yes 3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes 4) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes 5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
No 6) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes 7) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
8) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Undecided a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
No b) Should the United States grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yes c) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yes d) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
Yes e) Do you support the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody?
No f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security?
Congress must be vigilant in its oversight of the Justice Department - we must ensure that our efforts to protect our nation from terrorists attacks to do not illegally infringe upon the civil rights of American citizens. Homeland Security funding must be scaled to the level of need for protecting ports, military bases, airports, bridges, and borders.

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 themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) Invest a portion of Social Security assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of United States Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
Deficit spending and reckless tax cuts for the wealthy are the biggest threats to Social Security solvency.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
X b) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement government regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
X e) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
X f) Support legislation to detail how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet.
g) Regulating the Internet is not a responsibility of the federal government.
Encourage public-private partnerships; Maintain moratorium on taxing Internet access.

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

a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
X b) Increase funding for child care programs.
X c) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
X d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
X f) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
Prohibit discrimination in hiring practices at all poverty aid organizations; Provide mental health services and residential treatment for the mentally ill homeless.
In Congress, I will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. In education, I will work to close the achievement gap, improve teacher quality, and fully fund NCLB. Health care and prescription drugs must be more affordable; allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices; address Medicare reimbursement and Social Security solvency. Reducing global warming emissions must be a top priority. In the war on terror, take diplomacy off the back burner to create a positive mix with military and special forces operations.

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