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Jackie Speier'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.

Jackie Speier 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.

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America. (
  • "Finally, I believe women should have ready access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including the constitutional right to legal and safe abortion services." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "With that in mind, we read with interest your recent joint statement with the Senate Majority Leader suggesting that these required across-the-board cuts "will not happen." These cuts would be a direct consequence of your massive $1.5 trillion deficit increase from tax cuts for the wealthy, so it is confusing to hear that you and Leader McConnell "will work to ensure these spending cuts are prevented." We are curious how you plan to do that, as the obvious solution would be not to pass those tax cuts in the first place." (
  • Rated 8% by the National Tax Limitation Committee. (
  • "Because we Democrats need to not just defend Social Security, but to strengthen it." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans. (
  • 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." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 1 - For the People Act of 2019. (
  • "In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for money in elections. The Supreme Court must overturn these misguided decisions, but in the absence of action from the Court, I believe Congress must take action to restore our democracy. I support a Constitutional Amendment to provide Congress with the ability to regulate campaign contributions, including contributions to entities like Political Action Committees and so-called "Super PACs" that can receive unlimited and undisclosed donations. I have also supported legislation to remake our public campaign finance system to make it a more viable option for candidates to decrease corporate influence on campaigns." (
  • "I proudly joined my colleagues today in voting to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a first step in healing the cancer of institutional and systemic racism that has corrupted our most sacred institutions and society," Rep. Speier said. "I am grateful my bill, the Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, was included. It would make it a crime for law enforcement officers to engage in a sexual act with anyone in their custody. Sexual violence is the second most frequently reported form of police misconduct after excessive force and Black women are particularly vulnerable to this gross abuse of power. You cannot give consent while you are under arrest or in custody, and it is egregious that law enforcement officers to this day claim consent when accused of sexually assault. I urge our colleagues in the Senate to take up and pass this transformative legislation and work with us to put our country on the path of achieving true equity and equality." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. (
  • Rated 0% by Center for Security Policy. (
  • "As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I have the utmost respect for the sacrifices made by our military servicemen and women," Rep. Speier said. "But I cannot support a defense bill that busts our budget caps by forcing the Pentagon to buy costly, unreliable equipment they don't even want. It is unconscionable to spend billions of dollars on 20 F-35 aircraft and two Littoral Combat Ships that the Department of Defense never even requested, and those are far from the only examples. While our State Department and Intelligence Community wither, eroding our ability to prevent conflicts in the first place, Congress has chosen to shovel taxpayer dollars to defense contractors who have failed again and again to deliver on-time and on-budget." (
  • 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" (
  • "We need to invest in ports, broadband and other infrastructure required to create an efficient economy. We need to support advanced scientific research and support research into new methods of manufacturing." (
  • "BART's project is a shining example of the type of infrastructure investment that the Core Capacity program was designed to support." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "I have heard from numerous residents in my District who were financially broadsided this tax season, some by tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to the Republican assault on local tax deductions. This was a coldly calculated, political move designed to devastate blue states -- which benefit more from State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions than red states -- and line the pockets of big corporations and fat cat tax dodgers, also known as the President's donor class." (
  • "PPP was created to help small biz survive the pandemic, not the Dirty 300 publicly traded companies that have taken advantage of these vital loans despite having vast resources. I'm calling on @USGAO to investigate this abuse. We MUST ensure the $ goes to companies that need it!" (
  • "Congress has passed a historic $2 trillion relief package to address the unprecedented disruptions the coronavirus outbreak has unleashed on our residents. Since small businesses are the backbone of our economy we wanted to make sure you received relief. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes more than $376 billion in relief for struggling small businesses and nonprofits." (
  • "Sent a letter to Sec Mnuchin & Admin Carranza questioning discrepancies in dispersal of PPP funds. CA ranked LAST in a state-by-state comparison of $ received for eligible payroll costs. Small biz owners have a right to know how funds are doled out & why they aren’t getting help!" (
  • "No Child Left Behind must be reformed. It is a program that has been detrimental to our education system over the past seven years. The reliance on standardized testing has resulted in too many teachers simply teaching to the test. " (
  • Rated 100% by National Education Association. (
  • 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." (
  • "We must stop subsidizing oil companies, a move that would save taxpayers $40 billion over five years - money we could then use to invest in our growing green energy economy." (
  • "California's investment in carbon reduction, renewable energy, and energy efficiency has proven that we do not have to choose between economic growth and environmental protection. We can and must do both." (
  • "While we work to slow climate change, we must also invest in efforts to protect and preserve our air, water, lands, and native animals." (
  • 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." (
  • "I fully support a new federal assault weapons ban, and in fact, as a state legislator, I carried the California assault weapons ban in the Assembly, pushing the bill through passage into law." (
  • "I share President Obama's deep frustration with Congress's refusal to take actions against gun violence. His executive orders are good first steps to save some of the American children, families, and loved ones who are losing their lives every single day. These actions will help the police enforce our existing background check laws, and shrink the enormous loopholes that let dangerous people purchase guns without background checks." (
  • "I've introduced legislation to ensure all gun purchases require a background check, closing the loopholes that allow purchases made over the internet, at a gun show, and person to person do not require a background check. I support legislation to close the so-called "Charleston loophole" that sets a default approval of a gun purchase three days after the background check starts. Finally, I support closing the loophole that allows known and suspected terrorists to legally purchase guns." (
  • "Our nation has suffered at least 74 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre. The factors allowing these rampages are no mystery: loopholes in the background check laws, straw purchases, restrictions on law enforcement, and gaps in our mental health system." (
  • "There are certainly ways we can continue to tweak and improve the law, but we cannot repeal this law and take away coverage and discrimination protection from these Americans. I will continue to look at ways to improve the law, including possibilities like the creation of a public option so that all Americans have access to medical care." (
  • "As Republicans continue their efforts to slash and burn the Affordable Care Act, Democrats offer a better deal to Americans living paycheck to paycheck: lowering the cost of prescription drugs, protecting our grandparents in nursing homes, easing the cost of services for children with disabilities, and providing life-saving programs that offer critical support to millions of women including the healthy birth of their children" (
  • "Big corps don’t need taxpayer support. This is a great example of never wasting a crisis. Maybe we can get paid sick leave as a worker’s right now!" (
  • "Last night’s debate included questions about abortion rights, sexual harassment, child care, and paid family and medical leave. THIS is what happens when we have four women moderators. Let’s have more of this." (
  • "For the benefit of our country, we must put to rest the notion that this border wall boondoggle is anything but a Trump reality TV show rerun." (
  • "In a time when our military struggles to recruit and retain valuable men and women, what horrific message does this send to those who now serve or will consider serving? By stripping away billions of dollars approved for military members and their families, the President has effectively declared, "My wall is more important than your service.'" (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We respectfully request that you continue Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and engage in a vigorous legal defense of DACA in light of the renewed threat of litigation." (
  • "The President's Executive Action improves national security and safety as we focus resources on those undocumented immigrants who pose a legitimate threat to our communities, instead of families and children." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "Rather than using rhetoric and sending muddled messages to our allies, the U.S. should pursue a comprehensive strategy toward North Korea that consists of economic pressure, strong and steady diplomacy, and credible deterrence and defense." (
  • "Despite years of harsh sanctions, Iran's nuclear program continued to progress. It is clear that the only way to halt Iran's program is military action or diplomacy. I choose diplomacy. Like all serious negotiations, compromises were made on all sides, but the final product of these negotiations is the most extensive nuclear verification scheme ever devised." (
  • "President Trump's decision to leave the Iran nuclear agreement despite the outcry from his own administration and our allies around the world is nothing more than a reckless bid to appear strong to his base by following through on his campaign claims that this was a "bad deal.' His decision opens the door for Iran to reengage in developing a nuclear bomb." (
  • Rated 92% by Council for a Livable World. (
  • "I will firmly and vociferously oppose yet another costly war. We have spent nearly $6 trillion on wars and military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan - all precipitated by unclear goals and fake evidence. We are not doing that again, not on my watch! #NoIranWar." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "We refuse to abandon our Constitutional war power responsibilities and demand an actionable response. If Congress does not receive a meaningful response, we stand willing to use all tools at the disposal of the legislative branch to assert these Constitutional authorities, including the possibility of an expedited vote pursuant to the War Powers Resolution on the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria." (
  • Voted in favor of H J Res 37 - Directing the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress. (
  • "POTUS’ interest in pulling out of Afghanistan so precipitously now makes sense. He’s taking orders from Putin. Putin wants to have a lock on the Middle East. Needs US out of there." (
  • "Econ 101- tariffs imposed by our tax-and-spend @POTUS aren’t being paid for by China. American consumers are bearing the brunt by being TAXED more." (
  • Signed a letter stating: "The Chinese market for medical technology represents a significant growth opportunity for U.S. manufacturers. The Chinese market is valued at over $25 billion and the country imports about 70 percent of its medical devices, with imports expected to continue to grow. U.S. companies are the leading suppliers of medical devices to China, with a 33 percent share of all medical device imports, or approximately $5 billion of the total China medical device market. With its growing economy and middle class, rapidly aging population, and increased demand for medical technology, China will continue to be an attractive market for U.S. manufacturers. With that in mind, we are concerned that inclusion of medical devices on any final Section 301 tariff list could lead to retaliation that would jeopardize these opportunities." (
  • Rated 100% by Public Citizen. (
  • Signed a letter stating: "As such, we believe that it is critically important that the TPP provide for an enhanced framework for protecting workers' rights to help ensure that the agreement benefits the middle class in this country and protect the rights of workers of our trading partners." (
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) concerning abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
X b) Abortions should always be legally available.
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) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion.
h) Support amending the California Civil Code to state that human life begins at conception.
i) Other or expanded principles

State Budget: Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories.State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels you will support.

Maintain Funding Status a) Education (Higher)
Maintain Funding Status b) Education (K-12)
Maintain Funding Status c) Environment
Slightly Increase Funding d) Health care
Maintain Funding Status e) Law enforcement
Maintain Funding Status f) Transportation and Highway infrastructure
Maintain Funding Status g) Welfare
Slightly Decrease Funding h) Other or expanded categories
Slightly Increase a) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Status b) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increase c) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Status d) Corporate taxes
Maintain Status e) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Status F) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Status g) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decrease h) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Status i) Property taxes
Maintain Status j) Sales taxes
Slightly Increase k) Vehicle taxes
Slightly Increase l) Other or expanded categories
No m) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Yes n) Would you support placing any operating surplus into a "rainy day" fund?
No o) Should California legalize gambling in specific cities in order to generate tax revenue?
Bridge tolls should increase to pay for mass transit
Retail sold over the Internet are already subject to California sales tax and should remain so.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and governmental reform.e) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?

No a) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California governors?
No b) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California state senators?
No c) Do you support the current three term, six year limit for California assembly members?
Yes d) Do you support amending the term limit law to allow voters to place a current legislator on the ballot who would otherwise be ineligible to run for re-election?
Yes 1) Individual
Yes 2) PAC
Yes 3) Corporate
Yes 4) Political Parties
Yes f) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yes g) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
No h) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Yes i) Do you support voting on-line?
Yes j) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
No k) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in California are closed?
l) Do you support allowing voter registration on Election day?
Yes m) Should California recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
No n) Should California restrict marriage to a relationship only between a man and a woman?
X o) Other or expanded principles
I support a 12 year term limit for all these offices and have consistentlysince 1980 on the San Mateo Board of Supervisors.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Increase state funds for the construction, renovation, and expansion of local jails and juvenile detention centers.
c) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
X d) Support the use of the death penalty in California.
e) Support placing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in California.
X f) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
X g) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
X h) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
i) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
X j) Support .08 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
k) Prosecute as adults, youths accused of a felony.
X l) Support funding for alternative sentencing programs for juvenile offenders.
X m) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability be prosecuted as hate crimes.
X n) Ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
o) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
X p) Increase state funding for additional security of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
X q) Amend the "three-strikes" law so that it is applied only when the third offense is a serious or violent felony.
r) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
X c) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
X d) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
e) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
f) Support posting the Ten Commandments in public schools.
g) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
X h) Support public schools administering high school exit exams.
X i) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
X j) Increase state funding for Head Start programs.
X k) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
X l) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
n) Increase the length of the public school year to provide additional hours of classroom instruction.
X o) Other or expanded principles
I strongly support education funding and will try to maintain funding despite the state budget deficit.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning employment.Affirmative Action: Should the following state agencies take race and sex into account when making employment decisions?

X a) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
X d) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
X e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
X f) Include sexual orientation in California's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Create a state "living wage" standard.
X h) Other or expanded principles
Yes a) College and university admissions
Yes b) Public employment
Yes c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
I have supported a minimum wage that is adequate to live on, and indexing the minimum wage.

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

X a) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
X c) Support a bond for clean air, parks, and water conservation programs.
Yes d) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Yes e) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?
No f) Should California purchase the utility lines of power companies?
No g) Should California sell state bonds to create an emergency fund for the purchase of energy?
h) Other or expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

X a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
X b) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
X f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
X g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
X c) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
X e) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in California.
X h) Increase state funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
X i) Require labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered products.
j) Eliminate the requirement that health care facilities must provide non-emergency medical assistance to illegal immigrants.
k) Other or expanded principles

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

X a) Support current time limits on welfare benefits.
X b) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
X c) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
X d) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
X e) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
f) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
g) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
h) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to expand state services to include the working poor.
X i) Support tax credits to developers for the construction of low income housing.
j) Other or expanded principles
On an attached page, in a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.

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