WPSR 2018 Congressional Candidate Survey

This survey on climate and national security issues was sent to all Congressional candidates, Districts 1-10. The purpose of this survey is not to promote nor harm any candidate and is strictly non-partisan. WPSR does not endorse or oppose any candidates for public office. 

The results of this survey are published verbatim and will be continuously updated as we receive additional responses. 

As you will see, only 5 of the 20 Congressional candidates filled out the survey. If your congressional candidate has not filled out our survey, as their constituent you have the power to request that they fill it out!  If you are interested, please follow this link for a template for calling campaign offices.

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1. What is your view on the "No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act"? This act would prohibit the introduction of the U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities in North Korea without a declaration of war from Congress or explicit statutory authorization.

Brian Luke, District 2: The United States should not attack North Korea without congressional approval unless attacked first. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution states that "Congress shall have Power To . . . declare War . . . ." Ultimately, an act like this act should not be necessary because of the constitutional role of Congress. The Korean War was unconstitutional when began. If the description is accurate, I would support this act even though it should not have to be passed in the first place.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: I am a proud co-sponsor of the No Unconstitutional Strike Against North Korea Act, which enshrines a critical check and balance on executive powers and the ability to launch a war. We should do everything possible to avoid actions that would escalate to greater conflict with North Korea.

Adam Smith, District 9:  I am in favor of tempering the likelihood of hostilities between the United States and North Korea. My concerns with the potentially disastrous outcomes of increased tensions between the United States and North Korea led me to introduce H.R. 4415, which seeks to establish the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first. We must ensure that the United States is not a hostile nuclear aggressor.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I intend to co-sponsor it as soon as I am elected. I also believe no one person should have the power to declare war. The constitution explicitly states that the right to declare war stays with Congress.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  There should be no acts of war without congressional approval. With the exception of defending ourselves from an immediate attack.

2. What are your views on President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 2014 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ("the Iran Deal")?

Brian Luke, District 2: I did not agree with his decision to do so. Ultimately, I believe that the Iran nuclear deal has been a net positive for the United States. The deal greatly curtailed Iran’s nuclear activities and stockpile of fissile (nuclear) material. For this reason alone, I consider this to be a huge benefit to the United States and to the other countries in the region, which might pursue nuclear weapons themselves if Iran’s nuclear activities would continue. Although the agreement may not have been perfect, the United States should not have withdrawn.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: The decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran Deal was as dangerous as it was short-sighted. Not only does it bring us perilously closer to war with Iran, by reneging on our agreement, we have put into question any reason another country would want to make a agreement with us.

Adam Smith, District 9: I am extremely disheartened with President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 2014 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This decision makes the United States, and the rest of the world, less safe, and contributes to worldwide instability. Unfortunately, through the President’s withdraw of the JCPOA, we have gone back on an important multilateral commitment, given Iran an increased reason to resume their efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, all while further isolating our country from our allies.

Sarah Smith, District 9: It was a terrible idea to withdraw from the Iran Deal. We have once again proven that our word counts for nothing. It discourages diplomacy with the U.S.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I believe it was the best thing for America. Unfortunately it was a bad deal in the first place. 

3. What are your views on the Trump Administration's 2018 Nuclear Posture Review which, among other things, proposes developing new, low yield submarine-launched nuclear weapons (the W76-2 Warhead)?

Brian Luke, District 2: I have not read the NPR, but based on this summary, I have mixed feelings towards these new weapons. On the one hand, the United States is trying to match the weaponry in other nuclear-weapon states. On the other hand, it probably costs a lot and takes the United States away from nuclear disarmament, which is required under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: With regards to the Nuclear Posture Review, I co-signed the Blumenauer-Lee-Quigley “Dear Colleague” letter which states my belief that these policies will will likely increase tensions with Russia and other major world powers, while making our country less secure.

Adam Smith, District 9: Although the United States must be able to protect itself against nuclear attacks, the Trump Administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review is utterly ridiculous. This plan encourages the first use of nuclear weapons by the United States, while also developing new and unnecessary, nuclear weapons. The development of a new “low yield” submarine-launched nuclear weapon is a bad and dangerous idea; it only will help to encourage a nuclear arms race, which makes the United States, and the rest of the world, less safe, both now and in the long term. I have introduced legislation to establish a U.S. policy of no first use of nuclear weapons and as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, have fought against plans to create the proposed W76-2 warhead.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I am against it. I would like to work towards complete de-nuclearization. I would rather we spend money on a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public colleges and trade schools, medicare for all, and infrastructure spending.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I believe that we can and should be able to replace old technologies, with new technologies. However when it comes to nuclear, I do not believe that we should increase our inventory. 

4. The United States is currently planning to rebuild our nation's nuclear arsenal (often called the "modernization" program), at an estimated cost of $1.2 trillion over 30 years.  What are your views on this plan?

Brian Luke, District 2: The United States cannot give up all of its nuclear weapons right now due to the lack of disarmament in other countries and the addition of four new nuclear-weapon states since the ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, the United States should pursue more disarmament treaties with nuclear weapon states, which would pursue the goal of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: Our nation’s budget is a moral document that demonstrates our values as a country. What does it say that we will spend $1.2 trillion on nuclear weapons but we won’t develop a plan for every child to go to college or for every American to have health care? This is a bad plan for America. We need a full audit of the Pentagon and should be finding ways to reduce our military spending.

Adam Smith, District 9: The United States’ current plan to rebuild our nation’s nuclear arsenal is unaffordable and we cannot accomplish everything the current plans call for. This plan is also potentially dangerous in that it could lead to a new nuclear arms race, which would have very serious implications as countries like North Korea and others seek to assert their power on the international stage. We should not add more nuclear weapons to the United States’ already vast nuclear arsenal and should instead work toward reducing our country’s nuclear weapons. Current plans would also place an undue financial burden on our national budget and on Americans, whose taxes will have to pay for it; they will not provide a direct, tangible benefit, and the immense cost will sap resources from other vital government programs and even other more important security priorities.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I am against it.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I support replacing old technology with new technology. However as stated before, I do not agree with increasing the nuclear arsenal overall. 

5. Currently, the US President has sole authority to launch nuclear weapons. The Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 (HR.669) would prohibit the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a Congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.  What are your views on this bill; or on the issue of Presidential authority to launch nuclear weapons? 

Brian Luke, District 2: I think that this act would be unconstitutional. The Congress has power to declare war but it does not have the power to tell the President how to fight a war. Under Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution, the President is the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States . . . ."

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: I have been a consistent outspoken advocate for reducing our spending on nuclear weapons and the number of such weapons in the U.S. stockpile, including co-sponsoring the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (HR 669).

Adam Smith, District 9: I support establishing a policy of no first use and am very concerned with President Trump’s ability to independently launch nuclear weapons. For these reasons, I have introduced H.R. 4415, which seeks to establish the policy of the United States to not use nuclear weapons first. The United States must serve as a measured international leader on issues of nuclear weapons policy.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I am against using nuclear weapons at all. It is mutually-assured self destruction.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I believe that it should be at the discretion of the president. Unfortunately this is a necessary exception. Getting congressional approval, can put us in danger, in certain time sensitive situations. That being said when it comes to nuclear weapons , we do not want to be hit first.

6. In 2017, the UN passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Currently, UN member countries are invited to ratify this treaty. What are your views on this treaty; or your opinion of whether the U.S. should ratify it? 

Brian Luke, District 2: In the current state of nuclear weapon state s, this treaty should be rejected. It is not supported by nuclear weapon states. Nuclear weapon states should move toward disarmament treaties amongst themselves and try to get nuclear weapon states that are not members of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty to be nuclear weapon state members to that treaty. Non-nuclear weapon states should pursue Nuclear Weapon Free Zone treaties.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: I believe that the United States should continue the path to nuclear disarmament.

Adam Smith, District 9: The world would be much safer with fewer nuclear weapons, and I believe that this treaty is an excellent first step. We must seek to prohibit unstable countries like Iran and North Korea from gaining further access to nuclear weapons, while also tempering our own President’s belligerent and threatening language. The United States should move towards reducing our own nuclear weapons supply, as our allies and adversaries must do the same.

Sarah Smith, District 9: Yes. In fact, in the forum put together by League of Women Voters I was the only candidate on the stage to say that the US should ratify it.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I am not a big supporter of nuclear weapons. However to prohibit them completely, unfortunately will not happen overnight. I support the deduction of nuclear weapons, as long as the United States is not at risk because of it. 

7. What actions, in your view, should be taken to address the health impacts of climate change and related issues in WA State, including air pollution, heat stress, and extreme weather events?  

Brian Luke, District 2: I am not in favor of government action on this issue. But I believe that those individuals concerned about climate issues should embrace new technological advances.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: Our accounting system needs to be revised to include costs to nature - in a currency acceptable to nature - and social costs. Both are presently ignored.

Adam Smith, District 9: Combating the climate crisis and ensuring clean air, water, and reduced levels of pollution are critical to the health and well-being of not just Washington State and American families, but the environment in which we live and the world at large. Climate change is a major concern and I support measures that reduce climate-impacting emissions in addition to those that protect the quality of our air and water. The impacts of climate change, air pollution, poor water quality, and other environmental hazards have a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low-income communities. I continue to support programs and policies aimed at reducing this environmental inequity, and we must seek environmental justice as we work to address climate change and its impacts on our communities. Since so many of our environmental challenges stem from our energy policy decisions, I am also focused on ensuring we invest in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that harm our environment. It is critical that we take steps now to protect our environment and vulnerable communities across the world from the very real and dangerous effects of climate change. I support an energy plan that focuses on the long term energy needs of our country and the world, as well as the health of our environment. A balanced approach must take into account, and then reduce, our current dependency on fossil fuels. Scientific evidence has shown that burning fossil fuels releases carbon into our atmosphere, which directly contributes to the environmental damages associated with climate change. We need to harness the technologies of the future, make our current energy use far more efficient, and develop new, cleaner sources of energy. Throughout my time in Congress, I have advocated for improving environmental standards, assisting wildlife and ecosystems threatened by global warming, and requiring the U.S. to engage with other nations to reduce emissions through an international incentive program. I will continue to work to reduce our country's dependence on fossil fuels, compel the Congress to hold hearings and debates on the science of and solutions to the climate crisis, and ultimately act on clean energy and climate legislation to ensure the well being of future generations.

Sarah Smith, District 9: Invest in updating our infrastructure to meet the needs of changing climate. Mitigate some contamination by building urban tree covers and rooftop gardens. Investing in electrical vehicle infrastructure and public transportation.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  We should continue to monitor , and and we should have a committee with our best people regarding. We should react accordingly, and utilize realisitic and measurable solutions. However not at the expense of the people, not at a sacrifice to Liberty. Not with outrageous taxes and costs to the people. 

8. What is your position on President Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement? 

Brian Luke, District 2: The United States should not be a member to this agreement.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: It’s an utter embarrassment that the United States is the ONLY country in the world that hasn’t signed the Paris Climate Agreement. More importantly, it sends the wrong signal to our children that we don’t care about their health today or in the future. This is why I have proposed the 100 By ‘50 Act, to transition our national economy away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable and clean energy by 2050, and it is why I co-founded the United for Climate Justice Task Force in Congress. We need to LEAD and get to work fast to stop the climate crisis from intensifying.

Adam Smith, District 9: The United States’ departure from this agreement almost guarantees that, under the Trump Administration, we will not be a global leader working with other countries to address climate change, one of the most important challenges facing the world. Instead of taking a backseat, the United States should be at the forefront of reducing our own pollution levels and bringing other countries to the table to do the same.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I am against it. Even though the Paris Climate Agreement didn't go far enough, it was an important step forward in working together as a global community to combat climate change

Joseph Brumbles, District 10: I agree , I believe it cost us too much for too little. 

9. What are your views on policies that place a price on carbon pollution, such as taxes, fees, or cap and trade programs? Alternatively, do you feel there is a preferable way to reduce green house gas emissions? 

Brian Luke, District 2: I do not believe that taxes, fees, and cap and trade programs should be used against individuals and businesses. New technology should be embraced that can cut down on pollution.

Pramila Jayapal, District 7: We must end our addition to fossil fuels as soon as possible. Other countries are investing in this technology and are running away with it while we are stuck in the dark and dirty ages. Unfortunately, the largest and most polluting corporations will never change their ways unless there is a financial incentive to do so. That is why I have endorsed Washington I-1631 to put a fee on carbon pollution here in our state, which if passed, could become a road map for the other states and the rest of the nation.

Adam Smith, District 9: Carbon pollution is a serious problem and I am very concerned about its impacts. I support measures to reduce carbon pollution, including through market-based mechanisms such as cap and trade systems, carbon fees, and taxes. I support further research and informed debate about how best to achieve reduced carbon emissions, and to begin to do so as soon as possible. I also recognize that there are potentially other preferable or more optimatal ways to reduce emissions, including combinations of approaches that involve regulation, the pricing of carbon, carbon trading, as well as new technologies and green energy that can remove or prevent the release of carbon from the atmosphere. The federal government has an important role to play in all of these areas, including through smart regulation, investment in basic research, and establishing systems to appropriately price and disincentive carbon emissions. I will continue to support these priorities and work to reduce these emissions into the atmosphere. It is imperative that as we work to reduce carbon emissions, we also ensure that environmental justice is achieved for all Americans, including people and communities of color. I will continue to work to ensure that clean air and water are basic rights for all Americans.

Sarah Smith, District 9: I don't think cap and trade does anything to combat climate climate change. We are basically saying if you "buy" enough green energy credits, you can continue polluting our climate. As with carbon tax, it depends on who is taxed. If it is the corporation doing the pollution is taxed, it is a good place to start, but ultimately, we must rapidly move towards 100% renewable energy. I would end subsidies for fossil fuel companies and subsidize green energy infrastructure.

Joseph Brumbles, District 10:  I do not agree. I believe that it is a wealth redistribution scheme. I am Pro clean energy, but not at the cost of the people, or Liberty. We can have clean energy through technological advances and the utilization of the free market. We do not need to penalize people with a carbon tax, a tripled energy bill, etc. As that will greatly increase burden & lower quality of life. 

If you are interested in results prior to the primary please follow this link.