"End the death penalty. Kamala believes the death penalty is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. As San Francisco District Attorney, Kamala declined to seek the death penalty in the prosecution of an individual accused of killing a police officer, despite facing relentless political pressure to do so."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Kamala's Plan to Transform the Criminal Justice System and Re-Envision Public Safety in America," medium.com, Sep. 9, 2019
[Editor's Note: In 2014, Kamala Harris, then California Attorney General, appealed the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that stated the California death penalty was unconstitutional. She stated then that she was personally opposed to the death penalty.
Source: Maura Dolan, "California AG Kamala Harris to Appeal Ruling against Death Penalty," latimes.com, Aug. 21, 2014]
Pro Should Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases Be Made Law?
"Mandate near-universal background checks by requiring anyone who sells five or more guns per year to run a background check on all gun sales.
An estimated 1 in 5 gun purchases in America occur without a background check. These dangerous sales go through because the federal government does not consider most gun sellers that operate online, at gun shows, or out of their garage as being a 'dealer' of firearms.
As a result of this loophole, these gun sellers are not required to conduct background checks by federal law, and millions of guns are sold each year with no questions asked in the 30 states without universal background checks. This is how dangerous people buy guns: about 80% of all firearms acquired for criminal purposes are bought through unlicensed sellers.
If Congress fails to pass universal background check legislation within her first 100 days, Harris will consider any person or business that sells five or more guns for profit in a calendar year a 'dealer' of firearms, and require they conduct background checks on all gun sales."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Action on Gun Violence in Kamala Harris' First 100 Days," kamalaharris.org (accessed Aug. 27, 2019)
Pro Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal Federally?
"To help end the era of mass incarceration, Kamala will take action to legalize marijuana... To help ensure those returning from prison and jail can successfully re-enter their communities, Kamala will start by fighting to expunge records for marijuana offenses, increase investments in reentry support and job training programs, and take executive action to 'ban the box' so employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first—without the stigma of a former conviction."
"I think these [Bernie Sanders's proposals to pay for Medicare-for-All] are good options, especially making the top 1% and corporations pay their fair share through a more progressive income, payroll, and estate tax...
To pay for this specific change [Medicare-for-All], I would tax Wall Street stock trades at 0.2%, bond trades at 0.1%, and derivative transactions at 0.002%. Think of it like this: that’s a $2 fee on a $1,000 trade by investors and big banks. I would also end foreign tax shelters by taxing offshore corporate income at the same rate as domestic corporate income. Together, these proposals would raise well over $2 trillion over ten years, more than enough to make up the difference from raising the middle-class income threshold."
Source: Kamala Harris, "My Plan for Medicare for All," medium.com, July 29, 2019
"In America today, the cost of living is going up, paychecks aren’t keeping up, and the rules keep being written to benefit big corporations and the top 1%. When the bankers who crashed our economy get bonuses but the workers who brought our country back are barely getting by, it’s clear: Our economy isn’t working for working people...
To raise wages, Kamala will fight to empower unions, make a $15 minimum wage the national floor, and create stricter penalties for companies that cheat their workers."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Economic Justice," kamalaharris.org (accessed July 29, 2019)
"Providing relief to students today is critical, but Kamala knows we also have to tackle the driver of this crisis: the runaway cost of college. Over the past 30 years, the cost of public college has increased over 200 percent, putting college entirely out of reach for many families and forcing others to take on mountains of debt.
Kamala believes that in America, your family’s wealth should not dictate your success. That’s why as president, she’ll fight to make community college free, make four-year public college debt-free, and provide an income boost to nearly 1 in 7 Pell Grant recipients through her LIFT Act, the largest tax cut for working Americans in generations."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Debt-Free College and Student Debt," kamalaharris.org (accessed July 29, 2019)
Not Clearly Pro or Con Should the US Abolish the Electoral College?
Jimmy Kimmel: "Senator Warren, Elizabeth Warren, had a town hall last night and she said that she thinks we should do away with the Electoral College. Do you agree with that?"
Kamala Harris: "I think that I'm open to the discussion. I mean, there's no question that the popular vote has been diminished in terms of making the final decision about who's the President of the United States and we need to deal with that. So, I'm open to the discussion."
Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live, "Senator Kamala Harris on Running for President, Electoral College, Her Family and Star Wars," youtube.com, Mar. 19, 2109
Con Should the US Expand Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Land?
"Our public lands and waters belong to all Americans and are a critical tool for combating climate change. We must stop extracting fossil fuels and use our public lands to our collective benefit. We know that healthy forests store carbon and provide clean air and water, protected corridors provide habitat for species critical to thriving ecosystems, natural infrastructure makes communities healthier and more resilient, and access to nature can fuel the mind while fostering the next generation of environmental stewards."
Source: Kamala Harris, "A Climate Plan for the People," kamalaharris.org (accessed Oct. 15, 2019)
Pro Should the US Adopt a Climate Change Plan such as the Green New Deal?
“Climate change is an existential threat—it’s critical we act now to achieve a cleaner, safer, and healthier future. But it is not enough to simply cut emissions and end our reliance on fossil fuels. We must ensure that communities already contending with unsafe drinking water, toxic air, and lack of economic opportunity are not left behind. We need a Green New Deal based in climate and environmental justice, which means building a clean economy that protects communities that have been neglected by policymakers for far too long. I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez on this comprehensive proposal, and I’m hopeful that it brings a Green New Deal closer to reality."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Harris, Ocasio-Cortez Announce Landmark Legislation to Ensure Green New Deal Lifts Up Every Community," harris.senate.gov, July 29, 2019
Pro Should the US Re-Enter a Nuclear Deal with Iran?
"Iran presents a threat to the United States, which is why we engaged and entered into the nuclear agreement in the first place... And so the question then becomes, knowing the danger and the potential threat presented, what do we do to keep our nation safe? And a lot of thought and negotiations went into what seemed to be a feasible solution, which was the deal. Where we would have the ability to track and to have accountability. And now he's [Trump] pulled us out of that. I would certainly have us rejoin it [the nuclear deal]. I would also have us look toward expanding it. To be honest with you, I would like to see it cover also ballistic missile testing. I'd like to see that we would have certainly accountability but also probably increased oversight."
Source: MSNBC, "Sen. Harris on Iran Deal," facebook.com, June 19, 2019
"As Senator, Kamala championed the rights of sexual assault survivors and led the charge against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. She introduced the EMPOWER Act to help end the culture of fear and silence that still exists around workplace harassment, and cosponsored legislation to protect women’s right to safely access an abortion.
As president, Kamala will continue to champion the rights of women and girls. She’ll protect Planned Parenthood from Republican attempts to defund essential health services, nominate judges who respect Roe v. Wade, and immediately roll back dangerous and discriminatory rules put in place by President Trump to limit access to contraception and safe abortion in the United States and around the world."
Source: Kamala Harris, "Gender Equality" (accessed Aug. 7, 2019)
Pro Should the US Switch to a Medicare-for-All Healthcare System?
"In America, health care should be a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it. It’s why we need Medicare for All. Imagine changing a job and not having to worry about your health care coverage. Imagine going to the pharmacy and not having to worry about an outrageous price increase on the prescription drug you need...
Medicare for All will cover all medically necessary services, including emergency room visits, doctor visits, vision, dental, hearing aids, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment, and comprehensive reproductive health care services...
[I]n setting up this plan, we will allow private insurers to offer Medicare plans as a part of this system that adhere to strict Medicare requirements on costs and benefits."
Source: Kamala Harris, "My Plan for Medicare for All," medium.com, July 29, 2019
Con Should the US Continue to Build a Border Wall at the US/Mexico Border?
"President Trump campaigned and has spent his presidency vilifying immigrant families and communities. He has manufactured a so-called crisis to divide our country and distract from his efforts to take away health care and give tax breaks to the super rich. His Administration has locked children and families in cages, taken babies from their mothers and fathers, ended protections for DREAMers, and sought to spend billions to build a wasteful wall on our southern border.
Kamala has fought on behalf of immigrant communities and for a fair immigration system throughout her career. As District Attorney, she cracked down on businesses that exploited undocumented immigrants. As Attorney General, she secured pro-bono representation for unaccompanied minors. As Senator, she’s led the charge against President Trump’s extreme anti-immigrant agenda, opposing John Kelly’s nomination as Secretary of Homeland Security, voting against Trump’s border wall funding, and was the first Senator to call for Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign."
Source: Kamala Harris, "A Fair and Just Immigration System," kamalaharris.org (accessed Aug. 7, 2019)
Should the US Decriminalize Illegal Border Crossings?
Meghan McCain: "You're for decriminalizing border crossings. You're one of the people who raised your hand at the debate."
Kamala Harris: "That is not correct. I am not in favor of decriminalizing, or not having consequence for... let me just be very clear. We have to have a secure border, but I am in favor of saying that we're not going to treat people who are undocumented cross the borders as criminals. That's correct. That is correct... I would not make it a crime punishable by jail. It should be a civil enforcement issue, but not a criminal enforcement one. So there should be -- you know, you gotta play by the rules, but we can't treat people like criminals when they're crossing the border.”
Source: Susan Jones, "Kamala Harris: No Jail for Illegal Border Crossers, 'But I Believe in Border Security,'" cnsnews.com, July 16, 2019
[Editor's Note: Harris previously expressed a PRO opinion on this question. Read Harris's former position on whether the border should be decriminalized.]
Pro Should LGBTQ+ People Have Protection from Being Fired for Being LGBTQ+?
"Today, the Trump Administration will argue to the Supreme Court that, in our country, it should be legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is wrong—and we must fight back."