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Roll call on the Arnold amendment

The editorial page asked each U.S. senator and represenative from California his or her thoughts on amending the Constitution to allow naturalized citizens to seek the presidency. Here’s what they said.


Question: Would you support a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citziens to seek the presidency? Yes: 15. No: 9

Members of Congress who said "yes."
Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo
Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield
Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara
Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Valley Village
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach
Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista
Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach
Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista

Members of Congress who said "no."
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Burlingame
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita
Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte
Rep. Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles
Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton
Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto

Other responses to this question
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco: The Speaker has expressed support for an amendment that would allow naturalized citizens to become president with a 35-year residency requirement.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: I am sure there are many foreign-born citizens who are inherently qualified to hold the office of president. I also believe that the Constitution is our nation's most sacred document, and should only be amended under the most extraordinary circumstances. I am willing to examine whether the question of permitting foreign born citizens to become president constitutes such a circumstance.
Rep. Michael Honda, D-San Jose: Generally speaking, Rep. Honda would support an amendment allowing naturalized citizens to run for president, but would have to analyze the details of any specific measure before endorsing it.
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Valley Village: Yes, but it's a very low priority.
Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona: Yes, but only for those who've been citizens for 25 years.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D: I would want to look at the specific language of any proposed amendment before taking a position on it.

Question: As a Californian, do you think it's fair that our governor can't run for president because he's a naturalized citizen? Yes: 9. No: 15

Members of Congress who said "yes."
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont
Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita
Rep. Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles
Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton
Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto
Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach

Members of Congress who said "no."
Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Burlingame
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Atherton
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno
Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara
Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks
Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles
Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice
Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach
Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista
Rep. Bob Filner, R-Chula Vista

Other responses to this question
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco: The Speaker believes it's not fair that naturalized citizens can't run for president.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: Yes, it's fair, because that's what the Constitution says. It isn't about individuals.
Rep. Michael Honda, D-San Jose: Rep. Honda believes that it is unfair that naturalized citizens may not run for president.
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Valley Village: No, but on the list of items that are unfair, this is very small.

Other responses to both questions
Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo: Include a requirement of U.S. residency for at least 35 years.
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Burlingame: There are plenty of well-qualified people born in this country every year, and the Constitution is too valuable a document to be modified for the convenience of a few.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose: The constitutional provision requiring our president to be born in the U.S. is an anachronism. But given all the challenges facing our country currently, it is not important enough to warrant action. There are many capable and talented people in our country right now that are able to run for president. If I were to push to alter our constitution, I would work to pass the Equal Rights Amendment before this issue.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno: Most of the time I believe there is enough talent in the pool of native-born Americans to have a decent choice.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank: I think that naturalized citizens, with a suitable length of residency, should be allowed to run for any office.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles: I favor a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to run for president, even those I may not support myself.
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood: Congresswoman Sanchez believes that we should encourage more people into public service -- including those who have chosen to be Americans -- and would support a constitutional amendment that allows qualified naturalized citizens to serve in any elected office, including the presidency.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D: When this issue last came before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I raised a number of serious concerns and indicated that I would be "reluctant" to change the Constitution, which in itself is difficult to do. With that said, there is currently no constitutional amendment on this issue before the Senate, and I am keeping an open mind on future proposals.

Members of Congress who refused to answer
Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico
Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton
Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego

Members of Congress who did not respond to phone calls and e-mails
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River
Rep. Jon Doolittle, R-Roseville
Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma
Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez
Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater
Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia
Rep. Ethan Gallegly, R-Simi Valley
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-East Los Angeles
Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Carson
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands
Rep. Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar
Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon


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