BATON ROUGE — Where two-term Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stands on various issues that will be debated in the Republican presidential campaign:
Jindal has expressed support for giving people who are in the country illegally a way to gain legal status through guest-workers visas — once the border is secure. With the same prerequisite of a secure border, he’s also said he is open to granting citizenship to those who came illegally if they gain proficiency in English, pay a fine and have worked and paid taxes after obtaining legal status for “a substantial period of time.” Under Jindal, Louisiana joined a lawsuit seeking to block President Barack Obama’s executive action to grant work permits to millions of immigrants in the country illegally.
Obama’s action is on hold pending an appeals court ruling.
Jindal has increased his overseas travel to make up for his limited background in foreign policy. But his speech this year to a London think-tank drew widespread criticism when he repeated heavily disputed claims that Muslims have established “no-go zones” in European neighborhoods that operate outside of local civic control. Jindal was an advocate for Congress having a say in any nuclear deal with Iran, asserting that “a bad deal is worse than no deal,” and for tougher sanctions on the country. Jindal has pushed for more airstrikes and other military action against the Islamic State group.
BUDGET AND ENTITLEMENTS
Jindal has blocked tax increases in his state unless he can claim a corresponding tax break elsewhere, and he supports a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget at the federal level. In Louisiana, his anti-tax stance has left him using short-term fixes to balance the books. Like most other Republicans considering a presidential campaign, Jindal calls for repealing Obama’s health care law. He favors “premium support” for Medicare, which would replace the insurance coverage given to seniors with a federal subsidy to purchase insurance coverage, a sort of voucher program to choose their own coverage plan.
His budget restraint, however, doesn’t extend to defense spending, where he says the nation should spend more. “National defense may not be the only priority of federal government, but it should always be the first priority.”
Raised by Hindu parents but a Catholic convert, Jindal has carefully cultivated social conservatives and evangelical voters. He signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows science teachers to use outside curriculum, a move some Nobel laureates protest as a back-door way to teach creationism as science. He pushed for a voucher program that pays for children to attend private schools with taxpayer dollars, including some religious schools that teach creationism and reject evolution. He opposes same-sex marriage and supports religious objections laws. On abortion, Jindal has repeatedly supported adding restrictions to the procedure in Louisiana, and he backs a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, similar to a law on the books in his home state.
Raised in a state heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry, Jindal has pushed back on actions taken to counter climate change while acknowledging — unlike some of his GOP rivals — that “human activity is having an impact on the climate.” He says too little has been done to harness the country’s energy potential, and he’s pushed for increased oil and gas drilling on federal lands and fought increased regulations on power plants. Jindal has called Obama’s environmental regulations “reckless and based on a radical leftist ideology that will kill American jobs and increase energy prices.” He says any U.S. steps to address climate change should be taken with trading partners because unilateral action would hurt the economy.