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Chris Coons' Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (DE) - Jr, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Chris Coons has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Chris Coons is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2014, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

No Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of the economy, one of the first things you're going to be asked to vote on when you take your seat is whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, as well as for the middle class.Do you think they should be extended for everyone, including the wealthy?CHRIS COONS: Well, Judy, I think we should extend tax relief for the vast majority of Americans, for the 98 percent of folks who earn less than $250,000 a year. And I think it's important for us to come to a bipartisan resolution of this question.I have said in the campaign -- and I intend to move in this direction as senator -- that I'm willing to compromise on extending those income tax cuts for a number of years to higher-income individuals, if we can also get an agreement that extends other tax relief or other tax cuts that I'm convinced have a real impact on job creation." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "He will continue to strengthen America's economy through strategic long-term investments in infrastructure, training and workforce development. Chris will use his position in the Senate to fight for trade agreements that contain good labor and environmental standards that will help to create new American jobs, not ship them overseas." (votesmart.org)
  • "Responsibly cutting government spending while ensuring investments in American competitiveness. Responsible governance means approaching budget cuts with a scalpel instead of a hacksaw. Our spending cuts must be strategic and fit into a larger agenda to promote economic growth. While we maintain the crucial investments we need in American competitiveness, we must also be responsible with cuts to ensure that those who have struggled most in this recession are not faced with the elimination or reduction of critical programs that serve them." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Reauthorizing and reinvigorating ESEA. We must reform our education system and its challenges comprehensively. Congress should move to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in a way that reinvigorates federal programs that support student achievement and college preparedness. We need to hold our students to high standards while at the same time ensuring teachers have access to critical resources and support systems. Reauthorizing ESEA will give Congress a chance to focus on making key education policy decisions that lawmakers have put off for too long." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Chris is...calling for a nationwide cap and trade program that will help establish a price on carbon and unleash the creativity of American ingenuity to help solve the increasing effects of Greenhouse gases on the environment." (votesmart.org)
  • ""To mitigate the impacts of climate change, we have to reduce the level of damaging carbon emissions we pump into the atmosphere. If enacted, the EPA's Clean Power Plan will ensure America's power plants -- our country's single largest source of carbon pollution -- move to responsibly curb harmful emissions. These guidelines set strong targets for reducing carbon pollution, while giving states the flexibility they need to achieve emissions goals in a cost-effective way. This critical effort will protect public health, strengthen the market for energy efficiency, and spur transition to affordable, homegrown clean energy." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While the Affordable Care Act is already doing a lot of good for a lot of people, it does need to be updated and implemented responsibly to make sure we minimize the potential harm to small and medium-sized businesses..." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In my two years here in the Senate, I've supported measures that create a path to citizenship for those already in the United States, as well as measures that would expand the opportunity for the world's best and brightest to come to the U.S. to pursue their ideas. There is a lot to like in this framework, including the creation of a path to citizenship and strengthened prohibitions against racial profiling." (votesmart.org)
  • "U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and cosponsor of the DREAM Act and seven additional bills that would modernize the nation's immigration system, praised the Senate's passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a comprehensive immigration reform bill that makes important strides toward repairing America's broken immigration system. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 32."For a nation built by immigrants and the children of immigrants, this is an historic moment," Senator Coons said. "For too long, America's immigration system has fallen short of our shared values, failing to protect the basic rights of those seeking a fair opportunity to build a life here and contribute to our economy. The bill passed today will make our immigration system fairer and more humane. It will provide new opportunities for American-educated immigrants to pursue their ideas and innovations in the U.S. It will make extraordinary investments in the security of our borders. It is a balanced, bipartisan bill that will mean a more hopeful future for the next generation of Americans. I urge my colleagues in the House to take up this bill and seize this historic opportunity to build a modern immigration system that reflects America's values and makes our country stronger."The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act establishes a fair, earned pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already contributing to our country." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "...Senator Coons is working to ensure all loving couples can enjoy the benefits and responsibilities of marriage." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Defending U.S. security interests. Senator Coons believes we must use all tools at our disposal to defend Americans against global threats and protect U.S. security interests abroad. He supports strong U.S. leadership, working in partnerships with our allies, to combat terrorism and promote global security, stability, and peace." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must be thankful for the numerous contributions that America's seniors have made to lay the groundwork for future generations and we must ensure support for them as they transition into retirement. Chris supports efforts to keep Social Security strong and solvent. He does not support the risky scheme of Social Security privatization, which if passed by Republicans years ago, would have wiped out seniors' retirement saving. In this tough economic time, he will stand firm against efforts to raise the retirement age or modify benefits in any other way that would harm Social Security retirees." (votesmart.org)

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Delaware Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test

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.

Pro-choiceCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles
1) Spending
Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
1) Intelligence operations
2) Military hardware
3) National missile defense
4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
6) Research and development of new weapons
d) Education
e) Environment
f) Homeland security
g) International aid
h) Medical research
i) Scientific research
j) Space exploration
k) United Nations
l) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
2) Taxes
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Income taxes (low-income families)
g) Income taxes (middle-income families)
h) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
Unknown PositionInferred Answer 3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax? View Citations
  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesInferred Answer 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations
  • Christopher Coons. Issue Positions: The Economy. "Chris also believes it is important to directly help those who have suffered most in this crisis by increasing aid to the unemployed and expanding training programs to help those transitioning through careers. He will continue to strengthen America's economy through strategic long-term investments in infrastructure, training and workforce development. Chris will use his position in the Senate to fight for trade agreements that contain good labor and environmental standards that will help to create new American jobs, not ship them overseas." (votesmart.org)
6) Other or expanded principles

Chris understands the importance and challenges of balancing a budget. As County Executive, he inherited a mess of corruption and out-of-control government spending. He cut $100 million in spending and balanced six budgets by demanding more accountability and cracking down on wasteful spending. Chris will continue this leadership in the United States Senate.

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yese) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
e) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles

Chris opposes the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United case. He believes we must reform our campaign finance laws but that true reform will only come once the judicial system finds that campaign spending is not a form of speech. Chris believes that Senators should never become lobbyists.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations
  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
b) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
e) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yesb) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Nod) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesInferred Answer a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations
  • Christopher Coons. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Congressional Political Courage Test. Environment and Energy Issues: Other or expanded principles:" Chris believes we should be doing more to be good environmental stewards. We should work to reduce our emissions and supports a cap and trade program that will unleash the creativity of American ingenuity to help solve the increasing effects of greenhouse gases on the environment. Chris believes our dependence on foreign oil is a national security concern. Chris has long supported innovation and research in alternative energy sources, and although transitioning from oil to alternative energies will not be quick or easy, now is the time to forge ahead with serious commitments to wind, solar, biofuels, and other options."
  • Christopher Coons. Issue Position: Environment. "As Delawareans continue to see their fuel and energy prices increase, they must consider becoming good environmental stewards. That is why Chris Coons, in his role as County Executive, took steps to address the county's own energy consumption and emissions in order to bring costs down for taxpayers and protect the environment. As Senator, Chris will continue what he started here in Delaware to encourage all governments and businesses to inventory their greenhouse gas emissions, develop an action plan for reducing these emissions and become more energy efficient. Chris is also calling for a nationwide cap and trade program that will help establish a price on carbon and unleash the creativity of American ingenuity to help solve the increasing effects of Greenhouse gases on the environment." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
e) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
f) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
g) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles

Chris believes we should be doing more to be good environmental stewards. We should work to reduce our emissions and supports a cap and trade program that will unleash the creativity of American ingenuity to help solve the increasing effects of greenhouse gases on the environment. Chris believes our dependence on foreign oil is a national security concern. Chris has long supported innovation and research in alternative energy sources, and although transitioning from oil to alternative energies will not be quick or easy, now is the time to forge ahead with serious commitments to wind, solar, biofuels, and other options.

YesCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles

Chris respects that the 2nd Amendment guarantees a person's right to keep and bear arms, subject to a few common sense limitations. Government should focus on strictly enforcing existing laws to protect public safety, rather than expanding gun regulations.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations
  • Christopher Coons. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Congressional Political Courage Test. Health Issues: Other or expanded principles: "While not perfect, Chris supports the Affordable Care Act that will guarantee quality, affordable health care to all, and he looks forward to working with members of the Senate and House to implement, defend and sustain it."
  • Christopher Coons. Issue Position: Health Care. "Chris Coons believes that good health is the foundation of economic prosperity. Crippling health care costs have robbed American families and have hurt our nation's competitiveness. While not believing it to be perfect, Chris supports President Obama's landmark health care legislation and is committed to working across the aisle to make it better. The new law will provide health insurance to the more than 29,000 Delawareans who lack insurance, and it will lower health insurance costs for average Americans, give small businesses the ability to pay to cover their employees, and reduce the federal deficit in the process." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
c) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
d) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles

While not perfect, Chris supports the Affordable Care Act that will guarantee quality, affordable health care to all, and he looks forward to working with members of the Senate and House to implement, defend and sustain it.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations
  • Christopher Coons. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Congressional Political Courage Test. Immigration Issues: Other or expanded principles: "Chris strongly believes in the need for comprehensive federal immigration reform."
b) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
c) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles

Chris strongly believes in the need for comprehensive federal immigration reform.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations
  • Christine O'Donnell- Chris Coons Debate. CNN (transcript). 13 October 2010. "COONS: Wolf, I'm concerned about the security of our troops in the field and about honoring the service and the sacrifice of our veterans. The war in Afghanistan is the war of the two that we've been engaged in, Iraq and Afghanistan, that I think was justified by a direct attack on the United States by the Taliban, who were offering harbor to al Qaeda, who were the authors of the 9/11 attack. And I think in our 10th year now, on the ground in Afghanistan, we have to look hard at whether we're continuing to contribute to America's security by having 100,000 troops on the ground. I would support a negotiated resolution to the war that allowed us leave security and intelligence assets in place and that allowed us the opportunity to reengage, should the Taliban take control again, or allow al Qaeda to reemerge as a real threat to the region or to the United States. [?] We have asked a lot of our men and women in the field. They have delivered brilliantly. But, frankly, the mission has exceeded the scope that I think we could initially reasonably expect of them." (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
  • Christopher Coons. Issue Position: National Security. "Chris Coons approaches military and foreign policy matters as a Truman Democrat. Our nation is best served by a robust, engaged foreign policy, based in diplomacy and strategic partnerships with other nations. We need a well-trained, sophisticated national security and intelligence capability, and policies and practices that recognize the link between our security and development, fair trade, and human rights. A Senior Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, Chris supports the President in his efforts to responsibly end the war in Iraq. Chris will keep his focus on the long-term security and safety of the American people. He will work to strengthen international partnerships and will offer his unwavering support to our men and women in uniform." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesd) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
i) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles

Chris supports international free and fair trade agreements that include labor and other environmental protections and enforcement.

NoCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
d) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.
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