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Suzan DelBene's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (WA) - District 1, Democratic
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Suzan DelBene has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

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 2016, 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

  • "I'm deeply frustrated and disappointed by the Judiciary Committee actions today to report out of committee unconscionable and unconstitutional legislation that would endanger women by limiting their access to abortion – even for victims of rape and incest, or in cases where a pregnancy threatens a woman's health." (
  • "I firmly believe that medical decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, and not by politicians. I support funding for family planning services." (
  • "H.R. 1797 is an extreme piece of legislation that places ideology over women's health. […] this bill is a direct challenge to the protection of women's health and reproductive rights that the Supreme Court provided in Roe v Wade. It unilaterally takes away a woman's ability to make what is a deeply personal decision." (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
Yes 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

  • "Our nation's tax structure is unnecessarily complicated and the tax burden is not equally shared. We need to be supporting the middle class as their success and prosperity will drive long-term economic growth. We should look to eliminate inefficient and unfair tax breaks and subsidies that don't make sense in our economy." (
  • "I voted to support the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 to keep income taxes low for the middle class and grow the economy. This bipartisan legislation reduced the deficit by $737 billion through increasing taxes on high-income earners, while providing tax relief for 98 percent of all Americans and 97 percent of small businesses." (
  • "I support the Buffett rule, which would ensure that those making a million dollars or more per year do not pay a lower tax rate than middle class families. This is why I voted to let the Bush tax cuts for high wage earners expire in 2013. I will fight to eliminate the unfair loophole that allows hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate on their income than other professions." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Instead of arresting and prosecuting low-level drug offenders, we should be supporting successful programs that direct them to the services and help they need -- reducing costs and recidivism in our criminal-justice system." (
  • Cosponsored H.R.3382 "Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • "To create jobs and grow our economy, we must make smart investments in education, research, clean energy, and transportation infrastructure. Sadly, the Republican budget is a step backward with dramatic and painful cuts that will make college less affordable and result in fewer people having access to the American Dream." (
  • "The 2014 Farm Bill, which reduced the deficit by billions of dollars, included my $200 million job-training pilot program. This program is a prime example of how investing a little money in a targeted way can save the government money in the long run by giving people the tools they need to become self-sufficient." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.880 "American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015" (
  • "DelBene has cosponsored bills that provide tax relief for the middle class such as the Child Tax Credit Permanency Act, which helps families with the cost of raising children, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provide families assistance with the rising cost of college." (
  • "Preventing the looming tax increase on the middle class is a straightforward way to help our economy and provide relief to working families immediately." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) voted against House leaders’ proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). […] It’s critical that Congress take swift action to replace this outdated law with a system that maintains high standards for student achievement, but provides states and districts with the tools and flexibility they need to help all kids reach their full potential." (
  • "I will fight for policies that strengthen our education system focused on closing the achievement gap, raising standards, and giving our teachers the support we need and deserve to help ensure that every child gets a chance to reach their full potential." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against H.R. 5862 "To Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must also continue to develop alternative forms of energy here at home such as solar, wind, hydro, and bio-based fuels. I was proud to have helped secure funding in the 2014 Farm Bill for alternative energy programs and I have consistently supported renewable energy funding to increase our energy independence and eliminate the damage of fossil fuels." (
  • "Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today opposed a bill that would restrict government investments in science, technology and innovation based on partisan ideology. The bill makes specific cuts to programs designed to combat climate change, promote energy efficiency and spur renewable energy research and development." (
  • "Our nation must take meaningful steps to build a new economy based on clean and renewable energy sources. Washington has an educated workforce, advanced manufacturing, and a growing technology industry, which make us poised to lead the way in meeting the goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon-free electricity by 2030." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • "We need to pass a climate change bill that places a cap on carbon emissions and creates market incentives that enable the energy industry to move away from fossil fuels in a way that is efficient and cost-effective." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "Commonsense, bipartisan legislation like H.R. 1076 is just one thing we can do to better protect our communities from the tragic cycle of gun violence, and it is imperative for policymakers on both sides of the aisle to work together with local and federal law enforcement officials, mental health and public health experts, and law-abiding gun owners to find additional ways to prevent the kinds of atrocities we've seen in recent weeks." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Affordable Care Act was an important first step and many of its reforms are already helping to improve the quality of coverage and expand medical access to medical services for millions of individuals." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act upheld today is already helping millions in Washington state by allowing children to be covered on their parents' plans until age 26, preventing insurance companies from denying coverage because of preexisting conditions, and reducing costs of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare." (
  • "Health insurance reform legislation that passed this year failed to include a public option. I believe this was a mistake. We should all be able to choose between public and private options." (
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We hope that your actions will prevent the separation of undocumented family members of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and DACA beneficiaries and offer protection to others who have long worked in the United States and who have established strong ties with our communities." (
  • "I strongly support an earned path to citizenship for those who are already here, working and making positive contributions to their communities." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We should also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I support government-sanctioned civil marriage and believe that churches can decide for themselves whether to recognize same-sex couples. Our government should not be in the business of denying rights to committed couples." (
  • "I'm pleased the Court recognized what Washingtonians have known for years -- that love is love and all couples deserve equality under our laws. While this is a major victory, more must be done to end discriminatory laws and ensure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans." (
  • "Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is simply unacceptable. I believe all Americans have the right to be treated equally, but there is still much to do to make this a reality for LGBT Americans […]." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The safety of Americans from terrorism and other threats must be our number one national security priority. Our nation needs effective responses to emerging threats, and as a Member of Congress, I am working hard to ensure that our nation remains vigilant against all threats facing our communities at home and our men and women serving abroad." (
  • "And while a strong military is essential, I believe our efforts to deal with terrorism must also address the issues of global health, dependence on foreign oil, poverty, and nuclear proliferation." (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.1141 "Authorizes Aid to Syrian Opposition" (
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

  • "Social Security has long been a building block of our middle class and I am committed to taking steps that will strengthen and protect it. I do not believe it's appropriate to cut seniors' benefits or to privatize the system; these proposals would only weaken the system and break our promise to citizens who have paid for and earned their benefits." (
  • "Dramatically cutting benefits or privatizing Social Security would weaken the system and break our promise to citizens. Instead, we should lift the income contribution cap on the wealthiest Americans, which would secure the Social Security Trust Fund remains solvent for 75 years – just by making sure everyone pays their fair share." (
  • Rated 83% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


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.

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