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Filemon Vela, Jr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (TX) - District 34, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Filemon Vela, Jr. 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

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/7720 (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Right to Life Committee http://votesmart.org/interest-group/252/rating/7227 (votesmart.org)
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

  • "These proposals are built on responsible spending cuts, increased revenues, and growth with jobs. Yet Republicans have refused to work toward compromise on a plan to reduce the deficit because they refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes." http://vela.house.gov/index.php/2013-07-18-16-34-07/archived-press-releases/2013-press-releases/107-texas-border-congressmen-vela-hinojosa-cuellar-gallego-and-o-rourke-address (vela.house.gov)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The federal government shutdown has had adverse impacts felt across our county including jeopardizing funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Head Start Program." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/819512/first-year-democrats-support-discharge-petition-and-ask-for-a-simple-up-and-down-vote-to-open-government#.VZrFGHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "On behalf of all Texans, I have joined with my colleagues to call on the House Republican leadership to do what is right for our nation’s economy, security and families and take action this week on a balanced plan to avert these damaging and mindless spending cuts." http://vela.house.gov/index.php/2013-07-18-16-34-07/archived-press-releases/2013-press-releases/107-texas-border-congressmen-vela-hinojosa-cuellar-gallego-and-o-rourke-address (vela.house.gov)
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. 636 "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51297 (votesmart.org)
  • "Like our constituents, we are all deeply troubled by the fiscal trajectory of our country. Regardless of home state or party affiliation, we all share a focus on promoting economic growth, cutting spending, helping create jobs, eliminating waste, streamlining government, reforming our tax code, reducing the cost of healthcare, and preserving Medicare and Social Security." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/772541/letter-to-speaker-boehner-leader-cantor-leader-pelosi-and-whip-hoyer-bipartisan-fiscal-solution#.VZrFXXUVhHx (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of S. 1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.Vbo4SHV3k1M (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating "It is time to act in our nation's best interest and approve the Keystone XL pipeline." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/761081/letter-to-barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-keystone-xl-pipeline/?search=xl#.VZrGfXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • "The expanding oil, gas, and wind energy industries highlight the importance of investing in infrastructure projects such as completing the I-69 corridor and improving Texas' ports. Promoting energy production in Texas is crucial to ensure that Texas' economy continues to grow." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/854501/issue-position-energy#.VZrGrXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I also believe that we should explore alternative energies like wind farms, solar panels and other energies but we shouldn't shut off exploration of oil and natural gas right here in South Texas." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/704687/issue-position-energy-and-jobs#.VZrG4HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 5078 "Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/49911 (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 1582 "Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/45773#.Vbo6nnV3k1M (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt. 448 "Requires Congressional Approval Prior to Establishing a Tax on Carbon Emissions" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/45801#.Vbo6o3V3k1M (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt. 1098 "Prohibits District of Columbia from Implementing Certain Firearm Laws" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/49464#.Vbo7t3V3k1M (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 92% by the National Rifle Association http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1034/rating/6568 (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/interest-group/122/rating/7712 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "With respect to individuals who are now mandated to buy insurance beginning in 2014, we can only hope that the government's expectations that premiums are going to be low will become real. We won't know until the exchanges open." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/815425/valley-morning-star-vela-comments-on-affordable-care-act#.VZrI8nUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Helping constituents enroll in affordable healthcare in South Texas is important to me. I’ll continue to host enrollment fairs to help get more people covered. I know having reliable healthcare insurance brings peace of mind to South Texas families." http://vela.house.gov/index.php/2013-07-18-16-34-07/press-releases/314-press-release-vela-hosts-affordable-care-act-event-in-san-juan (vela.house.gov)
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 have established strong ties with our communities." http://gutierrez.house.gov/sites/gutierrez.house.gov/files/documents/11.13.14%20Gutierrez-Lofgren%20Letter%20to%20POTUS%20on%20Exec%20Action%20Post%20Election%20%28FINAL%29.pdf (gutierrez.house.gov)
  • "More than 4 million people, who work, live and call the United States home -- stand to benefit from President Obama's executive action. These actions allow these undocumented immigrants to obtain a work permit for three years, among other initiatives." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/952796/brownsville-mayor-files-amicus-brief-on-behalf-of-congressman-vela-defending-executive-action-on-immigration-policies#.Vbo973V3k1M (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, I support civil unions and will respect any decision by the Supreme Court in regards to same sex marriage." http://www.hrc.org/elected-officials/profile/house/745#.VZrK_XUVhHw (www.hrc.org)
  • Rated 0% by the Human Rights Campaign http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1256/rating/7220 (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Finally, as we try to open the path to negotiations, we believe it is imperative that you make clear to Tehran that the United States will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons; that we will step up sanctions until it reverses its nuclear program, and that we stand ready to use force if necessary." http://messer.house.gov/sites/messer.house.gov/files/Schneider-Messer-Iran-%20Sanction-%20Letter.pdf (messer.house.gov)
  • "I also sit on the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies. One of the primary responsibilities of this subcommittee is to address the growing threat of cyber warfare and to investigate ways to prevent cyber attacks on American institutions." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/854508/issue-position-homeland-security#.VZrLdHUVhHw (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

  • "By all accounts Medicare and Social Security funds become insolvent during the next 20-25 years and we must make sure it remains fiscally sound for the next generation. But what I won't support are efforts that would end Medicare as we know it and privatize Social Security." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/704681/issue-position-medicare-and-social-security#.VZrMdnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rate 95% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/interest-group/959/rating/7965 (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.

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