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Joe Kennedy III's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MA) - District 4, Democratic
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Joe Kennedy III has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Joe Kennedy III 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

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 30 July 2012. "I believe that a woman's right to choose is a matter of fundamental liberty and will stand up in Congress against efforts to limit access to reproductive health services." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I believe strongly in a woman's right to choose and will fight efforts to limit access to reproductive health services." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 30 July 2012. "I believe that a woman's right to choose is a matter of fundamental liberty and will stand up in Congress against efforts to limit access to reproductive health services." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I believe strongly in a woman's right to choose and will fight efforts to limit access to reproductive health services." (joekennedy2012.com)
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

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 8 September 2012. "I support the Buffet Rule. I support allowing for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the highest- earning Americans." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "The middle-class can't shoulder this burden alone, and I believe it's fair to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute their share. But in return for that additional investment, we need a real and responsible plan that will get our debt and deficit under control. [¦] We need a tax system where everyone pays his or her fair share. That is why I support the 'Buffett rule,' which would ensure no household making more than $1 million each year pays a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family pays." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 8 September 2012. "I support the Buffet Rule. I support allowing for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on the highest- earning Americans." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "The middle-class can't shoulder this burden alone, and I believe it's fair to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute their share. But in return for that additional investment, we need a real and responsible plan that will get our debt and deficit under control. [¦] We need a tax system where everyone pays his or her fair share. That is why I support the 'Buffett rule,' which would ensure no household making more than $1 million each year pays a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family pays." (joekennedy2012.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joseph Kennedy III. JOE KENNEDY III KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN FOR 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. 16 February 2012. "In the video, Kennedy made clear that he will fight for the issues important to the people of the 4th Congressional District, stating, 'together, we'll fight for a fair jobs plan that puts people back to work by re-building our infrastructure, creating a 21st century energy economy, and financing innovations that stimulate job growth.'" (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Joe Kennedy III Statement on Primary Night. 6 September 2012. "That starts with putting people back to work. We need to support our small businesses, invest in infrastructure and education, and begin making smarter budget choices in Washington. We need a balanced approach to dealing with our debt and deficit that asks every person to do their part to safeguard the promise of this country." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. JOE KENNEDY III KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN FOR 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. 16 February 2012. "In the video, Kennedy made clear that he will fight for the issues important to the people of the 4th Congressional District, stating, 'together, we'll fight for a fair jobs plan that puts people back to work by re-building our infrastructure, creating a 21st century energy economy, and financing innovations that stimulate job growth.'" (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Joe Kennedy III Statement on Primary Night. 6 September 2012. "That starts with putting people back to work. We need to support our small businesses, invest in infrastructure and education, and begin making smarter budget choices in Washington. We need a balanced approach to dealing with our debt and deficit that asks every person to do their part to safeguard the promise of this country." (joekennedy2012.com)
Unknown Position Unknown 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

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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

  • Joseph Kennedy III. A Comprehensive Energy Policy for the 21st Century. 19 September 2012. "I support the planned increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards “ it's good for consumers, good for Detroit, and good for our long-term economic competitiveness." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. A Comprehensive Energy Policy for the 21st Century. 19 September 2012. "I support the planned increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards “ it's good for consumers, good for Detroit, and good for our long-term economic competitiveness." (joekennedy2012.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Christine McConville. Boston Herald: Pols cling to gun stances amid latest uproar. 24 July 2012. "I support a federal assault weapon ban [¦] I think that certainly needs to be looked at in the wake of the tragedy." (bostonherald.com)
  • Christine McConville. Boston Herald: Pols cling to gun stances amid latest uproar. 24 July 2012. "I support a federal assault weapon ban [¦] I think that certainly needs to be looked at in the wake of the tragedy." (bostonherald.com)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "Figuring out how to keep our health care system viable and affordable goes hand-in-hand with our economic recovery efforts. And that means defending the progress we've made with the Affordable Care Act." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I support the path set forth by the Affordable Care Act. It's not perfect, but it makes some important reforms like paving the way for universal coverage, making sure insurance companies can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and guaranteeing women access to essential health services. There is still much work to do to make health care more efficient, more effective, and more transparent." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "Figuring out how to keep our health care system viable and affordable goes hand-in-hand with our economic recovery efforts. And that means defending the progress we've made with the Affordable Care Act." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I support the path set forth by the Affordable Care Act. It's not perfect, but it makes some important reforms like paving the way for universal coverage, making sure insurance companies can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and guaranteeing women access to essential health services. There is still much work to do to make health care more efficient, more effective, and more transparent." (joekennedy2012.com)
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

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Meet the Candidate: Joseph Kennedy III. 29 August 2012. "Along with protecting the safety and security of our country, I believe it's crucial that our system allow hardworking immigrants to put their talent and education to work here in the US, especially law-abiding young people who were brought into this country by their parents or grandparents. I support President Obama's recent executive order, as well as the DREAM Act." (www.heraldnews.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Meet the Candidate: Joseph Kennedy III. 29 August 2012. "Along with protecting the safety and security of our country, I believe it's crucial that our system allow hardworking immigrants to put their talent and education to work here in the US, especially law-abiding young people who were brought into this country by their parents or grandparents. I support President Obama's recent executive order, as well as the DREAM Act." (www.heraldnews.com)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I believe that every citizen has the right to love and marry whom they choose. We need to end discriminatory policies like the Defense of Marriage Act, fight for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and address the devastating effect of bullying in schools for LGBT youth." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 9 June 2012. "First and foremost we need to repeal DOMA and guarantee same-sex partners the rights afforded all couples. But the fight for equal rights goes beyond marriage equality. As equal-marriage becomes law in more and more states, we need to look beyond legal equality and toward lived equality: from ending discrimination in the workplace to stopping the devastating effects of bullying in our schools." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "I believe that every citizen has the right to love and marry whom they choose. We need to end discriminatory policies like the Defense of Marriage Act, fight for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and address the devastating effect of bullying in schools for LGBT youth." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Press Release. 9 June 2012. "First and foremost we need to repeal DOMA and guarantee same-sex partners the rights afforded all couples. But the fight for equal rights goes beyond marriage equality. As equal-marriage becomes law in more and more states, we need to look beyond legal equality and toward lived equality: from ending discrimination in the workplace to stopping the devastating effects of bullying in our schools." (joekennedy2012.com)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Meet the Candidate: Joseph Kennedy II. 29 August 2012. "If our nation faced a direct and eminent threat, then I would fully support the President's decision to take military action against our enemies." (www.heraldnews.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Meet the Candidate: Joseph Kennedy II. 29 August 2012. "If our nation faced a direct and eminent threat, then I would fully support the President's decision to take military action against our enemies." (www.heraldnews.com)
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

  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "When it comes to Social Security, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that it remains solvent for those who need it most. I believe we can do this without means testing or raising the retirement age. I will always stand up to efforts to privatize the program and will work to protect our seniors from unfair and devastating cuts to the retirement benefits they have earned and deserve." (joekennedy2012.com)
  • Joseph Kennedy III. Where I Stand. 12 September 2012. "When it comes to Social Security, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure that it remains solvent for those who need it most. I believe we can do this without means testing or raising the retirement age. I will always stand up to efforts to privatize the program and will work to protect our seniors from unfair and devastating cuts to the retirement benefits they have earned and deserve." (joekennedy2012.com)

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.

Massachusetts Congressional Election 2012 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 AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I believe in granting all women full access to health services and support a woman's right to choose as defined in Roe v. Wade. I reject repeated attempts to narrow or limit a woman's right to control her health and well-being and firmly believe that we should trust women to make important choices about their lives and health in consultation with their doctors, and without government interference.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?
YesDo you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Other or expanded principles

As we draw-down the number of troops, we must stay vigilant in ensuring that Afghanistan is never used again as a base for attacks against our citizens. I support bringing our troops home quickly and prudently before the end of 2014.

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing the federal budget.
In order to balance the budget,
YesCandidate Answerdo you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate Answerdo you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Nodo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Nodo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles

I believe we need a responsible, bipartisan plan that balances spending cuts and revenue increases, to bring our debt and deficit under control, get people back to work, and ensure sustainable economic competitiveness. I support broad tax reform, including a broadening of the tax base through elimination of special deductions and loopholes and simplification across the board. I also support responsible reductions in military spending that do not compromise our national security or the safety of our troops.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I strongly believe that the Citizens United decision should be reversed. At a minimum we should pass legislation, such as the Disclose Act, to create transparency in the system.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support the temporary extension of unemployment benefits?
YesDo you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles

We are emerging from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and too many people are still struggling. Our entrepreneurs, our investors and our businesses need a pro-growth environment to thrive and succeed. We need to do everything we can to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to start hiring, and that government is helping them rather than standing in the way. That's why I support a simpler tax policy and smarter business and environmental regulations. But a pro-growth environment also means an educated workforce and investments in infrastructure.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

I support the President's Race to the Top program. I believe we need a comprehensive policy plan for education that addresses each step along a child's path: from early childhood learning that prevents the achievement gap, to K-12 classrooms that strive for universal proficiency and dynamic innovation, to higher education that remains accessible to all and creates clear pathways to careers, to workforce training so that workers' skills stay current.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations
  • Joseph Kennedy III. A Comprehensive Energy Policy for the 21st Century. 19 September 2012. "I support prudent and responsible development of domestic fossil fuels today, while working to transition away from them in the medium term. The keys to responsible development of domestic fossil fuels are proper oversight and fair rates for leasing federal land, as well as the effective and efficient permitting of projects to avoid potential irreversible impacts to land and water supplies." (joekennedy2012.com)
Other or expanded principles

My highest priority is implementing a comprehensive national energy policy that increases conservation and efficiency and accelerates a shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources. While I would prefer to limit offshore drilling wherever possible, I recognize that a broader national plan is likely to allow some further domestic production of fossil fuels in the short term. I would work hard to ensure that any new drilling is done prudently and is subject to responsible review and oversight.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

With climate change threatening irreparable harm on our ecosystems and economy, we need to move away from carbon-intensive sources of energy. I support federal environmental and economic policies that will reward zero- and low-carbon energy producers and make us less reliant than ever on energy imported from regimes that share neither our values nor our interests.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles

The federal government should provide some basic protections on the use of firearms in America, including an assault weapons ban and ending the gun-show loophole. Beyond these basic protections, the states should be responsible for setting their own gun control standards. Enacting these measures would go a long way to keeping Americans safe.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
YesShould individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

I believe the ACA is one of the most important laws in a generation and will vigorously fight any effort to have it repealed. The ACA extends coverage to more than 32 million Americans and extends the solvency of Medicare eight years without cutting benefits. Healthcare reform guarantees access for everyone-- insurers can no longer discriminate against women or those with pre-existing conditions-- and adds new coverage for cost-effective prevention and wellness program without increasing copayments or deductibles. The ACA also takes steps towards cost containment, which I believe should be an absolute priority.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
YesDo you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin?
NoDo you support the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local police?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that we need immigration reform that is comprehensive in nature including efforts to secure our borders, strengthen enforcement, reform the immigration process and provide an opportunity to earn citizenship. I support increased cooperation and information-sharing between local and federal law enforcement, but I believe that federal immigration law should be enforced by federal agencies.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I support marriage equality because people are looking for this country to make true on that basic promise that each of us gets a fair shot-- no matter our background, our family, our income, our gender, our race, our sexual orientation or anything else. We'll never have a level playing field as long as we have laws on the books that enshrine discrimination. That's why I support the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
YesShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

Efforts to contain the growth of nuclear weapons are essential, including crippling sanctions on Iran to ensure they do not acquire nuclear arms. We can take no options off the table in preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons-- it would pose not only a threat to Israel but potentially set off a destructive nuclear arms race in the region.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

While we must take action to ensure the solvency of Social Security system, the system is by no means inherently broken. I believe that attempts to privatize the program are misguided and put the integrity of the program at risk. In 2011 nearly 55 million Americans, including retirees and their dependents, underage survivors of deceased workers, and the disabled, received $727 billion in Social Security benefits. Social Security is a bedrock program that we should cherish and honor.

Spending
Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Greatly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical Research
Slightly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
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.
Slightly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increased) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Maintain Statuse) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Maintain Statusf) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusj) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories
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.

Our number one priority must be getting people back to work. Our efforts will fall short if we fail to get back to a country that rewards hard work and gives everyone a fair shot. We need to create a pro-growth environment by reforming our tax code to ensure that it is straightforward and fair, opening up access, and simplifying burdensome regulation. Additionally, we need to make strategic investment in education and infrastructure that support economic growth. I also believe we need a comprehensive approach to balance the budget, one that includes both spending cuts and revenue increases.

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