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

Office: U.S. House (MA) - District 4, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Joe Kennedy III 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 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." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VkpAGGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/2 (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

  • "Investments in education, workforce training, and infrastructure projects that get Americans back to work will pay for themselves over time as we utilize the full potential of our workforce and increase the base of tax revenue." http://kennedy.house.gov/on-the-issues/fiscal-responsibility (kennedy.house.gov)
  • Do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "This DFC grant will give members of the Needham Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition the funds needed to make a difference in the lives of young men and women in Needham. The town has made impressive strides in drug education and prevention, and I congratulate the Coalition on earning this grant." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/810848/congressman-kennedy-announces-125000-for-needham-to-combat-youth-drug-use (votesmart.org)
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54470 (votesmart.org)
  • "Investments in education, workforce training, and infrastructure projects that get Americans back to work will pay for themselves over time as we utilize the full potential of our workforce and increase the base of tax revenue." http://kennedy.house.gov/on-the-issues/fiscal-responsibility (kennedy.house.gov)
  • Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/53301 (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "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." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VY1rQPlViko (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

  • "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." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • "In Washington, I have worked to support policy that helps promote continued clean energy development, through measures like the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)." http://kennedy.house.gov/on-the-issues/energy-and-environment (kennedy.house.gov)
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" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/46345 (votesmart.org)
  • "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." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I'm proud to stand with Mayor Menino, my fellow members of the Massachusetts delegation, and millions of Americans across the country in supporting background checks and demanding reform." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/773604/mass-delegation-unanimous-in-support-for-universal-gun-background-checks#.VkpEsGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • "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." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against H.R.596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51284#.VY1sd_lViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Any credible plan to put us back on sound fiscal footing must continue the ACA’s work to slow the growth of healthcare costs without compromising the quality or accessibility of care." http://kennedy.house.gov/on-the-issues/fiscal-responsibility (kennedy.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

  • "For too long families and communities have suffered the consequences of our nation's broken immigration system. Faced with unilateral, unyielding inaction on behalf of Republican Leadership, President Obama used his constitutional authority to ensure our immigration enforcement is fair and just. While I commend the President on his decision, his executive action is not a substitute for the comprehensive immigration reform demanded by the majority of the American people. I will continue to call on House Republicans to allow a vote on the bipartisan immigration bill that will keep hard-working families together, fix our badly broken deportation system, strengthen border security and support our businesses." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/940444/congressman-kennedy-statement-on-presidents-executive-action (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Tomorrow hundreds of thousands of American families will finally wake up in a country where their love counts, without question or qualification." http://kennedy.house.gov/media/press-releases/kennedy-statement-on-obergefell-v-hodges-decision (kennedy.house.gov)
  • "Today's decision by the Supreme Court moves us closer to a country where no one can be told their love doesn't count. It allows thousands of committed couples across our nation to access the benefits and rights they deserve and inspires us to continue fighting until marriage equality is the law of the land." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/933359/congressman-kennedy-statement-on-scotus-gay-marriage-decision#.VkpKwGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign Position on Marriage http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1256/rating/7220#.VY1tevlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "There is no doubt that ISIL poses a grave threat to our allies and interests in the Middle East and potentially to our homeland. Confronting them will require a comprehensive strategy that includes a coalition of international partners and targeted airstrikes." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/933350/congressman-kennedy-statement-on-air-strikes-in-syria#.VZ7v83UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (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

  • "The best way we can protect Social Security for tomorrow is to make sure that our working-age population is employed in good jobs and a growing economy today." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/850211/issue-position-seniors#.VZ7wMnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/53 (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/141275/joe-kennedy-iii/#.VY2pTflViko (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.

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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