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Bill Nelson, Sr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (FL) - Sr, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Bill Nelson, Sr. refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

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 2012, 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

  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Family Research Council 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S 3. 108th Congress. Prohibit Partial-Birth/Late Term Abortion bill. William Nelson voted Nay on 10/21/2003. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 3927. 108th Congress. Military Abortion Amendment. William Nelson voted Yea on 06/21/2002. (votesmart.org)
  • National Organization for Women. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, the National Organization for Women attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, the National Organization for Women gave William Nelson a rating of 100 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 3896. 110th Congress. Prohibiting the Funds in S 1200 from Being Used for Abortions. William Nelson voted Nay on 02/26/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 244. 109th Congress. Unintended Pregnancy Amendment. William Nelson voted Yea on 03/17/2005. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 Conference Report-Continued. 21 October 2003. "I am opposed to the procedure known as partial-birth abortion, except in cases where the life or physical health of the mother is in jeopardy." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Health. 16 June 2011. "Senator Nelson supports a woman's right to choose as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He opposes late-term abortion, except in cases in which the life or physical health of the mother is threatened." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Afghanistan: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Bill Nelson. MSNBC "Interview With Senator Bill Nelson" - Transcript. 27 March 2006. "Well, the question is: Do we want to stabilize Afghanistan? You can't stabilize Afghanistan unless you help Pakistan, and by the way, there's another agenda item there is you've got to get stabilization between two nuclear powers, Pakistan and India. So India needs to be a part of this and therein the region as well. One success has to depend on another's success here, and so it's a comprehensive way of looking at the interests of the United States in that part of the world." (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Peace Action 79 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 4204. 112th Congress. Requiring Afghanistan Troop Redeployment Plan and Timetable. William Nelson voted Nay on 05/27/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action West. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of Peace Action West 79 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Kevin Begos and Gil Klein. Tampa Tribune: Senators Get Firsthand Look At New Afghanistan. 9 January 2009. "Nation building has to be successful because the stakes are so high. We have assured them [Afghan leaders] that the United States would not show interest and then walk away like we did in the 1980s." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Text of Sen. Nelson's Reaction to President Obama's Speech on Afghanistan. 2 December 2009. "I think the president has a sensible plan, both short- and- long term, to empower the Afghan people and allow for U.S. troops to complete their mission and come home [...] The plan will allow 50,000 additional Afghan troops to be trained by next July so they can hold areas that are turned over to them. And our overall mission remains the same: wiping out Al Qaeda and diminishing its supporters, like, Taliban insurgents, while keeping up the pressure in the Pakistan border region." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Afghanistan. 7 July 2011. "Sen. Nelson thinks it's time to start bringing our troops home. The President has listened to the military commanders in the field. He has the right idea about starting the withdrawal. In the last year we've taken out a good part of the Al Qaeda leadership, including bin Laden, in that Afghanistan, Pakistan region. And, we've helped the Afghan people chose their own form of government. We're training their military, their security forces, so they can defend themselves. Nelson agrees we shouldn't take all of our troops out all at once. We've come this far and we have to know that Afghanistan will have some ability to stabilize themselves and to prevent terrorists from taking over there again. We also cannot allow the terrorists to gain safe haven elsewhere in the region. Although Al Qaeda has metastasized to other parts of the world, they are on the run in that Afghanistan, Pakistan area. So, he thinks it is now the time for us to begin the process of bringing our troops home and for having an increased international participation in this war on terror." (billnelson.senate.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • William Nelson. HR 5010. 108th Congress. Department of Defense Appropriations, Fiscal Year 2003. William Nelson voted Yea on 08/01/2002. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: National Security. 16 June 2011. "Nelson believes that a strong military should be a top priority. A member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Nelson represents thousands of military families living in Florida. Top defense issues for Nelson include improving quality of life for members of the Armed Services and military retirees and their families. He has also pushed for continued research and development of a national missile defense system." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Defense Spending. "Because the Super Committee was unsuccessful, there automatically will be a half-trillion dollars more in defense cuts. President Obama and Defense Secretary Panetta have laid out a strategy for coping with these cuts in a way that's designed to deal with current and anticipated threats. While Sen. Nelson thinks it needs to be reviewed, there clearly are savings that can be achieved in defense spending, just as in everything else. Still, when you get right down to it, the Pentagon budget must continue to be fully sufficient for a simple reason: we have to protect our country." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • William Nelson. HR 4986. 110th Congress. Defense Authorizations Bill. William Nelson voted Yea on 01/22/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. HR 2206. 110th Congress. Emergency Departmental Supplemental Appropriations Bill of 2007. William Nelson voted Yea on 05/24/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 4818. 110th Congress. Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. William Nelson voted Yea on 05/22/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Middle Class Tax Cut Act--Motion to Proceed. 25 July 2012. "What would that solution be? Well, if our target is that we want to reduce the deficit over a 10-year period by at least $4 trillion--that was clearly where the Simpson-Bowles Commission was going." (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

  • Bill Nelson. Issues of the Day. 15 June 2011. "Congress has passed a far-reaching tax bill extending breaks that were due to expire at the end of the this year to both individuals and businesses for at least two more years. Sen. Nelson voted for extension of these tax cuts." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Citizens for Tax Justice. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Citizens for Tax Justice 40 percent in 2006." (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Tax Reform. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Americans for Tax Reform 40 percent in 2007." (votesmart.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported reasonable tax and spending policies as defined by the National Taxpayers Union 16 percent of the time in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S AMDT 2610. 109th Congress. Tax Rate Amendment. William Nelson voted Yea on 11/17/2005. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Bush-era tax cuts. 3 October 2012. "Sen. Nelson supports permanently extending the Bush-era tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of this year for everybody making less than $1 million a year." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Middle Class Tax Cut Act--Motion to Proceed. 25 July 2012. "What would be my preference? I am going to vote for the majority leader's proposal, but my preference is that we would take that tax cut up to the level of adjusted gross income of $1 million on a joint return, which would mean far less than 1 percent of the people in this country would be affected by a 4-percent increase in that income above $1 million. That is my preference. That is what I voted on a year ago. But that is not the choice before us today. So I have no choice but to vote as I just indicated. But at the end of the day, this is not going to solve the problem. It is going to be more political posturing all the way up to the November election. Then in a lameduck session we are going to get down to work. We are going to let common sense and bipartisanship operate, and we are going to solve this deficit problem." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Michael C. Bender. Palm Beach Post: Nelson 'Skeptical' of Bailout Package. 29 September 2009. "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said this morning that he is still weighing his vote on the potential $700 billion financial package that is scheduled for a vote in the House today and the Senate on Wednesday. 'Put me down as highly skeptical but willing to continue to try to work and improve the package,' Nelson said. 'This is no-foolin' time for America. We've got to get this right because the alternative could be devastation.'" (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Letter to Chairman Inouye, Chairman Kohl, and Ranking Members Cochran and Blunt:. 6 September 2011. "In order to ensure a proper commitment to the our nation's agricultural research needs we strongly urge the Committee to reject the president's proposed cuts to the Agricultural Research Service and sustain investment in agriculture research in support of global food security, American rural economic development and job creation." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Letter to Mr. Jeffrey D. Zients, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget. 14 August 2012. "We urge you to include in the budget sufficient funds for operations and maintenance of federal harbors and ports equivalent to the estimated revenues collected into the fund for FY2014. With 13 million jobs and $4 trillion in economic activity dependent on these ports and harbors, we cannot let them fall into further disrepair. Because waterborne transportation is often the least expensive means of transporting vital commodities and goods, maintaining this essential infrastructure bolsters our economic competitiveness and strengthens the economy. We recognize the fiscal challenges our nation is facing. However, during these times of economic challenge, we can no longer afford to ignore the will of Congress and flout the purpose for which these funds are collected. These waterways are simply too important to our nation's commerce and international competitiveness for this situation to continue. Thank you for your attention to our request, and we look forward to working with you to strengthen our nation's infrastructure and economy." (votesmart.org)
  • The Club for Growth. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2010, The Club for Growth gave William Nelson a rating of 14 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Americans for Prosperity. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Americans for Prosperity 38 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. HR 1424. 110th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. William Nelson voted Nay on 10/01/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 3301. 112th Congress. Ending the Troubled Asset Relief Program. William Nelson voted Yea on 01/21/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. The Stimulus. 23 February 2009. "Hopefully, the whole idea is we are going to jump-start the economy back to life. In doing so, with more dollars out there, jobs will be created, the economy will start to recover, homes will not be vacated and foreclosed on and property values will rise, and then the ad valorem tax, which is the basic tax which supports education in Florida, will continue to rise as well to support those teachers who otherwise, 3 and 4 years from now, might be laid off." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. The Stimulus. 23 February 2009. "I wanted to hear from these local officials. Naturally, they were glad to hear that of this $780-some billion package, over a third of that was tax cuts, tax cuts to stimulate a certain kind of activity or tax cuts to put dollars in the hands of individuals so they would spend it. That is not like this so-called stimulus bill we did a year ago that was sending $500 to every taxpayer. This time, it was targeted to moderate and lower income folks who need the money. Indeed, it was targeted to taxpayers who do not have a requirement of a Federal income tax to pay but who still pay a lot of taxes because they pay a payroll tax. This time, it is different. It is $400 to an individual and $800 to joint filers--husband and wife. That is one of the tax cuts we are giving to stimulate the economy. Other tax cuts we put in--we wanted to stimulate certain activities, such as a $2,500 tax credit for moderate- and low-income families to use, to send their kid to college." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. The Stimulus. 4 June 2009. "In my State, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded over $100 million in stimulus funds to jump-start crucial Everglades restoration projects, such as the Picayune Strand and the Site 1 Reservoir construction. When you combine that with an additional $140 million in stimulus money for other projects such as water quality improvements down in the Florida Keys, then the spending in Florida is going to create about 2,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs. Overall, the stimulus bill is going to create over 200,000 jobs in the State of Florida." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Economy. "This is not the time for political rancor, but for casting aside partisanship. When Congress does that, I think most will see we shouldn't be bailing out banks that caused the problem in the first place - without guaranteeing that taxpayers don't get the short end of the stick. If we hand the administration seven-hundred billion dollars, then we also must assure there's tough oversight, profit-sharing for taxpayers, fair refinancing for homeowners facing foreclosure; and, we must make sure none of the money ends up back in the CEOs' pockets [¦] Nelson sought and won a major expansion of the Job Corps program to build an extra center to teach Tampa Bay area disadvantaged youth marketable job skills." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. FOX "Interview With Senator Bill Nelson" - Transcript. 10 February 2009. " [...] But equally as important in reviving the economy is what the Secretary of the Treasury just announced just a few minutes ago. He's scrapping the old TARP plan, which was the bailout plan. He's starting anew and he's coming out with all the controls so that it's not wasted like we saw in the last $350 billion. So in tandem, the stimulus spending, as well as the bank problem, those two should give a jumpstart to the economy to start to revive this economy." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. MSNBC "Interview With Senator Bill Nelson" - Transcript. 10 February 2010. "You've got to do it with what we're going to vote on in a couple of minutes, which is a big stimulus, a combination of tax cuts, as well as spending and you've got to do with it in tandem what the Secretary of the Treasury announced today, get more money into the banks, take away the toxic assets, get money in to rework the mortgages, which was the problem that started the downward spiral in the first place, combination of all of that is going to work." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • William Nelson. S 3816. 112th Congress. Tax Law Amendments. William Nelson voted Yea on 09/28/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. US Senator Bill Nelson Speaks on the Economy While Visiting the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla. 5 February 2010. "And of course Florida has had higher unemployment than the national average. And that's the reason that next week in the senate we're gonna take up a jobs bill that will have a number of incentives for employers, both large business and small business, to hire employees." (youtu.be)
  • Bill Nelson. Small Business Lending Fund Act Of 2010. 29 November 2010. "Mr. President, we are down now to passing what we have tried to pass so many times, this small business assistance bill, which is going to create a $30 billion lending facility that will work through community banks. The small business lending fund will generate $300 billion of loans that will specifically be targeted to small businesses to help get our country moving again economically [...] Together with the tax breaks, the targeted tax incentives, and the lending fund, we have a package that is exactly the type of relief small businesses need today. We need to jump-start them and that is what this bill accomplishes." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. HR 2. 108th Congress. Jobs and Economic Growth bill. William Nelson voted Nay on 05/23/2003. (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

  • Bill Nelson. Letter To President Barack Obama. 12 March 2010. "Your increased focus on competition for federal resources will create additional opportunities to reward and recognize success. As we have seen with Race to the Top, the federal government can serve as a significant catalyst for reform when it provides incentives for innovation and rewards for excellence. We applaud your effort to transform the Department of Education into an engine for innovation, and we believe competitive grant programs such as Race to the Top and the Investing in Innovation Fund are effective tools to spur reform and drive improvements in student achievement." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Education. 16 June 2011. "Senator Nelson believes that we must increase school accountability and create a school system in which all students can reach their potential regardless of their financial circumstances. He backed the No Child Left Behind Act believing that this legislation would be a step towards reaching these goals. In reality, the law was never fully funded, leaving states and local school districts without the necessary resources to meet new standards. By fully funding the Act and giving teachers and administrator additional flexibility, Nelson believes that this legislation can benefit students' performance [...] Sen. Nelson believes one of the most important investments we can make in our future is in our schools [¦] In the Senate, Nelson supported several education initiatives calling for increased accountability and additional investment in public schools, recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, as well as fully funding special education. Sen. Nelson wants to make sure that all children - regardless of their background - are in schools that closely monitor their progress in order to ensure their success." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Bill Nelson. At White House Meeting, Senator Says No To Drilling Off Florida In Climate, Energy Bills. 29 June 2010. "No drilling off Florida, period." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Senators asked to assure Florida's coastal protections. 26 July 2006. "If the Senate position, providing protections for Florida's economy and environment, is at risk in negotiations with House members, then I can't support sending something over to them for a series of closed-door negotiations. During these negotiations, supporters of more drilling easily could adopt their own horrendous plan to allow oil and gas rigs just several miles off the nation's shorelines." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Gas Prices. 29 March 2012. "So 26 million acres are under lease in the Gulf of Mexico and are not being produced [¦] Wouldn't it suggest that they ought to use it or lose it? [¦] I thank the Senator for pulling up the chart that showed the amount of acres that are under lease and the minuscule portion of those acres--this is domestic production. We all know that domestic production has shot up in the last 3 years, considerably. Yet, of that domestic production, there still is so much capacity that is already leased out there. I use the example of the Gulf of Mexico. In the central and the western gulf, there are 32 million acres under lease and only 6 million acres of that 32 million are actually drilled and produced. There is ample opportunity for additional domestic energy production on top of the substantial increase of production that has occurred over the course of the last several years if we would stop fighting about this, if we would stop beating each other over the head politically with this and get serious." (votesmart.org)
  • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S 953. 112th Congress. Offshore Production and Safety Act. William Nelson voted Nay on 05/18/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Politico - Breaking the Foreign-Oil Habit. 15 April 2012. "We're not self-sufficient, and we need to be. It's a matter of national security. Many people, including some of my fellow lawmakers, claim we've just got to "drill, baby, drill." Well, that sounds great, but it doesn't get at the heart of the problem. Millions of acres around the country have been leased to oil companies by the government, but they aren't being used. In the Gulf of Mexico, for example, oil companies lease more than 31 million acres but for some reason are producing oil on less than 6 million of them [¦] To lower gas prices, we need to keep increasing existing domestic oil, keep increasing fuel-efficiency standards and crack down on oil speculators who drive up the price of oil. We can even help balance our budget by ending the billions in special tax breaks that big oil companies receive." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Media Releases. 15 June 2011. "Nelson has fought for decades to keep rigs off Florida because, he has argued, one spill could ruin the state's tourism-driven economy and destroy some of the world's most-protected environmental sites. It also would interfere with the last unfettered military training range for pilots in the eastern Gulf." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. U.S. Senator: Inspector's Reports Reveal Government Ties to Oil Industry. 9 September 2008. "That drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States will not change the price of gasoline one whit until the year 2030." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Economy. 16 June 2011. "Senator Nelson, along with Senator Mel Martinez, has introduced legislation that will permanently protect Florida from the threat of offshore drilling [...] A staunch defender of Florida's coastline in the past, Senator Nelson has been at the forefront of previous efforts that successfully blocked attempts to open the eastern Gulf to drilling." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. In Testimony, Senator Hopes Congress Has Appetite For Tougher Regulation Of Oil Industry. 10 May 2010. "Over the last four decades, I've fought the industry's immensely powerful lobby in Washington to keep oil rigs away from Florida and other coastal states. I've argued that a big spill could harm Florida's tourism-driven economy and unique environment, but drilling activities would interfere with the country's last major military testing and training range in the eastern Gulf." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Hearing of the Senate Budget Committee - The President's Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Proposal for the Department of Energy. 11 March 2009. "I just want to put my marker down that I have no objection to offshore drilling if it is done responsibly and if it is done where the oil companies already have leases." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Energy. 17 July 2008. "This Senator has no problem with drilling if it is done responsibly and it is done in an area that there is not a prohibitively painful tradeoff." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Climate Security. 4 June 2008. "Indeed, we have been putting this in the air ever since we started changing our society in the Industrial Revolution because the burning of fossil fuels is starting to accumulate carbon in the air. That carbon is acting as a shield in the upper atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect, that when the Sun's rays come in and hit the Earth, and they reflect off; normally, they would radiate out into space. But the fact that we are creating a cap, similar to a greenhouse, with these gases--primarily carbon dioxide--they are trapping that heat and, as a result, the Earth is heating up." (votesmart.org)
  • Sierra Club. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Sierra Club endorsed William Nelson in the 2006 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S J Res 26. 112th Congress. Statement of Opposition to EPA Greenhouse Gas Rule. William Nelson voted Nay on 06/10/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • League of Conservation Voters. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. League of Conservation Voters endorsed William Nelson in the 2006 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • League of Conservation Voters. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the League of Conservation Voters 86 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Letter To Senator John Kerry, Senator Lindsey Graham, And Senator Joseph Lieberman. 6 April 2010. "We write to thank you for your bipartisan effort to develop climate change legislation that will put America on the path to a clean energy economy, improve our energy independence, and protect the environment. While we support your work to develop comprehensive legislation, we are concerned that your approach may not result in sufficient emission or oil consumption reductions from the transportation sector and may inadvertently hinder our efforts to pass a surface transportation authorization bill this year [¦] The EPA has stated that a comprehensive set of strategies can reduce transportation emissions by 26 to 40 percent and oil consumption by 4 to 7 million barrels per day in 2030. Travel efficiency measures -- such as high-speed rail, mass transit, smart growth, and intermodal freight -- are an essential component of those strategies. In fact, the EPA has stated that travel efficiency measures alone can reduce transportation emissions by 16 percent in 2030. In order to transform the transportation sector, meet greenhouse gas reduction goals and reduce our dependence on oil, we request that your bill including the following: Ø Legislative language that directs states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to set goals for reducing oil use and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and to establish plans to meet those goals (for example, Sections 112 and 113 of S. 1733)." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Letter To The Honorable Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, and The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. 4 April 2011. "As authors and supporters of the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act (Public Law 110-140), we appreciate your efforts to advance the goals and requirements of this legislation by increasing the fuel efficiency of our nation's fleet of vehicles. Your implementation of this law will save American consumers and businesses billions of dollars at the gas pump for years to come -- an impact made even more important by rising oil prices. As your agencies establish two more sets of harmonized standards -- one regulating the fuel efficiency and pollution of cars, pick-up trucks, and SUVs from 2017 to 2025 and the other establishing the first-ever standards for medium and heavy duty trucks -- we write to encourage you to set standards that increase consumer information, reduce pollution, and save money for American families [¦] The final rule -- the first fleetwide increase in CAFE standards in 25 years -- will save about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered. As a result, American consumers will have more efficient vehicle choices in the market just as the price of oil is rising rapidly.The final CAFE rule demonstrates that a single program to reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions under the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act and the Clean Air Act results in an aggressive policy to advance the goals of both laws. The regulation also demonstrates that strong Federal standards are the best means to ensure that California and other states are not legally obligated to enforce more aggressive standards to protect the health of their citizens -- a right California has had under the Clean Air Act since 1970. We strongly support the cooperative approach you have taken, and we encourage you to continue your efforts to issue maximum feasible nationally coordinated fuel economy regulations, based on the successful methodology used to date." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Letter to Jeffrey Zients, Acting Director and Deputy Director for Management. 8 March 2012. "We are writing to share our concern about the delay in the insurance of the final rule establishing the 2013 biodiesel volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). We urge you, in coordination ith the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to ensure that the proposed rule setting the volumetric requirement for biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons for 2013 is finalized as soon as possible. As you know, EPA proposed raising the 2013 RFS2 volumetric requirement for biodiesel in June of 2011. The EPA made this recommendation after an extensive review demonstrating that the requirement is readily achievable in a sustainable manner, with significant benefits to the nation in terms of economic growth, national security and the environment. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (P.L 110-140) establishes a number of criteria for evaluating the volumetric requirements under the RFS2 program, including: the energy security of the U.S., the cost to consumers of transportation fuel, the impact on the environment, and the impact on factors such as job creation and rural economic development [¦] In recognition of the significant benefits to our country from domestically-produced biodiesel, we ask that you finalize the 2013 volumetric requirements for biodiesel as proposed by the EPA." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Bill Nelson. Assualt Weapons Ban. 13 September 2004. "I am a defender of the constitutional right to bear arms. I am a defender of the right to have guns of all kinds except when getting to the common sense that it is not worth it in our society to be able to purchase AK-47s [...] My family has been in Florida 175 years. I grew up in the country. I grew up on a ranch. I have hunted all my life. I have a son who is an avid hunter. We enjoy the outdoors, but we do not hunt with AK-47s. AK-47s and assault rifles are for killing, not for hunting." (votesmart.org)
  • Debenport, Ellen and Lucy Morgan. St. Petersburg Times: Nelson Vows to Revise Gun Laws. 5 May 1990. "The Colombian drug lords are buying their weapons from the state of Florida because they're so easy to get. Those guns are to kill human beings, for no other purpose." (pqasb.pqarchiver.com)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 4070. 110th Congress. Prohibiting Funds in the Bill S 1200 from Being Used to Decrease Gun Ownership. William Nelson voted Yea on 02/25/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S AMDT 1626. 109th Congress. Child Safety Lock Amendment. William Nelson voted Yea on 07/28/2005. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 1067. 111th Congress. Allowing Loaded Guns in National Parks. William Nelson voted Yea on 05/12/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100 percent from 1988-2003 (Senate) or 1991-2003 (House)." (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 04/18/2012. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave William Nelson a grade of 18." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S 397. 109th Congress. Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill. William Nelson voted Yea on 07/29/2005. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S 1805. 108th Congress. Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill. William Nelson voted Nay on 03/02/2004. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 1618. 111th Congress. Authorizing Concealed Firearms Across State Lines. William Nelson voted Nay on 07/22/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 4615. 110th Congress. Firearm Confiscation Prohibition Amendment. William Nelson voted Yea on 07/13/2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. WMNF News - Sen. Nelson on Guns. 11 January 2011. "Guns should be used for hunting, not for killing. And so again if we apply the standard of common sense, the guns that are the assault types weapons used for killing instead of hunting, there needs to be some serious checks, background checks [...] Now I can tell you in the state of Florida by virtue of the people of Florida voting an amendment to their state constitution several years ago on the purchase of any handgun in this state there is required under law a mandatory background check. Arizona, it is my understanding does not have that, and I think that's something that we ought to reasonably look for." (youtu.be)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Bill Nelson. Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States of America. 14 May 2011. "The Republican budget proposal would not keep pace with the rate of inflation for health care, meaning seniors would pay ever higher out-of-pocket costs. Under the proposal, the annual increase for the vouchers will fall short of the actual rate of inflation for health care -- meaning out-of-pocket expenses for seniors will continue to soar. And to make matters worse, the Republican budget would repeal the only credible means of restraining health care costs -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While deficit reduction is essential, balancing the budget by dismantling Medicare is both unfair to hard-working Americans and counterproductive." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Nelson: Total Health-care Repeal Would Hurt a Lot of Seniors. 4 January 2011. "I believe that no matter where people stand on certain specifics of this complex law, most of us can agree the current system can be unfair and too costly. The system needs to be fixed. I don't think the health-care law is perfect - but, it certainly helps a lot of people especially senior citizens." (votesmart.org)
  • American Public Health Association. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 80 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 13. 112th Congress. Repealing the Federal Health Care Law. William Nelson voted Nay on 02/02/2011. (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

  • Bill Nelson. Securing America's Borders Act. 5 April 2006. "My amendment is going to provide an additional 20,000 beds a year for 5 years or, in other words, to get us to the point after 5 years that instead of having 20,000 detention beds, we will have 100,000 detention beds and be able to meet this problem and stop releasing illegal aliens right back into society." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions. 8 March 2006. "Again, let me stress that border security is just one aspect of comprehensive immigration reform. I also will support legislation to address the status of undocumented aliens currently in the United States, if--and only if -- such legislation is fair, humane, and recognizes the role that undocumented workers currently play in our nation's economy." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Immigration Reform Clears U.S. Senate. 25 May 2006. "This bill will make our country safer, while still meeting the needs of a national economy that depends on new workers. It deals with millions of immigrants already in the country by deporting some, and allowing others who meet strict requirements to request legal status. They'll have to learn English, pass a criminal background check, maintain a lengthy record of employment and pay any back taxes, plus pay a hefty fine." (votesmart.org)
  • National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute 94 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S 2611. 110th Congress. Immigration Reform Bill. William Nelson voted Yea on 05/25/2006. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 3117. 110th Congress. Border Fence and Customs Appropriations. William Nelson voted Yea on 10/03/2007. (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S AMDT 4087. 110th Congress. Orange Card Program Amendment. William Nelson voted Nay on 05/23/2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 14 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • William Nelson. S Amdt 4231. 110th Congress. Immigration Enforcement and Border Fence Amendment. William Nelson voted Nay on 03/13/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. President's new immigration policy. "Sen. Nelson supports tough, fair, practical immigration laws that require people who want to become citizens to obey our laws, learn English, and get in line for citizenship. He also supports the DREAM Act, which says no law should punish children because their parents brought them here. If a child of an immigrant has worked hard and graduated from high school, they should able to go into the military or attend college." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Sen. Nelson demands Homeland Security and Immigration officials explain high-school honor student's deportation. 2 March 2012"Last year Nelson and a handful of other senators successfully urged the administration to enact a new policy that would give U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement discretion to defer action in cases where illegal immigrants could work toward legal status under the pending legislation known as the DREAM Act." (billnelson.senate.gov)
  • Bill Nelson. Tampa Tribune - Honor Student Puts Spotlight on Immigration. 6 March 2012. "A Miami honor student and aspiring surgeon who faces deportation because her parents brought her here illegally at age 4 has put immigration policy, and Florida's U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, in the headlines [¦] Nelson, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican, have asked that the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, back off the case. Both also favor the DREAM Act, a proposed law that would allow college students or military service members whose parents brought them here illegally a path to citizenship [¦] Last year, partly in response to Hispanic protests against record numbers of deportations early in the Obama administration, Nelson and other senators successfully sought a change in ICE policy that would give the agency discretion to focus on criminals and national security threats, ignoring cases such as Pelaez's. 'Given that the chief missions of our immigration enforcement are national security, public safety and securing our borders, how is it we have the time and resources to target a high-school honor student like Daniela?' Nelson asked." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Family Research Council 12 percent in 2006." (votesmart.org)
  • Human Rights Campaign. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 80 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Traditional Values Coalition. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Traditional Values Coalition 40 percent in 2006" (votesmart.org)
  • American Family Association. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the American Family Association 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • American Civil Liberties Union. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the American Civil Liberties Union 58 percent in 2006." (votesmart.org)
  • Steve Rothaus. Miami Herald: Bill Nelson says gay marriage should be left to the states. 10 May 2012. "I have a record fighting against discrimination and standing up for people's civil rights based on their sexual orientation," Nelson said in an email Thursday to The Miami Herald, not revealing whether he agrees with Obama's progressive stance on gay couples marrying. "I believe marriage should be left to the states, and Florida voted on same-sex marriage in 2008." (miamiherald.typepad.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

  • Bill Nelson. Orlando Sentinel - Swath of Africa Could Become Haven for Terrorists. 17 June 2007. "Against this backdrop, terrorist groups seek to expand. As we combat al-Qaeda's support and sanctuary in the Middle East, its members must find other places to operate. We cannot allow terrorism to fester in parts of Africa because of poverty and anarchy. We have to prevent that continent from becoming a fertile ground for terrorists." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Sen. Bill Nelson Remembers Victims of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. 11 September 2008. "As Americans, it is our duty to honor the thousands of people who lost their lives, and to never forget their sacrifice. That's why, as a nation, we must always fight to protect the freedoms on which our country was founded, while rooting out those with hateful ideologies who seek to do us harm." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Nelson views bin Laden photos, Says They Should Eventually Become Part of the Public Record. 12 May 2011. "Earlier today I went to the CIA headquarters outside Washington and viewed a number of pictures of Osama bin Laden, along with others taken at the scene of our mission in Pakistan to capture or kill him. There is no doubt in my mind “ nor should there be in anyone else's “ that we got the terrorist who orchestrated the insane and murderous acts that took place on Sept. 11, 2001. [...] For now, you can know this: Osama bin Laden is dead. But, our job is not yet done. We need to continue moving forward with purpose and vigilance here at home and abroad." (billnelson.senate.gov)
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

  • Bill Nelson. American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009. 3 February 2009. "Since the 1980s, what happened? We have seen a shift away from a defined benefit pension, toward a market-based individual retirement account. Many Americans now rely on such accounts as a vital source of retirement income--the IRAs, the 401(k)s--and for those who have reached retirement--and every one of us has a lot of retirees in our State--or for those who hope to retire in the near future, the markets' collapse has delayed or laid waste to their plans, all the while Wall Street executives walk off with billions of dollars in bonuses. These are folks who have worked. They played by the rules. They have saved all of their lives. They deserve our attention more than the bankers who got us into this mess." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Issue Position: Seniors. 17 June 2011. "Social Security has a long history of ensuring the retirement security of American workers, and Senator Nelson is committed to maintaining this tradition. He is determined that Social Security will remain a reliable source of retirement savings for our children and grandchildren. Nelson has cosponsored legislation to help strengthen the program for future generations, and opposes its privatization." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Orlando Sentinel - Swath of Africa Could Become Haven for Terrorists. 17 June 2007. "Against this backdrop, terrorist groups seek to expand. As we combat al-Qaeda's support and sanctuary in the Middle East, its members must find other places to operate. We cannot allow terrorism to fester in parts of Africa because of poverty and anarchy. We have to prevent that continent from becoming a fertile ground for terrorists." (votesmart.org)
  • Bill Nelson. Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003. 5 February 2004. "For example, one provision is that people are encouraged, if the President's proposal is enacted, to take money out of their individual retirement accounts, IRAs, or their 401(k) plans and put them over into basically a privatizing of Social Security accounts. But the little fiscal sleight of hand is that when you take it out of an IRA, you are going to have to pay taxes on it. Lo and behold, that gins up an additional $15 billion over this 5-year projection in the budget of new tax revenue, to make it appear as if there is going to be more revenue coming in than there is." (votesmart.org)
  • Alliance for Retired Americans. 04/18/2012. "William Nelson supported the interests of the Alliance for Retired Americans 100 percent in 2008." (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

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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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