Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category
 

Jeff Merkley's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (OR) - Jr, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Jeff Merkley has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Jeff Merkley 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

Unknown Position Unknown 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

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In response to the onset of the economic crisis, Senator Merkley worked with President Obama and his colleagues in Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). According to independent experts, there are 3.3 million Americans working today who would otherwise be unemployed if not for the Recovery Act." (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

  • "He...stood up against Republicans trying to cut federal funding for education...Years of budget cuts have left Oregon's public schools with overcrowded classrooms, shortened calendar years, and rundown facilities. Jeff understands we have an obligation to improve our schools and prepare our children for the future, and he will keep fighting for funding to support Oregon's students and teachers in his role as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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

  • "Carbon pollution is a direct assault on our farming, fishing, and forestry economies, and we must act now to fight climate change. Jeff understands Congress needs to wake up. Climate change is real, and is deeply disastrous for both our local economy and our world." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "No Oregonian should go without health coverage through no fault of their own..." (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

  • "...we now have a blueprint to strengthen the border and make sure that the millions currently living in the shadows can contribute to our communities if they're willing to pay back taxes, learn English, and pass a background check." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? 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 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

  • "Senator Merkley is adamantly opposed to proposals that would fundamentally alter Social Security's make-up by privatizing the program or diverting Social Security revenues into risky Wall Street private accounts." (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.

Oregon Congressional Election 2008 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.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester.
d) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
f) Dilation and extraction or "partial-birth" abortion procedures should be legal.
g) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures.
h) Other or expanded principles.
Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.
1) Budget Priorities
a) Agriculture
b) Arts
c) Defense
d) Education
e) Environment
f) FEMA
g) Homeland security
h) International aid
i) Law enforcement (Federal)
j) Law enforcement (State)
k) Medical research
l) National parks
m) Public health services
n) Scientific research
o) Space exploration programs
p) Transportation and highway infrastructure
q) United Nations
r) Welfare
s) Other or expanded categories
2) Defense Spending
a) Armed forces personnel training
b) Intelligence operations
c) Military hardware
d) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
e) National missile defense
f) Pay for active duty personnel
g) Programs to improve troop retention rates
h) Research and development of new weapons
i) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories
3) 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.
Family Income Taxes
a) Less than $12,000
b) $12,001-$40,000
c) $40,001-$100,000
d) $100,001-$180,000
e) $180,001-$350,000
f) $350,001 and above
g) Other or expanded categories
Other Taxes
a) Alcohol taxes
b) Capital gains taxes
c) Cigarette taxes
d) Corporate taxes
e) Gasoline taxes
f) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories
Deductions/Credits
a) Charitable contribution deduction
b) Child tax credit
c) Earned income tax credit
d) Medical expense deduction
e) Mortgage deduction
f) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
5) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
6) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
a) Support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
b) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
c) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
d) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
e) Support prohibiting ads containing candidates' name that are paid for by third parties from airing 60 days before a primary and 30 days before a general federal election.
f) Support instant run-off voting (IRV).
g) Support designating Election Day as a national holiday.
h) Support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations.
Xi) Support limiting the President's use of signing statements in order to prevent an alternative interpretation of the bill.
j) Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
k) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
a) Support the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Eliminate the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
c) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xg) Support strict penalties for internet crime (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
Xh) Require that crimes based on sexual orientation be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
d) Allow teachers and professionals to receive federal funding to establish charter or magnet schools.
Xe) Increase funding for the Pell Grant program.
Xf) Decrease interest rates of Stafford Loans.
Xg) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
h) Ban university financial aid officers from owning stock in or accepting gifts from student loan lenders.
i) Require universities to disclose financial relationships with lenders.
j) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
k) Eliminate all federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind).
l) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for national job-training programs that retrain displaced workers or teach skills needed in today’s job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector.
c) Encourage employers to offer child care services, flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
Xd) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xe) Support the right of workers to unionize.
f) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xg) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
h) Include gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
Xb) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
Xd) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
Xe) Strengthen fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
f) Support domestic oil exploration in areas that are currently restricted.
Xg) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels.
h) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
i) Support research and development of nuclear reactors as an alternative energy source.
Xj) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws.
k) Support international mandatory emission targets to limit global warming.
l) Support international voluntary emission targets to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns.
b) Ban the sale, ownership or possession of handguns except by law enforcement and other government officials.
On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories.
c) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.
a) Implement a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans, regardless of income.
b) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
Xc) Allow the importation of prescription drugs into the United States.
d) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xe) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
Xf) Support expanding child healthcare programs.
g) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.
a) Decrease the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Establish English as the official national language.
c) Support a temporary worker program.
Xd) Support harsher financial punishments for those who knowingly employ illegal immigrants.
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship.
g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship.
h) Support merit-based visas over family-based visas.
i) Other or expanded principles
International Aid
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international aid.
a) Support the United States granting aid to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
b) Support the United States granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Eliminate United States aid for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) Aid granted by the United States should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles
International Policy
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international policy.
Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Yesb) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesc) Should the United States impose greater international sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
d) Should the United States support the Lebanese government against insurgent forces?
e) Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?
Yesf) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
g) Discuss your proposals for Iraq.
h) Should the United States apply greater economic and diplomatic sanctions against North Korea if it fails to abide by its agreement to suspend its nuclear program?
i) Should the United States increase financial support for Afghanistan?
j) Should the United States increase military support for Afghanistan?
k) Should the United States trade nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes?
l) Should the United States decrease financial support for Pakistan?
m) Should the United States decrease military support for Pakistan?
n) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan?
o) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
p) Should the United States provide economic and military support to the Transitional Government of Somalia?
q) Should the United States use sanctions to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses?
r) Should the United States support the creation of an independent nation of Kosovo?
s) Other or expanded principles
International Trade
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international trade.
a) Do you support the United States imposing economic sanctions on China?
b) Do you support the United States imposing trade sanctions on Venezuela?
c) Do you support the United States involvement in free trade agreements?
d) Do you support the United States involvement in intergovernmental organizations dedicated to trade?
e) Other or expanded principles

I will work to end unfair trade deals which encourage and even reward corporations for shipping our jobs overseas.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.
a) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
b) Should law enforcement agencies have greater discretion to monitor domestic communications, to prevent future terrorist attacks?
c) Should the United States hold foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country?
Yesd) Should the federal government increase funding to states and cities for homeland security?
e) Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to United States national security?
f) Do you support the creation of a federal identification card system?
g) Do you support long-term use of National Guard troops to supplement the armed forces in assignments overseas?
h) Should the United States expand its missile defense shield?
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Yesa) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
b) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines?
Yesd) Do you support federal funding to create lines of stem cells from new embryos?
e) Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?
f) Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
g) Should the federal government regulate internet gambling?
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.
a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves.
b) Ensure the viability of Social Security by increasing the payroll tax.
c) Decrease benefits paid to retirees.
d) Support proportional increases of Social Security benefits based on the cost of living index.
e) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
f) Other or expanded principles

Social Security is a bedrock commitment from our government to every American. I will do everything in my power to protect attempts to privatize or undermine Social Security.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.
Xa) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
b) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
c) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
d) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
e) Other or expanded principles
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.
Skip to top
Back to top