Senator Richard 'Dick' J. Durbin's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (IL) - Sr, Democratic Assistant Majority Leader (Majority Whip)
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Dick Durbin has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Dick Durbin is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

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 are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I believe abortion should be safe and legal, consistent with Roe v. Wade. Late-term abortions should be limited to cases where the life of the mother is in danger or she faces a medically certified risk of grievous physical injury. I support a woman's right to choose the abortion method she and her physician deem most appropriate to her individual needs and I opposed the so-called "partial-birth abortion" bill. I support efforts to reduce the need for abortions, including access to family planning, health care, nutrition, and child care assistance." 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We need greater tax fairness. America's tax code should draw more from those who are able to pay more and have benefited the most, while asking less from those who are struggling to meet basic needs." 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

  • "A credible deficit reduction plan will include investments that look to the future. Not only can we be fiscally responsible and still invest in infrastructure, education, and innovation, we can only be fiscally responsible if we do make those investments. Failing to invest in the future is a recipe for more intractable fiscal problems in the years to come." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I want to fix the No Child Left Behind law. It helped us focus on accountability, but it has major defects. Education should be about more than teaching to the test. We need to provide schools with the resources to successfully implement real reforms. We need to treat teachers as the professionals they are and invest more in teacher preparation and retention efforts." 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

Vote Smart's Research

  • 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Slightly Increase: Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns" 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I supported the Affordable Care Act. I believe it was the right thing to do. I still believe it." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Checked Support for "g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship." 2008 Political Courage Test

Vote Smart's Research

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

Vote Smart's Research

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I oppose efforts to privatize Social Security by diverting payroll taxes to individual accounts. " 2008 Political Courage Test

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

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Illinois 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.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) 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.

I believe abortion should be safe and legal, consistent with Roe v. Wade. Late-term abortions should be limited to cases where the life of the mother is in danger or she faces a medically certified risk of grievous physical injury. I support a woman's right to choose the abortion method she and her physician deem most appropriate to her individual needs and I opposed the so-called "partial-birth abortion" bill. I support efforts to reduce the need for abortions, including access to family planning, health care, nutrition, and child care assistance.

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

Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Increasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Slightly Increasef) FEMA
Slightly Increaseg) Homeland security
Slightly Increaseh) International aid
Slightly Increasei) Law enforcement (Federal)
Slightly Increasej) Law enforcement (State)
Greatly Increasek) Medical research
Maintain Statusl) National parks
Slightly Increasem) Public health services
Slightly Increasen) Scientific research
Maintain Statuso) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increasep) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusq) United Nations
Maintain Statusr) Welfare
s) Other or expanded categories

We should eliminate the cut-rate subsidies provided to corporations for oil drilling, mining, grazing, and timber harvesting on public lands; and we should stop waste, fraud, and abuse in Iraq contracting and other government procurement. In agriculture, we should tighten payment limits for corporate farms.

2) Defense Spending

Slightly Increasea) Armed forces personnel training
Slightly Increaseb) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increasec) Military hardware
Slightly Increased) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Maintain Statuse) National missile defense
Greatly Increasef) Pay for active duty personnel
Slightly Increaseg) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Statush) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increasei) Troop and equipment readiness
j) Other or expanded categories

Our troops have done everything we have asked of them. It is our duty to ensure that our service members and their families have the armored vehicles, protective equipment, pay, and supportive services they need and deserve as they sacrifice for our country. We must do our best to bring them home safely, and stand by those who are injured.

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

Greatly Decreasea) Less than $12,000
Slightly Decreaseb) $12,001-$40,000
Slightly Decreasec) $40,001-$100,000
Maintain Statusd) $100,001-$180,000
Slightly Increasee) $180,001-$350,000
Slightly Increasef) $350,001 and above
g) Other or expanded categories

We need greater tax fairness. America's tax code should draw more from those who are able to pay more and have benefited the most, while asking less from those who are struggling to meet basic needs. I have supported a wide range of tax cuts for families, as well as targeted tax cuts to address special burdens such as the high price of college tuition.

Other Taxes

Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Inheritance taxes
g) Other or expanded categories

We should eliminate foreign tax shelters while rewarding corporations that offer good jobs in America. We should eliminate unnecessary tax breaks for oil companies that are breaking every record for corporate profits while consumers suffer at the pumps. On estate taxes, we should increase the exemption for small businesses and family farms that are passed on within the family. We should preserve the gasoline taxes that go to the Highway Trust Fund to rebuild and improve our roads, bridges, and public transportation systems.

Deductions/Credits

Maintain Statusa) Charitable contribution deduction
Slightly Increaseb) Child tax credit
Slightly Increasec) Earned income tax credit
Maintain Statusd) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Statuse) Mortgage deduction
Slightly Increasef) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories

I have introduced legislation to provide tax credits to self employed persons and to small businesses that help their employees pay for health insurance. Families also need tax credits to help with college costs and child care expenses.

No4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No5) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
6) Other or expanded principles

We need to identify our nation's highest priorities, fund these priorities appropriately, and cut back on programs that are less valuable. Unfortunately, President Bush's excessive tax cuts for wealthy special interests and his mismanagement of the economy have left us with the largest budget deficits in history. That debt burden falls unfairly on our children and grandchildren, and much of the debt is held by China, Japan, and the OPEC nations. Deficit spending is often needed when an economy is struggling, but we need to restore a commitment to fiscal discipline as soon as possible.

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.
Xj) Support a federal shield law to protect reporter-source privilege.
k) Other or expanded principles

Our nation's system for financing political campaigns is fundamentally broken. I have introduced legislation that would allow us to replace the current system with a fair elections program in which viable candidates stop dialing for dollars and volunteer to fund their campaigns using only funds drawn from a federal Fair Elections account. This fund could be financed without costing individual taxpayers a dime and would help to rebuild the broken trust between the American people and their public officials.

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.
Xc) 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.
f) 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

I support the availability of the death penalty for the most heinous crimes, with procedural safeguards to ensure justice, competent counsel for defendants, and DNA testing to help determine innocence or guilt. Judges and juries should have both the death penalty and life imprisonment without parole as available options as they weigh the appropriate sentence for egregious crimes. We should continue the federal programs that help local authorities put police officers on the street and give them needed crime-fighting tools and training.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.

Xa) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs.
Xb) 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.
Xd) 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.
Xh) Ban university financial aid officers from owning stock in or accepting gifts from student loan lenders.
Xi) 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

I want to fix the No Child Left Behind law. It helped us focus on accountability, but it has major defects. Education should be about more than teaching to the test. We need to provide schools with the resources to successfully implement real reforms. We need to treat teachers as the professionals they are and invest more in teacher preparation and retention efforts. I am also working to expand funding for math, science, and technology education, and to reduce the cost of college and the high price of textbooks.

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.
Xc) 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.
Xh) Include gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.
i) Other or expanded principles

America's workers are the most talented and dedicated in the world. They work long hours and their contributions to our economy should be fairly compensated. We should make sure global competition is not unfairly tilted against them, and we should seek to close the gap between what average workers and CEOs earn by strengthening workers' rights to bargain collectively. We also should encourage flexible work arrangements that more fully tap into our nation's talent while still supporting a sensible balance between work and family.

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.
Xc) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
d) 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.
Xh) 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.
Xk) Support international mandatory emission targets to limit global warming.
Xl) Support international voluntary emission targets to limit global warming.
m) Other or expanded principles

We should consider every environmentally sound option to lower gas prices. I support cracking down on crude oil speculators, increasing oil supplies now by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and fast-tracking domestic production by requiring oil companies to move quickly on land already cleared for drilling. Long-term, we need higher automobile fuel standards and more alternative energy. We can reduce global warming in ways that create new "green" jobs. We need research on safe storage and disposal of nuclear waste before expanding nuclear power. And we need to redouble our efforts to clean and protect Lake Michigan.

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.

Slightly Increasec) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Slightly Increased) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Other or expanded principles

I believe Americans are entitled to own and use guns safely, legally, and responsibly. At the same time, we must address the illegal possession and use of firearms and close loopholes, such as the gun show loophole, that give criminals easy access to guns.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health.

Xa) 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.
Xd) 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

I have introduced bipartisan legislation backed by business and labor groups to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses and the self-employed by creating purchasing pools with a choice of private health plans, along with tax credits for businesses willing to help pay for coverage. I have worked to increase funding for food safety, medical research, and programs to address the shortage of nurses. I have proposed legislation to give Medicare beneficiaries the choice of enrolling in a Medicare-administered drug plan for which Medicare negotiates with drug companies for lower prices.

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.
Xg) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship.
h) Support merit-based visas over family-based visas.
i) Other or expanded principles

We must fix our broken immigration system. I support comprehensive reform that is tough, realistic, and consistent with our moral values. We should strengthen our border security by increasing manpower and technology, punish employers who undercut American workers by hiring undocumented workers, and provide a path to legal status for those who work hard and demonstrate a long-term commitment to be law-abiding citizens. They should be required to pass a background check, pay fines and back taxes, pass a medical exam, learn English, and go to the back of the line behind all applicants already waiting for green cards.

International Aid

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding international aid.

Xa) Support the United States granting aid to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) 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

Aid should focus on education and other efforts to help the world's poorest children, addressing AIDS and other health care problems that cross borders, peacekeeping, and efforts to encourage democracy and sustainable development. These efforts are an important way that we promote American values. Where a government is guilty of documented human rights abuses, it is appropriate to consider humanitarian aid that can be provided to the neediest people without providing support to the regime committing the abuses.

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?
Yesd) Should the United States support the Lebanese government against insurgent forces?
Noe) Should the United States maintain its troop levels in Iraq?
f) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
g) Discuss your proposals for Iraq.

I voted against going to war in Iraq. I support legislation that would begin a phased redeployment of our troops in a safe and orderly fashion, leaving a tactical force to protect U.S. assets and personnel, engage in limited missions against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and train Iraqi security forces. Our troops have done everything we have asked of them and I have worked hard to improve the services provided to our veterans when they return home, including a recently enacted program to identify and treat those who have suffered from traumatic brain injury.

Yesh) 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?
Yesi) Should the United States increase financial support for Afghanistan?
Yesj) Should the United States increase military support for Afghanistan?
Yesk) Should the United States trade nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes?
l) Should the United States decrease financial support for Pakistan?
Yesm) Should the United States decrease military support for Pakistan?
Yesn) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in Darfur, Sudan?
Yeso) Should the United States be involved in bringing an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Yesp) Should the United States provide economic and military support to the Transitional Government of Somalia?
Yesq) Should the United States use sanctions to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to end its human rights abuses?
Yesr) Should the United States support the creation of an independent nation of Kosovo?
s) Other or expanded principles

Regarding Pakistan, the United States should continue to provide support to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. We should continue to support humanitarian and democratic development programs in Pakistan. However, additional assistance should be evaluated based on Pakistan's cooperation in fighting terrorism on its borders, respect for the democratic process, freeing of political prisoners, and respect for the independence of the judiciary.

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?
Yesd) Do you support the United States involvement in intergovernmental organizations dedicated to trade?
e) Other or expanded principles

U.S. involvement in trade agreements should be based on what is best for American workers. Exports are important to the Illinois economy. Our trading partners should be required to meet labor and environmental standards and protect human rights to ensure that their trade is fair. We must enforce our trade laws and assist Americans whose jobs are affected by imports. We should continue to press China to stop manipulating its currency and to provide greater labor rights and political freedoms. With regard to Venezuela, sanctions are an option if Venezuela's leadership is involved in destabilizing activities in the region.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding national security.

Yesa) Do you support using military tribunals to try suspected terrorists when ordinary civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical?
Nob) Should law enforcement agencies have greater discretion to monitor domestic communications, to prevent future terrorist attacks?
Yesc) 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?
Noh) Should the United States expand its missile defense shield?
i) Other or expanded principles

(a) I support military commissions in limited circumstances if they comply with the Constitution and our treaty obligations. (b) Wiretapping must be done in a manner that promotes our security while protecting the privacy of Americans under the Constitution. (e) Pre-emptive strikes should be limited to situations where there is an imminent threat and every other option has failed. (f) There are serious flaws in the Real ID law. (g) The National Guard plays an important role in our Armed Forces but frequent mobilizations have made it harder for the Guard to fulfill its domestic responsibilities.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.

a) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?
Nob) 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?
Yese) Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?
Yesf) Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?
Yesg) Should the federal government regulate internet gambling?
h) Other or expanded principles

(a)/(b) Decisions about the legal status of marriage are made by the states. While I do not support same-sex marriage, I also do not support a Constitutional amendment either recognizing or prohibiting same-sex marriages as a national standard, and I oppose discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation. (c)/(d) I support federal funding for research on existing stem cell lines and new stem cell lines from embryos that would otherwise be discarded by in vitro fertilization clinics. (e)/(f) While some reform has been necessary, I support reasonable affirmative action programs promoting equal opportunity for qualified minorities and women, without quotas.

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

I oppose efforts to privatize Social Security by diverting payroll taxes to individual accounts. I support making more modest changes in the near term to ensure the solvency of the Social Security trust fund for generations to come. In 1983, the Social Security system was about to run out of money and Medicare was projected to be insolvent by 1990. Incremental reforms have extended these programs and we can continue to extend their solvency without imposing extraordinary burdens on seniors who can least afford it.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare and poverty.

a) Require welfare recipients to spend at least 40 hours a week in a combination of work and training programs.
Xb) 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

I support efforts to expand educational opportunities, to provide work and training programs, and to provide child care and transportation assistance where it is needed to help make the transition from welfare to work. I also support nutrition programs to prevent hunger; programs to provide access to housing for low-income families and seniors, persons with disabilities, and persons with AIDS; and energy assistance for those struggling to pay skyrocketing utility bills.

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.

Families and individuals are increasingly feeling the squeeze as they pay more for energy and other costs. I am working to reduce energy prices and promote jobs that provide energy alternatives; provide greater access to affordable health insurance, starting with small businesses; help families afford college and reduce their textbook costs; and address the abuses by credit card companies that trap too many families in an endless cycle of debt. I am also working to make good on our nation's commitment to our veterans by helping them deal with the health issues they face when they return home.