Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Olympia Snowe refused to tell citizens where she 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?

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.

Congressional Election 2006 National Political Awareness 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.

Key

Candidate Answer
Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.
Unknown Answer
Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

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 of pregnancy.
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) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
Xg) Other or expanded principles

I have supported a ban on all abortions after viability except in the cases where both attending physician and independent non-treating physician certify that the continuation of the pregnancy would threaten the mother's life or risk grievous injury to her physical health.

Using the key, indicate what federal funding levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category, you can use a number more than once.

Budget Priorities

Slightly Increasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Increasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Greatly Increasef) Homeland security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Law enforcement
Slightly Increasei) Medical research
Maintain Statusj) National parks
Greatly Increasek) Public health services
Slightly Increasel) Scientific research
Slightly Decreasem) Space exploration programs
Slightly Increasen) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Slightly Increaseo) Welfare
Greatly Increasep) Emergency preparedness
q) Other or expanded categories

Defense Spending

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

Using the key above, indicate what federal tax levels you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category.

Taxes

Income Taxes:

Family Income

Greatly Decreasea) Less than $25,000
Greatly Decreaseb) $25,000-$75,000
Slightly Decreasec) $75,000-$150,000
Maintain Statusd) Over $150,000
e) Other or expanded categories

Retiree Income

Greatly Decreasef) Over $40,000
g) Other or expanded categories

Other Taxes:

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

Deductions/Credits:

Slightly Increasea) Charitable contributions
Slightly Increaseb) Child tax credit
Slightly Increasec) Earned income tax credit
Slightly Increased) Medical expense deduction
Maintain Statuse) Mortgage deduction
Greatly Increasef) Student loan credit
g) Other or expanded categories
Yes4) Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?
No5) Do you support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent?
6) Discuss your proposals for balancing the federal budget. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

"Pay-as-you go" principles -- mandating new federal spending or revenue reductions be fully offset -- are essential to balancing the budget. Biennial budgeting would allow Congress more time to conduct oversight and develop proper reform of existing spending. Stronger congressional oversight would determine whether agency programs can be more efficient, and scrutinize them for waste, fraud, abuse, and duplications. Finally, reasonable line item veto proposals that do not place essential programs in jeopardy should be considered.

7) Other or expanded principles

(4) Estate taxes continue to be an onerous burden on many family-owned farms and small businesses, and in the past I have supported repealing the estate tax. However, the current problem in determining whether to repeal the estate tax permanently is that our present budgetary outlook is much different than when we were predicting long-term surpluses. Therefore, I believe we should proceed cautiously. At the least, we do need to identify a compromise for a permanent policy that provides relief.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.

a) Support public taxpayer funding for federal candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
Xb) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
d) Allow unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
e) Remove all contribution limits on federal campaigns and parties.
Xf) Require Section 527 organizations to register with the Federal Election Commission as Political Action Committees.
Undecidedg) Do you support instant run-off voting?
Undecidedh) Should Election Day be a national holiday?
Undecidedi) Do you support a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman?
j) Other or expanded principles

(i) In 1996, the Senate passed, with my support, the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA). It set in federal statute the definition of marriage as "only a legal union between one man and one woman..." DoMA also protects the rights of states to uphold that same definition. I believe an amendment to the Constitution is unnecessary at this time, as DoMA has not been overturned by the courts, and therefore remains the law of the land.

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

Xa) 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 educational, vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
d) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
e) Reduce prison sentences for those who commit non-violent crimes.
Xf) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
Xg) Impose stricter penalties for those convicted of corporate crimes.
h) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
Xb) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
d) Allow doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
Xe) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
Xg) Support a federal law to standardize testing and penalties for steroid use in professional sports.
h) Other or expanded principles

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

Xa) Support national standards for and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any public school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers, (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Allow teachers and professionals to receive authorization and funding to establish charter schools.
e) Reward teachers with merit pay for working in low-income schools.
Xf) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings, infrastructure, technology).
g) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
Xh) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
Xi) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
j) Other or expanded principles

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.

Xa) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide tax credits or grants to businesses that offer child care services to employees.
Xd) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
e) Eliminate all federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xf) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xg) Support the right of workers to strike without fear of being permanently replaced.
h) Include sexual orientation in federal anti-discrimination laws.
Xi) Other or expanded principles

I voted for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, during the 104th Congress. I did so because I believe discrimination of any kind in the workplace should not be tolerated. While I do not support preferential treatment in the workplace, I feel that everyone, no matter their race, religion, or sexual orientation, should be treated equally and fairly in their work environment.

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding affirmative action.

Xa) The federal government should consider race and gender in government contracting decisions.
b) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
Xc) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
d) 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 Clear Skies Act to reduce power plant emissions by setting a national cap on pollutants.
d) Require states to compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately-owned land.
e) Relax logging restrictions on federal lands.
f) Relax standards on federal lands to allow increased recreational usage.
Xg) Support increased development of traditional energy resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, oil).
Xh) Strengthen emission controls and fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
i) Support opening a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration.
Xj) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
Xk) Support the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel.
Xl) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits.
Xm) Support the Kyoto Protocol to limit global warming.
Xn) Other or expanded principles

The Clear Skies Act as proposed by the President and introduced in the Senate is not acceptable to me as it does not call for mandatory regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. With regard to line (f), I do not believe we should relax federal standards for increased recreational use. While I believe in multi-usage of federal lands, any lifting of federal standards should be done on a case by case basis.

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

a) Reauthorize the ban on the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) Maintain and strengthen the current level of enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
Xf) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
g) Require a license for gun possession.
h) Other or expanded principles

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

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
b) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
c) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts.
Xd) Establish limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xe) Support expanding prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
Xf) Offer tax credits to individuals and small businesses to offset the cost of insurance coverage.
Xg) Support automatic enrollment of children in federal health care programs such as CHIP and Medicaid.
Xh) Support stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells.
Xi) Allow laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.
j) 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 that would enable illegal immigrants to work in the United States legally.
d) Relax restrictions barring legal immigrants from using government funded social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States.
f) Other or expanded principles

International Aid

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding United States economic assistance.

Xa) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States.
c) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
d) International Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated.
e) Other or expanded principles

International Policy

1) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.

Yesa) Should the United States continue to provide leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process?
Undecidedb) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesc) Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
Nod) Should the United States send more troops to Iraq?
e) Discuss your proposals for an exit strategy in Iraq. (75 words or less. Please use an attached page if the space below is not adequate.)

(c) I supported a Senate resolution stating that 2006 must be a year of transition in Iraq. With regard to troop withdrawal, a "date certain" presents terrorists and insurgents the opportunity to target and jeopardize our troops' security. I cosponsored an amendment by Senator Byrd that affirms the Iraqi government should assume responsibility for security, states the President should develop and implement a strategy to bring our troops home consistent with national security interests, and outlines the conditions under which authority to maintain troops in Iraq would expire.

f) Other or expanded principles

(b) A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must only result from a negotiated agreement between Israel and Palestinians. Hamas-led Palestinians will rightly become increasingly isolated if they do not renounce violence and the destruction of Israel. I agree with the administration statement that "The United States and the international community have made clear that Hamas must recognize Israel's right to exist, must abandon terror, and must accept all previous agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel."

2) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Central and East Asia.

Yesa) Should the United States use diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program?
Nob) Should the United States use military force to dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapons program?
Noc) Should the United States remove the North Korean government from power?
Nod) Should the United States increase financial support to Afghanistan?
Noe) Should the United States increase military support to Afghanistan?
f) Other or expanded principles

(b) On December 2, 2005, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ron Neumann signed an agreement with the Afghan Finance Minister under which the U.S. pledges to provide Afghanistan with $5.5 billion in aid over the next five years. I support that pledge. Regarding military force to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons program: I do not support such force at this time. We must always retain our right to use military force to defend our country in the future depending on the nature of the threat and circumstances such as if the threat were imminent.

3) Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United Nations.

Yesa) Should the United States maintain its financial support of the United Nations?
Nob) Should the United States decrease its financial support of the United Nations?
Undecidedc) Should the United States commit troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions?
d) Other or expanded principles

(c) The practice of contributing troops to UN peacekeeping operations should remain an option, although participation in any particular mission should be carefully considered in light of U.S. national security interests and the risk it poses to the brave men and women of our armed forces. For example, I would not support committing U.S. troops to the expanded UN forces to be deployed in southern Lebanon.

No4) Should the United States lift the travel ban to Cuba?
No5) Should the United States increase its financial support to Colombia to combat "the war on drugs?"
Yes6) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund distribution of contraceptives?
Yes7) Should aid to African nations for AIDS prevention programs fund abstinence education?
8) Other or expanded principles

International Trade

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

No1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
No2) Do you support the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)?
No3) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Undecided4) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Yes5) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation) status with the United States?
Yes6) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
Yes7) Should trade agreements include provisions to address environmental concerns and to protect workers' rights?
8) Other or expanded principles

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?
Nob) Should the United States grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches 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?
Yese) Do you support the prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody?
f) Do you support a policy of pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security?
g) Other or expanded principles

(a) When civilian courts are deemed inappropriate or impractical, suspected terrorists should be tried in accordance with the basic tenants of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Convention, taking into account the Supreme Court's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision, and our national security requirements.

(f) A primary constitutional mandate is to "provide for the common defense". As a Senator, I take that duty very seriously. There are various means of addressing countries that represent a threat, depending on the nature of the threat and circumstances such as if the threat were imminent. According to our National Security Strategy, "Our strong preference...is to address proliferation concerns through international diplomacy...If necessary, however, under long-standing principles of self-defense, we do not rule out the use of force before attacks occur...We live in a global security environment that is violent, dangerous and unpredictable."

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) Invest a portion of Social Security assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of United States Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower the annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Raise the retirement age for individual eligibility to receive full Social Security benefits.
g) Other of expanded principles

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology and communication.

a) Collect taxes on commercial Internet transactions.
Xb) Continue the moratorium on Internet taxation.
c) Implement government regulation of Internet content.
d) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
Xe) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes (e.g. hacking, identity theft, worms/viruses).
Xf) Support legislation to detail how personal information can be collected and used on the Internet.
g) Regulating the Internet is not a responsibility of the federal government.
h) Other or expanded principles

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) Increase funding for child care programs.
Xc) Continue to give states and local governments flexibility in and responsibility for welfare programs through federal block grants.
d) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based, or other non-profit organizations.
e) Abolish all federal welfare programs.
f) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
g) Other or expanded principles
On an attached page, disk, or via email, please explain in a total of 75 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.

* Expand healthcare coverage/affordability for all Americans, including affordability for small businesses to purchase health insurance plans, allowing government negotiation of Medicare drug prices, permitting safe drug importation.

* Advance policies addressing stagnating wages, like tax incentives for small businesses and rural broadband deployment; strongly enforce existing trade agreements.

* Increase vehicle fuel efficiency to reduce oil dependence.

* Maintain strong defense and shipbuilding capacity; strengthen homeland security.

* Pass "Pay-as-you-do" legislation, restoring fiscal responsibility.