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Chuck Schumer's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (NY) - Sr, Democratic Minority Conference Vice Chair, Minority Policy Committee Chair
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic, Independence, Women's Equality, Working Families for U.S. Senate
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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 2010, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion Issues: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2008. (
  • Charles Schumer. S 3. 108th Congress. A bill to prohibit the procedure commonly known as partial-birth abortion. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted NO on 21 October 2003. (
  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 2321 to S 1692. 106th Congress. To express the sense of Congress in support of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES on 21 October 1999. (
  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 3330 to S Amdt 3325 to HR 3043. 110th Congress. To prohibit the provision of funds to grantees who perform abortions. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted NO on 18 October 2007. (
  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 3896 to S Amdt 3899 to S 1200. 110th Congress. To modify a section relating to limitation on use of funds appropriated to the Service. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted NO on 26 February 2008. (
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2009. (
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2009. (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Charles Schumer. HR 8. 106th Congress. Estate Tax Elimination Act of 2000. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted NO on 14 July 2000. (
  • National Taxpayers Union. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the National Taxpayers Union 5 percent in 2009. (
Yes Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Tax Issues: Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the Club for Growth 0 percent in 2008. (
  • Charles Schumer. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES on 13 February 2009. (
  • Charles Schumer. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 10 February 2010. "We are hemorrhaging jobs. The middle class is losing dollars. The country could edge over into a recessionary spiral downward that actually turns into deflation, which could, God forbid, turn into a depression. Yet while President Obama shows leadership, the other side is still adamantly sticking to policies that do not work. They are arguing for marginal rate cuts and choosing to ignore that the very purpose of a stimulus package is to spend money, to help fill the void left by a dramatic reduction in consumer and business spending. This package certainly does not have everything I want or any single Member wants. But for the sake of this country, we all must give and come together and get it passed--not only passing on the floor today but getting this passed in conference quickly because every day we wait more are laid off." (
  • Charles Schumer. Fox News "Fox & Friends" - Transcript. 25 February 2009. "MS. CARLSON: Senator, you talk about cutting out the wasteful spending, but a lot of people in America feel that this latest stimulus bill is exactly that -- a lot of wasteful spending. That's the first part of my question. And the second part is: Who's going to pay for all of this? SEN. SCHUMER: Okay, first part, 95 percent of it goes to three causes, which I think everyone believes in: creating and saving jobs, putting money in the pockets of the middle class. I'm particularly proud of a provision that I wrote, that the president mentioned, which gives a $2,500 tax credit against tuition for families that have incomes up to 160,000 (dollars) helping put kids in college; and the third part is infrastructure. Now, about -- in all fairness, about 1 percent of the bill didn't go to that. It was all these things that shouldn't have been in the bill. But let me tell you something, we took most of them out. The House put them in, the Senate took them out and the vast majority of Republicans -- including Governor Jindal -- were still against it. Those little items that they don't like were an excuse, because fundamentally, they say the government shouldn't be involved. And that's simply a philosophical division. We think you need a strong, active government to get us out of this. They say no, do nothing and let the private sector do it. The lessons of the Great Depression and other places say that they're wrong." (
  • Charles Schumer. Issue Position: Jobs and the Economy. "Senator Schumer has a long record of delivering federal support and funding for investments that promote job-growth and economic development throughout New York. From securing vital funding for fire and police departments, investments in innovative research and development at labs and universities, funding for critical infrastructure and mass transportation, and bringing low-cost air service to upstate New York, Senator Schumer has worked to improve the quality of life in communities across the state. Recently, Senator Schumer led the fight to pass the economic recovery package, which will create over 200,000 new jobs across the state and give every middle class family in New York much needed tax relief. Visiting all 62 counties in the state during each year he has served in the Senate has helped Senator Schumer understand the needs and challenges of people in every New York community." (
  • Charles Schumer. MSNBC "Morning Joe" - Transcript. 9 February 2009. "MR. SCARBOROUGH: -- they gave us tax cuts. Talking about stimulus, they gave us tax cuts, two wars, the largest entitlement spending program ever -- $7 trillion, the largest expansion of domestic spending since the Great Society. They did everything humanly possible to stimulate the economy, and we find ourselves in a disastrous place today. Isn't this more of the same? SEN. SCHUMER: No, I don't think so. You have to -- first, you have to look at where the tax cuts and where the spending went. Spending on an Iraq war, tax cuts to the highest income allow investments and things, but they don't get people into the stores. We're trying to refocus all of this on the middle class, which is where the spending is. And that's where it goes.-- And by the way, there's a pretty broad consensus among economists -- Democrat, Republican, left, right -- that this is the right package. Should all the porky stuff been taken out? Yes. Now we in the Senate have taken most of it out, and let's focus on what the package does. The alternative, the John McCain package -- half the size, mainly tax cuts for the rich -- that's sort of reminiscent of Herbert Hoover. It's sort of do-nothing, when we have a big problem. Now, just one other point -- I'm sorry -- here. We're on the edge of getting into a depression. We have a serious recession, and if you go a few steps downward -- it's not a likelihood, but it's too real a possibility -- you get into a deflationary spiral downward. No one knows how to deal with that. For 10 years the Great Depression was that. To a somewhat lesser extent, 10 years, Japan was that. The -- Martin Feldstein, Zandi, Republican -- one's McCain's economist, one was Reagan's -- said the danger here is doing too little, not too much." (
No Inferred Answer Business and Employment Issues: Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Charles Schumer. Democrats Extrapolate: When Bush Finishes Sales Trip, Support for his Soc. Sec. Privitization Plan Will be Nil. 5 April 2005. "U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer was joined by Senate and House colleagues to share their constituents' increasingly negative reactions to the President's Social Security privatization proposals. The group included Senators Max Baucus, Debbie Stabenow, Tim Johnson, Byron Dorgan, and Reps. Earl Pomeroy, Hilda Solis, Jan Schakowsky, and Sander Levin. Each of these House Members held a town hall event in Republican Districts over recess. As the President continues his 60 day, 60 city sales trip through the country, it is clear that support for his Social Security proposals is dwindling. Interestingly, this morning the President is touring the Bureau of Public Debt in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and he will follow that up with another staged Social Security meeting. Should the President's privatization plan be enacted, the Public Debt would be greatly increased, from over $4 trillion to over $9 trillion - adding nearly $5 trillion in additional debt, all of which will have to be paid back with interest by future generations. Sen. Schumer said, "We hope the President adds another 60 cities to his Social Security privatization sales trip. The more Americans hear about Bush's scheme, the less likely they are to support it." Recent polls, including the ABC-Washington Post poll in mid-March, indicate that a solid majority of Americans are opposed to privatization and a similar number disapprove of the way President Bush is handling Social Security. "As the President examines the publicly-held debt in West Virginia, he should picture doubling the size of that facility to account for the doubling of the debt under his watch if Social Security is privatized," Schumer concluded." (
  • Charles Schumer. Schumer, Baucus Call On Bush To Drop Social Security Privatization, Dems Won't Fall For Bait And Switch. 22 June 2005. "U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Max Baucus (D-MT) today urged President Bush to take privatization off the Social Security reform table in order to begin meaningful discussions on Social Security reform. Ahead of formal legislative introductions by Sens. DeMint and Bennett, Sens. Schumer and Baucus will again repeat calls on the Republicans to take privatization off the table and negotiate in good faith with Democrats on Social Security reform. Schumer said, "The Republicans are playing a shell game, it doesn't matter whether they are privatizing Social Security using payroll taxes or using the Social Security surplus, it is still wrong. Republican proposals are going to cut benefits and reduce solvency of Social Security. They can twist themselves into a pretzel anyway they want, and say that they're protecting the Social Security surplus (DeMint), or offering a plan without accounts in order to restore solvency (Bennett). But the truth is that until the President himself takes private accounts off the table, he's not going to find Democrats who are willing to work with him." (
Yes Inferred Answer Crime Issues: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants 70 percent in 2005-2006. (
  • Charles Schumer. NBC "Meet The Press" - Transcript. 23 May 2010. "SEN. SCHUMER: Well, here's what I think. I think--look, I'm tough on terrorism. I wrote the federal death penalty law that would give the death penalty to terrorists. What's the quickest and best way to do that? And I think we ought to defer to the experts on that." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education Issues: Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Home School Legal Defense Association. 1999-2000. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the Home School Legal Defense Association 60 percent in 1999-2000. (
  • Charles Schumer. HR 1. 107th Congress. To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES on 18 December 2001. (
  • Charles Schumer. Issue Position: Education. "Senator Schumer believes that a high quality and affordable education is the ticket to prosperity. That is why he has fought to make college tuition affordable for any family that wants to send their kids to college. In 2001, Senator Schumer helped write the original legislation making up to $4,000 in college tuition tax deductible for the first time in history. This year, Senator Schumer succeeded in passing a $2,500 annual college tuition tax credit on the economic stimulus package to give middle-class families more resources to send their kids to college. The tax credit will allow parents to deduct $2,500 per child from their final federal tax bill for each year their kids attend college. He is also working to consolidate the various higher education tax incentives into this new credit to make the tax code simpler for middle-class families." (
  • Charles Schumer. Schumer Unveils 2005 Region-Specific Agendas. 6 January 2005. "Fully funding the No Child Left Behind and IDEA programs for upstate New York schools: Schumer said that he will fight to bring home the full amount of federal funding promised to schools in upstate New York under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Congress has promised $22.75 billion in Title I of NCLB funding and $23.46 billion in IDEA funding nationwide and Schumer said that he will fight to see that New York schools get every penny promised under the bills." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment and Energy Issues: Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009. (
  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 4825 to S 3036. 110th Congress. In the nature of a substitute. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES for cloture on 6 June 2008. (
  • Charles Schumer. Letter To President-Elect Barack Obama. 5 December 2008. "When it comes to the challenge of global warming, time is not on our side. Every day that we delay action makes it harder to achieve the cuts in pollution that are needed to avoid the most dangerous effects of global warming. The time to start is now. Granting California's request for waiver authority under section 209 of the Clean Air Act will in turn allow all other states to adopt the same program under section 177 of the Act. Fourteen other states have adopted California's standards, or are in the process of adopting them. Another four are moving toward adopting the California standards. All together, those 19 states represent more than 152,000,000 Americans - a majority of the U.S. population. Granting California's waiver request would have an impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions almost immediately. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) found that California's GHG standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the levels anticipated under the federal fuel economy standards enacted last December in the landmark Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). The CARB study concluded that if adopted nationwide, California's greenhouse gas standards would prevent 36 percent more greenhouse gas pollution between 2009 and 2016 than would be prevented by the federal fuel economy rules currently proposed pursuant to EISA. Moreover, in addition to carbon dioxide, California standards would include other greenhouse gases that are not addressed by fuel economy rules. We recognize that the U.S. automobile industry is facing extraordinary challenges today. Congress is working to provide the appropriate assistance for the auto industry in meeting these challenges. However, we are also convinced that it is vital to ensure that the car companies will work toward significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. If the Administrator of the EPA granted the waiver pursuant to California's request, we would be able to achieve that goal. Giving a green light to the California vehicle standards will bring critical economic benefits as well, by reducing oil consumption, reducing our dependence on imported oil, and spurring innovations and technological advances in energy efficiency and clean energy, which will create good jobs here at home. Granting the waiver will also send a powerful signal to the world that the United States is ready to be the leader in the global fight against climate change...The California waiver will not by itself solve the challenge of global warming. But by moving quickly to assure that EPA reconsiders California's waiver request, you have the opportunity to begin reducing global warming pollution, to move the nation away from our dependence on imported oil, and to restore American leadership on the issue of global warming." (
  • Charles Schumer. Issue Position: Energy and Environment. "Senator Schumer understands the need to protect our environment and reduce reliance on imported oil and other fossil fuels -- that's why he fought to stop acid rain and promote development of renewable energy. Sen. Schumer was a sponsor of the comprehensive bill to fight climate change, and he is continuing to work with his colleagues to draft a strong bill to reduce carbon emissions by at least 80%. He has also restored funding for three critical acid-rain programs after the Bush Administration cancelled them. He introduced legislation to make utilities and buildings more energy-efficient. His efforts to protect wildlife include successfully fighting back changes to weaken the Endangered Species Act, and increasing funding for wildlife refuges and international conservation programs. In the last Congress, he received a perfect rating from the Defenders of Wildlife and Environment America." (
  • Charles Schumer. Letter to EPA Administrator Steve Johnson. 9 December 2008. "I am strongly urging the EPA to immediately cease any plans to propose a rule implementing a cow tax. We cannot allow for even a baby step forward to be taken on this idea," Schumer said. In his letter to EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, Schumer wrote: "As you know, I am a strong supporter of regulating the country's greenhouse gas emissions and controlling climate change. However, I believe that our commitment to stopping climate change should not come at the expense of our food security or the viability of family farms. I understand that you will be considering many different options for controlling greenhouse-gas emissions; please do not consider this one." (
  • Charles Schumer. Letter to The Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States. 12 December 2007. "Representatives of 190 nations, including the United States, are meeting now in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss the critical issue of global warming and to plan for further progress under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. At these negotiations, the United States has a historic opportunity to regain its position as a world leader and to develop a clear roadmap for fighting global warming. In spite of the tremendous urgency for worldwide action, negotiators for the United States are opposing key science-based provisions which would chart a path forward for immediate action. In particular, U.S. negotiators are opposing any language that would establish the need for action within the next 10-15 years, and which would provide an appropriate range of emission reductions targets for developed countries. The clear implication is that the United States will refuse to agree to any language putting the United States on an established path toward scientifically-based emission limits. U.S. negotiators are also opposing any reference to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's conclusions on the emission reductions needed to avoid dangerous global warming. The IPCC, which shared a Nobel Peace Prize for its comprehensive and scientifically-based assessment of global warming, was supported by the U.S. and relies on the work of key U.S. government scientists. We write to express our strong disagreement with these positions and to urge you to direct the U.S. negotiating team to work together with other countries to complete a roadmap with a clear objective sufficient to combat global warming. The United States must adopt negotiating positions at the Bali Conference of the Parties that are designed to propel further progress-- not fuel additional delay. The world at large is watching the United States closely at this historic moment. As the Bali negotiations come to a close, nothing less than strong leadership from the United States will do." (
Yes Inferred Answer Gun Issues: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 362 to S 254. 106th Congress. To regulate the sale of firearms at guns shows. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES on 05/20/99. (
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2003. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 100 percent from 1988 and 2003. (
  • Gun Owners of America. 2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Charles Schumer a grade of F-. (
  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 1067 to S Amdt 1058 to HR 627. 111th Congress. To protect innocent Americans from violent crime in national parks and refuges. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted NO on 12 May 2009. (
  • Charles Schumer. Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban. 13 July 2004. "We are here today to bring up another important issue-people's lives and these kinds of weapons, which thankfully have been banned on our streets for the last 10 years and, woefully, may be back on our streets 2 months from today if we do nothing. That is the bottom line. The assault weapons ban has been an amazing success. It is supported by the American people overwhelmingly. Yesterday a poll showed that 79 percent support renewal. Today a new poll showed that in the swing States, Midwestern and Southern States, where there are large numbers of gun owners, overwhelming majorities support the ban. Gun owners support the ban. Law enforcement supports the ban. The list that my colleague from California showed is lengthy and comprehensive. So why wouldn't something that has saved lives, that has been so successful, that has helped bring down the crime rate not be brought up on the floor of the House and is in danger of lapsing? One simple word: Politics. Politics of a small few who seem to call the dance when it comes to dealing with issues like this Street Sweeper. Point one is that these weapons are not made for hunting. They are not made for self-defense. They were designed by armies to kill a lot of people quickly. They are never used by good people, who certainly have a right to bear arms. In fact, recently al-Qaida told its membership in a training manual found by the U.S. military that terrorists should use America's weak gun laws to get serious weapons and to try to get assault weapons. Terrorists want these weapons, drug dealers want these weapons, criminals want these weapons. Police men and women do not want these weapons, hunters do not want these weapons, small store owners who carry a small sidearm for self-defense don't want these weapons." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Issues: Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • American Public Health Association. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2009. (
  • Frates, Chris. Chuck Schumer crafting public option. "In advance of Congress' return next week, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that he's hard at work drafting a public plan option that competes on a level playing field with private insurance companies. Schumer, a key member of the Senate Finance Committee, has been pushing the proposal since May and the announcement comes on the heels of news that the Senate health committee will propose a public option in legislation it is considering." (
  • Charles Schumer. Issue Position: Health Care. "Senator Schumer understands that high health care costs are putting a financial squeeze on American families and making it harder for them to receive the health care they need. That is why he successfully led the fight to pass a new law that makes lower-cost generic drugs available to consumers more quickly than before--a measure that experts say made prescriptions more affordable for millions of Americans. When the health care funding squeeze impacts New York state's medical centers, Senator Schumer is the lead advocate for hospital and community health center funding and led the fight to secure $11 billion in emergency Medicaid assistance to New York in the recently passed economic stimulus package. Today, Senator Schumer is working closely with the Obama Administration and key leaders in Congress to reform the health care system so that all Americans can afford to lead healthy, long lives." (
  • Charles Schumer. NBC "Meet The Press" - Transcript. 25 October 2009. "SEN. SCHUMER: The government would. And it's--and the one other thing I'd say, and this is really important: You're not required to take the government option. It's not a government plan being forced on people. That was the rhetoric in August. It's an option. GREGORY: Mm-hmm. SEN. SCHUMER: If you don't like your--the private insurance, go to the public option. GREGORY: All right. SEN. SCHUMER: If you like the private insurance, stick with it. But even there, the public option will force them to be a little better." (
Yes Inferred Answer Immigration Issues: Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Charles Schumer. S Amdt 4087 to S 2611. 109th Congress. To modify the conditions under which aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States are granted legal status. Project Vote Smart Summary: Charles Schumer voted YES on 23 May 2006. (
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 23 percent in 2007-2008. (
  • National Latino Congreso. 2007-2010. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of the National Latino Congreso 94 percent in 2007-2010. (
  • Charles Schumer. FOX Fox News Sunday-Transcript. 20 May 2007. "SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: Well, first, we haven't even seen the written language. But let me just say this. First, we do have to do something about immigration. If we do nothing, there are now 12 million illegal aliens in the country. It will go to 20 million. Many companies and individuals who need specific people to create jobs from overseas won't be able to get them. So we have to do something. And look. The bill is a fair starting point. It has two very good provisions in there that I like. One is really tough employer sanctions. Most Americans would accept changes to immigration, even a path to citizenship, if they knew there wouldn't be wave after wave of illegal aliens coming into the country. And the way to stop that is make employers--go hard on employers when they hire someone illegally, make sure there's a non- forgable I.D. The bill does that. The second good thing is the path to citizenship. It's not amnesty by any means. Amnesty means, "Oh, you can all become citizens right now." This is a long, hard path. You have to learn English, pay a fine, go behind everybody else who's been in line. It would probably take about 15 years. So those two are good things, and I think that's a good balance in the bill. I have two problems with it. One, while I certainly believe that immigration--we need to bring in people who have skills, who the economy needs, we also need to take care of families so they can be unified. I think the bill is a little stinting on that. I'd like to see some changes there. But the biggest objection I and many Democrats have, which could be a stumbling block to the whole bill, is this guest worker program. It's an additional program. Hundreds of thousands of people come in. There's virtually no protections. They're going to bring wage rates down, and after their time is up, they're probably going to stay in the country and become a new group of illegal immigrants." (
  • Charles Schumer. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007. 6 June 2007. "Now, I rise in opposition to the Cornyn amendment and in support of the Kennedy alternative amendment No. 1333. There certainly are attractive parts of the Cornyn amendment, but the good parts of the amendment are buried in complicated language that strikes at the heart of the comprehensive immigration bill many of us are working hard to pass. At a minimum, my colleague's amendment would have the effect of stripping the path to citizenship, one of the mainstays of the compromise--one of the two mainstays of the compromise--out of the bill altogether. This body has already rejected that approach outright. It ought not do it now by stealth. It is a Trojan horse--nothing short of an attempt to kill the whole bill in the guise of tough enforcement." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer International Policy Issues: Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Peace Action West. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. Charles Schumer supported the interests of Peace Action West 70 percent in 2009. (
  • Charles Schumer. Fox News "Fox & Friends" - Transcript. 25 February 2010. "Well, I think his focus was domestic. But he did at the end talk about terrorism. He talked about he's going to expand the number of troops in Afghanistan, which after all, the Afghanistan- Pakistan border is where the terrorists are that could hurt us. Iraq isn't." (
  • Charles Schumer. NBC "Meet The Press" - Transcript. 25 October 2009. "GREGORY: And yet, Senator Schumer, indeed that's where the debate is, it is about Afghanistan... SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): It is. GREGORY: ...not about Iraq. SEN. SCHUMER: But it also shows you how hard it is to do this. Here we've had General Petraeus, he's done a very good job, our soldiers have done a good job, we've spent a lot of time there, a trillion dollars, of course, over 4,000 lives lost, and it's still not all that stable. It shows you how hard this is going to be in Afghanistan. [...] SEN. SCHUMER: Well, you know, Afghanistan, I agree with Joe Biden. He said when we hear Dick Cheney, we remember seven years of neglect of Afghanistan that once again now President Obama is going to have to deal with. He's dealing with it in a thoughtful, careful way. He's listening to everybody. He will not be rushed to judgment. It's a--I, I'm wrestling with it myself, and boy it's difficult. There is no good answer. But for Dick Cheney, after seven years focusing on Iraq, the wrong place, instead of Afghanistan, to now say, "It's a few months into this administration, they'd better come up with a solution," that's not fair or right. [...] SEN. SCHUMER: Just quickly, one, they were so busy with Iraq they didn't pay attention to Afghanistan. And if the right strategy is that we need a new strategy, where was the strategy for seven years? Now, I'm not--I don't want to point fingers of blame. Our soldiers are out there in the fields. But it's a little bit, gee whiz, here Obama's trying--President Obama's trying to come up with a strategy listening to everybody, and immediately the Republicans are pounding and say, "Do this, do this, do this," when for seven years they didn't, either in number of troops or good strategy." (
No Inferred Answer Social Issues: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • The Associated Press. Schumer Declares His Support for Same-Sex Marriages. 23 March 2009. "Senator Charles E. Schumer said on Monday that he now supports gay marriage. "It's time. Equality is something that has always been a hallmark of America and no group should be deprived of it," Mr. Schumer said in a statement. "New York, which has always been at the forefront on issues of equality, is appropriately poised to take a lead on this issue." (
  • Charles Schumer. MSNBC "Andrea Mitchell Reports" - Transcript. 26 May 2009. "MS. MITCHELL: Now, let me quickly ask you before I let you go -- this just in, as they say. The California Supreme Court has just upheld Prop 8, the ban on gay unions, same-sex marriage. Now, I think there are at least 18,000 marriages that have already taken place. I know you've endorsed gay marriages. What should now happen? Is there anything that should be done at the federal level? SEN. SCHUMER: Well, I don't know about the federal level because the majority of congressmen and senators have not supported gay marriage as of yet, although many of them have supported civil unions. I think this is going to continue to be litigated because you'd end up with two classes of people maybe -- people who were married at one time and people who were married at another time. So this is a(n) unfolding chapter. The one thing I'd say, Andrea -- one of the great strains in America, one of the great strengths, we inexorably move towards equality. And that will happen on this issue as well." (


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.

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Congressional Election 1992 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.
1. Which of the following tax measures, if any, will you support if elected to the Congress in 1992?
Reducing the capital gains tax rate on profits from the sale of stocks, bonds and real estate.
Permitting tax-free withdrawals from IRAs in limited circumstances.
Providing some kind of middle-class tax break.
Increasing the income taxes of those with incomes over $100,000.
Providing a tax credit for first-time home buyers.
Repealing luxury taxes on limited items.
Providing a temporary investment tax credit.

Depends on what is in the bill.

Please evaluate the following general program areas and indicate the level of federal funding that you will support if you are elected to Congress.
Increase SpendingHealth Care
Increase SpendingAIDS Research
Increase SpendingEnvironment
Decrease SpendingDefense
Increase SpendingEducation
National Debt Payments
Increase SpendingDrugs
If you are elected to Congress, how will you confront the issue of the national debt?
XReduce governmental defense spending.
Reduce governmental domestic spending.
Raise personal income taxes for all citizens.
XRaise personal income taxes for citizens with incomes over $100,000.
Raise corporate taxes.
Do nothing at the present time.

Reduce some kinds of domestic spending.

Which of the following measures designed to address the issue of unemployment do you support or oppose?
SupportExtending unemployment compensation further.
SupportFederal support of job retraining programs.
SupportFederal grants to states for creating jobs in inner cities.
SupportMandating workfare for welfare recipients.
SupportMinimizing governmental intervention and letting the market take a more natural course.
SupportFederal investment in America's infrastructure.
Which of the following policies, if any, should be pursued by the federal government in the area of the United States/Japenese trade?
Restricting the overall volume of goods entering the United States from Japan.
Imposing tariffs on goods entering the United States from Japan.
Requiring Japan to eliminate its trade surplus with the United States over a period of five years.
Requiring reciprocal trade agreements between the United States and Japan based on equal dollar values.
Imposing no restrictions on trade between the United States and Japan.

Requiring reciprocal trade agreements between the United States and Japan.

Which of the following defense proposals do you support or oppose?
Strongly SupportReduction of the number of American military troops.
OpposeContinued funding of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
Do you consider the fact that many Americans do not have health insurance to be a problem, and if so, please note which of the following proposals you favor?
XElimination of private insurance in favor of a program administered and paid for by the federal government and run by the states, similar to the health care system in Canada.
XOffering tax incentives to all small employers in return for guaranteed health insurance coverage of all employees and their families.
Implementation of a "play or pay" program where employers must enroll their employees and families in a basic health plan or contribute to a public fund that will provide health care for everyone without coverage.
Creation of a fund designed to provide health insurance to the unemployed and supported by additional tax levies on large employers.
A system of tax credits and vouchers to provide health insurance for the working poor and people of moderate income.
No reform necessary at this time.
If elected to Congress, which of the following proposals designed to change our nations' public education system will you support?
XIncreased federal funding.
Increased state and local funding.
XImproved teacher recruitment and training.
XNational curricula and standards.
XSmaller classes.
Increased national testing.
A "choice" or "vouchers" program.
No major changes are necessary at this time.
If elected to Congress, how will you confront the War on Drugs?"
XProvide federal funds to educate people about the dangers of drugs.
XProvide federal funds to help drug addicts overcome their addictions.
XWork with foreign governments to stop the export of drugs to this country.
XImpose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug dealers.
XImpose mandatory federal jail sentences for drug users.
Legalize the possession and use of drugs.
What is your opinion on the following environmental proposals?
OpposeOpening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
Amending the Clean Water Act's section on wetlands to provide landowners with greater rights.
SupportReauthorization of The Endangered Species Act in its current form.
Please indicate which of the following positions you support or oppose.
OpposeParental or spousal notification prior to permitting an abortion.
OpposeAbortion should be illegal in all circumstances.
SupportFederally funded abortions should be permitted.
SupportWomen should be able to get abortions if they want no matter what the reason.
OpposeAbortion should be legal only in limited circumstances, for example, when the life of the mother is endangered or in the case of rape or incest.
Which of the following anti-crime measures do you support or oppose?
SupportExpansion of the number of federal crimes punishable by death.
Strongly SupportA mandatory waiting period before the purchase of a handgun.
Strongly SupportIncreased federal spending for state and local police programs.
Strongly SupportA ban on the sale and possession of assault-style semiautomatic weapons.
A limitation on habeas corpus appeals for death row inmates.

Only some limitations are appropriate on habeas corpus appeals for death row inmates.

Whare are your two top priorities if elected to the Congress?
a. What will you do about each priority?

Priority 1: I have more than two priorities. I will finance them in varying ways.

b. How will you finance (when necessary) each priority?
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