Representative Paul D. Tonko's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (NY) - District 20, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic, Independence, Working Families for U.S. House - District 20
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Paul Tonko has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2014 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Paul Tonko is still welcome to submit the test at any time.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Family Research Council. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the Family Research Council 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2006 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "b) Abortions should always be legal."
  • National Right to Life Committee. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "b) Abortions should always be legal."
  • Planned Parenthood. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Planned Parenthood endorsed Paul Tonko in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. H Amdt 95. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Use of Federal Funds For Planned Parenthood. Paul Tonko voted Nay on 02/18/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. H Amdt 509. 111th Congress. Prohibiting Federally Funded Abortion Services. Paul Tonko voted Nay on 11/07/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 1998 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions."
  • Paul Tonko. HR 3. 112th Congress. Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding of Abortion. Paul Tonko voted Nay on 05/04/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2006 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Pro-choice" for: "a) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 1998 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be legally available."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2000 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "b) Abortions should always be legally available."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2004 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "b) Abortions should always be legal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2004 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2006 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Abortions should always be illegal."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "g) Medicare, Medicaid, and federal subsidies should be prohibited from being used on abortion procedures."
  • Paul Tonko. Issue Position: Health Care. 4 October 2012. "Firmly Pro-Choice." (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Slightly Increase" for: "h) Income taxes (high-income families)"
  • National Taxpayers Union. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported reasonable tax and spending policies as defined by the National Taxpayers Union 4 percent of the time in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Congressman Tonko Votes to Continue Tax Cuts for Working and Middle Income Families. 2 December 2010. "This bill will continue the tax cuts for 98% of taxpayers in the 21st Congressional District -- that's 342,000 individuals who can count on the extra cash to pay bills, put food on the table and heat their homes. We simply can no longer afford a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, and expect the rest of us to pay the bill. It is time that we empowered the middle class and restored fairness to our income taxes." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Fiscal Choices. 12 April 2011. "This is a very interesting scenario that is being placed before this body, before all of Congress for that matter. We need to put it under the microscope, and we need to message to America what is happening. You take from the poor and the middle class. You slide it over to the most comfortable--to corporations and millionaires, billionaires, oil company handouts, mindless handouts. That's how they pay for those, by sliding that cash down that slippery slope and investing it in tax cuts, spending it on tax cuts for those, as you indicated, who just didn't get quite enough under the Bush tax cuts." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Restore Statutory PAYGO. 21 July 2009. "First, a number of factors have brought us to this cash-strapped position. Under the previous administration, the PAYGO principle was abandoned, reckless tax cuts were passed for the wealthy and two wars were funded outside of the budget process. On top of that, our economy has seen one of the most severe recessions since the Great Depression. Congressional efforts to get the economy moving again have proven to be fairly effective thus far, but they have come at a price [¦] PAYGO will require any future extension of upper income tax cuts to be offset, as well as force a serious examination of wasteful subsidies in the budget and tax loopholes that can be eliminated to benefit more worthwhile programs. This means that PAYGO will force advocates of tax cuts to acknowledge the costs and show how they will be paid for, as well as ensuring that we can afford to fund America's most important priorities consistently for future generations." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. The Republican Road to Ruin Budget. 8 April 2011. "This gross injustice is made immeasurably more egregious and offensive by the fact that this is being done not to balance the budget, but to expand and permanently guarantee even bigger tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and to give new tax breaks to some of the world's most profitable companies." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko.Playing Politics with Our Economy. 15 July 2011. "But the biggest threat to jobs today: failure to increase the debt ceiling and playing politics with our economy. Holding the economy hostage in order to protect Big Oil, tax cuts for the wealthy, and tax loopholes for companies that ship jobs overseas is not only un-American, it's immoral." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Slightly Increase" for: "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. h) Income taxes (high-income families)"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Slightly Increase" for: "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. e) $180,001-$350,000"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Greatly Increase" for: "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. f) $350,001 and above"
  • Paul Tonko. Issue Position: Tax Policy. 1 November 2011. "Over the last decade, salaries for the wealthiest Americans have grown rapidly while they have stagnated for most working families. I support reversing the Bush Tax Cuts for Americans in the two highest tax brackets." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?"
  • Americans for Prosperity. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the Americans for Prosperity 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. HR 5297. 112th Congress. Small Business Lending Fund and Tax Law Amendments. Paul Tonko voted Yea on 09/23/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • The Club for Growth. 04/18/2012. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2010, The Club for Growth gave Paul Tonko a rating of 0 percent." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?"
  • Paul Tonko. Issue Position: Education. 1 November 2011. "As a member of the Education and Labor Committee, I am committed to advancing the best education policy for our nation's schoolchildren. That includes revising the No Child Left Behind Law. We need to ensure that teachers and schools have the support they need to better prepare our students for college and the workplace. We need to work towards closing the achievement gap between minority and white students. We need to increase our resources and focus on science, technology, engineering and math programs to prepare students for the jobs of the future. Finally, we need to expand and support innovation in public schools and strengthen the capacity for improvement in education." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "k) Eliminate all federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind)." Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education. Other or expanded principles: "As a member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Education, I advocated for what became the largest increase in State Aid to education. I believe that increasing support for education is a vital investment in our future that we can't afford not to make."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Greatly Increase" for: "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. d) Education" 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. Other or expanded principles: "Clean energy development"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Greatly Increase" for: "d) Education" 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. Other or expanded principles: "Clean energy development"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?"
  • Clarisse Butler Banks. NYSUT Newswire: Capitol Briefing: Education Secretary Duncan praises New York's teamwork in Race to the Top. 30 August 2010. "NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi joined government and union leaders at the capitol Monday to celebrate the state's $700 million Race to the Top victory [¦] Congressman Paul Tonko noted that the Race to the Top grant makes a significant commitment to science and technology and will address the 'narrowing of the wedge of engineers and scientists graduating from our colleges. No nation can stay leading unless they encourage youth to create, envision and design.'" (www.nysut.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Slightly Increase" for: "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. d) Education"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "j) Support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students (No Child Left Behind)."
  • NY Governor: Press Releases. Governor Paterson and Secretary Arne Duncan Celebrate "Courage in the Classroom." 30 August 2010. "Congressman Paul Tonko said: 'This Race to the Top funding is a critical investment to support quality education for our children which is necessary if we are to remain a leader in the global economy for future generations, especially in terms of science and technology. Congratulations to Governor Paterson and the New York State legislature for agreeing to reforms that will empower New York's children and create opportunities for them to become the future leaders who will invent, create and design.'" (www.governor.ny.gov)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Support the federal government funding universal pre-K programs." Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education. Other or expanded principles: "As a member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Education, I advocated for what became the largest increase in State Aid to education. I believe that increasing support for education is a vital investment in our future that we can't afford not to make."

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "d) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles."
  • League of Conservation Voters. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the League of Conservation Voters 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. HR 910. 112th Congress. Energy Tax Prevention Act. Paul Tonko voted Nay on 04/07/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "d) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "c) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "j) Allow energy producers to trade pollution credits under "cap and trade" laws."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?"
  • Paul Tonko. HR 2454. 111th Congress. Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade"). Paul Tonko voted Yea on 06/26/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Sierra Club. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Sierra Club endorsed Paul Tonko in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Environment America. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of Environment America 100 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Paul Tonko in the 2008 general election. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2000 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2000 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "b) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 1998 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "h) Require a license for gun possession."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Slightly Increase" for: "On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories. c) Enforcement of existing restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Allow individuals to carry concealed guns."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2000 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "b) Ban the sale, ownership or possession of handguns except by law enforcement and other government officials."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2002 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "d) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 1998 New York State Legislative Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Maintain Status" for: "On (c) and (d), indicate what levels (#1-6) you support for the following categories. d) Restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns."
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Endorsements. 04/18/2012. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Paul Tonko in the 2010 general election. (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?"
  • Paul Tonko. HR 2. 112th Congress. Repealing the Health Care Bill. Paul Tonko voted Nay on 01/19/2011. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. New Health Care Regulations Ensure Consumers Get More Value For Their Money. 22 November 2010. "This announcement is a big step forward when it comes to providing consumers the most value for their health care dollars. Premiums paid by consumers should pay for their care and not for administrative overhead, executive salaries, and marketing. This is a critical part of moving health care decision making-power away from insurance companies and placing it squarely in the hands of the American people, where it belongs." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Congressman Tonko Takes Action Against Republican Effort to Repeal Health Care Reform. 6 January 2011. "Republicans have already dismissed what the voters told them in November, moving to repeal health care reform before lifting a finger to expand the economy and create jobs. The message for Americans is loud and clear: Republicans are taking care of their powerful friends in the health care and pharmaceutical industries and ignoring the needs of America's middle class families, seniors, and small businesses." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "b) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?"
  • Paul Tonko. Congressman Tonko Statement On House Health Care Repeal Vote. 19 January 2011. "I voted against this effort by House Republicans because repealing health care reform does not create jobs, it does not protect the middle class, and it balloons the deficit. The Affordable Care Act provides Americans with new benefits and protections that makes insurance more affordable and accessible -- that's why polls show most people are against a full repeal of reform." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Debt Ceiling Limit Talks. 12 July 2011. "Forty-six million Americans are watching this. And they know that they're at risk here simply because people want to unnecessarily attach the end of Medicare into this discussion. And as Representative Edwards said earlier, we've improved it with the Affordable Care Act, we've allowed for no deductibles, no copayments for annual checkups and for certain screenings. We're making it stronger. We're trying to get prevention in there to bend that cost curve. Many of us are looking to allow for bulk purchasing of pharmaceuticals, which we do with Medicaid and we do with the VA program. But it was not allowed when the Bush agenda was authorized." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Issue Position: Health Care. 1 November 2011. "Any health care reform legislation should have at its heart one main goal: assuring access to affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans. We also need reforms that will reduce the grown of health care costs for businesses, governments, and everyday Americans. You shouldn't worry about losing your health insurance because you change jobs or lose your job or because you get sick." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. The Repeal Of Health Care. 19 January 2011. "The preexisting conditions, the annual and lifetime caps, the filling the doughnut hole for our Nation's seniors so that they can, you know, move forward and live comfortably and maybe even save their lives with the appropriate medication and affordability and accessibility, these are all of the dynamics for which we have fought. And it's a shame that they're being taken away or attempted to be taken away at a time when they're just beginning to have their presence felt." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "a) Implement a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans, regardless of income."
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "g) Providing healthcare is not a responsibility of the federal government."
  • American Public Health Association. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the American Public Health Association 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. HR 5281. 112th Congress. DREAM Act. Paul Tonko voted Yea on 12/08/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Illegal immigrants should have to return to their countries of origin before being considered for citizenship."
  • National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of National Latino Congreso/William C. Velásquez Institute 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "e) Support amnesty for illegal immigrants already working in the United States."
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the Federation for American Immigration Reform 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "d) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "g) Illegal immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship."

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Issue Position: LGBT. 1 November 2011. "Voted for the historic passage of the same-sex marriage equality bill in 2007." (votesmart.org)
  • Human Rights Campaign. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the Human Rights Campaign 100 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. HR 2965. 112th Congress. Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. Paul Tonko voted Yea on 12/15/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • American Family Association. 04/18/2012. "Paul Tonko supported the interests of the American Family Association 0 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "b) Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "a) Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?"
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "a) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?"
  • Paul Tonko. Congressman Tonko Statement on Passage of Same-Sex Marriage in New York State. 25 June 2011. "I applaud the members of the Assembly, the Senate, and Governor Cuomo for making the dream of marriage equality a reality for so many New Yorkers. Marriage is about love, respect, and commitment, and it's long overdue that we recognize that all of our citizens have the right to make that choice. Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time, and I am proud of this historic outcome." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Yes" for: "d) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?"
  • Paul Tonko. Congressman Tonko Statement on Killing of Osama bin Laden. 2 May 2011. "I want to commend President Barack Obama as well as the men and women in uniform and in our intelligence community for their great leadership and success in this mission. It is a testament to the professionalism and dedicated nature of our national security team that no Americans were injured in this operation. We are also reminded of the strength and sacrifice of the families of those who serve." (votesmart.org)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "e) Do you support pre-emptive military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to United States national security?"

Vote Smart's Research

  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2008 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "" for: "a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts that they manage themselves."
  • Paul Tonko signed Progressive Change Campaign Committee: Social Security Protectors. "Social Security belongs to the people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to it. Social Security is a promise that must not be broken. We need to strengthen Social Security, not cut it. That is why I oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including increasing the retirement age. I also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part." (socialsecurityprotectors.com)
  • Paul Tonko. Project Vote Smart: 2010 New York Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "No" for: "a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?" Business and Employment Issues Other or expanded principles: "I support closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas. I support tax cuts that are targeted at small businesses to help create domestic jobs."

Key

Candidate Answer Official Position

Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer Unknown Position

Candidate refused to address this issue.

 Project Vote Smart's Research

Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

New York Congressional Election 2010 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.

Pro-choiceCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
b) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
c) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
e) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

1) Spending

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.

Slightly Increasea) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Maintain Status1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Decrease2) Military hardware
Slightly Decrease3) National missile defense
Greatly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Maintain Status5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Maintain Status6) Research and development of new weapons
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific research
Slightly Increasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Slightly Increasel) Welfare
Greatly Increasem) Other or expanded categories

Clean energy development

2) 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.

Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increasee) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
NoCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
No4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
YesCandidate Answer5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy?
6) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
b) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Yesc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Yesd) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yese) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles

I support closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to ship jobs overseas.
I support tax cuts that are targeted at small businesses to help create domestic jobs.

a) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
Yesb) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Noc) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
Yesd) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Noe) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
Nof) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
Yesc) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
Yesd) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yese) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students?
Yesb) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
Nod) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
Yese) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesb) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Yesc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Noe) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yesg) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
c) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Yesd) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Nod) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
Yese) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Nob) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Noc) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Yesd) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
NoInferred Answer a) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan? View Citations
Nob) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesc) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesd) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
Yesf) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
Yesh) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Noi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
Yesb) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Yesc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Nod) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

My top priority is job creation and economy recovery. I would like to see further investment for small businesses, our true engine of economic growth. By investing, we can take innovative ideas and scale them to market, creating full time well paying manufacturing jobs. In addition, I am committed to developing the clean energy economy by placing a price on the true cost of emission. In so doing, we can allow the marketplace to set prices and this clarity will lead to innovative ideas and capitalistic solutions that will create jobs and improve our national security.