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Brendan Boyle's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (PA) - District 13, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Brendan Boyle has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2016 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their parties and advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2016, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/47357/brendan-boyle#.VagwaHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “In Congress, I will fight efforts to infringe upon the reproductive rights of women, and work to ratchet down the heated rhetoric on this emotional issue.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869766/issue-position-women-and-families/?search=abortion#.VagvfHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/47357/brendan-boyle#.VagwaHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “In Congress, I will fight efforts to infringe upon the reproductive rights of women, and work to ratchet down the heated rhetoric on this emotional issue.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869766/issue-position-women-and-families/?search=abortion#.VagvfHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In recent years, too many politicians have emphasized tax cuts for the extremely wealthy over helping middle income citizens. This is wrong. We need responsible policies that put the middle class first." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525174/#.Vagz_nV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “Close Tax Loopholes -- A billionaire hedge fund manager should not pay a lower tax rate than a police officer or a nurse. Yet, under our unfair tax code, this is exactly what happens. We need to reform the tax code and end this unfair treatment of the middle class and workers.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869763/issue-position-jobs/?search=tax#.Vag1f3V3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "In recent years, too many politicians have emphasized tax cuts for the extremely wealthy over helping middle income citizens. This is wrong. We need responsible policies that put the middle class first." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525174/#.Vagz_nV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “Close Tax Loopholes -- A billionaire hedge fund manager should not pay a lower tax rate than a police officer or a nurse. Yet, under our unfair tax code, this is exactly what happens. We need to reform the tax code and end this unfair treatment of the middle class and workers.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869763/issue-position-jobs/?search=tax#.Vag1f3V3nfY (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I strongly support measures that empower our police to arrest more criminals,and keep prisoners in jail serving longer sentences. There is no reason why repeat violent offenders should be paroled before their sentences are fully served.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525175/issue-position-crime#.ValBLnV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “I strongly support measures that empower our police to arrest more criminals,and keep prisoners in jail serving longer sentences. There is no reason why repeat violent offenders should be paroled before their sentences are fully served.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525175/issue-position-crime#.ValBLnV3nfY (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted for H.R.22 “Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST Act)” http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54470#.V3w6j3VTQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Invest in Infrastructure and Transportation […] In Washington I will fight to ensure that changes. We can make smart investments that create good construction jobs and also make sure we have the infrastructure needs to compete in the growing global economy." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/47357/brendan-boyle/#.VagyiXV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "Founded in 1964, ACU represents the views of Americans who are concerned with economic growth through lower taxes and reduced government spending and the issues of liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values and national security." http://votesmart.org/interest-group/2166/rating/6984 (votesmart.org)
  • Voted for H.R.22 “Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST Act)” http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/54470#.V3w6j3VTQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Invest in Infrastructure and Transportation […] In Washington I will fight to ensure that changes. We can make smart investments that create good construction jobs and also make sure we have the infrastructure needs to compete in the growing global economy." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/47357/brendan-boyle/#.VagyiXV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "Founded in 1964, ACU represents the views of Americans who are concerned with economic growth through lower taxes and reduced government spending and the issues of liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values and national security." http://votesmart.org/interest-group/2166/rating/6984 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In recent years, too many politicians have emphasized tax cuts for the extremely wealthy over helping middle income citizens. This is wrong. We need responsible policies that put the middle class first." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525174/#.Vagz_nV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "A billionaire hedge fund manager should not pay a lower tax rate than a police officer or a nurse. Yet, under our unfair tax code, this is exactly what happens. We need to reform the tax code and end this unfair treatment of the middle class and workers." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869763/#.VagzLHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "In recent years, too many politicians have emphasized tax cuts for the extremely wealthy over helping middle income citizens. This is wrong. We need responsible policies that put the middle class first." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/525174/#.Vagz_nV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "A billionaire hedge fund manager should not pay a lower tax rate than a police officer or a nurse. Yet, under our unfair tax code, this is exactly what happens. We need to reform the tax code and end this unfair treatment of the middle class and workers." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869763/#.VagzLHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S 1 “A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline” http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51299#.Vjo-vGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against S 1 “A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline” http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51299#.Vjo-vGwViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “We must begin the process of weaning ourselves as a nation off of foreign oil -- not just for the sake of the environment but also for our pocketbooks. Gas prices are hitting working families squarely on the chin.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869759/issue-position-environment-energy/?search=environment#.Va0KNXV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • “I will continue to fight to promote alternative energy sources that reduce pollution and create American jobs.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/869759/issue-position-environment-energy/?search=energy#.ValILHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "Democrats believe that Congress should work together to create a better, stronger, healthier world for our children by embracing our shared stewardship of this planet and creating policies that preserve our environment. It's our turn to lead." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/972212/congressman-brendan-boyle-marks-the-45th-anniversary-of-earth-day/?search=environment#.Va0JRHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 25% by the National Rifle Association http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1034/rating/6568 (votesmart.org)
  • 'I am proud to join my fellow House Democrats on the floor to demand that Republicans end their indefensible obstruction of commonsense gun legislation,' added Boyle. 'We will not rest until Congress shows the courage to act to strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and suspected terrorists. No Bill, No Break. ' http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1099358/congressman-boyle-joins-no-bill-no-break-sit-in-to-demand-a-vote-on-gun-violence#.V3w7qXVTQfI (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “When I saw that the previous Congress had voted 55 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was a little concerned that I would miss all the fun. So I am very happy that we now have a 56th vote on this issue, and it gives me an opportunity to say what a strong supporter I am of the Affordable Care Act.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/950763/providing-for-consideration-of-hr-596-repeal-of-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.Va0Qo3V3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "Over the last five years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, millions of Americans have been seeing the benefits of the law, including lower costs and better coverage. This includes hundreds of thousands of people right here in Pennsylvania." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/972281/congressman-brendan-boyle-praises-the-affordable-care-act-on-the-5th-anniversary-of-president-obama-signing-the-aca-into-law/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.Va0Pd3V3nfY (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • “It is a vindication of our constitution's promise of equality for all Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment protects the legal rights of all U.S. citizens-- regardless of the state one happens to live within or move to. Equal protection means marriage equality.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1003934/congressman-boyle-applauds-scotus-decision-affirming-the-right-to-same-sex-marriage#.VjpKUWwViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Equal protection means marriage equality, simple as that. No state should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry or refusing to recognize their marriages performed elsewhere.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/972146/congressman-brendan-boyle-joins-bicameral-amicus-brief-to-supreme-court-supporting-marriage-equality-cases/?search=gay#.Va0TZnV3nfY (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Alliance of Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/47357/brendan-boyle/53#.V30apXVTQfI (votesmart.org)
  • “People on Social Security today are able to benefit because of the workers of today. Thirty, 40 years from now, those students who are worrying about student loans will probably still be in the workforce and making, hopefully, more money that will pay into Social Security that will help the workers of today, who will be the retirees of tomorrow. So this is all actually linked and part of making America work.” http://votesmart.org/public-statement/966319/the-future-forum/?search=social%20security#.Va0XJHV3nfY (votesmart.org)
  • "I would also take steps to make sure that the Social Security Trust Fund is repaid in full for the funds it has loaned during decades of surpluses. One of the greatest strengths of Social Security is that it is financed by a dedicated revenue stream and is self-funding. Social Security has not contributed to this nation's deficit and we can't look to the program to solve our budget crisis." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/47357/brendan-boyle/#.Va0NB3V3nfY (votesmart.org)

Key

Candidate Answer

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

Inferred Answer

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

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Pennsylvania State Legislative Election 2004 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.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legal.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester 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.
Xf) Prohibit public funding of abortions and of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
g) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels (#1-6) you will support for the following general categories. Select one level per category.
Greatly Increasea) Education (Higher)
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Increasec) Environment
Greatly Increased) Health care
Slightly Increasee) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusf) Transportation and highway infrastructure
Maintain Statusg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels (#1-6) you will support. Select one level per tax.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Maintain Statush) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decreasei) Property taxes
Maintain Statusj) Sales taxes
Maintain Statusk) Vehicle taxes
Greatly Decreasel) Other or expanded categories

City Wage tax

Nom) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Yesn) Do you support legalizing slot machines at racetracks?
Noo) Do you support an increase in income taxes in order to lower property taxes and increase aid to education?
Xp) Other or expanded principles

The best way to lower property taxes is to use some of the revenue expected from the tax on slot machines at racetracks.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and government reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current limit of two four-year terms for Pennsylvania governors?
Nob) Do you support limiting the number of terms for Pennsylvania state senators and representatives?
c) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesd) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Noe) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yesf) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying, and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesg) Do you support prohibiting the reporting of media exit polling results until all polling locations in Pennsylvania are closed?
h) Should Pennsylvania recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
i) Should Pennsylvania restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman?
Yesj) Do you support requiring telecommunications firms to offer broadband services to all of Pennsylvania by 2010?
Undecidedk) Do you support reauthorizing Pennsylvania's current telecommunications regulations (Chapter 30)?
l) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding crime.
Xa) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support the death penalty in Pennsylvania.
Xc) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xd) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
e) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
f) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Xg) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
Xh) Minors accused of a violent crime should be prosecuted as adults.
i) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xj) Increase funding for state and local emergency agencies to prevent and to respond to terrorist attacks.
k) Allow the use of radar and LIDAR by local police departments.
l) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
a) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any public school.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any private or religious school.
Xd) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xe) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
f) Support teacher testing and reward with merit pay.
g) Endorse voluntary prayer in public schools.
h) Require public schools to administer high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase funding for Head Start programs.
Xk) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
m) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
Xn) Other or expanded principles

Support enacting the HOPE Scholarship in Pennsylvania, which would make college tuition-free for middle class families.

Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers and teach skills needed in today's job market.
b) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for children in low-income working families.
e) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
Xf) Include sexual orientation in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination laws.
Xg) Increase the state minimum wage.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity, or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on:
a) Public employment
b) State college and university admissions
c) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
Xb) Support increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil).
Xc) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
Xd) Support funding for open space preservation.
Xe) Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.
f) Support the $800 million Growing Greener bond.
Xg) Support waiving sales taxes on the purchase of energy efficient appliances during twice-annual "tax holidays."
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding guns.
a) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
b) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
e) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
f) 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.
Xa) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state-funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
c) Limit the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Xd) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
f) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician assisted suicide in Pennsylvania.
h) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support increased work requirements for able-bodied welfare recipients.
Xb) Increase funding for employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
c) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
d) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
e) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
f) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to extend health and child care subsidies to the working poor.
g) Support marriage promotion programs for welfare recipients.
h) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
i) Other or expanded principles
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.

As the first person in my family to attend college, I care deeply about helping middle-class families afford college. I will fight for the HOPE Scholarship, which allows all students to attend college tuition-free, provided they maintain a "B" average. I will also fight for enactment of the Prescription Plus Plan. This plan has already cut the cost of drugs by 60% in Maine. PA residents need help paying for the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

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