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Joe McDermott's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: Council Member (King County, WA) - District 8 Chair
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Joe McDermott has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Washington Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage Test


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.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am strongly Pro-Choice, having earned a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Washington over my legislative career to-date, and have a track record of protecting and expanding women's health services.

YesIn order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate AnswerIn order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles

I believe the wealthiest Americans can and should contribute more to support our country and economy that has made it possible for their financial success and stability.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I am the only candidate in this race making campaign finance reform one of my top legislative priorities, and the only to have actually passed statewide reform while serving in the state legislature. My first legislation in Congress will be a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, and I've called on my fellow candidates to sign the People's Pledge denouncing unaccountable outside spending in the race to send a message that overturning Citizens United and campaign finance reform must be a top priority for the next Congress.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
YesDo you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

I support tax incentives for businesses that include accountability measures to ensure that businesses deliver the public benefit promised in exchange for receiving that preferential treatment. Lowering taxes on working and low-income families can spur economic growth and stability, but that must be coupled with enacting policies that truly help these families like raising the minimum wage, enacting paid family leave and sick days, and paid family leave.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

The Federal Government should be a financial partner to states and school districts, not dictate policy. Formula grants like IDEA and Title 1 have proven themselves to be incredibly effective mechanisms to support schools in the most need. We must ensure that after decades of under-funding, these programs meet and grow their initial financial promise to our country's schools.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
YesDo you support increased regulations on the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Other or expanded principles
YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

I have sponsored and passed state legislation to adopt cleaner vehicle emissions standards and set carbon emissions standards. We must make our nation a leader in addressing climate change as I have led on the state and local level.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I am the only candidate in this race to make enacting common sense gun safety laws a key platform of this campaign. We must declare gun violence a public health crisis and pass legislation expanding background checks, banning assault weapons from our streets and holding gun manufacturers liable for their products so they have incentive to innovate and make safer products. I've led on this issue here by having King County declare gun violence a public health crisis and developing a program to buy gun locks and cases to keep children in our community safe.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles

We must work to improve and expand the Affordable Care Act, including by adding a Public Option, while working together towards a Single-Payer health care system so we can ensure universal healthcare coverage in the United States.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants in the United States who are currently forced to live in the shadows. This is a moral and economic imperative for our country.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

I was the first openly gay member elected to the King County Council, was one of just two out-members of the state legislature when I first arrived, and have been a leader in gay and transgender rights long before either of my opponents were even in office. Ten years ago, I authored new protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and sponsored our state's domestic partnership law that led to marriage equality in Washington.

NoInferred Answer Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations
  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Should the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

The use of force should be our very last resort, whether we are working to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons or tackling the very real threat of terrorism around the globe. Diplomacy, development and intelligence gathering are important initial tools to deploy as we address our global challenges before resorting to the use of force. When we must use force, Congress must require clear, timely objectives with a plan to ensure minimal damage to communities and civilians.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

We must preserve, protect and expand Social Security - not subject it to the whims of the stock market.

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Eliminatea) Agriculture
Greatly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Slightly Increaseg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Slightly Increasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Greatly Increasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
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) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increaseb) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Inheritance taxes
Slightly Increasek) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories

We must scrap the cap on income levels subject to Social Security and Medicare

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.

Today now more than ever, we need to elect a leader with a track record of achieving proven progressive results. That's what I've been doing for the last 15 years - 10 in the Legislature and over 5 years now on the King County Council. My highest priorities include:

-Overturning Citizens United and returning our political process to average Americans,
-Addressing gun violence by holding gun manufacturers criminally and financially liable for their weapons in our streets so that they have an incentive to make their products safer, and
-Make four year public colleges tuition-free, staring with community colleges now.

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