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Jim McGovern's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (MA) - District 2, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Jim McGovern 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. Jim McGovern 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 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 NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/7720 (votesmart.org)
  • Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life? "Pro-choice" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.Vkn9TGwVikq (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 0% by National Right to Life Committee http://votesmart.org/interest-group/252/rating/7227 (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

  • "Jim has voted to provide tax relief and incentives to small businesses, and will continue to push for additional tax relief and to reduce red tape. Jim advocates reforming our outdated tax code so that it is fairer to middle class families and helps our small businesses and entrepreneurs compete." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/850065/issue-position-economy-and-jobs#.VZ7ianUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Income taxes (high-income families) "Slightly Increase" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlVikp (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/42053 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Non-violent offender covers a great deal of criminal acts, such as theft, embezzlement, bank fraud, white collar crime, etc. All such convicted criminals should go to prison and serve sentences appropriate to the crime and the harm they caused." http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of HR 1 "Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ('Stimulus Bill')" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/23644#.VY1yEPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • " 'This federal funding for capital improvements at Worcester Regional Airport is welcome news,' Rep. Jim McGovern said. 'With the upcoming resumption of commercial service at the airport in November, it is vital that we continue to improve the infrastructure at the facility. I look forward to continuing to work with Massport, local officials and my federal colleagues to make Worcester Regional Airport a success.' " http://votesmart.org/public-statement/806186/federal-government-awards-worcester-airport-486000 (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Jim has voted to provide tax relief and incentives to small businesses, and will continue to push for additional tax relief and to reduce red tape. Jim advocates reforming our outdated tax code so that it is fairer to middle class families and helps our small businesses and entrepreneurs compete." http://mcgovern.house.gov/issues/economy-and-jobs (mcgovern.house.gov)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/38274 (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Jim supported Massachusetts' successful application to the 'Race to the Top' competitive grant program, which is designed to encourage and reward states that are leading the way in education reform. As the recipient of $250 million, Massachusetts will continue to maintain high standards, turn around low-achieving schools, and recruit, reward and retain effective teachers and principals." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/556268/issue-position-education#.VZ7jiHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Do you believe that the Keystone pipeline won't actually do much to move the United States toward energy dependence or might harm our environment? Too bad, your amendment won't be made in order." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/948441/providing-for-consideration-of-hr-3-keystone-xl-pipeline-act-and-providing-for-consideration-of-hr-30-save-american-workers-act-of-2015/?search=keystone#.VkoAW2wViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VY1rQPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "This package also includes a requirement that President Obama make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline – which many of us find hard to swallow. But Democrats get something they want and Republicans get something they want." http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/us-rep-mcgovern-what-does-the-gop-have-against-the-middle-class (mcgovern.house.gov)
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

  • "Congressman McGovern believes that our future economic security and environmental sustainability depend on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, improving energy efficiency, and creating new, green jobs here at home. The Second District is home to companies developing many of the most promising technologies in renewable energy. The congressman will continue to support these businesses to grow and create new jobs." http://mcgovern.house.gov/issues/energy-and-environment (mcgovern.house.gov)
  • "Jim McGovern believes that the pathway to sustained economic growth and job creation requires us to invest in a clean energy economy here at home. […] From wind, solar, biomass and marine energy to advanced fuel cell technology to state-of-the-art batteries, entrepreneurs in Massachusetts are uniquely positioned to be the world leaders in creating 'green jobs.'" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/556269/issue-position-energy#.VkoFXWwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ('Cap and Trade')" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/26496#.VY1zQPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Since 2008, the U.S. has doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas by 2025 and significantly increased the power we generate from wind and solar. Thanks in part to America's leadership, more than 150 countries representing close to 90 percent of global emissions, have announced plans to help cut global pollution. We owe it to the next generation to do all we can to combat climate change and strengthen our investment in clean, renewable energy sources." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1064599/mcgovern-statement-on-keystone-pipeline-rejection/?search=emissions (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Universal background checks are a vital component of comprehensive gun violence prevention efforts, and Congress must act now." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/773604/mass-delegation-unanimous-in-support-for-universal-gun-background-checks#.VkpEsGwViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Congressman McGovern believes as a country, we need to take action to reduce the amount of gun violence through common-sense regulations, including closing loopholes for background checks." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/828478/issue-position-gun-violence/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.VkoDQWwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/552/jim-mcgovern/37 (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to appreciate that this Congress did something positive in passing the Affordable Care Act, and we ought not to let extremists on the other side take the protections away from the American people." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/948429/providing-for-consideration-of-hr-596-repeal-of-the-patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act#.VZ7kl3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against HR 596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/51284#.VY1sd_lViko (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

  • "[…] we must develop a common-sense approach to people who are already here illegally, to bring them out of the shadows and onto a path to citizenship." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/632268/issue-position-immigration#.VkoECWwViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955#.VY1u1_lViko (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants? "Yes" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "At long last, the Supreme Court has recognized that every loving couple has the right to marry. I am especially proud to be from Massachusetts -- the first state in the nation to legalize marriage equality in 2004. Today's ruling is a powerful statement for full equality. Marriage will now be legal for LGBT Americans in all 50 states across the country." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/996999/congressman-mcgovern-applauds-historic-supreme-court-ruling-expanding-marriage-equality-to-all-50-states (votesmart.org)
  • Should marriage only be between one man and one woman? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign Position on Marriage http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/552/jim-mcgovern/76 (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Today’s report that the Pentagon is considering embedding some U.S. troops with Iraqi forces as part of the war against ISIS – bringing American forces to the front lines – is extremely concerning. We have been repeatedly reassured that the U.S. would not have a combat role in the war against ISIS, but this suggests just the opposite." http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mcgovern-statement-on-us-military-engagement-in-iraq (mcgovern.house.gov)
  • "Today’s announcement by the White House is just the latest in a series of alarming signs that the U.S. war against ISIS will continue to accelerate in the absence of Congressional action. The deployment of U.S. special operations forces to Northern Syria is especially concerning because it comes just days after the Pentagon announced that they are considering sending combat forces into Iraq as well." http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mcgovern-statement-on-announcement-of-us-forces-to-syria (mcgovern.house.gov)
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

  • "Jim McGovern will continue to strongly oppose any effort to cut or privatize Social Security." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/556271/issue-position-social-security-and-medicare#.VZ7lhXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/552/jim-mcgovern/53 (votesmart.org)
  • Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? "No" http://votesmart.org/candidate/political-courage-test/552/jim-mcgovern/#.VY2DEvlViko (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.

Massachusetts 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?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Yesc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
Yesd) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Noe) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

Please note that federal funds currently are prohibited from being used for abortion procedures.

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 Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Greatly Decreasec) Defense
Maintain Status1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increase2) Military hardware
Eliminate3) National missile defense
Slightly 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
Slightly Increaseg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
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
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Maintain Statusd) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly 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

Bush policies created an economic and federal budget crisis. We need to move as quickly as possible to bring the budget into balance, but it cannot be done immediately.

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security?
Nob) 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

We should not over-regulate or place onerous restrictions on the private sector. But lax regulation and oversight have, in the past, harmed America�s economy and average American consumers.

Noa) 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?
Noe) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles

�Non-violent offender� covers a great deal of criminal acts, such as theft, embezzlement, bank fraud, �white collar� crime, etc. All such convicted criminals should go to prison and serve sentences appropriate to the crime and the harm they caused.

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?
Yesc) 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

The majority of federal K-12 education funds should support public schools, where over 90% of America�s children go to school.

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?
Nog) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles

We should focus on creating the �green jobs� of the future.

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?
Noc) 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?
c) 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

On �c�, it depends on who benefits from the expansion: yes for middle-class families; no for the wealthy, who don�t need additional tax shelters. On malpractice, I don�t support frivolous lawsuits or extortionate medical malpractice insurance rates, but I can�t see how to make a �one size fits all� law. Cases vary widely, as do damages.

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?
Nod) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles

Illegal immigrants should be required to pay a fine, pay their taxes, learn English and only then go to the �back of the line� for citizenship.

NoCandidate Answera) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
Nob) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
Noc) 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

We should trade with all countries, unless they are internationally sanctioned. FTAs need to include labor & environmental standards and stop being cookie-cutter copies. I support maintaining, not increasing, economic and development assistance to Afghanistan. We should aid countries that serve U.S. security interests, but not at the sacrifice or exclusion of other interests. Balance is required.

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

Massachusetts allows gay couples to legally marry, with all the rights and responsibilities that accompany such a legal contract.

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.

We must do everything we can to lower the unemployment rate and put people back to work. We should extend tax cuts for middle-class families, increase small businesses? ability to obtain capital, invest in medical research, medical technology, and the ?green jobs? of the future.
I also believe we need to bring our military involvement in Afghanistan to an end. Instead of nation-building in Afghanistan, we should be doing more nation-building here at home.
Finally, we must address our nation?s long-term budget crisis. Everything must be on the table ? domestic spending, military spending, tax policy, and entitlements.

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