Representative Jim Langevin's Political Positions

Office: U.S. House (RI) - District 2, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House - District 2
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Jim Langevin is currently being tested through the 2016 Political Courage Test.

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Issue Positions

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

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Most importantly, we must not lose sight of the big picture. Being pro-life means more than being anti-abortion. It also means protecting the 45,000 people who die every year because they lack proper health care. Nothing could be more pro-life than ensuring access to lifesaving and life-improving treatments for every American, not just those who can afford it.” (
  • “Mister Speaker, Since coming to Congress in 2001, I have strongly supported the longstanding policy that prohibits federal funding of abortion.” (
  • Signed a letter stating “And, since voluntary family planning helps prevent unplanned pregnancies, it also helps prevent abortions.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “The Republicans want to give more tax cuts to the wealthy, quite frankly, at the expense of everyone else. Democrats, on the other hand, propose a balanced plan that asks the wealthiest to sacrifice just a little bit more so that we can provide tax relief for the middle class taxpayers, we can bring our debt down, and invest in economic growth. We will protect our most vulnerable.” (
  • “Providing tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires is both financially unjust and fiscally irresponsible given our current budgetary challenges, but this compromise protects 98 percent of Americans from significant tax increases set to take effect January 1, 2011, and has the potential to create the private sector jobs than can sustain an economic recovery.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Prevention is essential in the battle against substance abuse, and the best place to start is with young people who can be reached early about the importance of remaining drug and alcohol free.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Five-term incumbent Langevin portrayed himself as striking a balance between an urgent need to invest tens of billions of federal dollars in jobs programs and small-business tax breaks, and a longer-term need to address the economic threat from deficit spending.” (
  • “We must take decisive action to reduce our federal deficit. However, we must also continue to make targeted investments to spur economic growth and combat high unemployment.” (
  • “I am supportive of an economic growth and job creation package that includes reinvesting in America's economy, encouraging innovation, investing in education, and protecting consumers.” (
  • “To jump-start our nation's economy, I worked with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “For Rhode Island families, this proposal includes a two-year increase of the full Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. Together, these provisions will provide ongoing tax cuts to 12 million lower income families.” (
  • “During my career in Congress, I have voted to reduce income tax rates, create a new 10% income tax bracket, eliminate the marriage penalty, and increase the amount of families eligible for the child tax credit. Lowering taxes for the middle class is fair, and it is good policy.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “As Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind, I will work to ensure there is flexibility at the local level, a focus on rewarding schools instead of punishing them, and encouraging great leadership from both administrators and teachers.” (
  • “Common Core was established to make sure all students in the country are learning the same types of skills. I have mixed emotions about high stakes testing. There are different reasons why some students do better than others.” (
  • “States must be given the flexibility to include multiple measures of student achievement and measure growth over time. The supplemental services to schools performing below standard promised in No Child Left Behind must reach the students that need the assistance. Above all, the federal government must live up to the funding promised in No Child Left Behind.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S 1: A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Our nation needs a comprehensive energy strategy that includes the development of clean and renewable energy sources, as well as new initiatives to encourage conservation and energy efficiency in order to protect hard working families and small business from high oil and gas prices.” (
  • “I am a founding member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) and currently serve as Energy Task Force chair. SEEC was established to advocate for policies including clean energy innovation and job creation, environmental protection, and addressing global climate change.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “As a member of Congress, I strongly advocate policies that will reduce our global emissions while creating opportunities to support emerging industries ripe with technological innovation and job creation.” (
  • “Thank you for your efforts to address the challenge of reducing harmful carbon emissions that are jeopardizing human health and threatening our environment. We were pleased to see your agency recently propose standards under the Clean Air Act for new power plants, and we applaud your commitment to develop standards for reducing emissions from existing power plants.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I thank everyone who participated in the events in Washington and Providence today for helping to send the message to all of our leaders that it is long past time to seriously address the gun violence that continues to inflict tragedies on our fellow citizens.” (
  • “While I support the Second Amendment, I believe enhancing gun control laws will make our schools, neighborhoods, and communities safer.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I’m a strong supporter of Obamacare. It’s not the prefect law. If we had more reliable partners on the other side to improve it, it would be far better.” (
  • “Passage of the Affordable Care Act was by no means a silver bullet, but a critical first step in the fight to reform health coverage and delivery. “ (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I have long been a strong advocate for providing a legal path to citizenship.” (
  • “I believe in immigration reform; the system is broken. We’re not going to round up 12 to 14 million people and send them out of the country, so how do we best use our resources?” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “I have met and heard from so many constituents affected by the fight for marriage equality. They represent loving, close-knit families, and this decision affirms the commitment they have made to their loved ones and their right to receive the same benefits and protections under federal law.” (
  • “I will continue to join all supporters of LGBT rights in fighting for equal justice, fair treatment and inclusion throughout all aspects of our society.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Oversight is a cornerstone of our Congressional responsibility, and we must ensure that the use of capture or lethal operations, including drone strikes, pass the highest level of constitutional muster and are consistent with our values and civil liberties.” (
  • “In May 2013, as Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, I was proud to co-sponsor the Oversight of Sensitive Military Operations Act, which for the first time requires notification to the House and Senate national security committees of any overseas lethal or capture operation outside of Afghanistan, including those conducted with unmanned aerial vehicles.” (

Vote Smart's Research

  • “Creating private accounts would divert payroll taxes away from the trust fund, preventing Social Security from paying full benefits. Moreover, seniors are still recovering from the economic recession that decimated private retirement accounts and erased trillions in wealth.” (
  • "Privatizing the Social Security system would expose current and future retirees and their families to great risk and endanger the safety net on which they will rely in their golden years. Under a privatized system, Social Security benefits would no longer be determined primarily by a worker's earnings and the contributions made over the course of an individual's career. It has become particularly clear in recent years that the stock market can be extremely risky for investors. America's seniors deserve to be confident in the knowledge that their retirement savings will be available in the future, and not subject to the whims of the financial markets." (


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

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Congressional Election 2000 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) concerning abortion.

a) Abortions should always be illegal.
Xb) Abortions should be illegal when the fetus is viable, with or without life support.
c) Abortions should always be legally available.
d) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xf) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
g) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and notification requirements as decided by each state government.
Xh) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as "partial birth" abortion.
Xi) Prohibit public funding of abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
j) Support "buffer-zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least five feet from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
Xk) Provide funding for family planning programs as a means to decrease the number of abortions.
l) Other

Budgetary Priorities

Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following general categories.

Maintain Funding Statusa) Agricultural
Maintain Funding Statusb) Arts
Maintain Funding Statusc) Defense
Slightly Increase Fundingd) Education
Slightly Increase Fundinge) Environmental
Maintain Funding Statusf) International aid
Slightly Increase Fundingg) Law enforcement
Slightly Increase Fundingh) Medical Research
Maintain Funding Statusi) National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)
Maintain Funding Statusj) National Parks
Slightly Increase Fundingk) Scientific Research
Maintain Funding Statusl) Transportation and Highway Infrastructure
Maintain Funding Statusm) Welfare
n) Other
No2) Would you support enforcing the spending limits agreed to in 1997 by the President and Congress to balance the budget?

Defense Spending

Indicate what levels of federal funding you support for the following categories.

Slightly Increase Fundinga) Armed Forces personnel training
Maintain Funding Statusb) Covert intelligence operations
Maintain Funding Statusc) Defense plant conversion
Maintain Funding Statusd) Military hardware
Maintain Funding Statuse) Military space shuttle missions
Slightly Increase Fundingf) Pay for active duty personnel
Maintain Funding Statusg) National Missile Defense Program
Slightly Increase Fundingh) Modernization of weaponry and equipment
Slightly Increase Fundingi) Programs to improve military retention rates
Maintain Funding Statusj) Research and development of new weapons
Slightly Increase Fundingk) Troop and equipment readiness
l) Other

Budget Surplus

Indicate your priorities for spending any anticipated federal budget surplus.

Medium Prioritya) Defense
High Priorityb) Education
Highest Priorityc) Federal debt reduction
High Priorityd) Medicare
Highest Prioritye) Social Security
Lowest Priorityf) Tax cuts
g) Other


Indicate what levels you support concerning taxes, deductions, and tax credits in the following categories.

Income Taxes - Family Income

Greatly Decreasea) Less than $25,000
Greatly Decreaseb) $25,000 - $75,000
c) $75,000 - $150,000
d) Over $150,000
e) Other

Income Taxes - Retiree Income

f) Over $40, 000
g) Other

Other Taxes

Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Maintain Statusf) Inheritance taxes
g) Other


Slightly Increasea) Charitable deductions
Greatly Increaseb) Medical expense deductions
Slightly Increasec) Mortgage deductions
Greatly Increased) Child tax credit
Greatly Increasee) Earned income tax credit
Greatly Increasef) Student loan tax credit
g) Other


No2) Do you support replacing the current U.S. income tax structure with a flat income tax?
Yes3) Should a married couple filing jointly pay the same taxes as if they were an unmarried couple filing separately?
Undecided4) Would you cut taxes if there were an operating surplus?
No5) Would you cut taxes and use Social Security surpluses to supplement the difference?
6) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance issues.

Xa) Support public taxpayer funding for Congressional candidates who comply with campaign spending limits.
Xb) Increase the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns.
c) Prohibit Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to candidates for federal office.
Xd) Provide free or low-cost television advertising to candidates who agree to voluntary campaign spending limits.
Xe) Ban unregulated soft money campaign contributions to political parties or committees.
Xf) Prohibit non-U.S. citizens from making soft money contributions to national parties or party committees.
Xg) Require full disclosure of funding sources of issue advocacy commercials which appear within 60 days of an election.
Xh) Make campaign spending limits mandatory for all federal candidates.
i) Remove all contribution limits on federal candidates and parties, but require complete and immediate disclosure via the Internet.
j) Require Congressional candidates to raise over half of their campaign money from their home state.
k) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.

a) Broaden the use of the death penalty for federal crimes.
b) Increase spending to build more federal prisons.
Xc) Impose "truth in sentencing" for violent criminals so they serve full sentences with no chance of parole.
Xd) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xe) Support programs to provide prison inmates with drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Xf) Increase penalties for crimes committed on school grounds.
g) Increase funding for community policing programs.
Xh) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xi) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability be prosecuted as federal hate crimes.
j) Enforcement of civil rights should primarily be the responsibility of the federal government.
k) Prosecute as adults, youths accused of a felony.
l) Provide block grants to states for implementation of programs to combat juvenile crime.
m) Impose harsher penalties for youths convicted of violent offenses.
Xn) Support the use of "boot camps" as alternative sentencing for juvenile offenders.
Xo) Support programs that provide job training and placement services for at-risk youth.
p) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning illegal drugs.

a) Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.
b) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
c) Support capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.
Xd) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
e) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
f) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
g) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the "war on drugs."
h) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning education (K-12).

Xa) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
b) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any publicly-funded school.
c) Allow parents to use vouchers (equal opportunity scholarships) to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
Xd) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any publicly-funded school.
Xe) Allow parents to use tax-free savings accounts to send their children to any participating school: public, private or religious.
Xf) Support charter schools where teachers and professionals receive authorization and funding to establish new schools.
g) Promote education flexibility by giving federal funds, in the form of block grants, to the states to spend it as they see fit.
h) Increase funding for block grants to states to help them hire additional teachers.
i) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
Xj) Increase funding for computers and computer training in public schools.
Xk) Increase funding for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
l) Eliminate restrictions on federal education funding, giving educators or local school districts more flexibility to design and implement their programs.
Xm) Support affirmative action in public college admissions.
n) Eliminate federal financial aid for individuals convicted of drug offenses.
Xo) Increase funding of programs such as Pell grants and Stafford loans to help students pay for college.
Xp) Support federal tax incentives to help families save for college.
q) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding employment and affirmative action.

Xa) Provide tax credits for companies that move job-creating industries into areas with high unemployment.
Xb) Increase funding for national job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
c) Reduce government regulation of the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
d) Establish empowerment zones in areas with large numbers of unemployed people.
e) Eliminate any federal programs designed to reduce unemployment.
Xf) Increase the federal minimum wage.
Xg) Encourage employers to offer flex-time scheduling, comp-time, and unpaid leave for family emergencies.
Xh) Provide tax credits for businesses that offer on-site child care.
Xi) The federal government should consider race and sex in making government contracting decisions.
Xj) The federal government should continue affirmative action programs.
k) The federal government should discontinue affirmative action programs.
l) The federal government should utilize merit and qualifications in making government contracting decisions.
m) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding America's environment and natural resources.

Xa) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
Xb) Strengthen the regulation and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
c) Waive environmental review requirements for grazing permits.
Xd) Revise the 1872 mining law to increase the fees charged to mining companies using federal lands.
e) Require states to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses of privately owned land.
Xf) Encourage further development and use of alternative fuels to reduce pollution.
Xg) Strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles.
h) Promote the selling of pollution credits between nations to encourage industries to decrease pollution levels.
i) Strengthen logging restrictions on federal lands.
j) Reduce current federal regulations on the environment.
k) Give states added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environment regulations.
l) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.

a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
Xf) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
Xg) Increase penalties for the possession of any illegal guns.
Xh) Hold gun owners responsible for crimes committed with their guns by children age 16 and under.
i) Raise the minimum age for ownership of handguns from 18 to 21.
Xj) Require background checks of gun buyers at gun shows.
Xk) Require a license for gun possession.
l) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.

a) Providing health care is not a responsibility of the federal government.
Xb) Implement a universal health care program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income.
Xc) Support health care strategies focused on prevention, including health education, and natural medicines and remedies.
Xd) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights to define and enforce the rights of insured patients, including greater access to specialists and emergency rooms, wider choice of health care providers, and appeal mechanisms when claims are denied.
Xe) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to sue when claims are denied.
Xf) Support a Patient's Bill of Rights which includes the right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
Xg) Provide tax incentives to small businesses that provide health care to their employees.
h) Expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts, which would be taxed if used for purposes other than medical costs.
i) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
j) Allow states and local communities to use federal funds for needle-exchange programs to combat the spread of HIV.
Xk) Provide citizens age 55-65 the option of purchasing Medicare health coverage.
Xl) Support legislation to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
m) Increase funding for AIDS programs.
n) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding immigration.

a) Decrease the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
b) Increase the eligibility of legal immigrants for certain social programs (e.g. public housing, food stamps).
c) Require the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to reduce the time between applying for citizenship and taking the oath of allegiance to six months.
d) Provide extra federal aid to states with higher numbers of immigrants for necessary medical and social services.
e) Prohibit states from passing laws that deny human services (medical care, education) to illegal immigrants or their children.
f) Grant U.S. citizenship to children born in the US only if their parents immigrated legally.
g) Increase the immigration quota for computer scientists and other information technology workers.
h) Establish English as the official national language.
i) Support the separation of the INS into two bureaus: one administering naturalization and one administering border patrol.
j) Increase state autonomy in handling immigration issues.
k) Reimburse states for providing services to illegal aliens.
l) Other

International Aid

Indicate which principles (if any) you support regarding U.S. International Aid.

Xa) Aid should be granted to countries when extraordinary circumstances cause disaster and threaten civilian lives.
Xb) Aid should be granted to countries when it is in the security interests of the U. S.
Xc) Aid should be granted to countries that are close allies of the U. S. and in need of financial/military assistance.
d) Aid should be eliminated for any nation with documented human rights abuses.
e) Aid programs should be scaled back and eventually eliminated except for extraordinary circumstances.
f) Other

International Policy

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the Middle East.

a) The U.S. should resolve future disputes with Iraq only through diplomatic means.
b) The U.S. should take unilateral military action if Iraq does not comply with all accepted United Nations resolutions.
Xc) The U.S. should take military action against Iraq only as part of an international effort.
d) The U.S. should end the economic embargo against Iraq.
e) The U.S. should not continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
Xf) The U.S. should continue to play a prominent leadership role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
g) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the United States-United Nations relationship.

a) The U.S. should participate in United Nations peacekeeping missions only when vital U.S. interests are involved.
b) The U.S. should not commit military troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
c) The U.S. should withdraw completely from the United Nations.
Xd) The U.S. should pay its debt to the United Nations.
e) Other
Undecided3) Should the U.S. have full diplomatic relations with Cuba?
Undecided4) Should the U.S. have full diplomatic relations with China?
Undecided5) Should the U.S. recognize and extend full diplomatic relations to Taiwan?
Yes6) Should the US maintain ground troops in Kosovo?
Yes7) Do you support the cooperative threat reduction programs with Russia to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to unfriendly nations?
Undecided8) Do you support modifying the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in order to deploy the National Missile Defense System?

International Trade

No1) Do you support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?
Yes2) Do you support the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?
Yes3) Do you support continued U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)?
Undecided4) Do you support China becoming a member of the World Trade Organization?
Yes5) Do you support imposing tariffs on products imported from nations that maintain restrictive trade barriers on American products?
Yes6) Should a nation's human rights record affect its normal trade relations (most favored nation status) with the United States?
Undecided7) Do you support normal trade relations (most favored nation status) with Vietnam?
Undecided8) Do you support granting the President "fast-track" authority in trade negotiations?
No9) Do you support the trade embargo against Cuba?
UndecidedDo you believe there has been a decline in moral and ethical standards in America over the last four decades?
If Yes, please explain what you would do as a member of Congress to address this concern.

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding Social Security.

a) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts which they manage themselves.
b) Allow workers to invest a portion of their payroll tax in private accounts managed by private firms contracted by the government.
c) Invest a portion of Social Security's assets collectively in stocks and bonds instead of U.S. Treasury securities.
d) Increase the payroll tax to better finance Social Security in its current form.
e) Lower Social Security's annual cost-of-living increases.
f) Limit Social Security benefits based on recipients' other income and assets.
g) Require individuals to pay the Social Security tax on incomes above $68,400 (which is currently exempt).
Xh) Support a lock box measure, limiting Congress's ability to spend Social Security and Medicare surpluses on any other federal programs except Social Security and Medicare, until each program's long-term solvency is guaranteed.
i) Other

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding technology.

a) Continuing the moratorium on Internet sales taxes.
b) Implement regulation of Internet content by the federal government.
Xc) Support on-line voter registration.
d) Support voting on-line.
e) Support government mandates to curtail violent and sexual content on television.
Xf) Support strict penalties for Internet crimes such as hacking and Internet violence.
Xg) Support strong Internet privacy laws.
h) Regulating the Internet should not in any way be controlled by the federal government.
i) Other
NoDo you support amending the Constitution to limit the number of terms which members of Congress can serve?

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding poverty and the welfare system.

Xa) Support housing assistance for welfare recipients.
b) Provide homeless families with apartment vouchers they can use to supplement the cost of an apartment.
c) Continue to give states and local governments responsibility for welfare programs through TANF block grants.
d) Maintain current welfare-to-work requirements in order for states to qualify for block grants.
e) Restore food stamp programs to legal immigrants.
f) Transfer homeless housing programs to states through block grants.
g) Provide continued Medicaid benefits for those welfare recipients who have moved from welfare to work.
h) Require states to return any unused welfare block grant funding to the federal government.
i) Direct federal poverty aid through religious, community-based or other non-profit organizations.
j) Other
Please explain what your top two or three priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.

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