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John Yarmuth's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (KY) - District 3, Democratic
On The Ballot: Running, Democratic for U.S. House - District 3
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Candidates who qualify for the General Election will be invited to take the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Kentucky 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
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

More specifically, I support adding a new tax bracket on income $5 million and above.

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

I believe that until we get big money out of politics, Congress will never truly be able to responsibly address the major issues that hardworking American families face. That is why I introduced H.J. Res. 53, a Constitutional amendment that would overturn the disastrous Citizens United, McCutcheon, and SpeechNow decisions.

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?
YesInferred Answer Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations
  • "I believe that in America we should be rewarding the hard work of these citizens, struggling to make ends meet; not taxing them into poverty. But that is exactly what we are doing to hundreds of thousands of Americans." (
  • "I am proud to say that by expanding the EITC for all eligible workers earning less than $16,400, not only will this legislation instantly lift these workers out of poverty, it will dramatically lower the taxes of more than seven million Americans, 100,000 Kentuckians, and more than 20,000 hard working people right here in Louisville. Any economist will tell you, more money in workers' pockets increases buying power and benefits the economy." (
YesDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

I support targeted tax incentives - not a reduction in income tax rates - as a means to promote economic growth.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles
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
YesCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

I believe we must enact comprehensive immigration reform. In 2013, I joined a bipartisan group of House members, known as the Gang of Eight, to craft a comprehensive reform bill to address our nation's broken immigration system. This proposal promoted humane enforcement, provided a path to citizenship, secured our borders, and kept families together. This legislation had enough support to become law, but unfortunately, Republican House Leadership refused to allow a vote on our measure.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
YesShould 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

Should our intelligence community locate a high-level terrorist ready to carry out an imminent attack on U.S. targets and capture isn't feasible, it would be difficult to support inaction or alternative actions that would put more lives at risk. The decision should never fall to one person or one governmental agency. Just as important is ensuring strict and ongoing oversight. If we fail on either front, we compromise our commitment to civil liberties, national security, and our standing in the world.

In dealing with hostile nations, the use of force should be a last resort after all diplomatic efforts fail.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles
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.
Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Slightly Increaseb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) 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.
Maintain Statusa) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusb) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Greatly Decreased) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Maintain Statusf) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Maintain Statusj) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusk) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
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.

In the 115th Congress, I will continue my fight to reform our campaign finance laws, fix our broken immigration system, and enact legislation to prevent gun violence. Despite the refusal of the Republican Leadership to vote on their on proposal this year, Congress should approve a fair and responsible budget resolution that rejects authority and invests in our nation's future. All of these efforts have strong bipartisan support among the American people and I believe it is time to end the hyperpolarization that has plague our politics, and focus on the priorities of the people we represent.

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