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Chris Van Hollen, Jr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: Elected to U.S. Senate (MD), Democratic
U.S. House (MD) - District 8, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Chris Van Hollen, Jr. 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. Chris Van Hollen, Jr. 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 Planned Parenthood http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/6098/chris-van-hollen-jr/2 (votesmart.org)
  • "At the federal, state, and local level, we need to remain vigilant against attacks on reproductive rights and proactively work to expand access to women's health services. That's why I'm a proud supporter of the Women's Health Protection Act and the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act, and why I've led the fight against attacks on women's health in the budget. We must aggressively protect -- and expand -- a woman's right to her own health choices." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1066155/van-hollen-statement-on-anniversary-of-roe-v-wade (votesmart.org)
  • "We must ‪#‎ReclaimRoe‬ and end the very real Republican war against women's access to health care choices." https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/ (www.facebook.com)
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

  • "The President's plans represent a common sense approach to achieve both those goals. Today he laid out the case for putting our fiscal house in order by making difficult cuts and also asking millionaires and billionaires to pay at least the same effective tax rate as many of those who work for them." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/639116/#.VZMVU_lVikp (votesmart.org)
  • "And we all know that after two Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, what happened? We actually lost 630,000 private sector jobs in the economy eight years later. So, this notion that you somehow need it for job growth and economic growth has been proven – it's been proven false by the history of the last eight years." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/552164/#.VZMV8_lViko (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "And for the health of our communities, we need to start treating addiction and substance abuse as a public health crisis, not a criminal justice matter." https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/ (www.facebook.com)
  • "I do think that the fact that we have so many Americans, especially minorities, who are imprisoned today for nonviolent drug offenses, is also a national scandal." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/van-hollen-discusses-criminal-justice-reform-failed-war-on-drugs-at (vanhollen.house.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 2847 "Employment, Infrastructure, and Transportation Appropriations and Tax Credits ("Senate Jobs Bill")" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/28969#.VZK81vlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Now, in order to boost economic growth we should be investing in scientific research and innovation, we should be investing in modernizing our national infrastructure, we should be investing in educating our kids to compete in the 21st century workforce." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/987302/hearing-of-the-house-budget-committee-why-congress-must-balance-the-budget#.VaaVaHUVhHx (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 1 "Appropriations, Tax Law Amendments, and Unemployment Benefit Amendments ("Stimulus Bill")" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/23644#.VZK4jflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Well, we would like it if our House Republicans colleagues would take up the President’s plan, the plan that passed the Senate last week, which would provide tax relief, really to 100 percent of the American people compared to what the current law provides. It provides total tax relief to 98 percent of the American people. The top 2 percent don’t get quite as much." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/van-hollen-on-cnn-democratic-plan-provides-tax-cuts-to-all-americans (vanhollen.house.gov)
  • "And we should be reforming a tax code that right now rewards those who make money off of money more than it rewards people who earn paychecks through hard work. Those are the things we should be doing." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/987302/hearing-of-the-house-budget-committee-why-congress-must-balance-the-budget#.VaaVaHUVhH (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We should be working in a bipartisan manner to correct the widely-acknowledged flaws of No Child Left Behind […] We should be setting high expectations for our schools and giving States flexibility to create accountability systems that improve achievement for every student. Instead, this legislation eliminates requirements for districts to fix struggling schools and ensure that all students make it to graduation." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/802246/student-success-act/?search=student%20success#.VhUpB3UViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Every Student Succeeds Act to finally address serious flaws in federal education law and reject the old 'one-size-fits-all' approach while continuing to hold states and schools accountable for the learning of every child." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/speeches/van-hollen-statement-on-the-every-student-succeeds-act (vanhollen.house.gov)
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 3, which would circumvent the legal approval process and grant blanket automatic authority for TransCanada to 'construct, connect, operate, and maintain' the Keystone XL pipeline and cross-border facilities." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/968972/keystone-xl-pipeline-act/?search=keystone#.VhUqTHUVikp (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VZKzuvlViko (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

  • "The good news is the transition to a cleaner global economy presents a great economic opportunity for the United States. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that private clean energy investment will more than triple by 2030. We should be fighting to attract that investment here in the United States, but we are at risk of missing out on that opportunity." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/799144/the-21st-centurys-global-clean-energy-race#.VaaXw3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "Today's proposed carbon standard gives states the flexibility to meet reasonable, achievable reductions of the pollution that is endangering public health and increasing costs to our communities from damaging extreme weather events. It will build on existing state programs, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in Maryland and other Northeastern states, and spur job-creating growth in industries like renewable energy and energy efficiency." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/880866/van-hollen-proposed-carbon-pollution-standard-good-for-public-health-and-the-economy/?search=renewable%20energy#.VZMaKflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "My plan to tackle climate change is a simple, fair, and effective cap on carbon emissions that boosts the middle class while achieving greenhouse gas reductions." https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/ (www.facebook.com)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 2454 "Energy and Environmental Law Amendments ("Cap and Trade")" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/26496#.VZK5PPlViko (votesmart.org)
  • "Today's proposed carbon standard gives states the flexibility to meet reasonable, achievable reductions of the pollution that is endangering public health and increasing costs to our communities from damaging extreme weather events. It will build on existing state programs, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in Maryland and other Northeastern states, and spur job-creating growth in industries like renewable energy and energy efficiency." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/880866/van-hollen-proposed-carbon-pollution-standard-good-for-public-health-and-the-economy/?search=renewable%20energy#.VZMaKflViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • " Keeping guns out of the hands of people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watchlist, off of college campuses, and away from domestic abusers will save lives in Maryland." https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/ (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/6098/chris-van-hollen-jr/37 (votesmart.org)
  • "One of the simplest being a universal criminal background check which we've tried to pass through the Congress. It’s overwhelmingly supported by the American people – 85 percent, 90 percent in some surveys." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/van-hollen-on-msnbc-we-need-to-get-serious-about-gun-violence-in-this (vanhollen.house.gov)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 16 million people have gained health insurance who would otherwise be uninsured." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/987299/van-hollen-statement-on-cbo-analysis-of-aca-repeal#.Vaac-XUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • " But I’m glad that leaders in Maryland like State Senator Delores Kelley are fighting to expand on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act." https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/ (www.facebook.com)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/29181#.VZK6SvlViko (votesmart.org)
  • Voted against H.R. 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#.VZK0iflViko (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

  • "Chris Van Hollen has been a leading advocate of fixing our broken immigration system, earning a 100% rating on the 2014 National Immigration Scorecard for his strong support of comprehensive immigration reform. He knows comprehensive immigration reform isn't just the right thing for families in Maryland and across the country -- it is the right thing for the economy because it will boost growth, decrease budget deficits, strengthen Social Security, and foster innovation. It is critical that we reform our legal immigration system to reduce red tape and unacceptable wait times while providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in our communities. Chris also supported passage of the DREAM Act in the House in 2010 and the DREAM Act referendum in Maryland to give opportunities to young immigrants." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/1041447/issue-position-immigration (votesmart.org)
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 5281 "DREAM Act" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/32955#.VZK65_lViko (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "As federal legislators who represent families acrossthis nation, we believe that—like DOMA—state marriagebans deny our citizens the equal protection that theConstitution guarantees." http://www.democraticleader.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/258055-Brief-Appx.pdf (www.democraticleader.gov)
  • "For the first time, every American has the right to marry the person they love. This is a monumental step toward a more inclusive society, one that embraces all who wish to take on the rights and responsibilities of marriage." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/van-hollen-statement-on-supreme-court-ruling-on-marriage-equality (vanhollen.house.gov)
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I support the President's decision to organize a coalition of Arab countries to strike key ISIS targets in Syria in response their extremist agenda and threats against the United States, their barbaric actions – including the beheading of two Americans – and their military assaults in Iraq and recent attacks to wipe out Syrian Kurdish villages." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/932665/van-hollen-statement-on-coalition-air-strikes-against-isis#.VaahOHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I opposed the Iraq War from the start and believe we must work with and support our allies in the Middle East to defeat ISIL. I oppose putting troops on the ground there and risking Iraq 2.0." http://onyourballot.vote411.org/race-detail.do?id=14042965 (onyourballot.vote411.org)
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

  • "First, substituting investments in private accounts for Social Security payments will inevitably increase the financial risks for seniors. Second, the projected transition costs of plans to partially privatize Social Security amount to trillions of dollars." https://vanhollen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/van-hollen-statement-on-social-security (vanhollen.house.gov)
  • "The Republican plan to privatize Social Security, which George Bush the other day said was his biggest piece of unfinished business, would be great for the folks on Wall Street, but it would be terrible for seniors who would have seen huge losses in their social security retirement, if that had been in place during the financial meltdown." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/564911/#.VZMb6vlViko (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.

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