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Elizabeth Esty's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CT) - District 5, Democratic
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Elizabeth Esty 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.

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

  • "Protect a woman's right to choose. I strongly support a woman's right to choose and have a long record of advocacy for pro-choice causes, from volunteering for Planned Parenthood while in college to authoring Supreme Court briefs for medical providers." (
  • " As your Representative in Congress, I will stand in strong defense of these rights. Simply put, a woman's medical decisions should always be made between her, her family, and her doctor--not politicians.Recent attempts by some politicians to chip away at that right, as well as efforts to restrict access to care, require us to remain vigilant. I strongly oppose the political actions of some House Republicans to outlaw abortions in Washington, D.C. and across the nation. We cannot afford to turn back the clock for women." (
  • Rated 100% by Planned Parenthood (
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

  • "Too many people are struggling today to find a job or hang onto the one they have. And too often Washington looks out for those at the top, instead of looking out for the middle class." (
  • "End the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. We must fight for tax relief for those who need it the most -- the middle class. We should end the special Bush tax cuts for millionaires and use that money to help balance the budget." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Project Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • The Register Citizen "We need to make good long-term decisions that lay the foundation for economic growth, but we also need to make sure that vital safety nets are in place, especially when folks are struggling." (
  • "Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we do everything in our power to prevent these storms from taking more lives and wrecking more havoc on our infrastructure and our economy. Windstorms impact all 50 states and my amendment will help ensure that disaster mitigation funds are used to improve the resiliency of our critical infrastructure. I am proud to see the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act signed into law with my amendment included." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.636 "America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015" (
  • "We must help our small business thrive, innovate and hire by providing access to capital, reducing unnecessary red tape, and making sure small business taxes are fair and encourage growth." (
  • "The budget Esty voted for makes critical investments to support American workers and boost our nation’s innovation and competitiveness, increases opportunity for middle-class families, and moves us towards a smarter, leaner government. Specifically, it makes key investments in upgrading our national infrastructure […] and provides tax relief for working families while closing tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • " 'Teaching to the test' and budget cuts at the local, state, and national levels, are failing our kids, our businesses, and our educators." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
  • "Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) voted against, H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, legislation that would mandate federal approval of all construction and operation permits for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline regardless of whether the pipeline meets the requirements of the law and without consideration for its long-term environmental impact." (
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

  • "We should move quickly to an energy-efficient future, which will require investments in renewable energy and incentives for energy-efficient technologies." (
  • "My first act in Congress was to introduce the Collinsville Renewable Energy Production Act, to permit the town of Canton to operate two small hydropower dams and generate clean, locally produced power. I was proud when President Obama signed my bill into law in 2014, knowing that it could help thousands of Connecticut businesses and homes in Farmington Valley. Clean-energy policies similar to this hydropower law at the state level are why Connecticut has had so much success reducing carbon emissions." (
  • Rated 100% by Environment America (
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.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • Signed a letter stating "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." (
  • "We just can't afford to ignore the dangers of climate change and the consequences of our nation's dependency on dirty fossil fuels. It's time to invest in clean energy technologies to revitalize American manufacturing, create good-paying jobs, and protect our children's future. I applaud President Obama for moving forward on a national policy to protect our health and our environment, and I'm looking forward to closely reviewing today's proposal." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "As a Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I'm working on commonsense gun safety reforms, like expanded background checks for all commercial gun sales, stricter punishments for illegal gun trafficking, and more support for mental health to protect our children and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to keep our communities safe." (
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While I believe we can and should enact adjustments and improvements to the Affordable Care Act, repeal is not a solution. I’ve consistently opposed bills that would fully repeal the Affordable Care Act or block implementation of the law." (
  • "The Supreme Court has made the right decision both legally and morally, and I applaud the President's courage in taking on much needed reform. Today's decision means that our young people will continue to receive health care coverage up to the age of 26. It means that insurance companies cannot deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. It means that our seniors who've fallen through the Medicare donut hole will get the help they need to purchase the medications they depend on. While we still have work to do to improve our health care system -- decreasing medical errors and wasteful paperwork, increasing access to home health care, and letting Medicare use its bargaining power to get better rates and prices for prescription medications -- this is a day that Americans can feel both relief and pride. Now that the Court has ruled, it's time for both parties to stop bickering and start solving problems -- making quality healthcare more affordable and, most importantly, creating jobs and rebuilding our middle class." (
  • "Every American deserves quality affordable health care. Although the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, it would be a mistake to repeal it." (
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

  • "Fixing our broken immigration system is the right thing to do for families and one of the best things we can do to boost economic growth. We should have a system that focuses on deporting violent criminals, not breaking up families. It’s time for Congress to act. I support comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders, keeps families together, and creates an earned path to citizenship where immigrants get in the back of the line and pay back taxes." (
  • "Esty is a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders, ensures everyone pays their fair share of back taxes, keeps families together, protects workers, and includes an earned path to citizenship for hard-working immigrants." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "One year ago today, the Supreme Court made the historic decision to uphold our values of equality and freedom for all Americans, no matter who you are or who you love. Last year's decision meant that thousands of gay and lesbian couples received federal recognition of their marriages and the federal benefits they deserve." (
  • "Marriage equality is deeply personal for me. I gave a gay rights speech when I was just 15 years old, and I’ve been a strong advocate ever since. A few years ago, I was proud to welcome my brother’s husband into our family. And one of my proudest moments in the state legislature was voting for marriage equality." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Let me be clear, recent attempts at ‘nation-building’ make me very wary of mission creep or involvement in broader sectarian divisions for which there is no military solution. We need to recruit and empower our partners in the region to take ownership of this situation and, ultimately, their own security." (
  • "[...] I have not received sufficient assurances that the proposed plan to train and equip Syrian opposition forces will advance U.S. national security interests. At this time, based on the evidence presented in classified briefings, I believe that there remain too many troubling and unanswered questions about the capabilities, intentions, and even priorities of the Syrian opposition forces we would potentially train and arm. For these reasons, I could not support the McKeon amendment." (
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

  • "Stop Social Security privatization. I also staunchly oppose any attempt to privatize or cut Social Security benefits." (
  • "I stood up to proposed cuts to Social Security and staunchly oppose any attempt to privatize or cut Social Security benefits." (
  • Rated 97% by Alliance for Retired Americans (


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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