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Beto O'Rourke's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (TX) - District 16, Democratic
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Beto O'Rourke 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

  • "Today I voted against H.R. 7, legislation that would severely restrict women's access to private health insurance that includes legal abortion coverage." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/845255/voted-no-on-the-no-taxpayer-funding-for-abortion-act-hr-7#.VZQPgXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "[…] I believe in a woman’s right to make her own health and reproductive choices." https://www.facebook.com/BetoORourkeTX16/posts/952348304831023 (www.facebook.com)
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America http://votesmart.org/interest-group/1016/rating/7720 (votesmart.org)
No 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

  • "Instead of making some corporate tax breaks permanent, I support overhauling and simplifying the tax code, ending special interest provisions and lowering rates for everyone." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/977149/vote-explanation-for-hr-880#.VZQQDnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "H.R. 622 extend this tax provision so states likes Texas and its residents would be put on an equal playing field with other states that have a state income tax deduction and don't have to rely on Congress to extend certain tax provisions. While I have historically voted against tax extender legislation, this is more about equality and fairness for Texas residents with the other 43 states." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/970090/vote-explanation-for-hr-622-hr-1105#.VZQQYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
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

  • "Today the House passed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, H.R. 2353. I voted in support of this bill because it reauthorizes important federal highway and transit programs for an additional two months through the end of July while Congress continues its work on a long-term funding plan." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/977144/vote-explanation-for-hr-2353#.VZQRTXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "The budget cuts $5.5 trillion from non-defense discretionary spending and entitlements, a large portion of which would come from cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, and other programs that provide assistance to low-income families and children, support students going to college, fund infrastructure projects, and support CBP Officers and Agents along the border." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/961586/blog-my-thoughts-on-the-fy16-budget-resolution#.VZQR13UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I voted against this bill because it makes irresponsible cuts to infrastructure and research critical to economic growth and competitiveness in El Paso and around the country.." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/970081/vote-explanation-for-hr-2028#.VZQWHnUVhHx (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Instead of making some corporate tax breaks permanent, I support overhauling and simplifying the tax code, ending special interest provisions and lowering rates for everyone." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/977149/vote-explanation-for-hr-880#.VZQQDnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "H.R. 622 extend this tax provision so states likes Texas and its residents would be put on an equal playing field with other states that have a state income tax deduction and don't have to rely on Congress to extend certain tax provisions. While I have historically voted against tax extender legislation, this is more about equality and fairness for Texas residents with the other 43 states." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/970090/vote-explanation-for-hr-622-hr-1105#.VZQQYHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "First, NCLB should prioritize the transforming the truly failing schools rather than burdening all schools. The U.S. Department of Education should work to provide innovative ideas and training, rather than shoveling ever more money at failing schools and expecting a change. Second, the Education Department should shift its stance toward the competent schools by measuring improvement rather than technicalities. NCLB compliance overwhelms schools and takes away time and energy better spent on improving classroom instruction." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/919635/issue-position-education#.VbKoenV3k1N (votesmart.org)
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 Pipeline" http://votesmart.org/bill/votes/50944#.VbKqJXV3k1M (votesmart.org)
  • "Vote explanation: H.R. 5682 Keystone XL Pipeline […] I voted against H.R. 5682 because I do not think we should compromise our laws for the sake of expediency. Having Congress intervene in an ongoing permitting process and provide a special exemption for one company is neither wise, nor in the national interest." https://www.facebook.com/BetoORourkeTX16/posts/828067973925724 (www.facebook.com)
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

  • "I voted against this bill because it makes irresponsible cuts to infrastructure and research critical to economic growth and competitiveness in El Paso and around the country. H.R. 2028 reduces funding for renewable energy initiatives in the United States by more than $266 million while increasing funding for nuclear weapons programs by more than $500 million and fossil fuel research and development to $600 million." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/970081/vote-explanation-for-hr-2028#.VZQWHnUVhHx (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I will work with other members of the House of Representatives, the Senate and our President in helping our country put together a plan that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they match levels that can be absorbed by Earth's ecosystems." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/833435/issue-position-the-environment#.VZQVKnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "In other words, a state could implement its own regulatory regime, but the regulations would not have to protect human health or the environment. In addition, it would severely limit EPA's ability to step in if a state program was failing. Pollution generated in one state does not necessarily stop at its borders. This is clearly a federal issue." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/805669/coal-residual-and-management-act-hr-2218#.VZQUp3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Our nation has suffered at least 74 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre. The factors allowing these rampages are no mystery: loopholes in the background check laws, straw purchases, restrictions on law enforcement, and gaps in our mental health system." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/888676/letter-to-john-boehner-speaker-of-the-house-163-members-of-congress-demand-a-vote-not-silence-to-prevent-gun-violence#.VZQWfnUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/78533/beto-orourke/37#.VZQXAXUVhHw (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) seeks to address some important problems when it comes to accessing healthcare in this country. It will provide protection for those with preexisting conditions; it will remove lifetime caps; it will extend coverage for children and young adults up to age 26; and it will attempt to provide for health coverage for everyone in the country." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/919634/issue-position-healthcare-reform#.VZQXf3UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I'm deeply disappointed in the implementation thus far of the Affordable Care Act. From the website that still doesn't work to the broken commitment that would have allowed people to keep insurance plans that they already had if they liked them." http://www.kvia.com/news/beto-orourke-not-satisfied-with-obamacare-fix/22983862 (www.kvia.com)
  • "ACA is the law, and I am committed to making it work for El Paso. Hearing from you directly, getting your emails and comments here on Facebook, speaking with you in town halls, all help me to understand what we need to work on. Please continue to reach out to me and I will do my best to improve ACA based on your concerns." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/805680/regarding-the-implementation-of-the-affordable-care-act-obamacare-aca-hr-2667-hr-2668/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.VbK26HV3k1M (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

  • Signed a letter stating "We hope that your actions will prevent the separation of undocumented family members of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and DACA beneficiaries and offer protection to others who have long worked in the United States and have established strong ties with our communities." http://gutierrez.house.gov/sites/gutierrez.house.gov/files/documents/11.13.14%20Gutierrez-Lofgren%20Letter%20to%20POTUS%20on%20Exec%20Action%20Post%20Election%20%28FINAL%29.pdf (gutierrez.house.gov)
  • "This targeted legislation would provide necessary discretion to judges and the Department of Homeland Security to provide relief to families who could live legally in the U.S. except that they committed a minor immigration violation in the past. It is commonsense and it is the right thing to do." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/978257/pearce-orourke-reintroduce-bill-to-help-american-families#.VZQZ1HUVhHw (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "This partnership is strongest when families are not wrongly excluded from the vast array of marriage-based rights and responsibilities. That is why many of us argued against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as amici in United States v. Windsor and why we participate asamici here." http://www.democraticleader.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/258055-Brief-Appx.pdf (www.democraticleader.gov)
  • Rated 100% by the Human Rights Campaign http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/78533/beto-orourke/76#.VZQcenUVhHw (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

  • "I do not believe there is a military solution to the complex civil war that is occurring in Syria and I have not been persuaded that a unilateral American military response will improve the humanitarian crisis facing millions of Syrians. More importantly it will not make the United State any safer." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/810513/el-paso-times-rep-beto-orourke-against-us-military-intervention-in-syria#.VbK5kXV3k1M (votesmart.org)
  • "Could not have been a more timely hearing, considering that Congress will soon make a decision on whether to support an AUMF in Iraq and Syria. Do we have the stomach and the discipline (and perhaps the national interest) to enter into a Cold War/WW2 level of aggression in the Middle East lasting decades?" http://votesmart.org/public-statement/961551/blog-what-is-the-state-of-islamic-extremism#.VbK5mXV3k1M (votesmart.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

  • "Switching to a chained CPI would be devastating for seniors, veterans, federal retirees, disabled individuals and others. Under legislation enacted in 1983, Social Security benefits for seniors retiring in the coming years are already scheduled to be reduced. Today, the average worker earning $43,000 annually who retires at age 65 will find that Social Security replaces 41 percent of their previous earnings." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/848656/letter-to-barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-exclude-chained-cpi-from-budget#.VZQg03UVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • "I will work to make the hard decisions to ensure that Social Security are protected and strengthened for this and future generations." http://votesmart.org/public-statement/704040/issue-position-retirement-security#.VZQgKHUVhHw (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans http://votesmart.org/interest-group/959/rating/7965 (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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