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Richard Blumenthal's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (CT) - Sr, Democratic
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Richard Blumenthal 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, 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 (
  • "I will fight to protect a woman's right to choose and ensure that abortion remains safe, legal and rare." (
  • "Throughout his career, Senator Blumenthal has fought vigorously to protect a woman’s right to choose, and to preserve access to critical family planning services." (
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

  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (
  • "In advance of his vote against the Republican budget, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) spoke on the Senate floor about the resolution that hurts the middle class while providing more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans." (
  • Signed a letter stating "[...] working and middle class families should not pay for rate reductions that disproportionately benefit some of the wealthiest individuals and most profitable corporations." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "All of us have a responsibility to support their work, but the bill before us also recognizes that we are not going to arrest or jail our way out of this crisis. In fact, it provides resources for treatment and services and a more effective means of delivering Narcan, which can literally be a lifesaver, bringing overdose victims back from the brink of death. " (
  • Cosponsored and voted in favor of S.1410 "Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Our country desperately needs investment in middle-class financial security and all that goes along with it: job creation, infrastructure, education funding, clean energy research, and more." (
  • "This major federal investment is a game-changer for New Haven and a resounding endorsement of the ongoing efforts to reconnect downtown, the medical service district, residential neighborhoods and the regional rail and bus terminal. For too long, New Haven has endured a misguided, man-made highway to nowhere that has isolated neighborhoods and stifled development. With this grant-- the second TIGER grant for Downtown Crossing-- New Haven can continue to show what is possible when a city takes bold steps to transform its economic future." (
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.3630 "Extends Payroll Tax Cut" (
  • "In addition, Senator Blumenthal supports giving a much-needed targeted tax break to small business owners in Connecticut -- many of whom want to hire new employees, but may be waiting for the economy to recover completely to do so." (
  • "My Manufacturing Reinvestment Accounts Act would give a much-needed targeted tax break to small business owners in Connecticut – many of whom want to hire new employees, but may be waiting for the economy to fully recover to do so." (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Revamping the No Child Left Behind Act by replacing an inflexible, cookie-cutter system with a more effective approach that uses multiple measures of performance to gauge teacher dedication, school quality, and student improvement." (
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" (
  • "We must act now to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change, and prevent future, escalating harm. I believe Keystone XL would be a step backwards." (
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

  • Voted in favor of S.Amdt.2985 "Repeals the Limit on the Use of Funds to Procure Alternative Fuel" (
  • "I support increasing our investment in clean-energy technologies, which will help create as many as 2.5 million new jobs, boost the economy, and improve the environment." (
  • "Congress must take common sense steps to rein in our deficits, like closing tax loopholes that allow large corporations to avoid paying their fair share. I led the effort to end taxpayer subsidies for multimillion-dollar corporate bonuses and I fought to end wasteful giveaways to oil and gas companies—we redirected that money to support the development of clean, renewable sources of energy." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere aggravates asthma and heat-related illnesses, erodes shorelines […] Federal failure to address this critical issue prompted Connecticut to take the lead […] in filing a landmark lawsuit last year demanding steep reductions in CO2 pollution from the nation’s five biggest emitters." (
  • "When big business polluters don't pay for the costs of their pollution, the rest of us end up paying. As your U.S. Senator, I will listen to ideas from anyone, regardless of party, on how to bring the financial costs, environmental destruction and adverse health consequences caused by polluters under control." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I cannot vote for a measure which makes owning or possessing or using guns more readily or easily useable when we have failed to act, and we have failed to act, on commonsense, sensible measures that will stop gun violence." (
  • "The day of the Sandy Hook shooting was the most heartbreaking day of all my years in public service. I am fully committed to seeing common sense legislation to reduce gun violence signed into law." (
  • Voted in favor of S.Amdt.2908 "Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015" (
  • 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

  • "The recently-passed health care reform measure will stop many of the insurance industry's most egregious practices, including banning pre-existing conditions, canceling policies when someone falls ill, and using gender, age, and other discriminatory factors to charge higher premiums." (
  • "Today, the average family pays more than $13,000 for health insurance each year. With too many Connecticut residents unemployed, families around the state are struggling through difficult conversations about how to afford prescriptions and doctor's visits, while still putting food on the table or paying the rent. And, while insurance premiums are skyrocketing, the quality of our care is not.As Connecticut's Attorney General, I thoroughly reviewed the legal implications of the health care reform bill and believe that the law is not only constitutional, but that the provisions already in effect are providing real and important benefits to Connecticut's people." (
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

  • "Immigrants should be able to come out of the shadows not just for their sake but for the Nation's sake. They are a resource that can be used so much more fully to the benefit of our Nation. When they come out of the shadows, they should be forced to undergo background checks, obtain work permits and proof that they are abiding by the law." (
  • "President Obama’s executive action on immigration was well within his legal authority and was a step towards reforming our broken immigration system. The Senate has an interest in ensuring that when Congress gives the Executive Branch the authority and responsibility to execute America’s immigration laws in a humane and thoughtful manner, the federal courts respect Congress’s decision." (
  • Voted in favor of S.744 "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "Federal law should not disadvantage based on who they love. It is for this reason that I cosponsored the Respect for Marriage Act of 2013. This legislation would repeal Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which establishes that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state." (
  • "I thank all in Connecticut and the country who have stayed true to this cause, and I pledge to continue the fight so all Americans in all states have marriage equality." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "We must fight this threat by: […] Charting a new way forward to build a military and diplomatic capacity capable of winning today's wars, preventing tomorrow's conflicts, and enhancing our ability to project power across the globe to support our allies and protect our values." (
  • "Pursuing Terrorist Networks Abroad. It is vital that we maintain a strong offensive posture in the struggle against extremism. We must use both military and non-military methods to target and attack the terrorists where they are; never allowing them to establish safe havens in which to plot, plan and train. This includes targeting Al Qaeda's organizations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen as well as its affiliates like Al-Shabaab in Somalia." (
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

  • "Some politicians in Washington, grappling with runaway spending, are talking about cutting back Social Security and Medicare benefits. I support aggressive measures to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in all federal spending. But I will not and do not support any effort to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors." (
  • Connecticut Post "Of all times to talk about risking benefits for our seniors on the stock market, our recent experience certainly shows why privatizing Social Security would be reckless and irresponsible." (
  • Rated 100% 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 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.

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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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