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Bill Nelson, Sr.'s Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. Senate (FL) - Sr, Democratic
On The Ballot: Too Close To Call, Democratic for U.S. Senate - Sr
Bill Nelson, Sr. has refused to provide voters with positions on key issues covered by the 2018 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart and voters like you.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2018.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Senator Nelson supports a woman's right to choose as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He opposes late-term abortion, except in cases in which the life or physical health of the mother is threatened." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/336950/issue-position-health/?search=abortion#.WzT-Ha3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Senator Nelson supports a woman's right to choose as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He opposes late-term abortion, except in cases in which the life or physical health of the mother is threatened." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/336950/issue-position-health/?search=abortion#.WzT-Ha3SQfI (votesmart.org)
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

  • Signed a letter stating: "First, we believe that tax reform should not increase the tax burden on the middle class. In addition, any reform effort should not benefit the wealthiest individuals, who have already seen outsized benefits from recent economic gains while working-class wages have remained stagnant." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1190317/letter-to-president-trump-leader-mcconnell-and-chairman-hatch-prioritize-working-families-over-the-top-1-and-special-interests-in-tax-reform#.WzT_BK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "First, we believe that tax reform should not increase the tax burden on the middle class. In addition, any reform effort should not benefit the wealthiest individuals, who have already seen outsized benefits from recent economic gains while working-class wages have remained stagnant." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1190317/letter-to-president-trump-leader-mcconnell-and-chairman-hatch-prioritize-working-families-over-the-top-1-and-special-interests-in-tax-reform#.WzT_BK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "That is basically what is going on. Military strategy is not just dependent on defense spending, but it is also dependent upon nondefense national security spending, which at this point is not even being addressed. What will the generals and the admirals tell you? They will tell you that a strong national economy is one of the most important of all the strengths of our country to be able to project American military strength. And as a result, if we continue to budget like this, not only in defense but in nondefense as well, in nondefense areas that directly affect defense--I mean the Coast Guard, the CIA, the FBI, the DEA, Customs and Border Protection, air traffic control, TSA--then all of these areas in the Federal Government are going to be under this artificial meat-ax approach of cutting across the board, and all of those agencies directly affect the national security" https://votesmart.org/public-statement/991234/national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2016/?search=defense%20spending#.WzUAFK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "That is basically what is going on. Military strategy is not just dependent on defense spending, but it is also dependent upon nondefense national security spending, which at this point is not even being addressed. What will the generals and the admirals tell you? They will tell you that a strong national economy is one of the most important of all the strengths of our country to be able to project American military strength. And as a result, if we continue to budget like this, not only in defense but in nondefense as well, in nondefense areas that directly affect defense--I mean the Coast Guard, the CIA, the FBI, the DEA, Customs and Border Protection, air traffic control, TSA--then all of these areas in the Federal Government are going to be under this artificial meat-ax approach of cutting across the board, and all of those agencies directly affect the national security" https://votesmart.org/public-statement/991234/national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2016/?search=defense%20spending#.WzUAFK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Campaign Finance: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating: "We believe the SEC should require companies to disclose to their shareholders how they use corporate resources for political activities. This disclosure would not only bring much needed accountability to shareholders and transparency to corporate political spending, but it is both clearly consistent with the SEC's requirement for public companies to disclose meaningful financial information to the public and squarely within the SEC's primary mission of investor protection. Moreover, disclosure of corporate political spending has obvious value for our democracy--it adds transparency to campaign finance, and it keeps the elections process free and fair of super-funded influences here in the U.S. or from elsewhere." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1215446/letter-to-the-hon-mitch-mcconnell-senate-majority-leader-and-the-hon-charles-schumer-senate-minority-leader-transparency-in-corporate-political-spending/?search=Campaign%20finance#.WzUAda3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "We believe the SEC should require companies to disclose to their shareholders how they use corporate resources for political activities. This disclosure would not only bring much needed accountability to shareholders and transparency to corporate political spending, but it is both clearly consistent with the SEC's requirement for public companies to disclose meaningful financial information to the public and squarely within the SEC's primary mission of investor protection. Moreover, disclosure of corporate political spending has obvious value for our democracy--it adds transparency to campaign finance, and it keeps the elections process free and fair of super-funded influences here in the U.S. or from elsewhere." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1215446/letter-to-the-hon-mitch-mcconnell-senate-majority-leader-and-the-hon-charles-schumer-senate-minority-leader-transparency-in-corporate-political-spending/?search=Campaign%20finance#.WzUAda3SQfI (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Since 2000, our national debt has grown by more than $3 trillion, placing a great burden on future generations. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I have worked to decrease our national debt by ensuring the federal government doesn't spend beyond its means. With responsible spending cuts and limited tax cuts that will provide the greatest stimulus to the economy, we can keep our national debt under control and increase job creation." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/336946/issue-position-economy/?search=stimulus#.WzUB563SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Since 2000, our national debt has grown by more than $3 trillion, placing a great burden on future generations. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I have worked to decrease our national debt by ensuring the federal government doesn't spend beyond its means. With responsible spending cuts and limited tax cuts that will provide the greatest stimulus to the economy, we can keep our national debt under control and increase job creation." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/336946/issue-position-economy/?search=stimulus#.WzUB563SQfI (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) wants lawmakers working on the budget to consider approving a ban against corporations taking tax deductions for penalties imposed in cases of wrongdoing." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/825593/senator-wants-to-ban-tax-deductions-for-corporate-wrongdoing/?search=taxes#.WzUCaK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) wants lawmakers working on the budget to consider approving a ban against corporations taking tax deductions for penalties imposed in cases of wrongdoing." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/825593/senator-wants-to-ban-tax-deductions-for-corporate-wrongdoing/?search=taxes#.WzUCaK3SQfI (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by the National Education Association. https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/1606/bill-nelson-sr/27#.WzUEUq3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Rated 100% by the National Education Association. https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/1606/bill-nelson-sr/27#.WzUEUq3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Voted "Nay" on PN 37- Nomination of Elisabeth Prince DeVos to be Secretary of Education. https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1606/bill-nelson-sr/27/education#.WzUDH63SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Voted "Nay" on PN 37- Nomination of Elisabeth Prince DeVos to be Secretary of Education. https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1606/bill-nelson-sr/27/education#.WzUDH63SQfI (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy & Environment: Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating: "As tax policy makers, it is our responsibility to provide a robust vision for the future of energy policy that drives the United States toward sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Energy tax incentives have been in the tax code for nearly 100 years and have played a key role in shaping U.S. energy policy." https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/020316%20SFC-D%20Energy%20Tax%20Letter_FINAL.pdf (www.finance.senate.gov)
  • Signed a letter stating: "As tax policy makers, it is our responsibility to provide a robust vision for the future of energy policy that drives the United States toward sustainable and cost-effective solutions. Energy tax incentives have been in the tax code for nearly 100 years and have played a key role in shaping U.S. energy policy." https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/020316%20SFC-D%20Energy%20Tax%20Letter_FINAL.pdf (www.finance.senate.gov)
Yes Inferred Answer Energy & Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Let it be revenue neutral. It is a fee on carbon, and the marketplace will then kick in, making it less desirable to put those greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/991280/national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2016/?search=greenhouse#.WzUG663SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Let it be revenue neutral. It is a fee on carbon, and the marketplace will then kick in, making it less desirable to put those greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/991280/national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2016/?search=greenhouse#.WzUG663SQfI (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating: "In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it has become increasingly clear that gun violence in America is going to continue unabated until Congress takes meaningful action," the Senators wrote in a letter to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). "On behalf of families across the country, we urge you to join the medical professionals in recognizing gun violence as a public health issue, and respectfully request that the HELP Committee consider S.834 at its next Executive Session." https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-joins-colleagues-in-calling-on-key-senate-committee-to-take-action-on-legislation-to-fund-gun-violence-research-at-cdc (www.durbin.senate.gov)
  • Signed a letter stating: "In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it has become increasingly clear that gun violence in America is going to continue unabated until Congress takes meaningful action," the Senators wrote in a letter to Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA). "On behalf of families across the country, we urge you to join the medical professionals in recognizing gun violence as a public health issue, and respectfully request that the HELP Committee consider S.834 at its next Executive Session." https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-joins-colleagues-in-calling-on-key-senate-committee-to-take-action-on-legislation-to-fund-gun-violence-research-at-cdc (www.durbin.senate.gov)
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted "Yea" on HR 3590- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1606/bill-nelson-sr/38/health-and-health-care#.WzUIDq3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Your budget proposal and support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) do not live up to your promise to ensure that veterans have access to the care they need. The AHCA would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ripping away care from 23 million Americans and slashing Medicaid by $834 billion. Because of the ACA, the uninsured rate for veterans decreased by almost 40 percent, and 340,000 of the veterans now enrolled in Medicaid receive coverage through the ACA's Medicaid expansion, which the AHCA would eliminate. Your FY2018 budget proposes over $610 billion in additional cuts to Medicaid. These "draconian" cuts to the nation's social safety net are an "assault" on veterans and their families - and on millions of other Americans." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1168658/letter-to-donald-trump-president-mick-mulvaney-director-of-office-of-management-and-budget-proposed-medicaid-cuts/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.WzUI-63SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Voted "Yea" on HR 3590- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1606/bill-nelson-sr/38/health-and-health-care#.WzUIDq3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Your budget proposal and support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) do not live up to your promise to ensure that veterans have access to the care they need. The AHCA would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ripping away care from 23 million Americans and slashing Medicaid by $834 billion. Because of the ACA, the uninsured rate for veterans decreased by almost 40 percent, and 340,000 of the veterans now enrolled in Medicaid receive coverage through the ACA's Medicaid expansion, which the AHCA would eliminate. Your FY2018 budget proposes over $610 billion in additional cuts to Medicaid. These "draconian" cuts to the nation's social safety net are an "assault" on veterans and their families - and on millions of other Americans." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1168658/letter-to-donald-trump-president-mick-mulvaney-director-of-office-of-management-and-budget-proposed-medicaid-cuts/?search=Affordable%20Care%20Act#.WzUI-63SQfI (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Immigration: Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
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: "As you know, DACA provides temporary relief from deportation to immigrant students who arrived in the United States as children if they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass criminal and national security background checks. These young people are known as Dreamers. They came to the United States as children and are American in every way except for their immigration status. We have already invested in them by educating them in American schools. It makes no sense to squander their talents by deporting them to countries they barely remember." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1178857/letter-to-president-donald-trump-protect-dreamers/?search=immigration#.WzUKpa3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "As you know, DACA provides temporary relief from deportation to immigrant students who arrived in the United States as children if they register with the government, pay a fee, and pass criminal and national security background checks. These young people are known as Dreamers. They came to the United States as children and are American in every way except for their immigration status. We have already invested in them by educating them in American schools. It makes no sense to squander their talents by deporting them to countries they barely remember." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/1178857/letter-to-president-donald-trump-protect-dreamers/?search=immigration#.WzUKpa3SQfI (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Marijuana: Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Despite exhaustive research, Vote Smart was unable to find information about this candidate's position.
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Should the United States use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating: "Third, as you begin your second term as President, we ask you to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/763360/letter-to-barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-step-up-pressure-prevent-nuclear-iran/?search=nuclear%20weapons#.WzUL_K3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • Signed a letter stating: "Third, as you begin your second term as President, we ask you to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/763360/letter-to-barack-obama-president-of-the-united-states-step-up-pressure-prevent-nuclear-iran/?search=nuclear%20weapons#.WzUL_K3SQfI (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Middle Eastern conflicts beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Sen. Bill Nelson, just back from a trip that took him to Turkey and Ukraine, says he will raise the issue of the use of U.S. force in Syria against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State when the Senate returns from vacation and takes up the 2015 defense spending bill." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/918016/tampa-tribune-nelson-will-seek-authority-for-use-of-force-in-syria/?search=defense%20spending#.WzT_vq3SQfI (votesmart.org)
  • "Sen. Bill Nelson, just back from a trip that took him to Turkey and Ukraine, says he will raise the issue of the use of U.S. force in Syria against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State when the Senate returns from vacation and takes up the 2015 defense spending bill." https://votesmart.org/public-statement/918016/tampa-tribune-nelson-will-seek-authority-for-use-of-force-in-syria/?search=defense%20spending#.WzT_vq3SQfI (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 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.

Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
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