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Bobby Rush's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (IL) - District 1, Democratic
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Bobby Rush 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

  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
  • "This comprehensive legislation would support voluntary family planning, education and outreach, reduction of unsafe abortion, STI and HIV prevention, contraceptive development, training of healthcare professionals, and various other initiatives." (
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

  • "How can they, on the one hand, fail to support funding for unemployment benefits by citing the size of the deficit while, on the other hand, consistently expressing their interest in actually extending the Bush-Cheney era tax cuts for the rich beyond the time they’re set to expire at the end of this year? " (
  • "The American people deserve better. I support a bipartisan solutions-based budgeting plan to reduce the deficit and strengthen the middle class, creating growth with jobs, cutting spending responsibly, increasing revenues for the wealthiest Americans, and reducing the deficit--but not on the backs of seniors and the middle class." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "We ask your support for the principles of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which allows judges to set aside mandatory minimum sentences when they deem appropriate." (
  • "Congressman Bobby Rush announced today on the House floor his opposition to the passage of H.R. 1279, The Gang Deterrence and Community Prosecution Act of 2003, which institutes mandatory minimum sentencing as a solution to deter gang activities and facilitates the federal prosecution of juveniles." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Madam Speaker, instead of going through regular order and the committee process and working on bipartisan legislation that would ultimately create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs, such as building up our infrastructure, fixing our roads and bridges, and modernizing our energy grid, instead of looking at the interests, the real interests of the American people, and working to provide the American people much-needed jobs, my friends on the other side of the aisle have repeatedly spent valuable time, time that this Congress will never, ever see again, trying to grant a regulatory earmark to the TransCanada Corporation by short-circuiting the normal permitting process and forcing President Obama's hand." (
  • "Young people are especially hard hit. At a time when they should be looking towards a bright and promising future, they are instead seeing their hopes diminished and their dreams deferred. This problem must be solved. That’s why I have re-introduced legislation to combat youth unemployment. In the 112th Congress this legislation is known as SAY YEA (H.R. 1901) and it provides $6.5 billion dollars to reduce youth unemployment."" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored H.R.4128 "Small Business Tax Credit Accessibility Act" (
  • "While we must address our government’s deficit spending it cannot be done on the backs of hardworking Americans who at this critical time need lower taxes, consumer protection, and the ability to obtain fair financing to keep their homes and grow small businesses." (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "[...] set in motion a nationwide challenge for some of our nation's best and brightest high school students to apply for the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. Last year, over 1,000 schools submitted entries but few if any of those schools were from the Chicago area. This year, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) hopes to change that by working aggressively to ensure that every public high school within his 1st Congressional District is aware that the challenge is underway and that interested students, their parents and teachers get fully engaged in this competitive enrichment process." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Every time we talk about jobs, every time jobs develop on the floor of this House, the Republicans all run to one place: that all we need is to build the Keystone XL pipeline and that will solve America's job problem. I beg to differ with my friends on the other side of the aisle." (
  • Voted against S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline" (
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

  • "Today, U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Ed. Whitfield (KY-01), and Bill Johnson (OH-06) introduced groundbreaking legislation that will create a pathway to employment for minorities and other historically underrepresented communities in the energy sector. It's no secret that the field of energy offers Americans tremendous new opportunities, and is changing the playing field internationally -- positioning the U.S. as the world leader in advanced energy technologies, energy production, and clean and renewable energy breakthroughs." (
  • "Support expansion of new oil, coal, natural gas, biomass, hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear American power solutions with advanced technologies and strong research capabilities for more jobs. This is a time to support American energy developers expanding our independence from foreign oil, not singling them out with tax hikes." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The battle to protect our local air and water is on-going. I am strongly committed to maintaining The Clean Air Act, to promoting the Restoration of the Great Lakes, to passing the Chicago Clean Power Ordinance, to regulating Greenhouse Gases […]" (
  • Signed a letter stating "We applaud and support your Climate Action Plan, the joint announcement with China establishing ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets, and the national commitment to the Green Climate Fund. These actions are critical to protect Americans from the most dangerous effects of climate change." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • Signed a letter stating "We write to urge you to renew enforcement of the ban on imported military-style firearms -- including those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those that are imported as parts -- which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Access to affordable health care should be a right, and I believe that the ACA is the best way we can move towards making this a reality." (
  • "The Affordable Care Act is about securing affordable, quality and accessible health care as a right, not a privilege, for every American; yet it is also about wellness and prevention, economic security and entrepreneurship, the well-being of working families and the strength of the middle class. In short, this historic law is about a healthier America." (
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

  • Voted in favor of H.R. 5281 "DREAM Act" (
  • Signed a letter stating "Every deportation of a father, a sister, or a neighbor tears at our social consciousness; every unnecessary raid and detention seriously threatens the fabric of civil liberties we swore to uphold. We are talking about American families and American communities. Criminalizing American families or giving local law enforcement the responsibility to choose who stays and who goes, is not the right option." (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Congress has no legitimate federal interest that is rationally served by treating married gay and lesbian couples as unmarried for all federal purposes. Section 3 is unconstitutional and should be struck down." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign - Positions on Marriage (
  • Signed a letter stating "In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act--defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman--unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Following the ruling, the SSA released a statement encouraging individuals in same-sex marriages and other legal same-sex relationships to apply for benefits. While we appreciate that SSA is approving claims for couples and surviving spouses residing in states, at the time of application, that recognize marriage for same-sex couples, this approach leaves out many who have worked to earn benefits for their spouses and families. Same-sex couples in civil unions and registered domestic partnerships, as well as married same-sex couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, have their applications held, effectively denying them the spouse-based Social Security benefits they have earned. This discrimination is simply unacceptable. " (
Unknown Position Unknown Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or Why not? "Yes, I do support a Syrian no-fly zone or a U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones. I do believe we need a mechanism to protect locals and allow them to have access to designated zones without fear of Syrian airstrikes." (
  • Signed a letter stating, "In fact, with the introduction of Russian military equipment and personnel, and with increasing Western military efforts directed at both ISIL and Assad-regime forces, there is every possibility that violence will escalate. This would continue the devastation of the Syrian populace, worsen the refugee crisis, and risk an increasing probability of expanded military conflict in the region." (
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

  • Signed a letter stating "We write today to express our strong support for Social Security and our view that it should be strengthened. We oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age. We also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part." (
  • Rated 98% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • Signed a pledge stating "I also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part." (


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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