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Bobby Scott's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (VA) - District 3, Democratic
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Bobby Scott 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

  • "The U.S. has long been a leader in ensuring safe and secure access for women around the world to contraceptives and other family planning services. From the Global Health Initiative to a strong U.S. commitment to reaching the Millennium Development Goals, we thank you for your unwavering efforts to foster the health and dignity of women worldwide." (
  • Rated 100% by NARAL Pro-Choice America (
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

  • "This legislation irresponsibly extends all the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. I voted against this bill because we simply cannot afford to continue extending tax cuts and at the same time put Social Security, Medicare, and our nation's defense in jeopardy to pay for these cuts." (
  • "This December we will face the expiration of both this payroll tax cut and the Bush-era tax cuts. If we continue down this path and fail to make the unpopular decision to let all these tax cuts expire or offset them in a fair and responsible way, we will have to pay for these policies with deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, and other vital functions of government that Americans depend on." (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Under the current stacking law, a a judge is required to impose a 55-year mandatory sentence on a low-level, non-violent drug offender, but an airline hijacker would only be sentenced to 24 years in prison, a terrorist 20 years, or a child rapist 11 years. That simply does not make sense." (
  • Sponsored H.R.1254 "Recidivism Clarification Act of 2015" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The President has laid out a comprehensive budget that calls for additional investments on top of the discretionary spending caps set by the last year's Bipartisan Budget Agreement. These additional investments in infrastructure, job training, education, advanced manufacturing, and other critical areas will help accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans." (
  • "We have proposed a $500 billion jobs package that will end the recession by putting millions back to work, and approximately $400 billion for an antipoverty initiative that will restore cuts to the social safety net and enable people to get job training and education to make them able to work their way out of poverty." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
No Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In order to responsibly reduce our deficit, Congressman Scott believes that it is imperative that Congress go back and review the Fiscal Cliff Deal and cancel some of the tax cuts that were permanently extended in order to cancel the sequester." (
  • "This legislation irresponsibly extends all the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. I voted against this bill because we simply cannot afford to continue extending tax cuts and at the same time put Social Security, Medicare, and our nation's defense in jeopardy to pay for these cuts." (
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I think we need to say a few things about Common Core. It is not a national or a Federal initiative. It is State led. States develop the Common Core standards through the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association. The U.S. Department of Education did not participate in that. The administration does not coerce States into adopting Common Core. In fact, States have received waivers under NCLB and have not adopted Common Core, like my home State of Virginia." (
  • "Congressman Scott is committed to closing the achievement gap as Congress continues its work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, recently known as the No Child Left Behind Act." (
  • "Strong Start offers an innovative approach to help states fill the gap for high-quality early learning programs. Early investments in education are not only good for our children and families, it's also good for the future of our nation's economy." (
No Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The negligible economic benefit from the Keystone XL Pipeline does not justify risking America's drinking water, farmlands, and tribal grounds. I hope instead of exempting corporations from federal permitting requirements that Congress can work to ensure that our nation can become greener and more energy efficient." (
  • Voted in favor of S.1 "A Bill to Approve the Keystone 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

  • "Congressman Scott believes that human activity has contributed to climate change and has been a consistent advocate of efforts to mitigate global warming. Scott has co-sponsored legislation in the House of Representatives that would promote investment in renewable energy, as well as legislation that incentivizes energy efficiency." (
  • Signed a letter stating "Wind now provides power to over 15 million American homes, as well as to thousands of farms and businesses. The industry is responsible for $105 billion of investment in the U.S. economy since 2005, while driving down the cost of wind power by 43% in the last four years alone." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Thank you for your leadership in responding to the serious challenge of climate change. 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." (
  • "While work remains to ensure that Virginia remains resilient in the face of climate change and its effects, I am confident that the commonsense limits on carbon pollution announced today will spur innovation and ensure that the United States is a world leader in taking action to deal with the realities of climate change." (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
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 (
  • "I am honored to serve another term as a vice chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Since the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut, this task force has been working tirelessly to find legislative solutions to reduce gun violence and sadly our work is still very much needed." (
  • "There have to be some firearm-specific situations, such as an assault weapons ban, limiting the size of magazines, background checks, but also straw purchases, people who buy firearms for others knowing they could not buy them for themselves. Violating the law and circumventing the good background check processes we have has to be dealt with." (
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.3590 "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (
  • "People no longer need to fear being denied insurance because of preexisting conditions, or being charged more simply because they are a woman. The Affordable Care Act is working, plain and simple." (
  • "Those trying to repeal the law should be honest to seniors about what would happen to their free preventive care in the absence of the Affordable Care Act." (
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

  • "Unfortunately, comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act remain stalled in the House. We need bipartisan collaboration to allow all students, including DREAMers, the opportunity to fulfill their potential and we know that CTE is one approach that allows our nation's students to thrive." (
  • "The President's executive actions are limited in scope and will bring millions of undocumented individuals out of the shadows. There is ample legal authority and precedent for the President's actions. (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.5281 "DREAM Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "I now expect that there will be many more successful marriage equality cases, so that the right to marry will be extended to same sex couples living in every corner of our great nation." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "The Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry decisions represent a victory for equality. Today's ruling in the Windsor case invalidates Sec. 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which I have opposed since it was passed in to law in 1996." (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The President again presented a compelling case on why it is so important for the United States and the international community to respond to the atrocities committed by the Syrian government against innocent civilians. I remain concerned, however, about both the legality of any intervention without the support of the United Nations and the potential ramifications of a military intervention that could exacerbate volatility in the region." (
  • Signed a letter stating, "We join you and the international community in expressing unequivocal condemnation over the news that chemical weapons were reportedly used by the government of Syria. […] While the ongoing human rights violations and continued loss of life are horrific, they should not draw us into an unwise war--especially without adhering to our own constitutional requirements." (
Unknown Position Unknown 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

  • "America's seniors are facing increasing financial hardships, exacerbated by the loss of defined benefit pensions, the erosion of retirement savings, and two years without any cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits. […] we are confident that, through your leadership and commitment to the well-being of older Americans, a deal can be struck that does not negatively impact the lives of America's seniors." (
  • Rated 100% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "While we need to do more to help families save for retirement, the very least we can do is safeguard the retirement investments they have already made." (


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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