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Kevin McCarthy's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CA) - District 23, Republican Majority Leader
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Kevin McCarthy 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-life Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Cosponsored and voted for H.R.7 "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015" (
  • Rated 100% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • "Today's report should be another clarion call – we must repeal this broken law and replace it with a step-by-step, patient-centered alternative that ensures that taxpayer dollars are not used to pay for abortions." (
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

  • "[Our blueprint] will flatten out tax rates, encourage savings and investment, repeal the AMT and the Death Tax, and get America growing again, all in a revenue neutral way that takes into account its beneficial effects. Our current tax code is holding us back, but with this plan, America will experience a rebirth of opportunity and prosperity." (
  • Signed a letter stating that "It astonishes me that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are calling for a massive tax hike on American families and small businesses, especially since the President said as recently as 2010 that increasing taxes in a down economy would hurt economic growth and job creation." (
  • Signed a pledge stating "I pledge to the taxpayers of the state of California and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates." (
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.
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "In funding the legislative branch, the House decided that as long as the people's wages remain stagnant in this economy, Members of Congress shouldn't be getting a raise. So we voted to continue the pay freeze that has been in place since 2010 and made sure to stop any added funding, putting us on a fiscally-responsible track to save even more money for the taxpayers." (
  • "House Republicans believe that by cutting wasteful spending, fixing our inefficient tax code, protecting and strengthening our social safety nets, and reforming government programs so that they are there to support those in need, our country will reverse from this dangerous course. American families and hardworking taxpayers are already suffering enough under the massive debt and cloud of economic uncertainty caused by Washington Democrats' reckless spending. It has to stop." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "It astonishes me that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are calling for a massive tax hike on American families and small businesses, especially since the President said as recently as 2010 that increasing taxes in a down economy would hurt economic growth and job creation." (
  • "As the economy crawls forward, taxes remain high, regulations complex, and the IRS unrepentant. Democrats have stubbornly refused to reduce tax rates, instead relying on $1.5 trillion in increased tax revenue to fund more of their pet projects with money taken from the pockets of the American people." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.1105 "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015" (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "America has rightly demonstrated a strong commitment of investing in our children. For instance, California dedicates half of its budget to education. But we should not leave education solely in the hands of politicians." (
  • "And to ensure Washington doesn't meddle and make the problem worse, this bill stops the federal government from coercing states into adopting national standards. For students to have the opportunity to succeed, we need an education system that puts faith in students, their families, and their teachers. Washington has proven time and again that it doesn't know best." (
Yes Inferred Answer Energy: Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "It is 2,303 days after the application for Keystone was first submitted to the State Department. We shouldn't be debating it; we should be building it." (
  • Voted in favor of 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

  • "We will continue to act on energy legislation that will create jobs, enhance national security, and offer a better standard of living for Americans. I urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid take up this bill, the Keystone XL pipeline bill, our hydropower bills, and all the other energy bills passed by the House." (
  • "A balanced approach that expands energy exploration can help fuel our economic engine, and opportunities to utilize alternative and renewable energy sources reflect the reality that we need to continue American prosperity with cutting edge technology and environmental advances." (
No Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Obama Administration says that this EPA clean power plan rule is about the environment. I disagree. This rule is really about the poor and middle class who would be hit with higher energy prices because of power plant standards concocted by EPA that are divorced from reality." (
  • "The President appears to be undeterred by the American people's clear repudiation of his policies of more regulations and higher energy costs. He refuses to acknowledge that it is technological advances from entrepreneurs and innovators, not government mandates, that have made the American energy sector more efficient and one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise beleaguered economic recovery." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.3409 "Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012" (
No Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt 1098 "Prohibits District of Columbia from Implementing Certain Firearm Laws" (
  • Rated 92% by the National Rifle Association (
  • "The ATF's decision today is a victory for our Second Amendment rights. The Obama Administration's latest attempt to constrain the Second Amendment has succumbed to concerns and opposition from the American people and their elected Representatives in Congress." (
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Obamacare remains a failed law that was forced through Congress on a partisan vote, and its consequences are being felt today. The law is increasing health care costs, reducing choice, and has led to fewer jobs, and today's ruling doesn't change that." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 596 "Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Health Care-Related Provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010" (
Yes 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

  • "The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act reaffirms in the most explicit terms that the President does not, in fact, have the authority to exempt whole categories of people who are in the United States illegally." (
  • "As a nation founded by immigrants, we should to continue embrace the individuals who wait in line and come to the United States legally to work hard and contribute to our society. However, we should not provide any amnesty that would benefit those who defy our laws and enter the United States illegally." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R. 5759 "Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014" (
No Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 0% by Human Rights Campaign (
  • "Today, Speaker Boehner announced the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group will take steps to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As a member of this 5-person group, I support the Speaker's action in light of President Obama's decision to shirk his constitutional responsibility to defend this law that has been on the books for 14 years." (
Yes Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The Speaker and I told the President we'd consider his request. I am prepared to support an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that provides new legal authorities to go after ISIL and other terrorist groups. However, I will not support efforts that impose undue restrictions on the U.S. military and make it harder to win." (
  • "We must recognize ISIL is but a symptom of a broader terrorist threat that has been ignored for too long by this Administration. Preventing the next 9-11 requires us to confront the reality that al Qaeda has metastasized, and that radical terrorists operating out of sanctuaries in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere pose a growing threat to the United States must be destroyed." (
Yes 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

  • "The personal savings rate is the highest it has been in 10 years, and we can continue to encourage savings by passing the Savings Recovery Act. Making the Savings Recovery Act law would raise the contribution and catch-up limits on retirement accounts and allow Americans to build up college and retirement savings at a quicker rate than current law allows." (
  • Rated 10% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • "Congress can make needed reforms to Social Security to give our children and grandchildren a brighter retirement future. Under current law, our children will pay Social Security, but when they retire, the Social Security Trustees estimate that our children will not receive their fair share. Leadership is needed now to reform this unsustainable system in order to prevent dramatic tax increases or benefit cuts in the future." (


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.

California State Legislative Election 2002 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning abortion.
a) Abortions should always be illegal.
b) Abortions should always be legally available.
c) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xd) Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.
Xe) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
Xf) Eliminate public funding for abortions and public funding of organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
Xg) Prohibit the dilation and extraction procedure, also known as partial birth abortion.
h) Support amending the California Civil Code to state that human life begins at conception.
i) Other or expanded principles
State Budget: Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories.
Slightly Increase Fundinga) Education (Higher)
Slightly Increase Fundingb) Education (K-12)
Slightly Decrease Fundingc) Environment
Maintain Funding Statusd) Health care
Slightly Increase Fundinge) Law enforcement
Greatly Increase Fundingf) Transportation and Highway infrastructure
Slightly Decrease Fundingg) Welfare
h) Other or expanded categories
State Taxes: Indicate the tax levels you will support.
Maintain Statusa) Alcohol taxes
Eliminateb) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusc) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statuse) Gasoline taxes
Greatly DecreaseF) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Eliminateh) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decreasei) Property taxes
Slightly Decreasej) Sales taxes
Slightly Decreasek) Vehicle taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
Nom) Should Internet sales be taxed?
Yesn) Would you support placing any operating surplus into a "rainy day" fund?
Noo) Should California legalize gambling in specific cities in order to generate tax revenue?
p) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding campaign finance and governmental reform.
Yesa) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California governors?
Yesb) Do you support the current two term, eight year limit for California state senators?
Yesc) Do you support the current three term, six year limit for California assembly members?
Nod) Do you support amending the term limit law to allow voters to place a current legislator on the ballot who would otherwise be ineligible to run for re-election?
e) Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to state legislative and gubernatorial candidates?
Yes1) Individual
Yes2) PAC
Yes3) Corporate
Yes4) Political Parties
Yesf) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Nog) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Noh) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Undecidedi) Do you support voting on-line?
Yesj) Do you support adopting statewide standards for counting, verifying and ensuring accuracy of votes?
Yesk) Do you support prohibiting media exit polling of voters until all polling locations in California are closed?
Nol) Do you support allowing voter registration on Election day?
Nom) Should California recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?
Yesn) Should California restrict marriage to a relationship only between a man and a woman?
o) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
Xa) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
Xb) Increase state funds for the construction, renovation, and expansion of local jails and juvenile detention centers.
c) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
Xd) Support the use of the death penalty in California.
e) Support placing a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in California.
Xf) Support programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills and job-placement assistance when released.
Xg) End parole for repeat violent offenders.
h) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
Xi) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
Xj) Support .08 blood-alcohol-content limit defining drunk driving.
Xk) Prosecute as adults, youths accused of a felony.
Xl) Support funding for alternative sentencing programs for juvenile offenders.
m) Require that crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability be prosecuted as hate crimes.
Xn) Ban the use of racial profiling by law enforcement officers.
Xo) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xp) Increase state funding for additional security of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks.
q) Amend the "three-strikes" law so that it is applied only when the third offense is a serious or violent felony.
r) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Support national standards and testing of public school students.
Xb) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
c) Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure).
Xd) Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers.
Xe) Support teacher testing and reward teachers with merit pay.
Xf) Support posting the Ten Commandments in public schools.
g) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xh) Support public schools administering high school exit exams.
Xi) Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.
Xj) Increase state funding for Head Start programs.
Xk) Provide state funding for tax incentives and financial aid to help make college more affordable.
l) Support age-appropriate sexual education programs that teach about abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods.
Xm) Support abstinence-only sexual education programs.
Xn) Increase the length of the public school year to provide additional hours of classroom instruction.
o) Other or expanded principles
Employment: Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning employment.
Xa) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector to encourage investment and economic expansion.
Xc) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xd) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xe) Increase state funds to provide child care for children in low-income working families.
f) Include sexual orientation in California's anti-discrimination laws.
g) Create a state "living wage" standard.
h) Other or expanded principles
Affirmative Action: Should the following state agencies take race and sex into account when making employment decisions?
Noa) College and university admissions
Nob) Public employment
Noc) State contracting
d) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Promote increased use of alternative fuel technology.
b) Use state funds to clean up former industrial and commercial sites that are contaminated, unused, or abandoned.
c) Support a bond for clean air, parks, and water conservation programs.
Yesd) Do you support state funding for open space preservation?
Noe) Should state environmental regulations be stricter than federal law?
Nof) Should California purchase the utility lines of power companies?
Nog) Should California sell state bonds to create an emergency fund for the purchase of energy?
h) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting.
Xb) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Xc) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
d) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns.
Xe) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns.
f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns.
g) Require background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows.
h) Require a license for gun possession.
i) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.
a) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
b) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xc) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
d) Support patients' right to sue their HMOs.
Xe) Support patients' right to appeal to an administrative board of specialists when services are denied.
Xf) Guaranteed medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
g) Legalize physician-assisted suicide in California.
Xh) Increase state funding for training health workers to recognize and respond to the release of biological agents.
i) Require labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered products.
Xj) Eliminate the requirement that health care facilities must provide non-emergency medical assistance to illegal immigrants.
k) Other or expanded principles
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Support current time limits on welfare benefits.
b) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xc) Provide tax incentives to businesses that hire welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide child care for welfare recipients who work.
e) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
f) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
Xg) Redirect welfare funding to faith-based and community-based private organizations.
h) Use federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) funds to expand state services to include the working poor.
Xi) Support tax credits to developers for the construction of low income housing.
j) Other or expanded principles
On an attached page, in a total of seventy-five (75) words or less, please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
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