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Joe Courtney's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Office: U.S. House (CT) - District 2, Democratic
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Joe Courtney 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 0% by National Right to Life Committee (
  • 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

  • "Congressman Joe Courtney today released the following statement after the United States Senate passed legislation to extend middle-class tax cuts and end Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy: Senate passage of the middle-class tax cut extension is the obvious solution to avoiding the fiscal cliff we will hit on January 1." (
  • "Neither our greatest nor our future generations can afford this callous scheme that would preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans by placing a disproportionate burden on the backs of middle class families, students and seniors." (
  • Voted in favor of H.R.8 "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (
No Inferred Answer Crime: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "The legislation that passed the House today authorizes, but does not fund: expansion of prevention and education efforts, expansion of medication assisted treatment, expansion of evidence-based addiction studies, and expansion of naloxone availability to law enforcement and first responders. In addition, the bill allows nurse practitioners and physicians assistants authority to prescribe medication assisted treatment, institutes some alternatives to incarceration for individuals with substance use disorders, and increases capability for law enforcement training on substance abuse." (
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Voted in favor of H.R.22 "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" (
  • Signed a letter stating "Very simply, we support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people anddeliver goods from place to place." (
  • "Connecticut's transportation infrastructure is among the oldest in the nation, and faces a number of challenges to meet the transportation needs of today and in the future. Improving the condition of our infrastructure is tied directly to our economy by investing in jobs, reducing congestion and ensuring that both people and goods can get to where they need to go." (
  • "Put people to work and grow our economy by rebuilding our state and our nation through investment in our roads, bridges, highways, transit systems, ports and harbors." (
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" (
  • "Congressman Joe Courtney today released the following statement after the United States Senate passed legislation to extend middle-class tax cuts and end Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy:'Senate passage of the middle-class tax cut extension is the obvious solution to avoiding the fiscal cliff we will hit on January 1. Not only does the majority of the Senate support this pragmatic approach to reducing the deficit, but so does the overwhelming majority of Americans, according to numerous public polls. Rather than subjecting the country to another avoidable, self-induced crisis, Speaker Boehner should bring up this compromise for a vote and support it for the good of the country. He can do so with the knowledge that President Obama would sign it into law immediately.' 'Senate passage of the middle-class tax cut extension is the obvious solution to avoiding the fiscal cliff we will hit on January 1.' " (
  • "Tax reform is long overdue to ease the burden on individuals, working families and businesses. I support sensible changes that would make our tax system fairer and simpler, and strengthen the economy." (
No Inferred Answer Education: Do you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "Unfortunately, the proposed regulations undermine what I believe was ESSA's clear intent - namely, to empower state and local educators in the process of developing indicators for achievement and a method for remediation that does not invoke NCLB's despised punitive regime." (
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" (
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

  • "I am working to: Advance a comprehensive energy agenda that lowers prices and invests in the development of alternate and renewable energy technologies." (
  • "Promoting Renewable Energy and Efficiency. I strongly support tax incentives for the purchase and installation of energy efficient improvements in residential and commercial buildings, as well as appliances, in order to spur innovation and accelerate market adoption of 'Green technologies'." (
Yes Inferred Answer Environment: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "The Cross-State Air Pollution Control Rule finally ends decades of failure to control air pollution at its source. For too long, highly polluting facilities located upwind have been allowed to pollute major metropolitan areas with impunity." (
  • Voted in favor of H.Amdt.507 "Specifies the Authority of the Secretary of Interior on the Regulation of Methane Emissions" (
  • "I have cosponsored legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and place greater emphasis on energy efficiency." (
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you generally support gun-control legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Rated 100% by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (
  • "Second, high-capacity magazines should be banned from sale." (
  • "We have known for years that more than ninety-percent of Americans support common sense measures like a mandatory background check on all gun purchases. If you buy a gun at a Walmart, you receive a background check, but go online or walk into a gun show and all bets are off. Moreover, I cannot fathom what the rationale is for allowing people who are banned from flying on airplanes because they are suspected terrorists to continue buying firearms just like any other person." (
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" (
  • "In every respect, the Affordable Care Act since it passed in 2010 has been a winner for seniors, and it has helped strengthen the solvency of the program. Again, Medicare part B premiums are going up zero for 2014." (
  • The Affordable Care Act, passed into law in March 2010, took a significant step towards addressing many of the unfair health insurance practices that impact families and businesses, invest in strengthening our health care workforce, and reorient our system of care to one that focuses on health maintenance – rather than disease treatment." (
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 "[...] we write to inform you that if a bipartisan immigration reform package is not introduced in the House of Representatives – one that includes a pathway to citizenship […] we as New Democrats will consider introducing a comprehensive immigration bill." (
  • "It has been 511 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill which would stabilize the broken immigration system, reduce the federal budget deficit, and—according to the Congressional Budget Office—grow the U.S. economy. Despite calls by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Farm Bureau, and faith-based groups of all stripes, Speaker Boehner has refused for more than a year to allow even a debate on this measure, of which I am a cosponsor. The President’s temporary executive order adheres to past precedent regarding immigration, and should act as a spur to Congressional action – not further obstruction." (
  • Voted in favor of HR 5281 "DREAM Act" (
Yes Inferred Answer Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Signed a letter stating "Gay and lesbian couples can now marry in nine states and the District of Columbia, and 18,000 such couples remain legally married in California. It is clear that DOMA does not rationally serve and, in fact, undermines, Congress's legitimate interests in the welfare of American families." (
  • Rated 100% by Human Rights Campaign – Positions on Marriage (
  • "This ruling is an historic step for equality, fairness, and civil rights in our country, and we celebrate alongside the millions of people who have worked tirelessly to build a groundswell of public support over the past decades. This is a landmark decision that places the court and the country on the right side of history--the side of equality and love. Connecticut took this step forward for our residents sanctioning marriage equality in 2008, and our state's experience shows that this decision is going to become part of the American social fabric quickly and smoothly." (
No Inferred Answer National Security: Do you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • "While a course of action is still being formulated, I am pleased to hear that the administration is not considering any ground invasion or open-ended military commitment. After ten years and two wars in the Middle East, any indefinite commitment of our military forces is an unacceptable option." (
  • "Many questions and concerns remain about this program and the larger strategy to combat ISIL, and I share them. However, I believe that this measure strikes a sensible balance between providing the authority and support the President has requested, and establishing a narrow scope of operations with robust Congressional oversight. Most importantly, this amendment does not provide any additional authorization for use of force, it does not declare war, it does not commit American ground combat forces in the fight against ISIL, and it does not provide an open-ended blank check to this or any future president." (
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

  • "I support proposals to fully fund Social Security and will strongly oppose attempts to privatize the program." (
  • Rated 99% by Alliance for Retired Americans (
  • 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." (


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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